Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tonight I attended the Secretary's Conference at Southgate Lodge in Des Moines. Bro. Bill Crawford, Grand Secretary conducted the workshop and as always there was a lot of good discussion among the brother secretary's there.
We had several new secretary and also some "old timers". I think the longevity award goes to Bro. Lester Fleming, PGM (Secretary of Faithful Lodge at Runnells). Les said he was starting his 41st year...he said he had already received his 50 year pin as a Mason, was wondering if there would be a special one for him when he attained 50 years as a Secretary.
The Secretary are the unsung heroes of our lodges. There is a lot more to the job than most of our brothers ever know. We are the ones that keep the lodges running and know the "ins and outs"...both good and bad. We have it in our perogative to either make the Worshipful Master look good or bad. If the Master does not have confidence of the Secretary, then he is in for a "long" year. Most of the time, even if the Secretary does have to make the Worshipful Master look good, I think he does so because of his love for the lodge.
I have had times in the past five years where I have been not very happy with our Worshipful Masters (including right now), but I step up to the plate because of my love for the lodge. I was Worshipful Master in 2003, since that time I feel we have had really only one brother who served in that capacity and really tried to do what he was supposed to do and he had been a Mason for only a few short years. Bro. Kerry Walker served as our W.M. in Newton Lodge #59 in 2004. Kerry had only been a Mason for four years, but he really worked hard fulfiling his duties as Master. He was organized and tried to do some new things to appeal for younger Masons and also propsective Masons. Bro. Kerry was awarded the Young Mason of the Year Award in 2003.
I don't think the rest of our Masters have had a "clue". It makes me both angry and frustrated. Where is our Masonic leadership? It is out there in places, but unfortunately often times it is far and few between. Everybody says "I'm so busy"...well aren't we all! It takes committment, organization, and preparation. Our best leaders are those who are the busiest. They are the ones who exhibit these three characteristics.
We had a great turnout tonight (probably at least 25) and there were two lodges who had other officers there besides there Secretary (includng the Worshipful Master). King David #407 sent their SW, WM, Secretary and ex Secretary, which I thought was great. Bro. Tom Megel (the ex Secretary) was there to help his successor learn the job. That says a lot. Why can't more of our officers take an active interest? All of the officers of the lodge should have an interest in learning how the lodge is operated. Learning can not happen without knowledge.