On Tuesday Evening we had our road show at the Cosmopolitan Club Whanganui, it was a combined meeting for Ruapehu and Taranaki Brethren, if you weren’t there you missed a very inspiring meeting.
For those interested in statistics this was the attendance on the night:
(To date show there are 394 Freemasons aligned to Lodges within the Ruapehu District, within 13 Lodges, not allowing for dual membership)
Road Show Attendance
•Total Ruapehu members attended = 46.
•Number of Past Masters in group= 37.
•Number of Master Masons in group = 8.
•Number of Fellowcraft in group = 1.
•Number of Lodges represented 12 out of 13.
•Number of Lodges sending five or more representatives = 4
•Master Masons not present = 100+
These figures shout volumes as to why we have arrived at this point in time.
Ruapehu Membership Statistics between 1 March 2020 to 1 March 2021.
•New Freemasons initiated = 11
•Joining members = 12
•Resigned clear = 24
•Resigned in arrears = 4
•Struck off = 1
You do not have to be a mathematician to see the current downward curve, but the Road Show was not just about falling membership, it was also about engagement and lack of attendance at meetings, as well as lack of community visibility.
How do we Bring About Change?
There were a lot of great answers to the questions put out during the road show, and one I would like to mention is family involvement, which did not surprise me, but what did surprise me was the perception that it is an uphill struggle or impossible task! when in fact all it takes is changing the historical mindset some of our Lodges have about wives and partners being able to attend refectory.
I would ask anyone who thought it could not be done to visit United Wanganui, Petre or Wharite.
“There are no limits on what you can accomplish, except the limit you place on your own thinking”.
Be a Lodge Champion!
I chatted to one Freemason last evening that said he remembered being a kid and his Father would take him to the Lodge Children’s Christmas Party and how much he enjoyed them and I am sure many of you remember the days of social times, parties and dances? When did we lose the enthusiasm for arranging those times? Some of the greatest times I have had is at Lodge Rangitikei organising the Christmas party, the Solstice, St. George’s street party. I also remember with great fondness the Ladies evenings in my English Lodge back in Cheshire, they were simply amazing! Yes, it is hard work to organise social events, yes I had to make time in my busy schedule, yes I was helped by my fellow Lodge members when I asked for help, but most of all I had my wife onside who has always been my leveller. So what I am asking is do not give up, think the impossible possible and do not get despondent when others don’t help or shy away. Be a Champion for your Lodge.
In 2008 when I was a new Master and getting frustrated by the apathy in the Lodge, a senior Grand Lodge Officer told me “ Ashley, there are some men that like the name Freemason, and there are those others who are FREEMASONS, and when I came to understood that my life would not be so frustrating" After that much needed advice I stopped becoming frustrated with others and simply got on with things in my own way. It must have worked I went on to be Master twice again after that, Grand Steward, DistGDC and now DistGM! You see anything in our organisation is possible if you have the right mindset.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING A LODGE CHAMPION AND DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START, CALL ME