Tuesday, April 22, 2008


As you progress through the officer line you are beset with many mental challenges along the way. In your first few years the utmost proficiency of the first section lectures torments the mind as you try to keep your cool while all eyes watch for the slightest stumble... As you reach the mid-point of the line you face the rigors of the Middle Chamber an obstacle not for the faint of heart and a dead end to many journeys in lodges where this is a requirement. For this reason many lodges do not require their members to learn this lecture and designate brothers who have mastered it to perform it when required. Right, Wrong, Indifferent, Undecided.....

In the final stations we master the three degrees or do we ? The first stumbling block is an ackward little piece called the letter "G" which again I have seen delegated away. Then the ultimate challenge, one of both endurance and mental toughness, the Challenge of Solomon. Any Master who has conducted both sections of the sublime degree know they are in for a long night. Again for this reason many lodges have one Master do the first section and another Master do the second section. I choose this path my first year as Master, I figured I had enough to deal with learning to run the lodge. So this year as I have had a second opportunity to serve I decided that this was the year to take on this challenge.... So last night I took my seat with a nervousness that I had not experienced since I mastered the Middle Chamber. All in all I was happy with my performance especially knowing that I will have two more opportunities to perform it. With five candidates in waiting, yes five, it was going to be a long one....and it was.

My second reason for taking on this task goes back to first blog "BUILDING A LINE"...since my new lodge has not performed this degree for decades I doubt there are many Masters who took the time to learn it and are also active, someone has to meet the challenge. I have always believed in being part of the solution and not part of the problem. Therefore by learning this part I now can be the cornerstone for the performance of this degree by my new lodge.

Always remembering everything is built one stone at a time.....

Sunday, April 13, 2008


A couple of years ago as I was reaching the end of my journey in the officer line of my home lodge I decided to affiliate with a neighboring lodge. I had found my years in the line to be a positive experience and was not quite ready to sit on the sidelines again. The contrast between the two lodges is pretty dramatic and a lot of the things that I simply took as a norm in my home lodge are not so in my new lodge. Primarily my home lodge has a progressive line which has been working effectively for over ten years now. My new lodge had all Past Masters in the principle officer stations and very little participation by non-officers. Fortunately in my first year as an officer (SD) in my new lodge we raised several good candidates who immediately took an interest in the lodge. Now in my second year as an officer (SW) we now have new members in the line as junior officers and are raising more good candidates.

Recently we began discussing a MM degree, the lodge had not done a MM degree in many years having relied on a local degree team to perform the degree or by outsourcing our candidates to other lodges perming the degree. As the JW was wise to point out we cannot develop an effective line only performing two degrees. But how....the lodge does not have enough participation to conduct a degree with the level involvement necessary. I have always been a firm believer that the needs of the candidates comes first and foremost. Now I find myself trying find a balance between the needs of the candidates and the need to develop new officers effectively.

For years my home lodge has helped my new lodge on their degree nights and that was one of the reasons I affiliated. I think the best plan is to try to perform the MM with the help of the Past Masters and my home lodge. I'll let you know how this works out.........