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Montana Freemason  August 2015                           Volume 91 Number 2

as parks, charity for the needy, etc - can get us        so and so says, based on no statistics whatsoever,
the “extra” numbers: those extra guys above what         and I believe it.
they reasonably expect in a given community
setting. I’m excited to go to lodge, I look forward                             Closing
to spending time with those guys outside of a            In closing, if you nished reading this,
tyled setting, and the community actually knows          congratulations, you’re a hearty soul! It is quite
we are there: that brings in more petitions.             long, aims to dismantle several pre-existing
                                                         beliefs, and only o ers one possible suggestion
                    Be Positive                          as a solution. However, my hope is that Masons
   ere are some things which lead to feeling             and their families (who sometimes do read our
“worse o ” as a lodge, one that can easily be            magazines - Hi there, you!) will start asking better
addressed: lodge halls. Many of our lodge rooms          questions when we discuss “more members” and
were built when a town was booming and had the           “more money” - because it’s my opinion that there
expectation that the community was going to be           are better, more critical questions that can be
larger than it ended up, and that people would           asked, and we should be better informed.
continue “joining” things in the way that they had       Finally, let me express that being in a large
been so doing. A lodge room built for 50 or 100          population center is not a vaccination against
people looks empty and cavernous when there are          membership loss or poor nances, and being in a
6 men in chairs.                                         smaller community does not mean that a lodge is
If you have a regular group of 6 people showing up       already on the “hot seat.” However, we need to be
to your meeting, and even though 1 or 2 members          honest - about our expectations and begin with a
pass away in 5 years time, if you’re raising a new       new baseline.
Master Mason or two during that time, you’re on          In the table attached, imagine 10-20% of that
your way to maintaining what you have. What’s            membership showing up. It takes 5 per Code to
wrong with that? Maybe consider remodelling              open. Is this lodge likely to be sustainable? Also,
your room and cutting out some space to give             members = dues = $. Is this lodge stable? Also,
it a more “homey” atmosphere. Its something to           three lodges (Virginia City #1, Boulder-Basin #41,
consider. Having the Worshipful Master holler            Ottawa #51) are bolstered by plural memberships
across a giant lodge hall to the other couple of         and the members shown may be skewed because
guys in the room can come o as futile and sad to         of this in their cases.
new guys at times.

                     The New Guys
   On the subject of new guys, please put to bed,
   forever, the phrase “What young men want.”
   When a middle aged man sees himself as young,
   where is he coming from? If a Grand Lodge o cer
   bothers to ask (rather than tell) what a young guy
   wants, he still parses it through his own lter. His
   take away from their feedback might still not
   re ect what the young man had said. Put this in
   perspective: By example, I am 38 years old. Let’s
   say I had a kid at 20: he is now 18 years old - the
   same age you can join Freemasonry at in Montana.
   I am o en the youngest Mason in a room, though
   not always, and many guys think of me as the
   “young guy” or “kid.” However, to the young guy;
   38 doesn’t make me the “young guy” to an 18 year
   old. Now, what are men in their 50’s and 60’s doing
   talking about “what young men want” for? I don’t
   get it. It’s been a pet peeve of mine since before I
   joined, reading this and hearing it. Its usually
   based on anecdotal evidence anyway: this is what

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