Grand Master Harker’s September 2010 Message

M.W. Joseph B. Harker - Grand Master

It has been a very exciting and rewarding beginning to our 2010-11 Wisconsin Grand Lodge year.   I was very pleased with the material content and quality the summer issue of this Wisconsin Masonic Journal.  I hope you were as well.  I hope that many of you went to the electronic version of the WI Masonic Journal.  In the Electronic version you may find something about your Lodge. If you have any concern about our paper, please send a message to the office addressed to the Grand Master.

I have been in your Grand Lodge Office normally at least once each week since taking office.  I must tell you that there is a lot of activity in our office.   We have also improved the exterior appearance and scheduled some very necessary repairs to the building.

I have been asked several times for a Dispensation to allow a Lodge to do work when they are not scheduled to meet in a given month.  I have talked to several Lodge officers and members who say they wish they did not have a break.  It has been stated many times, by many members, that their lodge looses momentum when they take a couple of months off in the summer or winter.  There are certain items of business that can not be entertained at a special meeting.  Your By-laws establish your “Stated” meeting times.  All other meetings are considered “Special” meetings.

I therefore ask each Worshipful Master to take this opportunity to open up a discussion within your Lodge about your By-laws and give serious consideration to making sure that you have a “Stated” communication each and every month of the year.  That way if there is business that must be conducted at a “Stated” communication, it can take place in a timely fashion.   You should also consider your membership fees and annual dues referenced in your bylaws but not specifically stated in an actual amount.   These fees can be handled at a lodge level and does not require a bylaw change.

As reported in the summer edition of the Wisconsin Masonic Journal, as Grand Master, I visited Mineral Point Lodge No.1, my home Lodge as my first official Lodge visit.  What a reception and what a way to start the year.  The re-dictations of Wisconsin Dells Lodge No 124 and Hartford Lodge No 120 were exciting.   We also attend the Zor Shrine Ceremonial on Saturday 12 June.

My Lady Mary and I traveled to Toronto to attend the Imperial Shrine Annual Sessions.  We joined approximately 40 other Grand Masters from around the world.  There are two new shrine centers and another that is under dispensation.  All three of the shrines are located outside of North America.  The shrine is preparing to change their corporate name to become Shrine International.

There is a significant amount of degree work going on this summer; I have already attended a number of EA° and MM° degrees.  I have heard of FC° degrees being conferred but have been unable to attend those meetings.  Keep up the good work and momentum.  I will be visiting Lodges throughout the state this year.  Please let us know about your scheduled degree work.

How do we meet my Brothers?

“On the Level”