Grand Master’s Message – April 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!

I’m Proud of who we are!

I’m Proud of what we do!

Consistent Messaging

     As my term nears its end… (Ouch, that’s hard to type…  I REALLY love the opportunity to serve as your Grand Master) it’s important for me to consistently remind all of us that we need to be consistent. What has made this Fraternity so special, so successful, and so impactful for so many years is the fact that we operate by the same virtues, perform the same rituals, and take the same obligations that we have for hundreds of years. Unwavering.  We are consistent in our teachings.

     I have tried to be consistent in my teachings/messages as well. Those messages are repeated below:

  • Act like a Freemason every day in every way. I believe it’s critically important. If we continue to show the world who we are as people, we maintain our relevance, and the “good” of our communities will continue to seek us out, as they are now.
  • Calendaring! I asked each Worshipful Master to send me a calendar of events for their Lodge for the year. I hope each of you are receiving updated calendars at every Stated Meeting. I have encouraged each Lodge to consider calendaring by standard operating procedures (SOP). The SOP I suggest includes each Lodge having 7 events always calendared. It is critical that we challenge good men. If we challenge good men, they respond. Being able to ask a good man, who is now an Entered Apprentice, if he can be ready for his FC degree on (date scheduled) is good leadership.  Proactive, not reactive. As soon as an event is completed, schedule the next!  i.e., once an EA degree is conferred, schedule your next EA degree.

                      1. An EA Degree

                      2. A FC Degree

                      3. A MM Degree

                      4. A membership event focused on relevance

                      5. A membership event focused on retention and/or restoration

                      6. A community event

                      7. A Police/Fire/Military/Healthcare workers’ support event

     The other night in a Lodge meeting, I was asked the question about men continuing to become a Master Mason from their election through their raising.  The Brother who asked the question was looking for help on how to retain more throughout this process. The fact is over the past 15 years we have lost 26% of men that we have elected to join our Fraternity prior to them ever becoming Master Masons. That is a HUGE percentage! To me it is also an embarrassing number. Now some of that is on them. Potentially, we are not what they expected. Our degrees are very different, and our traditions are very different. I get that not all 100% will continue to join and become Freemasons but, some of that loss is on us. It is critically important that we properly prepare these new candidates. They need to know about the journey they have committed to. They need to know who we are. Just as you protect your Lodge culture before presenting them a petition for membership, please take the time once you’ve elected them for membership into our Fraternity to properly prepare them. It is our responsibility as leaders. It is our responsibility to lead good men. They should be challenged to be ready for their next degree with a specific date. On the day they are initiated, challenge them to be ready to be passed by a predetermined date. On the day they are passed, challenge them to be ready to be raised a predetermined date, and on the day, they are raised challenge them to post their lessons by a predetermined date. If you challenge a good man, they respond. I have no doubt that if I asked any of you to do something, if you were capable of doing it, you would. Be a leader, challenge our newest Masons.

  • I asked every lodge to adopt “Love ya Brother” wellness committees where the Steward or Deacons call every member on their birthday and their Masonic Anniversary.  I asked every Lodge to print a roster for their newest Masons and ask them to call and introduce themselves to every member of their Lodge. I know, having made thousands of these amazing calls, that 80 plus percent of these calls will simply be messages left on a voicemail. Think about this, how powerful would it be for you, as a Brother, to consistently be getting calls from your Lodge Brothers. Last year nearly 1/3 of our Lodges raised 3 or more new Master Masons. That means every Brother of those Lodges would have received at least 5 phone calls from other Brothers of their Lodge. Do you think that would help us with retention… 😊 Do think that would help us with attendance at our Stated Meetings… 😊 Do you think that would help attendance at Lodge activities… 😊 Without question!

There is no doubt our communities need Freemasonry. There is also no doubt by being bigger we can do more things. We can have more impact on our communities. Challenge yourselves to grow. Challenge yourselves to be consistent.

We will finish my term as your Grand Master incredibly strong. This year I celebrate my 35th year of being a Master Mason. I must say it’s the proudest I’ve ever been of who we are and what we do.

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!

I’m Proud of who we are!

I’m Proud of what we do!

Paul T. Tourville, Grand Master Wisconsin Freemasonry