District 5 Summer wrap-up
When I was a new Mason, I remember being disappointed to find that most of the lodges closed for the summer. “Close? What? C’mon, man, I’m just getting fired up!”
By the time I was the Worshipful Master of Friendship Lodge, though, I was thrilled to have that summer break. I guess it’s a matter of perspective, huh?
In the last few months, I have seen or participated in almost a dozen degrees, gone to another dozen meetings of various groups, have attended several dinners, awards nights, and other events. June has been particularly eventful, and in the last three weeks I have visited seven out of the eight lodges in my slice of the state. An early heat wave coincided with my need to visit a number of lodges, none of which were air conditioned – an occupational hazard here in New England where many lodges are really just old buildings. Personally, I’ll be glad when the end of June comes because I could use a break. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy what I’ve been doing, and I’m happy to be invited to these events, and I’ve been pleased that nobody boos, hisses or curses when I enter the room. I’m just looking forward to a little time to recharge the mental batteries.
I’ve been to some very nice degrees in my little slice of the Nutmeg State. I’ve seen several lodges with low turnout, where the officers have done particularly nice work. I’ve also been to a few lodges in which I’ve seen new officers who have spent some time learning the work and while it may not have been perfect, it was obvious that they did their best to perform it well for the candidates. From such workmen will the best ashlars be made, and I salute them.
During my travels, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to meet another half a dozen new Masons who came up to me after a degree to mention that they’ve read this blog. Not only does this increase my readership by almost 50%, it indicates that more and more men – mainly the under-40 group – are using the internet to discover more about our fraternity. It also suggests that they are not being frightened off by some of the contentiousness that can be found on blogs and web forums, to the contrary of those who have decried the use of this medium. Being one of those who used the internet heavily in his own research before joining, I still maintain that those people who are so easily swayed in their opinion of the fraternity by the antics of a handful of anti-Masons Masonophobes – or by a few disgruntled Masons – are probably not the best candidates in the first place.
Speaking of teh internetz, It’s too bad that a large number of the Connecticut lodges do not keep their websites updated. The GL gives each lodge a website with their own domain name (for example, Friendship Lodge in Southington has www.friendship33.org), and each lodge site is hosted on the GL server, complete with templates and just about everything that they need. Yet most lodges barely mention the officers, let alone post contact information or – unbelievably – update their event calendars.
I know that a few of the lodges in my district will have some things going on over the summer – several are already planning degree work to accommodate the influx of candidates, and there are usually picnics and other get-togethers. But it will be nice to be able to go home after a day at work and just relax on the deck with a cool drink and some munchies, and recharge my batteries before the busy season starts again in the autumn.