Wednesday, August 18, 2021

‘Thousands await initiation in NY lodges’

In a Zoom conference that concluded just minutes ago, Grand Master Bill Sardone brought the brethren up to speed on upcoming key events, including Grand Lodge’s full session Annual Communication at Utica in just nine weeks.

On Saturday, October 23, Grand Lodge will resume labor at 9 a.m., using a newly cleared out and renovated space for the meeting. Regular business, constitutional amendments, elections, etc. will be transacted. The installation of officers will be conducted elsewhere, possibly the chapel.

For 2022, we can anticipate the return of St. John’s Weekend at Utica, the Grand Master also said, June 23-25.

With our fraternity derailed by the pandemic and resulting bans on meetings, the matter of membership has been a vexing concern for lodges. My own, Publicity 1000, has had a queue of more than a dozen petitioners awaiting initiation for months, and we’re a smaller lodge. We are preparing to admit them to the Worshipful Lodge soon, but the statewide situation?

Are you sitting down?

The Grand Lodge of New York has 3,346 men engaged in our NorthStar quality control program. They’ve been vetted. “You know how people talk about membership going down?” Sardone asked. “Well, our numbers are going up.” More than 500 candidates currently are in the progress of the three degrees. (As a refugee from another jurisdiction myself, I make a point here to mention 17 Masons from outside the state have affiliated with New York lodges recently.) Another 146 lapsed brethren have been brought back to Masonic labor.

No one-day mass initiations nor goofy gimmicks or accounting tricks. Just hard work by Master Masons who know what they’re doing. Let those who have ears, hear.

There were several more items our Grand Master addressed, and I will cover those in future editions of The Magpie Mason. This conference call was not interactive—no chat, no Q&A—just a quick informational update. Anyone with questions or ideas is welcome to email MW Sardone directly. I can tell you from personal experience that he welcomes and answers communications.

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