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Secretary's October Message

Brethren, as we move into October, we are still having pains with the new Grand Lodge Membership System. The Dues function on the system still had bugs and is being worked on, hopefully this will be ready to use in the coming days. I have been told that members will once again be able to pay dues using a credit card as before with a service charge. New will be the option to make a direct debit rom your checking account (ACH) with no or very small fee.

Also, each member with an email address in the system will have a personal profile page to log into for information and to make changes to their profile. That should be up and running shortly according to Grand Lodge sources.

As you may already know, the Grand Lodge has increased the dues it charges lodges for each member annually. The dues were increased $20.50 and by our bylaws automatically raise our dues to cover this increase making our 2022 dues $115.50. Dues are payable before December 31, 2021, for the 2022 calendar year.

I would be remiss if I did not address the COVID issue. Locally, Washington Hospital is swamped with COVID patients, mostly unvaccinated. My good friend and Brother Bob Polander a member of Chartiers Lodge 297 has died from the virus after spending 20 some days on a ventilator. This reinforces my position that masks should be worn in lodge meetings and I would hope Grand Lodge will mandate that only vaccinated members can enter our buildings here in W. PA as they have done in the Philadelphia area. To put it bluntly we cannot dismiss COVID as being over as that is simply not true. Local schools have gone back to remote learning to try and slow the cases with the kids. Getting back to normal with the lodges will still be a long way off in my opinion and we must continue to exercise caution when we are meeting by masking and continuing to social distance. I have my booster shot, but I still know many who are not vaccinated and are going about business as usual which is simply crazy. Some may not like my comments, but good God, people are dying, and I really couldn't care less about that.

Because of the COVID situation, at the last meeting the Lodge approved the renewal of our Zoom license for another year so we can resort to that media if things get a bit nasty through the fall and winter months.

The Lodge will be hosting the DDGM Brother Jay A. McGuier at this meeting. There may be a 50-year member present to receive his award, but that is not certain. We have a Fellow Craft and a Master Mason Degree conferral scheduled for Monday the 25th. If you feel comfortable coming out, we would love to see you at both meetings. If not, please stay safe out there so we can meet again.

I look forward to seeing you at our Stated Meeting and remember that one copy of the Minutes will be available to review at the secretary’s desk 30 minutes prior to the opening of lodge.