Good morning, Broth.'. Cameron!

Since your post today broached two subjects, I'll comment on the second one! I am particularly fond of projects that honor our forebears, since I believe Freemasonry to be a tradition we pass along, connecting past, present and future through our lives and our works. My Lodge acquired a dedicated shrine in one of our city's cemeteries, but sadly we have not yet had opportunity to use it, haha. In my hometown, we have a centennial Lodge and they do have a cerimony every year honoring their past members, but it is done within the Lodge and does not include a visit to the cemetery. I'll visit them in a couple of weeks and I have a mind of suggesting this action of yours. Can you elaborate on the markers - what are they made of? Are they a Compass and a Square? Is there any difference between them?

Thank you for the great work you've been doing in Emeth!

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I like that idea, MW, I just wonder about the particulars, especially dealing with brothers that have moved away but continue to pay dues to keep current. Although you didn't mention it, you sort of alluded to the lodge raising dues to a level where they can pay their bills and using the increase as a reason for me to come to lodge to get those certificates.

As it stands right now, lodges have kept their dues so low that there wouldn't be much incentive for brothers to get certificates because they don't mind paying $75 dollars a year to be a member. Right now it costs me that much to fill up my car with gas. But, if the lodge raised it's dues to $750 dollars a year, that might get some brother's attention.

But, what about those brothers who moved away, but still pay dues and can't attend?

And this would also impact the Life Memberships. As it stands, the most someone would ever pay for a Life Membership would be less than that yearly dues. The lodge would have to charge for Life Memberships in the thousands of dollars. And there is nothing to stop someone from joining a lodge with lower dues, get a life membership there, then demit and transfer their LM to their old lodge, circumventing the entire point.

When it comes to money, human nature means no matter the intentions, brothers will find a way to "cheat" the system.

I do like the idea as a concept though, anything to get more participation out of the members.

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May 26Liked by Cameron M. Bailey

I like this idea! It could extend beyond just lodge attendance - participation in other lodge activities (such as Memorial Day recognition), committee participation, lodge building maintenance, essentially every area where participation is valued. The lodge dues could be adjusted slightly upward for those who are not as “active” in the lodge, without gouging those who are not physically capable.

As a young Mason I remember a building “clean-up” where the younger guys were busy, and the older guys were there to give moral support, offering encouragement or advice. It was more important to me to see those faces than to have them actually doing the work.

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I think having a non forecastable budget is a bad Idea. Lodge operations take funds and strategic decisions around operations need to be made during the forecast phase of budgeting possibly 2 years out. This also means that capital expenses are not even factored in, which means you are living on borrowed time before one facility failure takes you out. NC has a Lodge dues calculator for its lodges. Ours requires about 18-20 K a year and rising due to inflation just to operate the building. https://bit.ly/3KfQNib In My humble opinion, the reality is cheap masonry results in more cheap masonry. If we don't have the numbers, to support a building, then we need to rent. There are costs to doing that as well but its a factor that must be considered, and to do so requires predictable revenue.

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