Grand Master’s Address from the March 2018 Quarterly Communication

By Robert Huke |

M.W. Paul F. Gleason addressed Grand Lodge with the following remarks:

Brethren, I want to thank those of you who made the trip in today in the aftermath of our third nor’easter this March. Mother Nature is certainly making us earn our way to spring this year, isn’t she? I have a few announcements to share with you:

  • We are standing up a state-wide CPR Training Initiative with the goal of having two to four CPR instructors in each district. Your District Deputy Grand Master and District Service Officer will approach you later in the year to see if you are interested in becoming a CPR instructor within your district. I hope many of you will respond to this offer. More information will be available on
  • I suggest that someone from each lodge log into “” to ascertain if your lodge has any abandoned dividends, interest, or other negotiable instruments that you might reclaim. (There are both Blue Lodge and York Rite institutions listed on this site, which is run by the state.)
  • We have several Education events coming up between now and our next Quarterly: Masters Path (with a Secretary’s breakout) is scheduled in East Longmeadow on the 31st of this month and in Wakefield on the 19th of May; Treasurer’s training will be offered in Marlboro on the 31st and in East Longmeadow on May 19.

In Other Developments

Just before the Super Bowl, your Grand Master was overtaken by a fit of complacency that I wish to share with you in the hope that we might be spared a recurrence next year. As I heard phrases such as “What will we do with six rings, there’re only five fingers on a hand?” it was suggested to me (by a former member of our Grand Lodge) that I reach a friendly agreement with the G.M. of Pennsylvania on the game’s outcome. Accordingly I, called Rt. Wor. Eugene Herritt and offered a gallon of Boston Clam Chowdah for the best of Philadelphia cheese steak Hoagies. Well, we know how that turned out…. Take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.  Does anyone have a job for a former member of Grand Lodge? He’s well-qualified, but rather rash in his suggestions…

The Bad and The Good

You just heard about the brethren I was forced to suspend or expel for their ill-thought actions.  While it is always sad, it is solely for the good of our Fraternity that we do this. Unfortunately, I often wonder about the work the Lodge Investigation Committee did when these individual’s applications were processed.

Remember brethren, while we are actively seeking new Masons, do not let that enthusiasm distract from the importance of an adequate background investigation. Follow the procedures – we have boxes of brochures in the Supply Department available that list them. When an Investigation Committee reports their results as “Favorable”, we vote to admit a good man into our fraternity. Let’s keep it that way.

Now for the good: did you see how many Grand Master Awards were just given out? 20 of them! I’m sure that most of you know how difficult it is to earn this award – in most cases, planning for it begins before the Master is even installed. The lodge will spend almost the entire Masonic year satisfying its requirements – and not every lodge who tries will succeed. Those that do now have proof their lodges benefitted from their efforts. For Lodges that pursued the award but fell short, I hope you agree that it provides a good template program for any lodge to follow. I hope to see an even bigger pool of recipients next year!

Junior and Senior Wardens out there – please consider having your lodge strive for this award during your year in the East.  At a minimum, it will help you organize your programs and guide you on your way.


First, retention: We all realize that it is easier to retain a member than to gain a new one. In that vein, we have found that the Receivership Program has been very effective for retaining and rejuvenating our lodges. Since its inception, the Receivership Program has covered 19 lodges. Of these, 13 have returned to light, 5 are still in process, and only one has gone dark!  That’s over 1400 brethren helped with another 800 still in process. This is certainly a commendable record reflecting a great deal of credit on the Receivers, Observers, and Administrators of this valuable program. Thank you brethren.

In regard to our loss of individual members, I urge you to view the recently released video interviews of former members of our Craft as they explain why they lost interest in their membership. (It is easily found on It’s not entertaining – it’s a series of lessons in what could have been done to retain these valued assets. Note the tone of each of the interviews – these men still want to be Masons.

We are responding to these lessons with a new series of modules for our Lodges of Instruction and with the actions of our District Membership Officers, as they urge each and every lodge to call each of their members every year.
A quick show of hands here: how many lodges have indeed contacted – or at least attempted to contact – each of their members? OK, thank you for that – we can do better Brethren! Further planned activities aimed as “giving back” value to our members are being developed and will be announced in the near future.

I am pleased to report some numbers regarding newly raised Master Masons today. In the first half of this Masonic year, Ezekiel Bates Lodge has raised 11 new members, Saint John’s (Newburyport) has raised 7, Sinim and Essex Lodges each raised 5. A good start Brethren – and  I know there are several more raisings scheduled for this and next month. So, let’s have a show of hands:

How many lodges have raised 3 or more Master Masons this Year?

Keep them up. Two?

At least one?

How many have Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts in the queue?

OK, thank you for that. I congratulate you each on your efforts. In June,  I would love to see the lodge full of raised hands! {All sit}

Our Membership Committee is in the initial phases of planning a “Bowtie Benefit” fundraiser for later this year. We intend to offer a special evening for our ladies, raise a little money for our Brotherhood Fund, and engender a positive feeling about Freemasonry which might inspire our members to recruit more members for the biggest new program on the horizon:
Saturday, March 9th next year, we will be holding a One Day Class. We will conduct the degrees here in Boston, and we hope to add additional locations if the demand exceeds what our headquarters here can handle.

Brethren, I would like at least one “excellent” ritualist from each District to volunteer to participate on a degree team for next year’s One Day Class. For an event like this to be a success, we need our best ritualists leading the way. This event is not an invitation to shirk our responsibilities with investigating candidates, as I mentioned earlier. We must continue to guard the West Gate vigorously. Lodges still need to conduct investigations, ballot on candidates, and collect all applicable membership fees per usual. When we get closer to the event, we will announce the procedure for registering candidates for any part of the event.

A One Day Class represents another option for a man to experience our degree work. In addition to ritualists, we will need some instructors to help, as we plan to offer a condensed Lodge of Instruction-style program between degrees for the candidates. We hope to work with all of our One Day Class candidates more following the degrees, by assigning mentors to encourage each of them to pursue the Rookie & Master Builder Awards. We will have some incentives for lodges and candidates who participate to earn, so keep an eye out for more information as it becomes available.

Thank you.