Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chasing Down Dues

Since the last time I was at the lodge, stemming from a conversation I had with one of the brothers, I pulled together a list of those brothers who have yet to pay their dues for the current year. I divided the disappointing list between myself and a few other brothers, all of whom are past Masters, with the hope that we could all reach out to those brothers specified for each of us and make sure that our fellow masons can avoid being suspended. Well, I can’t speak for anyone else but I started reaching out to the members of the lodge that I selected for myself beginning with those whom I am most familiar.

And it didn’t take long before I spoke with a brother who has had a bit of a rough time as of late. Unfortunately, I had lost touch with him over the past year but took it upon myself to reconnect with him via Facebook. While doing so I had the odd feeling that something must have happened since it had been a while since I had seen him at lodge. While he was clearly being too hard on himself, I continued to insist that he is welcomed at the lodge at any time and that we are here, I am here, should he need any assistance. After all, we are brothers.

Thankfully, after a lengthy conversation we agreed to see one another again at the lodge soon. And, despite my justified offer to remit his dues, he insisted on paying is own way. I give him credit, he had a few very trying moments in his life lately but he managed to push through them and hopefully we can bring him full circle and continue to make this good man even better.

Other discussions never even got off the ground as there have already been a few unsuccessful attempts to reach various brothers. For some their lack of dues seems to be a simple oversight while, for others, there may be a little bit of abuse of the system at play. I can’t say for certain unless I speak with them directly but their track records in the database don’t quite match up with someone facing a recent hardship. But, again, part of being a good mason is giving your brother the benefit of the doubt so I will have to wait and see.

In the end, we are a small lodge with unreasonably moderate dues so when brothers don’t pay it does hurt. It won’t make or break us but it would give us some additional breathing room in the coming year should everyone pay their own way. Heck, they should take note of my interaction above… I was ready to remit his dues on the spot but he wanted to put forth the effort and the finances to pay for himself. I tip my hat to you sir and look forward to meeting again at the lodge in the near future.