Page 4 - 2018 Spring
P. 4

Gr and Lodg e of W ashingt on
                     Grand Lodge of Washington
                               Masonic Tribune
                              Masonic T      r ibune
                                           g 2017-18   I
                                   CIX N
                               ume X
                              Vol Volume XCII No.1 - Summer Issue - Page 3e - Page 4
                                      .2 - S
                          “Rocks and Shoals Ahead!”
                               o sooner does one Masonic year start and    do? I thought so at the time and I still think so,
                               it seems like we are preparing for the next   but the budget took a bigger hit than I think any
                         NMasonic  year.  One  of  the  more  important    of us realized. There were roughly 1,100 in that
                          preparations is looking forward to the next year’s   category, essentially wiping them off the books as
                          budget. This is an ongoing process but it goes into   far as revenue for the operation of Grand Lodge.
                          full  swing  as  early  as  December.  Much  effort  is   A 10% loss will put a hole in anybody’s budget if
                          put into this process, with the Finance Committee,   not accounted for. At roughly $29 a head, that is a
                          Grand  Secretary,  and  the  elected  officers  trying   loss of approximately $32,000, which is (gasp) the
                          to put all the pieces together, taking into account   deficit we are operating under. Should we have
                          historical trends and actual end-of-year financial   caught that? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No.
                          performance. As the stock brokers say in a pro-  You will see some Grand Master Resolutions to
              RIGHT WORSHIPFUL Brother
                          spectus, “past performance is no guarantee of fu-  address our short-term shortfall. With the settle-
                          ture results.”                                   ment of the sale of the MRC in the next year (we
                          Drilling down into the actual numbers makes for
                                                                           hope!), we should be in a strong financial condi-
                 Jim H. Kendall  travel the Jurisdiction you will hear more and more   tion to be able to weather and even turn around
                          very grim reading indeed, frightening even. As we
           DEPUTY Grand Master
                                                                           the membership issue that is plaguing us all. We
                          details and descriptions of what has gone before,
                                                                           have been working diligently to formulate solutions
                          what  was  projected,  what  actual  results  were,
                                                                           and put them in place. The Six-Steps Program is
                          what our best guess for the immediate future will
                                                                           beginning to bear measurable fruit, while our new
                          show,  and  what  we  need  to  do  to  turn  the  ship
                          around before hitting those infamous Rocks and
                                                                           about FreeMasonry and how to join. No one pro-
                          Shoals.                                          PR campaign is bringing in a surge of inquiries
                                                                           gram will turn the membership loss around, but
                          First, here are some of the un-sexy numbers. At   we are beginning to see some noticeable gains.
                          the  end  of  2011,  we  had  16,110  active  Masons   In summary, we have some difficult challenges to
                          on the rolls. With the net loss of members expe-  meet and some equally tough decisions to make.
                          rienced in recent years, the estimate was that we   We will be publishing more information as we de-
                          would have approximately 13,000 to14,000 mem-    velop it, and with the information, our recommen-
                          bers in 2018. Grim numbers indeed. Grimmer yet   dations on how to address these issues. It will be
                          is  the  fact  that  we  actually  have  10,994  active   the decision of the members of the Grand Lodge,
                          members as of the end of December.               and that is where the decisions should be.
                          Here is more grim news. Approximately two thirds
                          of our remaining members are 65 years old or old-  Fraternally,
                          er. Think about that. How many of that two thirds   RWB Jim Kendall
                          are older than 70? 80? Even 90? The answer is,   Deputy Grand Master
                          too many to sustain the Fraternity without making
                          some pretty dramatic changes to that equation.
                          Now let’s translate the above
                          What  does  that  mean  for  our  Grand  Lodge?  It
                          means that paying the bills is getting tougher and
                          some  hard  decisions  have  to  be  made  by  you,
                          the members of Grand Lodge. Over recent years,
                          through paring here, pinching there, pruning over
                          there, we have kept costs from rising dramatically,
                          while our income has been relatively stable.
                          We  are  operating  this  year  on  a  deficit  budget
                          because of last year’s Resolution exempting life
                          members who are also 50-year members from the
                          Grand Lodge annual assessment. This put them
                          on equal footing with 50-year members who are
                          not life members, and who were exempted from
                          the annual assessment. Was it the right thing to
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