Suppose that a survey were made among those Lodge members who have not been in regular attendance over the past four years, and another group who have been inactive for the last ten years. It is likely there would be as many excuses, reasons, evasions, equivocations and mental reservations as there would be queries.
- Lodge meetings seldom start on time and certainly never finish in time to get a good nights rest for work the next day.
- The W.M. and the officers are frequently late or even absent and never on hand early to meet and greet the brethren. If present, they are frequently too busy or thoughtless to extend a welcome.
- The W.M. is not conversant with the Rules of Order and Parlimentary procedure or of his powers as a W.M.
- The Business part of the evening was poorly organized and conducted.
- The Secretary wasted time fumbling among his papers and Lodge books for items to present to the Lodge.
- The Ritual work of the Officers was sloppy to say nothing of the P.Ms. who often felt that they did not need to study their parts.
- The same brethren did the same parts of the ritual meeting after meeting.
- When newer brethren participated in the Ritual they had obviously not been given any schooling or counselling.
- The Banquet hour was poorly organized Either no activity or entertainment or far too many jokes and stories not in Masonic taste. Toasts poorly proposed and or responded to.
- There was never any variety or originality in the proceedings of the Banquet hour – nothing to look forward to, or in the nature of a surprise.
- The W.M. and officers are a clique and never bother to welcome or talk to you.
- There is practically no time or encouragement for fraternity or fellowship.
Very often on the night of Installation. The W.M. will urge the brethren to support us by your attendance. It will encourage your officers. What support does he want? What can the Lodge afford. Many Lodges are able to operate only because so many members absent themselves. If 70% did in fact attend and remain for the Banquet room, the costs would be high and the Lodge could be in dire straits financially.
Lord Samuel once said of the British House of Lords, that it was the only Institution in the world which is kept going by the persistent absence of the great majority of its members. Some might say the same thing about Freemasonry. However, Masonry continues and indeed it can be said that it flourishes. How could it be otherwise; for when strangers meet, and upon identifying each other as Freemasons, they can establish a friendship and rapport that goes beyond the realm of politeness.
Please remember, that numbers and Lodge attendance do not necessarily strengthen Masonry. THERE MUST BE RECEPTIVE MINDS. Something worthwhile to satisfy those minds and, a REAL honest and friendly atmosphere of FELLOWSHIP. It is of utmost importance that we maintain Freemasonry as a purely voluntary institution, and we should seek to improve attendance only by gentle compulsion and persuasion. Freemasonry is a fraternity whose primary purpose is to make good men better. It is a character building organization. It assists a Brother in better knowing himself, and by this, a better understanding of his role in life.