Master Masons as well as our new Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Masons should be aware that one part of the Tilers duties is to monitor access into our Stated Meetings, our various degree ceremonies and Masonic functions, and our less-formal Masonic activities in general. I have enjoyed this job immensely because it has provided me the opportunity to not only get to know you better individually, but to also help you prepare and set your minds at ease prior to your various initiation ceremonies.
We are first and foremost a fraternal organization. However, you newer Masons may not be aware of a longstanding tradition in our Lodge (as well as others) in getting our wives or significant others involved in some of our activities. Many of us feel this has enhanced our Masonic experience as it has taken away some of the “Masonic widow” feelings (and perhaps some resentment) some spouses and significant others experience.
For example, pre-pandemic we had a significant number of the women in our lives attend the dinners prior to our Stated Meetings. It was not unusual to see anywhere from eight to twelve wives, girlfriends, widows of members and even the occasion Mom or daughter attend. Some went home after the meal while others remained and socialized, waiting for their Mason to return from our upstairs monthly meeting.
We have had socials events where the ladies and family members in our lives (and even friends) are invited. Events such as: Sweetheart lunches, luaus, and our annual Crab Feed. We decorate our lodge during the holiday season and put forth an even greater effort to get the ladies out to our monthly meal. These women get some idea of what an awesome experience Masonry is when they attend our annual December installation and installation dinner.
COVID obviously had an impact on that attendance. However, a lot of those ladies were “attached to” an older generation of Masons (I’m one of those!). Some stopped attending for their own health reasons or because “their” Mason no longer attends due to his health concerns, or because he passed away.
In the next few months, the officers of Acalanes Fellowship Lodge #480 will be looking into resurrecting some of our past social activities, both fraternal only, as well as those involving loved ones in our lives. We have reached out to other lodges to see what plans and efforts they have put into these outreach efforts and are encouraged by what we hear.
An important thing to point out: All Masons — solo or accompanied — are invited to attend these activities. We not only benefit from your presence, but you benefit as well, getting to know the brethren in less formal but intimate ways.
We need all your support to make our lodge as dynamic and friendly as it has been in the past.
—Pete the Tiler