Builder 1917 - Vol. 3 No. 01 - January - Clubs

The Builder Magazine

January 1917 – Volume III – Number 1

Study Club Addendum


Keystone Kraftsmen Klub

In response to your "Get Together" letter of September, let me present "Keystone Kraftsmen Klub" as a new member of the Correspondence Circle.

This is the beginning of an earnest, active society of Craftsmen who desire to know why and how they are known as Masons.

The announced purposes are given as "the attainment of greater efficiency in degree work, a practical knowledge of the various lectures and a better understanding of the tenets and philosophy of Masonry."

An invitation was extended to all Master Masons residing in this vicinity as well as to the members of Keystone Lodge No. 153, F. & A. M., upon the regular monthly Lodge notice.

Permanent organization was perfected on Tuesday evening November 7, the brethren present including the Master, Junior Warden, Senior Deacon and a Past Master. At this meeting it was decided to follow Masonic usage rather than an elaborate code of by-laws for the government of the sessions.

The presiding officer is to be the Master of Keystone Lodge if he be a member of the Klub. If he is not a member, a vice president will take the chair. The purpose of this is many sided as you will see. In the first place, we are sure of the "brightest" Mason being in the chair, that we shall have him handy for information as to what he desires in the Lodge during his administration, that he can see that his staff of officers is efficient in their work, and also see that nothing but good Masonic subjects are studied. He is not expected to take an active part in the preparation of papers unless he so desires.

The Chairman of the Program Committee, who chooses one assistant, will assign all topics for papers, by and with the advice of the President. He will assist the members in the preparation of papers, advise them as to where to find the information desired, if possible, and act as Librarian of the Klub.

The Treasurer will also be the Chairman of the Membership Committee. He and his assistant will pass upon all applications for membership, collect the dues, issue membership cards, which are to be signed by the President, and keep the funds, paying them out by check.

The Secretary, then, has but his minutes and correspondence to handle

For the present our dues are $2.00 per year, payable in advance.

Meetings will be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, except during June, July and August. The second meeting in June is to be used as a "Pilgrimage" to some place of Masonic interest.

It is proposed to secure speakers on special topics from time to time, and issue special invitations therefore.

One of the first benefits to be secured is a standard course of instruction for candidates, and an established school of instruction for the officers, in floorwork as well as the lectures. The floorwork to be exemplified in the Lodge room.

We shall be pleased to be put in touch with other clubs through the "clearing house" you have established, and to receive suggestions at any time.

The Keystone Kraftsmen Klub will thoroughly enjoy the articles published in "The Builder," and Keystone Lodge will receive as much benefit from this club as it will agree to hear.

With best wishes for success in your great work, T. George Middleton, P. M., Chairman Programme Committee.

This excellent plan should fully fill that long-felt want of which I am hearing so much. A skillfully planned administration it is, hinging as it should upon close contact with Lodge authority and making excellent progress. An ideal arrangement truly from many points of view and cannot but be richly successful. Say, Brother Middleton, when you arrange that "Pilgrimage" in June, please do not fail to let me know of it. If within easy reach of the possibilities I shall gladly join you. And in the meantime kindly continue to keep me in touch with your doings.

New Work for the Fellowcarfts

I was a little surprised to see a portion of my letter some time since printed in THE BUILDER of November. Your offer to help start me off is timely and good.

There is connected with Adelphi Lodge an organization called the Fellow-craft Club whose primary aim is to keep the Brothers in line so that we may have a full, well-drilled floor team. It appealed to me that I could put the proposition of a Study Club up to the F. C. club and if they took it up it would help me in getting the study idea going in New Haven.

I met with them last evening and the idea was taken up more enthusiastically than I dared hope. I told them briefly what I hoped to do and asked them to think it over until next meeting one month hence – my idea being that I would rather drop the whole thing than have to be and make all the enthusiasm myself. They voted to subscribe for THE BUILDER and next month I am to address them on the modest subject of "Masonic Law" and at that time present a modus operandi.

This is where you come in. I have my organization place and time of meeting. Our idea is to use perhaps an hour of the club's meeting time in this way. I should like some advice as to program and methods of conduct. For the good of the Craft in general and Adelphi Lodge in particular I want to make a success of it. Our club has 72 members on the list and there was an attendance of 13 besides myself last evening and this was normal for no one but the secretary-treasurer knew what I was about to propose.

I apologize for writing so long a letter but I wished to show my proposition from all sides thinking also that it might help some other Brother to know of the F. C. Club and perhaps organize one which would combine study with actual Lodge service as ours will if we succeed.

Julius H. McCollum, Sec'y Adelphi Lodge No. 63, New Haven, Conn.

Suppose you try out the Keystone Kraftsmen Klub as explained by Brother Middleton in this issue. When you run out of papers prepared by any of your members, try one of mine. In every issue of THE BUILDER I aim to publish a paper on some question of interest to my Brother Masons. If I don't happen to take such lines of study as in your judgment may seem most desirable, kindly let me know. But your situation is so closely akin to that of Brother Middleton's that I wish you would put into practice as far as possible and let us know the results. Too, have something to do with a Masonic Club, being President of a Masonic Temple Association of considerable size. To many of us your experience will be of the greatest interest and consequence.

Lodge Is A School

In late issue of THE BUILDER many writers are stressing the importance of making the Lodge a Study Club. Really if we had taken second thought, that is what a Lodge is, and always has been, a place where "Masons meet," where the "Worshipful Master gives good and wholesome instruction," etc. It is a hopeless task to try to get up anything new in Masonry. All that is best for man physically and spiritually, and the sanest, simplest way of doing it, has been culled from the wisdom of ages, so that all that remains for him to do is to put in practice the beautiful system, to the end that life on earth may be sane, normal, easy to live and full of intense enjoyment. By all means revive the ancient practice and make the Lodge a study club. A. K. Bradley, Tioga, Texas.

True enough ! A Lodge is the place for work and for study. Just as a diamond reflects all rays of light with added glory in color and in brilliance so has the Lodge, to the seeing eye, to the informed intellect, to the awakened mind, a message of grouped facts and instruction borrowed from the near and the remote past. Converging in that geometrical crystal of history that we call the Lodge, our priceless heritage should there be turned into glowing radiance of service, a truly perfect reflection in new uses of old tenets, the ancient made modern. You do well to remind us that the Lodge is a School. Would that our hearts are ever open to its teaching.

Putting It Up To George

We had a meeting for the starting of a Study Club on Wednesday last, in the Scottish Rite Club Rooms of our Temple. There were but five men present – discouragement enough for any five men. However, we have come back like Antaios, doubly determined that by our own endeavors and your assistance we shall receive further light in Masonry.

Accordingly we have set a second meeting for Thursday November 23, at the same place and for the same purpose. We have set it far enough into the future that we can have opportunity to communicate with all Brethren possible. Fraternal Lodge No. 37 has nobly come to our assistance and instructed its Secretary to send a postal card notice of this meeting to all its members. Our own lodge, Trinity No. 208, has a notice of it published in its monthly Bulletin. We further intend to have it noticed on all bulletin boards, and in the City papers.

We are especially interested in the closing paragraph of your letter in which you offer your valued assistance in preparing by-laws and organizing. Will you kindly send me what you have on this so that I can present a plan of organization at the meeting ? Albert Block, 310 City Hall, Davenport, Iowa.

In response to your letter of recent date I am enclosing you herewith a copy of the by-laws adopted by the Boone, Iowa, Study Club. You will note that their code is a model of simplicity and, it would seem to me, could be adopted by other Clubs with very little modification. They have provided for three officers: a President, Vice-President and a Secretary-Treasurer which are practically all that should be required.

Some Study Clubs are asking us for a cut-and-dried program of study to cover a period of six months or a year. Others are using Brother Clegg's articles which appear each month in the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin." Personally I consider the latter course more preferable.

Brother Clegg is making a series of the articles, connecting them up one with the other, and they are going to prove fascinating as well as instructive. This, to my mind, is what the Brethren want, the majority of them will not care to be loaded up with dry facts and specific data which they cannot remember. That all the Brethren will agree in the opinions expressed by Brother Clegg is not to be expected. In fact the articles are written with a view of inviting expressions of diverse opinions of the members of the Study Clubs.

We want them to prepare papers on the subjects to be read and discussed at the same meetings at which Brother Clegg's articles are used, and to send copies of their papers to us so that we may forward them to the other Clubs.

For this reason we shall ask the Clubs to use Brother Clegg's articles at their meetings a month later than their appearance in THE BUILDER in order to enable the Study Club members to prepare their papers on the subject and mail copies of them to us not later than the fifteenth of the following month so that we may have time to copy them here and send them out to the other Clubs in advance of their meetings.

We also hope that the Study Club Secretaries will mail us each month a report of their proceedings so that we at Anamosa may be kept in close touch with each individual Club.

I shall anxiously await the result of your meeting and wish you every success in the organization of your Club. Geo. L. Schoonover, Secretary.

Brother Schoonover's answering letter fills the bill in so many directions that I could not refrain from publishing it. Explaining as it does so clearly the desire we all have for a frank and thorough discussion of the papers published in the Bulletin, I sincerely trust its suggestions will be followed with zest and with all practicable regularity. Of many minds are Masons. Differences of opinion are common to us upon various branches of Masonic study. No one, least of all myself, should fail to welcome every effort at a better understanding of Masonry. To bring about a wholesome regard for study and for students among Masons, to set a still larger section than ever of the Craft to work, to do this acceptably in a cheering spirit and systematic style, is indeed a task. But already there's great encouragement. And many thanks for that compliment, G. L. S.

Developing Individual Effort In The Study Club

A word about our Study Club may be of interest. We have a membership of fifteen with an attendance of about twelve, and at this time are taking up the study of Brother Newton's book, "The Builders." We assign two questions to each member for each semi-monthly meeting, we first gave a greater number of questions, and confined the answers to the book answers but found this not satisfactory, as we frequently departed from the book for other information, and found that the study lasted longer than we believed best for a continued interest in the work. So we decided to limit it to two questions and allow the members to depart from the book answers and give a review of the question assigned from any research they desired to follow.

Our dues are one dollar per year. We frequently have a luncheon or dinner prior to the study, and on occasion, we gave an evening to the consideration of Masonic poetry to which we invited the ladies, assigning to the guests selections to read or recite.

We are pleased with the interest in the club work and observe that the members dislike to miss a single meeting, and frequently forego other important functions in order to be present.

The by-laws of the Boone, Iowa, club are of interest, but we do not think they are as well adapted to a club having in mind individual effort, as those adopted by our club.

Our purpose is to make every member a student and in turn an instructor, to require individual study and effort, and in order to accomplish this object, we have limited the membership to fifteen, believing that if a greater number desire to become members, that a second club would be a greater advantage than to have so many members that the individual effort might be overlooked.

In the notes of the Study Club Department we believe the plan suggested of a larger membership, would require instruction more in the nature of a lecture, this we believe would be instructive for the hour, but it is not the kind of effort that will stay with the student.

We shall be pleased to have any suggestions from time to time, and will be glad to submit special papers as we have opportunity. Clark Cooper, President Masonic Study Club, Canon City, Colo.

Whether a Study Club shall be large or small is not offhand an easy question for me to answer. Your point, Brother Cooper, is decidedly worth pondering. It is not quite the same question as to the preference between large lodges and small ones, as I see your position. Do we not all agree that there should be more complete circulation of Masonic knowledge among the Brethren? How far then shall we restrict Study Club membership ? Of course there may be a distinct advantage in independent meetings, and even of an organization separately, of the leaders, the "instructors," to use Brother Cooper's term. But in some way the work of the Study Club ought to get before the brethren at large. You recognized this social impulse in most commendable style, Brother Cooper, when you enlarged your audience to include the ladies. Why should we not oftener plan for papers attractive to that sex ? The idea seems eminently deserving of imitation. Here are the rules of the Boone Club:

Boone Masonic Study Club

Constitution and By-Laws

PREAMBLE – The Masons of Boone, Iowa, being desirous of obtaining for themselves "Further Light in Masonry," and of promoting to the best of their ability the Cause of Masonic Research, for the good of the Order, hereby associate themselves into an organization for Masonic Study and Research.

ARTICLE I – The name of this organization shall be the Boone Masonic Study Club.

ARTICLE II – The object of this organization shall be the improvement of its membership in Masonic knowledge

ARTICLE III – The Club shall be composed of such Master Masons as, having expressed a desire for "Further Light in Masonry," shall make application for membership and be elected thereto by a majority vote of the members present.

ARTICLE IV – The officers of this Club shall be a President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer, elected by a majority vote of the members present at the December meeting of each year. The duties of these officers shall be such as usually appertain to their respective positions, and the absence of one or more of them shall automatically place the responsibilities of presiding over the meetings of the Club upon the officer next in order as above mentioned. The newly elected officers are to assume their duties at the January meeting next following their election.

ARTICLE V – The meetings of the Club shall be monthly, on the third Wednesday evening of each month, and the hour shall correspond to the hours of meeting of Mt. Olive Lodge No. 79. Special meetings may be held when deemed necessary for the good of the Club.

ARTICLE VI – Dues in the Club shall be Twenty-five cents annually, payable in advance. These dues shall be applied to the running expenses of the Club, subject to the decision of the three principal officers.

ARTICLE VII – There shall be only one standing committee, the Program Committee, which shall be composed of the three principal officers. The President shall have power to appoint any other committees he may deem desirable or necessary.

ARTICLE VIII – This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Club, such amendment having been proposed in writing at the next previous meeting, by a two-thirds vote of the members present.

#A Masonic Study Club In Session

As my last endeavor to inform you of our endeavors met so favorable response, I am going to try again and hope you will be able to see our weakness and help us strengthen it.

Meeting of four brethren; two interested brethren unavoidably absent.

Preface of Mackey's "Symbolism" read and attention directed to explanation of the ritual of Wisconsin given the candidate, in which he is informed that the lessons of Masonry are taught by types, emblems and allegorical figures. A full comprehension of this work would undoubtedly clear many brethren's mind of the confusion which appears to prevail.

We then read Speth's "What is Freemasonry," each taking turns reading and others taking notes oœ points to be raised. A discussion followed.

A brief description of Anderson's "Book of Constitutions" (1723) was given and attention particularly directed to regulation 39 and its significance. The question was also brought out that among Masonic students there are several schools of thought and that Bro. G.W. Speth belonged to what might be called a critical or exact school and furthermore, that, while Speth, Gould, Hughan and others of their rank were critical in their method and did not wish to give as history anything which was doubtful, they freely admitted that much lay outside the scope of their knowledge and they were not dogmatic in their views of the origin of Masonry.

The following questions were also asked all of which were not fully answered:

  1. How far does Masonry antedate Christ's time?
  2. Does the Bible conflict with the teachings of Masonry ?
  3. Who were the ancient Magi ?
  4. Are the Magi the same as spoken of in the Bible as bringing their book to the Apostles and burning them? (Acts 19:19-)
  5. Who were the great world characters who were Masons ?
  6. What is the meaning of cowan ?

As exhibit we had:
Reprint of "H. F. Beaumont Mss."
Reprint of "York rolls."
Fac simile of "Regius Ms."
Reprint of "Anderson's Book of Constitutions" (1723).

Questions discussed at previous meeting were enlarged upon and meeting was closed with everybody pleased and happy.

In answer to Question 1, the different schools of thought were mentioned and it was considered one of those problems which we, in the primary class, must not try to solve but leave open for our best efforts when we proved ourselves proficient in the elementary work.

Question No. 2 was unanimously decided in the negative.

For the information of the Brother asking Questions 3 and 4, I am loaning him "Arcane Schools" (page 79 contains reference), "History of Initiation" (lecture IV has some light), "Rollins Ancient History" (Book 4, Art. 4, has reference), and references in Gould's History, and will look up such others as I can.

Question No. 5 is one none of us were qualified to fully answer but we will be on the lookout and note them as much as possible. I have a fairly good idea of our most noted American Masons.

Question No. 6 was answered by Mackey's Encyclopedia.

Hoping this may be of use to you and that by constructive criticism you may help us, I am, Yours to find the key to the door of knowledge, Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wis.

Just the thing I want. To tell me of what you are trying to do and how you are going about it and what you have to do with is the sort of story that whets my Masonic interest to the acme of keenness. There's little I can tell you of any way to better what you have in hand. Anything from me may sound presumptuous. But I'll risk it if only to show my desire to lend a hand.

What a wealth of material you possess! Is there not just a little danger that the very amount of it may oppress and deter the average inquirer from going ahead on his own more limited course of research ? Please let me have your advice on this matter. You have doubtless noticed that I try to give references in my own articles and I do like to lay hands on sources of information readily available for everybody. We must make it easy for the average Mason to start his studies.

I'm not concerned with accelerating the progress of brethren of the Hartland quality. They are speeded up in great style. But I do worry over what we can do to enthuse those whose opportunities and capacities are much less auspicious. I rely upon your help in this work. Please continue to give me the active benefit of your goodwill and of your valued criticism.

Regulation 39, to which you refer, will be interesting to many:

"Every Annual Grand Lodge has an inherent Power and Authority to make new Regulations, or to alter these, for the real Benefit of this ancient Fraternity: Provided always that the old Landmarks be carefully preserv'd, and that such Alterations and new Regulations be proposed and agreed to at the third Quarterly Communication preceding the Annual Grand Feast; and that they be offered also to the Perusal of all the Brethren before Dinner, in writing, even of the Youngest Apprentice; the Approbation and Consent of the Majority present being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory; which must, after Dinner, and after the new Grand Master is install'd be solemnly desir'd; as it was desir'd and obtain'd for these REGULATIONS, when propos'd by the GRAND LODGE, to about 150 Brethren, on St. John Baptist's Day, 1721."

Your Question 5 reminds me of the long list given in the Annual of the International Bureau for Masonic Affairs. It includes Lincoln though I am not aware of any evidence to prove his membership. However, Brother la-Tente's lists of Masons Illustres and of Dates importantes de l'Histoire de la Maconnerie were undertaken with all sincerity by that enthusiastic Freemason and it is to be hoped that they may be corrected wherever amendment is found necessary. Is there any record connecting Lincoln with the Craft as an initiate ?

The Organization Of Study Clubs

I find that there exists in many sections a pronounced desire for some more formal scheme of organization than has so far been outlined by me. From the National Masonic Research Society's headquarters at Anamosa, Iowa, there is sent to every inquirer a list of the fellow members in his locality so that he can make a very convenient start at the organization of Study Club. If steps to this end have already been made then the inquirer gets the addresses of those already active, and every effort is made to set him at work under the best possible auspices. So far so good.

But more is asked. Too often there is a tendency to "stick on the way" and the launching of the enterprise does not then advance rapidly enough to suit a very natural and common desire for results.

Expert Assistance At The Start

If we could but send on a competent brother to begin the work, offer advice, instruct the officers, lay out a preliminary course of work, we could leave the members busy, pleased, ambitious, and resultful. Sometime somehow we shall do something after this style. Some task! Yes, but there is a plan even now under consideration whereby such an effort may be practically put into operation. But it is far too remote to count upon for the present.

How then shall we bring about that happy condition of affairs which will satisfy the demand for a formal organization? Not by any complicated system of control at long range or by any unwieldy method of local management will the best results be obtained. Just enough to hold all hands together in unity is plenty. Not too formal lest peradventure "the letter killeth." A just mean, an even balance, a happy medium is eminently desirable.

Distribute The Study Club Duties

First of all we must distribute the duties among as many members as is possible. On the other hand keep the duties themselves down to a minimum. Thus each member will probably have something to do but will not be burdened to discouragement. Many hands make light work.

There will be a President to perform the usual functions of that office. There will be a Vice-President or two to take charge in the absence of the President. A Secretary will attend to preparing and sending notices and the general correspondence but he should not clutter up his own wheels by lengthy minutes of the proceedings. The Treasurer will handle the funds and collect and disburse them. Many times the two offices, Treasurer and Secretary, may profitably be combined. The Librarian will take charge of such books and magazines and manuscripts as may come into the possession of the Club and will distribute them to the members and preserve them as required. There will be a Master Builder to prepare the program for each meeting. There will be a Critic to see that the subject is properly discussed and that definite progress is accomplished. And there will be a Reporter to keep the headquarters of our Society at Anamosa regularly informed as to the work that is being done.

Better A Few Faithful Than An Idle Many

Inasmuch as I see no good reason why a Study Club with say but two or three really loyal and active members cannot do effective work my readers will at once understand that I do not deem it necessary to have every one of the foregoing positions filled by a separate and distinct brother. But the titles and the synopsis of their duties will furnish an idea of the work that in my opinion should be accomplished by the officers to maintain satisfactory progress in research.

Maintaining An Interest

Programmes depend so much upon individual taste that suggestions can only be made very roughly. Of course the BULLETIN will be coming along regularly with its notes for various courses of Masonic study so there will be no lack of matters for consideration. In the absence of any other plan tackle a copy of Mackey's revised Encyclopedia or "THE BUILDERS" and read any section that strikes you as especially favorable, the one most to your liking. Follow the reading with a discussion. Prior to the meeting have the Secretary state the subject in his announcements, and also have the Critic line up two or more members to study the same section or chapter in advance and be prepared to discuss some angle of it. Any Masonic essay or topic may be examined in the same style.

Sleepy Or Wide-Awake Study Clubs

Unless the meetings are of interest, and exciting a strong desire for attendance, we must expect a dormant Club. Much rests upon the ability of everybody to do his part. Here is indeed the purpose of my suggestion that many hands be actively employed. No one to do very much and yet all to do a fair share. Visitors should be invited, but not allowed admission at successive meetings unless they are accepted as members. No one should be proposed for membership unless agreeable to all and willing on his part to be active in doing whatever shall be assigned him to do. Continued absence may be challenged and the offender warned. If he improves not, then a fine may fit his case if the limit of expulsion be not chosen. But the regular meetings of congenial brethren in agreeable surroundings for the instructive examination of matters Masonic would surely be alluring. Remember always that different duties fit different men; one of the very best of presiding officers known to me would be the poorest of Secretaries; one delighted in listening to the results of Masonic research is, as I have often found, indisposed to individual digging.

Topics To Be Tabooed

Whether the members of a Study Club are all affiliated with the same Masonic bodies or not, there will be matters that in the discussions it is the part of wisdom to avoid. Questions of Lodge policy, for example, might be embarrassing if ventilated thoughtlessly in a research organization. Yet there are occasions when the consideration of Lodge practices is as harmless and unobjectionable as any other topic of Masonic importance. Right here is the benefit of the Master Builder and the President. The one sees that the proper subject is selected, and the other is charged with the duty of allowing none but appropriate presentation and seemly argument upon it.

Laying Out The Rules

Having gone thus far in a general way let me now lay out a set of regulations following the foregoing lines. Fill in the various blanks to suit your collective. judgment when organizing.

RULE I. – The name of this Study Club shall be ………………

RULE II. – The purpose shall be the promotion of Masonic study and discussion.

RULE III. – The Officers shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, Master Builder, Critic, Reporter, and Guard.

RULE IV. – The President shall perform the usual duties of a Chairman.

RULE V. – The Vice-President shall in the absence of the President assume the chair and perform all the duties of that position.

RULE VI. – The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings, send out notices of the meetings, prepare and forward to the National Masonic Research Society on the date of institution, and regularly every half year thereafter on the first day of January and July, a statement of membership and a copy of his semi-annual report of receipts and disbursements. He will also forward to the headquarters of the National Masonic Research Society results of elections and appointments of officers and the names and addresses and Lodge affiliations of all new members when they are admitted to membership.

RULE VII. – The Treasurer shall collect and hold the funds. He shall pay them out only upon orders prepared by the Secretary and countersigned by the President.

RULE VIII. – The Librarian shall take charge of all books and magazines and MSS in the possession of this Study Club.

RULE IX. – The Master Builder shall prepare the programme for each meeting and assist the President in its most effective presentation.

RULE X. – The Critic shall see that proper discussion takes place at all meetings.

RULE XI. – The Reporter will keep the National Masonic Research Society informed regularly and frequently of the activities of this Study Club.

RULE XII. – The Guard will attend to the door, act as messenger, and also introduce new members and visitors.

RULE XIII. – The President, Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected semi-annually by written ballots without any other previous nominations. The remaining officers shall be appointed by the President. Any officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of those present at any meeting called to consider such vote, all the members having been notified.

RULE XIV. – Meetings shall be held at. . (place) . . monthly upon . . (date) . . and punctually at the following time……. Meetings falling upon St. John's Days, the twenty-fourth of June and the twenty-seventh of December, or in default of this coincidence of time, the meetings immediately following these dates shall be designated as Election Days.

RULE XV. – Dues shall be payable in advance on the admission of an applicant for membership, and are again due and payable on Election Days. The semiannual dues of each member shall be $……Members in arrears cannot vote nor hold office and are subject to expulsion.

RULE XVI. – Applications for membership shall be on a prescribed form and the action thereon shall be by ballot, two blackballs rejecting the applicant. Any application may be renewed after an interval of six months.

RULE XVII. – Special meetings may be called by the President at any time, or by any three members in good standing.

RULE XVIII. – A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of not less than..members.

RULE XIX. – Rules may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any meeting of which usual notice he been given.

And, Finally And Moreover

Say, brother, don't you just ache to start something of this sort? Well, then, don't wait for large numbers. Get two or three good fellows like yourself together. Read this story of mine over, to them. Ask, nay, tell them to vote "Aye." Then write to the Secretary, George L. Schoonover, at Anamosa, Iowa. He will help. Topics will be suggested to you. Pointers on programmes offered freely to you whenever you want them.

Start something. When you get the data all in hand, bring together your best studious Masonic friends. Talk it over. The cost can be as little as you choose. My notion would be for the pleasantest of Masonic meetings. Let there be frequent occasions when refreshments as well as research will be temperately relished and good cheer be abundant. Of such was Freemasonry of old.

Handled with prudence, temperance, and zeal, and with a goodly assortment of fortitude, these Study Clubs may be sturdy Foundations, helpful and enjoyable associations of truly Masonic builders.


Masonic Study In The Lodge

In the smaller cities, where Lodges are not too crowded with degree work, it is recommended that the Lodge take up the study of Masonry as a body. The ideal plan would be to set aside one meeting each month for this purpose. This could be either a regular or a special meeting. If a regular meeting is decided upon, let the Lodge be prompt in opening at the stated time and dispose of the routine business as quickly as possible. Then turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Program Committee and proceed with the reading and discussion of the articles and papers which have been made ready for presentation. The degree work, under this plan, would be confined to special meetings. If on the other hand special meetings are deemed more practical for the purpose, let them be approximately thirty days apart, selecting if possible a definite meeting night of each month. This meeting night to be exclusive for study programs.

How To Present The Proposition To Your Lodge

The Worshipful Master should be interested, first of all. With his sincere co-operation, very much can be accomplished. Then take two weeks or a month to advertise the preliminary meeting at which the proposition is to be considered. Have your Secretary emphasize the date and purpose of the meeting in all his notices that are sent out in the meantime. Some Lodges are inserting notices in their home newspapers. The day before the meeting send out the last notices, and urge every member to be present.

At your preliminary meeting the Brother having the responsibility of introducing the subject should have all the necessary data for presentation:

Some copies of the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin."

Our regular Study Club Bulletin.

The special Bound Volume Offer of the N. M. R. S.

Some N. M. R. S. Membership Circulars for distribution.

This will enable him to outline what the purpose of organizing is, how the papers are to be brought before the members, what the National Masonic Research Society is and how it can be of help to your group.

After all the facts are presented and discussed, a "Research Committee" should be appointed to take charge of programs, assist the Brethren in preparing papers, lead the discussions, etc. The same Committee, or the group as a whole, should also then and there determine how far it wishes to go in purchasing books of reference, etc.

The meetings may be called whatever you wish – "Research Meetings" and "Research Communications" have been suggested for Lodge use – of course if you organize a Study Club, simply a meeting of it called will give notice to all.

These suggestions are by no means complete, but they emphasize the lengths to which we are willing to go in order to make this work a success. If you have other suggestions to offer, or if there is any particular phase of organization which you feel like taking up with us, "let it be known, and quickly."

Use Of Brother Clegg's Articles

We have thought out the problem of everybody working together along this same outline, and it seems to us that if all Lodges and Study Clubs will use these articles at their meeting night the month following their appearance in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin, we shall all work to better advantage. And for this reason: it will enable you to get to us copies of additional papers prepared for presentation at your next meeting, and then we can pass them on to other Study Clubs, who, in their turn, will send us material which we can pass on to you. For example, if these copies of your additional papers get to us not later than the fifteenth of the month – that is two weeks after THE BUILDER reaches you – then we can review them, gather together all the good points and make a general distribution prior to the first of the next month – in other words, in time for your meetings. Such a plan, consistently worked to and systematically carried out, will give us all the maximum of benefit – almost as good as having a joint meeting. Send your communications direct to


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