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  2. Great if you subscribe to the Times otherwise you can not read this article
  3. https://news.italy24.press/local/389240.html https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grand-lodge-to-forgive-italys-freemasons-after-30-years-in-the-cold-dtfv2k8nd
  4. I've been away from the forum for some considerable time, but had to comment on this .. We had a member who, in his younger days had love / hate tatooed on his knuckles. He had grown to regret having them. He was the nicest individual you could wish to meet; we accepted him with open arms on the strength of his proposer (who happened to be my IPM). He fell on hard times - but his masonic membership was the one thing he kept going. He died during the pandemic, and specifically asked his daughter to let me know. She told me that whenever he was feeling down, the thing that kept him from going under was the knowledge that - whatever the rest of the world might think of him, he knew his brothers had his back and saw the man, and not the outward appearance.
  5. It does go offline from time to time. I imagine there are server issues.
  6. Hopefully it was just a hiccup and Bill is OK as it's back up and running now. I'd suggest reaching out and checking up on him.
  7. Its the same on a few other forums I'm a member of. Participation and engagement has dropped considerably.
  8. Yes I agree it's down. But there's not been much postings lately on this forum either.
  9. I haven't been on there for 5-6 years maybe. I've just tried and I get a DNS error though so its down at the moment.
  10. I know many users of this forum are also users on the other place (the Lodge Room UK)... It appears to be offline... or is it just me?
  11. We are of the same opinion. Times are changing and Ladies/Partner festivals are old hat. Once you've been to a few, they're all more or less the same. The wives/partners are often embarrassed at their Masonic other half trying to sing and keeping gifts to a reasonable price, means it is more or less the same thing every year. Far better to do something less stuffy, cheaper and where everyone can let their hair down (if they've still got it).
  12. Two Things, first, my festival is going to be a Sunday dinner, speeches, raffal followed by a comedian end home in bed by 10pm. Secondly, My day lodge is full of pass masters who don't want to eat late at night, nor want to drive in the dark. They have done it all, seen it all, but still want to keep up with their masonry. They have very strong views, and when this was brought those views were aired in no uncertain terms. Still the motion was passed in high favour and we did not lose a member. Times are a changing and we should also.
  13. I'm all for including wive's/partners and family at white table evenings and social gatherings. They put up with us enough. But Masonic toasts and fire are a no, no while they are present for me.
  14. I broadly agree with this. I also think women should have zero involvement in dinners or other Masonic affairs. As an organisation we’re sacrificing so many things and standards to appeal to or appease the profane world.
  15. I'm uncomfortable that you are doing toasts while staff are serving dinner. As a former DC of my mother Lodge, the room would be cleared of all non-Masons prior to any toasts and certainly if fire were to be given. Taking of wine perhaps, but even then, it would be construed as rudeness to the staff. But, your Province/District and if there's no complaint from on high, so be it.
  16. I agree on ladies’ nights being naff. They’ve had their day. Only question I have is why bother doing a party at all?
  17. A lot of soul searching was done before we reach this decision, but we felt that as we have ladies serving our dinner at the festive board. They see and hear whats goes on, and as our wives, partners help us with our words its it only makes sense. Besides the average age of the lodge is 70+ the wives will know the rituals as good as us. Besides it has attracted new members.
  18. I've just come out of the chair post pandemic, this being a second Lodge I've been the WM in. I found the uptake very lacking and had to cancel. Members I found are still reluctant to gather in large numbers and pay OTT for food that is average. I prefer a white table after a meeting, but even better, casual social gatherings away from the halls where people are more open to relax and mingle. I do agree with Medic that the format is tired after years of attending the things and overly expensive, particularly for small Lodges. Interesting that you do toasts and Masonic fire with non-Masons present though, as its been suggested that this is a no, no?
  19. I belong to a day lodge, (different from the one I was talking about) where we meet four times a year where the ladies do join us on each occasion for the festive board. With toasts and masonic fire. I need something new, out of the original. I am a somerset mason.
  20. My lodge and chapter have both had open evenings - a short formal meeting, after which ladies and other guests are invited into the room and listen to a talk on the lodge or chapter, or some other talk of interest. This is followed by a white table.
  21. Where is your lodge situated?
  22. Next year I go into the chair for the third time. In this economical times the idea of putting on a ladies festival is not on in my option. Besides I find them boring following the same pattern with naff food, naff presents, and the same 60s DJ disco. I would like to do something small, not expensive, but still give the same thanks to the ladies. So I am up for suggestions. This is lodge I am new to, and I am helping the lodge out of a situation by going into the chair. I feel that as I am not too well known, support for me to put on such a party is not going to be great. I really welcome ideas Ben
  23. I remember it was some appeal for Lodge contributions. All those Lodges that participated were given the jewel.
  24. Does anyone know how a lodge qualified for the 275 collar Jewel?
  25. Members in Freemasons' Hall Arthur Square Belfast, struggle with the Halloween menu. ( The Trustees are pleased to assist with the jovial Halloween spirit )
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