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Cornish Emigrant

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Everything posted by Cornish Emigrant

  1. Great to see your interest. What a wonderful age to be looking at becoming Freemasonry as well. I left it far too late in my life to ask to join; always thinking that if they thought me suitable someone would ask! This link should take you to the very person who can best help you in your County. https://www.essexfreemasons.net/get-involved Best regards - Geoff P.S. Hopefully you do explore and join and find it as rewarding as many of us elder stagers do. One thing I'd say from my experience is don't let anyone try to rush you into joining side degrees. Make the best of Craft Freemasonry and join any others when and if you feel ready.
  2. My mother Lodge has its very own ritual, and we do several things in our own unique way. Looking at the faces of visitors most seem to find that highly entertaining and when we visit other Lodges even more curious looks when Brethren from our Lodge do their thing 😉
  3. Thanks, Richard, Interestingly I was paying in an early received subscription cheque from an esteemed Brother who I usually have to chase, and chase and chase some more before Christmas day and was interested to see they now have a large and very prominent sign in the cashiers area stating that any aggression toward staff will be treated with a zero tolerance and anyone who does so will have their account closed - end of! Customer service - I think not. Mind I am one of the Klingons still remembering when I banked with them when they were a proper bank (Midland Bank) and back then (late 60s) all the staff made it their mission to be able to greet customers by name. I'm not expecting those days to return but it would be fabulous if they regained sight of the fact that without customers they will no longer exist.
  4. Thank you Richard. That's exactly the way I see it. Such institutions do themselves no favours do they in first being institutionally obstructive but also seemingly losing sight of the fact that they are there meant to be providing a service to their customers.
  5. My ongoing frustration with the relationship between Freemasonry and banking continues. I have been elected as treasurer of my Chapter. Trying to take over the HSBC held account is proving to be a complete nightmare. I was initially given a set of forms in June to complete, I did so but because I moved house in July by the time I got them all signed off and ready for submission I carefully blanked out my old address with cut out strips showing my new address in the boxes provided. Our Scribe E. dropped the forms off at the branch where the account is held. Speedily we received a letter telling us they had been rejected because the address for me had been altered on the virgin form. Also, any changes had to be completed online by then. The outgoing treasurer duly spent an age both online and on the phone going through the necessary forms which were then duly completed and sent in by mail. This was rejected as well because the forms had not been ‘signed in accordance with our signing rules. We currently only have the two signatories the outgoing treasurer and one of our more senior members who has held just about every post in Chapter that ever existed. This batting contest continued with several attempts to tick all the boxes. Yesterday having completed yet another set of mandates I had an appointment in HSBC Bath with a Business Banking Manager (there is no longer one in the local towns where the account is held or the one to which I have now moved). The young lady went through the mandate that was trying to get me listed as a signatory but speedily concluded that the problem lay with the fact there is no record of who the current Secretary is (Scribe E) nor is the Scribe E listed as a signatory. Neither of the two current signatories is designates as Secretary. Therefore, it seems we are at a total impasse as the jobsworth form must be signed off by the current secretary who must also be listed as a signatory. I have now again written to their customer relations department seeking their advice on how we might resolve this seemingly impossible conundrum. I have explored the options to 'switch' the bank account to another bank but because I'm not a signatory I can't start that process. Meanwhile, the active year is upon us and subs are trickling in. Has anyone experience and a recommendation toward how we might get around this silly issue, please? There must, surely be a banking institution in the UK that is friendly to Clubs & Societies?
  6. Thank you for the answers - particularly @Lew_Finns. This mirrors my experience with HSBC - they seem to go that extra mile when it comes to being beyond difficult. Most infuriating is their inability to acknowledge or respond so it ends up with the customer having to ask again. I simply want to be added first as a signatory then be annotated as Primary user for my Chapter but as the Secretary etc have strange titles it seems to throw them completely.
  7. Hitting the happy medium is the trick! My grandfathers and an uncle were in the craft but both my father and brother shunned it. As my uncle was a great favourite with me I'd often pondered exploring it more sadly he passed away from cancer at the young age of 62. After a career in the RAF I was chatting about it with a good friend and explaining I'd always been disappointed not to have received a tap on the shoulder and invite to join he enlightened me that I had the wrong idea and it was a case of asking! Within about 18 months I was initiated and I'm delighted to report that I had not explored any of the ceremonies so it was all a great unfolding mystery to me. Post the Chair of King Solomon I then started to explore the side degrees. Starting with Mark, next RAM and finally Chapter. I'm glad I did it that way as looking at the bigger picture the whole falls together much better that way. It irritates the life out of me that to a certain extent some in the Craft seem to view Mark as not worthy of them. Indeed, I believe that in Scotland you can't join Chapter until you have ventured into Mark. The latter to my view being a wonderful ceremony but apart from that seems to little by way of fundraising. Mark, on the other hand raises quite huge money for many very worthy causes and the Brethren have great fun in doing so.
  8. I'm not sure if this has been asked previously (can't see it on a search) but in this day and age of disappearing high street bank branches and 'unfriendly' GDPR and money laundering obsessed banking staff what is the consensus on where to hold Lodge bank accounts nowadays. I ask as Treasurer of 2 Craft, 1 Mark and 1 (elect) Chapter Lodge. The latter currently banks with HSBC and the current Treasurer is handing over primarily because of their failure to treat him as a valued customer. My mother lodge is with Nationwide, HSBS and Lloyds. Nationwide no longer offer 'community' accounts. My 2nd Craft and Mark lodges are with Nat West and I find them very helpful.
  9. Greetings to you as well. If you are curious then perhaps you might think about seeking to join. I held a belief for several decades that if a Freemason thought I was worthy then I would get a tap on the shoulder and be asked to join! It wasn't until I was in my 50s that I encountered a Brother who was open about his Freemasonry and he explained to me that it was the other way around - I needed to ask to join!
  10. A conundrum that as treasurer has been of concern to me since I took over the books of my Craft lodge in 2013. Traditionally ours have been gifted by the lodge to all qualifying Masters when they install their successor. However, a lodge I visit makes great and excellent ceremony if presenting a previously awarded PM Jewell elaborating on the history of the item. I understand that it is not the done thing to wear a PM Jewell other than in your own lodge and also apparently once in receipt of Provincial honours it is not worn after that even in your own lodge. Our Jewels are beautifully struck from a die by Forget Me Not Regalia at Chepstow Tel: 01291621126 - they have a web presence as well. From memory the last batch we received cost circa £70 each on a batch of ten. Our Secretary gets each Jewell engraved with the receiving PMs name before the presentation.
  11. As with Paul, my mother Lodge is The Wiltshire Lodge of Fidelity No663. I was in the Chair in 2012. I'm also in The Lodge of Honour No 379 in Bath. The Geoffrey Short Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 971 in Trowbridge. Treasurer for those three. Fake Organist for 178 Anchor Lodge RAM and Hon Fake Organist for 178 MMM in Devizes.
  12. Just a thought but replayed downloaded music might run into Public Performance issues for licensing; royalties etc.
  13. This chap supply’s a great range of ritual music and is massively helpful with advice also. https://www.masonicmedia.co.uk/
  14. I’m Treasurer to three Lodges and an Excel spreadsheet for each seems to work okay for me. The examiners are happy with it that way as well. I have columns for date (trying to keep it aligned with Bank statement entries), the details of the item, I come, expenditure. Following this I have green columns for Subs, dining etc. Red columns for UGLE, Province, Catering etc. Totalling each at the bottom of the worksheet and itemising the Income and Expenditure in the Green and Red columns.
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