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MrSifter last won the day on November 27 2018

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About MrSifter

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  • Birthday 30/12/2010

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  1. Thank you. If getting a “reward” is what motivates someone and it’s what they want, I’ve no problem at all with the lodge supporting that. In return, the bare minimum we can expect any brother to do is give it his all in whatever office he is invested in. Sadly, and far too often, it’s not what happens. On a personal level I just find it very disheartening that every single lodge meeting, GP meeting and festive board a large chunk of the discussions revolve around this issue. Even more so when it’s top of the VO and SVO’s agenda. As I say, it is bread and circuses to keep the masses in line.
  2. Be a love, put up the full quote and in context.
  3. I’ll take that as you withdrawing your outrageous smear against me. Hopefully yorksmason does likewise. I’m all for supporting any brother through the Chair that’s prepared to do his absolute best and am consistently on record as saying that’s what we should all do if it is what the brother wants to do. I’ve had no higher honour than being installed in the Chair of King Solomon of my craft lodge, it is one of the highlights of my life and I’d love every brother to experience it To answer your last point, I don’t think “rank” or “honours” (whatever term applies) should exist at all. Human beings being what they are, it’ll always be open to abuses and perverse qualifying criteria. If it didn’t exist we wouldn’t have these embarrassing discussions on here, in GP meetings and every festive board. It’s bread and circuses and I actually find it quite disturbing that so many people (despite the inevitable protestations) are utterly obsessed “being eligible for senior positions” as you euphemistically put it.
  4. 1. It is not a thread about ranks. The thread is actually about “unsuitable candidates”, whatever that nebulous term means. The “honours” discussion is a side issue (rabbit hole!). 2. I don’t agree that to receive LGR you have to “put in serious work.” The fact there’s barely a PM five year plus out of the Chair in London without LGR is a testament to how difficult it is to get this “honour.” I say that as someone that has visited dozens of London lodges where dark blue nearly always outnumbers light blue. I’d be pretty confident in saying I’ve never attended a lodge where light blue was the majority. 3. Can you or yorksmason point to one post where I said that only those who are highly proficient at ritual should be able to go through the Chair or be the only ones eligible for “honours?” 4. What is this “recognition they deserve” you speak of? I thought yorksmason had a window into their souls and was able to judge them on how “just and upright” they are? As an aside, we lost one old PM who never had honours because he’d never joined HRA. He felt quite put out by it. It was all very sad as he’d been a wonderful lodge member, served in multiple offices and been a very attentive Almoner. It turned out he was cast aside by our glorious rulers because anyone that’s not in HRA isn’t good enough in their view. I could then go on at length about some quite appalling PMs utterly desperate for LGR that do a mix of secretary/mentor/almoner/treasurer to a very poor standard for a couple of years each, join HRA with no intention of attending or progressing but just so they achieve the adequate number of points for a dark blue apron. I’d end the rank/honours system tomorrow. It’s not only unnecessary, it’s unmasonic and brings out the absolute worst in a lot of men.
  5. Actually the problem lies in your selective quoting and virtue signalling. I can only wonder at what your motivations were for ignoring: “Invariably the PM will have filled two (possibly three) offices in that period so they get the adequate number of points to qualify for “honours.” How poor they’ve been in those offices or how little they’ve contributed to the wider Craft don’t seem to impact the award.“
  6. I think that’s pretty fanciful to be honest and as a London Freemason it’s certainly not what I see. It’s rare being in any lodge where a PM five years plus out of the Chair doesn’t have the “honour” of LGR. Invariably the PM will have filled two (possibly three) offices in that period so they get the adequate number of points to qualify for “honours.” How poor they’ve been in those offices or how little they’ve contributed to the wider Craft don’t seem to impact the award. I think we need to face facts that the LGR “honour” is worthless other than to the regalia manufacturers. At least they get a nice day out at the investiture I suppose. I do accept that nowadays SLGR and Grand Rank are much harder to attain. Personally I wish more brethren put as much effort into their ritual as they do into chasing “honours.” I’m jaundiced by it all but I’ve had my fill of GP meetings and festive boards where it’s all a lot of people can talk about. I really don’t care if they’re in “twenty units” and attended over one hundred meetings last year, and certainly not if they can’t even do the most basic of ritual to a high standard.
  7. I agree on the aprons and actually suggested plain white aprons for everyone on this very board a number of years ago. It did not go down well. I lived in NYC for one year and over there the brethren wear plain white aprons (PMs get a square and compasses with the sun in the centre on theirs) and I always felt that was a nice touch. My mother lodge is in Scotland and the Scotch get by just fine without an honours system. I’m in HRA (I also did my Mark in my mother lodge as is the Scotch custom) but I’m not too sure UGLE should be actively pushing the side orders. They’re great for really passionate and time rich brethren but not for the majority in my view. Admittedly I don’t know what the solution is on the esoteric side but then, perhaps the definition of that word applies.
  8. David, I agree with what what you say about “honours” and personally find them abhorrent. It really brings the worst out in a lot of people. I also fail to see how it is an “honour” when just about everyone gets them on time served. That aside, I’m not sure how ditching the “honours” system and embracing the side orders would make any impact? Curious to understand your thinking here.
  9. I’m curious to know how UGLE define “unsuitable people”. I also find the gender neutral phrasing strange. Regardless, overt atheists, those with criminal records etc. are obviously “unsuitable” men but how far do you extend the term? My London lodge always manages to get candidates and all are what, prima facie, would be deemed good candidates. We’ve had barristers, taxi drivers, doctors, lorry drivers, former headmasters, IT consultants, magicians, pilots and all manner of professional men join in the last decade. Sadly our success and retention rate isn’t good and greater than 50% were ultimately “unsuitable”. One chap turned up roaring drunk for his initiation (I don’t think we should have done the ceremony) and failed to turn up for his passing, we never heard from him again and he ended up being excluded. Another joined (a salesman) and said all the right things at the enquiry. “Father in law was a Freemason, wife hugely supportive, plenty of free time, want to better myself as a person, love meeting new people”, and the list went on. It became clear he was only there to network for business opportunities. After two years and realising there was no financial gain, we never saw him again. The former headmaster told us at his enquiry he’d always wanted to join, loved the idea of LoI, learning ritual and also being a concert pianist was a “perfectionist”. He received an outstanding initiation in the December, attended the installation in March, then we never heard from him again. He completely ignored all attempts at contact then wrote to us about one year later saying he’d “lost his faith in God” and resigned. All of the above were known men to their proposer and seconder. Our current Master has been absolutely fantastic and was a UGLE referral, unknown to everyone. On the flip side we had another referral circa 2009 and we never saw him again after his raising. After nearly twenty years in the Craft I can’t say (in general terms) with any confidence who I know is suitable and who isn’t. I doubt UGLE could provide any further direction on that either, making their statement above both vacuous and otiose.
  10. Usually the Monday before the meeting. We’ve got the installation in March but have plenty of degree work to do in June, October and December.
  11. Drop me a DM then and we can sort out. Likely we’ll be doing 2nd, 3rd, 2nd for the meetings after the installation.
  12. Brethren, Open invitation for our meetings next year as per the link. PM me if you’d like to attend. http://www.lodge192.com/meetings
  13. I’m in Wanstead myself and happy to meet up if you’d like to discuss in person. Drop me a PM of you like. Regarding your main concern, I have never, ever heard of a lodge contacting an employer or neighbours.
  14. Forgive my ignorance but what do you mean by this?
  15. No, I don't think brethren from the 1700s would recognise present day Freemasonry. Sure, there'd be striking similarities and the core message would be the same but it is vastly different to how they experienced it, not least in governance. I'm a traditionalist in the sense that I hold the ritual as sacrosanct and it should be memorised. Likewise I think standards of behaviour and dress should be very high. I also believe we're being pushed down a route of too much openness. Where I'm a modernist is in terms of shortening meetings, ending the honours system, lodges embracing technology (websites, Twitter, Porchway) and trying to attract men from all walks of life. Lastly, some things should be at the touch of a button but to actually learn the ritual and contemplate what it means takes hard graft and a long term commitment. If men aren't prepared to put in the effort, they won't get the full value of Freemasonry. That is no different to any other pursuit. For what it's worth, I'm 36 and married with two children at 7 and 5. I work in the city and have a job with a reasonable amount of pressure and responsibility. I'm currently Master Elect and due to take the Chair in March 2017. I don't ever buy the "no time" line that some people spin. It's about priorities. If Masonry is important to you, you make the time. I'm not perfect at ritual but I dedicate around forty minutes per day to it. Ten minutes learning a new line in the shower or on tube to work, ten minutes at lunchtime, again on the tube home and usually when I lie in bed before I go to sleep. That's not onerous at all, yet I've met literally hundreds of men that make excuses as to why they haven't bothered to learn the ritual.
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