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dave sidwell

Toasts Question from Dave

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As a new DC I am having conflicting views as to whether we sit between official toasts or stay standing and run through them standing, my DCs hand book says I can stay standing as long as the recipient is not present but I am of the opinion that we should sit after the toast to the monarch and also after the toast to G M. Any views from or guidance welcome. DC DAVE   

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You can do it either way. As DC I encourage the WM to stay standing until the toast to the Met Grand Master is concluded. We then all sit down, and only those below the rank of LGR stand for the next one to Met officers. This speeds up the process and is appreciated by brethren with back or knee problems who don't want to keep bobbing up and down.

Edited by mindmagic
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The Order of Athelstan has the fastest toast-taking going. Loyal Toast, then sit; all other toasts taken one after another standing with no speeches; sit for Commemoration. Toasts over in less than 5 minutes! Another short-cut in Craft etc., after the GM, is 'Rulers Supreme and Subordinate' which covers Grand Lodge/PGM/Province. That can really only be done if the senior Brother present agrees - which most will do as it saves popping up and down.

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The shortest toasting I've seen is in our Mark lodge, some of the members of which (not me) are so senior that no-one dares to argue. We do the Queen and the GM, then the WM and the Visitors. The WM is toasted by saying "The Master" and any response longer than "Ta" is considered too long. Visitors are told that they may respond if they wish but they'll never be invited back. There is no fire at all and the whole lot gets done in 5 minutes.

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Is there a particular rule in English Craft about which toasts are followed by "fire" and which are not? (I have the suspicion I have just opened a can of worms...)

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Guidance when non-masons are present is given in your UGLE booklet Information for the Guidance of Members of the Craft, in the section headed 'Non-Masons at After-Proceedings' and in other sections to which that one refers.

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2 hours ago, Lew Finnis said:

Also, you do not fire 'The Queen'

But you do fire 'The Queen and the Craft'.  Apparently the question was raised in Grand Lodge in 1953 and resolved that if it was the custom of a lodge to give fire to toasts generally, then it should be given also to 'The Queen and the Craft'.  I've just searched my library for the reference and when I find it, I'll get back here.

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A paper came around regarding giving toasts along with fire when nonmasons are present. My lodge does allow ladies to join us at our festive board. The paper stated that it was up to each lodge to decide how they want to deal with this. when you consider that we have ladies serving us at the festive board, they get to hear and see all, so why not our wives, partners etc. My lodge has rejected the idea.

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Page 29 of "Information for the Guidance of Members of the Craft" - "Non-Masons at After Proceedings". Adopted December 1995, which makes it a formal addendum to the BoC (note the statement on page i)

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5 hours ago, Medic said:

A paper came around regarding giving toasts along with fire when nonmasons are present. My lodge does allow ladies to join us at our festive board. The paper stated that it was up to each lodge to decide how they want to deal with this. when you consider that we have ladies serving us at the festive board, they get to hear and see all, so why not our wives, partners etc. My lodge has rejected the idea.

No toast are to be given when the waiting staff are in the dining room. This should be down to your DoC.

 

There is a laid out procedure for toast giving when having a function with non-masons in attendance as stated above by Sontaran

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23 hours ago, Medic said:

A paper came around regarding giving toasts along with fire when nonmasons are present. My lodge does allow ladies to join us at our festive board. The paper stated that it was up to each lodge to decide how they want to deal with this. when you consider that we have ladies serving us at the festive board, they get to hear and see all, so why not our wives, partners etc. My lodge has rejected the idea.

Blimey!  As a DC I'd expect a rocketing if the toasts and "Fire" were being done with the waiting staff watching on.

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48 minutes ago, Sentience said:

Blimey!  As a DC I'd expect a rocketing if the toasts and "Fire" were being done with the waiting staff watching on.

And quite rightly so.  The Grand Lodge edict on this subject, dated 13 December 1995, is contained in the section 'Non-Masons at After-Proceedings' in the UGLE booklet Information for the Guidance of Members of the Craft.  Briefly, fire is not permitted when non-masons are present - and that is an edict of Grand Lodge - whatever members of a lodge may think, even 'senior' ones!  All are subject to the rules of Grand Lodge.

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