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by M.W.Bro. Bruce Saunders, Grand Master;
Published in THE TRACING BOARD, GRS; October, 1979

At the outset of this month's message let me say that no Master Mason should be denied the privilege of being Master of his Lodge. However, we know full well that there are some members in our fraternity who have no desire nor do they have the ability to perform the duties of that high office but, are a dedicated and an outstanding member who offers a great deal to the lodge.

The Worshipful Master is elected annually by the members of the Lodge; however, before allowing his name to stand for this high office he should be well versed in the Bylaws of his Lodge, the Constitution of Grand Lodge, capable of opening and closing his Lodge, and be prepared to put on all degree work (with some assistance by P.M.s). As the head of the Craft he should work in close harmony with all his officers, especially the secretary, making sure he is maintaining a compete and proper record of all meetings, making sure that all dues and fees are kept current and that new members and all members names are properly recorded, this to include their age, occupation and present and forwarding address. As regards to Lodge meetings, the Master should stress that all meetings will commence at the time stated on the notice. All the minutes and discussions should be concise and to the point, check all correspondence with the secretary previous to the meeting (if possible); he should execute the business of the Lodge in a business-like manner. Many lengthy discussions can be overcome by referring the subject to a special committee who will bring in a report at the next meeting. The Master is automatically an ex-officio member of all committees.

In connection with ritualistic and floor work, the Master should insist on a high grade of proficiency and possibly hold one or two practice sessions. In regard to floor work and other instructional practices he would inquire if the new members would care to attend and make them feel a part of the lodge. At the same time this is a good time for giving the new members proper instruction. The Master should promote and incorporate Masonic education into Lodge meetings as program time permits. There are many good papers, books and other material available from the Grand Lodge library for this purpose. The Master should strive to maintain brotherly love and good fellowship among the brethren in his Lodge and make sure that sociability at the festive board be planned for each meeting.

The Worshipful Master can do much to promote this same fraternal fellowship on a wider basis by promoting inter-lodge visitation, either on an individual or a group basis. Encourage the brethren to attend their district and area meetings and certainly the fellowship at the Grand Lodge Communication is of a high caliber.

In conclusion, Brethren, to be the Master of your Lodge (the highest honor that can be conferred upon a brother), you must be prepared to give this top priority for the term of your office. There is much to be done in preparing and making your meetings both interesting and instructional. Remember your Obligation and the charge given to you at your installation, which states in part "the Brethren have committed the government of this Lodge to your care, and you can be insensible neither to the duties which devolve upon you as their head, nor to your responsibility for the faithful discharge of the same. The honor, reputation and usefulness of this Lodge will materially depend upon the skill and ability with which you manage its' affairs. It will be your province to communicate light and instruction to the brethren of your Lodge.

Forcibly impress upon them the dignity and high importance of Freemasonry and practice out of the Lodge those excellent precepts which are ever inculcated within it."

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