Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
When Rick Boyles served as Grand Master of California in 2013-14, he emphasized the importance of having fun as an important aspect of fraternal life. Rick was right!
Indeed, we should never forget that in the very beginnings of Odd Fellowship, in England in the 18th Century, members met in pubs to eat, drink, sing songs, tell tales, and generally enjoy the social aspects of belonging to a group that would later be known as Odd Fellows. The fun aspect of fraternal life was not lost in those early years, even when the members started helping others in need by developing hospitals, orphanages, cemeteries and other social services for the members, their families, and the community in general. In fact, it was the combination of having fun and helping others that ultimately coined the sobriquet “those odd fellows” that (many believe) eventually morphed into our fraternal name.
In my travels I have visited Lodges where the members have, regrettably, forgotten to have fun. They may meet once or twice a month and generally stay cloistered within the four walls of the Lodge Hall. Some cheese and crackers and a cake from the local Safeway may be laid out prior to the meeting. Their meetings are little more than recitation of a ritual opening, a brief discussion about paying the electric bill and perhaps fixing the roof someday, and a ritual closing. Apart from these brief meetings, the Lodge Hall door is locked, the windows are closed and the Lodge Hall sits generally vacant and unused much of the time. It’s, in truth, a moribund Lodge. More to the point, how does such a Lodge attract a new member? And if it were to attract such a new member, what are the odds of this member sticking around?
In contrast, there are certainly examples of Lodges that remember to have fun. We have provided a number of examples – in past DMC Newsletters – of Lodges that know how to have fun: A Day at the Races, OddtoberFest, Hawaiian Luau, etc. In fact, Lodges can have fun and do good works at the very same time. Here, in this newsletter, is yet another example of a Lodge that knows how to have some fun and at the very same time, do good community works. Attached to this e-mail is a flier from Windsor Lodge #215, submitted by Noble Grand Bill Fallis, regarding an “event” that they sponsored last month. Kudos to Bill and the entire membership of Windsor Lodge!
F – L – T
Deputy Grand Master
Since you produce so many supportive DMC articles and since tonight brings an end to NCAA March Madness for this year, I thought you might enjoy the article I penned recently. (see attached) It puts a little spin on the March Madness theme.
Again, thanks for all you do and I hope you enjoy the write-up about the efforts inspired, at least in part, by your DMC articles. Keep up the good works.