Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
Grand Master Peter Sellars promised to publish a monthly message during his term. He has kept his promise. Here is his message for February.
The GM conveys an important message, and I hope all who read this takes heed. A fraternal order, like Odd Fellows, is a generational entity. In other words, it has a life that spans numerous generations. All of us in Lodges today are the successors to the effort and work expended by prior generations of Odd Fellows. Those prior generations worked hard to get your Lodge chartered, to obtain a Lodge Hall, to furnish it, to bring in members and establish a presence in the community, to develop a culture and a fraternity that YOU now enjoy. Don’t drop the ball. Don’t let that work of prior generations go to waste. It’s up to YOU to continue the life of your Lodge.
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
GRAND MASTER’S MESSAGE
Greetings Brothers And Sisters!
With three-quarters of my term behind me, I am still pushing and handling the responsibilities of a Grand Master. So far, there have been a few road bumps, but nothing too rough.
By far, the good aspects of our Order exceed the bad aspects. More importantly, OPPORTUNITY is right in front of us. It has not diminished. What we have in place – a lodge hall, a tax-exempt organization, an established corporation, a bank account, etc. all lend themselves to OPPORTUNITY. You have an opportunity to improve your community and do wonderful works. You have the venue and tools at your feet.
I have received reports of a handful of lodges who bicker amongst themselves to the point of polarizing these lodges. For some lodges, I have allowed room to handle the issues themselves; in other lodges, I have assigned a special deputy or have asked for an audit. I am continuing to monitor these lodges from afar, as I have only one more option as a Grand Master. I shall reserve that responsibility for the last two months after reviewing the reports and seeing the progress made by the members of the troubled lodges. I am happy to report that most of the lodges have worked out the issues. I am only monitoring two lodges at this point.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS, please live by the principles and the promises you have sworn to abide by when you were initiated. Sure, we all get upset with things as times, but it is how we respond that define our character. If you have acted up, then apologize and resist doing it again. If you cannot control your emotions on a continuous bases, then leave this all volunteer organization. It is not worth it to anyone to come to a place and spend time if you are unhappy. You only have one lifetime. Make the best of it while you are on this earth.
One of the most important things I have been repeating this year, is submitting the per capita reports on time. This year, the deadline is February 28, 2017. Every lodge in this state should have its per capita report and payment. This is not rocket science. Most of our lodges tend to be on the smaller side and such reports should not take more than a few days for complete. The financial report, should not be that difficult either. Look at your last bank statement or investment statement for the month of December (ending December 31, 2016) and this is your balance – period. A statement does not lie. Send a payment of $45.00 for each member you have to Grand Lodge and you are good to go. For those lodges who maintain their information on a computer or excel program, it should be a slam dunk – easy. The lodges have already had the forms for several weeks. If it is a matter of not being able to obtain a necessary signature, still send it in and explain that the signature could not be obtained. The most important thing at this point – AND FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE LODGE, is to submit what you have done. February 28, 2017, is the date set by the Grand Secretary.
Next, it is time to register for the Grand Lodge sessions in May, to be held at Visalia. May 17, 2017 through May 20, 2017, shall be a week for all members in this jurisdiction to express themselves by supporting certain members running for offices or legislation beneficial to their lodges. This is the place where our lodges have an opportunity to vote and have a say-so. I have heard from many of you that you “don’t like the way things are done” or the “way Grand Lodge does its business.” Well, this is your opportunity to speak up and express yourselves (in a dignified and respectable way). If you have ideas for improvement or want to see something done, DRAFT A RESOLUTION OR LEGISLATION and send it to the GRAND LODGE OFFICE under the seal of your lodge, signed, before APRIL 1, 2017. If you want to run for an office, submit your STATEMENT OF QUALIFICATION endorsed by your lodge, under the seal, and signed to the GRAND LODGE OFFICE. We have offices opening up for Grand Representative (only need to be a Past Grand), Grand Warden, Grand Lodge Director, and Director of another board. Brothers and sisters, do not just complain without taking a step forward.
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, enjoy a delicious meal at the Opening of Sessions.
On Thursday, May 18, 2017, see the start of our sessions and some business. In the evening, there shall be the DMC (Dedicated Members for Change) dinner/music event.
On Friday, May 19, 2017, we handle some legislation. At 1pm, we handle elections of officers. In the evening, we have GOOD FELLOWSHIP NIGHT, where members can come have some fun. We shall have a dunk tank for those who feel up to the challenge.
On Saturday, May 20, 2017, we handle the remaining business of our session. In the evening, we shall have the Installation of our new officers for Grand Lodge and Rebekah Assembly.
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the Four Creeks Odd Fellows Lodge, which is literally across the street from the Marriott (our Convention site), the lodge shall have lunches available, with a salad bar for only $5.00. This is a lodge which is making strides and would like to share its building with all of us during the week of our sessions in Visalia.
I want all of you to do well. I want to see success in your lodges. Your lodges should be doing more than just surviving. Step up. I hope to see all of you in May.