All posts by presencebuilders

Insurance Quote

The Grand Lodge of Louisiana is attempting to put together an insurance plan that will allow all Lodges to participate,If they desire, and the idea is that it would reduce rates for all involved.

The committee has met several times and we are seeking quotes for this insurance. One item that we must have before we can obtain the quotes is the information on each Lodge and its building.

Attached is an informational form that the insurance company would like for each Lodge to fill out. Please fill out the PDF below and return to the Grand Lodge as soon as possible.

Fraternally,
Woody D. Bilyeu
Grand Secretary

Lodge Information for Insurance Quote

2015 Wardens Retreat

The 2015Wardens Retreat will be held August 8, 2015 from 9:00 AM til 3:00PM at the Wesley Center in Woodworth, LA.

Click Here to Download the Registration Form

General information:

In addition to the speakers each man will receive a USB computer jump
drive with several hundred pages of reading material including sections that may be shared with a publicity or education committee and with candidate mentors. The jump drive will have blank space so that he can save copies of any information he finds elsewhere that he wants to keep.

The program is designed to better prepare a Warden to fulfill the responsibility of the Office of Master of his lodge. There will be sessions on at least 10 different areas of responsibility for the future Master.

Registration fee is $50 for each person attending except for the retreat staff. This includes the charge for the facility, equipment, coffee, doughnuts and meal. It also pays for the meal for the instructors, printing costs etc.. Make check payable to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and marked for WARDENS RETREAT.

Please return this form along with your check as soon as practical to:

Grand Lodge of LA
5746 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

It is an intensive training session for Lodge Wardens preparing for a year as master.
The ability and training of the Warden, who will become Master, will have a significant influence on your lodge. The better trained he is, the more he will enjoy his term as Master. It will also have a bearing on how well the members enjoy their lodge attendance.
Obviously six hours of intensive training will not answer all the questions that may come up
during a Masons term of office as Master, but it will be more training than has been received in the past. Remember, this is management training, not esoteric ritual.

WHAT IS THE WESLEY CENTER?

It is a resort type motel with special equipment and space for conferences. It is designed as a retreat or conference site. There will be some rooms available at the Conference Center.
Each room has two double beds and may be shared by up to four people. Rates are $66 per room. This is a “retreat area” which means there are no phones or TV in the rooms. Frankly most of those who spend the night seem to prefer to do so in Alexandria to take advantage of a greater variety of places to eat.
The rate includes meals, and they have a reputation for fine cuisine. Reservations may
be made by phoning 318-449-4500 The $50 registration fee should be paid to Grand Lodge. Any motel reservation should be arranged with and paid to the Conference Center. Be sure they know you will be with the Masonic group. Sometimes they do not have enough guests to justify meals so verify the availability of meals before completing registration.

WHY IS THERE A REGISTRATION FEE?

It pays for the use of the facilities including conference space, equipment, coffee & do-nuts, lunch and for the expense of promoting and putting on the retreat. We can’t ask our instructors to pay for the privilege of instructing us so we will pay the charge for their use of the facilities. This same basic program, spread over three days in a neighboring jurisdiction costs $320.

Master Masons other than Wardens are encouraged to attend but they will be expected to pay the registration fee because the Center charges us based on the total number in attendance. Some lodges pay the fee for their attendees. Other lodges do not. if a lodge
pays the $50 and the warden’s year as master results in either getting a new member or
retaining a current member the lodge will be financially ahead.

The GRAND LODGE SERVICE COMMITTEE will have a selection of Masonic
supplies available at the retreat.

PLEASE REGISTER AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.

GIVE OUR STAFF TIME TO SET UP THE PROPER REGISTRATION RECORDS.

Should you have to cancel, we will refund the registration fee if we are notified before we have to give them a final count which will be no later than August 7th.

GRAND MASTER’S EASTER PROJECT

2015 - Grand Master's Easter Project

GRAND MASTER’S EASTER PROJECT

APRIL 5, 2015 IS EASTER

During the week between Sunday, March 29, 2015, Palm Sunday, and Sunday, April 5, 2015, Easter, every Lodge in Louisiana is urged to bring a live Easter Lily plant to as many Master Mason’s Widows of the Lodge as possible and practical as a token of remembering the Widows of the Master Masons, and as a “Thank You” for each Lady’s support of her husband’s membership and remembering the hours away from home her husband spent attending Lodge Meetings, Masonic events and projects. Masonry is better for each Lady’s husband’s devotion and dedication; and every Master Mason pledges to remember, help, aid and support those Ladies who have lost their husbands who were Master Masons. A Member of the Lodge should personally bring the Easter Lily to the Masonic Widow and simply saying “Thank You”, and your husband’s Lodge remembers.

Lest we forget – our Masonic Widows must be remembered.
Bring an Easter Lily to a Masonic Widow during Easter Week.

To the Glory of the Supreme Architect and to the Memory of those
Mason Masons who have gone to Lodge Eternal,

William J. Mollere
Grand Master

GRAND MASTER’S HOMECOMING

GRAND MASTER’S HOMECOMING
SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015
BATON ROUGE

11:00 AM – WORSHIP TOGETHER AT FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
930 NORTH BOULEVARD
CORNER OF NORTH & EAST BOULEVARDS DOWNTOWN BATON ROUGE

Gather at 10:30 AM for Coffee & Light Refreshments in Cafe 930, off Sanctuary, or in the Gym, or in the Main Entrance. Service begins at 11:00 AM. Easy exit off I-110 at Convention Street and park at 3 Lots around the Church or in the U S Post Office
Parking Lot across North Boulevard or Park under I-110 on East Boulevard.

1:00 PM – LUNCH AT THE BATON ROUGE SCOTTISH RITE
14598 FLORIDA BOULEVARD – U S HWY 190 EAST
(Hosted by Trinity Union Lodge #372, East Gate Lodge #452, Lodge of the Nine Muses #9) Travel from Downtown Baton Rouge east on Florida Boulevard, or I-110 to I-10 East to I-12 East, Exit Sherwood Forest, left to Florida Blvd, then right 2 miles, Scottish Rite Temple on the right.

ENJOY WORSHIP – ENJOY LUNCH – ENJOY THE FELLOWSHIP

M.W. Mollere’s Installation Speech

Address of the Grand Master at Grand Lodge

INSTALLATION – GRAND LODGE – FEBRUARY 1, 2015 ALEXANDRIA, LA

Thank you all – thank you for staying and attending this Installation on Super Bowl Sunday, and listen to the plans for this year. Thank you to the Installing Team, MW Ballard Lee Smith who did an outstanding job, MW Ed Durham who asked GOD’s blessings on this event, MW Bruce Easterly and MW Chuck Penn for guiding and introducing and conducting the officers, and to W Bro R B Smith the Grand Ceremonial Conductor for keeping it going and on track. Thank you to each Officer elected and appointed who will serve this Grand Lodge this year. I want to pause and thank GOD for all of the blessings bestowed here today, and for my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ for His Grace freely given to all, and especially to me. How glorious it is to have that assurance.

Most sincere thank you to family and close friends here – my Brother Gary, is always there for me and whom I love very much. My Lady Lydia Cook who is 100% behind me, and my love. My oldest and hopefully still best friend, Ronnie Seale, Grand Commander Seale & Lady Sunny, so many others dear colleagues from my Scottish Rite Journey – Jim Cole & Lady Mary Ann from Virginia, Roger Barnett from Kentucky, Dr James Graham from Arkansas, David Morgan from Nevada. Many close friends from my DeMolay Journey – Grand Senior Councilor Steve Crane, PGM Tony Krall, Shane Harshbarger, Bob Craig, and others here – all traveled many miles to be here. My friend from Mt Pleasant, Fred Allen, who just arrived from Reston, VA, and Lloyd Hebert and Lady Connie who flew back from Reston also. Bro Lloyd was installed as Right Eminent Deputy Grand Preceptor for HRAKTP, a 12-year line and he becomes the head next year – thank you all for being here this afternoon. My dear Brother, closest adviser, friend, hotelier, and Installing Officer MW Ballard Smith who has pushed and mentored and reviewed each year as I moved toward this moment – Dr George Jones my good friend and my personal attitude adjustment director; to my Brothers and friends who have traveled here today, to those from my Lodges – Trinity Union #372, East Gate #452, Nine Muses #9 – pleases walk beside me this year – thank you for the love, encouragement and support given to me from all of you. There are many remembered who are no longer here who encouraged, supported, trained as best possible, and pushed – great men who allowed me to walk beside them treating me as an equal, and at times lifted me on their shoulder so that I could observe better, including me in decisions and making me aware of true responsibility: A G Seale, Claude Bonnecarrere, Lloyd Pence, Ray Burgess, Roy Posey, and others. I know that the spirit of my parents is also here with me too – long gone from this earthly realm, but in my heart every day pushing me to be the best possible.

Most of you are aware that I have a progressive form of Muscular Dystrophy (MD – the Jerry Lewis Telethon medical issue), an inherited disorder that curses my Mother’s side of our family. While this inconveniences me in some situations, be patient with me as I walk slower, climb curbs and steps carefully, have a balance problem and sometimes prefer using a walker over a cane – I will be at as many meetings, events and activities as possible. Everyone has been very helpful and thoughtful due to this inconvenience, and for all of those instances, I thank you.

2015_Louisiana GM Pin_v2Brethren, Ladies and Friends all – we all begin a new Term today, many ideas, many projects – yet how much can we all accomplish in a short twelve months. A wise older Mason once told me when he observed a new Grand Master’s visit to my Mother Lodge and this Grand Master had all types of different thoughts and new ideas – the older Mason turned to me and said, “Well, he is a nice fellow, I even voted for him, but he will be gone in a short time and we can go back to the way things were.” I remember that. But I learned that Masonry exists through the ages by doing what is right, not always by what someone wants to get done, like a newly-minted and installed Grand Master full of grand ideas – we do change, not by much each year, but we do change by doing what is right. You may have noticed that the lapel pin for this year has several emblems – an outline of Louisiana, a square & compasses, and a small flower, the Blue Forget- Me-Not. I am honored to be a member of the Masonic Society of the Blue Forget-Me-Not and what it stands for and memorializes – that little emblem on the lapel pin is a reminder that we, Freemasons, Free Men & Women, Americans, people of the world, must never forget. We must remember that freedom is not free, responsibility for each other never ends, duties to care for and help, aid and assist are part of who and what we are.

This year – you are each asked not to forget – to remember our Brothers, our Widows, our children who rely on us.

Freemasonry has created an incredible organizational network of philanthropic endeavors worth billions, with a “B”, of dollars to help others – mostly children. In our own small Grand Jurisdiction, Louisiana Freemasonry, alone, expends almost $1,000,000 each year to assist childhood learning disorders, dyslexia, diabetes, denistry for handicapped, sending ministers to the Holy Land, not to mention the additional seventeen million dollars used to operate the Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport. But, lest we forget – We need to pay attention to our own – our Members who need us to assist them. Those who are ill, handicapped, in nursing homes, disabled, unable to drive, who need a helping hand, a phone call, a visit, someone to run an errand – our Brothers need us. We need to re-focus our attention and remember our own.

Lest we forget – Our Masonic Widows need us. When did you last call a Masonic Widow in your Lodge – drop off a small bag of groceries or offer to take her to the grocery store? When did you invite a Masonic Widow to a Lodge’s family night / Bring-A-Friend / 25 & 50 Year Member Program / Past Master’s Night? Did you think about her on Memorial Day, on Easter, on Thanksgiving, on Christmas? Does that Widow have family near her to care for her, invite her to family gatherings – or does her family live far away, sometimes forgetting her? Does she need a lightbulb replaced in her home? Does she need someone to drive her to a doctor’s appointment? Does your Lodge hold a Widows’ Program during the year? This year, I ask every Lodge to expand to thinking about our own – our absent Brothers and our Widows. Every Lodge is asked to personally contact every Member and check on every Widow. Faith, Hope & Charity, that Charity which we call Love – “and the greatest of these is Love”. Let us remember to love our Brothers and cherish our Brother’s Widows.

Two primary programs this year will be to first contact every member in every Lodge and check on his welfare – does he need his Lodge to assist – he has kept faith with his Lodge and paid his Dues; he has not forgotten his Lodge over the years – has his Lodge forgotten him? The second project will be to find and contact all Masonic Widows in each Lodge – we promised to care for them – let us not forget. Look at the Blue Forget-Me-Not on that lapel pin and remember. The Grand Senior Warden will be promoting and monitoring this important aspect for this Term.

Louisiana’s Grand Lodge has nineteen Masonic Districts with 10 to 22 Lodges in each. Some Districts cover large geographic areas, some small urban areas. A study committee was appointed over a year ago to recommend what, if any, changes could be made to improve communication, visitation, Brotherhood throughout this Grand Lodge relative to the District alignment. This year nineteen Grand Stewards who are R:.W:.District Deputy Grand Masters have been appointed, and each District made those recommendations and were asked to recommend an Alternate. Duties are assigned to every Grand Steward, and number one is to visit every Lodge within that assigned District at least once during the year and report on several area of the Lodge’s Masonic activities. The Deputy Grand Master will be assigned the responsibility of gathering those reports, reviewing the information and making recommendations of lodges’ ability to meet the requirements of holding a charter, practice Masonry and meet in a safe and secure lodge. Lest we forget – this Grand Lodge has a serious need to maintain certain standards.

Louisiana’s Grand Lodge recognizes and had chartered hundreds of Lodges, recognizes hundreds of Eastern Star Chapters, dozens of Royal Arch Chapters, Royal & Select Councils and Knights Templar Commanderies, Scottish Rite Valleys, and Grottoes, Shrine Centers, DeMolay Chapters, Rainbow Assemblies, Amaranth Courts, Red Cross Conclaves, many York Rite Honors groups, Scottish Rite auxiliary groups, Daughters of the Nile, Beauceant Courts, and on and on. While my closest friends accuse me of belonging to most, no one is certain how many groups we actually have operating in this Grand Jurisdiction, and their purpose for existing. Obviously there is an interest in having all of these groups or they would not exist and have any members. If a Master Mason joins a Lodge, and his wife then joins an Eastern Star Chapter and both become active and involved in Eastern Star, that Master Mason, in my mind, is fulfilling his Masonic duty. He might never become active or involved in his Lodge, but he is active and involved in the Masonic Family. This year, the Grand Junior Warden is tasked with discovering, cataloging and producing a comprehensive Directory of the organizations in Louisiana’s Masonic Family, including the name and purpose, when and where each meets, and describing any charity supported and financed by the organizations and with what results. Toward the end of the Term, a Masonic Congress will be called for allow representatives from these organizations to gather, review the Directory and compile a master calendar of events for the following year(s) that keeps potential conflicts from being scheduled on the same dates in the same areas. Years ago, this Grand Lodge had a Coordinating Cabinet to perform just such a duty, but no leadership led to its demise. The Grand Junior Warden will provide that leadership this year and hopefully such an assignment will continue for years once begun. Lest we forget – we are a Family.

The District Grand Lecturers are entrusted to be the guardians of proficiency in Masonic ritual – so this year, I charge each District Grand Lecturer to visit every Lodge within his Lecture District and grade every Lodge on Opening & Closing – and then to hold a de-briefing on what the grade was – good points and possible areas to improve, but in that Lodge and with the Officers present, and in a positive manner. Further, each District Grand Lecturer is to hold at least one Ritual Workshop during one District Lodge meeting on Opening & Closing Lodge in the Entered Apprentice Degree.

To the Permanent Committee on Work is given the duty to craft a Monitorial Burial/Inurnment Ceremony for proper Masonic Honors to be accorded those who choose cremation. This Draft should be prepared by the July 18, Quarterly Meeting. The second task is to examine the age-old system of Certification of Proficiency. A Master Ritualist Program could be explored as a step toward someone becoming interested in achieving a full Certificate of Proficiency. The current system is stagnant and needs refurbishing – proficiency is important, but not every Mason is interested in ritual; make the program a step-by-step process to achieving a full Certificate. The Grand Junior Deacon is empowered to work with the District Grand Lecturers and the Permanent Committee on Work to fulfill these duties and within the timeline outlined. Lest we forget our Ritual binds us as Brothers and reminds us of promises and obligations – we must keep the esoteric work interesting and challenging for all members.

Almost every Grand Lodge with whom this Grand Lodge holds recognition exchanges Representatives – to be named the Grand Representative to another Grand Lodge should be an honor. This year, by the October 17, Quarterly Meeting every Grand Representative of this Grand Lodge is asked to submit a copy of some exchange of information with their counter-part in the sister Grand Lodge, a letter of greeting, a program of attending the Grand Lodge or a function of that Grand Lodge, a fraternal visit with their counter-part, some indication that the Grand Representative attempted to exchange fraternal greetings – or the Office of that Grand Representative will be considered vacated and a new Grand Representative will be named prior to the next Grand Lodge. The Office of the Grand Secretary can supply every Grand Representative with the name and contact information of their counter-part. The Grand Marshal will monitor the progress of this Grand Representative program and report on results within the stated timeline. Lest we forget – the Honor of Grand Representative carries some responsibility.

Grand Lodge 2016 will be held in this same location next year on January 29-31, and the Grand Senior Deacon is the Director General of that Session. His word for that Session is law. The Grand Standard Bearer and the Grand Master’s Aides are assigned to the 2016 Grand Lodge Session Committee and the Director General will delegate duties and responsibilities accordingly. Lest we forget, the next Grand Lodge Session is only 12 months away.

Masonic Education is important and needed and should never end for any Mason – we must never forget that we should learn something new each day – why not make that something Masonic. The monthly Grand Lodge mailing has for years included a one-page Masonic Quiz to be hopefully used in every Lodge to enlighten and teach. The Masonic Education Committee has labored to bring new educational information and material to all Brethren. Our LOUISIANA FREEMASON is another tool to inform and educate our Brethren – it should be more than a “picture booklet” of happenings – you just received the latest edition of the FREEMASON, a new format, good information, an excellent edition. The Grand Sword Bearer is tasked with Chairing the Masonic Education Committee, editing and producing quality issues of the LOUISIANA FREEMASON and ensuring that an education program continues this year to enlighten, stimulate and excite all members about Masonry, which will include the Annual Wardens’ Retreat and any Workshops. The Grand Pursuivant will be the Vice Chairman working with the Chairman and assigned responsibilities by the Chairman.

Membership’s 3 R’s – Recruit, Retain, Restore – are not followed well within Masonry, yet Masonry states that Membership is the lifeblood of the organization. The Membership Development Committee Chairman is the Chairman for all membership efforts this year. The Grand Master Expert, Grand Hospitalier and Grand Inner Guard will be working as Co-Vice-Chairmen of the Membership Committee this Term. Every member should have a petition available at all times, every member should be able to explain Masonry at any moment, every member should be able to explain the process to become a Mason. A package with a brochure, a petition and a “quick facts” on Masonry is a goal for this Committee to place in every Master Mason’s hands this Term. A “TUFOR” medal has been developed also and will be presented to every Mason who recruits a new member to replace himself and sponsors a new member to grow his Lodge – 2 for Masonry – TUFOR. Keeping who Masonry has is important and involvement in the Lodge is key to retention. Making a Brother feel welcome, meaning what the ritual words say, making his Lodge a part of his life will keep a Mason coming back and becoming active. Recognizing members who perform and participate can be as simple as asking a Brother to stand and saying “Thank You!” The idea of selective invitation, better investigative processes and holding members responsible to assigned tasks can also lead to responsible membership growth. Let us not forget that not too long ago this was the way it was done. We state that a Mason cannot ask a good man to become a Mason; well, his wife can; I have approached several good men over the years and asked, “What Lodge do you belong to?” – when they respond that they are not a Mason, my usual response has been, “What a shame, you seem like the type of man who would be.”

Let us not forget that many good men know nothing about Masonry – we can enlighted them without point-blank asking them to join. Let us not forget that Charity is the cornerstone of Freemasonry – first to our Brothers, then our Masonic family members, then those who need our assistance. This year, you are asked to support the Grand Lodge Philanthropy, Dyslexia, by making a pledge to financially assist in growing the Program. If your Lodge has a Red Apple set on the Altar at the end of each communication, pledge at least the amount collected quarterly to the Dyslexia Program – Associate Grand Chaplain R B Smith is asked to promote this concept. Another program most worthwhile in this Grand Lodge’s growing support of the Louisiana Special Olympics – an incredible Program supported by Louisiana Law Enforcement agencies. Again, pledge quarterly the Red Apple funds to Special Olympics – W:.Bro:. Donald Buxton will again serve as Grand Torch Bearer, supported by W:.Bro:. Charles Bertrand as Associate Grand Torch Bearer, and work with Special Olympics to have Louisiana Masons increase their support of this wonderful Program.

Our Masonic Youth Programs need our support – in 1965, the Order of Rainbow for Girls had over 50 Assemblies in Louisiana with several thousand young ladies as members, Grand Assembly, the annual convention would have over 1,000 girls attend. The Order of DeMolay had 28 Chapters in Louisiana with 800 members, over 250 young men would attend Conclave, the annual convention. Today, 50 years later, we do not have those numbers, yet there are more young men and women who could well use the lessons of life and precepts instilled through these organizations. Many of us in this room today are products of those lessons and precepts. I ask, encourage and beg you to support our Masonic Youth, Rainbow and DeMolay – serve as an adult volunteer, advisor, and lead you sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandsons an granddaughters to join. Our generation and our next generation needs Rainbow and DeMolay – Masonry needs that next generation. This year, the Grand Marshal who is also the Executive Officer of Louisiana DeMolay and an Active Member of the International Supreme Council of DeMolay will work on the Grand Lodge Youth Committee with two very dedicated and respected Rainbow Advisors, MW Frank duTreil and RW Rory Bozeman, and each will be actively seeking your support for Rainbow and DeMolay.

For too long, this Grand Lodge has tip-toed around, looked the other way, and failed to see that Freemasonry exists outside of this Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons in Louisiana. There are good men, upright and true, who belong to these other Masonic organizations that this Grand Lodge does not recognize. Reality is before us and studying who, what and where these groups are within Louisiana is needed. Therefore, a Grand Lodge Study Committee is hereby empaneled to study the regularity of other unrecognized Masonic organizations, contact these organizations as needed, and report to this Grand Lodge at our next Annual Grand Lodge Communication any recommendations that the Study Committee may develop. M:.W:. Clayton J. Borne, III, M:.W:. Roy B. Tuck, Jr, and M:.W:. H. Edward Durham, all respected Past Grand Masters who truly love Masonry and this Grand Lodge, have agreed to serve on this Study Committee. This may be a controversial matter that is being brought before the membership, it will not be the last this year. Work together for peace and harmony and there will be no controversial matters. Lest we forget – each Mason in this room has said, unqualified, that he believes in the ‘Fatherhood of GOD and the Brotherhood of Man’.

My Brothers and Friends of Masonry – Many programs, ideas and suggestions are offered to you through this address. Will any be accomplished? I hope many will be accomplished, or at least started. Remembering what that old Past Master of my Lodge said years ago – this TERM lasts 12 months – it will be up to all of us to make any changes needed, add programs that will grow our Lodges, keep our Brotherhood strong and focused on Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love. Lest We Forget – the 12 months have begun, let us move forward. I know that we have some pictures to take of all of the new Officers before we all depart, so we will do that as quickly and efficiently as possible. I hope to see all of you at the Grand Master’s Homecoming on March 22. Thank you again for being here.

We have some clearing and packing to do, so let us pray and then close this Grand Lodge Session and be on our way – Brother Installing Grand Chaplain.

Benediction – I now declare this Grand Lodge Session closed. GOD be with each of you – go in Peace!

 

William J. Mollere, Grand Master

Farewell from M.W. Durand

Farewell from M.W. Durand

Our year 2014 is fast coming to an end and 2015 is here. Soon I will be known as a “has been”, but let me say, this has been a wonderful experience. I have enjoyed the great hospitality that each of you have shown to me, my wife and my grand officers. I have met so many caring and sharing brothers in my travels this year. Each of you have made this a very special year for me and I thank you for your support. I encourage every one of you to get behind your Grand Lodge officers as they are a very talented and hard working group of Brothers.

2014_gm_med

Where did the time go? It seems as though it has just started and is now over. I have really enjoyed this year and I continue to ask each of you to work hard to promote Peace and Harmony for our Fraternity. I believe this is the one thing we need to continue to do to stay on track.

As I turn the reins over to a very respectable Brother, I ask for you to support him in his endeavors so he can have a successful year. Remember, treat others the way you want to be treated.

 

May God continue to bless each of you and may Peace and Harmony prevail.

 

Fraternally and Sincerely,
Earl J. “Mickey” Durand

204th Annual Grand Communication

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Reservation Order Form

The 204th Annual Grand Communication, will be held at the SAI Convention Center, Baymont Inn &
Suites, 2301 N. MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, Louisiana, January 31 – February 01, 2015.

The Baymont Inn & Suites will serve as the headquarters hotel. Most of the activities will be in the adjacent SAI Convention Center. Sufficient rooms have been blocked to house visitors, officers, and the majority of the Lodge Delegates. The hotel will hold the blocked rooms for us through JANUARY 14, 2015. If you desire housing in the headquarters hotel, it is recommended that you make your reservations as early as possible.

2SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 2015 GRAND LODGE SESSION

3Events are as follows:
Friday, January 30, 2015

11:30 A.M. Allied Masonic Degrees Luncheon, (Members & Wives only); Contact: R:W: William J. “Bill” Mollere for costs and tickets. Address: 10525 Rondo Ave., Baton Rouge, LA., 70815-4845, Phone: (225) 928-2125.

5:30 P.M. Grand Master’s Reception, SAI Convention Center, 2301 N. MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, LA. 71303. No Charge

7:00 P.M. Grand Master’s Banquet, SAI Convention Center, 2301 N. MacArthur Drive,
Alexandria, LA. 71303. Admission – $40.00, per person, Dress; Grand Lodge Officers,
formal – Others dark suit and tie.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

12:00 Noon Ladies Luncheon – Admission – $ 27.50, SAI Convention Center, 2301 N. MacArthur
Drive, Alexandria, LA. 71303.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

7:00 A.M. Royal Order of Scotland Breakfast, (Open to All Who Wish to Attend), Admission: $18.00 per person, SAI Convention Center, 2301 N. MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, LA. 71303. mailto:gm6275th@eatel.net

11:30 A.M. Scottish Rite Honors Luncheon, SAI Convention Center, 2301 N. MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, LA. 71303. (Cost and tickets arranged by the Valleys).

***4MAKE YOUR ROOM RESERVATIONS DIRECTLY WITH THE HOTEL***

In order to obtain the special rate, mention the Grand Lodge of Louisiana Annual Communication. The hotel information below is furnished for your convenience, to-wit:

Baymont Inn and Suites 1-King – $69.00 plus tax
2301 N. Mac Arthur Drive, Alexandria, LA. 71303 2-Queen- $79.00 plus tax
Ph. (318) 619-3300

Doughnuts and Coffee

In my travels I have heard many suggestions on many topics that might be of benefit to the Craft. The latest one may have real results if widely implemented. I hope some of you will give it a try and hopefully non-Masons who may read this article will see you out in town and feel welcome to sit with you.

As you know many men in towns large and small meet over coffee and doughnuts at the local
“greasy spoon,” doughnut shops, short order eateries, truck stops and such. It is the ideal setup for Masons to meet and enjoy brotherhood outside the Lodge. No esoteric work or study would be conducted there, just fellowship. If such groups would meet on a regular schedule and invite Masons and non-Masons alike to sit and visit, Masonry might be better known in the local area.

The group could bring along a stand with a Square and Compasses on it to sit on the table during the gathering. This gathering would be as is the case with farmers, truckers, fishermen, hunters and such: no call to order, no one in charge, no organized call to prayer or pledge, just coffee and a bite to eat.

If such a gathering became routine in a place where others pass through and gather, in all
likelihood, someone who does not know us, might ask the question, “who are you fellows?”
“Have a seat, have some coffee, let us tell you about us if you have the time,” is the right answer.

Our communications are formal, and it is very unlikely that anyone will be asking about us as we hurry into the temple and close the door. And even those who stand outside for a smoke will not likely be quizzed about who we are and what we do. We remain standoffish and unapproachable on Lodge night. Having our Lodges in the older sections of the towns that have now grown dark and “dead,” makes it hard for an outsider approach us. Even our newer Lodges are not in locations where other people walk by or gather.

Get a couple of carloads together go to a good spot for coffee, eggs and bacon. Pick a good table and enjoy the morning. Talk about the issues of the day, read the paper, and enjoy one another’s company. Make it a weekly routine at the same spot once you find a good one. Start with were the local police gather, they know doughnuts…

For those of you who are not Masons who may be reading this… If you see us having some
breakfast, join us and tell us your story. You will find that we Masons have many stories to tell
and look forward to meeting you and getting to know you.
We have been invisible in the society for too many years, lets jump back into the pool and get on with being citizens known for their beliefs and views on God and Country.

Meet as Brothers and not just on Lodged night…

Will Gray
Grand Senior Warden

A word from our new Learning Center Administrator

Masonic Learning Center of Louisiana
5746 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
June 10, 2014

Dear Sirs,

As of May 1, 2014, I began my new job as the Administrator of the Learning Center. In replacing Mr. Ralph McCrory, I know, I have a tremendous responsibility. It is with great excitement that I am looking forward to this challenge and new adventure in my professional life.

I hold a B. A. degree in elementary education from Northwestern State University, Master of Education, plus 30 hours, Reading Specialist, and Education Specialist from Louisiana State University. During my education career, I have worked in the Ardmore, Oklahoma School District, Opelika, Alabama School District, and the majority of my experience was in the Caddo Parish School District, where I taught in self-contained classes for grades 1-6. Prior to my retirement in July 2013, I worked for 13 years as a dyslexia teacher and assessor in the Caddo Parish Department of Special Services, which included 504. While working in the Department of Special Services, I tutored small groups of students with dyslexia using Language Circle: Project Read, assessed students for characteristics of dyslexia, and conducted workshops for K-3 Screener Training; 504 Training; Project Read: Phonology; Neuhaus: Multisensory Grammar and Project Read: Written Expression; and Lindamood Bell: LIPS Training.

On a personal note, I am the proud mother of two precious daughters, a son-in-law, three grandsons, a granddaughter, and a future granddaughter in-law. During my spare time, I enjoy reading, doing crafts, sewing, traveling, and visiting with family and friends.

This new endeavor with the Mason Learning Center of Louisiana is an exciting challenge and is in an area for which I have great compassion. I believe every child has the right to a level playing field, whether it is educationally or recreationally. My aspiration is to ensure that students with dyslexia become fluent readers and successful, productive citizens.

I am looking forward to meeting you. Please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,
Sharon McCaskill, Education Specialist
Administrator, Masonic Learning Center of Louisiana
318.487.4986
sharon@mason-la.com