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The article may be freely used for masonic purposes only.
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MASONIC PILLAR CLUBS !
A town (city, village, etc.) loses its lodge, OR perhaps it never had a lodge. Yet this town does have a group of masons, all are financial with a lodge somewhere. The nearest lodge is kilometres away, and they prefer not to travel at night. There is not a great deal for them unless they reside in Oklahoma, USA, in 1998.
What is a Pillar Club?
A Group of Masons who want to meet together for fellowship and, possibly, for acts of charity or other programs. It operates under a Patent, issued by the Grand Lodge Trustees under Oklahoma's Masonic law.
Why Pillar Club?
The symbol of the Club is a Masonic Pillar like J & B. And since the Clubs will exist in towns in which there is no Lodge, we hope that they will soon become "pillars of the community".
Who can belong?
Any Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, or Master Mason who belongs to an Oklahoma Lodge OR to any other Grand Jurisdiction recognised by the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma.
What is the Structure?
There is a President and a Secretary/Treasurer, plus any other officers the individual Club decides it wants. The President runs the meetings and the Secretary/Treasurer issues membership cards, sends in occasional reports to the Grand Secretary's Office (nothing dramatic), and handles the money. A Club has a set of By-Laws. But there are few rules and requirements. Every effort is made to make sure that Clubs are not burdened by rules.
Where and When do they meet?
Where-ever and whenever they want to. Some Clubs may meet at 10.30am at the local doughnut shop, while others may meet at noon in a local restaurant a couple of times a week. It is with the hands of the members of each individual Club. Each Club will have a Plaque for wall mounting where-ever they meet, subject to approval by the Owner of the Meeting Location. The Plaque will read, eg., "Hootsville" Masonic Club meets here.
What does a Pillar Club do?
Depends on what they want to do. Some may do nothing but drink coffee, play dominoes, and swap stories. Others may wish to participate in one or more of the Grand Lodge programs, namely; Student of Today, Senior Essay Contest, OETA Sponsorship, Vision Screenings, etc., etc. Most importantly, it is keep Masonry alive in the town. Through the Club's activities non-masons may show an interest in joining Masonry. The Club can, therefore, assist in locating a nearby Lodge in another town. In some cases, the Club may even grow large enough to turn into a Lodge, which would be great!
As a Mason, can I just be a Pillar Club member?
No. Members of the Club must be Masons in good standing in some regular Lodge.
How much will the Dues be?
Again, that's up to the individual Club. Some Clubs may have no dues at all. There is No per capita dues on Pillar Club memberships.
How does one Join?
By telling a Club member they wish to join. Voting on membership is by a show of hands, with a simple majority.
How much does it cost to establish a Masonic Pillar Club?
That is still being worked out, because Grand Lodge is trying to get the best possible price on the supplies; Wall Plaque, Pillar, etc. Even though it is not to be a heavy burden on a Club with, say, five or six members.
How can we start a Masonic Pillar Club in our Town?
If your town has no Lodge, then get a group of Masons together and discuss the idea of forming a Club. If there are four (4) Brethren who want to participate contact the Grand Secretary's Office and ask for an Application for a Patent. Fill it in and submit it Grand Lodge. The Trustees will examine the Application and vote on whether or not to establish the Club.
REMEMBER THIS ONLY RELATES TO OKLAHOMA MASONS, or MASONS RESIDING IN OKLAHOMA
A Special Thanks
to brethren for CARING about Masons,
DepGM Wm. C. Clure, Jr., for thinking up the idea,
and Grand Master Garry Odom for approving it. Feb-Mar 1998, Oklahoma Mason.
M W Bro A.T. Holden, PGM
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Updated: 23 June 2001
Hank van Tongeren