West Point Lodge 877 F&AM
Established 1909
314 Main St, Highland Falls, NY 10928

MASTERS MESSAGE & APPEAL

July ’17

Hello Brothers….  As we conclude our “Masonic Year” and execute our summer plans, I want to thank you all for allowing me the HONOR to serve as our Worshipful Master and electing me to serve a second term.  It has been a very rewarding and enlightening experience.
However, as we break for the summer, there is still unfinished business I wish to address and hopefully better prepare our Lodge for the future.  First, I feel we have done a poor job in communicating with our Brothers, especially our distant Brethren.  We have Brothers scattered around the world, but with the help of a computer savvy brother we plan to rejuvenate our web site in hopes of better keeping all informed of Lodge events and happenings.  Secondly, FINANCES and cash flow continue to be a major concern for our Lodge.  We are most fortunate however, to still own our own lodge building.  Sadly, other lodges have had to sell buildings or relinquish charters for a lack of funds and members.

Our current situation however, basically has us “living from paycheck to paycheck.”  We have minimal reserves to pay for an outstanding fuel oil bill when prices were extraordinarily high and rental income low, as well as money for needed roof repairs, window upgrades, etc.  Our Trustees continue to work diligently, but with rental income barely meeting expenses, it doesn’t provide us with the additional capital needed to make necessary repairs.

Our finance committee has discussed sliding dues scales, raffles, raising rent, along with other fund raising possibilities for generating income.  But for continued, sustained viability, most conclude the need to raise annual dues for all members, with the exception of 50+ year Life Members.  Thus, we will be discussing various proposals in Lodge over the next weeks and summer months, considering various approaches to improve our financial health, with the intention of voting on potentially raising dues for 2018.  We welcome input from all Brothers, whether in Lodge, via e-mail or telephone call.  We will plan a

UPCOMING EVENTS & AGENDA

7/24/17       West Point Lodge to Host Orange / Rockland      W:. Jack
(Monday)    /Sullivan District Masonic Association Mtg                  Moore
                   (Dinner 6:30 / Mtg 7:30) …  all welcome (casual dress).
8/1/17        Lodge participation in Highland Falls “National Night
(Tuesday)   Out 2017” from 5-8pm at the nearby Municipal Lot,
                   Sponsored by the  Highland Falls Police Dept….  Info
                   Booth & desserts…  all welcome (casual dress).
Note:  Annual Picnic at Round Pond is set for 20 August, noon start.
9/7/17                   First official Lodge meeting after the summer break
                               (Thursday)

Summoned Communication in the fall to discuss finances, dues & stipends, which would necessitate a change to our By-Laws.

As a recent retiree, I know a dues increase would be a major concern and problem for some, living on a fixed income.  It is my hope to keep all members and not lose any Brothers if we raise dues.  Thus, if we agree on a dues increase, I am asking those Brothers that cannot afford whatever increase we finally decide upon, to pay what they can and inform our Secretary of your situation and we will establish our own “Brotherhood Fund” within the Lodge to help those in need….  “Charity begins at Home.”  And, as we learned in our Fellowcraft obligation….  Helping a distressed worthy Brother… 

As always, we ask those Brothers who have generously contributed to the Lodge and Building Fund in the past, to please continue to do so.  I even ask now for your help, rather than waiting to make a contribution with your next dues payment.  We could use a financial “shot in the arm” NOW, to assist the Trustees in paying down our fuel bill and make necessary building repairs.  I ask for your support as we discuss and decide on our financial plan.  I thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

On a positive note, many of us enjoyed the ORDMA (Orange -Rockland District Masonic Association) dinner dance in early April, where the District honored two West Point Brothers, R:.W:. Nicholas J. Paolicelli, Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of The State of New York and R:.W:. Mark Hanson, our Lodge Secretary and the Past District Deputy of the 2nd Westchester-Putnam District.  We also conducted a very successful 2nd Degree and joined with Hudson River Lodge in late April to conduct a joint Master Mason Degree.  As a reminder, we always meet on the 1st & 3rd Thursday’s and many Brothers gather on “off” Thursday’s as well, for fellowship, education and camaraderie.  So please stop by and join us.  We have again planned our summer picnic for Sunday, 20 August at West Point’s Round Pond.
Thanks again for your continued support.   

So Mote it be!!!   
       
W:. Jack H. Moore
Worshipful Master