Outgoing Grand Master Bro. Ted Collins recently posted his message for the year, telling what he and Georgia Freemasonry have accomplished during his reign.
- Four new Masonic lodges were chartered, increasing the number of mainstream GLofGA lodges in Georgia to 425. (The number of mainstream Masons in Georgia dropped in 2007 by 1,084 brethren, or 2.3% from the previous year, to 46,914, according to recently released figures from the Masonic Service Association of North America. Nationwide, mainstream Masonic membership continues to drop by about three percent a year. U.S. mainstream Masonic membership in 2007 was 1,483,449.)
- Nearly one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) found its way into the Endowment Fund for the Masonic Home of Georgia in Macon, which serves as a residential child care facility. "Residential child care is defined as the appropriate placement of children whose care cannot be provided in their own home or for whom group care is a positive alternative," according to the Home's website. There is no requirement for a child to be related to or an orphan of a Mason. Children between the ages of six and 16 are accepted, if sponsored by a Georgia Masonic lodge. To my knowledge, fewer than 40 children live at the home.
- The Georgia Child Identification Program (GACHIP) has held over 85 events across the state in the past year, and will have "processed" over 10,000 Georgia children by the time the Grand Lodge meets at the end of October.
- Three new DeMolay chapters have been formed in Georgia this year.
- Nearly 150 Georgia Masons have ponied up 21 times their annual lodge dues to become part of the Perpetual Membership Program. This program guarantees its members lifetime paid-up membership as a Georgia Mason, unless they are expelled/suspended/erased, in which case, I don't think you get your money back.
- During the year, the Conference of Grand Masters of North America chose Atlanta to be the host of its 2012 annual conference.
Tickets for "Family Night Cookout" (Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 6 pm) at the Macon Farmer's Market are available in advance (write to the Grand Secretary, P.O. Box 4665, Macon, GA 31208-4665) or at the gate for $5.00 each. Food is provided and served by at least one Masonic lodge from each of Georgia's 12 districts.
I'm looking forward to this year's Grand Lodge events. I had a great time attending last year's events.
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