Worshipful Master:  WB John Hart

Secretary:  WB Matthew Appel


Robert Burns as Deputy MasterRobert Burns #243 Trestleboard


January, 2016




Master's Jewel      From the West



Thank you to all who responded to the Lodge survey on the future of Robert Burns. We received many responses and they are most helpful. So far the general consensus is that we were and are a Lodge of Fraternalism and Fellowship. The brethren enjoy the Fellowship of members and visitors to our Lodge.


We need to answer 3 questions before we can go forward with any strategic planning: WHERE are we going as a Lodge? WHAT is needed to get there? HOW are we going to accomplish the necessary tasks?  I have voiced many opinions on our future and fellowship, and, since you have asked, I will state them again. (OK you didn’t ask but I’m going to state them anyway.)


WHERE are we going?


Determine our physical future.

Are we really going to purchase our own building? Are we going to remain at Edmonds?

(My own opinion, again, since you asked....) We will never have the 3 to 5 million dollars needed to buy/build/maintain our own building. Personally, I don’t want to move again!


        Commit to our Lodge identity

BE the “Welcome” lodge

Greet ALL (members and visitors) at meetings. EVERYONE SAYS HI!!! BE welcoming! Thank visitors, especially 1st time visitors). Don’t come in and sit on the sidelines, go say HI !


Visitations to other Lodges are paramount to Fellowship. We are starting to make regular scheduled visitations (thank you, JW Brent) but we need to make them consistent, and to reciprocate visitations!


WHAT can we do to get there?


Have a reason for members and visitors to come to meetings !!

Ritual!   Everyone likes crisp ritual and it makes meeting shorter. Our ritual is not bad but we all (me too) need to practice!

Interesting meetings.  We are doing better, with Masonic Education and short topics but need to introduce some fun stuff too. Perhaps ‘theme’ meetings (i.e. Stop and Go, Fill the Lodge, Fill the Chairs with PM Night, etc.)



Dinner before meetings. We have had meals even without Stewards (again thank you JW Brent and the brethren who brought meals) and will continue this year (thank you Bro. Jason Rivers). How about a brief talk or discussion with topic or small program at dinner? Trivia moment?

Fellowship after (requires more rapid meetings)



Community. We have a successful Bikes-4-Books and have a great start at the Lynnwood Food Bank with the Turkey Trot.

Social.  Campouts, Fellowship dinners (with Ladies)  Movie Nights?  Date Nights? Poker Nights?

Lodge functions. Table Lodge? Fellowship dinners? Fill Lodge Night. Programs/Guest speakers.


HOW can we get there?


Involve newer (and ALL) members

Working tools by newest EA, FC, MM?

Apron Lecture by an EA?

Encourage new (and ALL) members to be on a committee


We are currently in a holding pattern, unable to fill the chairs. We need to build our line from the bottom up. This means we need to invest in our new members with mentoring, without rushing them into the chairs before they are ready (or willing). Encourage all local members to attend and take part. Those who are unable to attend can still assist (make phone calls, SKYPE on committees,...)?


Examine our fiscal future.

The Investment Committee is meeting to examine our investments and investment strategies. I am no financial expert, nor a member of the Investment Committee (but, once again I have opinions......)


Move a larger portion Building Fund into higher yield account (Vanguard?) for targeted 4% return?

Maintain portion in more conservative funds

Use ˝ interest for Lodge operations, donations, scholarship. ˝ interest for reinvestment?


By leveraging our existing investments to help cover operating costs, we can get out of the deficit budgets we have incurred over the past years. We will ALWAYS need to do fundraising, no matter our fiscal position.



All these are IDEAS.  Please tell us your ideas and concerns The 3 principal officers cannot instigate or accomplish these ideas alone.  The most important factor, PARTICIPATION.


Without participation from the brethren we cannot gain a full understanding of the above, nor implement plans to go forward with building our Lodge. Even with participation, it will take dedication, hard work and time. Without participation we will continue in a holding pattern and in the near future be forced with only one of 2 decisions; consolidate or turn in our Charter. Neither decision is acceptable.


What can you do? If you are not attending, can you....

Make 1 meeting a year? 3 meetings a year? A meeting every other month?

Can you assist in just 1 activity?


Your ideas and participation are vital for our growth. Please, do not let “somebody else” do it.



VWB Bob Nygren

Senior Warden


The Lord's Prayer contains only 56 words.
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address contains but 266 words.
The Ten Commandments contain only 297 words.
The Declaration of Independence contains a mere 300 words.
The Master Mason's Obligation has 771 words (more or less depending upon jurisdiction)
But, a recent U.S. Government order setting the price of cabbage, contains 26,911 words !!!


During the years that Spain was under the control of General Franco, Freemasonry was a "crime" and Masons were imprisoned for a term of years equal to the number of Masonic degrees possessed by the "guilty one."


Mason or Non-Mason?

Buzz Aldrin – Astronaut      

Neil Armstrong - Astronaut

Gordon Cooper - Astronaut

Gus Grissom - Astronaut


MASONIC HUMOR: (Feel free to groan and shake your head.)
Q. Why did the crocodile refuse to eat Freemasons?

     A. Because they would lodge in its throat.
Q. What did the Freemason say when he tripped and fell off the drawbridge?

     A. So moat it be.
Q. Where do you find Freemasons?

     A. It depends where you lost them.
Q. Where was King Solomon’s Temple located?

     A. On the side of his head.

Q. Why aren’t women allowed into Freemasonry?

     A. Imagine telling your wife that you had a Worshipful Mistress in the Lodge!



Masonic Quiz

Last month’s question

The WM is out of town for the Stated Communication. The Senior Warden makes a ruling while stepping up to replace the WM. Can the WM override the ruling?   15.18 Appeal from Master’s Decision- The only appeal from a decision of the Master, or of a Warden presiding in the absence of the Master, shall be to the Grand Master or to Grand Lodge


This month:

The Audit Committee must report its findings in full to the Lodge by the 2nd Stated meeting following installation. What is the only exception to this?


Master's Jewel      From the Secretary's Table



Thank you all for the support you showed at the 2015 Turkey Trot. It raised about $1200, after expenses, for the food bank, and took in over 800 pounds of food. Thanks to the support of the Brothers of this Lodge, we were able to have a successful event. We had so many volunteers, with our Brothers and the members of Edmonds Assembly #55, that we ran out of tasks for them to do. Next year we will have to come up with more... 



WB Matt Appel




Sunshine Committee


Help get the word out in case of illness, accident, or other important happenings by contacting us at: sunshine@robertburns243.org




The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.” 


 -Narendra Nath Datta




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