Message from the Association President

District Association President 2021
R∴ H∴ Mike Bolin

To the Particular Lodges of the 12th Masonic District,

    Brethren, this past year of 2020 was very hard on all of us which is why it is so important to unify and come together as a District, more especially, as Masons.  As the 12th Masonic District Association President, I want to personally congratulate all the newly Elected and Appointed Officers of the Lodges in this District for 2021 and I look forward to working with everyone to bring our great District together after this tough year.  I would also like to give a brief run down on some of the events we are having this year and possibly some potential changes.  

As an Association, we have agreed to partner with the 10th Masonic District Association to work the Hospitality Suite at this year’s Grand Lodge Communication.  We had a huge success in this endeavor at our last Hospitality Suite prior to 2020 and would like to continue that partnership with them this coming year.  I would like to encourage all Lodges to participate.

We have also agreed to continue our Annual Beef Raffle, which is in its 6th year, and has generated over $17,690 in total revenue from its inception.  During that same period, the expenses for this raffle were an extremely low amount of $1,494.  Out of our total gross revenue listed above, we distributed $10,614 towards the Grand Master’s Official visits to our District, to assist the District Deputy Grand Masters for their respective years.  We also donated, as an Association, $3,538, collectively, towards the Grand Master’s Charity.  This left us with approximately $2,216 in our reserves, after expenses, for future raffle prizes.  In my personal opinion, this has been a beneficial endeavor for our District and we look forward to continuing as long as we possibly can.

One of the changes for this year, that I would like to implement, with the support of the current District Deputy Grand Master, R∴W∴ Tony Martin of Belleview Lodge No. 95 and the tentative incoming District Deputy Grand Master, W∴ Robert Gillam of Inglis Lodge No. 324, is to start an Annual Social event hosted by the 12th Masonic District Association and possibly the Home Lodge of the current District Deputy, ideally to be held at the Scottish Rite or Shrine Club where all Lodges are welcome to bring their families out for a great meal either as a lunch or dinner.  This event could potentially have games, raffles, prizes, photo booths, etc. There will be more to come when more discussion is had and details are finalized.  This is another opportunity for Brothers to come out to our meetings and be a part of the discussion.

All these above events and more are only possible with the participation of the Brothers from this District so with that, I once again encourage each and every Brother and Lodges to come join us at our Monthly Association meetings, which are held on the second Wednesdays during the months of January thru November and the first Wednesday of December for our Annual Election of Officers.  I also encourage Brothers to come out to our meetings to find out what’s going on in OUR District.  It’s a great place to find out which local Lodges are having a Degree, Monthly Breakfast or Spaghetti Dinner and when they are having them.  The year 2020 demonstrated that a lot of our Lodges, within the District, needed assistance in putting on Degrees due to a lack of attendance due to Pandemic restrictions.  What we noticed was, Brothers from the District coming together to put on Degrees despite these hardships and the decreasing membership in Freemasonry as a whole, and the Lodges in our District able to Initiate, Pass and Raise several Brothers to the Sublime Degree to Master Mason and too my knowledge, EVERY, and do mean every, Lodge in this District came to the assistance of the next when the need arose and for that, I am proud to be a member of this great District.

As always, every organization relies on funds to keep it going, whether by dues, fundraising or contributions/donations.  Our Association is no different. Although our Beef Raffle and other income generating events we have done over the years have generated a small financial reserve fund within the Association to continue these events every year, we would graciously and humbly accept any contribution from any of our Lodges or Individual Brothers if they are so inclined.  As in the past, a great formula to go by, if a Lodge were to contribute to the Association, is $1 per Member, per Lodge but anything is appreciated. This is simply a request and nothing else.  In addition to that, as in the past, we are also requesting a small contribution on behalf of the Lodges for the Hospitality Suite expenses.  Typically we have Lodges contribute $100 to the event but since we are teaming up with District 10, the requested amount might be reduced and those details will soon follow. 

On the Administrative side of things, I am possibly looking at some type of membership incentive program for Lodges who contribute financially to this Association and if you would like to be part of those discussions, again, please come out and join us at our meetings.  Another potential change could possibly be our meeting schedule.  This would more than likely be a By-Laws change that would consist of combining the current Monthly Wednesday meetings and the previous Quarterly Friday social meetings.  There will be more discussions on these two items as the year progresses.

In closing, while this District Association is a great engine for acquiring information, ideas to bring back to your home Lodge and a place where Brothers from throughout the District can come together in an official type setting, “It is not what makes this District nor is it what holds it together.”  It is simply an organization within the District, that is all.  It has no authority to tell a Lodge what to do nor should it. The true glue that holds this District together, is the Brothers and the Lodges within it that come together to accomplish the Work needing to be done.   My Brothers, I’m here to listen to any suggestions on how to accomplish Unity from the position of the Association but, just like a Lodge, not every suggestion comes to fruition.  Along with the District Deputy Grand Master, RW Tony Martin, who is also the Vice-President of this Association, and a few other Brothers from around our District, I am on a Mission.  That Mission is to bring us together!  Please be a part of that.  Support this Association, support the Lodges and support the District.  Help build up this Fraternity for future generations. 

Respectfully and Fraternally,
R∴H∴ Mike Bolin, PM 
President of the 12th Masonic District Association