|It's not a secret that membership
has been the number one priority and the biggest challenge of Masonry and the Shrine of North America in recent
years. Shriners everywhere are being encouraged to go back to their Masonic roots, re-establish personal relationships
with their local Lodges and work together to turn the current membership trend around for both organizations.
"The Shrine has known for years that something has to be done to increase its membership," said Imperial
Membership Chairman, Nick Thomas. "Part of the challenge is that our Temples and Lodges are not working together.
It's a Masonic issue, just as much as a Shrine issue. The time has come to join forces and really make a difference.
Remember, all Master Masons are now eligible to go directly into the Shrine."
To accomplish the feat of bringing in 20,000 new Shriners in one year, Temples, Clubs, Units and Nobles throughout
North America must take their commitment to membership to the next level. They must also establish membership programs
with Lodges in their respective areas. Only by having a solid relationship between the two organizations and working
together can the membership trend truly be reversed.
Although this may seem like a large number, when it's broken down between 191 Temples and thousands of Clubs and
Units, 20,000 new Shrine Masons in one year becomes quite achievable. However, Shriners are reminded to bring in
these new Masons in accordance with the requirements and regulations of their respective Grand Lodges.
"In the state of Ohio alone, nearly 8,000 men were initiated into Masonry in one day last April," said
Imperial Membership Chairman Nick Thomas. "There's no reason why — with all the Temples, Clubs and Units throughout
North America working with the many local Lodges — we can't bring in 20,000 in 398 days." To make "The
Year of the Shrine Mason" even more meaningful, a limited edition lapel pin (shown left) was designed and
will be given to every new Noble and every first line signer during "The Year of the Shrine Mason," to
commemorate this history-making event.
Each Temple will be given a quota to reach depending on its size. Temples can then assign a certain percentage
of that quota to each of their Clubs, Units, appointments and general Nobility. In this way, the responsibility
for the 20,000 new Shrine Masons gets spread out and becomes an attainable, manageable goal.
With thousands of new Masons already being raised in one-day classes and in the traditional manner, as well as
the millions of friends, neighbors and co-workers who would make great additions to Masonry, each Noble should
have no problem doing his part to reach this goal and make "The Year of the Shrine Mason" the success
we all know it can be.