Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
Grand Master Peter Sellars promised to write a DMC message for every month of his term. He has done so. Below you will find his latest message.
The message is a very serious one – probably the most serious of his term. Here we are in the latter half of March 2017 and there are still 16 of our Lodges that have NOT turned in their annual reports for 2016 nor paid their per capita fees. This flies in the face of our Codes, and raises a big red flag about the viability of those 16 Lodges. What is particularly distressing is that all these Lodges were given extra time by the Grand Secretary to complete the task, and the Grand Master wrote to each individually and provided a grace period till March 28 (well beyond the deadline imposed by the Codes) to complete the job. He also offered help and assistance to any Lodge that needed it. To this date, however, there are still SIXTEEN Lodges that have not complied.
They have until March 28 to do so – eleven days from today. If they have not submitted their 2016 reports and paid their per capita fees by March 28, the Grand Master will have no choice but to conclude that they are out of compliance with the Codes and are no longer real or functioning Lodges. He will suspend them. As a suspended Lodge, the Grand Master has the authority to take their charters, change the locks, seize their assets, acquire their bank accounts, and take over their Lodge Halls, fixtures and furniture.
Please review the list of 16 Lodges below. If you are one of those Lodges (or if you know a member of one of those 16 Lodges) please take action in the next eleven days. Failure to do so will have undesirable consequences.
F – L – T
Past Grand Master
GRAND MASTER’S MESSAGE
Greetings Brothers And Sisters!
Well, time seems to not slow down, as my term has only two months remaining. Last May, I set out to ensure I would not hand lodges over to my successor who were delinquent in their per capita reports and payments to the Grand Lodge (those lodges that had sent nothing). Upon my taking this office of Grand Master, I had five delinquent lodges handed to me. This was May of 2016, meaning these lodges were over three months late! This is the reality of the condition of many of our lodges. The DMC is here to help and guide and to encourage. I am asking all of you who read this message to assist the lodge list below by making contact.
As of March 16, 2017, we have 16 lodges that are late. By code, per capita reports are due to the Grand Lodge by February 15th. As Grand Master, I have a responsibility to this Order to ensure the rules and regulations of this Order are followed. Brothers and Sisters, I have no alternative, but to suspend the charters of the following lodges, if they fail to respond the letter that was sent to them, stating they had a “grace” period until March 28, 2017, to send in their per capita reports. They shall still be late, but I hoped appealing to these lodges by letter would work.
Keep in mind, every District Deputy Grand Master, with a delinquent lodge in their respective districts, was given written notice to contact these lodges as well. In my opening speech to Grand Lodge last May, I wrote and stated, that I expected each lodge to submit its per capita reports on time. I have sent letters on more than several occasions with the same messages.
This is one example of a tough situation that a Grand Master must decide when a lodge is no longer in good standing and has failed to meet the very basic of code requirements. When 104 other lodges have met the requirement by this date, sixteen lodges have not.
This is my last appeal, to all of you. If you recognize a lodge on this list that is worth saving, then reach out to that lodge. Make an offer to assist them with filling out their per capita report, as I have on more than one occasion.
How can we expect membership matters to be going well in these lodges? How can we expect financial bookkeeping to be occurring in these lodges? How do we even know these lodges are still operating? How could they be operating?!
The Grand Secretary, by code, must close out his books by the end of March. He must tally the number of members and the financial members of each lodge and send these certified amounts to the Sovereign Grand Lodge. Do we expect him to fudge the numbers or guess the numbers? How is he supposed to get those numbers and submit them correctly as possible to the Sovereign Grand Lodge? You tell me!
I have one way he can submit correct numbers. That is to suspend any lodge that is remaining on this list by March 28, 2017. I shall even ready my crew to travel to these lodges and open the locks and empty the contents of the entire building, which can be done in a few hours with my crew. I shall have the attorneys draft letters to seize the banks accounts and take over the property. Believe me, I have such a capable crew. This is a promise to all of you, as I made on May 17, 2016, when I stated my expectations of every lodge. This is the time to take this situation very seriously. Step up and take responsibility.
For now, any lodge on this list is not in good standing and shall not be allowed to attend sessions, etc. Look at this list! Do you see any lodges worth saving? If you do, help them out. Teach the members how to read the per capita reports and help them fill these reports out and mail them to the Grand Lodge office.
Of all the messages this year, I believe this one has been the most difficult one for me to write.
In Friendship, Love, & Truth,
Peter V. Sellars
STOCKTON LODGE NO. 11
YREKA LODGE NO. 19
PETALUMA LODGE NO. 30
TRUE FELLOWSHIP LODGE NO. 52
EUCLID LODGE NO. 68
FRENCH GULCH LODGE NO. 75
OLIVE LODGE NO. 81
PROGRESSIVE LODGE NO. 134
GEYSERVILLE LODGE NO. 176
UPPER LAKE LODGE NO. 241
FARMINGTON LODGE NO. 296
SPRING VALLEY LODGE NO. 316
GABLILAN LODGE NO. 372
ROMERO LODGE NO. 413
TAFT LODGE NO. 426
HUGHSON LODGE NO. 461