Monday, March 7, 2011

On the subject of dues (or, Beating a Dead Horse)

The Petersham Curling Club charges $390 per year, or $32.50 per month, for membership. This for a casual sporting club that does not make any of the lofty claims our Masonic recruiting materials often do... no 'making good men better,' no 'Curlers give $2 million a day to charity,' no 'George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were curlers too!' But clearly, the passion is there because members pay those dues year after year, and take advantage of all of the privileges that their membership affords them.

My mother lodge's dues, in contrast, work out to $7.30 per month, and that's after they were raised a couple of years ago. After dues went up, we got an angry letter from one Brother who now lives in another part of the country, assuming there had to have been a mistake in his dues bill. When told that no, dues had indeed gone up, he immediately asked for a demit, stating flatly that "$88.00 per year is too much for Blue Lodge dues. I pay less than that to belong to the Shrine."

If my lodge's dues jumped to $390 per year, I'd feel a pinch for sure - but I would find a way to pay it because being a Mason, and participating in my lodge, are that valuable to me. Imagine what your lodge would be like if everyone who belonged placed as much value on their membership as curlers do!