By Donald L. Albert, R.W.G.S.

Brother Marvin A Cunningham, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, is emphasizing "membership" during his term in office. He has established a Membership Committee that is responsible for working with the lodges to regain those who have been suspended for non-payment of dues and to promote new membership. As you can read (click here) in this issue of The Pennsylvania Freemason, that committee already has launched a targeted program called "Operation Rescue/Recovery" and there are valid indications that it is showing results.

The Grand Secretary's Office has been receiving numerous inquiries as to how one can return to membership in our Fraternity. We are very pleased that there has been an increased interest among those who desire to reinstate themselves as members. There are two categories related to restoring one's membership.

The first category is when a Brother who has been suspended for non-payment of dues may be "restored to membership" by the lodge where he was previously a member. That can happen easily when he is within one year of the date of his suspension and pays the dues owed at the time of his suspension. Then, a resolution is to be offered in his lodge, the members are to be given due and timely notice of the petition, and action is then to be taken on the petition at a subsequent stated meeting of the lodge by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at any stated meeting.

The other category consists of two steps for being "restored to good masonic standing and membership." When a brother has been suspended for non-payment of dues for more than one year from the date of his suspension he may be "restored to good Masonic standing" (which does not include restoration to membership) by paying the dues owed at the time of his suspension, and by receiving a majority vote at a stated meeting of his lodge.

After being "restored to good Masonic standing," then a petition for membership may be presented to the lodge along with any fees associated with that petition. When the lodge receives the petition, the procedure for "petition for membership" will be followed.

Anyone who wants to help a former member who was suspended for non-payment of dues to return to Freemasonry should contact his lodge secretary who will be pleased to assist in the effort.