Hugh Whelpton, 32

Several suggestions will help the new writer generate a personal touch to the trestleboard and so benefit his Lodge.

Writing skills are never part of the criteria for entrance into the line at Blue Lodge. Yet in a few short years, the new Steward or Marshal will be writing each month for the Lodge trestleboard.

When facing that first blank sheet of paper, it is very tempting to switch to Masonic history or copy clever articles from other Masonic publications. This approach, however, lacks the personal touch of a message written specifically about the author’s own Lodge.

The following list of themes is being presented as “starters” for the new writer. They will generate a personal touch to the trestleboard and, hopefully, help your Lodge.

-Describe an activity in the Lodge or a Lodge social event with the theme that if the reader was not there, he missed a good time.

-Mention some people by name who attended the event and what their comments were, or who we missed, or who we would like to see at a future event. Keep it personal; people enjoy seeing their name in print.

-Sketch an upcoming eventwith the key thought being, if the reader is not there, he will really miss a good time.

-Tell of something in your Masonic experiences that was a learning experience, or particularly moving, or that made you feel part of a truly great organization.

-Write optimistically about the quality of your Lodge and your hopes for its future. Mention names, praise the diligent, honor the elder member, introduce the newcomers.

-Note youth groups and the responsibility we have to offer young people stable influences, friendship, and good example. To be complimentary about the quality of our Masonic youth is not only helpful to them, but also reminds the reader that he is part of a truly fine organization.

-Bring up subjects for future Lodge activities as questions-- would you like to have a pot luck? How many would attend an outdoor Degree? Should we have a “Rusty Nail” Degree? How many would contribute to an advertising campaign? Is a widow’s night feasible? The list goes on and on.

-Relate it to the reader when you write about Masonic history, famous Masons, Masonic law or Ritual, and historical anecdotes. Use personal comments preceding it. For example, “While reading such and such, I came across an item which fascinated me, and I though you might be interested.” This type of factual or instructional filler should be a last resort since it does not stimulate interest in your Lodge’s particular activities.

To sum up, remarks that are humorous, relate to particular Lodge activities, to special people, or have positive or optimistic overtones generally interest the reader.

These themes have been presented only as “starters.” Pick any one--or several--and write as best describes your personal feelings. The author’s goal should be to communicate his thoughts in a manner that will generate interest in his own Lodge in particular and in Masonry in general.

Go ahead! It’s easy, fun, and you will really benefit your Lodge!

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