Prior to being elected to serve in the East, I had known that I wanted to bring back the Past Master's and Widows Banquet. I have been a Mason all over the country and have seen the value that events like this provide to a lodge and its members. Like many, my lodge had become consumed with the minutes, communications and degrees and had lost sight of the responsibility we have to care for our widows. In the midst of our other duties, we had forgotten that solemn obligation that we have to the families of our Brethren especially after their passing. In addition, we had forgotten to recognize the devotion of the Past Masters who continually work to support the lodge.
Moving beyond the theme, I was looking for a way to add value for our widows. What would make the evening worthwhile? How can I re-establish a connection between the lodge and these ladies? It starts with communication. Not all widows want to be contacted. Our widows committee reached out and created a list of those who wished to be contacted by the lodge. From there, we made classy invitations on cardstock. Each of the widows received a handwritten note expressing that we would cover the cost of their meal. We stated that even if they could not attend we are here if they ever needed anything.
In the end, the event was a roaring success. Each of the widows spoke to me and felt the value that we had worked to provide. They asked when the next event they could attend would be and how they could participate in the work we were doing as an organization. Its difficult to articulate what that meant to me. I left feeling fulfilled. My advice is to remember who the event are for. Stay focused on the widow's needs and make sure to clearly state the appreciation you have for the Past Masters.