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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Massachusetts Traveling Man Masonic Passport


Massachusetts Masons have created a program to encourage brethren to visit other lodges. The Traveling Man Masonic Passport is a great way to keep a personal record of your lodge travels. The passport has blanks that are signed and dated by the visited lodge Master and Secretary, and then embossed with the lodge's seal.

In addition, there is an online component to the program. After registering your passport on the website, you return to the site to report your visits. When you travel to 3, 5 & 7 different lodges you will be awarded a Certificate of Recognition, presented to you in your Mother lodge. When you have traveled to 9 different lodges, you will be awarded a custom "Franklin Key" lapel pin.

UPDATE in 2016:

If you stumbled across this post while searching for the online portion of the passport program, it has unfortunately ended. I received the following message:

The Masonic Passport program...is not operating any longer.

The best I can gather is that it was last operational in mid-2013: http://web.archive.org/web/20130613200601/http://masonicpassport.com/

This project seems to have originally been put together by a volunteer group from an education and training seminar we run annually called the Masonic Leadership Institute (or M.L.I.).

I vaguely recall our Grand Lodge Membership Committee being in charge of some iteration of this program as an engagement/retention initiative when it started, but it's not clear to me when that stopped.

We still encourage our members to visit other lodges and get to meet the brethren in the jurisdiction. The online portion of this program is no longer operational.

Respectfully,

Bro. Christopher D. Rooney
Associate Director
Communications & Development
Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts

7 comments:

  1. I've noted the schizophrenic attitude that many older Masons seem to have about traveling. I constantly hear them tell new guys (especially new EAs and FCs) that it's so much better after their MM because they can get out to other lodges.

    But I've also noted that the bros rarely travel to other lodges within their own district, let alone around the state (or even out of state) -- the exceptions generally being some well-publicized dinner involving lots of beef.

    I like the idea of a passport in a general way, only because I would like to see visiting encouraged. But I'm also concerned that it could quickly turn into a contest to see who has the most stamps - not unlike some of those Masons who seem to have a contest with how many pins they can fit onto their lapels.

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  2. Tom,
    Sure, that's the side effect of anything used as a gimmick to encourage results (pins for learning ritual parts, rewards for increasing membership, bits of tat denoting charitable giving mileposts, Boy Scout Merit Badges, Templar cordons, etc.). They can always turn into a competition for folks who are driven by that. But I usually think that the downside is outweighed by the result. If it becomes a competition to see how many lodges someone can attend, I don't much mind. The effect, even if it's just by osmosis, is new friendships, exposure to different ways of doing things, seeing the huge variety of buildings, and a lot more.

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  3. So no charge? I'm a little concerned about things like this that offer to send you stuff at no charge other than your personal information.

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  4. It's nice to see this available as a record of your visits. A couple years ago I looked into this sort of thing so as to have a record of the visits I hoped to make as I was able. (I was told that our Grand Lodge provided such a thing for free, at one time, but no more...)

    As for the cost, the "order form" web page states this:
    "Please note Passports are $15.00 each."

    Passport books will be mailed out when check is received."

    I am a bit surprised, however, by the numbers of visits chosen for awards as they seem so very easy to accomplish. I am often told that my Masonic journey has been a bit unusual, but in my three short years as a Mason I have been privileged to visit with my brethren in two dozen lodges in nine jurisdictions. I was lucky enough to have a couple of business trips this year, and a wife who was tolerant of my taking time during a couple of vacations as well. Still, it isn't very hard to get around if you have the interest.

    I concur with Chris in the hope that a program like this will inspire some members to get out and meet their brethren, see how things are done elsewhere, and learn more about the Craft. I've mentioned here a few times how Pennsylvania Freemasonry is somewhat unique in the US, and it has been fun to see the differences in various jurisdictions. More over, my travels have always shown me that what we have in common is much more striking and important.

    Richard F. Muth
    Parian Lodge No. 662
    Beaver Falls, PA

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a new member Traveling Man Masonic passport given to me by my love upon completion of my fellow craft I would like to register it as I will have 3 large visits by the end of next week can you help me

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    Replies
    1. Hmm. It has been six years since I posted this and the website has alas vanished. So I don't know if the online component is still alive anywhere, just with a different address. I'll see what I can dig up.

      Delete
    2. Joseph, the online part apparently died in 2013. I just updated the post with information from Grand Lodge. But just because it did, don't let that stop you from traveling!

      Delete

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