"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Friday, October 14, 2016

GL of Ohio Changes Alcohol Rules

Word is trickling out that the Grand Lodge of Ohio F&AM  has just approved legislation that will permit renters of Masonic facilities to serve alcohol at events. 

Doubtless there will still be restrictions involved, but this will be excellent news for lodges struggling with raising funds to protect and maintain their buildings, especially historic ones. Far too many event planners pass our facilities by because of restrictive alcohol bans, even for outside renters and caterers with proper permits.

Legislative Ballot 2016-1 was passed and is now officially Ohio Masonic law:
Chapter 34, SEC. 34.02 Lodge Prohibitions  
a) A Lodge or Temple Company may rent, lease or sub-lease the public areas of its building, excluding the Fraternal, dedicated areas in which the Lodge Room(s) is located, to any person or persons or to any business entity for rental events at which alcoholic beverages are served. Licensed caterers only approved by the Trustees or Temple Company of the Lodge, shall have full responsibility for obtaining all liquor licenses and necessary insurance coverage for serving and dispensing all alcoholic beverages. Prior to undertaking the provisions to which this regulation applies, the approval of the Grand Master or his designee must be obtained.


  1. Don't get me wrong I don't think there's anything wrong with having a drink or two in moderation. But I don't think it should be allowed in a masonic building even if it isn't masons. There's always somebody who drinks too much sometimes and makes a fool of their self. Then somebody who is critical of masons will see it and say we're a bunch of drunks.

    1. I respectfully disagree with you. We are adults and the vast majority of Masons are responsible. We are capable of self control and self discipline. Besides, if memory serves, Lodges used to be held in Taverns where there was plenty of alcohol available...and there isn't any record, as far as I know, of inappropriate behavior or negative results because of it.

    2. I disagree whole heartedly my brother! Allowing renters to serve alcohol makes our facilities more attractive to potential clients. Reducing the burden on the brotherhood to continually search for other sources of income.

    3. That is a worry not bourne out by evidence anywhere. Sorry, but experience all across the spectrum of Masonic bodies outside of the ones that have an alcohol ban in the US (and it is not universal in all states) have not shown there to be a problem with permitting it.

      Alcohol bans were an artifact of the post-Morgan hysteria and the Baltimore Convention of 1843's many innovations. In 1870 when the GL of Indiana voted to ban alcohol in Masonic buildings, the GL of New York threatened to pull recognition of us, stating, "It is not Masonic law...This new crusade is not warranted by the rules or traditions of Ancient Craft Masonry, and cannot be sustained as lawful Masonic action."

      It flies in the face of our tavern origins, and we even refer to it in the opening and closing of lodge in our ritual as a duty of the JW. he says intemperance, not abstinence.

      For heaven's sake - the largest wine cellar I have ever seen in my life was in the Grand Loge de France's Paris Temple building. And every lodge I have attended in Scotland has closed with the words, "The lodge is closed, and the bar is open." The absurdity of a traditional Masonic festive board with ritualistically described firing toasts being drunk with persimmon punch is mind boggling.

      No my Brother, it needs to go away.

    4. "Hear, Hear!" I raise my cup to that, Brother.

  2. They "say things" anyway. Why should I let idiots dictate policy?

  3. For a fraternity that was founded in a tavern, I've always found it sadly interesting that the fraternity has kept its teetotaling mindset. I am personally of the opinion that the ability for the brethren to have a drink or two after lodge with their brethren will keep them in the building with their brethren instead of leaving with a few other brothers and heading to the watering hole down the street.

  4. Please remember, the new rules are in reference to renting the ball out to parties,the person renting out the hall must use an approved vender that is vetted by the grand lodge, and the vender must have a valid license for alcohol.this takes liability off the local lodge.

  5. As a member of a lodge that has an older building I know that we have lost many potential renters because of the alcohol ban. This is also a chance for people to see the inside of our buildings and start asking questions.

  6. It is time for the GL's to come into the 21st Century. I visited the GL of Ireland last year. There was a bar in the Library on the first floor of the building. No alcohol is served during lodge proceedings.


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