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


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Amity to Publish 'List of Lodges Masonic'

by Christopher Hodapp

As reported here last week, Pantagraph Publishing and Stationery has announced that they will not publish a new edition of the List of Lodges, Masonic for 2021After many decades of printing the List, Pantagraph is finally calling it quits. 

But there is good news to be reported. For several years now, Pantagraph has been working with the brethren who created the Amity smartphone app, knowing this day would come, sooner or later. While the timing of Pantagraph's decision this month came as a surprise, Amity has just announced that they will soon be offering a print-on-demand, up to date book version of the List of Lodges, Masonic. They are expected to start calling for orders in December.

Many rank and file Masons may not know about this indispensable book created annually to identify regular, recognized lodges and grand lodges, but it is used by grand lodge offices and lodge secretaries everywhere as a quick reference. More than 180 grand lodge jurisdictions all over the world are listed, along with the names, numbers and locations of more than 30,000 lodges around the world. It's especially handy to verify lodge names and affiliations when out of state visitors show up for a meeting. It also has included reference charts to check various aspects of membership requirements, certain rules, customs and requirements that can vary from place to place. If you've never seen one, ask your lodge Secretary - he doubtless has a copy.

Amity had already created a new website for Pantagraph to sell the book at www.listoflodgesmasonic.com, as well as an Internet portal to make it simpler for grand lodge secretaries to upload their annual information and any changes. (There are a limited number of 2020 editions of the List still available from that site.)

With this new change and the cooperation of Pantagraph, all of this is a net plus to the fraternity. The old List had info from 180 jurisdictions. The new edition will now contain almost twice as many grand lodges from all over the world and 40,000 lodges, with the up to date information about regularity, recognition and amity included for each one. That makes it of enormous value, not just to traveling Masons and lodge Tylers, but to Masonic researchers everywhere. And of course, all of that information is also included in the Amity smartphone app. 
Amity is available for smartphones at no charge from both the Apple and Android app stores, and there are no subscription fees of any kind.
And one great aspect of the on demand version is that it can be updated instantly as new, revised information comes in from the grand lodges. Each book can reflect the newest info when the print button gets pushed.

As with the old editions, anyone can purchase the List - you don't have to be a secretary to order it. In my more energetic traveling days, my apron case copy would be pretty battered and torn by the shank of the year. I have a second one on my desk at all times, and consult it at least twice a week.

The projected single copy price of the book is expected to be $27. Because of the nature of any print-on-demand book, that single copy price is higher than a mass-produced book of the same size.That $27 single price can be reduced if a larger number of copies is ordered at one time. And remember, this new version has almost twice as many listings now.

One final note to grand lodge secretaries: Because Pantagraph has given its blessing to Amity with this plan, the Amity folks need your help to make the new version of the List as accurate as possible.  Please make use of their online administrative portal to provide Amity with your latest information, just as you would have with Pantagraph each year. As with the old list, it can only be as correct as the information you provide for your jurisdiction.

Michael and Jeremy at Amity sent out an announcement last week with some added details. So I reprint it below.
Dear Brother,

By now you've surely heard the news: Pantagraph Publishing and Stationery will not publish a new edition of the List of Lodges, Masonic for 2021.

I'm happy to share some great news with you, though: Amity will print up-to-date books for any Grand Lodge -- and any Freemason -- that is interested.

Why Amity?
You already know Amity as the world's only digital complement to the List of Lodges. You may not know, however, that we've worked closely with Pantagraph for several years. For example, we operate ListOfLodgesMasonic.com on their behalf, where individual books can be purchased online.

We've also developed Push to Pantagraph, the only way to send updates to Pantagraph electronically. We've disabled this feature based on the recent news, but we'll use the same technology to let you send in your updates for the 2021 book.

A Strong Step Forward
For those who enjoy having a book on their desk to reference -- and for all of the Grand Secretaries who make the book happen -- our 2021 edition has a few features that we know you'll like:
65% More Grand Lodges
Amity's book will cover 306 Regular Grand Lodges around the world... 122 more than found in the List of Lodges.
• Last Minute Updates
Our advanced technology allows you to submit updates as late as January! Our 2021 edition will be the most current book ever printed.
• No More Paper!
For many Grand Lodges, information is updated automatically. For others, keeping Amity up-to-date is as simple as the click of a mouse. Get started today at our administrative portal.
Change is never easy. We're working hard to make this seamless, though, and we look forward to providing the same high caliber of service that you've come to expect from our friends at Pantagraph.


What's Next?
We'll send another email in December, when it's time to place your order. For now, all you need to do is take a look at our portal, where you can update your recognition status with any other Grand Lodge in the world, and see all of the information that we have in our system.
Change is never easy. We're working hard to make this seamless, though, and we look forward to providing the same high caliber of service that you've come to expect from our friends at Pantagraph.


1 comment:

  1. I would love to use Amity's version of the LoLM as I now use Pantagraph's, but you know what I use the LoLM for, Chris -- and it would be fabulous if it was available (at an annual fee, I'm not greedy or grasping) as an online database -- either searchable via a web form, and/or available as an API that could be integrated into custom software like the application I wrote to maintain the TMS database. I already use the USPS ZIP+4 and address normalization API to good effect in that app. Having an LoLM API available would make my job that much easier. My two shekels.



Comments will not appear immediately, so be patient. I am forced to laboriously screen every post because I am constantly bombarded with spam. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers as far as I am concerned. If you post with an unknown or anonymous account, do not expect to see your comment appear.