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Cigar hour?

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Poll Question: Should 'drinks' be served during fellowship meals before meetings?
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7 [36.84%]
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    Posted: December/22/2014 at 8:38pm
In the U.S., I haven't heard of any sort of drinks being served before or after stated meetings. This isn't uncommon from what I understand in Europe. What do you think?

I personally see nothing wrong with a glass or two of wine, brandy/cognac or bourbon. I'm not saying bust out the keg or take shots but some people bond better with others with a little icebreaker drink to help them relax. Maybe have one person serve it and limit to one or two only during the half hour to one hour timeframe that any pre-meeting meals are served. Most people drink anyways and it shouldn't be frowned upon in moderation and others shouldn't judge another for that. It's not church; it's gentlemen having fellowship together in a lodge. I have noticed some people are a bit uptight and it may ease that a bit.

I don't know, just a thought I wanted others opinions on. Not trying to reinvent the wheel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 8:05am
Very interesting question you have put there, I guess the underlying discussion is if we make it easier or harder to guard against intemperance and excess, and does the libations before the meeting aid this in either direction?
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DISCLAIMER: These are my comments, and mine alone - they do not necessarily apply to any group to which I belong!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 8:35am
I think it could aid it in that more people may participate, it would also be a nice icebreaker maybe. Like I said, nothing crazy like getting drunk but just a drink or 2. Most guys bond under the guise of a drink often historically in my opinion. Thanks for your reply.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anthony660 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 12:54pm
We have a social hour after most of our meetings. There is nothing wrong with a drink with a brother. Remember that we are taught temperance in the 1st degree; and as adults we should be able to maintain ourselves.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 1:15pm
Exactly my point my friend. We are proven adults. Its not church but a gentlemens fraternity based on members that are well vouched for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 2:22pm
At the end of the day, it probably would never happen and that's ok. I will still join all meetings and take in the full experience. Its just a thought.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 2:40pm
After the meeting would be ok with me ...but not before.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 3:10pm
That'd be nice too. Nothing wrong with that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2014 at 4:45pm
Unhappily, nearly all lodge buildings in the USA are DRY DRY DRY! In nearly every other country of the world, vinuous/malt/spirituous beverages are served to the brothers. Prior to the disaster of prohibition, alcohol was served in lodges all over the USA. In pioneer times, the jug was passed around.

In many lodges, after the meeting is concluded, the brothers will adjourn to a nearby tavern ,and enjoy conversation and the moderate use of alcohol. Our fraternity is structured so that no one will take any substance to intemperance or excess. This admonition applies before lodge, during lodge, after lodge, and throughout our lives.

I pray that Freemasonry will return to the splendid tradition of the moderate use of alcohol in our festive halls, and in all of our refreshments. We are not children.

If you wish to see the return of alcohol, I suggest you approach your lodge, and your Grand Lodge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/24/2014 at 9:28am
Massachusetts has rules regarding alcohol: no Masonic Building may have a permanent bar and no alcohol before a meeting, I've raised a glass with three Grand Masters after meetings. Many of us look forward to this bonding time with as much anticipation as our meetings (possibly more).

We have had issues with one particular brother who could not subdue his passions. He is an alcoholic and needs help. I and others have offered to help but in the end, he must help himself. His disease has led him to lose several jobs and he was suspended for non payment of dues. He still occasionally tries to come to meetings. Recently, Grand Lodge requested that all Tylers check dues cards before each meeting and he was not allowed into a lodge meeting. I hope this helps him to understand that he does need help.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/24/2014 at 10:18am
Hello Brother Windrider,
That would be fair enough after meetings maybe. As you said, it would be something to look forward to as a nice bonding time. As for the gentleman with the alcohol problem, that will always  be the case for some men, even good men. It has unfortunately weeded him out it sounds like. At least until he can get better. I wish him the best and hopefully he can continue his journey east. 
I don't however, see that as a reason to not participate in an after/before lodge 'cigar hour' or 'bourbon hour', whatever you want to call it. Some people can't subdue their passions in other ways such as overeating. It would be like having to serve salad and ice water for the pre-meals to not tempt the overweight brothers or those with high BP/cholesterol.  I know that overeating isn't as taboo as alcohol but it is similar in that it does effect their lives negatively if they do overindulge. Whether overeating or over drinking or any other vice or superfluities we encounter.
 
Great post and again, I hope the best for your friend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/24/2014 at 8:39pm
I made a mistake in my vote. I accidentally voted NO, when I meant to vote YES. I am 1000% in favor of the moderate use of alcohol in our lodge buildings, BEFORE and AFTER meetings. And we could open the lodge building on weekends, and have a billiard table, and wide-screen TV, etc.
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/25/2014 at 11:42am
That sounds like a plan. Again, I think more people would participate. It is based around spiritual growth firstly but also the social part of Freemasonry is very important too. I barely know 99% of the fellows from my lodge since we eat for half an hour before and then basically linger around afterwards for maybe 15 minutes or so. More social interaction could also possibly bring about more community service ideas and participation in that as well. It may also encourage more family get together events too so that our families could get involved and see what this is all about.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/25/2014 at 1:02pm
Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:

Hello Brother Windrider,
That would be fair enough after meetings maybe. As you said, it would be something to look forward to as a nice bonding time. As for the gentleman with the alcohol problem, that will always  be the case for some men, even good men. It has unfortunately weeded him out it sounds like. At least until he can get better. I wish him the best and hopefully he can continue his journey east. 
I don't however, see that as a reason to not participate in an after/before lodge 'cigar hour' or 'bourbon hour', whatever you want to call it. Some people can't subdue their passions in other ways such as overeating. It would be like having to serve salad and ice water for the pre-meals to not tempt the overweight brothers or those with high BP/cholesterol.  I know that overeating isn't as taboo as alcohol but it is similar in that it does effect their lives negatively if they do overindulge. Whether overeating or over drinking or any other vice or superfluities we encounter.
 
Great post and again, I hope the best for your friend.

I did not make myself clear it seems. We continue to have our after meeting gatherings in the game room with cigars and libations. I personally consider it an indispensable part of our culture as a lodge. I've visited many lodges and found those that gather after the meeting to be the most fun. 

One recent evening our Senior Deacon, a couple of brothers from an other lodge in the building, myself and our Treasurer were enjoying some time together in the game room when the Senior Deacon leaned back, smiled and said, "I love this." We knew what he meant and agreed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/25/2014 at 5:04pm
I'm tracking now lol. That's great you guys do that. I wish it was more prevalent here in the Midwest. That's ok if it's not, I don't want to seem like a sot who only thinks about drinking but most people would learn to appreciate it and realize it's not a bad thing if the 'no drinking' rules were lifted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WBScott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/26/2014 at 11:33am
Bro Lewey, let me start off by saying that I have no objection to alcohol (in moderation of course!). There is almost always at least one bottle of wine in the fridge at our house along with Baileys and Rum Chata. Personally, I enjoy single malt scotch. (No, its not in the fridge!)

But I see that you are an Entered Apprentice who has only been in the Craft for about 4 months. If alcohol is not allowed in your meeting hall, the only way to change that is to change your Grand Lodge bylaws. Good luck with that! You are dealing with an organization who's traditions and customs that in many cases go back hundreds of years. 

The Grand Lodge of Missouri was chartered in 1821 and it wasn't until last year that alcohol was even allowed in a Masonic hall for any reason. There are a lot of smaller lodges that wanted to rent out their dining rooms for parties and receptions and the like in order to help defray the cost of running the lodge but they were unable to do so if alcohol was going to be served at the event. Of course alcohol can not be served in conjunction with any formal Masonic event, but after nearly 200 years, we can finally bring alcohol into the building for unrelated events. 

That being said, it is not uncommon at all for some of the brothers to adjourn to a nearby "public house" down the street from the lodge after we have concluded our business for the evening and yes, I have been known to join them. I guess it has been ingrained in us for so long that it is just easier to keep the "means of refreshment" out of the lodge altogether that we don't even think about it. Now if we were to amend out lodge's bylaws to prohibit smoking in the dining room, then we would have a real fight on our hands!


Edited by WBScott - December/26/2014 at 4:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLewey44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/27/2014 at 9:07am
PM Scott, thank you for the reply. I completely understand what you are saying. Honestly, it doesn't matter one way or another to me if drinks are served but it's more out of curiosity on how most people feel on the matter. I will still continue to attend either way. I am new for sure and I am trying to take all this in and just wondering what the majority thinks about the issue.
 
I see no problem with alcohol in moderation but if the GL feels it is a distraction, then it probably would be. Smoking in the building....no way. I don't even smoke cigars or cigarettes but I would maybe partake in a cigar and cognac with the group on occasion. Big smile 
 
I myself will sip on a cognac or whisky every now and then.  Nothing wrong with that for sure!
 
Thanks again for the reply, sir. Have a great weekend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CanadianPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 10:13am
In both jurisdictions in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador a bar is available in the lodge building but must be closed when the lodge is open.  In my experience it is only open before a meeting if there is a dinner being served then but is usually opened after the meeting for a period of 'harmony'. It is fortunate that both jurisdictions agree on this as in the St. John's area lodges under both jurisdictions meet in the mutually-owned Freemasons' Hall!

In over 25 years in the Craft I have never heard of an instance of this privilege being abused.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WBScott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2014 at 5:13am
Bro Paul,

This is also the case in Quebec. My wife and I were in QC this past September and I was fortunate to be present at the inaugural meeting of Sapientia Lodge #151. After the meeting, we retired to the fellowship hall and enjoyed a light meal that also included beer and wine. 

What a wonderful experience it was to be able to attend a lodge in another country, but also to do it in another language!

EDIT: Tim Hortons is going to be opening up several locations in the St. Louis area next year. I can't wait! I am drinking my coffee out of my Tim Hortons insulated travel mug as we speak!


Edited by WBScott - December/30/2014 at 7:59am
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Bro. Scott;

A 'double-double', I presume?
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Mais oui mon frere!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aogop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2015 at 4:31pm
WA State,by Code allows each lodge to determine it's own alcohol policy. The only restraint being, it is not to be served in the lodge room itself. We have beer and wine available with our dinners, as well as available after meetings during fellowship. I will, on occasion bring a bottle of scotch for after the meeting, but hard alcohol isn't something we normally provide.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/28/2015 at 4:50pm
Four posts from this thread have been moved to another thread in the Masonic discussion forum titled "religious brethren have the say."


Edited by Adept? - March/30/2015 at 6:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2015 at 12:10pm

There are other things to consider aside from the personal convictions some members may have because of religious beliefs concerning consumption of alcohol.

  • ·         What are the Grand Lodge rules and regulations?
  • ·         If allowed by the Grand Lodge what are the licensing requirements and cost?

Club: Private clubs, such as country clubs, golf clubs, and so on, are eligible for a separate license allowing them to serve alcohol to their members. Some states only allow beer and wine in clubs, but others allow for all liquor.

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/obtaining-a-liquor-license-for-your-bar.html

  • ·         Liquor Liability insurance would also be required and would add an additional cost.
  • ·         The cost of alcoholic beverages is higher that coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
  • ·         The fact that everyone is a Master Mason, does not mean that someone will not over indulge. 

o   How would you monitor control the number of drinks someone has?

o   The reality is that the possibility of someone saying or doing something that could disrupt the peace and harmony of the Lodge is increased if alcohol is involved.

o   The argument is often made that early Lodges met in pubs and alcohol was served, but it was a different time, men rode horses and walked in those days.  Now people drive and the DUI laws are strict.

I am not a prude and have many Master Mason friends that are not either who drink alcohol, but do not consider the Lodge to be an appropriate place for it to take place.

Finally, it is not unmasonic to oppose alcohol in the Lodge for whatever reason.   The membership of most lodges is usually somewhat homogeneous and conversation and refreshments at the Lodge after a meeting will always reflect that. 



Edited by YES - March/30/2015 at 12:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2015 at 12:32pm
Originally posted by YES YES wrote:

First, I want to point out that we are only hearing one side of the story.

Second, there are other things to consider aside from the personal convictions some members may have because of religious beliefs concerning consumption of alcohol.

  • ·         What are the Grand Lodge rules and regulations?
  • ·         If allowed by the Grand Lodge what are the licensing requirements and cost?

Club: Private clubs, such as country clubs, golf clubs, and so on, are eligible for a separate license allowing them to serve alcohol to their members. Some states only allow beer and wine in clubs, but others allow for all liquor.

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/obtaining-a-liquor-license-for-your-bar.html

  • ·         Liquor Liability insurance would also be required and would add an additional cost.
  • ·         The cost of alcoholic beverages is higher that coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
  • ·         The fact that everyone is a Master Mason, does not mean that someone will not over indulge. 

o   How would you monitor control the number of drinks someone has?

o   The reality is that the possibility of someone saying or doing something that could disrupt the peace and harmony of the Lodge is increased if alcohol is involved.

o   The argument is often made that early Lodges met in pubs and alcohol was served, but it was a different time, men rode horses and walked in those days.  Now people drive and the DUI laws are strict.

I am not a prude and have many Master Mason friends that are not either who drink alcohol, but do not consider the Lodge to be an appropriate place for it to take place.

Finally, it is not unmasonic to oppose alcohol in the Lodge for whatever reason.   The membership of most lodges is usually somewhat homogeneous and conversation and refreshments at the Lodge after a meeting will always reflect that. 


I have to agree with Bro. Yes' points. Having been involved in Masonic Forums for eight years now, these "alcohol in lodge" threads are always rearing their heads. I have also had experiences with alcohol in lodge buildings in my geographic area and outside of it. In my area, regular use of alcohol in lodge buildings has never worked out; in other geographic areas, there do not seem to be any problems with it. That is why I have always advocated that alcohol in lodge buildings should be left up to the individual grand lodges  lodges. They are the ones who are best aware of whether it will work out or not.  Where it has not worked out, it has never been due to religious issues, in my experience. 

I am not a tea-totaler and before I had some health issues, I enjoyed kicking back with a few beers or what have you as much as anyone else. But I never could see those who all but insist on alcohol in lodges, otherwise, Masonry will go down the tubes, in their view. In some instances, just the opposite is true. I just can't see how the consumption of alcohol in lodge buildings should be an issue as to whether Masons will participate in lodge or not. Another tempest in a teapot as far as I'm concerned.


Edited by droche - March/30/2015 at 12:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2015 at 5:51pm
Carification to my post above: It should have read that  I advocate policies about alcohol in lodge buildings be left to grand lodges and individual lodges.
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What is a tempest in a tea pot ?
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Joined: August/30/2013
Location: Maine
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2015 at 11:51pm
Tempest in a teapot (American English), or storm in a teacup (British English), is an idiom meaning a small event that has been exaggerated out of proportion.
"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."
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Anubicdarque View Drop Down
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Joined: May/07/2015
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anubicdarque Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2015 at 10:17am
In my lodge, we don't have a bar, but what we do is after the meeting we have a festive board. On the tables where we sit to eat, we place cans of beer and various soft drinks. These are paid for by the lodge (the food is supplied by the members of the lodge). As part of the festive boards we also have various toasts with your choice of beer or soft drink, or indeed coffee or tea. So we are a wet lodge, but we can't sell grog, as that requires a licence. So we give it away.
Elizabeth Lodge #200, AFAM South Australia and the Northern Territory.
St George Lodge, #33, FAM Utah
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