‘Without Freemasonry, there would be no Masonic halls and without Masonic halls, there would be no Freemasonry’; a sentiment often expressed by the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. Expressed differently and in purely commercial terms; those Freemasons who meet at a particular Masonic hall own it and are responsible for its upkeep, improvement and marketing. Each member invests in the success of the business through a per capita fee in their membership subscription. The greater the revenue generated through sales, the less reliance there is on the per capita charge to members. It is in the general interest of all members to promote the hall and support its activities.
Functions other than lodge meetings are a great way to generate income and assist in financing the running of the hall. Ladies evenings, luncheons, coffee mornings, social evenings, wedding receptions, conferences – the list can be almost endless. The more profitable for the hall the event is, the less reliance there is on subscription fees for raising the required maintenance costs. It is in the general interest of every lodge and individual member to increase the hall’s turnover.
Lodges and chapters considering holding a social function should first consider using their Masonic hall. It is sound business sense. In owning a restaurant or function suite, it would be commercial suicide to direct business away from your own premises and line the pockets of competitors. The Masonic hall should be the primary venue for Masonic and related functions.
The Masonic hall in Blackpool is an ideal venue for many functions; a spacious and comfortable lounge bar furnished with a quality sound system and dance floor, friendly and helpful staff, two airy and welcoming dining areas, excellent catering at reasonable prices courtesy of Dahlia’s Kitchen and, most importantly very affordable drinks prices, all situated in a central and accessible location.
A Masonic hall is not just a gathering point for lodge meetings or practise nights. It is at the heart of Freemasonry. It is often the first impression that a prospective candidate has of Freemasonry. A thriving and inviting hall is a major attraction to a would-be Mason. Comfortable and attractive surroundings are pivotal in securing and retaining new members. Lodges and members who do not support their hall are less likely to attract new members to their lodge and should not expect the more enthusiastic subscribers to direct potential candidates in their direction.
Some lodges and chapters are staunch supporters of their hall, donating sizeable sums to the building fund on a regular basis, whilst a few appear to take the view that the hall should function without any contribution from them, with little consideration that, without the hall, their lodge would fail to function. The relationship between lodge and hall is a two-way process; if a lodge benefits the hall, the hall will benefit the lodge.
There is no doubt that the Provincial Grand Master’s message is clear and accurate, ‘Without Freemasonry, there would be no Masonic halls and without Masonic halls there would be no Freemasonry’. It is a partnership that we should all cherish and encourage.