By: Ed Mortensen, Secretary
It is argued that the backbone of a Lodge isn’t the Worshipful Master, who typically serves for only one year, but is instead the Secretary and Treasurer of the Lodge. Each is generally elected to serve year after year.
The primary duty of the Secretary is to keep the Lodge minutes and add them to the Trestleboard. The Trestleboard is a monthly newsletter written by the Secretary and Master that contains the calendar of upcoming events, the agenda for the monthly business meeting, handouts for those meetings, the reports of committees, and an educational feature.
The Secretary also collects the money from the members and keeps a log of all the money brought in. That would be money for dues, Steward’s dinners, the money from the sale of Monitors, Ciphers, and Lectures, and any other income. Once collected, the money is turned over to the Treasurer, who issues a receipt for that money.
Toward the end of each year, the Secretary sends out dues notices requesting dues from each member. When the dues come in, the Secretary tracks the money and issues dues cards, which are a membership card for the Lodge that shows the member in good standing for the following calendar year.
The Secretary also works with the Marshall to send out all communications of the Lodge to members and prospective members. This includes summonses communications from the Master and reminders for upcoming events.
The Secretary is considered the backbone of the Lodge because he is typically a Past Master and has a strong working knowledge of Masonry.
There is a popular joke that the Secretary is who actually runs the Lodge. In part, this is true since he serves in the background and helps establish continuity between serving Masters.
The other multi-year serving office is that of the Treasurer.
The Treasurer receives the money due to the Lodge from the Secretary and signs for it. He deposits that money and acts as the accountant of the Lodge.
The Treasurer issues checks on behalf of the Lodge and Master, being one of the two required signers on the checking account.
The annual budget is authored, in part, by the Treasurer who tracks spending and income against the budget. He reconciles the checkbook against the account statements and reports on the progress of the income, spending, and budget to the Lodge each quarter, showing the current standing of the budget and projects income and spending for the remainder of the year.
The Treasurer is also typically a Past Master and helps with continuity with the Secretary.