Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Balloting

The investigation process took about two months. My petition was originally supposed to be voted on at the June meeting, but one of the officers who was on my investigation committee could not attend the meeting so the vote was postponed until the July 3rd meeting.

Despite all the positive feedback I got from the officers during the investigation process, I was still apprehensive as the day approached when my petition would be voted on. Late in the evening of the 3rd I sent an e-mail to my friend whom I’d originally called about joining to ask the result of the balloting. I checked my e-mail the next morning. No reply. All day Friday went by. No reply. All day Saturday went by. No reply. Now I was starting to wonder. No one likes to deliver bad news by e-mail, so I was starting to wonder if I’d get a letter in the mail saying “Sorry, you were black balled.” And that’s all it takes. A single “no” vote and you don’t get in.

Voting for new members in the lodge is done by secret ballot. Each member casts his “yes” vote with a single white marble-sized ball. There is one black ball in the balloting box and if any member casts his vote using that, the petition is rejected. Period. No questions are asked, and no reason need be given.

Finally, on Sunday I received an e-mail from my friend informing me that my petition had been approved and I had been elected to receive the Entered Apprentice degree, the first of the three degrees of Craft Masonry. I’m scheduled to be initiated on July 17, 2008.

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