Bro. Ronald S. Townsend, Jr.
With the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania keeping up with the times, they instituted a one day class program a little over 5 years ago. This was done to afford men with busy schedules a chance to join our great Fraternity and to also increase our membership. As many of you well know, this was met with resistance from some of the membership and still is to this day. It was said that we wouldn’t get quality members or they wouldn’t get as much out of the degrees as if you went through the traditional way. Being one of those one day wonders and talking to other Brethren that have joined in both ways, we don’t learn much from it other than the experience. Mostly all will attest that it was a blur. Yes, I now regret not joining in the traditional way because of missing out on that experience. But my experience after joining and becoming involved has been life changing!
You see, it’s not how we were made a Mason that counts; it’s what we do after we become one. I personally know of six Brothers that were raised in the one day class format and are now Past Masters or are incoming Worshipful Masters. That’s from just 2 Lodges in our District alone. I’m sure there are many more out there.
For the naysayers, take all newly raised Brothers, no matter how they were initiated into the Craft, nurture them, guide them and mentor them. All too often we let new members slip through the cracks. We all took the same oath and obligation. So instead of chastising how a Brother was raised, take him under your wing and show him the way. Someday you might be shaking the hand of a Worshipful Master that you mentored.
Whether you are a “Traditional” or a “One Day” Mason, it’s not how you were raised, it’s what you do with it afterwards.
Please share your experiences as a One Day Class candidate in the comments. Also, if you are opposed to the One Day Classes, we want to hear from you too.
Bro. Ronald S. Townsend, Jr. is incoming Worshipful Master at Apollo Lodge # 437. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.