I met with the gentlemen assigned to conduct my interview last night, all of them were very friendly and addressed all questions that my wife and I had, they also left me plenty of reading material as well as the history of the lodge that I am trying to join (Lee #209). I will be voted on Nov. 14th and even thou the issue is out of my hands as of now, I feel terribly nervous, I heard horror stories of folks who thought had done great during the interview only to find out that they were black balled shortly after. One of the gentleman explained that even if the vote came back unfavorable, that the lodge could hold a re-ballot on the spot. has anyone ever seen this? where a vote comes back negative and then favorable immediately afterwards. I know im probably torturing myself way too much. It’s just that I’ve been wanting this for quite some time now and being (hopefully) the first mason in my family, I have no one to turn to.
thank you all very much for your continuing support and kind words.
German - Let me ask you this, have you been to the lodge for any public events or for dinner with the members? I see this question quite a lot, not only here but on on other boards I am on and in person. I can speak from personal experience on this, after I submitted my petition, I attended everything I was invited to ad this included not only the public events but also the regular dinners before meetings. This showed the members that I was serious and it gave them a chance to get to know me, beyond just the members of the investigating committee. I did the same thing with a candidate that a brother from a nearby lodge sent my way. I invited him to come to everything on our schedule. He is now an Entered Apprentice and working on his proficiency.
As to your question about an unfavorable vote. Yes, it does happen. Whether the lodge can re vote, depends on the rules in Grand Lodge. Here in NY, the Master can destroy the ballot and call another vote. He can do this I believe 2 times.
Thank you very much! The members of the IC told me about an open house event that unfortunately took place last month. I have not been invited to any of the dinners, and I do not want to invite myself. I have been to the lodge 3 times and met a total of 6 members but never during a meeting night, as I am new to freemasonry, I don’t yet know what is appropiate and what is not, and really don’t want to do anything to upset these gentlemen.
Your best bet is to ask what you can attend. The reason I mention dinner on meeting noght is because my lodge dines before the meeting and we have drinks/finger foods prior to the meal and then dinner so there is lots of time to mingle and chat. You are perfectly safe in asking if there are things you can attend.
We were all met with resistance in the beginning. Do not fret on the black ball situation too much, as for me and many of the folks I know consider the vote a true responsibility that deserves respect. I would only black ball someone if I new he was a con or a cheat or I was sure he knowingly and wittingly brought harm to others in some way. I can only speak for me but I have not seen it happen yet.
My local lodge met last night, and they were kind enough to invite me to their pre-meeting dinner, I met some new brothers, and talk to some that I already knew. At the end of the dinner one of the men that signed my petition told me to just go home and “relax” while they voted on it…. needless to say that I did not do very much “relaxing”. 2 hrs later I got a call from my father-in law telling me that my petition was accepted! I am thrilled and can’t wait to start my degree work! I want to thank everyone in this forum that has helped me and answered my questions.
Thank you all!
When the report of the IC is favorable, and the candidate is of good moral character, the ballot is usually just a formality. I am delighted to hear that your vote was favorable. One of the tasks of the IC, is to determine the candidate’s overall fitness for the fraternity. If the candidate has a fault that is a “deal-breaker”, the petition will usually be rejected, without a vote.
If a ballot occurs, and a black “cube” is found, the usual procedure is to do the ballot a second time. Maybe someone made a mistake, and accidentally dropped a black “cube”. If the ballot is done over, and a black cube is found, then the candidate is rejected.