Freemasonry (rightly) prides itself on its universality and diversity.
Throughout the world, Freemasonry is being practised… and being practised in the many languages, dialects, and accents of its membership.
“Practising” Freemasonry, to most Freemasons, will draw-to-mind ritual, which indeed is practised in the many languages, dialects, and accents of its membership.
[Author’s Note: One of this author’s favourite masonic memories is hearing masonic ritual performed in Spanish, during a trip to Puerto Vallarta.]
However, practising Freemasonry also means practising those administrative tasks that allow a masonic lodge to efficiently and effectively function.
Chief amongst these administrative tasks is timely and regular communication between lodge administration (such as the lodge secretary) and membership, particularly the publication and distribution of a summons or trestle-board.
When we (meaning Freemasons) discuss Freemasonry’s universality and diversity, it is usually within the context of the number of lodges and masonic organisations that exist throughout the world.
However, that universality and diversity is also found within an individual lodge or masonic organisation. Brothers of diverse backgrounds, of diverse belief’s, and of diverse native languages all gather within the body of a lodge to practice Freemasonry.
The above caused the author to think: since many masonic lodges have memberships with diverse native languages, to what extent do lodges (or other masonic organisations) communicate with this diversity in mind.
For example, how many masonic lodges publish a summons or trestle-board in multiple languages?
We, at Square & Compass Promotions, polled this question on our YouTube Channel and on Twitter (now “X”).
On YouTube, four (4) responded in the negative and one (1) responded in the positive.
On Twitter, two (2) responded in the negative and zero (0) responded in the positive.
As we have reported on Square & Compass Promotions…you may notice an increase in French Language messaging both on our social media and in our e-mail blasts, as well as an attempt to increase voices of diverse groups (such as UGLE participating in London’s Pride parade and our recent trip to a special day for local First Nations in Windsor, and Order of Women Freemasons) and more accessibility by (for example) use of ALT text. Freemasonry is diverse, and Square & Compass intends to examine and promote that diversity!
One of this author’s lodges has also recently began including communication in both (Canadian) official languages as a way to be inclusive of the many native french speaking Brethren within the Lodge.
In Canada, where we have two official languages, the potential benefits of communicating with official languages is obvious, but this question goes beyond official languages.
To what extent does communicating in multiple languages create a more welcoming environment for membership?
To what extent will communicating in multiple languages encourage attendance and participation from a diverse membership?
We at Square & Compass don’t have all of the answers…but we think these are worthwhile questions to ask!
All opinions expressed are those of Square & Compass Promotions and the guest(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Windsor Masonic Temple and or any masonic organisation.
Does your masonic lodge or organisation communicate in multiple languages-such as publishing a summons or trestle-board in multiple languages? If so, let us know by replying to this story or contacting us via social media.
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