From the Secretaries Table (July, 2010)

posted May 19, 2015, 3:25 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 19, 2015, 3:25 PM ]

Brethren,

Several items come to mind this month and they apply not only to our membership in general but also, the choir (those who are always participating).
First to the membership.
If you are not participating in the activities here at San Jose Scottish Rite, you are missing a great opportunity for camaraderie and fellowship.  Each month our boring activities (if you consider our required business to be boring) require not much more than 30 minutes and then the stated meeting is adjourned in favor of social efforts with appetizers, attitude adjustments and a great dinner following.  Our Orator gives his message after dinner; introductions are almost non-masonic in that we do not introduce everyone in the room; and whatever speeches or messages deemed necessary, are most often very short.  Our attendance has grown from approximately 50 to 80 over the last several years, but we still know that many of you are not aware of the changes that have taken place.
For the “Choir”:
Thank you for always being here to participate!  You bring the San Jose Scottish Rite Valley to life and it is because of you that we are growing again.  Notice our recent Reunion Class being the largest class in 15 years as a testament of your efforts.
For all:
Unfortunately, the office staff cannot guess about your attendance for meals.  Angela has done a marvelous job in trying to be certain that we give an accurate count for our caterer and that everyone gets fed with costs controlled.  Unfortunately, two things always occur.
Members call to make reservations and do not show up after we have committed to purchase a meal for them and leaving common courtesy behind.
Members assume that there will always be food for them and show up without reservations and expect to be fed, also an example of leaving common courtesy behind.
What is the answer?  Considering that we normally receive reservations for only 45% of our attendees for a dinner by Monday afternoon before stated meeting; and considering the fact that everyone is aware that our stated meeting is always on the second Tuesday of each month, I offer several options for your consideration.
Would you consider a method of billing members who reserve a meal but do not cancel in a timely manner (and what would you propose if he refused to pay)?
Would you consider a different pricing structure for meals served without reservations?
How should we respond to a member who shows up for a meal without a reservation and there is not enough food to serve him?  
What other options might be available?
In my opinion, it is not fair to any member who treats the dinner reservation system properly to penalize him (and all other members of our Valley) for the costs associated with those who have lost the ability to be courteous to their brothers.  The San Jose Scottish Rite is not a restaurant and cannot operate as one!  Our charitable involvement is the Children’s Clinic and the Scholarship program.  The Almoner’s charge is to provide relief to distressed worthy Brothers, but not to pay for his meals at Scottish Rite.  If a Brother needs a meal at Scottish Rite, we will provide one quietly without question.
Please take your time to consider the options I have presented to you and give me your responses as soon as you can.

Sincerely and fraternally,
Robert D. Rowan, Jr. 
General Secretary