Document TitleSTB-85-05 OUR SPECIAL LADIES
Music by Brother J. L. F. Mendelssohn.
OUR SPECIAL LADIES
By R.W. Bro. Edwin V. George,
Grand Lodge of Maine, A.F & A.M.
This Short Talk Bulletin has been prepared
as a result of suggestions from several lodges
throughout the United States. It provides information that could conceivably assist lodges in
their existing programs or in implementing new
How it began?
In 1977 the Masters and Wardens Association of the 19th Masonic District of the Grand
Lodge of Maine initiated a program whereby a
note of sympathy was mailed to the widow of a
recently deceased Master Mason, particularly a
sojourning Mason. The results of this simple
handwritten message was immediate and heartwarming.
Few people, to this day however, know that
the wording, guideline- and format of this
readily understood and direct message was
solicited of a letter received from the late Mrs.
Millwee W. Pollard, wife of our Honorary Past
Grand Master Ralph J. Pollard. (See Short
Talk Bulletin, September 1967). In her answering letter, one sentence revealed in startling
clarity, a condition which was simply hard to
understand, but immediately recognized. She
wrote "I don't know why a Lodge neglects to
keep in touch with Masonic Widows, possibly
they are too "DIFFIDENT." Webster defines
"diffident" as hesitant in acting or speaking
through lack of self confidence. Thus it is
altogether fitting and proper that this special
Lady should be recognized as the catalyst that
brought the Maine Masonic Widows Program
into being. May she be recognized as such
What is it?
It is a planned program, structured and
organized to manage and effectively utilize the
knowledge and expertise in this Grand Jurisdiction.
It was developed to:
To provide a vehicle for each member to participate in a visible expression of concern for
our Masonic Widows. One that would
demonstrate his fidelity to the obligation he
took upon himself to aid and assist our widows
Enable each Lodge to be of greater service
to its members.
Extend the hand of fellowship, guidance
and assistance to the widow. Thus to let her
know that she is remembered, not forgotten
and that she still belongs to our Masonic Family.
Provide the Lodge with the working tools
needed to perform greater service to its
membership. (Continuation of which
throughout successive years could conceivably
perpetuate a bond which will serve to establish
an image of which the brethren can be rightfully proud.)
It is endorsed but not regulated by the Grand
Lodge and adopted by local lodges to fit its own
needs. Adoption and implementation remain a
lodge's special privilege. (When it was suggested, to our Grand Master at that time, to
make the program mandatory, he wisely stated
"What possible word or edict from me could be
more binding than the oath all of us took at
What are its services ?
a. Personal record - From no record at all
we now have the names, addresses and many
birthdays of over 8500 widows.
b. Grand Lodge recognition (Grand
Chaplain personal letter of condolence)
c. Certificate of remembrance
d. Broken column lapel pin
c. Annual Widows' Night (Dinner and
evening of entertainment)
1. Invitation to all Lodge social events
g. Transportation to doctors, dentists,
hospital, grocers, etc.
h. Personal visits and attention.
i. Handyman services.
j. Professional advice in all fields when
k. Personal notes as well as correspondence
-birthdays, holidays, specials, etc. (a lodge has
105 members writing to an individual counterpart who may be shut in, out of state, etc.)
1. Cancer treatments, kidney etc.
m . Telephone - security assurance program .
n. Lodge communications.
o. Additional services unlimited.
Summary: At its inception the proposed
organized program for the reactivation and or
revitalization of the concerns for our special
Ladies appeared to be questionable. The scope
and implementation created doubts in the
minds of many dedicated Masons. Today our
Special Ladies comprise an integral part of our
Masonic Family. We have several thousand
"reborn" advocates of our Masonic principles,
and certainly an improvement of our public image in this area of concern.
Our Grand Chaplains Corps have collectively
written hundreds of letters of hope, comfort
and condolence to our widows. We are sure
that these Ladies realize the concerns and joys
of this fraternity which they shared with their
husband continues to be reflected in our concern for THEIR remaining years.
Our Special Ladies Nights and the Broken Column lapel pins presentations are flourishing
throughout the state. Over 5000 pins have been
distributed. However the program is not a once
a year dinner and evening of entertainment. It
is one of every day concern, which is greatly appreciated, as evidenced by this sampling of expressions:
" I like being considered a part of the
"It sure is nice to be remembered."
"Please express my sincere thanks to your
organization for their thoughtfulness in
remembering my husband through your
gesture of friendship to me, which I shall
"Again many thanks for all the kindness
and thoughtfulness extended to me since
he's been gone."
"I never dreamed that Masons did all this."
The letters keep coming. Unsolicited, brief,
direct, heartwarming and unmistakenly sincere.
Our special Ladies say it very clearly.
From California & the Philippines - "If a
fallen brother rose from his grave, his first
words would be, "Thank you, my brethren for
remembering my widow." While the program
is not meant to solicit appreciation but rather to
translate into fulfillment one of our avowed
obligations to another, it will nevertheless be
such a delightful demonstration of Masonic
Brotherhood to behold, to emulate.
"To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with
their misfortune, to compassionate their
miseries and to restore peace to their troubled
minds, is the great aim we have in view, be it in
Maine, California or Philippines." (Credit:
Grand Lodge of California.)
Editor's note: While jurisdictions have programs honoring the "Special Ladies," it is
recognized that the program developed by the
Lodge Service Committee of the Grand Lodge
of Maine and described above is one which can
be readily adapted by any lodge. Below, is the
text of the card which accompanies the
Widow's pin presentation in the Grand Lodge
"This pin was created as an emblem to symbolize our continued concern and honor for the
widows of a Brother Master Mason, a Brother
whose name added luster to the Craft as he
labored with us in The Quarry. Now that his
name has been entered upon the Roll of the
Celestial Lodge, we cannot forget those things
which he loved so deeply, nor can we be unmindful of our duty to him. It is my distinct
privilege to present this emblem to you that you
may wear it with great pride. It is our desire
that it be to you a reminder of your ties to us; a
relationship wherein you will find friends who
will assist you in times of need, join with you in
times of gladness, and welcome you to a continued association with us as we continue our
labors of Friendship, Brotherly Love and
You are not alone. When moments may
cause you to doubt, Look at this emblem and be
assured that we are there and we care.
This Masonic Widow's Pin was created with
the hope that it would be worn by the widow of
a Master Mason on all appropriate occasions,
especially when traveling, so that she may be
recognized, greeted, and assisted when
necessary, by Masonic friends throughout the
world. It is an emblem of honor and should be
worn separately, not in conjunction with other
May she who wears this emblem find that
she is not alone.
We are there and we care. ''
R.W. Bro. Edwin George can be contacted at
the Grand Lodge of Maine, Masonic Temple,
415 congress St., Portland, Maine 04101.