The Masonic Society, the Masonic Library and Museum Association, and the Masonic Information Center, a branch of the Masonic Service Association, are pleased to announce that Phase II of The Quarry Project will be held September 18-20, 2015 in Indianapolis, IN. The conference will be held in a downtown Indianapolis hotel. As this goes to print, we are ready to sign a contract with a hotel and the registration page will be up by the time you receive this issue of the magazine.
The Quarry Project is a continuing effort designed to promote Masonic research and preservation by providing instruction and guidance to Masonic writers, researchers, and editors both within and without the fraternity and also to Masonic librarians and museum curators on the display, preservation, and cataloging of Masonic archives. Phase II will feature a third track on Masonic public relations sponsored by the Masonic Information Center, an arm of the Masonic Service Association. The public relations track will address topics such as effective use of social media, publications, and best practices.
The format for Phase II will remain basically the same with a few tweaks based on feedback from Phase I attendees. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will begin with a general session featuring a keynote speaker. Attendees will then break out to the instructional sessions of their choice on Friday and Saturday with both days adjourning at approximately 5:00 P.M. Lunch on Friday and Saturday will be included in the registration fee. A banquet will be held on Saturday evening. Sunday will feature a roundtable discussion immediately after the morning keynote address and the conference will adjourn by noon.
We invite anyone, Freemason or not, with an interest in these topics to attend the conference. The programs are currently being developed and will be made available as soon as they are complete. Further information will be released as it becomes available. Registration will be begin on March 1, 2015. The Quarry Project website is www.thequarryproject.com .
In conjunction with The Quarry Project, The Masonic Library and Museum Association will hold their annual meeting prior to this event on Thursday, September 17. Please contact the MLMA for further details on their meeting. Their website is located at www.masoniclibraries.org .
One of the presentations offered during Phase I of The Quarry Project addressed a proposed style sheet for Masonic organizations and publications who have never adopted one. The response to the proposal was positive. Kenneth Davis, a member of the TMS Board of Directors, and Brent Morris, Editor of the Scottish Rite Journal, have completed the first draft of the style sheet, which was introduced at Masonic Week 2015. The style sheet is now available on The Quarry Project website, which is linked above. We are encouraging the organizations and editors of Masonic publications to officially adopt the style sheet. A list of adoptees will available on the website as well. We wish to thank all of those who contributed to the style sheet with your comments and recommendations.
The Annual Meeting of The Masonic Society was held on Friday, January 30 at Masonic Week in Reston, VA. Approximately fifty-five guests enjoyed a very nice evening of food and fellowship. M. Wor. Bro. Michael Halleran, Editor of The Journal of The Masonic Society and current Grand Master of Kansas, gave an informative presentation on changes implemented in his jurisdiction during his year in the Grand East. As usual, we were pleased to welcome dozens of visitors to our hospitality suite. It is always a pleasure to renew acquaintances with so many TMS members and friends that we only see at this event. We also enjoy meeting many first-time attendees.
Masonic Week 2016 will move to an area known as Crystal City in Arlington, VA. This location is near Reagan National Airport. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping venues nearby. This location will also offer quicker and easier access to Washington, D.C. for those who wish to sightsee. My understanding is that there will be significant program changes next year that spread the various events out over the course of the week and also allow more time for other activities. We look forward to seeing you there next year.
We are constantly looking for ways to grow The Masonic Society as well as to enhance the value of membership in TMS. At the Board of Directors meeting during Masonic Week, we discussed a variety of topics. One of the principal areas of discussion concerned how we will deliver The Journal of the Masonic Society. More and more publications are going strictly digital. We do not anticipate that happening anytime in the near future, but we do have to consider the increasing costs that accompany a high quality paper magazine and increased postage, particularly overseas. One of the major concerns associated with going digital is protecting our material. We will be investigating one potential solution to that problem in the near future. We have yet to reach a consensus on precisely how to proceed, but it is unquestionable that a digital version of The Journal of The Masonic Society will be available in the not too distant future for those who prefer to receive their magazine in that format.
We live in a world that seems to become more dangerous and divided every day. Wherever you live, please pray for your country’s leaders as well as for those in uniform protecting our freedom. As Freemasons, we can remain proud of our long history of friendship and brotherly love and especially our record of tolerance, which we find so lacking in the profane world. Thank the Grand Architect for the opportunity to be part of the world’s greatest fraternity.
James R. Dillman, FMS
President, The Masonic Society