Anchorage, AK – Earlier this week, the Grand Lodge of Alaska announced, among other initiatives to take effect in the new year, its plan to reinvigorate the disparate, underpopulated Masonic youth groups within its grand jurisdiction by encouraging Grand Lodge of Alaska Masons to forsake Masonic duties in favor of procreation. The edict reads: “…Whereas, the bond of brotherhood extends to the entire Masonic family, and whereas that Masonic family is exemplified within the organizations of Job’s Daughters International and DeMolay International….the Grand Lodge of Alaska announces the ‘Days of Masonic Conception’ initiative. Whereas under this initiative it should be encouraged that every able-bodied brother abstain from one Masonic meeting each month in AL 6016 for the purposes of procreation to repopulate the Masonic family…”
A Grand Lodge spokesperson spoke to The Past Bastard on the rationale behind this “unconventional” initiative: “We actually got the idea from one of our closest neighbors–the Russians–who fought population decline by declaring a national ‘Day of Conception‘ in 2005. Every 12th of September, Russian men and women are excused from work specifically to procreate. We felt we could expand upon this idea and adapt it to the Masonic family by excusing brethren from Masonic duties for the same purposes, but instead of doing this once a year, we felt the odds were better if our ‘Day of Conception’ occurred each month!”
When asked how this initiative might aid youth groups in the short term, Brother Joe Snow from the Grand Lodge Committee on Communications explained: “We’re thinking long-term here. This is an investment in the future of the Masonic family. Besides, we’ll only have to wait 10-12 years to see the results. That’s a drop in the bucket for an institution that has existed since time immemorial.” Brother Snow also commented on the concern of some Masons that the Grand Jurisdiction as a whole might suffer with the decreased participation in lodge activities: “The Grand Lodge of Alaska is not concerned. If nothing else, the more senior members can continue to run the lodge while the younger ones go off and ensure the continuation of the Masonic family.”
While it is simply too early to tell whether this initiative will pay dividends in the long term, this reporter would like to note that, at least in the short term, Russia seems to be getting results.