Grand Masters Letter of March 26, 2020


March 26, 2020

Good Afternoon my Brothers,

I hope you are all feeling well and being careful during this most uncertain of times.   This is certainly turning the way we do business upside down.  At work, I now have employees working from home and trying to keep staff at the office down to as few as possible.   Other than losing a bit of freedom and being with my brothers, the most disappointing part of this whole thing is that I am now classified as an elderly person which I wholeheartedly reject.

As we all know, the number of confirmed cases is increasing and both Local and Federal Government is clamping down.  The State of Rhode Island is doing quite well which is encouraging to hear.  Rhode Island Masons are doing their part to make sure we do not add to the number of confirmed cases and I applaud and thank every one of you for that. 

I am encouraged that lodges are keeping in touch with their members and widows to make sure they are all ok. 

Unfortunately I must continue my order that all Masonic Temples be closed and in-person meetings of subordinate lodges and concordant bodies in this jurisdiction be suspended until the end of April.  This includes my Testimonial which Brother Rapson has been working very hard on.

I have been meeting with the Grand Council and just last night, I held a virtual district meeting with the Masters and Secretaries of your lodges.   By Thursday night, I will have held virtual meetings with every district to discuss any concerns they may have.  I must say, this is a very efficient way of meeting and despite not physically being with my brothers, this is the next best thing.

Without getting into too much detail, let me take this time to let you know what we have been discussing:

  1. The manner in which a lodge meeting can be held.
  2.  Masonic Services
  3. The AED grant program
  4. Upcoming Annuals
  5. The Grand Lodge Office will remain open by appointment only.   Call 401-435-4650 to set-up an appointment.
  6. The Robert J. Allen Medical Center will remain open by appointment, only by calling  (401) 451-0184 until further notice.
  7. The Scottish Rite Office may remain open at their discretion.

Once again my brothers, thank you for your continued cooperation and I look forward to the time when we can be together once again.


Kenneth F. Poyton, Grand Master

Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization. As Freemasons we live by an ethical and moral code that distinguishes us and creates an atmosphere where friendship and understanding can grow among men of every religion, race and culture. This is the public website of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Rhode Island. If you're interested in our lodges and considering an application to join, please visit this page and submit a petition request.

Read our page What Is Freemasonry for additional insight. If you're on Facebook, why not visit and like our page at

The future of our fraternity and our ability to continue to grow our membership is highly dependent on being able to engage and integrate our new members into the activities of the lodge. When new members become involved and active in their respective lodges they become the best prospects for new candidates for that lodge. The Master Mason Rookie Award is an official means by which we can achieve the membership goals.  



Master Mason Rookie Award Program for newly made Master Masons: a vision statement


What is it?

It is a program that the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island envisions as an ongoing commitment to membership engagement and getting our new members involved within their respective lodges. It is exclusively for those members just entering the Craft. This program outlines eleven requirements that must be completed within 12 months of their raising.

Note: As this is a new initiative and there are many new Master Masons already in their first 12 months, those candidates will be allowed 18 months to complete the requirements. 

The Goal of the award

To keeping new members in their respective lodges ACTIVE for 12 months. This is to counter "the age old" problem of new members losing interest in Freemasonry. Also, to stem the tide of members looking to concordant bodies because of their dissatisfaction with their current situation.

Award requirements for new Master Masons during their first 12 months

To complete 11 items on the list ---6 Required and 5 Alternates


1) Attend each of the blue lodge degrees at least once, but in another lodge.

2) Attend at least one visit of the lodge's DDGM to another lodge in one of Districts.

3) Attend at least seven stated lodge communications over the course of the year

4) Work on at least one lodge social activity or lodge charitable event

5) Assist at least once with the officers setting up the lodge room (for a meeting or rehearsal)

6) Attend a Grand Lodge sponsored educational program


(Choose FIVE of the following eleven activities)

1) Sponsor at least one candidate into the lodge

2) Assist at least once with the preparation of candidate(s) before the degree, or assist in cypher training for another candidate

3) Assist with the serving or preparation/setup/cleanup of a lodge dinner meeting or breakfast

4) Assist in the serving at a Table Lodge within Rhode Island

5) Attend a Masonic Memorial Service

6) Assist in a lodge Open House or Membership drive event

7) Assist in a CHIP Program event or Blood Drive within a district

8) Attend a DeMolay or Rainbow meeting, event, or Installation

9) Visit a lodge member who is in a nursing home, hospital or home (who is unable to attend meetings)

10) Assist in the delivery of flowers to a Special Lady

11) Accompany an investigation team of a petitioner.


To participate

Read the following steps as they are designed to help you, the Master of your Lodge, and Grand Lodge keep track of your progress. You can download the form as a PDF file by clicking here. You can also download these instructions as a PDF by clicking here.


Progress checker

a) Make the Master of your Lodge aware that you are interested in pursuing this award

b) Get a copy of the requirements and a sign-off form

c) Keep track of your requirements with the sign-off sheet

d) Provide dates of the completed activities, as verified by the Worshipful Master

e) Final sign-off of sign-off sheet by the Lodge Master and the Lodge Secretary.


Submitting your progress

a) The Worshipful Master is to provide a written cover letter stating why the new Master Mason is worthy of receiving this award

b) The sign-off sheet form and letter is submitted by the Lodge Secretary to the Grand Master's Office for his review and approval

c) Once received and approved, the recipient will receive his award accordingly.



• A framed certificate signed by the Grand Master and the Grand Secretary

• A Master Masons Rookie Award Lapel Pin for the Master Mason.

• The award is to be presented to the Master Mason at a dinner hosted by the Grand Master in honor of those Master Masons completing this award.

SUMMARY: If you want to give your candidates something enjoyable to do, encourage each new brother to pursue the Rookie Award. It is a great way to get them into the districts and meet more members of the Craft, as well as witness how lodge meetings, traditions and customs vary from one lodge to another and to get them involved in lodge activities.


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Medical Center

If you are in need of medical equipment or have equipment you would like to donate contact: Br. George Donahue on the Medical Equipment Center cell phone at 401.451.0184.   You can also email us at

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Masonic Charities

The Masonic Grand Lodge of Rhode Island administers numerous charitable programs. You can read more at the following link, which provides greater detail. Click Here for the 2019 Charities information.

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"CH.I.P" as it is known throughout the Rhode Island Masonic community stands for the Child Identification Program, adopted as a volunteer services by the Freemasons of Rhode Island, which provides a significant community service to the many communities in Rhode Island.  Click here to read more and to volunteer.

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R∴W∴ Richard F Lynch Library and Museum

Our valuable resource for masonic artifacts and books from within our Jurisdiction and on loan from across the country.