Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8


page 112


The evidence deducible from the facts and figures of this report indicate a material shrinkage in the assets of the Grand Lodge for the past fiscal year, arising chiefly from the extraordinary appropriations, aggregating $6,000. The deficit revenue, although more marked during the past few years in the general jurisdiction, has been chiefly developed, during the current year, in the middle, southern, and western portions of the country, although it has not wholly been unfelt in the more favored sections of the north, including the Grand Bodies of Ontario where Odd Fellowship is eminently prosperous. The business depression in the Order at large which has prevailed generally for several years, has been growing, and is by common consent referable to its true cause, viz.: the continued paralysis which has pursued commerce and industry. Since the close of our Civil War, much of the antecedent capital and wealth of the country has disappeared as the inevitable effect of that unhappy strife in the enormous waste of war. It is contended, that the loss of this wealth has not only not been restored, but, to the contrary, the industry of the country, which is the basis of wealth, has been inadequately rewarded, and the products of manufacture and agriculture have been unremunerative. Without venturing to discuss such extraneous subjects in this report we remark as germane to the subject, that our Order is not exempt from the influence which business prosperity entails upon all institutions which require the aid of capital. Besides, the foreign world has but recently ceased its bitter strife of war, leaving behind all the evils which follow in its train, including its fearful waste and general business derangement. Hence we are admonished that the end of financial depression is not yet, and that the blessing of general peace to mankind is still in abeyance, and must await events which ripen as natural fruit, from legitimate and cognate causes. We may reasonably indulge the hope that the future prospect of commerce, agriculture, and general business will soon begin to brighten, and that Odd Fellowship will then revive, and be lifted to its normal vigor as a potential element and moral force. Meanwhile it is our duty and privilege to apply the experience acquired to our proper enlightenment, to deduce wisdom from its pregnant lessons, and to do all that we can to improve and defend the position. To apply ourselves to a judicious and intelligent economy, consistent with our obligations, the just benefactions which arise out of them, and the magnitude of the interests which they involve. There is no cause for alarm. We may confidently rely upon the Supreme Head of the Order; we have in past emergencies done so, and it has always proved itself equal to the crisis, and ever will beyond all peradventure. The circumstances of our position, we have not improvidently superinduced. The administration has been, as heretofore, wise, economical, and prudent, commensurate with the magnitude and important interests of the million which it represents and sustains, and may be therefore confidently relied upon to provide as adequate a finance system in the future as it has done in the long past.

Respectfully submitted,

Jas. L. Ridgely,

Cor. and Rec. Sec'y- Office of the G. Cor. and Rec. Sec'y, Baltimore,