Review published in 'The Square' Magazine - September 2010.
“Having read a number of books written for the benefit of Lodge Officers, I approached "The Complete Lodge Secretary" with some scepticism. Previous publications seemed to bear little relation to the practices and processes adopted locally. They have tended to omit the realities of dealing with people, concentrating instead on the formal and official definitions of roles and responsibilities as laid down in our various rules. And they can become out of date very quickly as people, rules and guidelines change. So my question was, would this book be little more than a repackaging of the "Book of Constitutions" and "Information for the Guidance for Members of the Craft"? Or would it be more practical and realistic; something that I could recommend with confidence to my successor as Secretary of my Craft Lodge? Could it even be something I could suggest as well worth reading to the Secretaries of Mark Lodges in my capacity as Provincial Grand Secretary for my mark province?
I am delighted to say this book does represent a shift towards realism. I have long believed that the formally defined administrative role of a Secretary is but a small part of the job. Important and essential that it be done well, yes, but unless the Secretary can listen to the views and issues expressed by the members, can persuade and guide others with tact and diplomacy and in everything work to maintain harmony, then the Lodge may well move backwards during his tenure rather than forwards. Bro. Hunt addresses such matters throughout his book and establishes the point early when he writes about assisting the Master in delivering a happy Lodge.
One of the things I like very much about this book is that very practical issues are addressed by way of simple checklists. Three diverse examples include what to do to prepare for Lodge meetings, the personal data required for membership records and what to do when a member of the Lodge dies.
And Bro. Hunt deals with contemporary issues too. He recognised the need for "a book to address how new technologies, methods of communication and the consequent changes adopted by Provinces and Grand Lodge fitted in with the traditional role of a Lodge Secretary" So, in his book Bro. Hunt offers us some good advice on the use of electronic media, different methods of producing and distributing Lodge circulars and some forward thinking views on communication and administration between Grand Lodge and constituent provinces and Lodges. Hardly surprising given that he is responsible for the software package that goes by the same name as the book.
I had thought that if I liked the book I would pass my review copy to the brother about to take over from me as Secretary of our Lodge. But I like it so much that I will keep it and suggest the Lodge obtain a copy for him. I somehow feel I will have a continuing need for it myself. And yes, I will suggest to the Mark Lodge secretaries that they read it, as much is transferable to that Order; with some contextual adaptations.
I will make one suggestion to Lewis Masonic. Please find a way to publish this, and other books that contain content subject to frequent change, as an eBook that can be bought and downloaded from a website. Now that would be very forward looking indeed.”
Tony Harvey, Provincial Grand Secretary, GLMMM, Derbyshire