Ever BUILD a Kingdom Hall?

by Gregor 56 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Bumble Bee
    Bumble Bee

    I worked on a few that were in our immediate area. Didn't really do too much, mostly socializing. The second one we provided alot of food and served it.

    My husband (this was before we were married) worked on a good percentage of the ones that were built in Ontario in the '80's. He really enjoyed it, got to travel and meet alot of people. Then they changed the arrangement for "volunteering" and he didn't go anymore. His father still helps out occasionally.


  • uninformed

    Ipsec--Yes, at first the cabinet shop was in Llano and then moved to F-berg

    AudeSapere--(neat name) Stick with Nina, you are doing a great job.

    Nina-- Don't be so hard headed. In every human endeavor there are going to be an opportunist or two that take advantage of a situation. Volunteering your time on a project, or the use of machinery is normally not a money making scheme. Any money received was to defer actual out of pocket expenses. Some brothers would not have been in a position to take their trailer loads of equipment if they were not reimbursed for expenses. Maybe that makes them not volunteers in your eyes, but I guess if the bethel family get $100 per month for certain expenses that makes them NOT volunteers.


  • Dr Jekyll
    Dr Jekyll

    As I was a professional builder back when I was in I worked on a few Quick Builds and was even involved in a bit of a local stink on a QB once.

    Being a self employed builder you tend to get to know all the other local builders that are in the "truth". At one ti, me or another you'll end up working with them or for them. Its a small community within a small community.

    The general feeling among professional builders on Quick builds is that they should be left up to the professionals. You might not hear that being said out loud but i knew enough brothers in the building trade to know what the general attitude was. Most of the time the other brothers and sisters at best got under your feet and at worse cocked up the job they were given to do. Personally I hated working my balls off only to look up and catch two sisters in their "dirty workman clothes", wellies and hard hats standing around gassing.

    I was on one QB, the weather wasn't good and the job wasn't going well, there was a lot of grumbling among the professional building brothers about people getting in the way, elders barking orders and giving orders outta their butts. Eventually one builder a brother who gave a lot of work to other builders lost his patience and chucked his tools in his bag and left. As he had taken other builders / brothers in his van he took them off too. This had a really bad effect on the moral of the other local professional building brothers and one by one they all began to sulk off leaving it to the part timers.

    A couple of weeks later we had a local needs talk about brotherly love, the joy of serving Jehovah on a quick build and about being patient with those less skilled but just as eager to serve on a quick build.

  • Cellist

    Uninformed, I don't think Nina is finding fault with the brothers who did the work. I think she's having a problem with the same thing that bothered me. The picture that was presented to the congregation and the public was one thing and the reality was something different. Whether there was anything wrong with the reality or not is irrelevant to the point. We were lied to. (Once again).

    I was bothered by one other thing that seems to be irritating Nina too. There were other qualified tradespeople who should've been reimbursed for their expenses. It wasn't equal across the board. (At least it wasn't in the early to mid-eighties in our area)

    By the way, the interior decorator (JW) also was paid for his "services".


  • wozadummy

    Worked on many years ago and had a funny time with one brother when we worked on country hall.

    He towed his caravan to the site and we slept in it over the quick build weekend. On Saturday night we were in the van and both got our harmonicas out and played some tunes .

    But when we played "When the saints come marching in" we got a knock on the door by Elder Righteous condemning us and saying we would have to move of the quick build site if we continued! He just left and we burst out laughing and the rest of the weekend he was like the Gestapo with us but we had fun!

  • ballistic

    Yes, I was one of the UK quick builder helper-outers. Unskilled though was laying breeze blocks. I would say it was one of many fine skills that does not appear on my CV.

  • damselfly

    I was at quite a few sites but I wouldn't say that I helped, more like served as a distraction.


  • luna2

    I just worked in the mess tent a couple of times. Ho hum. Can't even remember where the heck the builds were now.

  • uninformed


    I understand what both you and Nina are saying, and I thought I acknowledged that there would be abuses of the system, i.e. the decorator that your told me about.

    What I think that you guys are still missing is that brothers may "volunteer" their time, but occasionally they may be reimbursed for what I would consider "extraordinary" expenses, for example:

    If I volunteer to drive to Springfield, Missouri to lay bricks with the group on the new QB, then I will grab my trowel, level, hammer and a jointer, and maybe a brush. On Sunday afternoon, when all the bricks are laid, I will go get in my car or truck, and head for Kansas City. NO ONE that I am aware of would turn in an expense for that. Even though I may have spent 2 nights in a hotel and eaten in restaurants 4 times for the trip for a total of $200, and burned an Additional $30 in gas, No one that I ever knew turned in expenses for that kind of stuff.

    However, if I was the brick overseer, and I had to stop my secular job at 2:30 pm on Thursday, and have 7 men help me load up all the equipment that we were going to need and I had to bring a new diamond blade for the two thousand saw cuts that we were going to use on the job (and wear out), and then after the project was over he has to haul all his equipment back to his job and unload it and set it up again, at a cost of several hours work that he has to pay his help for.

    So, you think you've been lied to if he turns in a bill for $500 for these expenses, including fuel.

    Look, I am with you guys that the WT lies. However the R&F brothers that are the backbone of this organization are generally pretty good and generous people, and I resent you thinking that it is a pack of lies for a guy to take a few bucks of real, honest to goodness, out of pocket costs and you are offended because he says that he is a volunteer.

    If that makes you mad, you're probably going to be mad all the time.


  • LDH
    Any money received was to defer actual out of pocket expenses. Some brothers would not have been in a position to take their trailer loads of equipment if they were not reimbursed for expenses. Maybe that makes them not volunteers in your eyes, but I guess if the bethel family get $100 per month for certain expenses that makes them NOT volunteers.

    I'm not sure I'm reading Nina's thoughts as "mad."

    Mothers who have to transport 5 kids also have actual out of pocket expenses. All who helped on quickbuilds had out of pocket expenses. Some had more than others. It seems like if you reached an invisible 'break point' you were eligible to be reimbursed. Those who only had a widow's mite gave it and that was that.

    What is troubling is that this means those who were in these 'trades' --presumably earning a lot more money off the bat than single moms--were being reimbursed while others were not.

    I don't expect anyone to 'give' their labor away week after week for free--but that's why you always have the option to say no.

    Bethelites are NOT volunteers. They are sweat shop employees. This has already been determined, which is why earlier this year the 'sister' was able to sue them for WORKER'S COMP and win her case.


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