Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shrine Imperial Session

Today we are headed west on I-70 to Indianapolis to attend the Shrine Imperial session until July 4th. Antioch in Dayton has the most rooms reserved of any temple in the Shrine. It should be a fun time as our Potentate, John Bull, Jr. has been planning this event for a couple of years. Since I have no official jobs, other than a Hospital Rep and receiving the Gold Award for membership growth in 2012, I'm hoping for it to be a time to relax a little.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

17th District GHP Reception

Tonight was the Grand High Priest Reception for the 17th District in Medina/Wadsworth near Cleveland. It was good to see MEC Jim Himmelright out as it was reported earlier in the week we had some serious health concerns. We also had several Grand Grand officers present: MEC Dale Ray along with REC Dick Hall, Ed Howard, John Donohoo, Ross Black,, Bob Blankenhorn, and Bob Thomas. Our Grand High Priest, Don Owens helped present awards to companions of the 17th District as all enjoyed the traditional spaghetti and peppers dinner for the reception. On the way home it rained most of the way but we saw a number of rainbows (around 15!) including 4 pairs.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Minerva Lodge Meeting

Tonight was our last stated Lodge meeting before the summer break and several of the 40+ in attendance have joined the lodge over the last 2-3 year period. It is also good to note that there were several under 40 years old in the mix. In addition, we were performing the EA degree on two candidates. I think in Chapter we better be ready to capitalize on the many younger members joining Masonry.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Veterans Program

While I usually reserve my daily information to items which are Masonic, every once in a while something outside the Masonic organization happens which I am involved with which I think would be of benefit to the Chapter to consider. Last night I participated in a Veterans Program honoring the Flag of the United States. As I read through the information on the U.S. Flag and the many conflict/wars our military has fought  in to defend our rights and that flag, I could see from each of the Veterans from the VA Center how proud they were to have been able to serve the country to defend  my rights to meet and assemble. After the presentation they all came by and thanked me for recognizing what they had done for the country and how proud they were to be an American. Taking a few minutes to recognize those who have put their life on the line so I could do what I wanted is something all of us should do on a regular basis.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shrine Greeters Meeting

You always need to determine new methods to attract new members. Our Greeters organization changed our by-laws to allow a member to bring a guest to a stated meeting. Since we always have a social time before and after the meeting, it actually is a good way for them to get to know several of the members and see what activities we have planned. While this might not directly be something we could do in the Chapter, maybe we need to look at the concept. After the meeting the visitor asked for a petition. We did, however, determine another good item to remember ...always have petitions ready!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dayton Dragons Gams

Today, I helped out on a fund raiser for Ormus Grotto by working the Dayton Dragons Game. One of the biggest things I've always stressed is dues should not be the only source of income for any Masonic organization. Years ago that might have been  possible when membership was much higher but a bigger reason is the costs to run and keep a building open were proportionally much lower years ago. And I also contend, if you are interested in helping the organization stay in business, you need to support them in whatever way possible.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two Chapter Events in One Day

During the afternoon, we travelled as a Grand Chapter to Norwood Ohio to do a Rededication Ceremony for 100 years of existence for Norwood Chapter. It was a very hot day and thankfully the room where the rededication was held was air conditioned. All the Grand Line officers were present and did their parts for the ceremony.
Later, we all travelled north about an hour and a half to Xenia where the Joint Installation for Chapter was held. The officers of several of the Chapters in the 3rd District were installed by the Grand Officers serving in the same station they are serving. Afterwards several headed up the road to Young's Dairy before making the trip home.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Shrine Air Show Parade

A great showing for the Air Show Parade which we have not participated in as a full Shrine for many years. The great part was seeing many members who had just joined in the past month and overall around 1/3 of those parading joined since the beginning of 2012 so we are doing something right about keeping them active once they join. In addition, many are younger members. I think it is a lesson many might want to take notice of which is once you get a new member in contact him and keep him active, not as an officer or learning a ritual part (unless that is really what interests him) but give him a small reason to want to come back.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bill Johnson Passed Away

Some may have known him .... William "Bill" Johnson KYCH, passed away on Monday June 17th, 2013. A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in the VERNON FUNERAL HOME, Urbana. Masonic services will follow at 8 p.m. 

News Death Notice

JOHNSON, William L. "Bill" 89, of Springfield, passed away Monday, June 17, 2013 in Springfield Regional Medical Center. He was born December 3, 1923 in Gaston, Indiana the son of Raymond L. and Julia M. (Cushman) Johnson. Bill was an active member of High Street United Methodist Church. He was a Freemason for 69 years. Bill was a member of Harmony Lodge #8 in Urbana, Dayton York Rite "Knight of the York Cross of Honor", Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Dayton "32°" and an Ambassador Emeritus for the Antioch Shrine in Dayton.
He earned his BS in Agriculture from Purdue University. He was a local Realtor, Businessman and Politician. He was active in Metro Ministry, was instrumental in starting Project Women, Center Street Community Center and helped establish the full time Jail Chaplin for the Springfield Jail.
He is survived by his daughter, Connie (Joe) Flanly of Urbana; grandchildren, Major Randel (Doreen) Rogers, Ronald Rogers, Mike (Pamela) Stoops; step-children, Pam Weber, Diane (Charles) Garen, Harry Fisher; step-grandchildren, Aaron (Sarah) Simowitz, Adam Weber, Wendy (Josh) Kyser; as well as several great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. He is preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Nancy Stoops; sister, Marietta Applegate. A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in the VERNON FUNERAL HOME, Urbana. Masonic services will follow at 8 p.m. Following Bill's wishes his body will be cremated and internment will be held at the convenience of the family in Ferncliff Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Antioch Shrine Foundation, 107 E. 1st Street, Dayton, OH 45402-1214. Condolences may be expressed to the family at
Published in Springfield News-Sun on June 18, 2013

Please keep Bill's Daughter and the rest of his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monthly Cabiri Meeting

Tonight was the monthly meeting for the Cabiri (Shrine Past Potentates) where several items were discussed including the parade in Lebanon on September 14th. It is hoped all Masonic bodies will participate to help raise public awareness that Shriner's are first Masons before becoming Shriner's.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

DeMolay International 6/11-16

Much of this week was spent either on my way to or from DeMolay International in Minneapolis Minnesota (it is a long drive especially with the stop and go traffic in Chicago). It did turn out to be a great session which started on Wednesday and ended up on Saturday. It marked a major milestone for Ohio DeMolay as Robert Laing from Van Wert was elected and installed as the 47th International Master Councilor after a long and hard race including several running from throughout the United States against him for the position.  Mike Salazar from California was elected Grand Master of DeMolay. The meeting ran very long every day as we had allot of legislation to act upon and in fact a special session was called for September 7th in Kansas City Missouri to finish the business (something which has only happened one other time that anyone could remember in the 94 year history of the session). As a person lucky enough to serve on the International Supreme Council as an Active Member, looks like a trip to Kansas City in September as the item of business it critical to the future of DeMolay.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Shrine ROJ Luncheon

Today, I headed down to the Shrine to meet with several of the leaders of the Shrine to discuss some of the items this group might do to assist the Shrine. In addition, they tried out a new format which worked well to help accommodate the working members and get them out within an hour.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ohio Masonic Home Day

Today was the Ohio Masonic Home Day in Springfield along with the annual parade at the home. They had many great food booths and several additional units in the parade today. Our Grand High Priest, Don Owens, was present supporting the home as were several other Grand Chapter Officers and Past Grand High Priests. The weather was great and it is always nice when you get to see some old friends who are now living at the home.I helped to support several districts food booths and every one was great (including the Second Masonic District!) and paraded with the Shrine today as part of the Cabiri riding with my old buddy Fred Brooks in his nice Jaguar.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Amrou Grotto 100 Year Anniversary

Tonight, I attended the 100th Anniversary celebration for Amrou Grotto in Zanesville along with around 250 other members and guests. The Grand Monarch and people from all over the country were present. They had a great meal, interesting program  on the history of their Grotto, a few speeches and a super ventriloquist all for a bargain price of $10. Bernie Mitchell, Past Grand Monarch from Amrou and his committee did a great job on the evening.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Ralph H. McMillan DeMolay Installation

Tonight, I attended the Installation for Ralph H. McMillan DeMolay in Xenia. The room was packed and they basically installed a full line of officers. There were also several State Officers present including the State Master Councilor Mark Chong. One of the nicest things to see was many of the officers are younger members and the Chapter appears to be replacing the older members with new, younger members ....and so the cycle and Chapter continue...After the Installation, they had a great taco bar.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ormus Grotto Meeting

I attended my Grotto stated meeting this evening and something nice happened .... we had a few more members present than normal. No ... we had nothing special planned tonight but we did one thing different: we used the automated call system to remind members of the meeting. At around $0.09 per call, it made a difference for at least 4 persons who indicated they would have missed the meeting without the call (they had it down for next week).  Maybe this is something Chapters having trouble with members showing up at meetings should consider.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Valley Commandery Stated Meeting

Tonight, I attended my Commandery Stated meeting and elections. I'm not sure if I should be glad or not! I mentioned that I would help them out as needed but that I would need to study up on any part as I was Commander almost 25 years ago and I needed to get a new Commandery coat. The newly elected Commander said "try mine on to see if it would fit". I did and it fit perfect ...then he told me ... he had ordered a new coat and this one belonged to the Commandery and I could swap the one I currently have with the Commandery coat that fit. I guess part of my alibi is quickly going away!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Shrine Ceremonial

Yesterday was the Shrine Ceremonial and I'm hoping several Chapters take notice of what is proving successful. (And as an added plus many of the members coming in are younger) Last year we recognized the York Rite and brought in several members (along with reinstating several) solely because we named the class after a specific group to recognize them. We did the same with the Scottish Rite and  also in honor of two prominent deceased members. We met with the same success in each of these cases, again with people joining and specifically mentioning they joined due to what/who the class was named. Likewise this year we did a legacy push (to honor family members joining) and yesterday 3/4 of the class were legacy members. It is working. In addition, we actively went to the Grand Masters One Day Class with an assembled team of around 40 working on retention, restoration, and renewal. (Sound familiar!) IT WORKS as the first positive growth in membership in over 20 years last year and 68 in our first class this year (and we are well on our way to repeat the positive growth again this year with lots of younger members in the mix).