Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Labor Day

As we enter this Labor Day Weekend another summer has past and time continues to march on. Next week we will again start full swing into the regular Masonic schedules so this weekend take some time to slow down and spend some time with your family...that's what I intend to do.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PDDGHP Association Meeting

For the past few years we have been working to get a PDDGHP Association going for the 3rd District and I think we are finally starting to get it going. Our last couple of meetings we had a good turnout of PDDGHP's. We talk about items of interest coming up and important dates in the district. We also discuss how the PDDGHP's can assist with the 3rd District. Tonight one of the main topics was the April 5, 2014 activity and the fact that we need to start working now to put together 3 teams to perform the Peculiar Stone Skit and the Mark Master Degree. Lots of work to get done but before we left there were several PDDGHP's committing to help put a team together to make the event in our area a success.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Steve Duncan

Well it was supposed to be a drill practice for Valley Comamnadery #80 but turned out to be a birthday party for MEC Steve Duncan. Cookies and ice cream ... let's have drill practice like this every week!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shrine Circus Kick-off

I'm hoping for a wildly successful circus in the upcoming year since it will help to benefit the 3rd Capitular District as we have been chosen again to park cars at the circus in 2014. I also want to point out that it never hurts to go over the top to try to get the crowd enthusiastic about selling the ads, tickets and suites for the circus which was done again at this kick-off. The theme of Soar to New Heights in 2014 started out by walking through a dark tunnel into a room decked out as the solar system with space ships all over. All the partners for the circus were acknowledged and each given an opportunity to do their part to excite the crowd. Then at the end several (dressed n Character) space hero's came walking through the tunnel and emerged into the room. Was it over the top...maybe but it was the crowd into the night and then sent hundreds of people off ready to help make the circus a success.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shrine Car Show

Every year the Classic Cars at Antioch holds a car show to raise funds to help out with improvements for the building. Maybe this is something we as individual Chapters need to consider (or work with the other York Rite bodies in the building) is to hold an activity to help raise funds for the temple maintenance. I'm aware we all probably pay rent but in most cases the rent we pay is far under the amount being paid per person by the lodge meeting in the buildings. Another thing the Classic Cars will do is look around the building and see projects they would like to see done and designate some of the funds to that project getting completed. Few buildings in the state are without some project that is needed or have enough outside income to maintain the building without regular increases in the temple per capita's and as I'm well aware, few Chapters have excess funds laying around to pay the needed increases.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cabiri Picnic and Gun Club Picnic

This week I attended a couple of Shrine picnics, one for the Past Potentates on Monday and the other for the Gun Club on Wednesday.  It was nice to have no responsibilities and just be able to attend the function. Both had big turnouts with around 60+ at each of them. While I had a masonic function on Tuesday and Thursday originally planned, I actually took a couple of days off for family events including my mom's birthday.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Warren County Shrine Picnic

This afternoon I attended the Warren County Shrine Picnic. I always like this one as they really have good food. I spent part of the picnic talking with one of the members about a new idea they had come up with for creating the fire for the Most Excellent Master degree. I also talked to two guys about getting reinstated into the York Rite which in my opinion points out a big reason it is important to attend NON Chapter Masonic events. This is the only place you get an opportunity to talk to non Chapter members about exciting programs and events going on or being implemented in Grand Chapter with the possibility of getting new members or reinstating old members.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Tonight was the annual meeting or Book of the Play in which we bring new members into the Jesters. It is always a fun evening but also a long evening. I thought everything went off fairly well and everyone seemed to have a good time. I was also glad when the evening was over as I have a longer part and only doing it once a year makes it harder to remember.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Working at Dragons Game Again

Tonight was the last game working at the Dragons this year and busy was not the word to describe it last night. I brought in at my register alone around 3 times the normal amount. We not only ran out of the pizzas in the booth, we ran out of the pizzas at the stadium pre-made and then had to make them by hand until we ran out of ingredients. The guy running the oven indicated last night he did 25% more than ever before (and he is the guy who regularly makes the pizzas). We had probably sold 400% more kids meals than normal and did twice the normal number of hot dogs to start with when the gates open and ran out in around 10 minutes after the gates opened! Luckily while originally we were going to be short on help, when the plea was put out, we ended up with two extras and we needed them all night long. But while it was busy the people working there last night all pitched in wherever possible and made it fun to work (but I'm glad working this season for me is over).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

York RIte Planning Meeting

Tonight the area leadership of the Chapter, Council and Commandery got together to discuss the upcoming year and the schedules for inspection and other dates in the upcoming year. We only had a few conflicts to work out and the meeting was held in record time. We covered twelve months in one hour. Grand Recorder Bobby Campbell, again severed as the host for the meeting while Arch Inspector Mike Smith got his turn in the barrel as the meeting moderator.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Commandery Drill Practice

We held Valley #80 drill practice tonight but before practice we went into the temple to see all the improvements that are being made in the dining room. They are really doing a major upgrade (long needed) but since they are doing themselves it is only costing for the materials. We had a decent practice (they are still having trouble teaching me left from right) and seem to be coming along nicely....just don't want to peak too soon! And tonight we had a nice surprise as our Drill Captain John Watkins brought homemade ice cream to "rally the troops" after practice.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shrine Greeters Picnic

Today was nice to have a day in which I could somewhat rest and get an opportunity to talk with various Masons to solve the world's problems at our Shrine Greeters Picnic. They asked me lots of questions about what the Royal Arch Chapter was doing and I took the opportunity to share many of the positive changes we are making to try to retain and increase membership. I also had one prominent Mason jokingly indicate he would like to get more involved to which I quickly indicated "I can make that happen" but then he finished the sentence with but my health will not allow it. Well at least I was ready when he said it!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Grand Family Meeting

Today we held the Grand Family Meeting for Grand Chapter to discuss plans for the upcoming year, train new District Deputies and give reports about how things had been going this year. We held the meeting in Delaware and it took most of the day but overall the discussions flowed well and the information was useful and timely. It seemed as if things are making positive progress and we are headed in the right direction overall. It also helped to point out the importance of planning and then managing the plans created.

Shrine Ritual Practice and an Important Lesson

Yesterday we held a practice for a play next week which we are putting on at the Shrine. No matter what the organization, it is important to make sure the first time the cast interacts on a performance is on the actual performance night. Another important thing to remember which came out at our practice is the importance of making sure the robes and paraphernalia are available. When we checked for this performance the items have been moved and need to be tracked down prior to next week. If we had waited until the performance night things would not have gone well.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grand Chapter Prince Hall

Today I attended the Grand Chapter Prince Hall of Ohio. Their new Grand High Priest is Robert Jones from Cincinnati. He unfortunately had to fill in this past year after their Grand High Priest Ray Robinson died in office (they serve two year terms) My friend Melvin Russell was elected in as the new platform officer as Grand Scribe. He served as head of the Pythagoras's for a part of the time while I was Executive Officer for DeMolay. Melvin is definitely a personality! I'm hoping we might have an opportunity in the future to serve together in our respective Grand Chapters at the same position. They are doing something new and are having multiple Grand Bodies meet together in Columbus this week.The Grand Chapter of Ohio was well represented with the Grand High Priest Don Owens, Grand King Robert Thomas, Grand Scribe Keith O'Dell and Grand Captain of the Host Robert Blankenhorn.

Monday, August 5, 2013

York Rite Cooperation Meeting

Yesterday at the Ohio Masonic Home, the York Rite Cooperation Meeting was held with several spirited discussions on various topics.In addition future dates were discussed to ensure as few conflicting schedules as possible. After the Grand Officers of the York Rite met, they retired to the Chapel area for a devotional service and then the shelter for a picnic with the residents. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chapter School, Collecting for Hospitals, PDDGM Picnic

This morning we had the Chapter School held in Middletown to instruct and prepare the officers for inspection in the next year and to discuss upcoming changes for the year. Several areas were discussed and some good ideas developed out of the discussions. Afterwards the District Officers, DEO's and DDGHP's discussed several ideas for new social activities to be held in the upcoming year. Afterwards, I headed north to Kettering to help collect funds for the Shrine Hospitals and yet later in the day headed to the Past District Deputy Grand Master's Picnic. Definitely a full Masonic Day.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Shrine Hospital collections

Today and tomorrow I will be doing something enjoyable which is collecting funds for the Shrine Hospitals. While some see it as work, I see it as a way I can do something to help make money for the Hospitals which are set up to help children. I was originally only scheduled to work today but unfortunately we are a little short on helpers so I stepped up to take another shift tomorrow. Life is good when you can do something to help someone else.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shrine Play Practice

Well tonight was practice for a play we are doing at the Shrine for the Jesters. We have several new cast members and are finally starting to get a few back-ups for parts. Things seem to be looking up. The place is really starting to look nice as we have been able to start renovations in the basement through the funds raised last year and this year in addition to the insurance settlement which finally came thru. We also had the kitchen floor professionally cleaned (we cleaned it professionally before but this was almost a floor stripping and resurfacing) and it really brightened up the kitchen. In addition some significant work is being done to redo the service area off the ballroom (it was gutted and being rebuilt). I think it is going to all pay off in the long run through more rentals and a nicer looking place for all of us to meet.