Saturday, March 29, 2014

Findlay Chapter #58 Inspection

Today was definitely a long day and I'm going to make 3 separate entries for the 3 events I attended today. First in the morning after getting up to get ready to get on the road at 5:30 AM, I headed out to Findlay Chapter's Inspection in the Past Master Degree. MEC Jim McDonald and MIC Jim Buckingham were present in addition to Grand Master of the 1st Veil Rod Carr who is the Regional Officer for the 7th District where Findlay is located. Unfortunately they did not have an actual candidate but they did some nice ritual work on the morning. It was good theat the meeting ended ealr as I sat around with the folks I mentioned here for a while discussing some Chapter and Council concerns that we need to work on.

Erie Commandery #23 Inspection

I next headed up the road to Sandusky for Erie Commandery's Inspection. The Inspecting Officer was the Deputy Grand Commander Tom Gault. Again it was sad that they did not have an actual new candidate as they did some very good ritual work. This is MIC Bill Laughlin's Commandery and he is filling in as an officers. For the Full Form Opening we were treated to something different as VEDGC Tom Gault went through some of the proposed changes he is introducing if elected Grand Commander in October. It was very informative and received many favorable comments. In addition, I think everyone was ready to get out Sandusky as soon as possible as it was starting to snow and they said they might have up to 8 inches of lake affect snow before it was over. As I left Sandusky it was mixing with sleet and I was glad to be headed to Willard for the next event.

Golden Rule #562 Lodge Inspection

Well as I entered into Willard it was snowing a lit but really not too bad. They have made some really nice updates in the building just recently and just installed a new checker board floor. They also did some nice degree work and I believe this was the final Inspection in the 16th District for the year. I was really impressed with the newly updated features in the room as I had been there a couple years back for Chapter and it appeared they had some major updates needed to repair water damage. As soon as the Inspection was over I decided I had better head back home as the weather was really starting to turn bad. Luckily as I made it to Findlay, the weather broke somewhat and was more flurries than sleet or heavy snow the rest of the way home.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cumminsville Chapter #158 Inspection

Tonight was Cumminsville Chapter Inspection in the 4th District (Cincinnati) in the Past Master Degree. This is the home Chapter for several prominent Masons in Cincinnati including REC Chester Burton who was Grand Chaplain last year. MEC Don Owens was also present and really appeared to be doing well. The meeting moved along well and they had two candidates for the degrees who saw some good degree work. Luckily I was able to get home relatively early and despite watching the NCAA final game of the evening when I got home, I was able to get to bed early as I have a long day ahead tomorrow.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Deputy Grand Master Council Program

Tonight I traveled to Lebanon to hear RIC Lynn Alexander present his program if elected in October at Grand Council. He had several interesting points but really the bottom line is if you can't be successful under his program, it is your own fault since much is based on you setting your own goals. There was a nice crowd present which there should have been as this is his own Arch. It was also good to see representatives from Grand Chapter and Grand Commandery present to show the unity of the York Rite.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Khana Shahar Grotto Meeting

Well tonight is one of those nights you get lots done going to one location but I wasn't sure I was going to make it.  I had to start out a little late due to a last minute request from work as I was getting ready to leave for Springfield. Once I got going the traffic was heavy and slow but I thought I could make it almost on time. Then I noticed I was almost out of gas. I made the decision I could make it ... After all I wasn't past empty. Luckily I made it and went to get my fez ...oops it was in the other car. Oh well I'd make the best of it. So first I was able to get a scholarship application turned in, next I met with REC Bill Jones 6th District Deputy Grand High Priest, to give him some items from Grand Chapter I needed to deliver, then I went to the meeting and got to join an unofficial club... The dumb sh$t club for those who forget their fez. And after I paid my fine and attended the meeting I left with an empty wallet, paperwork delivered and a full stomach from the great dinner they provided. I then drove directly to the gas station, filled up and headed home. A very productive night.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trowel Chapter #70 Inspection

Tonight was the Inspection for Trowel chapter in the Past Master degree in Jackson Ohio in the 5th Capitular District. This is the final Cahpter I had not been to in the 5th District (and actually I have been trying ot get to this Chapter for Inspection for around 5 years now but some conflict has always come up at the last minute). Down to the final bakers dozen left in the state I haven't made it to yet (all of which are in the northeast coiner near the snow belt which has been why several I haven't been able to make to this point in time). The Grand High Priest, MEC Robert Thomas, Grand King REC Keith O'Dell and Grand Master 1st Veil REC Rod Carr were all present. I kind of got thrown for a curve early in the evening as the meeting was ready to start as it appeared somehow the 12th Masonic District either had no coverage or double coverage for the April 5th event. Luckily after the meeting it appeared that things are actually good. Dodged a bullet there. On my way home I dodged something else on the highway but it wasn't a bullet, car, or deer but rather a coyote. Yes it was just outside of Xenia on SR35 and according to the Greene County website they have some in this area. If you haven't seen one in person, they definitely have a distinct look and couldn't be mistaken for a dog (up close).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cabiri Meerting

Tonight was the Cabiri meeting and Frank Klugh decided to do refreshments in honor of his birthday. Frank was Potentate of Antioch in 1977. We heard about all the last minute details which were finalized for the upcoming Ohio Shrine Meeting which is being held at Antioch on May 2-3 with our own PP Gary Blackford presiding as the President. Since we meet at 6 PM with refreshments prior to the meeting, it was an early night. This was kind of nice for a change to be home early.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Very Busy Day

Today started out early in the morning with Waynesville Lodge Inspection in my district in the Fellowcraft Degree. This is the home Lodge of several very active York Rite Masons. They also had some very cool new props that they used to add to the Fellowcraft degree. In all, they did a very nice job and we were out before noon. Next I headed to Xenia for Nathaniel Greene's Commandery Inspection. Their Eminent Commander was a friend of mine who I found out was serving for the first time. Why this is significant is that he has already served Lodge, Chapter, and Council as the presiding officer but the last one was in 1989. He explained that he had started several times but had always had to drop due to work commitments. After witnessing the Order of the Temple, I headed down the road to the next activity at the Dayton Temple. The 21 Club which I instituted when I was a District Deputy Grand Master was meeting for their annual get-to-gather. The 21 Club is earned by any Lodge member who attends 21 Lodge inspection in the 2nd Masonic District in one year. While I expected just around 5 a year to complete this visitation requirement, we have ran closer to around 10+ per year achieving it, some now have over 10 years of achieving it. One extra benefit was going to be this annual get-to-gather of those who were members and around 4 years ago we started that tradition. We also have ties you can get (exclusively) for joining the 21 Club and an apron you can earn for so many years (I think it may be 10) of achieving the goal of 21 Inspection in our District. Unfortunately, the unofficial president of the 21 Club was unable to attend as he had to rush his wife into the hospital with breathing problems just prior to the get-to-gather. Last for the evening, Pam joined me and we attended the Scottish Rite Spring entertainment which was a presentation of the Van Dell's. They have a musical review of the 50's & 60's with some humor mixed into the program. Lot's of great music. A very busy day indeed starting before the sun came up and lasting well after it went down but it was also a fun filled day with lots of surprises along the way.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Adoniram Council #131 SEM

Tonight was the Council Super Excellent Master Degree for my Council in Miamisburg. I was really excited to see around 45 of our own members present to not only do the SEM degree but also the old pre-opening which I don't think is done anywhere in the state. I also think we had around 25-30 visitors. I helped represent the Chapter in the pre-opening and did the Nebuchadnezzar part in the degree. Prior to the SEM we had our traditional fish dinner (which is what I think brings in the visitors as well as some of our members) which was excellent. For the past few years our Illustrious Master Mac Polston has provided the fish from fishing trips he has made to Lake Erie. We do all the parts with members of our Council and if I do say so myself I think one of the best portrayals in the state.While we have persons who have been doing their parts for nearly 40 years in the degree (and I would say most of the major parts the members have been doing for around 15+ years...I've been doing mine for right about 30 years) We are working hard to get back-ups for all the major parts and if possible put together a whole second cast. I would say within a year or so we may have a back-up for all the major parts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Greenville Chapter & Council Meeting

Tonight a very important meeting was held in Greenville in regards to the continuance of the York Rite. REC Clatterbuck, MEC Duncan along with MIC Campbell and MIC Buckingham were also present for the discussions. Both the Chapter and Council were having some difficulties continuing without some changes. The temple board also sent representatives who indicated they were wanting to make sure they did all they could to keep the York Rite in Greenville. After discussing the issues the temple board offered an option to help resolve some of the major issues and at the end of the meeting both groups agreed to continue to try to make it happen in Greenville. A happy ending for the evening and now the work begins.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

DeMolay Legion of Honor Dinner

For the first time in several years, I was able to attend the LOH ceremony in my own area (where I was Dean in 2002). For several years while I was the Executive Officer, I tried to attend observances from around the state in addition to my own and since then I've had conflicts where Cincinnati's observance fit better into my schedule (they moved their observance to the Sunday closest to March 18th as their attendance was almost tripled by doing this change.). I is really good to have an opportunity on the 700 anniversary of the burning at the stake of DeMolay to meet in my own LOH Preceptory. PGM C. Michael Watson was present as were several LOH recipients and DeMolay's. We had a nice dinner and then we attempted to watch the live feed from France at the site where DeMolay was martyred 700 years ago but the technical part didn't agree to well so Sam Crawford did the Ceremony of Light and we all went home.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Toledo-Port Lawrence #161 Inspection

Tonight was the Inspection in the Royal Arch degree for Toledo-Port Lawrence Chapter near Toledo in the 8th District. this is one of the Chapters in my region this year and I think this is the third or fourth time over the years in which I have been to this Chapter's Inspection. This Chapter is located right on the point of a piece of land which jets out into Lake Erie. Most Excellent Companion Robert Thomas and his Grand Aide were in attendance tonight. In addition, MEC Wayne Dill, Past Grand High Priest, and REC Keith Green, Grand Principal Sojourner were present. MEC Dill and the State High 12 President, Tom Foor had been helping Adopt America all day in an effort to move their offices to a new location. I arrived a little to close for comfort tonight, though I would have been there around 20 minutes prior but I had a call just as I was walking out the door at home which I decided to take. It was good news about a Chapter which was talking about merging and now may have a plan to stay in business. I am always ready to talk when it is good news!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Not the Happiest of Days

The day started out with the viewing of RWB Jim Goertemiller. I meet and got to know Jim almost immediately upon joining Lodge nearly 30 years ago. At the time he was the Secretary for the District and later became a DEO and DDGM. A few years later, Jim and I went through the Scottish Rite line together. Jim was the presiding officer immediately before me in the Lodge of Perfection Line. We travelled to many club meetings together. We also both joined and travelled in the Masonic Campers Club together for many years. Jim and his wife Pat are both sweet & kind persons who everyone should get the opportunity to meet and be friends with someone like them in their lifetime. So long friend. Afterwards we travelled to the State Cheerleading competition in Bowling Green which Laura and the High School Team were competing. The team did their best and did come in third place place but they had been hoping for first since they had beaten the team that finish first today more than once this year. Unfortunately, the other team threw in a new routine today which seemed to be the deciding factor. (As for the team which finsihed #2, they hadn't competed against this year but that team had won Nationals just a year or so back) So it is now the end of high school cheerleading for Laura and on to track where she hopes to break the girl high school pole vault record.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Second District Grand Master's Reception

Tonight was the Grand Master's Reception in my District..the 2nd Masonic District. It was supposed to culminate an entire day of Masonic activity starting with the Institution of a new Lodge at the Ohio Masonic Home, a DeMolay initiation in Dayton (where I heard 13 new members were initiated) and last prior to the GM reception was the Chapter of Research meeting in West Carrollton. appears someone found out last night they hadn't renewed their driver's license and needed to get it done today (me). The problem was Pam already had a series of items she needed to get done first today. Luckily after she got home we got to the license bureau and renewed the license (thankfully before they closed), we at least made the Grand Master's Reception.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Millersburg Chapter #86 Inspection

Tonight was the inspection for Millersburg (located in Amish coutry in east central Ohio about an hour below Canton) in the 18th District in the Royal Arch Degree. This was the final Chapter in that district I had not been to before and I was not disappointed. Most Excellent Companion John Gartrell PGHP from this District was also present and assisted with the degree work this evening along with several from other chapters. Tonight it wasn't about the degree work for me but rather the decision this Chapter made that they were going to survive that impressed me. They have only 31 members. They basically have no funds. The Masonic bodies lost the older, larger temple they had as they could not continue to afford it any longer. It would have been easy to throw in the towel, but they didn't. A member has provided a store front for them to meet in on the second floor. They have went in and remodeled the room so it is basic but very nice looking. They are talking about how to raise more funds. They are discussing how they can get more members, very inspiring. Truly they have taken the Grand High Priest theme of I AM AN OWNER to heart.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hamilton SEM

When I was at the Hamilton Chapter Inspection on Monday, I was asked if I could help them out with the Super Excellent Master degree being put on this evening and of course I told them I would. Since the part they needed was Nebuchadnezzar it was easy for me as I had just done it Saturday in Dayton. They put it on in conjunction with Middletown Council at the Hamilton Temple. They also had some assistance from Lebanon and Eaton Councils. In addition PGM Mike Himes was there in case they needed some assistance and RWB H. Matt Reed, current DDGM 2nd District, stopped by for a few minutes to witness the work.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hamilton Chapter #21 Inspection

Tonight was the final Inspection for the 3rd District of the 2013-14 season. While I have not been able to make all the Inspections I wanted to make this year in the District, due to some being rescheduled and others due to work conflicts, another year is in the books. (Piqua Chapter Inspection is cancelled and they are in the process of starting a merger) I was happy to see REC Earl McWhorter PDDGHP from the 3rd District from 1990 who was my inspecting officer. He was back after a long time away from Hamilton Chapter due to his health and his wives. It was also a little bit of a rough year for the 3rd District as our new DDGHP this year REC Fred Gallo was out of commission for almost the entire year and is still working on getting back up to speed. I must thank REC Joe Fair and REC Greg Clatterbuck who filled in and did REC Gallo's Inspections for him this year. In addition, two Chapter have started the process of a merger and a third is working to keep from having to merge. Unfortunately, Piqua appears that the building they are meeting in may be sold and the other two are in desperate straights financially and with no officers. We have been working with these Chapters (some for over 10 years) to try to get them stabilized to continue but sometimes factors outside the Chapters control come into play. We are looking to put some major changes into play in the upcoming year in our District including on major new office to work directly on membership.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

ROJ, Council & GHP Reception

To say today was a busy day would be an understatement. The morning started out early as our Jesters put on the Book of Play and I had a part in it. It was a little different as we had some persons from Cincinnati come up and assist us with a little bit of their form of humor for the Book of the Play. We had a nice turnout for the four new members we brought in and there was plenty of fun to go around everywhere.
Next Silver Trowel Council & Reese Council held their Inspections in the Royal Master and Select Master and afterwards the joint SEM degree was put on all at the Dayton Temple. The Grand Illustrious Master was present, Robert Rinehart along with Grand Principal Conductor of the Work Richard Amlung, Grand Recorder PGIM Bobby Campbell, Grand Fraternal Correspondent John Johnson, and Grand Aide Randall Davis. I helped out with the Nebuchadnezzar part and while the degrees all seemed to run long, we got them all done for around 7 candidates.
Next was the Grand High Priest Reception for the 3rd District in Xenia. MEC Robert Thomas was honored along with Lady Donna and we had PGHP's Jerry Crawford, Steve Duncan and George Shell all present. After a nice dinner and a short program several of us headed over to Young's Dairy for ice cream. Overall a fun day but very busy.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

More Changes in Plans

Well this winter I feel like the weather along with it being my daughters senior year have really taken a big hit into my scheduled plans. This week it wasn't necessarily the weather (though I did have a couple days this week where I felt under the weather) which changed my plans. Yesterday, I planned to go to the Composite Cast Inspection in Dayton. WRONG! I had asked Laura (my daughter) what she planned to do yesterday (some time back) since it was after all her 18th birthday. She indicated she wasn't sure but would probably be going out with her friends and then doing homework. So attending the Inspection was a no brainer....that is until Laura had no homework and decided she wanted the family to go to dinner for her I stayed home and we went to dinner (after all it was #18 and in the fall she will be headed off to college so I better take advantage of every opportunity where she WANTS to do something with mom and dad). Tonight, I had what was supposed to be a routine short ritual practice for a part I'm doing Saturday. WRONG! What should have been 45 minutes and caused me to be a few minutes late, lasted 2 hours and on top of everything it started late. So needless to say I didn't make Victory Chapter's Inspection. I know I will make to Dayton on Saturday though since I'm doing Nebuchadnezzar for them in the SEM degree.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Guernsey Council #74 Inspection

Tonight I visited my final arch in the state of Ohio so I went to all mine arches this year. I had originally planned a different inspection but unfortunately that counsel had some difficulty and didn't hold the inspection. Tonight was in Cambridge in the ninth arch in the Royal Master degree. The Grand Illustrious Master Robert Rinehart was present along with the Grand Principal Conductor of the Work Richard Amlung.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mt. Moriah #230 Chapter Inspection

Today was the first day of York Rite Week in Dayton. Tonight several candidates received the Mark Master Degree including two from outside the temple (which was somewhat of a surprise to them). REC Hank Dodson did the lead part and several others form Mt. Moriah and other Chapters helped to round out the cast which did a nice job. One of the candidates was Bob Deam who is an officer in Solar Lodge and was Potentate of Antioch when I started into line. MEC George Shell was also in attendance.The rest of the Capitular degrees will be portrayed over the next 3 days then Friday will be the first two Orders in Commandery and Saturday will be all the Council degrees. Definitely a busy and full week. Just happy the weather cooperated.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

KYCH Meeting

Today was the statewide KYCH meeting in Lebanon. I'm glad I looked at my schedule for rest of the day again this morning and mapped out the second I was attending after the KYCH meeting since I found out there was no way I could make the second event on time. 13 new KYCH's were knighted and they were maxed to capacity for dinner. Everything moved right along and there was allot of discussion afterwards about the upcoming snow storm and possible cancellations in the upcoming week. So instead of staying for dinner after the induction of new KYCH's, I headed home and we did the March Family Birthday night celebration (mine is tomorrow, Laura's on the 5th and Pam's on the 20th) at the Melting Pot. It was a fun experience especially since this is a special birthday for Laura, the big number 18.

Weekly Travels March

While often my travels are dictated by my work schedule, I am going to try keep at a running monthly schedule of potential Chapter related visits/events outside our area. If anyone from my area is interested in traveling with me, contact me and we will see what we can do.

Week of 3/3
• I'll basically be living in Dayton (except Tuesday) at the York Rite permitting

Week of 3/10
• Thursday 13 18th District Inspection Millersburg Chapter

Week of 3/17
• Monday 17 8th District Inspection Port Lawrence Chapter Toledo
• Thursday 20 11th District Inspection Ohio Chapter

Week of 3/25 (through the end of the month)
• Tuesday 25 5th District Inspection Trowel Chapter
• Friday 28 4th District Inspection Cumminsville Chapter
• Saturday 28 7th District Inspection Findlay Chapter (all day event as I then plan to attend Erie Commandery Inspection in the afternoon in Sandusky and Golden Rule Lodge in Willard that evening)
• Monday 31 8th District Inspection Fort Miami-Calumet Chapter Toledo