Wednesday, April 30, 2014

King's Dinner

Each year the 3rd District holds a King's Dinner and if he desires the Grand King can come and present his program or if he wants just come and meet the High Priests of the district. This year Keith O'Dell chose to present his program and so tonight in Middletown we got to be the second group to hear about his program for next year. He also brought with him one of his Aides for the year and the person being supported to start in the Grand Chapter Line. We had all three PGHPs from our District MEC Jerry Crawford, MEC Steve Duncan and MEC George Shell. Most of the High Priests were present as were some of the PDDGHPs from the District along with the current officers.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Corwin-Webb #205 Chapter Inspection

Tonight was the final Inspection of the year for the 16th District in Brecksville near Cleveland in the Royal Arch degree. There were two Past Grand High Priests present MEC Robert Draye and MEC Robert Crabbs. In addition, from the Grand Chapter line REC Robert Blankenhorn, Grand Scribe and REC Jeff Addis, Grand Captain of the Host were present along with many Past District Deputy Grand High Priests of the 16th District. This was also the last Inspection where REC Robert Berteau will be a sitting District Deputy Grand High Priest as he will be retiring at Grand Chapter this year having served 3 full years. The Chapter did a nice job on the ritual work for the evening.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dedication at Ohio Masonic Home

Today was an important day for the Masons of Ohio at the Ohio Mason Home. While the Chapter first was able to get the Ohio Masonic Home started in 1892 for our first resident, today all Masons in every branch contribute and were present for the ground breaking ceremony for the new Wing at the Ohio Masonic Home. The best part is the board is taking the lead in this important effort to ensure our Home's success and future for the next 100+ years. The weather was great and the choir from the Ohio Masonic Home sounded fantastic as they started the day off right. After the posting of colors by the Commandery and the comments by the CEO Bro. Tom Stofac, President of the Trustees MWB Terry Posey, the Springfield Government officials and our Grand Master MWB Norm Mick; the day was concluded by the turning of the dirt for the start of the process to build the new facility. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed refreshments to celebrate a great day in the history of Ohio Masonry and a promise by the Masons of Ohio to always keep their obligations.

6th District Grand High Priest Reception

After the Ohio Masonic Home event today, several travelled over the New Carlisle for the Grand King's Program, District Meeting and Grand High Priest Reception in the 6th District. The afternoon started with the Grand King presenting his program. Next the 6th District held a short District Meeting and to end the day they held their Grand High Priest Reception. All three of the top Grand Chapter Officers: MEC Bob Thomas, REC Keith O'Dell, and REC Bob Blankenhorn were present along with their wives. There were several other dignitaries present at the event with one of those being Past Grand High Priest Bill Berry. It was a good meal and then they presented some awards after which the Grand High Priest spoke. We were out of there at a reasonably early time which was good since the Grand High Priest had at least a four hour drive home and after being in Mansfield Friday, Cleveland and Cincinnati Saturday as well as Springfield and New Carlise today; I'm sure he was ready to head home for some rest.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Antioch Potentate's Ball

Tonight was the Potentate's Ball for Antioch Shrine and our Potentate this year is Scott Lipps who is a Past High Priest and Past Master at my Lodge. We both served together in Blue Lodge line as well as the Shrine line. The difference was I worked for him as the presiding officer in Lodge and he got to work for me as the presiding office in Shrine. It was a nice affair with over 200 in attendance.You started off by coming down the red carpet with the Paparazzi greeting you. There were appetizer, drinks and pictures for everyone. They then did the normal introductions and at the end named an Antioch Patient Ambassador for the hospital and crowned her. After that the Shrine Awards (just as at the Oscars) were presented. We had a good dinner and dancing followed. It was a nice night and every Shrine got their very own Oscar to take home with them.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Grand High Priest Reception 10th District

Tonight was the Grand High Priest Reception in the 10th District in Mansfield. This is the home District of Past Grand High Priest Robert Crabbs and Grand Scribe Robert Blankenhorn. Our Grand High Priest Robert Thomas was also of course present. The meal was fantastic and they really had a nice turnout from all of the Chapters in the 10th District. We had Prime Rib, Chicken and Shrimp along with homemade bread and several sides in addition to a nice salad bar and dessert. In talking with our Grand high Priest this is definitely a busy weekend as tomorrow he will head to Cleveland for the Scottish Rite Class in his honor and then to Cincinnati for their Grand High Priest Reception in the 4th District. Sunday we will be together at several activities scattered around the Springfield area which I will report on as they come up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Miami Valley York Rite College

Tonight was our annual meeting and Installation of new officers. Our York Rite College has many members who are actively involved in all branches of the York Rite and do parts for them on a regular basis as well. Our Grand Master, MWB Norm Mick is an officer. The Deputy Grand Illustrious Master, Lynn Alexander, is a past Governor and the Deputy Grand Commander, Tom Gault is also an active member. I moved up to the Seneschal position tonight representing the Grand Chapter. We also have as officers Past Grand Commander Richard Holcombe, Grand Standard Bearer Marty Trent and 3rd Arch Inspector Mike Smith. Our College since its' inception has had officers from all the York Rite Grand Bodies with some of our other Past Governors being Past Grand Master Mike Himes, Past Grand High Priest's Steve Duncan and Kermit Zimmerman, Past Grand Illustrious Master Bobbie Campbell and Beecher Vaughn and Past Grand Commander Burch Zehner. But while it may seem as being a Grand Officer is a requirement to be an officer, we have also had many PDDGMs, PDDGHPs, PDDCs serve as officer and our outgoing Governor was PDDGHP Hank Dodson and the current Governor is now PDDGHP/PDDC Robert Oldfather. As you can see our goal is to get workers from all the York Rite to make up our officer line.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shrine Greeters Meeting

Hopefully, I'm getting back into the swing of things (though I still think that 4 letter word WORK is going to get in the way over the next few weeks) and I attended the monthly meeting of the Greeters. This is a very active Unit in the Shrine and has produced many leaders at Antioch and is almost always among the leaders whenever activities are involved. Tonight they recognized the Past Presidents and really had a great turnout. They also had a great turnout of members as the Unit has around 35 members and last night all were either present or excused and I think there were only 5 in the excused category. When is the last time you could say a group basically had 100% attendance!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

While I originally planned Holy Week to be a light schedule of activities this week, I really did have a few activities planned but unfortunately work decided to call meetings almost every night this week which changed any plans I might have thought that I had planned. And I'm not so sure that over the next month I might not have several more times where work changes my plans since we are in the middle of a critical project with a tight schedule. I am hoping though that winter is now behind us and Easter marks the beginning of a busy but productive spring.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Final Mark Master One Day Class Numbers

Since the last Grand Master's class wasn't held until yesterday, I needed to wait to get a final count. I must also say that I think there are possibly several more that couldn't stay but signed up directly with a Chapter to join. In addition, I heard of numerous requests from Lodges to put on the Peculiar Stone Skit at a meeting as a Lodge Education program. Personally, I think the creation of 25 Peculiar Stone Skit teams may be a bigger benefit to Royal Arch Masonry and the York Rite than the numbers I am going to provide. If you see Most Worshipful Brother Norm Mick please thank him for the opportunity he gave to the York Rite. That being said here are some of the statistics. All but one District had at least one candidate for the Mark Master Degree and the District which had none is the smallest Masonic District in Ohio and had a total of 14 in the Grand Master Class. I should also note that several who joined Lodge in that District did indicate they may be interested in the near future to join. We also had 26 candidates who pre-signed up for local Festivals to receive all the York Rite Degrees. One Capitular District signed up 25 new members for their District and another Capitular District 21 new members. One Masonic District was able to have 17 who signed up to join Chapter. One person who joined Chapter was already a member of Lodge (an officer at that) but comes from a Lodge which really doesn't want their members to join any body except Lodge. He was so impressed with the Peculiar Stone Skit that he chose to join. In total, we signed up 166 persons to receive their Mark Master degree. We did have some logistical issues which hurt the totals in some Districts and in some Districts the candidates who received their Master Mason where released prior to viewing the Peculiar Stone Skit but in those areas we are going to try to follow up in the near future with those who joined in the Grand Master's Class. Now the work really begins to impress those new Mark Master's to go farther in their Masonic journey and most of all to get active in Chapter.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mt. Carmel #303 Lodge Inspection

For several years now I have been trying to make the Lodge Inspection for the last two lodges in the 15th Masonic District which I have not been at before. Today was the Inspection for one of those Lodges at Richwood Ohio: Mt. Carmel #303. I met the Worshipful Master Josh McDonald, who is a younger guy, at an inspection for Council in Columbus a few months back. He was very nervous prior to the Inspection but did a nice job as did all those who did degree work. This is als the home lodge of RWB Jerry Belt who I travelled with in the 15th District during the time while we were DDGM's (though as he would probably point out I am older than him when it comes to being a PDDGM). There were several there who I have met over the years and I was surprised to see our PGIM Rusty Eagle also in attendance. I'm hoping next year I'll be able to make Oliver's Lodge Inspection in the 15th District as this is the final lodge I have not attended in this District. A great day .... when you can attend 5 Inspections all in the same day.

Four Inspections in the 20th Capitular District

Today in Geneva: Jefferson, Geneva, Western Reserve and Conneaut all held their Chapter Inspections as the portrayed the PM, MEM and Royal Arch and exalted 7 new candidates. Our Grand High Priest Bob Thomas was in attendance for most of the day and this is his home district (he had to leave a little early to head down to Circleville for the 5th District Grand High Priest Reception). As Grand Officers we often drive some long miles and often even scratch our own heads and say maybe planning to travel to both ends of the state in back to back days might not have been such a good plan. Or as the one guy at work told me, he knows I must have a side job as a truck driver with the number of miles I travel a week. But as for the Inspection the Chapters banded together to portray the degrees and it went off smoothly.We also had present: REC Doug Dolan, Grand Guard; Grand Aide William Creecraft and Past Grand Secretary of Mexico Jose Aquino who now lives near Cleveland. Oh and I should mention George Tegner was also present and he started out the day as Grand Aide and almost finished as Grand Marshal (you can talk with George and the actual Grand Marshal Tom Johnson for details :) You may also notice a rare photo here of myself with the Grand High Priest as normally I am the one taking the pictures. Again a nice day and we got over in time for me to head south to my next activity.

Friday, April 11, 2014

13th District Grand High Priest Reception

What a great day for a drive to Athens (Ohio of course!). The sun was out but it wasn't too hot, the wind was just a slight breeze and the roads were dry. The only thing I wish I had known was when I got to Athens to look for the signs in all the windows of the restaurants and bars announcing a local band concert as my niece who goes to OU in Athens designed all the signs. She is really talented and I was actually one of the first to use her for a project I did a few years back. Enough chatter and on to the reception. While the crowd was a little small do to some other events which were conflicting, the meal was great: prime rib. This is my favorite meal and I try to go to this reception every year as I know that will be what they serve and I wasn't disappointed. Grand Master of the 1st Veil Rob Carr (from the 13th District0 and of course our Grand High Priest Bob Thomas and Donna were in attendance. Assistant Grand Chaplain, Ray Sharritts was also present as he is now a member of this district though he grew up in Miamisburg which is also my home town. The night got over early so it allowed me to head north to Geneva near Cleveland for the events on Saturday (but who knew I would have to go to West Virgina first as the most direct route).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Unity Chapter Stated Meeting

Tonight was the stated meeting for Unity Chapter and our DDGHP Greg Clatterbuck and myself  visited as the chapter had sent us some concerns and indicated they were discussing the possibility of merging. Unity Chapter is one of the oldest in our district and both REC Clatterbuck and I decided to see what we could do to help save this chapter. Luckily when we got there they had already done some thing to stabilize themselves and have a few new petitions. We went to the meeting and all discussions surrounded growth for the Chapter. I'm happy their situation was such a rapid and dramatic change.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Valley Commandery Stated

Tonight was the stated meeting for our Commandery. It is often like going to a Chapter event as we have 3 Past Grand High Priests, 2 current DEO's and all three current Deputies in addition to half a dozen Past District Deputy Grand High Priests who are members of my Commandery. What is amazing is they come from at least 6-7 different Chapters. We also have active members from at least 3 other Chapters , one of which is also a Grand Chapter Officer. It was also good to hear about some of the Grand Master's Class this past Saturday as our Chapter District helped at 3 Masonic Districts.

Weekly Travels April

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.

• Wednesday 9 16th District Inspection Chagrin Falls Chapter
• Friday 11 13th District Grand High Priest Reception and overnight to Geneva
• Saturday 12 20th District All degree Day Geneva
• Monday 21 7th District Inspection Fostoria Chapter
• Thursday 24 19th District Inspection Salem Chapter
• Friday 25 10th District Grand High Priest Reception
• Sunday 27 6th District Grand High Priest Reception
• Monday 28 16th District Inspection Corwin-Webb Chapter Brecksville near Cleveland

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kent Chapter #192 Reconsecration

Today was a great day in Kent. We had a 100 year reconsecration of the Chapter and they had a very nice turnout of members and visitors present. Often at reconsecration's the turnouts are not that great but today the attendance was very good. They did it up right with nice refreshments afterwards and they also invited the ladies for the ceremony. All the Grand Chapter officers were present. It was also a nice day for a drive both up and back. I'm hoping spring is actually here to stay...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Grand Master's Class and MkM Degree

What a great day for Masonry in Ohio! Across the state we are positioned to have over 900 new Master Mason's and this year the Grand Master afforded Grand Chapter the opportunity to perform the Mark Master degree after the Master Mason. In addition, he requested the Peculiar Stone skit to be performed. For that Grand Chapter must say THANK YOU GRAND MASTER MWB Norman Mick! It did, however, provide some challenges and opportunities in accomplishing this task. First is the fact there are 25 Masonic District and only 19 Capitular Districts so we had to solved the issue of how can Grand Chapter cover every Masonic District. In addition, there were only probably one or maybe two functioning Peculiar Stone skit teams in the state. Well the District Deputies (along with the State Membership Committee and a few others) were charged with tackling this challenge and making it happen. They came through today (with a few hiccups of course) and so far we are nearing the 100 mark for new Mark Master's signed up and I still have over half the state to report. I was lucky to make the 2nd and 8th Masonic District event and was headed to the 3rd Masonic District but got a little sidetracked when a family issue came up I needed to deal with immediately. As a family, we have 5 cars. I have the one with the most miles (around 230K surprise!) we have a one ton van to pull our trailer (the oldest vehicle), one for my daughter Laura, one for Pam and one is her mother's which we also drive when we need a larger car. First the mother-in-laws car had the plastic protection cover under the engine break lose so that car can't be driven until it is fixed. Next my wife told me her car was having a strong odor of gasoline so I went over to see it and there was gas pouring out from under it so I decided towing was a better option than her driving it to get it fixed thus I needed to take her home (and thus missed the 3rd Masonic District I was headed to visit). Last, when my daughter got back to the school and went to drive her car home the check engine light came on and I found out it was very low on radiator fluid and probably should not be driven until filled. When I went to the store to get the special fluid needed they indicated it probably would not be in stock until Monday. Good thing my car (with the most miles) and the van (with the worst gas mileage and the oldest vehicle) are still running. Otherwise, it would be a long walk to Kent for the recon tomorrow!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Charlemange Red Cross Constantaine

Tonight was the quarterly meeting of the Red Cross of Constantine which I belong and am an officer. As I may have mentioned before, this is an invitational organization and our Grand Sovereign is Burch Zehner who was present this evening and performed our installation for us. Tonight MWB Jack Allen was installed as the Sovereign as he was unable to make it to the December meeting and our regular installation due to some health issues. We met at the Cabin Restaurant outside of Mansfield. One of the unique parts of this group is we are Chartered out of Lima but have never met there since I joined over 10 years ago and as we have members from all over the state, we have met in locations all over the state.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Last Minute Grand Master's Class Follow Up

Tonight, I was following up on a few last minute items and questions associated with the Grand Master's Class this Saturday and more especially the Grand Chapter portion. It is amazing when you thin that you have covered every question and thought about every potential situation that might arise, one more comes around. This has been a long journey in preparation but I'm hoping that it will all pay off and it will be a very successful day for Grand Chapter in addition to Grand Lodge this Saturday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ormus Grotto Meeting

Tonight was the monthly stated meeting for my Grotto. We were a little light on attendance since we only have around 60 members and two regulars were out (one health and one work related). It was nice to see one of our members back last night who had been out for a while. In addition, the Senior Grand Deacon, Keith Newton, was present and as a member has agreed to help us out. Our District Deputy Tim Brooks was present and discussed some of the Grand Lodge programs. We also discussed some of the upcoming events including a ceremonial with Springfield, Monarch's Ball and Zone Conferences.