Saturday, September 27, 2014

Urbana Shrine Parade

Today was a great day for a parade and we had standing room only on the Greeters trailer as all seats were full. It was good after the parade to see Beecher Vaughn who was in the area and stopped by to say hi to everyone. I actually had Chapter business to take care of at the parade as there were several present who I know would be interested in attending a 50 year membership pin in Chapter being given to our Potentate's father, Kenny Lipps, on the first Tuesday in November at Miamisburg. After a good meal, Pam and I headed back home so we could get some much needed work done around the house after a couple stops to pick up some items to help out with the work.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Miami Valley York Rite College Meeting

Tonight we looked like a team with half of it on the disabled list. Our Presiding Officer, Governor Robert Oldfather, is laid up with several broken bones. A couple other officers had last minutes emergencies to attend to but we still got in a practice for our degree work next month as the Degree Director John Donohoo stepped in to help out. We also voted on several potential new members as pro-tem Governor, Richard Holcombe, gave us a new twist on voting. This is one of the harder bodies to learn a part in as the officers normally only do it once a year and then the next year more up a station. When all was said and done it didn't look too bad and we left Lebanon to head home at a decent hour.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Greeters Meeting

Tonight was the Greeters meeting at the Shrine. At every meeting we take attendance on who is present and tonight of our 26 active members, 22 were present and the other 4 excused. I wish we had that type of participation in all our organizations. Most of the time we are lucky to have that type attendance from our OFFICERS. We discussed several pieces of business but the entire meeting only lasted around one hour. including dignitary comments. There are some lessons to be learned here,,,stick to the program agenda, don't allow a lot of side conversations and make sure you cover the necessary items. Probably doing these things will help attendance and keep the meetings short and relevant.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Temple Tabernacle & Irish Council

Well PC issues at work have dominated much of my time over the past few days. Today, I was able to make it a couple of Masonic Invitational only meetings but again not without some issues. Last night when I was going to try to attend the CTA meeting for Commandery, in addition to the issues I talked about to start this post out, I noticed that I could see the steel belts on one of the front tires. Not a good thing I though to myself and probably should not drive it after all tonight but go get it changed in the morning. Well this morning when I went just down the street to get the tire in the front replaced I noticed the other front tire also needed replacing so I tried to have them both replaced. Unfortunately, this is when they found another issue but luckily they said I could avoid the fix but another year was probably the max I could get out of the car without the fix and it was going to be more than I am willing to put into the car. After all with 235K miles, I'm not willing to put much more money into it before I decide it is time to replace it. So with new tires and the clock running on the life expectancy of the car, I went to Springfield to the Ohio Masonic Home to attend two meetings being held there. The first was Temple Tabernacle Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests as I was visiting since I belong to one in Lima. To belong you must be a Past Commander and they are limited to 33 members maximum. In addition, Ohio only is allowed to have a total of 4 Tabernacles. It was nice to be able to sit on the sidelines and watch them work since I was a visitor. After dinner Irish Council Knight Masons USA also met. I am a Past Excellent Chief here and last year the Excellent Chief indicated that he was replacing all the Past Excellent Chiefs in the degree work to give some more members an opportunity to do degree work. I thought was great and came prepared sit and watch. Unfortunately when it came time for the degree work, I had to help out with 2 of the 3 degrees. It is definitely a good thing I was able to attend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scottish Rite 12th Degree Rehearsal

Burning Bush Fire
I'm always glad to see when someone is thinking outside the box to add to a degree without changing the ritual. That is exactly what is being done in the 12th degree for our next portrayal in Dayton. As one of the co-directors, we talked about how can we make the degree a little different for those who have seen it before while not changing the ritual and we came up with an idea to give one of the scenes a little more realistic option of what we had symbolically done in the past. It kind of reminds me of what we did in Miaminsiburg to add to the burning bush scene in Chapter. Often I see a slide to portray it or maybe nothing but in Miamisburg we have a small wind machine with some red cloth "streamers" on top which when running looks like a fire.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trinity Chapter Meeting ... with some added touches

Tonight was the Stated Meeting for Trinity Chapter and when the High Priest, Richard Poore, opened he announced that one of the Companions had given him a new piece of head gear to wear at the meetings. He felt the standard hat we wore was not quite ornate enough. So EC Poore pulled it out and put in on.... probably not realizing that I would be there as the sure shot and snap a picture. I think it looks quite ornate. At the end of the meeting he announced we would have an extensive array of food to choose from as a snack before heading home.... hey maybe we should elect him High Priest again next year!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Valley Commandery Stated

Well tonight was the stated meeting for Valley Commentary. Unfortunately we heard about several of our members who are temporarily out of commission due to health concerns.It was nice to see a good turnout last night despite all the health issues keeping members away. We started making plans to handle the CTA meeting we are responsible for and started talking about degree work and Inspection. The best part was last night thought that we heard the temple has received there tax exception notice and hopefully part of that will be coming back to us in the form of reduced rent...something we desperately need.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Millersburg Chapter Dedication

Today was the dedication for the new apartments for Millersburg Chapter in the 18th District. It was a long ride over and back but luckily Pam went with me to keep me company. This is a very small chapter (around 30 members) but they are determined to make this Chapter grow and continue to exist. They also had some really good food and pies afterwards...I mainly focused on the pies. All the progressing line officers along with the appointed officers were in attendance. It ended up being a nice yet very long day. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Minerva Stated Meeting

Tonight was the first meeting back for the fall and it was also move up night so the Senior Warden presided as well as the other officers moving up one spot for the meeting. They really did a nice job considering it was the first time for many in these spots. We had 3 return their obligations for the EA. They also covered lots of business but kept the meeting running smoothly and finished up with all business prior to 9 PM.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Red Cross Constantaine Holy Grail Dayton

Tonight I visited the Dayton Red Cross of Constantine group per invitation by my good friend Bobby Campbell who is the current Soveriegn. I know most of their members as they are active in most of the local York Rite and Scottish Rite groups. They had a nice meal followed by a short meeting and their Recorder Burch Zehner Immediate Past Grand Sovereign thanked everyone for their support and assistance in the past year while he served. The Intendent General Harvey Lowry was also present.

Grand Chapter Kentucky

Today was the Grand Chapter of Kentucky held in Louisville. It wasn't a bad drive down or back (about 2.5 hrs each way). Our Grand High Priest Robert Thomas, Grand King Keith O'Dell, Past Grand High Priest Don Lossasso, and Grand Aide George T, were all present. The meeting lasted all morning and was around 45 minutes late getting started. I was actually very well run and interesting to see how different jurisdiction's handle things differently. I'm glad they broke almost on time for lunch sine I had to head back to Dayton for another Masonic event.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lebanon Chapter Awards Night

Tonight was the Awards Night for Lebanon Chapter and the Grand High Priest, MEC Robert Thomas and his Grand Aide George T. were present this evening to help present the awards. While they originally had several who had planned to attend, due to several last minute cancellations due to health issues only one was able to attend but he came all the way from Tennessee to get the award. It was also very nice to see a very enthusiastic High Priest at Lebanon who has some plans to help make the Chapter grow.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Minerva Lodge Fund Raiser

The old thinking in Masonry of living within your income with your income just being dues is just that old thinking. No Masonic group can continue to live solely on their dues and still provide a nice place to meet and activities for the their membership. So as I have been suggesting to every body I belong, this weekend we participated in a Lodge fund raiser. Since I had been pushing this I felt I needed to "put my money where my mouth was" and helped them out as we parked cars at the Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg. It really wasn't that difficult of a job and the Lodge members turned out in force to make it happen. In addition, I think it helps to build a bond of fellowship and a sense of pride in helping out your Lodge. Everyone seemed to be willing to do it again in the future and in fact were talking about doing it again next year.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Good Lesson

Early on in life I was told in order to be successful study those around you who are successful and read about how others in the past who became successful if you want to be successful yourself. Wise council I will have to admit but I will also share one additional item which the Brother we did the service for tonight proves just as important. Tonight was the Lodge Service for Brother Leon Brewer. Now some of what I say folks may think is insensitive but I only say it to prove a point and as an important lesson to all. Leon was a very good Mason and a man but he often had difficulty expressing what he wanted to say to folks so they understood him. He had difficulty learning the ritual and wasn't always the most organized but Leon taught me something that was as important as all the advice I every received from the smartest and most learned men and women. Leon taught me that putting your whole heart into all you do is just as important as the training and intelligence you bring to the table. I don't think anyone could every say Leon didn't do everything he could to help out. In the Tall Cedars, Leon proved that heart and not taking no for an answer could some times be more important than "doing things the normal way". He helped raise more money to give to the kids than probably anyone else every did from our local. As High Priest of our Chapter, he struggled with the ritual but it didn't stop him from trying to put on activities which were fun for the members. He made those around him want to help him to be successful. I don't think Leon ever did anything to promote Leon but rather as a selfless way to help out others around him. This is a lesson which can't be taught in classes, books and training but rather you have to experience it to understand the importance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back To Work For The Fall

After a few days off to catch up at home and enjoy the holiday weekend (I finally got a chance to camp and we even went out on the lake on a nice boat ride)with the family, it was back to work as Ormus Grotto held their stated meeting. We covered lots of items of business including the upcoming degree work and Monarch's Ball. Our numbers are small in this group but we have a very loyal following of members. Unfortunately, I did hear of the passing of a long time member of my Lodge, Leon Brewer. He is a Past High Priest of our Royal Arch Chapter from a couple year back before I was High Priest. I've cleared my calendar on Friday evening to attend his service and also to help out my Lodge this weekend with a fund raising opportunity on Sunday.