Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cuyahoga Falls Chapter Inspection

Tonight was the Chapter Inspection for Cuyahoga Falls in the 17th District and the first Inspection for their new District Deputy Grand High Priest. RIchard Amlung Deputy Grand Master for Grand Council and Past Grand High Priest Jim Himmelright were both present as were several who have received the Earl Gifford Distinguish Achievement Award. As this was the first Inspection were the 18th District was merged into the 17th District, it was nice to see some visitors from the old 18th attending an Inspection in their new District.The Chapter did a nice job on the work and also did one candidate as a courtesy to Kent Chapter as their candidate had to have emergency surgery when he was to get his Mark Master Degree (which was the Inspection degree this evening). This was also the final Chapter I had never been to an activity at in the 17th District. I'm now down to 10 more Chapters and I will have made at least one event in every Chapter in the State (in my lifetime).

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cabiri Meeting and Leadership Training Meeting

This weekend we had to go to Michigan for the viewing and funeral of my wife's sister-in-law. She was our "go to person" when we needed to be out of town for an extended period of time as she would come down to Dayton to help us out. She was always willing to help out anyone and was way to young to go at 64. Well enough of the sad information. Tonight was our Cabiri (Past Potentates) meeting and I only have one to go now as President and then the Christmas Party and Installation. While it was not a difficult job, it did seem to conflict with several other meetings. Afterwards the by-monthly leadership training session was held. We did planning and went over activities for the future along with discussing a few items we could have improved upon with the leaders at Antioch Shrine of all Clubs/Units and the Divan. These meetings are very beneficial as they help expedite continuous improvement at the Shrine.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Miami Valley York Rite College

Tonight was the York Rite College meeting and we brought in six new members at our meeting in Lebanon, Ohio. The York Rite College is dedicated to helping out the York Rite of Freemasonry. Our Grand Governor for Ohio Ken Crouch was in attendance as were many dignitaries including Grand Illustrious Master, Lynn Alexander who is a Past Governor of our College. The ladies were invited for dinner and entertainment while we went upstairs to perform the ritual work. Since it was a long evening and the ladies were waiting on us, the Grand Governor closed for us tonight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trinity Chapter Stated Meeting

Tonight was the stated meeting for my chapter and we had a nice atttendance with 18 present. We discussed upcoming degree work and changes approved at Grand Chapter. We also had a nioe education program and discussed what we can do to help out brothers/companions in need. After the meeting, we had practice for the Royal Arch Widows Degree being performed next month along with refreshments after practice. (Unfortunately, I had to leave as soon as the meeting was over to attend to something for work).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Scottish Rite 12 Degree Rehearsal

Tonight was rehearsal for the Scottish Rite 12th Degree. Hopefully everyone will be over there illness before the actual performance as several were under the weather (though they showed up for rehearsal).We did 2 walkthru practices with the second being much better than the first. Paul Morris has helped us add a little something to the degree with the building of a pit more us to use.(You'll have to come to see what I'm talking about!)With a cast which is almost completely brand new from the last time this was performed, we have some challenges but with some great ritualist's in the degree, I'm sure it will come out well on the day of the performance.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chapter Reaffirmation Sunday

Today at Miamisburg our District Chaplain held the 3rd District Reaffirmation Sunday service. While several Chapters hold their own service, we have held a District service for those to attend who might not hold one in their own Chapter. The Mayor of Miamisburg, Dick Church, who is a member of Trinity Chapter was the guest speaker. After the service we held a collection for Adopt America and collected $120 and then headed to the dining room for refreshments.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Grand Lodge

The past couple of days have been the Grand Lodge session held in Sharonville, Ohio. The turnout seemed fairly good as many had to stand for part of the meeting as it appeared the number of chairs might not have been sufficient. (Sounds like a good problem to have to resolve!) We heard from all the Masonic bodies and the Masonic youth organizations. There was a fairly decent amount of business covered and today a new group of Grand Officers were installed with MWB Steve Cokonougher installed as the new Grand Master. I was also happy to see that Kent Crager from our Lodge was appointed as a DEO for the 2nd Masonic District. There were also a very good representation of vendors including several new ones I had not seen before.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Twin Valley 70 Year Presentation

Tonight was the 70 year presentation for Earl V. Gorsuch presented by our Grand High Priest Keith O'Dell. Past Grand High Priests Steve Duncan and George shell were also present along with both District Deputies from the 3rd District. Earl is also a KYCH and the last remaining charter member of my Commandery Valley #80. What is also unique is while I was the youngest Commander ever in Valley, I appointed Earl to go through Valley Commandery to be Commander and he was the oldest Commander we ever had (He had become a dual member of Hillsboro...where the Grand High Priest is also a member ... and was Commander there many years before going through line at Valley).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Valley Commandery Stated Meeting

Tonight was the first stated meeting on the month for Valley Commandery. Due to Labor Day being on the first Monday in September and Grand Council normally being on the first Monday in October, a few years back we changed our stated meeting for these two months to the second Monday. The only bad part is several members are also a members of Friendship chapter which also meets on the second Monday so the turnout was a little light but some came down after the Friendship meeting which was their pre-inspection. We had a long discussion about setting up a fund to help out with the dues for members who might need a little financial help with their dues. It is obvious our current structure puts a financial burden on the Commandery when we remit dues and since we were around $2 per member short of covering expenses even after a significant dues increase, going back for another increase right now is not in the best interest of the Commandery right now. While everyone agreed the answer is to increase membership, we also realize that isn't happening at the pace we would like. I'm sure this similar debate is a constant in most Masonic bodies.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Scottish Rite Walk

Today was the Scottish Rite Dyslexia walk to raise funds to help support the Dyslexia Centers. Pam and I did the walk portion while Laura and her friend ran the course. Luckily the rain stayed away and the temperatures warmed up in time for the walk. The 5 K was a nice distance and despite the Dayton Riverwalk obsticles, we finshed the walk and then had some refreshments and everyone was off for the rest of their day by around noon.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Officially Closing the Door on 2013-2014

Travel totals for 2013-2014 were around 30,000 miles and 310 masonic related activities. Unfortunately this year an extremely bad winter cut down on my total visits but the mileage stayed about the same...(actually a little more). And since Grand Chapter is over as promised each year I am allowed to progress in the Grand Chapter line I plan to have a pin designed to provide to the travellers in my district and those traveling within the region I am assigned. My region for this next year will be District 14 & 19. As I mentioned each year the pin will alternate between a piece of Architecture and a mode of transportation through time. This next year will be the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse since Pam and I enjoy traveling to and photographing lighthouses... in our spare time.

Grand Commandery

Today I travelled to Columbus to finish out the Grand York Rite week and officially put to rest the Grand York Rite year for 2013-14. Dennis Hughes of my Commandery Division was the Grand Commander this past year and I think he is retiring to do the stand up comic circuit. Congrats Denny on a nice year.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Minerva Stated

Tonight I went to the stated meeting of my lodge after returning home from Grand Chapter in Cleveland. In fact, I was only home long enough to clean out my car before I had to leave for the meeting. It was nice to be able to sit back and fellowship with the members of my lodge and not have any work I was required to do. We covered several pieces of business and talked about one of those nice to get all the candidates raised we have waiting to be raised including two who returned their obligation tonight.

Ohio Grand Chapter

The last three days have been a whirlwind of activity and I was lucky enough to be elected to the Grand Royal Arch Captain station. As I menitoned, we stayed at the same hotel as Grand Council, which made it nice and Pam was able to join me for Grand Chapter. MEC Keith O'Dell is now the Grand High Priest as MEC Robert Thomas retired as Grand High Priest. Our new grand Master of the 1st Veil is Ronald C. Hart Sr. from the 4th District. The meetings moved right along and we probably went through the legislation about as efficiently as could be done. And as comes with a new year...I have a new pin for the upcoming year

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ohio Grand Council

The past couple of days was the Grand Council session for Ohio where Lynn Alexander, from my Arch, was installed as Grand Illustrious Mater.I travelled all the way from Dayton to Independence Ohio near Cleveland but the good part is Grand Chapter will be held in the same spot over the next couple of days. I was also privileged to be recognized for travelling to all nine Arch's in the state over the past year. The only unfortunate part was Pam had to travel up separately today so she could stay back to take care of her mother. Since I'm on vacation all week to attend these sessions, I'm hoping to work some rest time in as well...hopefully before next week.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reception for Doug Kaylor as Deputy for Ohio Scottish Rite

Sometimes best laid plans are no match for mother nature.... (or DP&L) as a nice reception was planned and held today for Doug Kaylor but without electricity as the power was out at the Dayton Masonic Center. The good part was the back-up generator kicked in and allowed for some lighting. I was happy to be able to attend this event as Illustrious Brother Kaylor served as Thrice Potent Master at the Valley of Dayton immediately after me and we have long known each other and travelled together (and not to forget was inspected as WM on the day my daughter was born).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Red Cross Statewide Meeting

Today was the statewide meeting for the Red Cross of Constantine at the the Ohio Masonic Home. Every Conclave was represented and over half of all the members in Ohio were present. I had a part in the degree work today for the first time since joining around 15 years ago. Our immediate Past Grand Sovereign, Burch Zehner, was present as was the current Grand Sovereign. I was a nice day with all present receiving some good degree work.

Ormus/Khana Shahar Grotto Ceremonial

Today was the Joint Ceremonial held in Springfield at the Masonic Temple. While the crowd was a little sparse today we still had enough to portray the work on a new candidate and afterwards travelled down to Dayton for a joint Monarch's Ball at the Elks Club whee the night got a little wild as the horse once again came out (ask Tim Brooks for details). Dayton and Springfield often work together in the Grotto and not only does it make it possible to have nicer events, it also gives us a better opportunity to socialize and have fun.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shrine Past Masters Club

Wow not sure how one club can have so many challenges in the short space of a year. But you know what, in each case someone has stepped forward to fill the officer void. Our Director was starting to have some health challenges and decided it was time to step down and the outgoing President stepped up to assume the position. Our First Vice President needed to move out of state and the Second Vice President moved right up and another member volunteered to step into the Second Vice President role. Our Secretary-Treasurer is probably in the final stages of cancer so it finally came time to replace him and another strong Secretary stepped forward to take the job. And last our current President tragically lost his son in an accident this last week but the President told the club he was at the meeting tonight since the club was there for him when he needed them most at the celebration of his sons life this past weekend. While I'm hoping for no more cases of bad luck for the officers of our club, it is great to see the interest is still there to keep it going no matter what the challenge.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Scottish Rite 12th Degree Rehearsal

As I mentioned before, I'm helping out with the Directing of the 12th degree. This was a good example of how difficult it can be when there are scheduling conflicts due to double bookings. Somehow two different degrees were schedule on the same night at the same time. Due to many having much more significant size speaking parts in the other degree, those persons did not make our rehearsal and it made practice difficult at best. (Since we got the main room, it was easy to tell who had reserved first) The other thing which was very obvious in degree work with lots of interaction, learning the cues becomes critical. Well it made it for a challenging rehearsal but we managed and despite everything it appears the degree is coming together well.