Every year several members of the 3rd District get together around Christmas for an informal and unofficial Christmas Party. We held it at Marion's Piazza where we have had it for the past several years. We had a nice turnout and gave us the opportunity to fellowship which is often hard to find the time to do. I'm glad this is the last activity of the year since I've got a couple of family related activities yet to get done prior to next week.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
Thankfully I had no planned Chapter events this past week as we were so busy with non-Masonic activities and dealing with some health issues that I've had no time for anything this past week. Tonight I decided this needed to change as a long time member of my Lodge passed away. George Heinz was a 62 year member and had received almost twice as many craft club points as the second place person in our Lodge. During my year in 1992 as Worshipful Master I decided we were going to call all 700+ members of the Lodge to check on how thy were doing. George had just retired from the phone company and volunteered to get us a list of all phone numbers for every member of the lodge including unlisted. He also would call all the unlisted and long distance (this was before free long distance calling). About a month and a half later he came to me and said he was done. I asked about the list of the local listed numbers and he responded ... I called ALL 700+ members already and proceeded to give us updates on members needing more attention. Up until his health started failing a few years back, he never missed a funeral service, meeting or degree work. He also put in countless hours working around the temple. George was a great member of our Lodge and will be missed.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
After attending church with my niece who was singing this morning and holding a Children's Christmas party for another organization this afternoon, we headed to the Shrine for the Past Potentate's (Cabiri) Christmas Party. We had an excellent turnout and great meal. It was nice to be able to relax a little as the hectic schedules brought on by Christmas rarely give an opportunity to relax.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Well after waking up with my eyes swelled shut and unable to attend the Chapter School in the morning, I took some medicine and was better by the afternoon. What a full day of Grotto activities today as Ormus and Khana Shahar went together to have several activities (as we have been doing for they past few years). We started out in Springfield with a Ceremonial and stated meeting in which we brought in 3 new members. While we did our ceremonial in the afternoon the ladies visited a local winery. We the then traveled to Fairborn where we had a great dinner, Installation and Monarch's Ball. Our Deputy Supreme Monarch, Mark McCombs was in attendance as was SDD Tom Schlipp and State 1VP Tom Bevington. John Pience was installed as Monarch for Khana Shahar and I was installed for Ormus for my second go around in the office. John and I talked about several more opportunities we might have to work together in the future.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Tonight was the Inspection for another Chapter in the Gran High Priest's 10th District and my region for this year. It ended up being one in which I was really glad I was in attendance. They definitely had some special effects which were something any member should experience at least once to see what can be done. As our Grand High Priest MEC Robert Blankenhorn indicated, they really need to get the specs written down in case anyone else would like to try it. This is my last Inspection until next year but when January rolls around all Inspections will be in full force.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Today was the Inspection for Middletown Chapter in the Royal Arch Degree which is in my District and close to home. We had a nice turnout including MEC Steve Duncan and MEC George Shell as over half of the Chapter's in the District were represented. They did a good job on the degree work and kept it moving all evening. Their newly improved projection slides made the degree much nicer.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Tonight was the Inspection for Circleville in the 5th District in the Past Master Degree. This is the home Chapter of Past Grand High Priest Jean Justice who was supposed to preside for the degree. Unfortunately his wife had to have emergency surgery so MEC Don Lossasso came down to fill in for him so the degree could continue, Our Grand High Priest was also present and as you will see in the picture was able to get recognized with the other Military Veterans present at the Alter. Also Tom Brancombe was honored by the Chapter for all the help he has given to the Chapter over the years with an honorary membership. Grand Marshall Virgil Kline was also in attendance as was PGC S. Tom Ramsey.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Horace Wright Chapter merged in with Horeb Chapter after it was determined the current building Horace Wright was located within would no longer be available and Horeb was looking for a more permanent home. As each Chapter had their own challenges, they decided to go together in a new facility. The Grand Chapter dedicated the room to being able to hold meetings and degree work in the facilities. We also had a couple other meetings while we were in the same location to discuss some plans for the future and to determine a resolution for some current business/action the Grand Chapter needed to attend. It isn't every day that almost all the Grand Officers are together so we try to "take advantage of it" whenever possible.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Today I went to the annual meeting of one of the Masonic invitational organizations in Lima. Since their line is around 14 years and most don't get invited to join until later in life, they decided to have the officer do the opening and closing but have a ritual team for the degree work which at this point I'm on the ritual team (if I'm lucky I might get to start in the line in about 5 more years). While I've been a member for several years, I was a member at large and just given the opportunity to belong to a specific Tabernacle a couple of year back. As with most invitational organizations the line is determined by the order in which you are asked to join and agree, We were lucky enough to select a few members to request to join today as with most invitational organizations they have limits on the total number of members. After the bringing in of a new member we had installation, dinner and headed back home.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Last night I had planned to go to Lima for their Chapter Inspection but at the last minute wasn't feeling well so I decided with all the activities I have in the upcoming weekend better wait until Friday to head out. Tonight was Oriental's Chapter Inspection in the Mark Master degree int he 10th District. This was my first time attending this Chapter which now leaves me two more to attend before I have been to every Chapter in the State. For a small area, they have a very active Chapter with several good ritualists. Our Grand High Priest Robert Blankenhorn was in attendance (this is his home District).
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Well yesterday I went to Kenton and intended to attend their Chapter Inspection but I must have missed a change they made as I was there by myself. Today however was a different story as I headed to St. Marys where they held the MEM degree for Sidney and St. Marys joint inspection. They had a good attendance and several members of Sidney were there to assist. My good friend Joe Diamond was back from his trip to California and as always even in his 90s was getting the business from everyone.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Today at lunch was the annual Christmas party for the Jesters which was held at Antioch Shrine. We had some good fellowship, good food and a few jokes before heading back home. This evening was the Full Form Opening for Valley Commandery and we had an exceptional turnout. All the parts were done by members of Valley Commandery and on top most of the officers are not Past Commanders. We also had a Chapter Inspection which a couple had to attend (and I originally was going to as well but heard they might run short this evening). Afterwards the ladies had prepared refreshments for us and we discussed 3 more candidates who all need the Order of the Temple and when we might be able to confer the Order on each one.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Today was an Inspection in my home district in Xenia being held in the Royal Arch Degree. It was the first Inspection for our new DDGHP REC Claude Seibel. Despite being a little nervous he did a fine job. MEC Steve Duncan was also in attendance with several PDDGHP's also being present. The overall attendance was good despite several conflicting meetings.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Tonight was King Cyrus in the 10th District located in Loundenville's Inspection in the Royal Arch degree. This is also the home district of our Grand High Priest Robert Blankenhorn who just got in from participating in the Grand Chapter of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. They had a nice inspection at this very active Chapter and afterwards had some very good food. On the ride hone the fog got really thick and made it very difficult to see which also delayed my return home until well after 1 in the morning.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Tonight I had planned to travel a little farther from home but unfortunately received word that a Past Master of our Lodge, WB Robert Sorah, had passed away and the services were being held this evening. This is one priority that I always try to move to the top of my list. Apparently, he was talking with his son (who is also a Past Master of our Lodge) on Thanksgiving day and they were discussing with his Grandson about when he was petitioning to join the Lodge since he was now old enough. It wasn't long after that he passed away peacefully. Since it was also our Chapter stated meeting night, the meeting was delayed so that all could attend the Masonic Services before heading off to the Chapter meeting.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Every once in a while you have to stay home from meetings just to get some Masonic planning and work accomplished which was exactly what happened tonight. I got a couple of activities planned and the invitations sent out along with catching up on several Masonic pieces of mail which I needed to address. Did I get completely caught up...nope but at least the critical items have now been addressed. Oh and I forgot to mention the best part ... the inspection I had planned to attend this evening but decided I just had to get this work done, I found out had to be cancelled. Glad that my decision saved me a 7 hour round trip.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Well today is the 25th wedding anniversary for Pam and myself so we have a few things planned over the next few days with our family. With that in mind the next entry will probably wait until next Monday. Hoping everyone takes some time off to be with their family over this Thanksgiving period. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Monday, November 23, 2015
Shortly after I joined Masonry we started a Tall Cedars group. I quickly got in line and served as the presiding officer and for many years helped them out. Over the past 10 years or so I haven't been able to be active and we have come to the point where the group had to make a decision if they were going to stay open or not. As they summons the current members to attend the meeting I was in attendance and we voted to give it one more year as MEC George Shell came forth to serve for the first time. We also made plans to re-establish the ritual team and work to get a class of candidates for April. While the folks present tonight are all very busy, they agreed to help keep us going especially since Springfield and Columbus just folded and Cincinnati is very close to folding. Overall, we agreed some changes may still need to be made as to meeting dates, places and general purposes; right now we are going to start the reorganization by focusing on membership.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Today was the statewide reception for the Grand Commander Gerald Pugh being held in Marietta. Again tonight there were more distinguished guests than I care to list but from the Grand Chapter among our current officers in addition to our Grand High Priest Robert Blankenhorn were REC Jeff Addis Grand King, REC Rod Carr Grand Master 3rd Veil, REC Ryan Adams Grand Master 1st Veil and Grand Chaplain William Straton. At our table also was RIC Dave Mourer who we had to ask if he thought Grand Council was better than Grand Chapter and we were able to capture his response (see photo). While it was a wet and dreary night for the drive and Ohio State ended up losing, otherwise, it was a good evening.
Today all 4 degrees were performed at Loveland as Loveland, Blanchester, Morrow and Batavia all held their Chapter Inspections. I saw many Companions from the 4th District as they had a very good turnout including Past Grand High Priest Kermit Zimmerman and Grand Master 2nd Veil Ron Hart Sr. If you are wondering what MEC Zimmerman was doing in the picture ...we were too.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
This year my region consists of the 2nd, 7th and 10th District. I decided that I was going to the Inspection in Marion tonight in the 7th District. Unfortunately due to some scheduling conflicts, they had to swap out the Inspection for a school at Marion this evening. It actually turned out to be really a nice evening as DDGHP Ken Foy and several other members attended to discuss the MEM degree. The nice part was in addition to a talk from Ken Chamberlain, we got to sit around for a while and discuss this degree along with other degrees.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Tonight started out on a sad note as I went to the viewing for a friend of mine wife who I served with in the Scottish Rite who past away from cancer. She had been sick about 5 years ago but went into remission. Unfortunately it returned and this time she couldn't beat it. I then headed to our stated Grotto meeting. RWB Keith Newton Grand Orator has been our Monarch this past year. Since tonight was elections I made sure I showed up. We are a very small group and a few of us have served more than once to keep us going. Since I only had done one round, I decided it was my turn to take a second term.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Today was the Inspection for Manchester Chapter located in West Union in the 5th District in the Mark Master degree. Our new at large Deputy Dan Cogley was doing the Inspection for the Chapter which is where immediate PGHP MEC Keith O'Dell is member. In addition, several of his appointed officers from last year were also present, REC Rod Carr Grand Master 3rd Veil was also in attendance. This Chapter is relatively close for me (around 70 miles each way) but it takes for ever to get there as there is no easy way to get to West Union. On my way home for some reason something told her to stop in the middle of the road (after looking both ways to make sure one was coming of course) which I did. Out of nowhere came two large deer running full speed about a car length in front of me. I was lucky as I would have hit them if I hadn't stopped but as it turned out it just was a good story ... of which I like good stories about MISSING deer.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Tonight was the Inspection in the Past Master degree for Clinton Chapter in the 11th District which meets at the Eastern Star Home in Mt. Vernon. Our Grand High Priest, MEC Robert Blankenhorn Jr., was present in addition to several of his appointed Grand Officers and Grand Royal Arch Captain Dan Smith. In addition, REC Ron Horne DDGHP from the 10th District, came down to assist them with the degree. This is a great facility to hold a meeting.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
This morning was the semi-annual Scottish Rite Reunion and in addition to attending the 14th degree, I was able to take care of some Royal Arch Chapter business. Luckily I was able to get the business accomplished in time to get on the road to head to the Cleveland area on time.
Tonight was the reception for MIGM Richard Amlung in Independence Ohio. There were too many dignitaries to mention them all. The evening flowed well and the meal was very good. We were lucky to start back somewhat early since every night this week has been fairly late arriving home.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Tonight I headed north to the 10th District for Inspection in Wooster Ohio. MEC Bob Crabbs was also present along with DDGM Lew Fleege. They had a good turnout and as the DDGHP Ron Horne said "They had a good Inspection". As I burned the highway up for the third straight night, I was really glad a full tank fill-up was still only around $20 since gas prices have dropped lately.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Tonight was the Inspection for MEC Robert Thomas chapter, which has moved to Burton, in the Mark Master Degree, As had been a common theme this week when a last minute illness kept a member from being in attendance, someone stepped up off the sidelines and helped out. Being located near Cleveland this was definitely a longer drive and unfortunately due to some nighttime road construction work, delayed me about an extra hour getting home (so I didn't make it until around 3 AM).
Well I just spoke to our 3rd District DEO and it sounds like he is coming along well from his surgery last Wednesday on his back. He had gotten to the point where he couldn't walk, sit or stand without being in serve pain and as several might have noticed he even had to use a walker at times to help steady himself. He is still hoping to be back in circulation by next week but I'm sure it will still be a little of a slow go for a short time.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Today was the Inspection for Pomeroy in the Past Master Degree located in the 13th District. While physically now located in Middleport, it is easy to find being right downtown and last night luckily the dance class which meets on the first floor seemed to be over before the meeting started. They had an actual candidate who was younger and is traveling to other Inspections to get more of the degrees. REC Rod Carr,Grand Master 3rd Veil, inspected for the evening while DDGHP Scottie Smith helped out with the degree work. Once again a key part was missing as the Secretary needed to be with his wife who was very sick but at the last minute PDDGHP Ken Finkle stepped in and helped them out. PGIM Roger Gaul was also present filling in for the Secretary as the prompter.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Tonight was the first Inspection of the year in the 3rd District in West Carrollton which is the home Chapter of MEC Steve Duncan and MIC Bobbie Campbell. The work was in the PM degree and unfortunately a couple of cast members were unable to make it at the last moment. Rather than panic, a couple of visiting Companions stepped up and helped them out as they had an actual candidate for the evening. As the DDGHP REC Greg Clatterbuck said this is what Royal Arch Masonry is all about Companions stepped put to help each other when in need. MEC George Shell was also present as Twin Valley had an official visit but my Chapter, Trinity #44, had nine in attendance to win the alter cloth for tonight.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Zanesville Chapter moved to a new facility and today we dedicated the room for the purpose of meeting and performing ritual work at the location. It is a nice facility with plenty of room for any work necessary. The Grand Officers, led by our Grand High Priest, Bob Blankenhorn performed the ceremony. PGHP Alan Hart and PGIM Pat Lively were both present. While it isn't often the Grand Chapter gets to dedicate a new facility, this year we have at least two such ceremonies planned.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Well I intended to head to Canton today for the KYCH meeting. Unfortunately, the communications between Pam and I must have been a little off since she thought I was leaving at 1 instead of needing to be there at 1 so since it was the weekend she turned off the alarms. While this normally would have been no big deal since I would have been up anyway in time to make the 4 hour trip, last night the dog wasn't feeling well and woke us up around every half hour or so until early this morning. Luckily this morning he was feeling better and happy we hadn't left so we could spend time with him,,,maybe it was a conspiracy plot being executed by the dog!
Friday, November 6, 2015
Tonight I went to the Installation for a Past High Priest of our 3rd Capitular District Skip Vanderhorst. Skip and I have done many things together over the past 20 years including York and Scottish Rite activities as well as Grotto activities. They had a nice Installation and some good food afterwards. The attendance was really good with many from the 2nd and 8th District present.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Today was the installation for our new DDGM in the Second Masonic District Brian Arehart. Brian is part of several younger very enthusiastic officers we have in our Lodge District. RWB Arehart is also a Boy scout leader and several Boy Scouts participated in presenting the flag at the ceremony and he reminded everyone that Grand Lodge has an award for Masons involved with scouting. There was a very good turnout including many PDDGMs (around 20). RWB Doug Kaylor and RWB Keith Newton were also present.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Well over the past couple of days most of the "planned" activities I had scheduled were changed. Yesterday I was headed to Columbus for the DDGM installation of RWB Ken Cohen who I served with as a State Officer while we were in DeMolay together. Unfortunately, something came up at my daughter Laura's house requiring immediate attention and I didn't make the installation. Today I was headed to the Inspection for Springfield Council on my way home from work but found out we were going to practice the Full Form Opening for our review next month and that a couple folks were not going to be able to make the practice, Since I knew they needed help, I decided to help out my Commandery instead. I ended up filling in for the Recorder for the evening. I think I made the right choice since things were a little rough in the practice but the good part is almost every one of the major parts was being done by someone new.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Today we had our Grand Family Meeting for Grand Chapter at the Ohio OES Home in Mt. Vernon. While we had lots of business to cover, our Grand High Priest Bob Blankenhorn did a great job of keeping the discussion moving and on topic so we were able to finish on schedule. The banquet also moved along nicely but had plenty of opportunities for it to be very enjoyable with some humor mixed in as our Grand High Priest was definitely a good sport about it and played right along. If today was any indication of how the year will go, it will definitely live up to the Grand High Priest's theme of Celebrate and I for one am looking forward to a great year! NOTE ... Pictures to follow.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Tonight was the quarterly AMD meeting held in Middletown. We had a relatively small amount of business to attend to as we discussed a couple of new invites for membership and the new officers for 2016. We had a relatively good turnout as most not present were on the list of members who had some type of health issues. It is really important in this organization that every member try to make attendance at meetings a priority since membership in the local group is limited to 27 active members.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Last Wednesday would have been our. normal stated meeting but since everyone was out of town or unavailable who normally attends, we decided to wait to hold it until tonight. We discussed several items of business including officers for next year and our December Ceremonial/Monarchs Ball/Installation being held jointly with Springfield. After some discussion we made a few decisions and called it an evening.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Tonight was our monthly stated meeting for the Past Potentates but instead of just going over the business, we decided to have a dinner night out with our ladies, I think we had more present than at most meetings. We covered the small amount of business we had in around 10 minutes and delayed discussion until the next meeting but spent a couple hours fellowshipping. I'm wondering if maybe there is something to this when we go for long periods of time in our stated chapter meetings when all we are doing is meeting to pay bills and having a meeting which lasts 10 minutes. Maybe we should consider periodically adding a social time with the ladies before or after we do the necessary business. I think most Commanderies do this on a fairly regular basis ... maybe it would be a nice "change-up" for us to consider in Chapter.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Tonight we had a social night activity as we held a Halloween party. Most everyone came dressed in costume and we had a few "extra" added challenges. First a couple of local activities got changed to the same night, then we had the person letting us into the temple stuck in his driveway as a gate was stuck down and then when we got in the building we set off the fire alarm with the fog machine and it couldn't be reset. All this being said, I think everyone had a good time, we played a few games and everyone left with a full stomach.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
While I was looking forward to attending the Ohio Masonic Home ceremonies today, as I told our Grand High Priest, I have been called out of town all week for work in New York and leave today early in the morning. Traveling for work is not something I look forward to but considering until this year I haven't had to travel but once in the past 6 or 7 years, guess I can't complain.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Tonight was the installation of Claude Seibel as DDGHP and Rick Bielicki as DEO for the 3rd District in Brookville. MEC Crawford Installed them. MEC George Shell and MEC Steve Duncan were also present. While the crowd was a little smaller than normal it might have been that several were home watching Ohio State play.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Tonight 9 new members came into Miami Valley York Rite college. We have a number of dignitaries in the college and those coming in were in the same category. We had current or Past Grand Officers from Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandery joining this evening. We are proud in our college that all the York Rite bodies come together in harmony and are all represented as officers and members.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Tonight I first headed down to the Shrine for a picture of the PM Club so we could use it to promote that our club goes out and helps do the MM degree as needed. I then headed over to the Dayton Temple for Unity Chapter's meeting and a 50 year pin presentation for REC Ire Saxton. REC Saxton has been very active on all Masonic bodies and is a Past President and Past District Deputy in the 3rd District. We had a nice turnout to congratulate REC Saxton who is unfortunately not currently in very good health. At least 8 PDDGHPs were present.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Tonight was the stated meeting for my Commandery and I decided I better try to make it since many of our members are in West Carrolton doing degree work for a new member in Chapter. I was glad that I did since we just had enough to open but we needed everyone. We discussed old business and a 60 year membership award to be presented. We also read the general orders.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Travel totals for 2014-2015 were around 35,000 miles and 260 masonic related activities. Unfortunately this year some work related items cut down on my total visits but the mileage actually was a little more. Thank goodness I got a new car! 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 2, 7 & 10. 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 Wright "B" Flyer since I'm from the Dayton area and as everyone knows is where the Wright Brother's made the first airplane to take flight.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Well best laid plans...I planned to attend the sessions on Friday but couldn't make it as I had some items come up for work which I had to attend. I did however make it back to drill with my Commandery on Saturday and attend the 70 year membership plaque present to Earl Gorsuch from our Commandery. Earl is the only remaining Charter member of our Commandery and I appointed him to the line when I was Commander which was significant in itself as I was the youngest Commander appointing the oldest.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
I try to attend my own Lodge meetings as often as possible and am proud to say that over the past 3 years which I have been elected in Grand Chapter line, my first visit has been to my own Lodge. We had lots to discuss but the meeting moved right along. Once it was over we did, of course, stay around for a while fellowshipping.