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.