Tonight several from the 3rd District informally got together to fellowship over the Christmas break. The ladies and families were invited Canad there were no speeches, no introductions and only a couple of changes to the schedule for the year which were discussed. We all fellowshiped and ate pizza and handed out a few goodie baskets and then departed.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Last night was a nice surprise as I went to the Moose for dinner and ended up eating with the Motor Corps from the Shrine and EC Jim Potts who is the Membership Chairman for the 3rd District. It is good to be with friends no matter where you are at in life. This year has been challenging with my mom and my dog both passing away and I became retired unexpectedly; remembering the real reason for living is to be able to have friends and family who you care about and helping out others who need a little help especially during this time of the year.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Tonight I went to the Christmas Ranch and volunteered for the Shrine Hospital's. This place has been recognized on several TV programs as a place to go to see Christmas displays and it does not disappoint. It is massive and gives anyone the opportunity to get their fix of Christmas lights, displays and food along with photos with Santa. I worked in the Santa photo house so it was inside and nice and comfortable from a temperature perspective. We were fairly busy and my job was to get the kids coats off and have them ready to see Santa when the last group was done. It was a nice easy job but was definitely something with no time for a break which was not bad since it was a little less than 6 hours work. Every year they make generous donations to the Shrine Hospitals and a couple other charities and the more volunteers they can get the less full time paid employees they need which means the greater the donations they can give.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Tonight in Chillicothe several of us got together to eat and then went over to the Inspection. MEC Keith O'Dell was the inspecting officer. We also had present REC Ross Black Grand Scribe who helped out as Junior Deacon in the Most Excellent Master Degree which they were being inspected. REC Dan Smith Grand Principal Sojourner and REC Ryan Adams Grand Master 2nd Veil were also in attendance. Tonight a few of the ladies, including my wife Pam, were also there this evening and waited for us in the dining area. They unfortunately did not have an actual candidate and a key member of the staff was called to the hospital to be with a critically ill family member.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Tonight was my chapter's Stated meeting and Past Master' Degree. We had one candidate and this will again be our degree for Inspection next month. REC Don Wilcox came down to do the Right Worshipful Master as ours is in Florida until February or March. We had around 18 in attendance for the meeting. I was glad though that tonight was close to home as I had a 2 foot long crack come in my windshield today so I need to get it fixed before driving it again. I should also mention that Mac Polston from Twin Valley dad died and at 98 had the funeral today which I attended.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Tonight I attended an Inspection in the 5th District in the Mark Master Degree for Circleville Chapter. You might recognize their High Priest from my photo... MEC Jean Justice. Tonight REC Ryan Adams and REC Dan Smith were in attendance along with PGC Tom Ramsey who helped out the Chapter with the degree work tonight. Despite leaving early, I was just able to make it in time for the start of the meeting as the traffic on the highway was much heavier and slower than anticipated. The Chapter is trying to rebuild and get themselves reorganized in the degree work as several long time helpers have passed away and it has left a burden for those still around. Luckily they have a few new people who have stepped forth and are trying to help out the Chapter.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
While the past couple of days I had some non-Masonic duties to attend to, today I had planned to head up north to the 2nd District for their all degree Inspection day but the weather made me see things differently. I looked at the weather report before I went to bed and said I'm getting up and going but when I got up very early this morning, all I heard about was accidents which were shutting down the highway between my house and the Inspections. I waited almost 2 hours and still was hearing reports on multiple accidents when I finally decided I wasn't going to chance the drive. Again as I mentioned before not sure if it is that I'm getting smarter or feeling less than invincible as I get older.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Today at noon Unity Chapter had a special luncheon, Awards presentation and Christmas program at the Dayton Temple. We stayed right in the same room in which we had lunch to provide a relaxed and socially inviting atmosphere for the event. We had a good turnout with around 20 in attendance. Two of the four receiving 50 year awards were present and the other two are being planned for next month. Ed Howard and Cliff Ladman were both present to receive their 50 year awards. I've known both for almost 30 years as they are both very active Masons. After the awards we moved into a Christmas presentation from Randy Clark, Retired United Methodist Minister, and as of 1/1/17 will be the new Executive Secretary for the Valley of Dayton. He gave a nice historic talk about the most likely birth time of Jesus and why we probably celebrate it on December 25th.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Not sure if the saying you get wiser as you get older holds true tonight but while I had planned to go to Minerva Chapter Inspection this evening, when we had 6 inches on the ground at my house when I was supposed to leave and it was scheduled to continue for several more hours, I decided I had better not try it. In addition, they were calling for dangerous roads as everything refroze hard. My biggest concern is the winding roads to get to Carrollton Ohio and probably more importantly since I had gone their before, I knew it was an area where I have no cell phone reception.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Tonight was the annual Inspection in Canal Winchester just south of Columbus for Walnut Chapter in the Most Excellent Master Degree. We had 3 progressing line officers in attendance with myself, REC Dan Smith Grand Principal Sojourner and REC Ryan Adams Grand Master 2nd Veil. Overall, the DDGHP REC Dave Percival, commented that they did a good job on the degree. I also learned that listening to a GPS when you know it is wrong is not a good idea. I had been to this temple a couple times in the past and the GPS said turn right on the final road and I knew it was to the left. I turned right and sure enough it was to the left.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Today was my lodges Christmas Party and we had a good turnout of both adults and kids. They had lots of food for everyone and gifts for the kids. In addition, they read Christmas stories and sang Christmas songs and the best part was there were no adults complaining as the kids went around having a good time during the activity. We took a picture of the Lodge members present.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
This morning we had two chapter inspection held at the Marysville Chapter: Marysville #99 in the Most Excellent Master Degree and immediately afterwards in the Royal Arch Degree Lafayette #60 performed the work. MEC Bill Berry and MEC Garis Pugh were both present with MEC Pugh helping out in the degree work. The two Chapters worked very well together and John Pience from Springfield came up to do the Principal Sojourner in the Royal Arch Degree for the four new members. There were a lot of very seasoned and good ritualists present mixed in with a few newer members they are trying to get involved. Overall, it was easy to see that is was two Chapters who both appear to be working hard to move in the right direction.
Tonight was Chapter Inspection in Ironton in the Mark Master Degree. They were able to bring in 3 new members. REC Ryan Adams, Grand Master 2nd Veil, and MEC Keith O'Dell were both present with MEC O'Dell again helping out with the degree work. It was interesting and one of the candidates had to leave for work by 8 PM so the degree moved along without delay. It is always an adventure when you attend a meeting in Ironton as you will most likely always have some type of event which occurs to remember the night by and tonight was no different as several thought tonight was Lodge Installation instead of Chapter Inspection and two of the three candidates were Lodge officers who came down for the Installation and instead became new candidates for the Mark Master Degree. With the situation around the one candidate we were able to finish very early and thus I was able to get on the road early which I was happy to get home by 11:30 PM as I had got up this morning at 6 AM to get ready to drop my sister and her son off at the airport and then head straight up to Marysville.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Tonight was our annual Christmas Party and elections/installation for the Red Cross of Constantine. I was elected and installed as the Junior General for next year. Our new Intendent General Steve Duncan did the Installation of officers and Past Grand Sovereign Burch Zehner was also present. We had a very nice dinner and the meeting moved along smoothly as outgoing Sovereign John Clime had a well planned and executed agenda. It was good that the events of the evening moved along well as the snow started to really come down while we were meeting which made the trip home from Findlay a little bit more tricking on the roads.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Tonight was Hillsboro Chapter Inspection in the Royal Arch Degree. MWB Mike Himes came up and did the Journey for them. In addition, this is MEC Keith O'Dell's Chapter and REC Ryan Adams Grand Master 2nd Veil was also present. The High Priest was Richard Smith is very active in this area in all the Masonic bodies and this was not his first time around though he announced it would be his last. It was the first "sticking" snow of the season which made the drive a little slick since it appeared nothing was done to the roads to prepare for any weather.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Well last night I had planned to go to Cambridge Chapter but as I felt terrible for most of the day, I took some drugs to try to make me feel better but at the last minute decided I was still running a fever and better stay home. Today I felt somewhat better and no temperature so I went to the Inspection we had in the Mark Master Degree where we had an awards presentation and special program for the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I also saw a guy I who worked for me around 20 years ago who just got his Mark Master Degree in Eaton last week. We had a good crowd with MEC Steve Duncan and MEC George Shell both present. If you look close in the one picture you will see MEC Duncan diligently studying something in the ritual.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Tonight were were inspection on the paperwork and administrative items for our Commandery which I can say we passed. We also had a good turnout on the evening even though several who normally attend were unable to make it. We also practiced for the full form opening which will be held at the inspection in January. It was nice to be done early and head home with time to relax before heading off to bed.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
This morning was the annual Chapter Inspection at Hicksville in the 1st District in the Most Excellent Master degree. They kept things moving right along as several had other commitments right after the Inspection completed (5th Masonic District PM Convocation). They did a good job with help from several Chapters in the District. My next obligations, however, were not until the Grand Council/Grand Commandery reception this evening so Pam went with me and we stopped at a few places along the way and made it a whole day event.
Tonight we went to the Kalahari for a Grand Reception evening and they had a nice turnout for the event. MIC Ed Herrick and EGC Ron Vicars were both honored with Bill Statton as the master of ceremonies for the evening. Since we had to get up at 5AM this morning to start on the day long journey, both of us were tired on the way back home but we were able to stop by and say hi to several from Ohio DeMolay who were at the Kalahari holding their Winterfest weekend.
Friday, December 2, 2016
My Grotto had their annual Installation of officers tonight and Kent Lyon was installed as our new Monarch which made me very happy as I was able to turn it over to him and now am a Past Monarch for the second time. While it was a smaller than normal number of people present we had a nice installation and meal which everyone present seemed to enjoy. Our District Deputy Tom Schliep installed the officers.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Tonight I went to the Royal Arch Inspection for Ohio #12 in Columbus. REC Randy Williams Deputy Prior for Ohio Priory #18 came down and helped them out with the Principal Sojourner part. REC Dan Smith, Grand Principal Sojourner, was in attendance as were several of the normal traveling crew from the 11th Capitular District. It was nice to see two of their long time PDDGHPs back and present at Inspection. They did a nice presentation for the candidate and he indicated he was impressed and looking forward to attending some more Inspections. Tonight for one of my pictures I was able to take one of the man who is usually taking the pictures for the 11th Capitular District Tim Mohon.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Tonight was the Mark Lodge Inspection for Chapter in Jeffersonville in the 5th District. MEC Keith O'Dell helped them out with the work of the evening. The presiding officer is also the High Priest of Xenia Chapter #36. Their candidate for the evening was a pro-tem who is also the High Priest of Manchester Chapter. I also included a picture of the checkerboard floor which really was nice in the Lodge room.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Tonight was the Inspection of MEC Steve Duncan's Chapter in the Most Excellent Master Degree. We had a good turnout despite poor weather conditions with 3 Chapters having official visits of 5 or more members with the winning Chapter having 10 in attendance. MIC Bobbie Campbell did the main ritual part for the evening. MEC George Shell was also present. The evening moved along without delay and per the DDGHP they did a good job.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Today I had planned to go to an Inspection at Galion Ohio for Chapter but for most of the day and up until I needed to leave I really was not feeling too well. Shortly after I needed to leave, I got feeling somewhat better and decided to go to a meeting closer to home but again right prior to leaving I got feeling worse again and decided I had better just take the day off which I did. Up until next Monday, I probably won't be going to any Masonic events as Laura and her boyfriend will be in town and we have several family events planned. I hope you are able to spend some time with your family over the next few days as well and of course ... have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 21, 2016
Tonight was the Chapter Inspection in Newark in the Past Master Degree. Tonight they had a guest inspector as their DDGHP Mark Bruns is from this chapter and doing work this evening. The High Priest was serving for the first time but I knew when I went into the room he really looked familiar. As we talked I realized that in my first year as a Grand Officer he was the Inspection candidate for 3 straight inspections I was at that year. At the end of the Inspection we also presented two 50 year pins and one went to Terry Wymer's dad (who is Deputy Grand Commander) as he presented him his pin. Past Grand Commander Frank Boner is the Secretary for this Chapter.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Today Pam and I headed up to Sidney for an open house reception for Dennis Hughes as the Prior for Ohio Priory. They had a very nice set up and several persons were there while we attended. Since it was informal it gave plenty of time to meet and greet. Afterwards, we headed back to Dayton where we finished up this years Thanksgiving give away project (we have been doing for the past 25 years) where we make food baskets to provide for needy families in the Dayton area.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Last year the 3rd District began having a spring and a fall fun social activity with the ladies. So far we have had 2 murder mysteries and a Halloween party. Tonight was our second Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. We had around 60 in attendance and all the characters were members of our District and their wives or girlfriends. MEC George Shell and Sharon were present in the audience tonight along with Right Illustrious Brother Mike Smith and Mary Beth our Arch Inspector. Our District Membership Chairman Jim Potts headed up the event tonight which was a French inspired murder mystery. We introduced the characters (of which our own MEC Steve Duncan and wife Toni were members of the cast) and then started into some of the clues and questions. After round one we had the main course (lasagna and spaghetti with salad) and then more clues and questions. After round two of the questions we then had dessert (peach or blackberry cobbler with ice cream) and then finished up round 3 by guessing who was the murderer. The murderer was played by our District Chaplain (of course none of us knew until the final point who actually was the murderer) so I'm not sure what that says about the guy we have praying for us! Everyone was rewarded for their good sportsmanship upon leaving by getting a Payday candy bar. Our next event is slated for the spring when we hope to have a Hawaiian Luau.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Today our Lodge had a funeral service for a member of ours who was living at the Ohio Masonic Home. The service was held in the new shelter house and it was a great place to hold the event. Since the building was climate controlled it didn't matter that the wind was blowing and yet a little warm outside. In addition, it offered plenty of room as we were joined by Morning Star #795 which meets at the Ohio Masonic Home and together we had around 25 in attendance.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Tonight I was able to attend a council Inspection in my Arch. While we have done a decent job with the Chapter, Council, and Commandery working together to keep inspections in our local area so they don't conflict, when you add in all the areas of the state conflicts are bound to occur. Hillsboro while in our Council Arch is not in our Chapter District or Commandery Division though I plan to attend their Chapter Inspection next month. MEC Keith O'Dell is a dual member here and helped out with the work for the evening. MIC Lynn Alexander was also present. The best part about Council Inspections is they are normally a little quicker to get done so no matter where you go for one, by 9-9:30 you are ready to head back home.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tonight was my final meeting of the year as Monarch (for the second time) and our DD Tom Schliep was also present to complete his reports for the year. To say I'm looking forward to Installation on December 2nd would be an understatement. This year I've had so many unexpected things interfere with my original plans it is almost unbelievable and while they all didn't even involve me they were almost all out of anyone's control. We did, however, have a nice outing with the ladies and potential new members back in September.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Tonight was the inspection in the Royal Arch degree for Wooster Chapter in the 10th District. PGHPs from that district MEC Robert Blankenhorn Jr. and MEC Robert Crabbs were both present. EC Harry McClarren, who sent me a special invite, and is blind did a very good job (according to the DDGHP ... I would not comment on ritual work ... though I think the DDGHP got it right :) with on of the major parts for the evening. When we finished up they had refreshments for us before I started the 3 hour drive back home.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Tonight, I went to Mt. Vernon Chapter Inspection in Portsmouth. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out they had 10 candidates for the Past Master Degree and 2 others in the class that already have received the Past Master Degree. The candidates all received the lessons of the degree and each had their chance to sit in the Oriental Chair. This is REC Ryan Adams district and he was there along with several other dignitaries from the 5th District.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Today was the reconsecration for the 200th year of Cincinnati Chapter #2. MWB Norm Mick and MWB Mike Himes were both present as were all but a couple of the Grand Chapter Officers. Overall they had a nice turnout and good refreshments to celebrate the occasion in addition to a mug which they gave to everyone to commemorate the occasion. It was nice that this one was relatively close (around an hour away).
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Tonight was my Lodge's annual meeting and elections. We have continued to work to move our Lodge forward over this past year and that hard work has paid off and been recognized as we now have the county rep from our Lodge for the District Association along with the 2nd VP and a DEO all from our Lodge. In addition, we have been working on goals to get new members (I think we might have had enough to have no losses for the year) and increase meeting attendance (tonight we probably had around 40 total in attendance). I'm proud and excited to be a member of Minerva and see nothing but good things in store for the Lodge in the future. And as a final comment I must applaud the outgoing Worshipful Master who started out the year with detailed written plans, communicated them to everyone and followed up on them. He definitely was inspirational to all the officers to encourage everyone to work towards a common goal of improving the Lodge.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Tonight was the first Inspection for the year for the 3rd Capitular District and we had a good turnout for Greenville which is the northwestern most corner of the District. For most it is well over an hour to get to Greenville. We had 2 official visits tonight (5+ visiting) and one had 10 members. In addition, this Chapter has had some issues over the years and even tried to turn in their Charter but tonight they not only did a good job on the Past Master degree, they also had a new person doing a major part for the first time this evening. It was also the first Inspection for EC Dave Trainer new DEO and REC Richard Bielicki new DDGHP who both did a nice job. Afterwards we had the traditional pulled pork snack before heading back home.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Well, unfortunately, today I was not able to attend a Chevalier ceremony but was able to fulfill my obligation by meeting with a young man. It is not always as easy to meet on a specific date as one might think and actually I kind of like when groups do meet on a convenient date very close but not exactly on the date. In Cincinnati, they meet for the LOH date on the Sunday evening nearest to March 18th. Whatever may be the case, I'm always glad to have had the opportunity to belong to DeMolay and receive the great leadership training which the organization teaches.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Tonight was our first PDDGM meeting after having MWB Kaylor installed as GM from our District and we had a huge turnout with 19 PDDGM's present. We also had some very good discussions about the various activities being held throughout the year and what could we do to help support him. While normally we are out early tonight we had some great discussions and finished up much later than normal but it was a very good meeting,
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Today we had 2 Reconsecrations in the 19th District: Salem #94 and New Lisbon #92. Both were for 150 years and were done back-to-back today at their respective temples. Almost all the Grand Officers were able to attend and although it was a 4+ hour trip for me, it was mostly highway driving and it was a nice day for a drive. Most of those in attendance were the same at both but after the one in New Lisbon we had some refreshments before heading out. Since we had one last weekend (and again next weekend), we are starting to get proficient in the ceremony.
Friday, November 4, 2016
Tonight was a very nice event held for MWB Jim Williamson to celebrate his retirement as the Executive Secretary for the Valley of Dayton. (MWB Williamson and I received our 33rds together) While there were some touching moments in the discussion of memories over the past 10 years, there were also some very funny moments and as far as I am concerned I think that is more important. We often see retirement as a sad time as you will miss the person but hopefully it is actually an exciting time for them and the next person to assume the station. After all, the person leaving the position has added his own touch to the position and almost always the organization is left a little better off. The amount of "projects" the Valley of Dayton has been able to do over the past 10 years is amazing and while other major Masonic temples in Ohio have had to be sold or are up for sale, our building is in the best shape it has been ... probably since it was built in 1928. Congrats Jim.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Today in conjunction with the Grand Lodge of Ohio, they held a re-dedication of the temple and we held one for the Chapter meeting in the building. They had refreshments for us both before and after the event. I'm not sure if we have done two re-dedications in one day for Lodge and Chapter in the same building but no matter it was a unique thing to occur. They have done a beautiful job of restoring the Lakewood Temple and as the event was well planned out it moved right along according to plans and we were able to head back home at a reasonable time.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Tonight was the Statewide Grand High Priest Reception and 200 year Gala Celebration for Grand Chapter held in Independence near Cleveland. We also took pictures for the Grand Family. With it being a little more special being the 200 year Gala, we wore tails for the evening. It was a nice event and they had a good hospitality room for everyone to relax, The nice part was that since tomorrow is a recon in Lakewood we could just stay over and not be too far from the location of the event tomorrow.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Tonight was our stated meeting and initiation for the Miami Valley York Rite College and we brought in four new members. The Grand Governor Dennis Wilhelm was in attendance and the cast for the evening in the ceremonial second section did a really good job with the officer doing the first and third section. Our next meeting isn't until April but it will be the annual meeting and elections so if I get advanced I'll have a big part and doesn't really flow that well, so I'm starting on it now.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Tonight our two Grotto's got together at their stated meeting in Springfield to fulfill both of our requirements to go through the ritual work since neither have a candidate at this time. They had a really good turnout and covered several pieces of business. As always, they had a dinner prior to the meeting. Since both of our Grotto's are small we usually get together to do the degree work but it is really difficult to find a Saturday where the whole cast can get together and doing so between now and the end of the year is basically impossible.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Tonight was the DDGHP installation in Burton Ohio and REC George Tenger was installed as the new DDGHP. MEC Jeff Addis did the installation and MEC Robert Thomas was the installing Marshall. The also installed their new DEO. Their outgoing DDGHP Doug Dolan was thanked for all his service. After a nice and efficient installation, I was back on the road fairly early for the four hour plus ride back home.