Well today was our all degree day in the 3rd District but I was unable to attend as my niece was graduating from college at Ohio University. I'm sure all went well as I left a great crew in charge of the activity. After the graduation and a celebratory luncheon, we headed back to Dayton for the Potentate's Ball at the Marriott. This year's Potentate, Dave Heizer, was very instrumental in our temple making our membership goals during my year and I want to make sure I support him all I can during his year as Potentate. It was very nicely done (as I knew it would be) but unfortunately we had to leave a little early as Laura needed some help as she had some roommates moving in at her house and there were some issues. Since we had to get up at 5 AM to head down to Athens (and I drove so Pam could sleep) and then attend the Pote's Ball and help Laura, I was definitely ready to go to bed at the end of this day.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Tonight was our stated meeting and annual elections and I was very humbled to once again get reelected and moved one spot closer to the top. Just to be a member of the York Rite college you have to belong to all the York Rite and be chosen to be a member. Most of the 175+ members have presided over multiple organizations, been Deputies and/or Grand Officers. With this in mind and the fact that almost every member is qualified to preside, often times you will wait years to even get an opportunity to start in the line. Given the age this makes many of the officers, it is often getting more difficult for them to learn as they progress to the top of the line what they might have easily learned even when they started in the 9 year line. During our elections tonight we had something happen that made me proud to be a Mason and showed the true meaning of helping out someone. Without going into details, what happened reminded me why we are Masons and although we sometimes might have our differences, when a brother is really in need someone will step forth to help him out. So I would say to any officer and especially presiding officers, it often gets fairly hectic when you are in line and often we get so wrapped up in trying to do a good job that we forget the true reason we are doing what we do.... to help out others. It also reminds me of the importance of the lines of a country song which came on the radio during my trip home .... to always be humble and kind.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Tonight was our monthly meeting and ladies night which we hold every April and October. An important lesson on communication came out of tonight's meeting. We have another group which only meets in April and October who asked if they could go in with us. They have met with us in the past and with no trouble. Since our club picks up the meals and the other group does not have the funds to do so they charge for the meal. In addition, several of our Greeters belong to both groups. Well our President discussed with the person sending out their information on the specifics of the dinner including price and times. The person on their side decided they were going to disregard the times and the cost and sent out a notice with a different time for dinner and a different cost per person than we discussed with them. Needless to say folks from both groups were not happy when they each had different times for eating and different charges. We also had a long discussion during our meeting if we would meet with them in the future. This just goes to show how important communications are and how much harm one person can cause to an organization if they don't pay attention.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Tonight was the last Inspection of the year for the 7th District (part of my region this year) held in the Most Excellent Master degree. Garfield in located in Fostoria so working in Columbus was a benefit on the way going to the inspection but I still had the long drive on the way home. The Grand High Priest, Robert Blankenhorn was also present on the evening. They did some good work so it was a little sad they did not have an actual new candidate to receive the degree. Many of the Companions I've seen at other inspection in the 7th District were present and a few were helping out with the work. this was the final inspection for the DDGHP Ken Foy who the Grand Chapter has endorsed to be considered to start in the Grand Chapter line in October.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Today was our Book of the Play which is put on once a year and I have the one and only semi-serious set of parts in the play which is basically like a lecture (imagine that I am doing the serious part) and we brought in the maximum of 13 new members. While originally they had indicated it would be at night it was swapped to the morning so I cancelled, the morning activity I was going to attend (Grand Chapter Prince Hall) and was too late to go to the night activity (19th District Grand High Priest Reception). Oh well, it gave me most of the day to work at home which was desperately needed.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Saturday we have a play we are doing at the Shrine and I have a part and tonight was our star rehearsal. I'm glad I could make it as the first rehearsal I was in Florida. The rehearsal seemed to go fairly well and we were able to be done at a reasonable time.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Well a funny thing happened on the way to...National Lodge's Inspection last night. I left work in Columbus and started up I-71 with plenty of time to spare (probably an hour) to Barberton where Jason French, Past State Master Councilor for DeMolay, was being inspected as Worshipful Master. The traffic was stopped so I pulled over into the rest area to wait out the back-up. Well I out waited the backup all right as I must have fallen asleep and once I awoke and started back on the road noticed I wasn't slated to get there until 30-45 minutes after the scheduled start time, so I decided to head back home. Tonight, however, I headed back to Dayton after work and went by the Shrine first to take care of some business before heading over to the Grotto where I'm serving my second time as Monarch. We had what I felt was a good meeting and discussed several upcoming potential activities. Our Deputy was present and seemed happy with our plans for the year.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Tonight was our monthly covered dish and stated meeting for my Commandery. We started discussions about next year and the officers and think we have a line of officers set with only a couple of Past Commander's in line. We also started the discussions about our drill team for the upcoming year. To this point, while we might not win (or even place near the top) we have had a team for 35+ years and almost always all the drill team is from our Commandery. It appears we may have 2-3 new members from our Commandery who may join the drill team. I think, if possible, I'm going to try to move to being an alternate. I've never been much of a "marcher" so maybe being an alternate might give us a better chance to do better. I heard MEC Jerry Crawford is back in the hospital as they try to get his body back in a more regular rhythm.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Today in Springfield the 6th District had the Grand King Jeff Addis present his program for next year, the District held a District Meeting and they held their Grand High Priest Reception for MEC Blankenhorn. Pam was able to attend with me and they had a program for the ladies while we met for the first two meetings. They have been doing it in this manner for the past few years and it has worked well.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
When I was Potentate back in 2012, we had the first Antioch Shrine Summer Olympics. Since we have had a Winter Olympics and now an XGames. Each time it is different but every time there have been several teams and always a fun time for all including the audience. They involved members old and young. Non-members (extra points were achieved for non-members on a team) and even the ladies had a team (the hot wives club). Tonight was no different and this is one event that you need pictures to give a sense of the fun!
Friday, April 15, 2016
Tonight was the annual Inspection in the Past Master Degree in Carey located in the 7th District. They are a smaller chapter but have some beautiful woodworking in the East which makes it a "must visit" location for the unique setting. They did have a pro-tem candidate which was sad as they did a nice job and would have been nice to have a first time candidate see it performed. This is one of the Chapters in my region this year and I plan to return in around a little over a week for their final Inspection of the year at Garfield. Oh and while it is usually Tom taking pictures, I got one of him tonight.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Tonight was a sad evening as many Masons came from around Ohio to pay their last respects for MEC Jim Himmelright at the funeral home in Medina. The Grand Chapter was well represented with Grand Officers, Past Grand High Priests and District Deputies along with many members. It was also easy to see his influence with a large turnout of members from the Lodge and other Masonic organizations. I would guess there were over 100 in attendance. For those who knew MEC Himmelright the evening was held in conjunction with how he liked to do things, simple with no fanfare for him. The viewing, Masonic Service tonight and funeral in the morning (which again per his request) were to be short. MEC Himmelright will be missed in all Masonic organizations he belonged to as he was a true worker in the quarries for each of them.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Every year we have a session with the potential incoming High Priests (and anyone else who wishes to attend) to go over the items they will need for the upcoming year. Tonight was that meeting. We had a very good turnout with all but 2 chapters represented and both of those have a repeating High Priest. We discussed the Inspection Reports, the monthly Schools of Instruction, value of a good Chapter Education Officer, Membership, the Chapter Management Manual, upcoming dates for the next year and anything else the potential incoming High Priests had questions about. Since we had several new High Priests we got some really good questions which most of the old timers just think everyone knows. When everyone was feed and had their fill of information we dismissed for the evening. Overall, one of the best meetings like this we have had in a while.
Monday, April 11, 2016
We were out of state for Laura's College Dance National Championships last week and while they didn't make the finals they did well as they missed the finals by one place. Unfortunately, while we were gone, Pam came down sick so we spent a lot of time trying to get her feeling better. While it somewhat worked, now I'm down with what she had. While I'm fairly sure it was(is) just a severe cold, it makes it no less difficult to deal with. I had a full schedule planned for this week but I'm going to have to take a couple more days off to recover and probably no longer trips until at least the end of the week.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Today we had two re-dedications up around Akron. Our first stop was in Ravenna at Tyrian Chapter. All the progressing line officers were present and they had a nice event with a short history of the Chapter which I found to be very interesting, Many of the events picked to highlight were interesting little quirks that had happened in the Chapters history. Our Grand High Priest, MEC Robert Blankenhorn, kept things moving because afterwards we had to head down to Barberton for the second re-dedication. This was at Portage Chapter which is the home chapter of MEC Dale Ray. It was nice that we could hold both in the same day since they were so close as it helped out the Grand officers with cutting down on travel.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Tonight we held our first Murder Mystery night in the 3rd Capitular District. We have started holding a series of social activities in the District One in the fall and one in the spring) to given the Companions something to do more than just pay bills and do ritual work. The cast was made up of people from our District and their wives. In addition, we had a meal that each course was served between a scene of the play. Everyone seemed to get into participating in the event and afterwards immediately asked for when we would be doing this again. It was a relatively inexpensive night both in cost and charge to the members. This particular event was chaired by our District Membership chairman, who is Jim Potts, and we did have both non masons and non chapter members present. We had no introductions other than the cast in the play and the kitchen crew. In total, we had around 50 in attendance and will probably do some additional Murder Mystery Nights as I own 8 more in addition to the one we did tonight. The keys to its' success was planning along with a good cook and some men and women from the district who were willing to "ham it up" for everyone's enjoyment. I just wish I had remembered to take some pictures...by the way Pam was the murderer .... I think I had better be nice to her!
Friday, April 1, 2016
Tonight at Miamisburg the 3rd arch held a reception for MIC Richard Amlung. Several of the Grand Council officers were present as was REC Ron Hart Sr. Grand Master 2nd Veil. They had a good meal at a reasonable price. The Arch presented the Grand Illustrious Master with a large basket of goodies made all at places from within the Arch. They had a nice turnout from the Arch and after a few short comments, followed with some great entertainment afterwards (from what I heard). I say "from what I heard" because unfortunately after we ate, Pam started feeling bad so we went home. She is okay but for some reason didn't feel well again until fairly late this evening.