|Findlay Masonic Bodies|
After a long, cold and gray winter, there are signs that Spring is here! The birds are out and driving my dog nuts. Looking back, we had a terrific Party in December, followed by an excellent inspection and raising of Brother Bame in January. February was our first Cancer Patient Services Chili Cookoff and Brother Pina’s chili recipe was a hit. Inspection season continues through March with Mt. Cory and Dunkirk’s inspection the end of the month. A special MM degree at the Dayton Masonic Temple was put on by a lodge from Canadian Mounted Police.
Looking forward to April there are three more inspections through the middle of the month, and we will be having our awards luncheon Saturday, April 21st at noon.
Tuesday, May 15th will be the Orwin Goodman Scholarship Award/Widow’s night dinner; the District will be holding an outdoor MM degree Saturday, May 19th at Camp Berry, and Sunday May 20th will be the afternoon Memorial Service at the lodge.
WB Buckingham is organizing a 28 passenger bus trip to Toledo for a Mudhens game on Friday, June 8th against the Norfolk Tides. Tickets are $20.00 per person and are limited to the first 28 who sign up. This event is open to brothers, their family and friends. So, come and be one of the 28 to sign up and enjoy an evening of fellowship and baseball. Don’t miss the bus on this one.
We originally had a blood drive scheduled for June 1st, however, the Red Cross has called and asked us if we can reschedule due to a conflict with another Findlay blood drive, so stay tuned and we will get the word out when we have a new date.
We hope to have better attendance at our Table Lodge this year by having it on our regular lodge night of Wednesday, June 20th with dinner being served at 6:00pm. Brother Weiker, who recently returned from China after working there for two years, will be our program speaker on his family’s life in China.
So, the beginning of the year has been busy and as you can see, the lodge continues to remain active. We are having great fellowship during dinner before lodge and after, so if you have not been to lodge for a while, drop in either the first or third Wednesday for dinner at 6:30pm, renew old acquaintances and make some new ones. If you can’t make lodge night, stop in the first Saturday of every month from 7:00am to 9:00am and have some breakfast with your brothers
Fraternal Greetings My Brothers,
As I sit down to write my first newsletter to you as Worshipful Master, it seems that installation was so long ago; only yesterday was Thanksgiving and now it is almost Christmas. So much has happened in such a short time.
I want to again thank the installing team of WB Warren, WB Beck, WB Steve Roth and WB Tom DeFrieze for making the day a very special day for all the officers. I also want to offer my personal thanks to the Rainbow Girls who served the luncheon and cleaned up afterwards. We have a full officer line again this year and I am happy to report that they, as well as I, are excited about this coming year.
The officers and I have already delivered fruit baskets to our 85+ year old brothers that live locally. I have delivered these baskets for several years and look forward each year to spending time with these wonderful men, most of whom we do not see in lodge, but all of whom have wonderful stories and memories of their time in lodge. These men are special gifts to us, and we should continue to appreciate them.
By the time you receive this newsletter, we will have had our children's Christmas Party, put on by the capable team of our JW Brother Zechman and our SW Brother Eakin and of course we cannot forget Santa Claus, who looks very much like RWB Newell. I would also be remiss if I did not say a special thanks to our Rainbow Girls who are so terrific working with the children, decorating cookies and making crafts with them.
This is always a wonderful party for the children, both those that are part of our Masonic family but especially those children from some of the less fortunate families in our area. The looks on the faces of the children are worth all the time and effort that we spend on this day.
Looking forward to January, we have a very busy month, as all past Masters can appreciate. We will be having our normal breakfast the first Saturday of January, the 6th, and following that breakfast, at 10:00 AM we will have a full dress rehearsal and special meeting of our inspection degree, which this year is the Master Mason degree.
Our inspection, as has been the custom of this lodge, is the second Saturday of January, the 13th starting promptly at 10:00 AM. Our inspecting officer this year will be RWB Blank, DDGM and we will be raising a new Brother. Coffee and doughnuts prior to and luncheon after the degree work.
There are also five other inspections during the month of January, beginning January 3rd with Mercer Lodge. Weather permitting, I will be trying to attend each of these inspections. If you would like to join me, call me at 419-423-8324. A list of these inspections can be found on the 10th District website www.10thdistrictohio.org
We will have a couple of weeks to recover from our inspection before we have our February 3rd Chili Playoff starting at noon in the dining room. This Chili Playoff will determine whose chili recipe will be used the following weekend, February 10th for the Cancer Patient's Chili Cookoff at the University of Findlay beginning at 4:00 PM. The winning recipe will be determined by the amount of money voted for each recipe. These monies will also be donated to Cancer Patient's Services.
This is our first time at the Cancer Patient Chili Cookoff. This is their primary method of fund raising for the year and our SD Brother Jim Klausing and his son, JD Brother Scott Klausing, are shepherding this event. As of this writing, they still need abled hands to help at both events.
Although this is a Blue Lodge event, we welcome Brothers and Sisters complex-wide to participate with their favorite chili recipe. Contact Jim (567-208-7831) or Scott (567-208-6441) Klausing if you would like to help or if you want to cook up some chili.
February 10th is also the date of the Tenth District Grand Master's Reception. SW Rick Eakin (419-306-1155) has tickets ($25.00 per person). The reception will be at the Lima City Club, which is adjacent to the Lima Civic Center from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. This event will be a catered event and tickets will not be available at the door. I encourage you to attend either the Cancer Patient Chili Cookoff and support our Masonic team, or the 10th District Grand Master's Reception and support our Grand Master, MW Rick Schau.
Before we know it, it is March and our children's Easter Party at the lodge on March 17th. Our Wardens will be hosting that party. More information will be posted at the lodge as we get closer.
We continue to have our pre-meeting dinners at 6:30 PM with our SS Brother Malhoit and JS Brother Walters, serving up delicious fare. If you have not been to lodge lately, stop by the first and third Wednesday of each month, break some bread with some brothers, and don't worry that you do not remember the rituals. It's like riding a bike, it will come back to you.
I am also endeavoring to follow in WB Pontious' footsteps and keep the meetings wrapped up so that we can all get home at a reasonable time after have some time for socializing both before and after the meetings.
I and my lady, Beth, hope you all had a very Merry Christmas this year, surrounded by friends and family and wish you a very Happy New Year in 2018!
It is with sad heart that I write my final newsletter to you today. Fall is most definitely in the air, the corn is turning brown, and harvest is about to begin. It’s been a very long year as Master, yet at the same time the time has gone by surprisingly quickly.
In the last newsletter I discussed a report of a finance committee and a review of our finances and I wanted to update you on this. The committee reported that the Lodge is spending more money than it receives from dues and has been for a number of years. This is not surprising when you consider that we have some of the lowest dues in the state, our membership is declining, and Grand Lodge per capita costs increase every few years. In response to this information, next year the Lodge will be taking strides to reduce costs, share some expenses, and do fundrai-sing endeavors if we can get more Brothers involved.
I also wanted to recap this year’s events. We had a great Christmas party, an excellent inspection, a popular Independence Day picnic, a packed dining room for the corn roast, a successful fundraiser for the Special Olympics of Ohio, adopted a 2 mile stretch of highway on Tiffin Ave, and many other events, and they have all gone wonderfully. I’m also excited to announce that over the past year we’ve added a dozen new Masons to our ranks!
I also must express my gratitude to the officers for all their work this past year. I asked quite a lot of them, and I know that I was a pain in their butt at times, but everyone was very cooperative and I believe this led to a very successful year for the lodge. Finally, I wish to offer my encouragement to the upcoming officers. I have full confidence that SW Wenner will make an excellent Master next year, and that he and the other offices will have a successful year. Please join us for our annual meeting on November 1 at 7:30pm (dinner beforehand) and installation of officers on Saturday November 4 at 10:30am (breakfast before and lunch after).
I am excited to finally be writing to you during warm weather. It’s been a busy start to summer. First, the Grand Master’s One Day Class was a success and Findlay raised more candidates than any other Lodge in the district. Next, I would like to thank all of you that participated in our fundraiser at Chipotle. We raised $331.43 for the special athletes of Hancock County. Less than a week later was our annual Table Lodge, a great success and I would like to thank our JD Jim Klausing for the impressive presentation and our SD Casey Zechman for an excellent feast.
Finally, I wanted to inform you of some important upcoming Lodge business. Earlier this year I assigned a committee to review the finances of the lodge. They have done an extensive review of our finances including a review of our income, expenditures, and investments, and have prepared a report that will be shared in Lodge July 19. The report includes recommendations including proposed standing resolutions as well as an amendment to our bylaws concerning our dues structure.
Many of you will recall that the last increase in dues was in the mid 1990’s. At that time dues were raised from $20 to $30. However, since that time the value of our dues has been eroded by inflation such that our annual $30 dues are now worth $19.25 in 1995 dollars, making our current dues effectively less than what they were nearly 25 years ago. At the same time, Grand Lodge and the district have raised the per capita from $10 to $18.20.
In conjunction with these proposed standing resolutions and bylaws amendments, I have asked our Senior and Junior Warden, along with myself, to review our current bylaws and make any necessary changes to them so that they conform to the subordinate lodge bylaws as set forth in the Grand Lodge Code. It is my intent to present the finance committee report on July 19, where we will discuss the report and the recommended changes. As required by our bylaws, any proposed resolutions or bylaws amendments will be read into the minutes on August 2nd and will be held over until August 16th, at which time the members present will vote on these changes. Please join us for these important discussions if you are able.
Wishing you a happy summer,
WM: Jason Pontious