|Findlay Masonic Bodies|
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,
It is my pleasure to be writing to you as the season of spring approaches and the snow (what little we had) vanishes. 2017 is off to a great start. Our installation was a huge success and the ritual work was nearly perfect. A very special thank you to all of the officers for all of the extremely hard work you put in! Otherwise inspection season is going well, and happily I am currently in possession of the district’s traveling trophy: a beautiful sword. I would like to keep it in our possession so please come join us for inspections so that we can beat Mt Cory!
By the time you are reading this the One Day Class will be over, but I can tell you that Findlay has 10 candidates signed up (out of approximately 33 in the district) and that Findlay will be conferring the FC degree. I have full confidence that the officers will exemplify the degree as flawlessly at the One Day Class as they did at inspection.
A couple weeks ago was the Grand Master’s Reception in Lima. It was well attended, good times were had by all, and it went off without any real issues. The district officers have already began planning for next year’s reception, which is scheduled for February 10, 2018.
With it being income tax season I wanted to enlighten you to a membership option that you might not be aware of. You can purchase a Blue Lodge endowed membership for only $830. Not only does this benefit yourself by eliminating the need for you to ever pay dues again, but it also means that the Lodge will continue to receive the dividends from your endowment indefinitely. Installment plans are available, so if you have any interest in this program or would like to set up installments please let us know.
Don’t forget that this year we are having pre-meeting dinners at 6:30 and trying to wrap the meetings up sooner rather than later in order to get everyone home at a reasonable time. If you haven't attended lodge in a while I ask that you stop by and see what you're missing. If that doesn't fit into your schedule, stop by on the first Saturday of the month 7-9am for our public breakfast. Hoping that you have a beautiful spring!
Findlay Lodge 227
WM: Rick Eakin