From the East
The month of February was an extremely busy one for the lodge. Myself, Bro. Paul Hadley, WB Doug Johnson, and WB Tom Anderson attended the 157th Annual Communication for Grand Lodge that was held in Kearney, Nebraska. We then hit the road running with WB Bob Brommer and WB Doug Johnson mentoring two of our our new Entered Apprentice Masons on proving up in the 'long form' of proficiency in lieu of the 'short form', which has been in effect since 1991. If this wasn't enough to keep us busy, we coordinated a Fellowcraft degree for all three of our new Entered Apprentice Masons in late February. We did this so that we could conduct each of their Master Mason degrees in a timely manner so that we could make way in the schedule for two new candidates who are about to join the lodge.
Our efforts this past month were not only focused on new membership, but on our current and past membership as well. I personally sent out letters to our past lodge suspensions in hopes that we could get some of them back into the lodge again. From that, I received two phone calls and one letter back in response. A 'Calling Tree' was also set up by our Senior Warden, Paul Hadley, in an attempt to contact our current members in a more efficient manner and get the word out to them quickly. Lastly, we focused on raising funds for the lodge through the sale of the 'POGO' cards, which at this present time have generated over $300.00 worth of profits to the lodge. The month of March looks to be even busier than February was, and that is perfectly fine with us. Our lodge is growing and the members are doing an awesome job of getting these new joins indoctrinated into the Craft. While it sounds like other lodges around the state are shrinking, College View Lodge is growing, and the new members are highly motivated and ready to get involved in their work as a Mason, and activities within the lodge itself.
Though it might sound like an unreasonable goal, the lodge's intent for this year is to double the amount of lodge members who attend our monthly meetings. When I first arrived at our lodge after transferring over from Cotner Lodge in 2009, I saw no more than 8 members in attendance for our monthly meetings. In the past two years though, I have seen our attendance rate climb up to 10 members, which has not only made our meetings more productive, but more socially-enjoyable as well. We now have three more members who are almost eligible to attend our business meetings, with two new candidates right behind them, and one current member who is again attending on a regular basis. All of this combined has shown us that our goal of 20 members in attendance for monthly meetings might actually become a reality this year. My hat goes off to all of the lodge members who have assisted in reaching this goal. Without their dedicated efforts this goal would never have been made possible.
Upcoming Degree Work
During the month of March we will be conducting the Master Mason degree for Brother David Johnson. Brother Kevin Edelmaier's degree will be on April 9th, and Brother Andrew Kritikos' degree will be on April 16th. Brother Johnson's degree will take place on Wednesday, March 19th at 7:00 pm, and if you can assist us with this degree, please contact our Junior Warden, Ben Berck, at email@example.com and let him know so he can add you onto the Trestle Board.
In addition to the upcoming degree work, College View Lodge will be evaluated by Deputy Grand Custodian Carl Plants, who will ensure that we are proficient in opening and closing in all three degrees. Once completed, our lodge will be deemed proficient in under 90 days after installation. Also during the month of March, College View Lodge will be participating in the 'Schools of Instructions' for degree work which is put on by the Grand Lodge at local area lodges throughout Lincoln.
Past Masters Dinner
The Past Master's Dinner have been finalized and is scheduled for Saturday, April 26th at 'The Knoll's' restaurant and is slated to begin at 5:00 pm. The dinner will include an all-you-can-eat buffet at 'The Knolls' restaurant and the dinner cost will be a "Free Will" donation by those in attendance. As always, spouses are highly encouraged to attend. WB Doug will be sending out an email for this event to all of our members in the upcoming weeks, so please keep your schedule open for April 26th so you can join us that evening. We're looking forward to seeing you there!
POGO Card Fundraising
After one month's worth of selling, College View Lodge has sold 25 POGO Cards in an effort to raise funds for the Lodge. We started out at an initial start-up cost of $250.00 and were provided with 31 cards to sell. Since then our members (and their wives) have sold $600.00 worth of cards at a $350.00 profit for the lodge thus far. The POGO Card is now a 3-card package deal for $25.00, which includes a regular "POGO Card", a "Downtown Lincoln POGO Card", and a "Golf Bug POGO Card." Plus, they all come wrapped up in a nice little red,vinyl, zippered pouch too, and all for the low cost of $25.00! You also can check out what's on each card in the package deal at http://www.pogocard.com/
So if you are interested in purchasing a POGO Card, or know of someone else who might be, please contact me at my email address of firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 402-440-6860 and let me know and I will definitely get one out to you as soon as I possibly can.
March Meeting Highlights
Past Masters present: (8)
Master Masons present: (12)
Reports on Committees on Petitions/Balloting: The investigating committee met with our new candidate from last month and their findings were favorable. WM Curtis Wolbert had the Senior Deacon prepare the ballot box and instructed the brethren to vote for the good of Masonry. Ballots were cast by all members present and the candidate was unanimously elected to become a Mason.
Receiving & Referring of Petitions: One petition was received, was read by WB Doug Johnson, and was found to be in proper form. WM Curtis Wolbert assigned an investigating committee consisting of WB Bob Brommer, WB David Caudy, and Bro. Paul Hadley to meet with the candidate prior to the April business meeting.
Reports of Committees:
1. Membership - WM Curtis Wolbert informed the brethren that he had personally sent out 14 letters to the past lodge suspensions and that he had received two phone calls and one letter back in response to them.
2. Trustees - WM Curtis Wolbert informed the members that he, WB Doug Johnson, WB Jairo Cabieles, WB Gary Kassebaum, WB Byron Van Patten, and Bro. Paul Hadley met with WM Greg Vlasnik of Hickman Lodge #256 during the Temple Board Meeting at 6:00 pm in the Forest Brown Fellowship Hall downstairs. Bennet Lodge #94 was also represented by WB Doug Johnson, and Capitol Chapter OES was represented by WB Gary Kassebaum (Worthy Patron) and WB Jairo Cabieles, and WB Doug Johnson as well.
Discussion centered on the upcoming Spring Clean-Up activities, and also on trying to find a contractor for a siding estimate for the building, as well as an estimate for replacing several windows in the building. Handicap accessibility was also addressed in regards to improving the front entrance sidewalk and also the front entrance stoop. Lastly, WM Greg Vlasnik discussed whether or not to have the upstairs theater chairs professionally cleaned at $10.00 per chair. One chair was done by a bidding cleaning service and the results looked extremely favorable. There are 38 theater chairs in lodge, and the cost to clean all of them would be split four ways if approved by all four lodge entities. This item was tabled to the 'Unfinished Business' category for April.
3. Ritual Work/Proficiency - WM Curtis Wolbert inquired as to whether or not Brother David Johnson's Master Mason degree could be moved from its original date of March 26th to that of March 19th due to the conflict with the 'Schools of Instruction' slated for March 26th. A discussion pursued and it was determined that after researching the Grand Lodge by-laws, there was no reason that Brother Johnson's degree couldn't be held less than 30 days from his Fellowcraft degree. Thus, it was decided that March 12th at 7:00 pm would be the Master Mason practice for that degree and March 19th would be the actual degree itself.
4. Calling - Brother Paul Hadley informed the brethren that he had started the 'Calling Tree' for the lodge and had found that several members' phone numbers were no longer in service. Brother Paul was directed to continue to update our membership contact list, and coordinate his findings with our Lodge Secretary, WB Doug Johnson. The focus behind the 'Calling Tree' is to contact our current members in a more efficient manner and get the word out to them quickly.
5. Masonic News - Brother Paul Hadley informed the brethren that the March edition of the 'Masonic News' was out and that a new editor had been elected by the board. Brother Paul also stated that the board approved a change to the by-laws that reflects that the editor will not be paid on a quarterly basis any longer, but on a monthly basis after each edition has been published.
6. Community - WB Doug Johnson briefed the members that the 'College View Neighborhood Association' had a few names of individuals who are interested in joining our lodge and passed those names onto him at their last meeting.
7. Fundraising - WM Curtis Wolbert informed the brethren that at that time there had been 21 POGO cards sold by the members, which brought in a profit of $275.00 to the lodge thus far.
1. Change for Troops - WM Curtis Wolbert informed the brethren that on behalf of the lodge, a check for $20.00 had been donated to the Grand Lodge in regards to their 'Change for Troops' project which purchases phone cards for deployed Nebraskan service members.
2. Picture Board - Brother Paul Hadley informed the brethren that he is currently scanning the old photographs of College View Lodge's past masters so that he can re-size and reprint them and place them back onto the picture board which lies in the front foyer area of the lodge.
1. College View Lodge regrettably received notice that one of our members, George Finley, had passed away on April 21st, 2013.
1. Past Master's Dinner Date Change - At the February 5th meeting, WB Jairo Cabieles made a motion to update the Past Master's Dinner clause in the Lodge's by-laws to reflect the fact that this event no longer takes place in February, but in April, and the change should be made to the by-laws to reflect this date change. Per the by-laws, the motion was held over until a vote could be taken at the March business meeting. WM Curtis Wolbert then asked if there was any discussion, and a vote was taken afterwards with the motion passing unanimously. The lodge by-laws will be updated accordingly to reflect the change.
2. Proficiency Requirement Change - At the 157th Annual Grand Lodge Communication, one of the motions that passed was that lodges are now authorized to change their proficiency requirements for degree proficiency, but must do so first through the Committee on Work from Grand Lodge if doing so officially. This item was brought before the lodge members by WM Curtis Wolbert and all members agreed that College View Lodge should continue will their plan to mentor our new candidates and have them prove up in the 'long form' of proficiency, but do not need approval from Grand Lodge to do so.
3. Lodge Shirts & Name Tags - WM Curtis Wolbert addressed the brethren about whether or not the lodge should take some of the profits from the POGO card sales and purchase new lodge polo shirts and name tags for active members. WM Wolbert felt that with the lodge getting new members added to it on a monthly basis, that name tags would be a good idea to assist our new members in getting to know us better, and also could be used when our members participate in activities outside the lodge. In addition, he felt that the members who are actively participating in the lodge could probably use an upgrade to the their old lodge polo shirt. Thus, WB Gary Kassebaum motioned that the issue be put to a vote with WB Tom Anderson seconding it, and it was put to a vote and passed unanimously in favor of purchasing new shirts and name tags.
4. Swearing in Lodge: WM Curtis Wolbert addressed an issue that had been brought to his attention about brethren occasionally swearing in 'open' lodge. Thus, WM Wolbert directed that if the lodge is 'open', and a brother is caught swearing in lodge, then he will donate $10.00 to the "Cash for College View" maintenance fund as his form of punishment. All brothers present were in agreement.
5. Band Scholarship: WM Curtis Wolbert addressed the brethren about the issue of whether or not the lodge would sponsor one scholarship for the "2014 All-Star Masonic Band Camp" that is to take place June 3-7 in Kearney, Nebraska. A recommendation was made by WB David Caudy that the lodge attempt to contact the Lincoln Southeast High School band director to see if we could sponsor a local area high school student for the camp. WM Wolbert stated that he would in fact contact the LSE band director and inquire about a nomination from them first.
6. "Lewis Jewel" - College View Lodge received an email from Grand Lodge informing them that the "Lewis Jewel" has been approved for wear by Grand Master Joe McBride. Lodges were provided with the application form as well. As WM Wolbert explained, the jewel is purchased by the Master Mason after the application form he submits to the Lodge Secretary for verification is validated. The Lewis Jewel is available to a Master Mason whose father is or was a Master Mason in good standing at the time of his death. Additional names may be added if his father was a Master Mason, and his father’s father was a Master Mason, etc. The applicant can request up to 5 bars on the jewel if he meets the criteria. The "Lewis Jewel" can be purchased online at the 'Masonic Supply Shop' at a starting price of $50.00.
7. Bennet Lodge - WB Doug Johnson made reference to the fact that College View Lodge should seek assistance from Bennet Lodge #94 if we are in need of bodies for our degree work. WB Doug stated that with him being a dual member of Bennet Lodge as well, he would address this topic with their members the next time they met.
8. Lodge Proficiency - WM Curtis Wolbert informed the members that College View Lodge will be evaluated in opening and closing in all three degrees by Deputy Grand Custodian Carl Plants at our April 2nd business meeting.
9. EA Degree Ritual Contest - WM Curtis Wolbert informed the members that Grand Lodge is hosting an Entered Apprentice ritual contest in October of 2014 in the Lincoln area and recommended that the lodge members consider competing in it when the actual date is solidified.
10. Financial Investment Consultation - WM Curtis Wolbert inquired of the members whether or not the lodge wanted to call in a financial consultant from an investment firm to advise us on the best financial course of action to take with the lodge's savings plan, which is currently drawing a low interest rate. The topic was discussed and it was recommended by WB David Caudy that the lodge continue its current course of action. All members present were in agreement.
Good of the Fraternity:
Masonic Education - WB Bob Brommer provided an excellent lesson from the Masonic Encyclopedia to the lodge members on the history of 'The Square'. He also provided us with a poem that had been passed down to his brother, the late Brother Dick Brommer, about Masons.
The business meeting concluded at 8:50 hours.