Tidings From the East
Greetings! The month of March was an exciting and busy one for the lodge. Due to the fact that College View Lodge was involved in the Grand Lodge's Schools of Instruction this month, the lodge decided to move Brother David Johnson's Master Mason degree up a week in order to accomplish both tasks. Thus, on the 19th of March, our lodge, with assistance from members of the Grand Lodge, North Star, and George Washington lodges, raised Brother David Johnson up to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Prior to this event though, Brother Johnson was brought in and proved up in the 'long form' of proficiency in the Fellowcraft degree. Congratulations go out to our newest brother Master Mason, David Johnson, and also a sincere thanks goes out to WB Douglas Johnson and WB Robert Brommer for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that Brother David Johnson was ready to become a Master Mason, and assisting him in proving up in the 'long form' as well. In addition, we also have an Entered Apprentice degree on the horizon for two new candidates, and also two additional Master Mason degrees to conduct directly afterwards. So let me just say that I know for fact that my wife isn't too happy with me at this present time, as I'm never home on Wednesday nights it seems, and I'm quite sure that the other brothers' wives aren't too pleased with them either, but it's definitely been a rewarding sight to see how the lodge room is filling up so nicely these past several months!
On a side note, I'd like to say that the "Lewis Jewel" was approved by Grand Master Joe McBride for qualifying Master Masons to wear, and that the lodges were provided with an application form as well. After hearing this, I checked into the jewel's history some more and liked what I read. Seeing how I am a 3rd Generation Master Mason myself, I figured that it wouldn't hurt to purchase a "Lewis Jewell" for myself in honor of my father, David Wolbert of Lancaster Lodge #54 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and my paternal grandfather, Jacob Wolbert of Blue Hill Lodge #198 in Lucas, Kansas. The cost of the jewel with three bars (plus shipping and handling) cost me roughly $75.00, but after receiving it in the mail I knew that it was well worth the money I had spent on it, as it is a beautiful piece of jewelry. I personally can't think of a better way to honor your Masonic ancestors than to order one of these, and I plan on wearing mine with pride to every formal Masonic function that I can in the future. Just so you know, this is what the "Lewis Jewel" looks like and it can be purchased online at the 'Masonic Supply Shop' at a starting price of $50.00.
Lastly brothers, we are working on obtaining estimates to see what it would cost to replace several of the worn out windows in the lodge building, and also to place vinyl siding over the wood that covers both roof easements and also along the front and back entryways. Though we'd like to see some of these projects accomplished this year, we will probably have to shoot for a 3-5 year plan in which each of the four areas can be accomplished via fundraising and donations in lieu of utilizing the funds in our savings and checking accounts. Just so you know, the lodge is currently being improved as we speak though, with the assistance coming from our fellow lodge brethren in Hickman Lodge #256. More on that in a bit.....
On April 2nd at our regular business meeting, College View Lodge's proficiency in opening and closing in all three degrees was evaluated by Deputy Grand Custodian, Carl Plants, who deemed the lodge proficient in just 80 days after the installation of its officers. Congratulations go out to all of the lodge members for a job well done!
On April 9th at 7:00 pm we will be conducting the Entered Apprentice degree for two candidates at College View Lodge. The Master Mason degree for Brother Andrew Kritikos will then be held on April 16th at 7:00 pm. If you can assist us with any of these degrees, please contact our Junior Warden, Ben Berck, at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know so he can add you onto the Trestle Board.
Let me also say, brethren, that this is an excellent opportunity to get back into the 'swing' of things in regards to degree work, because if you haven't seen it or been a part of it in quite some time, then there is no better time to refresh your memory than to participate in conferring a degree! (and just so you know...if you don't remember something...we'll get you back up to speed on it ASAP...promise! Just don't tell anyone and neither will we!).
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 Johnson will be sending out invitations for this event to all of our members in the upcoming week, 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 two month's worth of selling, College View Lodge has now sold 30 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 $775.00 worth of cards at a $450.00 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 email@example.com 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.
Lodge Entrance Sidewalk Handicap-Accessible
Brethren, I am extremely pleased to announce that the lodge building entranceway now has a handicap-accessible sidewalk leading up to it! The previous sidewalk leading up to the building entrance, which had been in place since the building was built in 1961, was very unhospitable to anyone who was limited in mobility. Thus, the sidewalk was deemed to be an item of concern for the lodge Temple board, and it was in hopes that the item could be addressed in the near future through fundraising efforts.
Miraculously, Brother John VerMaas, who is a member of Hickman Lodge #256, had his construction company come out and replace the old sidewalk and ensure that the new sidewalk was handicap-accessible, of which it completely is now! Thanks go out to John and Gary VerMaas of VerMaas Construction, and also to his crew members who did such an outstanding job on this project!
Lodge Building Renovation Projects
Previously I had spoken about the need for our lodge to start looking at renovating certain aspects of the building which are deteriorating quickly. So over the past month I met with four different contractors in regards to placing vinyl siding over the wooden easements on the roof, and also replacing the worn out windows throughout the lodge building. So far we have gotten three estimates back, with the four one hopefully arriving in the next few days. Though the siding and window projects can wait if need be, it is my opinion that the lodge needs to start addressing these problem areas if we are to be 'good landlord' for our building, and also preserve what our forefathers have provided for us when they built this building in 1961.
Thus, knowing that the cost to accomplish these tasks would be something that would require donations from our members, and fundraising efforts on our parts, I had the contractors break their estimates into four different categories, which one being the cost of the siding placement, two being the cost of replacing the upper lodge area windows, three being the replacement of the downstairs restroom area windows with glass-block type windows, and four being the replacement of the windows that surround the Forest Brown Hall downstairs.
Just so you know, this topic of discussion was addressed briefly at the April business meeting and was tabled by myself to 'Unfinished Business' and will be addressed thoroughly in the months to come. As was mentioned to me by WB Byron Van Patten, these items are something that we can address over the course of the next several months, and can hopefully be budgeted for in our annual budgets over the next several years. All we are doing at this present time is being proactive and striving to accomplish each of them in a timely manner if possible.
And please rest assured, brethren, that even though these projects are important to the upkeep of our lodge, we will not be utilizing any funds from our savings account to fund them whatsoever. This account holds our 'rainy day' funds and should never be utilized to fund projects such as these. At this present time we have a pledge from one of our members for a very sizeable donation to help fund these projects. I am in hopes that through the gracious donations of our members, and coupled with our current fundraising projects, we can at least afford to complete one of these projects this year, and then budget for the other three in the upcoming years.
So as things progress, I will definitely keep you abreast of where we stand on completing each these projects, and a please don't hesitate to let me know.
March Meeting Highlights
Past Masters present: (10)
Master Masons present: (13)
Deputy Grand Custodian, WB Carl Plants, was present at the April business meeting to evaluate the lodge's proficiency. The lodge was opened and closed in all three degrees and was deemed proficient by DCG Plants in just 80 days after the installation of its officers.
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: None.
Reports of Committees:
1. Membership - None.
2. Trustees -WM Curt briefed the brethren on the fact that a new handicap-accessible sidewalk had been put in to replace the previous sidewalk, and that it had been done as a donation on behalf of John VerMaas, who is a member of Hickman Lodge #256. WM Curt also informed the brethren that he spoke to John's son, Gary, on the phone and personally thanked them on behalf of College View Lodge for their extremely generous donation.
3. Ritual Work/Proficiency - WM Curt passed that the Entered Apprentice degree is scheduled for April 9th at 7:00pm for the two new candidates, and the Master Mason degree for Andrew Kritikos is scheduled for April 16th at 7:00pm. There are no practices scheduled for either degree.
4. Masonic News - Brother Paul Hadley informed the brethren that the Spring edition of the 'NE Mason' was out in hard copy format.
5. Community Relations- WB Doug Johnson informed the members that Lynn Fisher with the College View Neighborhood Association was requesting volunteers to assist with distributing the associations newsletters throughout the community. Mr. Fisher was requesting that if you wanted to assist in this project, to meet at 9:45 am on April 5th at the offices of Great Place Properties, 3534 S. 48th Street, Suite #7.
6. Fundraising - WM Curt Wolbert informed the brethren that at that time there had been 30 POGO cards sold by the members, which brought in a profit of $450.00 to the lodge thus far.
1. Bennet Lodge - WB Doug Johnson informed the members that he had been in touch with Bennet Lodge #94 to ask for their assistance in degree work, should we need any, and that they too had asked that College View assist them with their two upcoming degrees as well.
2. Band Scholarship: WM Curt informed the brethren that he had been in contact with the Band Director for Lincoln Southeast High School, and that LSE had nominated a student for the 2014 Band Camp in Kearney on behalf of the lodge. WB Doug Johnson also briefed the members that WM Curt's daughter, Cyndi Wolbert, who is a student at Lux Middle School this year and will be eligible for a scholarship next year, was also submitted to Grand Lodge by WB Doug on behalf of College View Lodge as well.
3. EA Degree Ritual Contest -WM Curt competing in it when the actual date is solidified. This item was tabled until the next meeting.
1. All correspondence requiring action was taken care of under the proper order of business.
1. Building Renovation Estimates - WM Curt briefed the brethren about the three estimates that had already been received by the lodge from Nebraskaland Siding & Windows, Lowes, and Husker Contracting in regards to the siding and window replacements. WM Curt tabled the item to 'Unfinished Business' to be addressed at the May 7th business meeting.
Good of the Fraternity:
Masonic Education -Due to time constraints, WB Bob Brommer opted to forgo the Masonic Education for the brethren and instead requested that all brethren present sign the 'Get Well' card that he purchased for Bro. Kevin Edelmaier.
Report of Sickness - WM Curt briefed the members on Kevin Edelmaier's recent illness and surgeries and recommended that the brethren keep Brother Kevin in their thoughts and prayers.
The business meeting concluded at 8:34 hours.