December 2016

Greetings Brethren,

At our December Stated Meeting, we had 28 brothers present.

After a delicious meal of chicken & noodles, mashed potatoes, and rolls prepared by Tom Doepker, the lodge was opened on the Entered Apprentice Degree.

We draped the charter and observed a moment of silence for Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Max L. Carpenter, who had passed away earlier in the day.  Most Worshipful Brother Carpenter was Grand Master of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Indiana in 1992-1993 and the Grand Secretary from 1993-2010.

We then voted unanimously to initiate a new candidate into Freemasonry.

Upcoming degree work and events at the lodge;

  • Tim Simpson’s PM Degree is this evening at the Fort Wayne Masonic Temple with registration beginning at 5:45.
  • This Saturday, December 10, we will be hosting a kick-off breakfast for the Bluffton Bi-centennial from 8-11 with the proceeds going to the Whicker Park all inclusive playground fund.
  • An open installation of officers will be held on Saturday, December 17, at 2 pm.  Anyone is welcome to attend this event.
  • The Feast of St. John will be held at Decatur Lodge #571 on Tuesday, December 27, at 6 pm.  Please let Larry know if you are planning to attend so that we can give them an accurate head count.
  • An EA Degree will be held on Saturday, January 7, at 10 am.  Our candidate will be initiated on his 18th birthday, and is the son of our Senior Deacon.
  • The FC Degree for Brother Shane Quillen will be held on Tuesday, January 17, at 6:30.
  • The Master Mason Degree for Todd Flannery and Lionel Brubaker will be set at the January Stated Meeting.

Brother Tim Stotlar reported that they had purchased a sweater and a stocking full of treats for Helen Wilson, our adopted resident at Compass Park in Franklin.  Tim has done an excellent job this year as our Masonic Home Ambassador and deserves a pat on the back for a job well done.  Great job Brother Stotlar!!!

Brother Jan Henline reported that the roof project has been completed.  However, we will need to re-caulk the baton boards on the west and east sides of the lodge room in the spring as some are becoming loose.  The worst one has been repaired temporarily, and will be addressed when the weather is warmer.

We also received word from the Bluffton Now Committee that we will be receiving a check for a portion of the upper roof.  We will report on the final cost figures at the January Stated Meeting, but we may have gotten the entire roof replaced and had the building re-painted for approximately $3,500-$4,000.

The lodge voted on and approved two new items;

  1. The addition of 2 more pews.  Perry Harris will work on the positioning of the pews and will report at our January meeting.  Right now, we are looking at positioning 2 pews on the floor creating a 2 row deep seating scenario, which we hope will make it easier for some Brothers verses the set up that we currently have.
  2. In the museum room, we are adding a donated new, large screen TV and surround sound.  The cost of cable TV will be investigated and voted on at a later date.  We approved the purchase of a sectional sofa for approximately $xxx, which will be paid for from the monies generated from the silent auction.  The goal is to give the Brothers a place to gather and watch a ballgame after a meeting, or possibly on the weekends.  Incoming Worshipful Master Tim Simpson hopes to hold more family centered events in 2017.  The room will also be re-painted in preparation for our 50 year re-dedication in April.

Please keep the following Brothers in your thoughts and prayers:

  • Ralph Garcia…who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Ralph is at home with hospice care.
  • Allan Coldiron…who is recovering from chest surgery .  Allan says he is doing well since they stitched everything together inside and out and that he is getting stronger while working with his physical therapist.
  • Leonard King…who continues his rehabilitation from his recent stroke.   Jerry Ketrick report that Leonard while be going home from River Terrace shortly after Christmas, but that we will still require rehabilitation therapy.
  • Tim Kaehr…who is awaiting an MRI as he struggles with back and hip pain.
  • Mark Penrod… who is recovering from surgery to have a port put in while he is waiting on a kidney transplant.

Please visit or send these Brothers a card with a few words of encouragement.

The silent auction chaired by Brother Tom Doepker raised $xxx for the lodge.  Larry will notify the winners and you may pick up for items anytime and leave the payment with or for Larry in his mailbox.

I hope Lou Reiff enjoys the orange bird statue that Paul won the bid on.  Oh what the heck, Paul – I will pay that $5 for you.

If you have not received your dues notices from the Grand Lodge, please contact Larry Tschannen or myself.

As the first of the year is rolling around, consider purchasing a Masonic license plate for your vehicle as this is a great source of revenue for the lodge.

Our Masonic education was the reading of the Ancient Charges… which were read by Brothers Doug Harris and Tim Simpson.

The lodge was then closed in form on the Entered Apprentice Degree by the 2017 officers as is the tradition at Bluffton.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for electing me and allowing me to serve as Master of the Lodge in 2016.  I have enjoyed it immensely and I am proud of where the lodge stands overall.  Every Master tries to leave the lodge in a little better shape than they found it, and I hope you think that I have been able to do the same.  A special thank you to all of the officers who served in 2016 and all of the brethren who have attended our meetings and helped out at our events.  I appreciate each and every one of you.  THANK YOU AGAIN BROTHERS!!!

David Barton
Worshipful Master
Bluffton Lodge 145

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