Lodge Remodeling

There has been a lot of work being performed on the lodge.  Walls are being painted, bathrooms remodeled, television hung.  Come into the lodge, check it out, or even offer to lend a hand.

Media Room TV

Women’s Bathroom

Tyler’s Room in progress

Tyler’s Room in progress

Archive Library in progress

Upstairs bathroom

Plumbing issues

February Stated meeting

The brothers wore red or pink in support of our wives in this Valentine’s month.

Todd Flanery Our Newest Master Mason

Lionel Brubaker our newest Master Mason

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

Chili Cook Off Results

On Sat Nov 5th, Bluffton Lodge 145 held its First Annual Chili-Cookoff!!

We had two hours of tasting great chili made by brothers to see who would be crowned king.  In the end Todd Flannery, Larry Tschannen, and Joe Lamar took the top 3 honors respectively.

Congratulations Brothers.

We had great fellowship and family time and are already planning for the Second Annual Chill-Cookoff.

November 2016

Greetings Brethren,

At our November Stated Meeting, we had 18 brothers present…game 6 of the World Series probably has something to do with that.

After a delicious French Hunter’s Dinner accompanied by freshly baked bread and warm apple cobbler prepared by the family of JW Adam Harder, the lodge was opened on the Master Mason Degree.

We voted favorably on Brother Ken Humont’s petition to transfer to our lodge from Wisconsin, and I appointed an investigating committee for a new petitioner to our lodge.

Upcoming degree work;
EA Degree on Wednesday, November 16 @ 6:30
2 FC Degrees on Tuesday, November 22 @ 6:30

Brother Tim Stotlar, PM Jim Fritz, PM Nate Moyer, and I passed out candy at Boo in Bluffton on Halloween evening at the City Gym.  We had just enough candy to make it to the end of the line.  It was fun to see all the children and even some adults in their costumes.

The trustees reported that all 3 sections of the lodge roof have been replaced. The brown shingle siding and the gray vinyl siding has also been repainted.

Please keep Brothers:

Alan Coldiron…who is having another chest surgery because he is healing from the outside in instead of the inside out and they will be putting a pump in to keep things cleaned out, which he will need to carry around with him until he is completely healed.

Leonard King…who continues his rehabilitation from his recent stroke.

Mark Penrod… who is having surgery on November 9 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.

We voted for and elected the following officers for 2017:
Tim Simpson – Worshipful Master
Adam Harder – Senior Warden
Nate Moyer – Junior Warden
Doug Harris- Treasurer
Larry Tschannen – Secretary
David Barton – Trustee

Brother Tom Doepker is chairing a silent auction fundraiser which will run until the December Stated Meeting.  Quite a few items have been donated so far, and the bidding sheets are in place. The bidding is officially open.  It is not too late to still donate an item.

You should be receiving your dues notices from the Grand Lodge in the very near future.  If you have any questions regarding your notice, please contact Larry Tschannen or myself.

Our next monthly community breakfast will be on Saturday, November 19, from 8:00 to 10:30.  Just a reminder that the proceeds from the October and November breakfast will be split evenly and contributed to the Shepard’s House in Fort Wayne, and the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.

WB Fred Lucabaugh thanked everyone for their support either by working or by donating at the benefit breakfast for Kelly Harris, who is suffering from an aggressive brain tumor, held at the Lodge on Saturday, October 29.  The breakfast was a great success, as we served nearly 200 people and were able to raise a significant amount of money to help Kelly.

SW Tim Simpson will be coordinating our 1st ever Chili Cook Off on Saturday, November 5 from 3-5 p.m.  Anyone can also come and sample the different chili dishes for $5 and a vote for your favorite chili will cost $1 per vote.  Family members are welcome to enter the contest, to sample, and to vote.

Lastly, we voted to skip Masonic education, so that we could go home and watch the World Series.

The lodge was then closed in form on the Master Mason Degree.

David Barton
Worshipful Master
Bluffton Lodge 145

 

October 2016

Greetings Brethren,

At our October Stated Meeting, we had 32 brothers present including Brothers Joe Rockell (our honorary member) and Ken Humont… a member in Milwaukee, WI who recently moved to the area.

After Larry’s awesome fish fry, the lodge was opened on the Master Mason Degree.

The lodge was then put at ease as we prepared for the presentation of WB Allan Penrod’s Award of Gold and to welcome our guests for the evening (Allan’s wife Jane, his granddaughter Sarah, his great-grandson Kam, and Deeda Skiles). Allan’s Award of Gold was presented by our Treasurer WB Doug Harris and Allan’s son, Mark Penrod.
Congratulations WB Allan on your Award of Gold!

While we were at ease, photos were taken of Allan, his family, and his trusty companion Sadie as well as a photo of all the brothers in attendance. I had to chuckle when I noticed that Sadie had a Grand Master’s pin on her harness. Nice touch WB Allan. After the pictures, the guests were excused and the lodge was returned to order.

WB Fred Lucabaugh read a poem entitled “An Old Master’s Wages” at the request of WB Allan Penrod, which was very appropriate for the evening.

We voted favorably on one petition and I appointed 2 investigating committees for 1 new petitioner as well as 1 transfer to our lodge. The plan right now is to do both EA degrees on Tuesday, October 18, at 6:30. We will confirm this once we have been in contact with the candidates.

We will be participating in the Bluffton Boo on Monday, October 31, from 5-6 p.m. at the City Gym. Several brothers brought in bags of candy last night for the event. The goal is not to run out of candy early, so if you would like to bring a bag(s) to the lodge for the event, there is still time to do so. All members are invited to come and help us with this event.

Steve Skiles reporting for the investment committee said that our investments are continuing to grow. Thanks again to the investment committee for their efforts.

WB Jan Henline spoke on behalf of the trustees, and reported that the roof had been completed. However, the crew was not as careful as they should have been. The President and Quality Manager from Advanced Roofing both have been to the lodge and agreed with our assessment, so they will be cleaning and power washing the affected areas. If the power washing does not work, they will be painting the areas.

Please keep Brothers Alan Coldiron, Leonard King…who continues his rehabilitation from his recent stroke, Mark Penrod… who is awaiting a kidney transplant, and Mike Rouner…who has kidney stones… in your thoughts and prayers. We have told Marge King, Leonard’s wife, to let us know if she needs any work done around their house while Leonard recuperates. All of our brothers should know that we are there for them if they need help, so if you happen to speak with any of these brothers, please extend the same offer of help to them.

Brother Tom Doepker is chairing a silent auction fundraiser which will run until the December Stated Meeting. Quite a few items have been donated so far and the bidding sheets are in place and the bidding is officially open. It is not too late to still donate an item.

You should be receiving your dues notices from the Grand Lodge in the very near future. If you have any questions regarding your notice, please contact Larry Tschannen or myself.

Our next monthly community breakfast will be on Saturday, October 15, from 8 to 10:30. Just a reminder that the proceeds from the October and November breakfast will be split evenly and contributed to the Shepard’s House in Fort Wayne and the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.

WB Fred Lucabaugh will be chairing a benefit breakfast for Kelly Harris, who is suffering from an aggressive brain tumor, at the Lodge on Saturday, October 29. Kelly is a former employee of Paul Reiff and has helped out at our lodge of multiple occasions serving food at various banquets and during Hector’s cookie class. Please come out and support this worthy cause.

SW Tim Simpson will be coordinating our 1st ever Chili Cook Off on Saturday, November 5 from 3-5 p.m. The entry fee is $25 and is open to anyone. Anyone can also come and sample the different chilies for $5 and a vote for your favorite chili will cost $1 per vote. Family members are welcome to enter the contest, to sample, and to vote.

JS Perry Harris said that he had a friend who had some church pews in his barn that were already padded and asked if the lodge would be interested in them. Since the pews are much more comfortable than the current seats, the trustees will be seeing if they are in good enough condition for us to use.

Lastly, for our Masonic education, WB Michael Hostetter divided everyone into groups of 2 or 3 for a 17 question of Masonic trivia. The questions were both difficult and interesting. Thank you WB Michael.

The lodge was then closed in form on the Master Mason Degree.

David Barton
Worshipful Master
Bluffton Lodge 145

September 2016

Greetings Brethren,

At our September Stated Meeting, we had 25 brothers present including Brothers Joe Rockell (our honorary member) and WB Jason Miller, WB Mike Doxsee, and Josef Irbe of Highland Lodge #762.

After our delicious meal prepared by WB Fred Lucabaugh, the lodge was opened on the Master Mason Degree.

The charter was draped for three brothers who had laid down their working tools since our June meeting; Edwin Hostetter, Vincent Matthews, and Geoff Foughty.

The lodge was then put at ease while we welcomed our guests for the evening for the presentation of Doug Harris’ Award of Gold, which was presented by Doug’s son, JS Perry Harris.  Congratulations WB Doug on your Award of Gold.

While we were at ease, photos were taken of Doug and his family as well as a photo of all the brothers in attendance, which will be presented by Tim Stotlar to Helen Wilson, our resident at Compass Park, this Sunday during the Masonic Home Festival.  The festival is from 9:30 – 4, if you are interested in attending.  If you would like to ride down with Tim and myself, just reply to this email or give me a call at 260-438-8364.

After the pictures, the guests were excused and the lodge was returned to order.   Highland Lodge #762 then presented WB Jan Henline with an honorary membership in appreciation of all of his help at their lodge over the years.

We voted favorably on one petition, and we have received another petition, so we will be having some degree work coming up over the next few months.

Tim Stotlar, our Masonic Home Ambassador, recapped all of the contact and items that he had sent to Helen Wilson over the last several months.

Tim also announced that we will be participating in the Bluffton Boo… passing out candy for Halloween.

We are asking everyone to please bring a bag of candy to the October Stated Meeting for the event.  If you cannot make the meeting, you can always drop off a bag of candy at the lodge and Doug and Larry have promised not to eat it.

Steve Skiles reporting for the investment committee said that our investments are continuing to grow.  Thanks again to the investment committee for their efforts.

WB Jan Henline spoke on behalf of the trustees, and reported that the roof had indeed suffered hail damage and that an insurance claim had been filed on our behalf.  The claim for the flat roofs has been approved and we are now waiting on the claim for the interior portions which will cover repainting the ceilings that were damaged due to the leaks to be approved.

Please keep Brothers Joe Pfeifer who recently had stents put in and is recovering nicely, along with Leonard King…who continues his rehabilitation from his recent stroke, and Mark Penrod… who is awaiting a kidney transplant, in your thoughts and prayers.

Brother Tom Doepker will be chairing a silent auction fundraiser in November.  Tom is looking for any item that you may wish to donate for the auction.  Larry will be sending out more information at a later date.

You should be receiving your dues notices from the Grand Lodge somewhere in the September-October time period.  If you have any questions regarding your notice, please contact Larry Tschannen or myself.

Our next monthly community breakfast will be on Saturday, September 17, from 8 to 10:30.

Lastly, our Masonic education was a game of “Guess that famous Mason”, emceed by WB Joshua Dunsmore. Josh offered a series of clues to which everyone tried to guess who he was describing.  Personally, I like these kinds of interactions, so thanks again Brother Josh.

The lodge was then closed in form on the Master Mason Degree.

David Barton
Worshipful Master
Bluffton Lodge 145

June 2016

Greetings Brethren,

 At our Stated Meeting on June 7, 2016, we had 36 brothers present including Grand Master Carey B. Carter.  There were visitors from Waynedale, Jackson, Pennville, Montpelier, & Gas City.

After our meal, we opened the lodge on the Master Mason Degree.

We began with a presentation by Brother Stephen Kroman on the Executive Committee Program, which we will be discussing at the September meeting to see if we feel that this program is a good fit for our lodge.

The lodge thanked Past Master’s Doug Harris and Jan Henline for the new secretary and treasurer’s desks that they built for the lodge.  These two brothers donated their time and all of the materials to build and then donated these desks, at no cost to cost to the lodge.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to see, you should stop by the lodge and check them out. 

The charter was draped for our recently departed Brother James Mossburg, who laid down his working tools on May 10, 2016.

We have one new petition that we will be voting on at our September Stated meeting.  The investigating committee for the applicant will consist of Brothers Tom Doepker, Nate Moyer & Joshua Dunsmore.

Steve Skiles, Chairman of the Investment Committee, reported that our investments have been performing very well.  I would like to personally thank all of the members of this committee for their efforts this year.

Next, was the presentation from the Ways & Means Committee regarding their recommendation regarding our dues for 2017.  After discussion and exchange of ideas, it was unanimously voted upon by the lodge to raise our dues for 2017 to $115, which is an increase of $10 a year. 

Brother Nate Moyer has been appointed to serve the remainder of 2016 as our Junior Deacon.

Please keep Brothers Edwin Hostetter and Alan Coldiron in your thoughts and prayers.
                Edwin, who will celebrate his 99th birthday on August 1, continues to be in declining health.
                Allan Coldiron recently fell and broke his arm in three places.  He is also awaiting a decision from the doctors on how to treat a heart ailment.

Street Fair parking spots are now available.  If you had a spot last year, you have the right to reserve that spot again for $20.  Payment must be received by Larry Tschannen by August 15 or the spot will be opened up to the next person in line on the sign-up sheet.

We had four winners of a $1,375 scholarship from the Grand Lodge.  Those winners are Bo Thompson, Reggie Garrett, Jake Garrett, & Kobie Lucabaugh.

We acknowledged PM Dunsmore and our lodge for receiving the Grand Master’s Award with High Distinction for 2015.

Our next monthly breakfast will be on Saturday, June 18 from 8 to 10:30.

After the breakfast at approximately 11:30, Past Master Fred Lucabaugh will be spearheading a group at the Murray Cemetery on 400N just east of Norwell Road that will be resetting headstones that were knocked over by vandals last fall.  Please come on out and give them a hand if at all possible.

We will also be planning a cook-out similar to what we have had in recent years somewhere in the mid to late July timeframe.  There will be more information sent out on that later as the plans are finalized.

Fraternally,

David Barton
Worshipful Master
Bluffton Lodge 145