Saturday, November 20, 2021

Is that Christmas music we hear?

It seems like only yesterday that we were fussing with seasonal details, like can we still wear white after Labor Day.  In the mean time, the weather transition from summer to fall was more abrupt than we'd prefer.  The early part of fall was so hot (how hot was it?) it felt like our shoes were on fire just walking across the parking lot.  But when the weather turned it was still that uncomfortable, only cold. And snowy.

Despite the weather, we have been active.  Our candidates are progressing nicely, our election and installation of officers for 2021-22 went smoothly, and we have our sights set on some future events.  Here are some suggestions for your calendar.

December 1, 2021
This is a regular meeting night, but not a regular meeting.  At 6:30pm we will be sharing pizza and beverages.  At 7:30pm we will be conducting the MM degree on our most recent candidate.  This is always a challenge for a Lodge our size.  In addition, this will be our first MM degree in our new location.  
December 4, 2021
This is the date for the Past Master's Convocation.  To be held at Bellefontaine's Lodge, it will start at 9am.  
March 16, 2022
This is a regular meeting night, but not a regular meeting.  This will be our Inspection in the FC degree, for the pleasure of RWB Don Broadwater.  Light snacks are anticipated prior to the 7:30pm meeting.  

We don't have the full Inspection schedule available at this time.  It should be posted to the 15th District web site when available.  During the 15th District Annual Meeting it was announced that no Inspections will take place prior to the annual Work Day in January.  Otherwise, we are as much in the dark as you are.

That's summarizes what we are looking at for the present.  Plus whether the turkey truck has become mired in a supply chain traffic jam.

See you in Lodge!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Welcome to Fall?

For those keeping score at home, our first meeting of the fall is quickly approaching.  Wednesday, September 1st, we resume labor.  As this is being typed it is 90 degrees, humid, with scattered thunderstorms.  That is also the forecast for the next 7-10 days.  The weather apparently doesn't realize that "fall" is defined as having moderately warm daytime temperatures followed by cool nights.

In previous years this would have been a serious concern for Brothers attending meetings.  With a Lodge room on the 2nd floor, few windows and no A/C, most saunas were more comfortable at this time of year.  In that way we are blessed with our current location: first floor, air conditioned throughout.  Add in ample parking and we have a place suitable for year-round activities.

Our calendar listings, as we know them now, are listed below, with one addition:  The Grand Lodge of Ohio Annual Communication.   This year it will be held on Friday, October 15, at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, OH.  Detailed information is available at the Annual Communication web site.

One additional item that merits your attention is the annual dues process.  There are several changes, including one significant new feature.

1 - This year Grand Lodge has taken over all dues notifications.  The first "batch" of notices have already been emailed to Brothers who have GrandView accounts that list an email.  The second "batch" of notices will be mailed to all other Brothers.

2 - A new feature allows members to pay their dues via credit card.  There is a modest processing fee in addition to the cost of dues, which is reflected on the notice.

3 - In addition to payment of dues, online payments can be made for contribution to the Ohio Masonic Home Foundation, Masonic Charities, and donations to Lodge operating expenses.

4 - Members who choose not to pay online can still send payment to the Lodge Secretary.  

5 - Grand Lodge will send additional notices if dues have not been received, up until the first meeting in November, which is when dues are to have been received.

6 - After payment of dues this year you will receive a new plastic dues card.  This will be mailed, unless the Secretary can hand it to you during a meeting.  This will also be a "multi-year" dues card, so keep it in your wallet for the forseable future.

That wraps up what we know for now.  Stay cool and hydrated, and we'll see you in Lodge!


Monday, May 24, 2021

Welcome to Summer!


OK, it isn’t really summer – yet.  But the weather has made a serious turn from winter to feeling like summer.  So consider this just trying to keep up with the times.

Many things have occurred since we last updated the web site.  To list them all would probably break the internet, but there are some that are very deserving. 

To be clear, COVID-19 is still the elephant in the room.  Almost everything we consider “normal” has been impacted.  Meetings and gatherings were the most obvious, with everyone wondering “Who is that masked man?”  You don’t have to be a Lone Ranger fan to understand that reference.  More disruptive has been the frequent schedule adjustments required by outside forces. 

The best example of schedule adjustments was our EA Inspection.  Originally scheduled for March 20, it was rescheduled to March 17th.  Due to additional circumstances it was moved to April 14th, then April 21st, and finally to April 28th.  One side issue was that due to the multiple dates some of our officers were unavailable when the actual event occurred.  Thankfully we were blessed with spontaneous offers of assistance. 

Future events are still impacted by the virus and the changing levels of restrictions.  As example, the Ohio Masonic Home Day has been cancelled for 2021, as have the Ohio Special Olympics.  We are hoping that autumn will see us return to a schedule and activity levels that feel more customary.

To expand on that thought, we adhere to the thought that Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer.  No, we aren’t seaside shop owners courting tourists, although that doesn’t sound so bad.  Instead, we are a community closely tied to agricultural pursuits.  One of the byproducts of that reality is a membership unlikely to attend meetings during this period. 

We finished the month of May with two active candidates.  Not a bad conclusion to a transitional month, considering the possibilities.  “What comes next?” you ask.  Well, we have answers, but first an explanation.

Masonic Lodges are not permitted to cancel meetings.  This is similar in thought to the unofficial Post Office motto: 

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds

The exception in our case is that we don’t have appointed rounds, only appointed days and times.  When conditions make travel or attendance unsafe, uncomfortable, or inconvenient, we advise members to attend to their necessary vocations and welfare.  “What does this mean to me?”  It means that if you arrive for a Lodge meeting before September 1st, you will most likely be alone – unless you brought a friend.


As always, there are many items on the calendar.  The last of the Inspections has been held for the year, so we are able to concentrate on lighter news and events:

May 31, 2021            Memorial Day

Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates all men and women who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.


July 4, 2021              Independence Day.  Celebrate the birth of a nation! 

As of this date, 245 years and counting.


September 1, 2021             First meeting of the fall.  FC degree anticipated.


September 6, 2021 Labor Day.  Although many view this as the unofficial “last day of summer”, it was created to celebrate those who do the heavy lifting that keeps our country going.  Whether you are firing up that grill, or muttering under your breath about traffic, don’t lose sight of the effort and dedication it takes to provide us the comforts we enjoy.


October 8-9, 2021          La Rue’s “Oorang Bang”, otherwise known as La Rue’s Village FestivalActivities include a duck race on the Scioto River, music, food, and a parade.  It’s the kind of thing only a small town can do right.


October 11, 2021       Columbus Day


November 3, 2021             Annual Meeting.

In addition to the normal business of the Lodge, this is the meeting where we elect Officers for the coming year.  Come and make your voice heard!


November 11, 2021            Veterans Day

This is the day to celebrate those who have placed their lives on the line for the freedoms we love. Don't take the opportunity just to thank a Veteran. Do take the opportunity to thank all the Veterans you encounter, whether in person or via social media. It will mean more to them than words can describe.


That’s all we know for now, although we anticipate the calendar filling with additional listings as the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.  Until then, take care of yourself, and we’ll see you in the fall.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Pizza Dinner, FC degree, EA Inspection Results, New Dues Procedures




It has taken a few days to recover from our EA Inspection.  The good news was three-fold. 

- RWB Matt Pollock, DDGM, described our degree work as “great”, and reported that our paperwork was in order. 

- RWB Steve Markley, District Advisor, praised us for overcoming the many challenges we have faced. 

- WB Don Broadwater, DEO, noted that we have an excellent Education program, guided by an imaginative LEO.


Some of the challenges we anticipated.  A new location, unfamiliar surroundings, and more things in storage containers than most Lodges own each presented unique challenges.  The various virus cautions and restrictions have been inconvenient, but we learned how to operate within the guidelines.  Other challenges were not anticipated.  Our SW and JW had to work, and our SD was in the hospital.  As one might expect, other Brothers stepped up to assist.  The result was that our candidate was treated to an excellent degree experience.  Not the way we would have drawn it up, but in this situation it was the result that counted most.

Courtesy of the Grand Secretary, we have received news that changes are coming to the annual dues process.

The past several years have seen a national trend toward using credit or debit cards more often for purchases.  Due to the COVID-19 situation, this trend became even more pronounced with the desire for cash-less transactions.  Lodges attempted to embrace that trend, as more and more members don’t carry cash or have checkbooks.  Smaller Lodges, like ours, quickly learned that the processing fees to pay annual dues via a card would be a significant additional expense.  Grand Lodge is stepping in to make the dues process both simpler and cheaper for everyone.

This year annual dues notices will be sent by Grand Lodge rather than the individual Lodge.  These will be sent by the communication method marked as your preference in the Grandview system.  For example, those who are marked for preferring email or text notifications will receive their dues notices that way.  Those who have marked USPS mail as their preference will receive their notice by mail.  All of these methods of notification will have the option of paying by credit or debit card.  This obviously includes annual dues, but also includes contributions to the Ohio Masonic Home, donations to the Lodge, or any other listing customarily found on your dues notice. 

The exact mechanism for directing payments to the appropriate Lodge is being fine-tuned.  It is our guess that it may resemble the process used to provide per diem payments for attendance at the Grand Lodge Annual Communication.  For our part, we are excited to be able to offer alternatives for taking care of your dues.

For those who do not yet have a Grandview account, it is easy to set up.  Using the link to the left on our web site ( ), click on Grand View System Access.  On the next screen click on Member Registration.  That will lead you to a screen which requests your Lodge number (as in La Rue 463), membership number (found on your plastic dues card), and last name.  The site will verify your membership, then lead you through the rest of the registration process.  FYI – You will be asked to provide a password to access your account in the future.

After registering with Grandview you will be able to make adjustments to your contact information and preferences, read Lodge notices and meeting minutes, and a host of other things.

We are excited about this new process, and hope you find it more convenient than what we’ve used in the past.  As always, should you have any questions about this process, or anything else, give us a call or send us an email.  If we don’t know the answer we’ll try to find it for you.


Before closing, we have some reminders.

Wednesday, May 19, we will be having pizza before our Stated Meeting.  Pizza will be available at 6:30pm, with the meeting starting at 7:30pm.  At this time we are anticipating a FC degree, depending on the progress of our candidate.

 - Due to Ohio restrictions regarding the COVID-19 virus, the 2021 Masonic Home Day has been cancelled.  They are hopeful the event can be reintroduced in 2022.

 - The Grand Lodge of Ohio has been informed that the 2021 Special Olympics Ohio State Games have been cancelled for 2021.



As additional information becomes available it will be posted.

See you in Lodge!



Wednesday, April 7, 2021

“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus

This Greek philosopher lived some 2,600 years ago, and is credited with being the first one to use this phrase.  The truth is that he probably just had a better publicist than the first guy.  Whether he was the first or not, the thought is as true today as it was then.

2021 ushered in a unique period of change for our Lodge.  After occupying the second floor at 56 ½ S. High for the past 95 years, today we officially relocated to 350 N. High.  The background and specifics aside, this was a monumental undertaking.  Many Brothers jumped in to assist as they were able, and community members provided both tangible and emotional support.  All this was needed and appreciated, as we had a limited period to locate a new meeting place, and get things there.

If you’ve moved after living in the same space for a number of years, you are aware of the amount of “stuff” that accumulates because you don’t know what to do with it.  Now imagine living 95 years in the same space, and you have some insight into our task. 

With the help of 3rd Generation Moving, everything necessary was conveyed to our new digs – two rooms in the La Rue Village Building.  There we will resume our customary meeting schedule – 1st & 3rd Wednesdays each month at 7:30pm.  The Lodge room is fully set up, although further unpacking is a work in progress.  For those with mobility or comfort concerns, the building is a single-floor structure, with A/C, and handicap-accessible rest room facilities.

As we look forward to starting this new chapter in our community presence, there are some adjustments and announcements to be noted.

- Our 2021 EA Inspection has been scheduled and rescheduled several times.  It is now scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, at 7pm, with RWB Matt Pollock, DDGM, presiding.  Current restrictions permit only members of our Lodge and Inspecting Officers to be present.

*** NOTE:  This date is not currently reflected on the 15th District web site, but will be shortly.

 - Due to Ohio restrictions regarding the COVID-19 virus, the 2021 Masonic Home Day has been cancelled.  They are hopeful the event can be reintroduced in 2022.

 - The Grand Lodge of Ohio has been informed that the 2021 Special Olympics Ohio State Games have been cancelled for 2021.


This sums up what has occupied our attention for 2021.  Until we cross paths again, stay safe!