Wednesday, May 22, 2024

This is what has kept us busy. What are YOU up to?


With Inspection season finally over (yes, it seems to take years to squeeze in 11 Inspections), and our Open House in the rear view mirror, we are turning our attention to other activities.

First is a reminder of the calendar as we currently know it:


May 27th - Memorial Day.  Yes, it is a holiday, but a somber one.  It is an opportunity for us to honor those who gave their lives for our country.

June 7 is the 15th District Grand Master's Reception Picnic at Bellefontaine #209, Bellefontaine, Ohio.  Transitioning from the informal picnics of recent years, this is a suit-and-tie affair.  Regardless, it is a great opportunity to interact with Grand Lodge Officers, getting to know the person, not just the title.

July 4th - Independence Day.  This commemorates the passing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.  Parades, fireworks, cookouts, and draping everything in red, white, and blue is how we think of it now.  In 1776, it was a day that changed the world. 

September 2nd - Labor Day.  Becoming a federal holiday in 1894, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of the American worker.  Those who do the heavy lifting to keep things working deserve, and have earned, this recognition. 

September 4 @ 7:30pm is our first meeting of the fall. 

September 14 @ 9am will be the 15th District Annual Meeting at East Liberty #247.  Among other things discussed will be finalization of the 2025 Inspection schedule.  Will there be doughnuts?  Possibly.  Will it be exciting?  Depends on your definition of exciting. 

September 15th @ 6pm will be the 15th District Awards Dinner.  It will be held at The Plaza Inn, Mt. Victory, Ohio.  Even if your Lodge didn't win something (after all, this isn't youth soccer), the food and fellowship are enough to justify attending.

November 11th - Veterans Day.  This a day to express gratitude to America's service members, past and present, who served in both war and peace. 

November 24 - Thanksgiving Day.  Observed in North America, this is meant to celebrate the harvest season, as well as the other blessing of the year.  Yes, that means there is more to the holiday than turkey and football.

December 7 @ 9am will be the 15th District Past Master's Convocation, to be held at Bellefontaine #209.


The last topic is one that pops up every spring - What do we do during summer?  That answer is much longer than the question might indicate.

Lodges traditionally "go dark" (don't meet) during the months of July and August.  In our particular location, with a largely agrarian populous, June also poses challenges.  For years we have not had sufficient attendance in June to conduct business.  It is clear that our necessary vocations are not to be neglected, and just as clear that we are not permitted to "cancel" meetings.  Where does that leave us?  Call before you come, unless you are bringing lots of friends.


That summarizes what we are looking at for the present.  As additional information becomes available we will post it.  Till next time, 

See you in Lodge!


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

We passed!

That is the best news that can come following a District Inspection.  And like every other headline, there is a story behind it.

Originally scheduled for mid-February, our DDGM, RWB Don Broadwater, permitted us to reschedule due to several factors.  Chief among them was absence of officers for that particular date.  Prior travel commitments were one factor, and unforeseen medical issues among our officers were another.  Thankfully for us, we were allowed to postpone until mid-April.  Sadly, as that date neared RWB Broadwater experienced significant health issues of his own, and was unable to preside over Inspection.  RWB Scott Zwiezinski came to the rescue, allowing the evening to proceed.

The evening began with a light meal, prepared by RWB Greg Markley.  We adjourned to the meeting room, with 20 members in attendance.  Of those, one was a 50-year member, one was a 60-year member, and both were from La Rue Lodge.  With only routine hiccups (i.e., one member choking on candy) the balance of the evening went smoothly.  The efforts of all were appreciated, particularly those Brothers who cancelled other engagements to attend our function.

From information presented during the Announcements portion of the evening, there are some things to watch for:

- The 15th District held its Education Meeting at Oliver, with a focus on The Order of the Rusty Nail.  Those familiar recognize it as a reminder for those of us who tend to forget things.  Vital for counteracting the effects of Global Warming?  Hardly.  But it is of significance for the members of a Lodge.

- The 15th District web sites which use WordPress as its foundation are no longer in operation.  The District President has reported this to the District Webmaster.  As the District made use of it to share dates of important events, they have had to make adjustments.  Emails from and notices posted on GrandView are the most efficient substitutes at the moment.  Grand Lodge has long been promoting use of this service to manage your member profile and access Grand Lodge information.  If you don't already have an account set up, there is still time.  It is hard to describe the wealth of information available to those who have not seen it.

- The 15th District Golf Outing is still in the planning stages.  As soon as arrangements are settled, they will be available on GrandView.  (See above.)

- The 15th District Grand Master's Reception will be on June 7th.  Cost to attend will be $20 per person.

That catches us up for the moment.  Now it's time to set back and enjoy the spring showers which bring May flowers.  

See you at Lodge!

Friday, March 1, 2024

When things get busy ...

The real world answer to that is when things get busy, it is too easy to neglect some of the more routine things.  Not that we take them for granted, but we just don't multi-task as well as we'd like to pretend.  

That being said, there are tidings to report.

First concerns our EA Inspection.  Originally, it was scheduled for February 17 at Marysville.  It was to be the lead-off of a 3-Inspection day, but the real world got in the way.  We had a significant number officers unable to attend due to work, travel, and health situations.  In view of the circumstances, we were given permission to reschedule.  Our new date is Wednesday, April 17, 7:30pm, in La Rue.  We will still be performing the EA degree for the pleasure of our DDGM, Donald Broadwater.  Although a final menu it not yet available, it is anticipated that there will be a light meal that evening at 6:30pm.

Second, the tab for the 15th District Web Site, on the left side of this page, is no longer active.  Originally it held information on officers, events, and activities of the District, and was frequently consulted for reference.  Clicking on the link now takes you to a web page stating the site "has been parked".  Not sure what technical meaning that has, but a rough English translation might be "this doesn't work any more." 

Without that resource, the remaining information we have concerns the 15th District Grand Master's Reception.  It will be held on Friday, June 7th, location to be announced.

As we are able, we will provide updates.

See you at Lodge!

Friday, December 8, 2023

Dinner, Masonic Service Awards, Open Installation - We've been busy!

After checking our web site it became apparent that we haven't updated anything since ...  Well, lets just say it's been a while.  Not as long as the 15th District web presence, but that's a story for another time.

On November 1st we had our Annual Meeting, which loosely translates to "who wants (or doesn't want) an office this time?"   With our Lodge size, generally this issue is resolved before the meeting actually starts.  Not this time!  In a very orderly fashion ballots were cast, counted, and results confirmed moments later.  The results are reflected on the "Officers" tab.

The next thing was to decide when to work in the Installation festivities.  In a stroke of genius it was decided to combine a catered dinner with Masonic Service Awards, followed by an Open Installation.  Dinner was catered by The Plaza Inn, and we enjoyed our largest dinner crowd in years.  After Lodge was called to Refreshment our guests were escorted in, first witnessing the Masonic Service Awards.  Every organization is stronger due to the continued support and activity of its long-term members, and our Lodge is no different.  This year we were able to recognize three 50-year members, one 45-year member, one 30-year member, and one 25-year member.

Each Award recipient present was given the opportunity to share thoughts and insights.  Without exception, each noted the impact of fellow members on their Masonic journey.  Older Brothers who, with time, became friends and mentors, were cited most frequently.  One 50-year recipient brought his father's Masonic Bible, reading the names of members present when his father joined, with many of those also present when he joined years later.  Shared experiences and continuity has helped many organizations thrive, and so it is with ours.

RWB Don Broadwater assisted WM Brian Lightfoot with certificates and pins for the 50-year presentations.  In a different twist, the pins were actually applied by the spouse of each member.

Following the Awards presentations, WB Brian Lightfoot proceeded to install the officers elected and appointed for 2023-24.  As they were installed, each officer assumed their station.  In most cases that involved a different view of Lodge operations and responsibilities.

Many photos were taken during the evening, so we thought we'd share what we considered the best.

That's all we have to report for now.  See you in Lodge!

Monday, June 12, 2023

WB John Dray, Jr. - Obituary



We are sad to announce the passing of John Dray, Jr.  Although he was currently servicing the Lodge in the Office of Junior Warden, he was a Past Master of La Rue Lodge #463, having served during 2018-19.  As noted in the obituary below, there were no services or calling hours.  However, a Celebration of Life is planned for a later date.

John Mathew, Secretary




John Wesley Dray Jr.

April 7, 1945 - June 7, 2023


John Wesley Dray Jr, 78 of Kenton Ohio, passed away on June 7th 2023 at Mercy Health in Lima Ohio.


John was born on April 7th, 1945 to the late John Wesley Dray Sr and Edna Mae White. He is preceded in death by his brothers James Dray & Robert Shiflet, sisters Jane Alice Dray Tripp, Rosa Lane, Emma Jean Brown, Hilda Nibert, Anna Mead and Margie Haskins,  his great granddaughter Alexis Johnson and nephews Jim Nibert, Herman Nibert and Bobby Dray.

He is survived by his wife of 33 years Candie Dray and his children Johnnie Dray, Teresa Karr (Jason) and Wendy Dray of Deer Park Texas, Dale Dray of Kenton Ohio, Scarlett Dray and Brett Erlwine of Tennessee, his Sister Nancy Fields Curtis of Kentucky. And many nieces, nephews and cousins.

John is also survived by his little buddy Gage DeLong.

John left a large legacy behind that includes 16 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren.

John loved visiting with family, reading, learning new things, sharing history and helping others.  He loved nature and going on long rides, eating ice cream and sharing stories of all kinds. His family was very important to him and he was grateful for the longer than expected life that God gave him.

John was a member of the Masons and held many offices.  Past offices included Master of LaRue Lodge #513,  High Priest of Sciota Chapter 119, Illustrious Master of Kenton Council 65.  He was a past member of Latham Lodge 154 and Bellefontaine Commandery 61. And a 32nd degree Mason at Valley of Toledo. He currently holds the office of the Vice Grand at Caledonia Lodge 299, High Priest at Mizpah Encampment 50 and Sovereign Master at High Point Council 120.

John will be missed by all who knew him. A celebration of life will follow at a later date as he wished to be cremated and his ashes scattered.

Published by Bayliff & Son Funeral Home ( )