Category Archives: Lodge Events

George Washington and the Virtue of Temperance

George Washington and the Virtue of Temperance

 “In politics as in religion, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.”

George Washington

 The most recognizable Mason in American History, George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on February 22, 1732.

Bro. Washington was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason on November 4, 1752 in Fredericksburg Lodge # 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  He was subsequently passed to the Degree of a Fellow Craft on March 3, 1753 and raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason on August 4, 1753, all ceremonies being conducted by Fredericksburg Lodge # 4.

Although 265 years have passed since his initiation, we all share a bond with Bro. Washington.  Because of the unchanging nature of Masonry, we can know with certainty that Washington took the same vows as an Entered Apprentice Mason that we assumed over two centuries later.  We can be equally assured that before being passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft, Bro. Washington was asked the question, “As an Entered Apprentice Mason, what came you here to do?”  His answer, as so many who preceded and followed him, would have been, “To learn, to subdue my passions and improve myself in Masonry.”

It is this phrase, “to subdue my passions,” that is the focus of this presentation.

Temperance is defined as the act of voluntary self-restraint; It is the act of refraining from exercising an act which one otherwise has the ability to perform.  It is no accident that Freemasonry joins subduing one’s passions with learning and improvement.  In each of our three degrees we promise some act of restraint, or temperance.  We promise not to reveal the secrets of our fraternity.  We promise not to cheat, wrong or defraud each other.  We promise not to divulge the confidences reposed in us by our brothers.  We promise not to violate the chastity of the female relatives of other Masons.  We promise not to strike another Mason in anger.

All of these promises reflect the Masonic virtue of temperance.  We have the physical ability to perform all of the things that we have promised not to do.  But it is the quality of temperance – the exercise of restraint and patience – that does truly curb our passions and lead us to be better men.

Brother George Washington clearly mastered the virtue of temperance.  There are three examples from his life – one from personal life and two from his public life – to which I wish to draw your attention this evening.  Each of these examples reflect the attitude that Washington displayed toward temperance and restraint.

The first example is found in a letter that Bro. Washington wrote to his young niece, Harriot Washington.  Washington wrote, “You are just entering the state of womanhood, without the watchful eye of a Mother to admonish or the protecting aid of a Father to advise and defend you; you may not be sensible (aware) that you are at this moment about to be stamped with that character which will adhere to you through life.  Think, then, to what dangers a giddy girl of 15 or 16 must be exposed in circumstances like these.  To be under but little or no control may be pleasing to a mind that does not reflect, but this pleasure cannot be of long duration.”

Every man here this evening who is a parent has at one time or another had the pleasure of explaining to a child why it isn’t necessarily a good idea to do something just because you can.  Washington was engaged in that same level of discourse with his niece.  His letter to her reflects his (and Masonry’s) value on self restraint and reflection.

The next two examples come from Washington’s public life.

First, in 1782, after the end of the Revolutionary War and before the writing and ratification of the Constitution, Washington received a letter from one of his officers, Major Lewis Nicola.  In what has become know as the “Newburgh Letter,” Nicola suggested that Washington proclaim himself king.  Washington replied to Nicola by letter the same date and called Nicola’s suggestion “a calamity.”

Washington could have been king.  He was the single unifying figure in the post Revolutionary War United States.  He had the stature and the popularity to declare himself king.  Surely Washington was aware that a kingdom was his for the taking.  It seems almost impossible to imagine that the idea was not at least a little bit tempting to him.  But all of the historical evidence points to the contrary.

Washington rejected the idea of proclaiming himself king.  His prompt response to Nicola was unequivocal.  Washington fought against England for the concept of republican government.  To fight and win such a battle, then embrace a monarchy for his own sake, would have been a repudiation of the principles in which he believed.

In Washington:  A Life, Ron Chernow writes, “But over the years, this man of deep emotions and strong opinions had learned to subordinate his personal dreams and aspirations to the service of a large cause, evolving into a stateman with a prodigious mastery of political skills and unwavering sense of America’s future greatness.  In the things that mattered most for his country, he had shown himself capable of constant growth and self-improvement.”

Could Washington have proclaimed himself king?  Most certainly the answer is yes.  But Washington realized that to do so would not only ultimately be ruinous to his newborn country, but would also cause him to betray his own beliefs.  Washington exercised the Masonic virtue of temperance.  He could have been king, yet he chose to exercise restraint in making what he believed to be the best choice for his country.

The final example of Washington’s temperance is his refusal to accept a third term as president of the United States.  He actually made this refusal on two separate occasions – once following his second inauguration in 1793 and again preceding the presidential election of 1796.

At the beginning of his second term as president in 1793, Washington made it clear to all that he would not accept a third term as president.  First, he was simply exhausted by public life and wanted to return to Mt. Vernon.  Second, he believed that it was important to establish the precedent of a peaceful and orderly transition of the office of the presidency.  He feared that if he accepted a third term and then died in office, the precedent would be established that the presidency was an office to which one was elected for life.  Washington was determined to avoid this, so he refused all entreaties to accept a third term.

Washington’s act of restraint in refusing a third term established the precedent, which has lasted for over two hundred years, of an orderly transition of presidential power.  This precedent has been so strong that it has guided our country through the difficult days following the deaths and resignations of presidents.  Indeed, the orderly transition of power is one of the defining characteristics that distinguishes the United States from most of the world’s other nations.

Brother George Washington exercised the Masonic virtue of temperance personally and publicly.  His restraint led to the development of a high moral character which benefitted him individually and the country as a whole.  Bro. Washington is our best example of how subduing one’s passions lead to improvement.

In his book, Patriarch, presidential historian Richard Norton Smith writes the following passage, “Even at this stage of his career, then, Washington remained a revolutionary.  But it was a revolution of character, not of politics, to which he committed himself.  He staked his presidency – and his place in history – on a belief that men could be wise enough to restrain their passions and reasonable enough to keep government in check.”

What then, is the contemporary application of Bro. Washington’s example?  It is this – let us practice patience and restraint in a civil society where such virtues are considered quaint and old fashioned.  Let us be faithful to our sacred vows of temperance.  Let us be wise enough to reflect and to restrain our passions.  Like Washington, let us also be participants in a revolution of character.

Delivered by Dan M. Kemble
February 9, 2017
Burlington Lodge # 264
Burlington, Kentucky

Sources:

Washington:  A Life.  Ron Chernow, 2010, Penguin Press.

Patriarch.  Richard Norton Smith, 1993, Houghton Mifflin Company.

George Washington:  A Biography (Volume VII).  John Alexander Carroll and Mary Wells Ashworth, 1957, Charles Scribner’s Sons.

George Washington:  A Biography (Volumes I through VI).  Douglas Southall Freeman, 1948-1954, Charles Scibner’s Sons.

Washington:  The Man and the Mason.  Charles H. Callahan, 1913, Gibson Brothers Press.

Golden Rule-Covington No. 109 Initiates Two

On January 31, 2017, Golden Rule-Covington Lodge No. 109 welcomed two new Brothers to the family of Freemasonry. Bro. Mike Hamilton and Bro. Randy Herzog were initiated as Entered Apprentice Masons before a crowd of 31 Masons representing at least a dozen different Lodges.

To demonstrate that Freemasonry really is a family, Bro. Randy Herzog’s father is our own Bro. Jim Herzog.

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Five of our Brothers from Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 were in attendance at the Degree: Worshipful Bro. Buddy Wallace, Master, Worshipful Bro. Jim Herzog, Worshipful Bro. Ernie Stratton, Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner, Senior Steward and Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble, Secretary.

Congratulations to Worshipful Bro. Rob Himes and his corps of officers for some fine degree work! Welcome to Bro. Hamilton and Bro. Herzog! May your Masonic journey be rewarding to you and our Craft!

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L-R: Bro. Greg Bailey (109), Bro. Dan Kemble (517, 926), Bro. Buddy Wallace (264, 926), Ernie Stratton (304, 926), Dwight Rider (109), Mike Hamilton (E. A., 109), Jason Hale (109), Ed Tanner (304, 926), Rob Himes (109), Orlando Dos Santos (109), Eric Nelson (109), Randy Herzog, (E. A., 109), Jim Herzog (264, 926), and Hampton Quigley (109).

Northern Kentucky DeMolay January 2017 Installation

Northern Kentucky Chapter, Order of DeMolay, held its installation of officers on January 29, 2017 at Bradford Lodge No. 123, Independence, Kentucky. Bro. Josh Ball, who also serves as State Junior Councilor, was installed as Master Councilor of the Chapter. This is Bro. Josh’s third term as Master Councilor!

The Installation was performed by State Master Councilor Draven Sims along with his corps of officers.

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Our Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace, along with Junior Warden Adam Gross and Secretary Dan Kemble attended the installation. Worshipful Bro. Buddy is pictured above with the members of Northern Kentucky Chapter, Order of DeMolay and the state officers of Kentucky DeMolay.

Northern Kentucky Chapter meets at Bradford Lodge No. 123 on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month at 2:00 P.M. Please support these young men and welcome them into the family of Freemasonry.

6th Annual David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-off

On Saturday, February 18, 2016, Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 will host its 6th Annual David Wood Memorial Chili Cook-off.  Festivities will begin at 11:00 A.M. and winners will be announced at 3:00 P.M.  The event will be held at the Petersburg Community Center, 6517 Market Street, Petersburg, Kentucky, 41080.

Lodge members, family and friends can enter and everybody can vote. There will be three classes: classic, exotic and hot (!). There will be prizes in each class. Bring any condiments you want to accent your chili. Our Lodge will provide iced tea and water (soda will be available). Judging is simple, just put a $ 1 donation in the ballot box of your favorite chili. You may cast as many votes as you want and we encourage you to vote often!! Winners will be announced at 3:00 P.M.

January 2017 Stated Communication

Our speaker for our January educational program was Worshipful Brother Ed Tanner, reflecting on the 50+ years he has been a member of our fraternity.

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I title this paper: “Masonry: Where It Was, Where It Is, and Where It’s Going.”

Subtitled, A review of my 50 years as a Mason. I would like to quote Bro. James R. Robinson, P.M., Boone-Union Lodge No. 304, F&AM, Union, KY, after receiving his Gold Card and 50 year membership pin. It is, “Fifty years is not a long time.” I totally agree with Bro. Robinson when I stop to think about what I have done and where I have been in the last fifty years, and before that, in and outside of Masonry. Time does fly by and can’t be saved for future years. I was Initiated, Passed and Raised at Boone-Union Lodge No. 304, F&AM, in 1965 at the age of 23. I had three uncles, two cousins, one which was the Master, and one Grandfather and church members who belonged there, and my father-in-law belonged to a Lodge in Chicago, IL and I became interested in what the Masons were and what they did. My initiation class consisted of five men, one of which was my father and one was a cousin, and I was the active candidate in the Master Mason Degree. As I sat on the steps outside the Lodge waiting to be called for my turn in the Legend of the Temple and listening to hear, “Ok Ed, your turn, come on up,” I couldn’t help but wonder: “Did I make a right choice?” The Lodge was located on the second floor and with every step I made up those stairs, wondering, what was going to happen to me? The other four never came back down from that room upstairs. I soon found out, and rose to appreciate it. Today as I reflect on my 50 plus years in Masonry, I’ve asked myself, “What have I seen, learned and hopefully helped someone or some cause.” In 1965 upon attending a Masonic Lodge I noticed that almost every man was wearing a suit and tie. After the initiations I recognized the officers knew their degree and ritual work almost to perfection, were sincerely glad to meet me and made me feel welcomed to join this Fraternity and especially this Lodge. As I observed my first nomination of officers later that year in 1965 I noticed that there were no shortages of candidates for the chairs. As my class was the second one to be raised in 1965, there were others ahead of me being asked to fill chairs. I never accepted the offer to take a place in the Lodge line until several years later, as I worked second shift and Saturday work was scheduled and wouldn’t permit me to give full attention to any office. There were no Past Masters being asked to fill a chair in the line as every Brother moved up the ranks to the station in the East. There was a full Degree Team which traveled to several Lodges to portray The Legend of the Temple. After a few years of regular attendance in Lodge I was handed a script for the third ruffian in The Legend and told, “Learn the part.” The following information is compiled from the Grand Lodge Proceedings of 1965, 1966, 2015, and 2016 published by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky:


Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F&AM

Membership Data
                                                        1965                  2015
Total Members                      100,235           38,814
50 Year Members                1,840                 6,762
Total Lodges                            471                     369

Net Membership Decrease Since 1965: 61,421
Net Lodge Decrease Since 1965: 102
Total Current Members Less 50 Year Members: 32,052

Membership totals are not adjusted for dual members. In other words, the total numbers are inflated.


Where are we today? Membership is down, Past Masters are asked to fill positions in the line, officers read their duties from a book, can’t put on degree work themselves and have to ask Brothers from other Lodges to stand in, which is mainly due to only four or five members attending or the majority of the members are older and don’t drive at night, yet they still want the Lodge to stay alive and function, members don’t learn charges to the degrees, roughly present a proficiency examination from a new Brother, which is not an asset to him. After all, he is there to learn. Another alteration is the dress code of members in Lodge. It was explained to me that going to Lodge, a replica of King Solomon’s Temple, was compared to going to church. Dress that way. Times have changed and the dress code has been greatly reduced by Lodges and churches. Many Pastors say they would rather have members present and dressed as they wish than not have them attend at all. I suppose this could be the same line of thinking for Masters of Masonic Lodges today. True, many Masons don’t own a suit or like to wear a tie, but respectable, clean clothes should be the unspoken code for Lodge or other function attendance and the Grand Lodge Communication as well. In the Address to a Newly Raised Candidate, which has been presented by Bro. David Wood, P.M., Boone-Union No. 304 and Elvin E. Helms No. 926, there is a statement and I quote, “Membership in a Masonic Lodge can no more make you a Mason than membership in a Musical Club can make you a musician.” And so it is with Masonry and the Masonic Lodge. There are four classes of men in this world. Firsrt those who are Masons neither in name or nature; second those who are Masons in name only; third, those who are Masons by nature; and lastly, those who are Masons both in name and nature, and this class are God’s noblemen. I thought so much of this address that I learned it to present it after the death of Bro. Wood. Some men don’t ask for a petition because they aren’t interested or don’t care what the Masons stand for or do. Some men join, get raised or get in line and even become Master, after which they rarely and sometimes never set foot in a Lodge again. They become Masons in name only. Masons in name only also applies to the appendant bodies of the Masonic Order which members join and never participate in meetings or Degree Work. It makes one wonder, “Why did they join?” Is there some material profit or favor they expect to gain from saying, “I am a Mason,” or by wearing a ring? Those by nature are men who never ask for a petition but lead a respected, helpful, meaningful life, which all Masons should do. We probably all know someone whom we respect and think that they would be a good Mason because of their many good qualities. Those who are Masons in name and nature which there are many, take their obligations seriously and go about doing good deeds, not expecting any recognition or reward and being proud to be a Mason. Yes our numbers are down and those who are truly Masons in name and nature and interested in the Order still attend Lodge, still fill a station when asked, even though they may have for sometime but really don’t want to, learn and confer degree work, know how to open and close a Lodge properly, instruct proficiencies and go about doing good deeds for their Lodge, their community and especially their fellow man. Above all these Brothers are willing to assist others who have the desire to learn. In closing, “Where Are We Going?” That question can be answered by every Mason in the Commonwealth. To state it better, ask yourself, “Where Am I Going?” Do I dress and act the part of a respected Mason and am I going to learn rituals and degree work, am I going to attend Lodge on a fairly regular basis so I know what is going on with the Lodge and staying informed, contribute to the Lodge activities, instruct by word and actions, and be involved with the other Masonic bodies I belong to. Those members who are called upon and accepting an invitation to confer degrees, lectures, or charges for another Lodge are fading. I ask you, “Who will fill their shoes?” They will always be needed and asked to assist for reasons already stated, and thanks to God, they willingly accept the invitation. Masonry will be around a long, long time if the present members get involved in their Lodges and show the world what Masonry is about, thereby attracting men who want to be Masons and asking how to join, by doing deeds in the community, schools and toward their fellow man. Fifty years isn’t a very long time. I have seen many changes in both district and Grand Lodge, due to electronic communication and voting procedures, most of which are good, as secretaries don’t have to file reports to the Grand Lodge in triplicate or communicate with sister Lodges by the use of U.S. Mail. A most significant step is the fraternal relations with the Prine Hall Masons, something that would not have happened fifty years ago or even ten to fifteen years ago. I hope I contributed to a small part in Masons, maybe inspired a Brother to step up and take a part or fill a chair, taking a chair when asked by a new Master, even though I really didn’t want to, but later felt honored that I was asked and accepted the request. As a young man of 23 years of age, sitting on Lodge steps in 1965, wondering about his choice, I now know it was a good one because of the great men I have met and respected and still meet those kind of men, men from sister Lodges that attended my Lodge whenever there was degree work, just to visit, the grant men I have served under or served as Master of a Lodge or being involved in other bodies. Yes, it was a great choice and Masonry has taught me very much. I have gotten more out of Masonry than I have put into it and I am thankful for that. It is up to the present and future members to learn, serve, and keep the Greatest Fraternity in the World, going forever. My sincere wish is that they will. Fifty years isn’t a very long time. Get involved now, time is passing.

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From the Archives

A recent search of the Archives of our Lodge produced the photograph shown below, taken on December 14, 2004. The occasion was the installation of the Officers of Petersburg Lodge No. 926 for the 2005 Lodge year.

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Pictured above, left to right: Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser, Grand Pursuivant of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Al Cummins, Senior Warden; Right Worshipful Bro. Keith Dreier, Grand Junior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Worshipful Bro. Al Collier, Treasurer; Worshipful Bro. Dennis Stephens, Master; Worshipful Bro. Rick Campbell, Junior Warden; Right Worshipful Bro. Greg Powell, Grand Senior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Worshipful Bro. Kenny Williamson, Tyler, Worshipful Bro. Elvin E. Helms, Jr., Secretary; Worshipful Bro. Garry C. Kelly, Committee on Biography, Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

In Memory of Stanley G. Bonta

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It is with sorrow that we announce the death of our esteemed Brother and Retired Colonel Stanley G. Bonta. Brother Bonta entered the Celestial Lodge Above on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. He was a member of our Lodge for over 60 years. He was born on August 25, 1935; Initiated as an Entered Apprentice on August 31, 1956; Passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft on October 5, 1956; and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on November 10, 1956.

Visitation will be at Middendorf-Bullock Funeral Home (next to Hebron Lodge) tomorrow morning Saturday, December 31 from 10am until 12pm. This is visitation only. The family did not request a Masonic Burial. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Please see Brother Bonta’s full obituary below.


Ret. Colonel Stanley G. Bonta, 81, of Florence passed away Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Edgewood.

Stan had a distinguished career in the United States Army and proudly served his country in two tours of combat in Vietnam. Throughout his career, he earned numerous medals of valor including the Legion of Merit with one OLC, the Bronze Star Medal with three OLC, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with a Silver Star and numerous other awards and commendations.

He began his career as a graduate ROTC student from Eastern Kentucky University. Stan was also a graduate of the Naval War College and the Army War College. He commanded the 2/503rd in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, was the Commander, Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia and the  Brigade Commander, Old Guard, 3rd Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) Commander at Fort Myer, Virginia.

Following his distinguished military career, Stan worked for JTM Food Group, Harrison, Ohio for 15 years. He was instrumental in creating their Military Food Service Division which proudly serves our military troops today.

Stan was a Kentucky Colonel and a member of the Elvin E. Helms Masonic Lodge # 926, Petersburg and he was a 60 year member of the Mason Lodge.

Survivors include his sons, Steve (Bridget) Bonta of Carmel, IN, Scott (Kathryn) Bonta of Florence and Stan (Colleen) Bonta of Woodbridge, Virginia; sister, Frances Justice of Florence; nephew, Stan Justice of Union; eight grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

Visitation is Saturday, December 31, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon at Middendorf-Bullock Funeral Home, Hebron. Services, with full military honors, are being scheduled for Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia for the Spring of 2017.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Wounded Warriors Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256.

Installation of Officers 2016-2017

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Officers for 2016-2017, left to right:

Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon; Travis Bush, Treasurer; Adam Gross, Junior Warden; Jason Wallace, Senior Warden; Buddy Wallace, Master; Ed Tanner, Senior Steward; Grand Senior Warden Gary Rose, Installing Master; Bob Bradford, Junior Steward; Mel Kinser, Chaplain; Honorary Member Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall; Dan Kemble, Secretary

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Our Volumes of Sacred Law upon the Altar.  May they ever light our path!

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Right Worshipful Bro. Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M. served as our Installing Master.

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Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Master-elect Bro. Buddy Wallace at the altar for installation.

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Our newly obligated Master, Bro Buddy Wallace, receives the line, the rule, Book of Constitutions and the By-Laws from Installing Marshall Dave Cassesa.

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Worshipful Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace, is seated in the chair of King Solomon.

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Right Worshipful Bro. Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M. charges our newly installed Master, Bro. Buddy Wallace.

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Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, proclaims the installation of Worshipful Master Bro. Buddy Wallace.

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Bro. Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon, and Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross, Junior Warden, observe the proceedings.

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Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace (kneeling) and Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross take their obligations as Senior Warden and Junior Warden, respectively.

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Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace, Senior Warden, assumes his station in the West.

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Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross at the altar for installation as Junior Warden.

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Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross, Junior Warden, receives his collar from his mother-in-law, Holly Kemble.

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Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble and Worshipful Bro. Travis Bush for installation as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

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Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble and Worshipful Bro. Travis Bush (kneeling) take their obligations as Secretary and Treasurer while Holly Kemble and Debbie Bush look on.

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Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser, Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford, Worshipful Bro. Dennis Stephens and Bro. Sammy Meyerratken for installation as Chaplain, Junior Steward, Junior Deacon and Senior Deacon, respectively.

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Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, presents Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser, Chaplain, with the jewel of his office.

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Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford and Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner are installed as Junior Steward and Senior Steward, respectively.

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Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble, Worshipful Bro. Mel Kinser and Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner at their respective stations.

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Worshipful Bro. Ed Tanner, Worshipful Bro. Adam Gross and Worshipful Bro. Bob Bradford at their respective stations.

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Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall, proclaims the installation of officers of Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 for the year 2017.

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Worshipful Master Bro. Buddy Wallace stands between Right Worshipful Bro. Gary Rose, Grand Senior Warden, and Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Installing Marshall.

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Bro. Sammy Meyerratken, Senior Deacon, Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Worshipful Master Buddy Wallace and Worshipful Bro. Ernest C. Jackson, Past Master of James W. Alley Lodge No. 869 in Wayland, Kentucky.

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Worshipful Bro. Garry Kelly, who otherwise would not have had his picture taken, poses with Worshipful Bro. Jason Wallace, Senior Warden.

Last but not least, 2016’s winners for our Kelly Elementary School Fund were Worshipful Bro. Bob Perry of Alexandria No. 152 and our newly installed Secretary, Worshipful Bro. Dan Kemble.

Invitation to Annual Installation of Officers 2016-2017

Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 will hold its annual election and installation of officers at its stated meeting on Tuesday, December 13, 2016.  The installation is open to the public and all are invited.  Dinner will be served at 6:30 P. M. and the installation will begin at 7:30 P. M.

Right Worshipful Bro. Gary C. Rose, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., will serve as installing Master.  Worshipful Bro. Dave Cassesa, Past Master of Robert Burns Lodge No. 163 and William O. Ware Lodge of Research No. 999 will act as installing Marshal.

Nominated at our Lodge’s November meeting were the following Brothers:

Master – Henry S. (“Buddy”) Wallace, Jr., P. M.
Senior Warden – Jason L. Wallace, P. M.
Junior Warden – Thomas Adam Gross, P. M.
Treasurer – Travis M. Bush, P. M.
Secretary – Dan M. Kemble, P. M.

Nominations for any of the above offices may still be made from the floor at our meeting in December.  Otherwise, we will vote to approve the nominations made in November.  The remaining officers will be appointed by the newly installed Master.

Dinner will be barbecued brisket and chicken, along with potato salad and baked beans.  If you have a favorite side dish and/or dessert, please feel free to bring it along.

Please make plans to attend our meeting and installation on December 13.  Bring your family and friends and help our Lodge get off to a great start for the 2017 year.

Dues cards are in.  Our annual dues are $ 101.00 and are payable by January 31.  Please see the Secretary to pay your dues and receive your 2017 dues card.

November 2016 Stated Communication

On Election Night 2016, the Brothers of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 welcomed a capacity crowd for a great night of Masonry in Petersburg, Kentucky. We were honored to have Most Worshipful Grand Master Todd Jones, Right Worshipful Grand Junior Warden Geary Laird, Worshipful Grand Senior Deacon Coleman Waford and Worshipful DDGM Kevin Schneider (District 18) in attendance.  We had an excellent meal provided by Bro. Mike Boffemmyer, followed by the introduction of our distinguished visitors, an especially interesting education program for the evening, a new twist on our program with Kelley Elementary School, the Worshipful Master’s report from Grand Lodge, and last but not least, were able to share our Grand Master’s 2015-2016 Lodge of Excellence Award for the first time in Stated Communication.

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Pictured above, left to right: Jim Fletcher, DDGM 19; Geary Laird, Grand Junior Warden; Tom Roundtree; Larry York; Coleman Waford, Grand Senior Deacon; Chuck Yokum; Robby Ratliff; Jason Wallace; Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Sammy Meyerratken; Brad Drew; Buddy Wallace; Dave Cassesa; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton; Ken Rogers; Jim Herzog; Travis Bush; Mel Kinser; Garry Kelly; Mark Rosen.
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Pictured above, left to right: Coleman Waford, Grand Senior Deacon, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Dave Cassesa, Committee on Education, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Ken Rogers, Committee on Masons Helping Masons, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton; Right Worshipful Grand Junior Warden, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Geary Laird.

Our education program for the evening was presented by Worshipful Brother Marc Rosen of Poage Lodge No. 325. Brother Rosen is a former District Court and Circuit Court Judge in Boyd, County, Kentucky. His topic was the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Appeals Committee, on which he has served for many years, what is its purpose, and how it performs its functions. Especially interesting was the dialogue between Most Worshipful Grand Master Todd Jones and Worshipful Brother Rosen allowing for an explanation of the checks and balances between the judicial and executive branches of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. As a result of the very unexpected conversational presentation and in following the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky we do not have a transcript of the program to make available.

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Pictured above, left to right: Marc Rosen; Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.

Larry York of Demoss No. 220 shared with us a brief writing he had published in the November 2016 issue of the Masonic Homes Journal:

WHAT IS A MASON? by Larry York, DeMoss No. 220

A Mason is a man who has decided he likes to feel good about himself and others. He cares about the future as well as the past. He does what he can both alone and with others to make sure the future is good for everyone. Recently I found that to be true. I belong to a small Lodge in District 19, DeMoss Lodge No. 220. Our Lodge was in need of some repairs, most importantly a new roof. To help offset the cost, we purchased a shotgun to be raffled. Tickets were printed up for a dollar donation.

We did get our roof replaced and the shotgun raffle was a success because we made enough on the raffle to replace our gutters and downspouts, also. I would like to take this time to thank everyone that participated in the raffle. I would like to especially thank the man who sets the example of a true Mason. His name is District Deputy Dan Kemble of District 18. He was the winner of the raffle. Upon his name being drawn as the winner, he donated the shotgun back to the Lodge to be raffled again later in the year. Thanks again to everyone that made our raffle a huge success.

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Pictured above, left to right: Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky, Todd Jones; Larry York.

An update on our program with Kelley Elementary School: a local church has come forward to help the school and has opted to take over our Christmas program, extending our reach and allowing us to redirect our own focus. As we all know, fine arts programs are the first programs to have their funds redirected or cut entirely. We now have the distinct honor of being able to redirect our support to the Kelley Elementary School Choir program and the school’s Family Resource Center. Thanks to the church for helping with the Christmas program, we are now able to support and maintain the Choir program which has been in danger, as well as support the Family Resource Center and Director Shelly Hoxmeier. The Masons of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 have led by example and now others are joining in the efforts to aid and support our local elementary school.

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Pictured above, Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton poses with the 2015-2016 Grand Master’s Lodge of Excellence Award earned by Elvin E. Helms No. 926.

 

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After a long and fruitful evening, Elvin E. Helms No. 926 was closed in peace and harmony at 10:30pm. We thank all of our guests for making the trip to be with us this evening and hope you will return again soon!