Tuesday, November 11, 2008

School of instruction 10/30

Brother James asked me to post a note about the 4th school of instruction held in Rushford on Oct.30. It was another good turn out. There were 33 brothers . Most were from dist29 but there were brothers from Rochester and Albert Lea. WB Greg Lane was the custodian and did a great job(as DR I really want to thank Greg for making the trip.
The next scheduled schools are:
Jan 29,2009 at Clyde , lectures.
Mar 30 Monday, Rochester, 1st school
Fraternally, Paul Himmler

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What a Masonic Weekend...

This weekend was completly filled with Masonic events. Some of them were enjoyable and some were absolutely gut wrenching.

Friday night was spent at the Executive Council meeting of the Grand Guardian Council of Minnesota Job's Daughters. On Friday there were several decisions made that will help move this body into the future. Saturday was a hectic day starting in Minneapolis at JD You. JD You is a day spent with the Daughters of Minnesota providing leadership training for girls from all across the state. It truly is with honor that I serve the Daughters of Minnesota as their Associate Grand Guardian.

After leaving the Daughters it was down I-35 to Faribault for their annual awards. It was great to spend a little time listening and talking to the Brothers and Sisters of Faribault. I can see it on their faces and hear it in their voices... They are not going to let their Lodge die without a fight. I look forward to helping them rebuild.

From Faribault it was even further down I-35 to Albert Lea where the Brothers were celebrating 150 years of Masonic Light. Western Star Lodge #26 is the oldest organization in Freeborn county. During the night there were awards given and speechs presented including the keynote from MW Grand Master Thomas C. Jackson.

Sunday morning found me in Bloomington for the Pancake Throw Down, which was won by Lake Harriet Lodge #277. This afternoon was spent with about 100 other Masons paying WB Dan Croswell his final Masonic Wages. WB Dan was a Past Master of Anoka Lodge #30 and it was evident by the turnout that he had touch many lives in his 10 years as a Mason. It was a great sight to see that many Masons gather together we just wish it could have been under better circumstances. It was with these words that WB Dan finished his last article as Master in the Anoka Lodge "Star and Compass".

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to
make a beginning. The end is where we start from...”

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Upon the Level of Time

Because of this job I have the pleasure of traveling across the state meeting many Brothers along the way. This afternoon I received several phone calls from Brothers up in Anoka to share very sad news with me... Last night WB Dan Croswell was involved in a single car crash and while being transported to the hospital he passed to the Celestial Lodge above.

While Anoka Lodge #30 is not in the Southeast Area, I had the chance to get to know WB Dan over the last few years. On several occasions he came down to Owatonna to attend Lodge and this year he had been serving the Daughters of Bethel #48 as their Director of Music.

Tonight I will give thanks to the Supreme Architect for allowing me to serve the Brothers and Daughters of Minnesota and for bringing so many great people into my life. My prayers go out to WB Dan's family, friends and Masonic family.

The following I feel is very appropriate for the occasion...

"It has pleased the everlasting Master Builder to bear our beloved Brother from the chain of our Brotherhood. Who did not know him? Who did not value him? Only a few weeks ago he stood in our midst, and with him magic tones added much beauty to the dedication of our Masonic Temple. He was the most enthusiastic follower of our Order. Love for his Brethren, sociability, enthusiasm for the good cause, charity, and true and deep feeling of pleasure when he was able by means of his talents to help one of his Brethren ~ these were the chief features of his character..." Eulogy given for Brother Amadeus Mozart by his Lodge

A Hidden Gem

On Tuesday night the fire in my belly was reignited and my hope for our future was reinvigorated. It was with pleasure and honor that I was able to attend Corinthian Lodge #67. This is a Lodge that is doing things the right way. First of all they are engaging their members, they each have a role to play. They have a great mix of long term members helping to provide council and support to those that are currently leading the Lodge. This is a Lodge that has maintained a sense of who it is yet continues to find new ways to make a difference in their community.

Yet, the most exciting part of last night was watching the young officers of this Lodge put on an excellent 2nd Degree for a candidate that was very engaged in the process of being passed to a Fellow of the Craft. I would also be remiss if I did not highlight the work of Brother Nick Johnson who is the current JW of the Lodge. Bro. Nick has been a Mason for two years and last night, for the first time, he escorted the candidate into the Middle Chamber and did an excellent job.

See you down the Road.

A Busy Six Months

As I have gotten involved over the years it has put strain and stress on my calendar. With that said I plan on making a better effort to use this site and keep it current.


Friday, March 14, 2008

The Week that Was

It was a heck of a week. It started on Monday with Lodge in Owatonna. Forty plus brothers from three Lodges (Anoka #30, Star in the East #33, and Tuscan #77) gathered for an impromptu Festive Board. During the course of the night two travelling trophies went to each of the visiting Lodges, WB Hootie has returned to Tuscan and the BIG Gavel went back to Anoka. By the end of the night the brothers raised $170 for the Steele County Crisis Resource Center. I will post pictures as soon as I get them.

On Tuesday I travelled with the Master of Red Wing Lodge #8 to Ellsworth, WI and attended Hancock Lodge #229. It was very interesting to see the work that is done in other Grand jurisdictions and it was a very enjoyable night. If you have never attended Lodge in another state I would strongly recommend it. In fact the right to travel is one that every Master Mason enjoys. Thanks to WB Gary Thomas for asking me to join him.

Wednesday found me in Bloomington for the Grand Lodge Leadership committee meeting. Every Senior Warden in the state is a member of this committee and we need each of you to help accomplish the upcoming projects that need to be completed.

Thursday night started in Minneapolis at the Scottish Rite for dinner and from there it was down to Waseca for Lodge at Tuscan #77. Tuscan Lodge has several events coming up over the next few months. In April we plan on conferring the 1st degree on couple of candidates and then in May there will be a Smoker and Wine Tasting.

Brothers always ask "what does it take to revitalize a Lodge?" I always answer "it only takes one, one spark plug." Both Tuscan and Red Wing have found several. You never know when or where you will find that spark plug, just keep looking.


Brothers and Visitors,

I would like to welcome all you to my new blog. I hope to use this site to keep the brothers of SE Minnesota current on the happenings of the area. During the coming year I plan to update this blog with current events, upcoming events, and wherever my travels may take me during the coming year.

James McNeely
SE Area Deputy Grand Master
Grand Lodge of Minnesota