Robert Burns Lodge Happenings 2012

On this page, your humble webmaster will attempt to relate what has most recently happened in our Lodge.  Mostly these will be items from recent meetings, but occasionally other items will appear here.  The webmaster hopes these notes will help to keep the Brethren current on happenings in the Lodge, and entice them to come to the next event.  If you are interested in what went on at past meetings, check out our Happenings 2010 or Happenings 2011.

3 January 17 January          
7 February 21 February 26 February        
6 March            
3 April 17 April          
1 May 15 May          
4 August            
2 September 5 September 18 September        
2 October 16 October          

16 October:  At the officer meeting, several ideas were discussed.  The SW, Bill Ferguson, sought assistance with the upcoming fundraiser night on 26 October.  He needs supplies and assistance, please contact him if you are able to help.

Also discussed was a submission to change our by-laws to change our meeting night in the event of a holiday occurring on the 1st Tuesday, to move the stated meeting to the 3rd Tuesday, instead of the current 4th Tuesday.  This is because in January this will happen (as the 1st Tuesday is New Year's Day), but the building is unavailable that day, but we have the 3rd Tuesday already reserved.  Every Brother surveyed agreed that the 3rd Tuesday is a superior choice, now we need to make it official.  We will read the changes at the 6 November stated meeting, so they can be voted on at the 4 December meeting, in the hopes of their being approved by Grand Lodge before the new year.

We discussed plans for 2013, including a fishing trip in the summer, a potential Robert Burns Night, and meetings with Dunbar #118. 

Also discussed was the possible adding to the by-laws of an assessment equal to the current Grand Lodge per capita across all members (including life members).  Several present were staunchly against any such assessment, while others were for it.  Everyone has concerns about the execution, and the possible loss of members.

The probable new Master, WB Matt Appel, discussed his thoughts for Officer Expectations for next year.  The document he circulated was intended for people to think on, and comment on its practicality.

2 October:  23 Brothers attended Lodge, including Bro. Richard Kovak, who, after Lodge was opened and called to refreshment, gave an excellent presentation as Hiram Abiff on King Solomon's Temple.  Also in attendance was Mr. Alex Boras, who attended the dinner and presentation and submitted his petition.  Mr. Boras came in contact with us through the Monroe Fair.

As has been the tradition for the last few years, the October meeting was Past Master night.  In attendance were:

Name Year as Master
WB Jim Larson 1968
WB Bob Wallinger 1991, 2006
WB Ernie McCasland 1992
VWB Bob Nygren 2002, 2005
WB John Sutton 2007
WB Steve Wandel 2008
WB John Hart 2009
WB Jim Hamlin 2010
WB Matthew Appel 2011
WB Ron Thompson PM of Unity #189, AF&AM of Oregon

The Secretary announced the passing of Bro. Clyde Brown, Sr., who had lived to 99 1/2 years of age.  He joined Robert Burns in the 1950's, and subsequently moved to Portland. 

The SW announced the plans for the 26 October "Casino Night" to benefit a Crohn's Disease charity.  It will be held 26 October at 5:30 PM, and will include a poker tournament.  Brothers are invited to help with any aspect they are comfortable, please contact the Senior Warden.  Especially needed are Brothers to go to other Lodges' meetings and notify them of the event.  The Grand Master is scheduled to attend.

WB Steve Wandel moved, and it was seconded and passed, that we postpone any further negotiations or efforts regarding the buy-in to the Edmonds Masonic Center until the Grand Lodge investigation of Edmonds Lodge is completed and the results published.  It was announced that WB John Friesen no longer believes he can fulfill his duties as Treasurer, and WB Bob Wallinger will step into his spot as a pro-tem officer.

WB John Hart was thanked for his outstanding dinner, as was Bro. Richard Kovak for his presentation.

18 September:  19 Brothers, including the "guest of honor" attended the Passing of Bro. Larry Messmer to the Second Degree tonight.   The SW, Bro. Bill Ferguson, did a good job with the conferral, with WB Steve Wandel as SD and WB Jim Larson performing the lecture.

3 January:  19 Brothers were present at this meeting, including Bro. David Burn, secretary of Yancey C. Blalock #265.  Bro. Brent Wandel proved up on his Second Degree, and did an excellent job.  The Third Degree was set for 17 January, to be organized by the SW, Bill Ferguson.

Before the meeting the Audit Committee reviewed the books, and during the meeting, they gave a satisfactory report.  The Lodge received a bill from the Masonic Service Bureau, which was ordered paid, as were other usual bills.  It was announced that Lewis medals are available to Brothers whose fathers were/are also Masons, the Lodge is willing to order them, but the Brother must pay for his own medal.  The Treasurer, WB John Friesen, gave an abbreviated report.

The Tyler, Bro. Les Reed, presented the Lodge with a sword he purchased for the Lodge.  It was well received, and quite impressive. 

The Secretary gave a membership report, including that five Brothers are two or more years in arrears for their dues, and are in danger of being dropped NPD.  Also included in his report was the death of Bro. Bob Ackley and Bro. John Bangerter, both of whom were 50 year members of the Lodge.

17 January:  This evening's meeting was cancelled due to the weather.  Bro. Brent Wandel will be given the Third Degree on 21 February.

7 February:  Your humble webmaster missed this evening's meeting due to a family engagement.  It is said we were visited by 22 Brothers from Shoreline #248, including our DDGM, VWB Bill Buterbaugh. 

21 February:  Tonight WB Steve Wandel raised his son Brent with the assistance of his father, Bro. George Wandel.  There were 31 Brothers in attendance, including VWB Warren Schoeben, DDGM #8.  WB Steve conferred the degree, with WB John Hart acting as SW.  WB Jim Hamlin reprised his role as King Solomon, with WB Steve Wandel acting as King Hiram.  Congratulations to all of the Wandel family.

The degree was preceded by an officer meeting, some of which your humble webmaster missed.  At the meeting, WB Mark appointed a committee to investigate if the Lodge should buy into the Edmonds Temple, consisting of WB Jim Larson, WB John Sutton, WB Matt Appel, and our JW, Josh Hamlin.  Also discussed was the budget for the year.

26 February:  This evening's Silvertips night was poorly attended, with only one family present.  The 'Tips won in a thrilling overtime, scoring twice in under two minutes to beat the Portland Winterhawks.

6 March:  26 Brothers were present, not including the Brothers of the Nile Shrine Oriental Band, who performed during the meeting.  Some of their performances can be seen on youtube, if you search for "Nile Shrine Oriental Band". 

The Secretary announced that we currently have 107 members.  The meeting was quite short to accommodate the Oriental Band.  We paid several bills, including the Masonic Service Bureau, District 2 LOA, etc.  Three petitions were read, including one for affiliation from Amos Chapman.  The investigating committees were appointed.  Bro. Brent Wandel signed the by-laws and paid his dues.  

3 April:  Although your humble webmaster could not attend this evening's stated meeting, I understand that it went well, including a presentation by VWB Jim Mendoza, regarding the possible collecting of the charities of Grand Lodge under one umbrella.  Unfortunately, the Secretary also announced that Bro. Harlin Holderman had passed away at his home in Kansas.

17 April:  Tonight we welcomed Bro. Larry Blair and Bro. Steven Halterman into Robert Burns.  The JW did a very good job conferring the degree, and WB Steve Wandel did well as SD, as well.  WB Bob Wallinger was excellent in the lecture.

1 May:  24 Brothers were present for this evening's stated meeting, including VWB Roger Barnstead and WB Thomas Lamb of Edmonds #165, and WB John Novak, JW of Skykomish #259.  Also present were two of our EA's, Larry Messmer and Larry Blair.  These two Brothers were not present for the opening or closing, as we opened on the Third Degree to accommodate Bro. Rob Barnett, who proved up in good form.

The WM announced that it will be giving money to purchase an ad in the Rainbow Grand Assembly program, in accordance with the budget already passed.  The Lodge also voted to permit WB Steve Wandel to purchase helmets from the Scholarship Fund for the continuing Bikes-for-Books program, as he announced that Fire District #1, who had previously provided us with helmets for the Bikes-for-Books program, will no longer do so.  Also, there was a brief discussion of the possibility of us including a brochure for Rainbow, DeMolay, or IOJD with the bikes.

The Secretary announced that he attended the Masonic Service Bureau meeting as our Lodge representative, and has information about it if anyone wishes to contact him.

We also discussed the upcoming Open Air Third Degree, on 4 August, and the "practice" Third Degree we will be performing as a courtesy to Green Lake #149.  This will be on the 5th of May at the Nile Shrine at 1:30 PM.  The WM intends to have some practices in July, as well. 

On the 15th of May, instead of a formal meeting, it will be a combination of an officer meeting and a discussion of the potential for a purchase of our current building.  Edmonds #165 is scheduled to discuss the matter at their meeting on 24 May.  Also, the Robert Burns night scheduled as a fundraiser for the scholarship programs will be discussed then. 

The JW announced that we have an applicant for this year's scholarship.  WB John Sutton and WB Steve Wandel will help him as the scholarship committee.  Also, WB Matt Appel announced that he had contacted 9 Brothers and one candidate in an effort to get them to return to Lodge.

15 May:  This evening the Lodge held its officer meeting.  Following a somewhat abbreviated business session, there was an extended discussion of potentially buying into the Edmonds Masonic Center.

4 August:  Robert Burns conducted the Third Degree at the Masonic Family Park in Granite Falls on Bro. Joseph Kauffman of Everett #137.  WM Mark Goldberg conferred the degree with WB Steve Wandel acting as SD.  The degree went well, and the Lodge received many compliments from the assembled Grand Masters of Washington, Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington, and B. C. and the Yukon.

2 September:  Bros. Bill Ferguson and Less Reed and WBs Matt Appel, Jim Larson and Dennis Olivarez manned the booth at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.

5 September:  This evening, the MWGM, MWB Dean Heinemann, attended our stated meeting, with 28 other Brothers, including MWB Chuck McQuery, RWB Sam Roberts, VWBs Richard Beers, Roger Barnstead, Steve Pennington, Chris Pederson, WB Tom Stone, and a few others that your humble webmaster did not manage to get into his notes. 

The Most Worshipful Grand Master pointed out to the Lodge, following the correction by VWB Richard Beers that the JW and SW jewels were backwards, that the ritual is part of the WMC and that the ritual is what makes us Masons instead of some social club.

WB Jim Larson reported that we had done the coffee stop on 4 July, and thanked those who helped.  Also, WB Matt Appel reported on the Evergreen state fair, thanking the Brothers, including WB John Friesen, who volunteered to work.  There was an expression of concern that our Treasurer was not in attendance this evening, and our Chaplain was also absent.

The usual bills were paid, and it was announced that two of our Brothers have affiliated with other Lodges.  The SW reported on the Crohn's disease fundraiser to be held in October. 

With a minimum of discussion from the floor, a vote was held, which was 12-4 in favor of our proceeding in our negotiations to buy into the Edmonds Masonic Center.

The WM announced that there will be a Second Degree held at 7 PM on 18 September for Bro. Larry Messmer, who proved up at the June stated meeting.  It will be preceded at 5:30 by an officer meeting.  The JW is to organize the degree, and SW should confer.  Also, he announced that the 2 October meeting will be Past Masters night, with WB John Sutton and WB John Hart preparing a special meal.  Bro. Richard Kovak will give a presentation as Hiram Abiff.  The presentation is appropriate for all Masons, and families and friends are invited.  Also, 2 February will be the Edmonds Masonic Center Robert Burns night.

The last weekend of September VWB Norm Watts will host a District 2 Wardens conference at his house in Leavenworth.  VWB Richard Beers is our local contact on the event.  Our DDGM also announced that there will be an open house of Lodges in the District this Saturday, and that there will be a Deacons & Stewards seminar to be held in November.  He also recommended that, especially in light of our recent vote, we send several people to the Temple Board training sponsored by Grand Lodge at 10 AM-noon 22 September at the Everett Masonic Center.

The WM then handed the gavel over to MWB Dean Heinemann, who invited MWB Chuck McQuery to speak.  MWB Chuck spoke of the importance of the EA Degree, especially the charge, as a foundation of Masonry.  As he pointed out, it directs us to follow the "constitutions of Freemasonry," which include the WMC.  Then, MWB Dean spoke of how the coin this year, instead of featuring his face, has a representation of the working tools on it.  He restated that the EA degree is the foundation of all Masonry, and that we must not forget our obligations. 

He had three specific comments for our Lodge: 1) That our money is not enough, we must support our youth groups by attending and helping them in person.  2) That we deserved compliments for our performance at the Open Air Degree, and that it showed our practice and attention to detail.  3) That he will be attending our Crohn's disease fundraiser in October, a cause dear to his heart, as he is afflicted with that condition. 

The MWGM then closed the Lodge in Ample Form, and enjoyed some refreshment following a group photo.

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