Rocky River #703, F&AM

From The East - December 2018

Greetings Brethren,

 I am about to assume my duties as the 91st Master of Rocky River Lodge on November 29th. It is an honor that I never expected to have. 

When I first served as the 75th Master in 2003, both the Fraternity and Rocky River Lodge were stronger than they are today. The demographics of our membership have aged. 

We face the challenge of rebuilding our lodge and the fraternity in a much different environment. Although our membership has changed, we must all work to replace ourselves. According to the Grand Lodge of Ohio’s report, our lodge will lose 10 members this year due to age. My goal is to raise 10 good men this year to meet this loss. 

Make good men better is a worthy goal. For those of you who were members when I served in 2003 you will remember that we had an active program. I hope that this year will be even better! If you haven’t been around for a while, watch our schedule for a reason to share an evening of fellowship. 

We all know good men who would benefit from the lessons of the fraternity and contribute to our lodge and community. 

Among the events this year we will have our 43rd annual Breakfast in the Park on January 27th. Also included this year is our 3rd annual range night on January 31st hockey night, Crushers baseball night, and in June we will be traveling to the Ohio Village to do a degree in an 1800’s era lodge room. 

Together with you, we can restore the greatness to Rocky River Lodge. Please watch the Trestleboard for the programs in the coming weeks! 

If you could offer your help, please call me at (cell #) 440-759-3261. 


Mark W. Rantala, W.M. 

From The East - April 2018

Greetings Brethren,


Spring time is once again upon us to help ease and lift our spirits. This has been a difficult winter to bear. Our fraternity has suffered great losses and many of us have had personal obstacles to over come. 

There is always hope for the future if you believe and look for it. The hope I feel comes from the support of the Brethren that show up without fail to keep our lodge doors open for all those willing to attend. I am so very proud of our officer line for their dedication to the craft to ensure we passed our annual inspection with flying colors. Loyalty and dedication is a badge of merit in short supply with today's society. 

On April 19th, we will be conferring the rusty nail degree for those who are desirous of rediscovering light in masonry. It is up to you to determine what you would like to receive from being a mason. 

It is not a destination. It is a life long journey. 

William P Ritley, WM

From The East - November 2017


It is a little hard to believe that my second term is coming to a close soon! This year has not been without its tests and challenges. As many of you know, it is not always easy to sit in the East, but they always say it is easier the second time.

While the things that challenged me the first time were not much of an issue during my second term, the Lodge was able to come up with new and improved challenges that we all must work through in the coming year.

We started working on our future this past year, but there is a lot of work still to be done. I’m hoping the incoming Master and officers are up to the task and are able to continue the work we started this year. I will, of course, be there to help because no one person will be able to solve the challenges we face, but as team we will prevail.

We started this month off with a Master Mason degree. I want to send out a huge thank you to the two Lodges that helped us with the degree, Mid-Century and John W. Barkley. Your help gave our candidate a very good degree! I also want to thank all the brethren who either took a chair or helped with the team. There was more than one time that night I thought we were not going to pull it off, but in the end, we did it!

I want to thank the officers, past masters, and brethren that helped out this year. There are way too many to list, but I must call out a few by name. Worshipful Brother Croxford did an amazing job with organizing the inspection team, Brother Edwards did one of the best jobs I’ve seen in the kitchen in a long time. Worshipful Brother Kilpatrick, as always, does a great job of managing the Lodge from the secretary’s chair. This is one of the most important jobs in the Lodge, but also is the most taxing, thank you for your service to the Lodge! I also want to thank Donna Dixon for proofing more than a few of my articles this year.

Finally, I know there is more than one of you that I errored with maybe by doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing, and for that, I am truly sorry. Brethren, it has been a very interesting year and I want to thank you for the opportunely you gave me to service the Lodge again.


Brian Spooner, Worshipful Master

From The East - January 2018

Greetings Brethren,

I hope you has an enjoyable holiday season. The new year is symbolic of  change and reflection. Our lodge has transitioned many changes over the past year. I have been placed in charge of this vessel to navigate a safe passage into the next year. I have poured thru my notes and have read many articles and books to help me prepare for my term. Many Brethren have offered me good counsel to address how our lodge should be operated and I am grateful for their insight. The legacy of Rocky River 703 has been in great jeopardy of being lost given the trends set over the past few years. We all have the same heart and spirit for the institution. It ebbs and flows at times but we are all still proud Masons. Upon reflection fellowship is the most critical piece of our puzzle. I extend an open mind and warm heart to those willing to sacrifice their time to exchange thoughts and history both personally and in open lodge.

The 42nd annual breakfast in the park is soon upon us. We have opened this event to include fellowship from other lodges district wide. I welcome all of our members to attend. This is a great opportunity to bring someone you feel worthy of light in Masonry.

Our Most Worshipful Master Eric R. Schau has initiated the "Replace Yourself" program for his year. This is key to keeping our fraternity and it's celestial other bodies alive. The Blue Lodge is the entrance point of becoming a Mason. I can not impress upon your mind how important it is to keep our doors open to make Masons. It is equally important to confer the quality of degree work message to retain members and build character. There is no reason we can not thrive. There will be many new events posted for this new year including a Rusty Nail degree.

I would like to personally thank our officer line for their dedication to our craft to keep our lodge alive. I also thank all of the past masters for their assistance. Their wisdom is key to our search of perfection. May good health and fortune find you well this new year.

William P Ritley, WM

From The East - October 2017


By the time you read my message, I believe fall will finally be here. I’ve never been a huge fan of fall, but I know many will welcome the cooler temperatures. I have even seen a few trees with their leaves changing colors. After next month, my second term as Master will be over and thankfully, I will only have to apologize one more time to our editor for being late with my message. 

Before the next Installation of new officers, we have a lot to do! We will start the month of October off with a Fellow Craft degree on October 12th. We will have a Master Mason degree on November 2rd. Our annual meeting and fish fry will be on November 9th. Please make sure your dues are paid by that date. 

In September, we had our first degree and we initiated a young man who is very eager to learn and take part in Freemasonry. So much that he came back a week after his degree and did his exam. He will be our candidate for the degree on October 12th, please come out and support him. I have no doubt he will be our Master Mason in November. 

We will need your help for the degree in November. You will be getting a call soon to ask to take a part. Let’s continue to show our support for our young members. Please mark your calendar now. The date is November 2nd! 

As the calendar is already flying by, most likely the work for the Future Committee will have to continue next year. I still hope to get a vision statement started and maybe even finish before the end of my term. I believe our next Master will be ready to, not only finish the work we started this year, but also start to implement it. 

I have stated this before, but we cannot do it without your support. We need your support in many ways, starting with participation in the Lodge. We also need to you hear from you - what are we not doing that you wish we were? This includes anything from meeting to events. This is all our Lodge and it cannot continue without you!


Brian Spooner, Worshipful Master