Rocky River #703, F&AM

From The East - February 2016

Well, the holidays are behind us and it’s time to reflect on the great times that we spent together with our families and friends. The holidays are very special in many ways to all of us. For me, I had my sister and in-laws come up from Florida, and my step-son and his family here from New York to celebrate with me. I hope that everyone had an awesome time as well! 

We are well into inspection season, and myself and several officers have been busy visiting other lodges. I’ve always found it interesting how each lodge has certain unique ways that lodges are furnished that differs from lodge to lodge. They all follow the rituals, but have little things that distinguish them. Maybe they have different pillars, or their officer’s chairs. I like that the altars are different with each lodge. Some lodge rooms are small, and some are very large. Each one has its own character. That shows diversity. This is very cool. Our lodges are different, but they’re all doing the same thing. They’re making good men better. This is the goal of every lodge. 

Last month we had several activities. We had a Pot Luck and Game Night event went off really well. We had families turn out for a night of food, fun and fellowship! We also had our legendary Breakfast in the Park. This went off very well and had a big turnout, even without snow! This month we had our annual Awards Night that was hosted by our SW Bill Ritley to honor the brethren who has served this fraternity for many years. We celebrated 40, 50, and 65 year service awards. In March will be our annual inspection. This year it will be in the FC degree, and I and the officers will continue to visit other lodges inspections to help support them. I was reading through the archives of past Trestle board articles, and ran across this very interesting one. 

Masonic Myths 

Masonic myths and outright falsehood are continually spread concerning Freemasonry. This is an attempt to set and keep the history of the Craft straight. Throughout the centuries Freemasonry has taught its valuable lessons through allegory and symbols. The man from Galilee used parables extensively and well. Many historians and better speakers constantly employ anecdotes to illustrate the points they want to make. These methods emphasize the search for truth in an interesting and factual manner. 

Myths on the other hand, can be innocent or dangerous. They can be outright lies or the perpetuation of distortions handed down through the generations. Many of these were invented by Masonic writers and speakers to enhance the image of Freemasonry. Some of these corruptions have caused the Craft problems with creditable historians because they were outrageous lies. Freemasonry, actually, requires no exaggeration to magnify its greatness. The simple truth is all that is required to tell its story. This is the reason for this column; to attempt to destroy the myths that have been prevalent, often for centuries, by telling the truth. Let’s begin with the period of the War for American Independence. Here are just a few examples. 

Myth: Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were Freemasons. Fact: Neither Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry were members of the Craft. 

Fact: An exhaustive search of Masonic records in Virginia, and elsewhere, offers no iota of evidence to make them Freemasons. Jefferson participated in the cornerstone lying of his University at Charlottesville, which was done masonically. He praised Freemasonry and his own words proved he had never been a member of the Craft. 

Myth: All of George Washington’s generals during the War for American Independence were Masons. 

Fact: Thirty-three of the general serving under Washington were members of the Craft, a long way from “all.” The late James R. Case and Ronald E. Heaton made comprehensive studies of the Revolutionary period and debunked many of the claims considered here. 

Myth: Washington insisted that the Marquis de Lafayette be made a Mason before he would promote him to general, and the same claim has been made about the Baron von Steuben. 

Fact: Both Lafayette and von Steuben were Freemasons before they arrived to help fight the British. This was true of Lafayette even though he wasn’t 21 years of age when he arrived in America. It’s highly likely that Washington never did know they were Masons. The stories of both of these men are highly interesting, but space prohibits the telling of them here. 

Myth: The governors of the thirteen original colonies when Washington was inaugurated President of the United States were Freemasons. 

Fact: From Lexington until the inauguration thirty different men served as governors. Of these, ten were Freemasons. That’s one-third! Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the country if we could claim the same percentage today? 

Myth: All, or almost all, Signers of the Articles of Confederation, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, and Signers of the Constitution were Freemasons. 

 

Fact: Ten of the signers of the Articles, nine signers of the Declaration, and thirteen signers of the Constitution -- and only this number -- were, or would become, Freemasons. Even so, this is an excellent percentage 

of the participants. It should be noted that Edmund Randolph, governor and Grand Master of Virginia, although an important participant in the Constitutional Convention, didn’t sign the document. He did, however, fight for its ratification. It should also be noted that four Presidents of the Continental Congresses were Freemasons: Peyton Randolph of Virginia, John Hancock of Massachusetts, Henry Laurens of South Carolina, and Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania. (For further study see Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers, The Masonic Service Association, 8120 Fenton St., Silver Spring, MD 20910,) Myth: There are many aprons owned or worn by George Washington floating around. 

Fact: The only documented apron owned by Washington was one presented by the firm of Watson and Cassoul. It had been made by nuns at Nantes. It was the only apron listed in Washington’s inventory that was released after his death 

 

Make Freemasonry a part of your life everyday! 

Fraternally,
Steven Pominville, Worshipful Master

From The East - January 2016

Hello everyone! I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and New Years. 

I’m sure that many of you have your share of New Year’s resolutions. Spend more time with your family; eating less, and getting in better shape is some of the normal ones. Just like you, I have some resolutions as well. One of them is to make our lodge even better than it already is! One of the ways that I would like to do this is by continuing to grow our lodge by having fun activities that involve our spouses and families. Having our spouses involved has been something that I have been trying to do since I occupied other officer positions over the past several years. Pot luck dinners, movie nights, cook outs, putt-putt golf outings, and game nights are some of the ways that I want to use to generate fun at our lodge. Another fun activity that we have used in the past few years is a Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser for the Special Olympics. This has become an annual activity. My wife, Bev and I, along with several other brethren and their spouses/ significant others are going to keep this awesome activity going for many years to come. We are also looking for another fun fund raising activity to add to our Special Olympics fund. We are going for awards in either Silver or GOLD!!! Suggestions would be appreciated! I would like our lodge to continue to grow by working on our ritual and degree work. We have ritual nights scheduled several times through the year, and I challenge the brethren of our lodge to learn a charge or a lecture and sharpen their ritual work. 

We had our annual Christmas Party on Sunday the 6th with Eastern Stars. We had face painting by the Job’s Daughters, and entertainment was provided by magician “The Amazing Don Terry”. The highlight of the day was when Mrs. Claus brought in Santa Claus! Afterwards, there was a smorgasbord of cookies served. It was a very fun day all around, and very much enjoyed by everyone. Thanks to everyone that helped make this happen. 

The installation of officers was very well attended. An amazing dinner was provided by Brennan’s Catering. I want to thank the installation team for all of their assistance as well as all brethren who accepted an office for this term. A special thank you goes to Job’s Daughters for the presentation of colors, and their help with serving and clean up of the dinner. Again, thanks to everyone that helped to make this night a huge success. 

There are several activities scheduled this month. We have a Pot Luck Dinner & Game Night set up for Saturday January 16th, and of course our annual Breakfast in the Park on the 24th. We will have activities scheduled every month throughout the year to keep our brethren and their families involved. There will be a monthly calendar for the next month given at the last stated meeting of the month. If you would like the calendar emailed to you, please make sure I have your email address. 

Several officers will be visiting other lodges that have inspections to see how their degree work compares to ours. We will be inspected in the Fellow Craft degree this year on March 3, and I would like to see the senior officers attend as many of these inspections as they can, especially the lodges doing the Fellow Craft degree. All inspections are listed on the district calendar (www.ohiodistrict22.org) with information about dinner (or not).

Next month, our lodge will be putting on its annual Awards Night on February 4th to honor brethren that have served our fraternity for many years. Our SW Bill Ritley will be hosting this event which will include a dinner. This will be an open event so that family and friends can attend. Please come and support these well deserving brethren. 

Make Freemasonry a part of your life every day!  

Fraternally,
Steven Pominville, Worshipful Master

From The East - November 2015

Well, it’s November, and it’s coming down to the wire. My reign as Master is almost over and I must say, it’s been a wild ride! We were able to take care of our required degrees and maintain business as usual in the lodge.

I’m very grateful to all my brothers and officers for their help in keeping our lodge afloat another year. We were able to work closely with the Temple Board on shaving the to-do list and got the kitchen renovated and new carpeting in the lodge room.

I want to thank the Job’s Daughters for all their help during the year as well as the Order of the Eastern Stars for their support. During the year, their assistance was very instrumental in helping us with the fundraiser for our Special Olympics and installations and degree work. Thank you all for all your work!

Throughout the year, our lodge has seen many accomplishments. At District Awards, we were given an Honorable Mention for our Entered Apprentice degree, as well as the Grand Master’s Excellence in Leadership Award, and the bronze medal award for $1000 donation to the Special Olympics fund.

The Special Olympics opening ceremonies, even though it was a very rainy day, had a good turn out and our hard work paid off. We were able to raise $84,000 from Masons all over the state of Ohio for this wonderful charity.

In October, I, along with my Senior Warden, Steve Pominville, attended the Grand Lodge Communication in Columbus, Ohio voting on the new legislature for the ensuing year as well as witnessing the election and installation of the new Grand Lodge officers.

There were many events that I, along with my lady, Donna, had the privilege of attending including the baseball game, the picnic, the potluck dinners and the fundraisers, as well as the parades and ceremonies.

And just recently, I have seen our brother, RWB Jonathan H. Krapf, installed as District Deputy Grand Master of the 22nd Masonic District, along with RWB Carter and RWB Bollinger. I look forward to a great year working with these distinguished gentlemen.

All these events remind me what an honor it is to be a part of the greatest fraternity ever formed. I want to give my sincerest thanks to all of my brothers and officers and their families for supporting me through my year as Worshipful Master. And last but not least, I want to thank my lady, Donna, for all the moral support she has provided me throughout this important year.

To the incoming Worshipful Master and his officers, I want to wish them a year filled with good health and good fortune! So for the last time, my brethren, I remain on the level,

Jimmy Dixon, Worshipful Master

From The East - December 2015

I would like to thank the Brethren for the nomination and election to serve as your 88th Worshipful Master of Rocky River Lodge #703. I will do the best of my ability to fulfill the responsibility and duties of this honor. 

Here’s a brief history about myself. I was born in Baltimore Maryland. My father was in the Navy and got transferred to Florida, and in 1963 we moved to the city of Melbourne Florida (the sister city of Melbourne Australia the home of our founding father) where I lived until 1979. I then joined the United States Navy. I got married in 1984, and in 1996, moved to North Carolina. After a failed marriage, I separated from my wife. 

I met a woman named Bev on the internet. We talked online and on the phone for over a year and in July of 1999 I met Bev for the first time. I moved from Grimesland, NC to Lakewood OH just as Hurricane Dennis was hitting the NC coast on September of 1999. Bev and I dated for 3 years, and got married on July 6th 2002. I never had children of my own, but Bev had a son, Shaun and daughter, Elizabeth. As my relationship grew with Bev, it grew with Shaun and Elizabeth (Buffy) too, as well as my love and respect. Even though these two are not mine, I think of them as my son and daughter, and I’m very proud of both of them. I’m also a very proud grandfather of Connor my grandson. 

I was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason at Rocky River Lodge #703 in 2010. I’m also 32° Mason of the Scottish Rite, and a member Al Sirat Grotto. 

My Masonic history covers four generations. My great-grandfather was a Mason in France in the 1800’s. He moved to Montreal-Quebec Canada where my grandfather was born, and he also became a Mason. My grandfather then moved to Michigan. My father moved to Florida in 1963. After becoming a Mason, he joined the Azan Shrine and advanced to the position of Past Potentate. My father-in-law Jack is a 40+ year member of Lakewood lodge, and my wife Bev and both of her sisters are all Past Honored Queens with Jobs Daughters. 

I want to thank all of my officers, and look forward to their support as well as the rest of the brethren of our lodge. 

Upcoming events this year include the annual Christmas party on December 6th and my installation on December 17th. In January we will have our traditional and legendary breakfast in the park, and our awards night. There will be more on my agenda and confirmed dates in future issues. 

Thanks again. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! 

Fraternally, 

 

C. Steven Pominville, Worshipful Master Elect

From The East - October 2015

My brethren, the season has begun and we’re off and running! The first of two required MM degrees is now behind us. I was very nervous. I’ve never taken the East for the second section before and I was worried about getting it right. Therefore, I studied for weeks and weeks, both sections, and I’m told, after all was said and done, I had nothing to worry about. 

I’m not much of a storyteller but I feel that all the ritual is so important and I know that everyone makes mistakes the first couple of times. I was glad that it went well and that all my studying paid off. 

I would like to thank everyone that made this degree a success: my secretary, WB Russ Kilpatrick, for his skills on the bagpipes; WB Brad Smith, RWB Bud Cygan and Brother Scott Clark from John W. Barkley Lodge, for their help with wardrobe and filling in chairs; and certainly Brother Scott Clark for giving the MM lecture. I would also like to thank Brother Steve Pominville for the charge and Brother Dave Cadwallader, our newest MM from the one-day class, for being our candidate. Thank you also, to all the brethren who participated in the degree as our fellow craft team. A very heartfelt thank you to all and a special thank you goes to WB Guy Barht, for his efforts in the kitchen and for sitting in as our Junior Warden. 

We have one more required MM in October and I’m hoping for the same cooperation and zeal to help our lodge complete these necessary degrees. I’m also happy to announce that our Past Master’s night is coming up on October 1st. It is an open event so please bring the ladies. Come out and help us honor the Past Masters. They are the bedrock of our fraternity. 

We are also looking forward to the Grand Lodge Communication where we will be able to vote on upcoming legislation vital to the lodges and our fraternity and to meet the incoming Grand Lodge officers for the upcoming Masonic year. I always look forward to seeing and greeting the brethren from other lodges from all over this great state of Ohio. 

I would also like to thank our Temple Board for the latest improvements to the lodge. We are in a very delicate state in our fraternity, brethren. We are seeing it all over. Even though some lodges are successful in initiating newer qualified members, other lodges are struggling, as are we. The point I’m making is that it’s important for our lodge to move forward with the list of improvements that we have so that perspective candidates that we want to join, as well as the current members, have a lodge that we can be proud of. And it’s those improvements that give our lodge the look and feel that we, of Rocky River Lodge, show all that visit our lodge the sense of pride that we are known for over 80-plus years. I’m hoping for all my brothers to show their continued support as we work hard to better our lodge and ourselves. 

Until next time, brethren, I remain on the level, 

 

Jimmy Dixon, Worshipful Master