PROCEEDINGS OF THE GRAND CHAPTER OF ROYAL ARCH MASONS STATE OF OHIO
October 7 – 8, A.D. 2009
One Hundred and Ninety - Third
BARBERTON, OHIO Published by order of the Grand Chapter
ROBERT J. DRAYE Grand High Priest 2008-2009 Most Excellent Companion Robert J. Draye, a resident of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, was born March 15, 1942 in Cleveland, Ohio to Joseph and Jean (Rankin) Draye. He graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and attended Cleveland Community College, Vale Technical Institute and numerous other technical schools. He holds a 3rd class stationary engineer license.
Now retired, he had been employed for 38 years by the Cleveland Heights and University Heights Public School District.
He married Paula in July, 1964 and their marriage was blessed with one son – Robert Edward.
An active member of Hillcrest United Methodist Church since 1966, he has served as Chairman of both the Administrative Board and the Board of Trustees.
MASONIC RECORD SYMBOLIC:
Woodward Lodge No. 508 F&AM. (now Lyndhurst No. 508) Worshipful Master in 1988 and 1999; Past District Education Officer, 1990 – 92, and Past District Deputy Grand Master, 2000 – 2002 in the 22nd Masonic District.
Heights Chapter Royal Arch Masons No. 206, High Priest in 1990 and 1991. District Education Officer 1993 – 1994; .District Deputy Grand High Priest 1995 to 1998 (16th Capitular District). Grand Representative of Vermont to Ohio; Ohio Council, Anointed High Priests 1990;
Windermere Council Royal and Select Masons No. 113. Illustrious Master 1992; Order of the Silver Trowel, 1992; Inspector of the 7th Arch, 1998. Grand Representative of Vermont to Ohio – appointed 2007. .
Coeur DeLion Commandery No. 64. Eminent Commander 1992; Dual member of Norwalk Commandery No.18. .
ANCIENT ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE:
Valley of Cleveland; Sovereign Prince of Bahurim Council, 2006 – 2007. Cuyahoga County and Lake and Geauga County Scottish Rite Associations. Scottish Rite Research Society. Received the 33rd degree in Chicago, Illinois in August, 2006.
Knight of the York Cross of Honor.
ALLIED MASONIC DEGREES:
Clarence E. O’Neal Council No. 53, Past Sovereign Master.1999, Recipient of the Red Branch of Eri.
RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE:
St. Benedict Conclave order of the Red Cross of Constantine
YORK RITE COLLEGE:
Cleveland York Rite Sovereign College No.13, Recipient - Order of the Purple Cross.
ROYAL ORDER OF SCOTLAND:
Sir Knight in the Royal Order of Scotland.
ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR:
Woodward Chapter, (now Windermere Chapter) Order of the Eastern.Star
Selynma Chapter DeMolay – Dad Advisor; Advisory Council Chairman
DeMolay Honorary Legion of Honor
Al Koran Shrine – Past President of Campers Unit; Royal Order of Jesters
Al Sirat Grotto
Ohio Lodge of Research
Ohio Chapter of Research
The Philalethes Society (Life Member)
Member of Quator Coronati Correspondence Circle
Grand College of Rites
Shannon Council, Knight Masons No. 28
Fowler Council, Knight Masons (Founding and Charter member) Excellent Chief 2001
Cuyahoga County Memorial Lodge – Past Treasurer
Order of Amaranth
National Sojourners, Cleveland Chapter - President 2000
Euclid Chapter, High Twelve
York Rite Secretary’s and Treasurers Association
Knight Commander, Order of St. Patrick
Order of Bath
Order of Garter
Recipient of the following awards:
Grand Masters Award with Outstanding Distinction
Illustrious Master of the Year – 1993
Grand High Priest recognition for the highest number of exaltations in one year - 23
Most Excellent Companion Draye holds numerous Honorary memberships in the 22nd Masonic District; the 16th Capitular District; in Ohio Chapters and other Grand Jurisdictions
OFFICERS OF THE GRAND CHAPTER OF
ROYAL ARCH MASONS OF THE STATE OF OHIO
2008 – 2009
Robert J. Draye (wife Paula) ……………………………………...…… Grand High Priest
1271 Worton Blvd., Mayfield Heights, OH 44124 Home (440) 442-3140
Donald L. Losasso (wife Theda)……….………………………………….….. Grand King
Norman G. Lincoln………………………………………………………. Grand Historian
204 W. Chicago Street, PO Box 454, Eaton, OH 45320 Home: (937) 456-6859
Glen L. Opp (wife Nancy) Grand Fraternal Correspondent
104 S. Main St., Rawson, OH 45881 Home: (419) 963-4724
Don R. Lutz ............................................................................................... Grand Musician
1015 Montrose Avenue, Bexley, OH 43209 Home (614) 224-6105
Robert L. Jordon (wife Dorothy) ................................................ Grand Musician Emeritus
926 W. Ohio Ave., Sebring, OH 44672 Home: (430) 938-6254
______________________________ PROCEEDINGS OF THE GRAND CHAPTER of
ROYAL ARCH MASONS of the STATE OF OHIO
at its One Hundred and Ninety-third Annual Convocation
held in the city of Independence, Ohio, October 7 and 8, A.D. 2009, A.I. 2539
The Officers and Members of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the State of Ohio assembled in the ballroom of the Cleveland South-Independence Holiday Inn in Independence, Ohio on October 7th, 2009, where the One Hundred and Ninety-third Annual Convocation convened at 8:00 A.M.
By Dispensation, Heights Chapter No.206, Royal Arch Masons, opened a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons with the following officers in the stations:
Greg Mumaw ……..….………….… High Priest
Ken Kubach ……….……………….. King
David Weimer ………..……………. Scribe
William Pritchard. …..………...…… Captain of the Host
Donald Wedekamm …..………..…… Master of the Third Veil
Jon Resnick ….............……………... Master of the Second Veil
Alan Rothman……......…………..…. Master of the First Veil
Joe Jambor …................……….…… Guard
The Grand Officers were received and introduced by Right Excellent Companion Joseph J. Orosz, Grand Marshal, and accorded the Grand Honors of Masonry. Most Excellent Companion Robert J. Draye was then presented at the Altar and accorded Grand Honors and conducted to the East, where the gavel of authority was presented to him by High Priest Greg Mumaw. He thanked the officers of Heights Chapter for the opening and requested the following Grand Officers to take their stations vacated by the officers of his home Chapter:
Donald L. Losasso………..…….….... Grand King
Steven J. Oliver ..…………………..... Grand Scribe
Charles J. McCarty…………………... Grand Treasurer
Dale G. Ray, Jr. …………………...… Grand Secretary
James W. Himmelright……..….…..… Grand Captain of the Host
George M. Shell ………..…….......… Grand Principal Sojourner
Robert W. Thomas …………………... Grand Royal Arch Captain
Donald W. Owens .…………..........… Grand Master of the Third Veil
Robert D. Blankenhorn .…....……..… Grand Master of the Second Veil
R. Keith O’Dell ………….…….…… Grand Master of the First Veil
F. Raymond Sharritts………….…….. Associate Gr Chaplain and Necrologist
Harlan L. Baus ……………………… Grand Chaplain
Jeffrey L. Addis …….....…….........… Grand Guard
Joseph J. Orosz .......……………....... Grand Marshal
Norman G. Lincoln…………………... Grand Historian
Glen L. Opp………………………….. Grand Fraternal Correspondent
Don R. Lutz ……....………………… Grand Musician
Robert Jordon ……………………...... Grand Musician Emeritus
CREDENTIALS, 1st PARTIAL REPORT The Committee on Credentials is pleased to report that there are present and registered a sufficient number of representatives from the several constituent chapters of this Grand Chapter to constitute a quorum under Article 5, Section 2 of the Constitution
of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Ohio, which is thirty (30) or more chartered chapters, and that all Grand Officers are present. There are also present at this 193rd Annual Grand Convocation of the Grand Chapter a large number of distinguished representatives from this and other jurisdictions, to all of whom is extended a most cordial and fraternal welcome.
Ex. Companion John A. Hall, PHP Mt. Olive Chapter, Chairman, Credentials Committee
GRAND CHAPTER OPENED At the direction of the Grand High Priest, Right Excellent Companion Joseph J. Orosz, Grand Marshal, made the following proclamation:
"By order of the Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Ohio I now declare this 193rd Annual Convocation of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the State of Ohio duly opened in ample form for the transaction of such business as may regularly come before it."
Grand High Priest Draye then directed the Companions to come to order and give their attention to Rt. Ex. Companion Harlan L. Baus, Grand Chaplain, who offered the following invocation:
“Grand Architect of the Universe, we come to Thee this morning with grateful hearts as we open this one hundred-ninety third Grand Convocation of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Ohio. We thank Thee for the service of our Most Excellent Grand High Priest, Most Excellent Companion Robert J. Draye. We ask this morning that Thou would be with us and also with all our service personnel wherever dispersed. We ask now, that as we start this convocation, that anything and everything we say and do may meet with Thy approval and Thy sight.
All this we ask in your Holy Name. Amen”
INTRODUCTIONS Distinguished Masons and guests were then presented in group; each group being accorded a hearty welcome and the Grand Honors of Masonry.
Past Grand High Priests of Ohio were presented by Grand Marshal Joseph J. Orosz:
William M. Berry 1980
Joe E. Worthington 1988
Dale G. Ray, Jr. 1993
Jerry C. Crawford 1994
John W. Purdy 1995
Wayne S. Dill 1997
Robert D. Crabbs 1999
Charles J. McCarty 2000
Chester W. Hammond 2001
Alan D. Hart 2002
John R. Gartrell 2003
Steven A. Duncan 2004
Jean W. Justus, Jr. 2005
Kermit V. Zimmerman 2006
James M. McDonald 2007
Garis E. Pugh 2008
District Deputies Grand High Priests were presented by Most Excellent Companion Robert D. Crabbs:
District 1 Joey E. Kidd, Sr. District 10 Charles E. Bonecutter
2 Jonny L. Dicke 11 John E. Hollback, Jr.
3 David S. Slusher . 11 Daniel S. Smith
3 John C. Watkins 13 N. Lee Peterson
3 James C. Stephens 14 Charles L. Paine
4 John H. Donahoo 15 Jean L. Davis
4 Thomas E. Williams 16 Robert R. Childers
4 Gerald W. Hughes 16 Joel A. Otis
5 Loren L. Bower,Jr. 17 William A. Whittenberger
6 J. Erick Bails 18 Richard P. Snider, Sr.
7 David A. Young 19 Randal E. Davis
8 J. Keith Green 20 Neal B. Forbes
9 Larry R. Hess
District Education Officers, in attendance, were presented by Right Excellent Companion Jeffrey L. Addis:
District 1 Christian King District 10 Darrell R. Porter
2 Jack B. Hollman 11 John A. Spoff
3 Aaron E. Crawford 14 John W. Rush
3 Richard A. Grimes 16 Joseph J. Nuessle
3 Joseph J. Fair 16 Michael C. Welchel
4 Stanley J. Anderson 17 William C. Young
4 George Taylor 18 Steven A. Nevel
6 Richard W. Stewart 19 David W. Hyde
8 Kim Sautter 20 Robert J. Homoly
The Grand Officers of the Grand Council, Royal and Select Masons of Ohio were introduced by Most Excellent Companion William M. Berry:
M. Ill. Companion Fred A. Boggs Immediate Past Grand Master
M. Ill. Companion William Laughlin Grand Master
Rt. Ill. Companion Pat C. Lively Deputy Grand Master
M. Ill. Companion Merlyn E. Meredith Past Grand Master, Grand Recorder
M. Ill. Companion Robert R. Rettig Past Grand Master, Grand Treasurer
Rt. Ill. Companion Douglas A. Habegger Grand Principal Conductor of the Work
M. Ill. Companion Bobby G. Campbell Past Grand Master, Assoc Gr. Recorder
Rt. Ill. Companion William R. Eagle Grand Captain of the Guard
Rt. Ill. Companion Leonard Johnson Grand Conductor of Council
Rt. Ill. Companion Robert K. Rhinehart Grand Steward
Rt. Ill. Companion Lynn B. Alexander Grand Marshal
Rt. Ill. Companion Richard J. Amlung Grand Sentinel
Rt. Ill. Companion James Zemancik Grand Chaplain
Rt. Ill. Companion Stephen C. Hill Inspector of the 1st Arch
Rt. Ill. Companion Matthew J. Schetter Inspector of the 6th Arch
Rt. Ill. Companion David A. Mourrer Inspector of the 9th Arch
Ill. Companion W. Richard Coffman 1st Arch Adjutant
Ill. Companion Charles A.Woods 2nd Arch Adjutant
Ill. Companion Larry A. Rentz 4th Arch Adjutant
Ill. Companion David E. Schroeder 9th Arch Adjutant
Ill. Companion Dwight Damschroeder Associate Grand Chaplain
Rt. Ill. Companion Watson Penrod Grand Aide
M. Ill. Companion Ronald E. Pool Past Grand Master
M. Ill. Companion Beecher W. Vaughn Past Grand Master
M. Ill. Companion James Parker IV Past Grand Master
Officers of the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of Ohio were introduced by Most Excellent Companion Chester W. Hammond:
Sir Knight Franklin C. Boner Rt. Eminent Department Commander,
East Central Deptm’t Gr. Encampment
Sir Kt. Richard Holcomb Rt. Eminent Grand Commander
Sir Kt S. Thomas Ramsey Very Eminent Dep. Grand Commander
Sir Kt. John R. Clime Eminent Grand Generalissimo
Sir Kt. August C. Holzer Eminent Grand Captain General
Sir Kt. Wilfrid A. Grose Past Grand Commander
Sir Kt. David M. Snyder, Sr. Past Grand Commander
Sir Kt James R. Wise Deputy Division Commander 5th
Sir Kt John Miller Deputy Division Commander 8th Officers of Ohio Priory No. 18, Knights York Cross of Honor were presented by Most Excellent Companion John R. Gartrell:
Knight Robert Wise Eminent Prior
Knight Pat C. Lively Deputy Prior
Knight William D. Stratton Warder
Knight Alfred T. Johnson Registrar and Past Eminent Prior
M. Ex. Comp. Roland A. Paddle Grand First Principal
Rt. Ex. Comp. Roland P. Mandeville Grand Second Principal
M. Ex. Comp. George H. Gifford Past Grand First Principal
Rt. Ex. Robert H. McKelvie Grand Representative to Ohio
Past Grand Superintendant
M. Ex. Comp. John G. Lane Grand High Priest
M. Ex. Comp. Howard E. Dobmeier Past Grand High Priest
Rt. Ex. Comp. Herbert N. Weaver Grand High Priest & Grand Representative to Ohio
Officers of the General Grand Chapter International were then introduced by Most Excellent Companion Jean W. Justus
M. Ex. Comp. James H. Hodge Trustee of General Grand Chapter
Past Grand High Priest - Indiana
M. Ex. Comp. James B. Wall Executive Director – R.A.R.A.
Past Grand High Priest – Kentucky
M. Ex. Comp. Jean W. Justus Ambassador for Ohio
Past Grand High Priest - Ohio
General Grand King of the General Grand Chapter International was introduced by Most Excellent Companion Kermit V. Zimmerman:
M. Ex. Comp. Edmund D. Harrison General Grand King
Past Grand High Priest – New York
RECEPTION OF THE GRAND MASTER’S REPRESENTATIVE Most Excellent Companion John W. Purdy then presented Right Worshipful Brother Norman J. Mick, Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of Ohio representing Charles R. Murphy, Most Worshipful Grand Master. Right Worshipful Brother Mick was escorted under an arch of steel, conducted to the East, extended Grand Honors and given a seat of honor next to the Grand High Priest.
RightWorshipful Brother Mick addressed the Companions with the following comments:
“Most Excellent Grand High Priest, I thank you for extending the gavel of authority to the position I am representing this morning, and with that, I will simply say, ‘Good
morning Companions,’ and I will return the gavel and allow you to proceed with your business.”
Right Worshipful Brother Mick’s remarks were received with a warm round of applause. Grand Chapter called from labor to refreshment
Most Excellent Companion Draye then directed the Grand Scribe to call the Grand Chapter from Labor to Refreshment to receive the representative of the city of Independence, Ohio who was invited to give the welcoming address. ADDRESS OF WELCOME
“Most Excellent Companion Draye, Distinguished guests, Companions. It is my honor and pleasure to present Mr. Ron White who is the community economic director for the city of Independence who is representing our Mayor, Gregory Kurtz.”
“Thank you very much and good morning to you all. Hopefully, you have been having a good week and we are so glad you are here, and welcome again.
I have a very nice proclamation which I will leave for you to review. Let me read the last part of the proclamation - the whereas are simply restating the attributes of your organization and much of the tributes of the Royal Arch Masons.
‘Now therefore, I, Gregory P. Kurtz, Mayor of the city of Independence, do hereby designate and proclaim October 7th as a date to honor Most Excellent Grand High Priest Robert J. Draye and the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. It is with great pride we welcome you to our fine city and thank your honorable membership for the many contributions they have provided our communities. We commend your brotherhood’s benevolence and values that members of your organization possess. We hope your stay here in Independence is an enjoyable experience and that your conference is a successful event for your fellowship.
In witness thereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the great seal of the city of Independence, Ohio to be affixed this 7th day of October, in the year of our Lord, 2009.
Gregory P Kurtz, Mayor”
Response by Grand King Donald Losasso “Most Excellent Grand High Priest, Right Worshipful Brother Mick, Distinguished Guests, and Mr. White.
Thank you for your cordial welcome to Independence, the friendly community and heart of Cuyahoga County and the current home of the Cleveland Cavaliers training facility. The Cavs began playing here as part of the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team and their first eastern conference championship was in 2007.
Noted landmarks for Independence are the Crown Center Office Complex, the old Presbyterian Church built in 1855. This church and its congregation currently meet in a new building adjacent to the historical one. Also, Independence is nicknamed
Cleveland’s Silicon Valley due to the new businesses that call it home. We feel a distinct privilege and honor to assemble here in Independence for our Grand Session and I’m sure many of us will take the opportunity to visit the landmarks that are located throughout the city.
Mr. White, on behalf of the Grand Chapter of Ohio, we thank you for your warm welcome and we look forward to returning to Independence.”
The welcoming address of Mr. White and the response by Right Excellent Companion Losasso were both received with a warm round of applause. Mr. White was excused and the Grand Chapter called back to Labor by Grand High Priest Draye.PRESENTATION OF COLORS
The flag of the United States of America was presented by Sir Knights of the Seventh Division, Knights Templar of Ohio. The flag was posted to its position in the East; the Pledge of Allegiance given by the Companions and the tribute to the Flag of the U.S.A. was presented.
Grand High Priest Draye thanked the Sir Knights for their assistance in the opening festivities and they retired.
SINGING OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM and O’ CANADA
Most Excellent Companion Draye called upon Most Excellent Companion William Berry to lead the Companions in paying tribute to the United States and to our Canadian neighbors with the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “O’Canada.”
EXPLANATION OF BUFFALO HEAD
Most Excellent Companion Draye directed that a cart holding an extremely large stuffed Buffalo head be displayed in the center of the assembly. He then reported that during his early years in ham radio, he had been given the nick-name of “Buffalo Bob.” He further reported that he and a group of Masons traveled to Canada each year on a fishing trip, and as a tribute to him, his fishing buddies had obtained this stuffed buffalo head. The group surprised him, and especially Lady Paula, by presenting it as a gift in token of their esteem at his grand reception the previous October. He announced it would be left on display for all to admire, however, due to an admonition from Mrs. Draye, it would not be returning home with them the next day!
COMMENTS FROM CHARLES V. WILLIAMS, III
Most Excellent Grand High Priest
Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Ohio, Prince Hall “Thank you, and good morning. I bring you greetings from the Most Excellent Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of the state of Ohio. I’ve enjoyed my stay here so far and the hospitality has been second to none. Thank you for that. You are a true friend.
You know, since the middle of September, and I think it will run through the first week in November, it has been something every weekend. I beginning to feel like the old butcher who backed into the meat grinder – I’m a little behind in my business. With that, I will sit down.”
Most Excellent Companions William’s comments were received with laughter and a round of applause.EXPLANATION OF BALLOT
Most Excellent Companion Draye directed all tellers to report to Tellers Committee Chairman Right Excellent Companion Jeffrey Addis, Grand Guard. Most Excellent Companion Kermit V. Zimmerman was called on to explain the voting procedure to the delegates. Grand High Priest Draye then declared the ballot open for election of officers
Ballot declared closed
All Companions, having cast ballots, Most Excellent Companion Draye declared the ballot closed and the tellers were instructed to count the ballots and report forthwith.
REPORT OF THE OHIO MASONIC HOME
Dale G. Ray, President of the Board of Trustees
“Most Excellent Grand High Priest, it’s with pleasure that I bring you the report of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Masonic Home. Right Excellent Companion Donald Losasso, Most Excellent Companion Kermit V. Zimmerman and I represent the Grand Chapter on that board. As you know, this is a brief report. This last year was a very difficult one for any organization, be it profit or none profit, as the stock market took approximately a 30 per-cent hit at the end of last year. This affected us, as it did other organizations. We’re glad to say that it has started to come back and that the finance committee of the home and our investment committee have been working monthly to soften the blow and do everything they can to make the financial situation as favorable as possible. We are so proud of the efforts of the members of those committees.
We have had to make some very difficult decisions as an organization, as have other corporations, but the Home is going to come out of this situation a much stronger organization. We are growing our Home’s services division. We have home health care now; we have home maintenance care; as well as the I-Care committee which I’m sure you are all familiar. We will also be replacing some old campus buildings when funding becomes available.
That, Most Excellent, is the report of the Ohio Masonic Home committee”.
A motion was made, seconded and then approved by the delegates to accept the report of Most Excellent Companion Ray.
Companion David Bannerman was greeted by Grand High Priest Draye and invited to address the Companions. Companion Bannerman gave the following comments: COMMENTS FROM DAVID BANNERMAN
C.E.O. of the Ohio Masonic Home “Right Worshipful Brother Mick, Most Excellent Grand High Priest Draye, Past Grand High Priests, Right Excellent Companions, Companions and friends.
We’ve all seen the sign ‘Help Wanted.’ What if you need help at home to do something like moving furniture? You often call a neighbor and ask if he can stop over for a moment to help move a couch. You don’t hesitate to make that call and I know you will reciprocate should he call you for assistance. Applying for a job or helping a neighbor is easy, but what if you’re a senior citizen and you need help with health care matters? Often, seniors are too proud to ask for help – even when they need it most. You probably know someone on your prayer list who needs help, but won’t ask. What do we do as Masons when we see a Brother in need? I’ll tell you what we do – we do what we do best, which is we provide help, hope, and relief. For what good is it for us to call ourselves Masons if we do not provide charity to those in need?
Every day I walk into the Bushnell Hall – you know, the castle on our Springfield campus, and as I climb the grand staircase to my office, I pass a beautiful stained-glass window depicting the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’. It reminds me of the vision of the Grand Chapter had when it led the social reform movement that led to our incorporation in 1890 and the laying of our cornerstone in 1892 - to build our great Ohio Masonic Home organization that we have today.
According to Scripts Institute of Gerontology at Miami University, in 2007 there were 309,000 Ohioans who had severe disability. And that group is expected to grow to 348,000 by the year 2020 – a 13% increase in just over a decade. In addition, in 2007, the state of Ohio spent $4.8 billion dollars on long term care and that number is expected to grow. Just like in the 1890’s when the Grand Chapter saw the long term need of Masons across the state, we recognize the long term care needs of our society. We cannot ignore that ‘help wanted’ sign. But what happens when one of our Brothers put out that sign saying help wanted? We step in.
One of the stories in our annual report is about a Brother and his lady who lived in one of our retirement communities. Her health was slipping. He was no longer able to take care of her by himself, so he asked for help. She moved to an assisted living apartment and ‘Masonic Helping Hands’ was called in to provide additional care. With these combined services, she received the care she needed. He was relieved to know she was receiving the right care in the right setting. And because of the care they were provided, they were able to spend quality time with each other and focus on their relationship rather than on figuring on how she could be helped.
It’s through acts like these that we provide charity. We give great care to great people.
The theme running through this week series of meetings is ‘signs for us’. Sometimes the signs are apparent, while other times they are not so obvious. If you look around and see one of your Brothers in distress and needs help, remember that he might be a little shy and reluctant to put out a help-wanted sign. Do him a favor and help him put out his sign.
As Dale said, the economic engine of this great nation has recently sputtered but is moving again, and through, not only the appointed representatives but other trustees, the Ohio Masonic Home is strong, and we are implementing those changes to allow us to continue and prosper. Would all the trustees of our various corporations please rise?
Brethren, please thank these Companions for their service to the Ohio Masonic Home.
(A number of Companions arose and were extended a rough of applause).
Most Excellent Companion, my lady Anita and I appreciate the courtesies extended to us at this Grand Session and we wish you continued success.”
Companion Bannerman’s comments were received with a hearty round of applause. ROLL CALL of GRAND REPRESENTATIVES Prior to the roll call, Grand High Priest Draye announced that during the summer he had contacted all Grand Representatives to determine if they wished to continue in that capacity or to relinquish their appointments. Twenty-three Companions indicated a desire to retire. Eleven appointments had been confirmed in previous weeks by the Grand High Priests of those Grand Jurisdictions with the remaining 12 confirmations expected over the next several months.
Right Excellent Companion Glen L. Opp, Grand Fraternal Correspondent, having been requested by Grand High Priest Draye, prepared and distributed a packet of information to each new Grand Representative detailing the requirements and responsibilities of their appointments. During the roll call, both the retiring Grand Representative and his replacement were requested to present themselves.
The roll of the Grand Representatives of other Jurisdictions, near the Grand Chapter of Ohio was called. They formed lines west of the Altar and received Grand Honors and the thanks of Grand High Priest Draye. He asked each representative to convey his fraternal greetings and his best wishes to the jurisdictions they each represent. All representatives, including retiring, new appointees, and in several cases both Companions, were present (or excused) with the exception of: Argentina; Belgium; Manitoba Canada; Colorado; Iowa; Minnesota; Netherlands; New Jersey; New Mexico; New South Wales and Australian Cap. Territory; and Portugal.
Grand Representatives to the Grand Chapter of Ohio from other Jurisdictions, being in attendance that morning were recognized and asked to join with their Ohio counterparts to receive Grand Honors:
Rt. Ex. Comp. Robert McKelvie Grand Chapter of Canada in Ontario
M. Ex. Comp. J. B. Hitt, III Grand Chapter of Kentucky
M. Ex. Comp. Herbert R. Wood Grand Chapter of New Jersey
Rt. Ex. Comp. Herbert N. Weaver Grand Chapter of Washington
REPORT OF ELECTION
Right Excellent Companion Joseph J. Orosz, Grand Marshal, reported that the balloting has resulted in the election of the following Grand Officers:
Rt. Ex. Comp. Donald L. Losasso Grand High Priest
Rt. Ex. Comp. Steven J. Oliver Grand King
Rt. Ex. Comp. James W. Himmelright Grand Scribe
M. Ex. Comp. Charles McCarty Grand Treasurer
M. Ex. Comp. Dale G. Ray, Jr. . Grand Secretary
Rt. Ex. Comp. George M. Shell Grand Captain of the Host
Rt. Ex. Comp. Robert W. Thomas Grand Principal Sojourner
Rt. Ex. Comp. Donald W. Owens Grand Royal Arch Captain
Rt. Ex. Comp. Robert D. Blankenhorn Grand Master of the Third Veil
Rt. Ex. Comp. R. Keith O’Dell Grand Master of the Second Veil
Rt. Ex. Comp. Jeffrey L. Addis Grand Master of the First Veil
ACCEPTANCE OF ELECTION – DONALD L. LOSASSO
Rt. Excellent Companion Donald L. Losasso accepted his election to the position of Grand High Priest with the following remarks:
“Most Excellent Grand High Priest, Right Worshipful Brother Mick, and Companions..
I do accept this position as Grand High Priest elect and I want to thank the Companions of this great state of Ohio for the confidence they have reposed in me. I will do my best to uphold the standards that have been set by those who have so ably presided over this Grand Chapter in past years.
With the help of God and the Companions of this great state, I know that we will have a successful year. I would especially like to thank the Companions of the 11th district who have supported me all these years and have worked very hard on my behalf. I would also like to thank the Companions of the 16th district for their efforts in hosting this Grand Convocation.
Once again, I do accept. I thank you for your confidence and I will do my best to uphold that vote of confidence.”
The remaining Grand Officers were then polled by Grand High Priest Draye. Each accepted the station to which they were elected. Rt. Ex. Companion Losasso announced his appointments for the following year:
R.E.C. F. Raymond Sharritts, Grand Chaplain & Necrologist
R.E.C. Raymond J. McMahon, Grand Guard
R.E.C. Richard D. Snow, Grand Marshal
R.E.C. Norman G. Lincoln, Grand Historian
R.E.C. Glen L. Opp, Grand Fraternal Correspondent
R.E.C. Don R. Lutz, Grand Musician
R.E.C. Robert L. Jordon, Grand Musician, Emeritus
R.E.C. Ralph Curtis, Grand Aide
Right Excellent Companion Draye announced the installation of Grand Officers would take place on Thursday morning at 10:00 A.M. with the ladies present. PRESENTATION BY THE 11TH DISTRICT A delegation of Companions from the 11th Capitular District asked permission to approach. They met Right Excellent Companion Donald Losasso, Grand High Priest (elect) west of the Altar where they presented him with several gifts to assist him with his travels and pledged their support during his term of office.
COMMENTS FROM ROLAND A. PADDLE
Grand First Principal, Grand Chapter of Canada in Ontario
“Most Excellent Companion Robert Draye, Grand High Priest of the state of Ohio, Right Worshipful Brother Mick, Distinguished East, and my Companions. I first of all would like to say, Most Excellent Sir, that it is a great honor that you would ask me to speak on behalf of the visiting members from other Grand Jurisdictions. So I am just going to say, on behalf of North America and England, it takes great pleasure for me to bring you greetings from these Grand Representatives or these Grand Jurisdictions from outside of the state of Ohio.
Thank you very much for your kind hospitality. We each appreciate the honor which Ohio does afford us.
I would like to take just a special moment to express a personal thing. You know that I and my Lady have a connection to Ohio, especially to Independence, Ohio because my wife was born here. She said I want to go back to Anderson Street so we will make that little visit tomorrow afternoon because she understands there is still a family there that was there in the early 1940’s.
I wish, on behalf of the visiting Jurisdictions, the Grand Chapter of Ohio all the best of success and to the new officers, the best of success in the coming year.
Again, thank you very much. We appreciate your hospitality.”
Most Excellent Companion Paddle’s comments were received with a round of applause.
ANNUAL ADDRESS of the MOST EXCELLENT GRAND HIGH PRIEST
October 7, 2009 My Companions:
I would like to welcome each and every one of you to Independence, Ohio for the 193rd Convocation of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the state of Ohio. It has been nearly 30 years since our last gathering in the Cleveland area. We are very proud of the innovations and changes that have taken place since your last visit. We are very pleased and honored by the presence of our distinguished visitors and would like to thank you all for your attendance. It is our wish that your visit is an enjoyable one with many good memories returning home with you.
A very “short” year ago you honored me by electing me and putting your faith and trust in me as Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of this Great State. What a pleasure and joy it has been to travel across this wonderful state with my Lady Paula and the rest of my traveling companions meeting with our old friends and making many new friends. The multitude of memories made and cherished will last a life time.
Our travels to other states have been equally productive concerning new friends and memories. For those of you that have finished your term, or about to finish, I trust yours has been a very good and successful year. For those of you just installed, or about to be installed, I wish you an even better year. For the courtesies and friendships shown to me and the “traveling team” I can only say thank you. May they always continue.
I have difficulty trying to express my feelings and thanks concerning the time and effort, support, friendship, hospitality, and courtesies we have received from the Past Grand High Priests, Grand Chapter Officers, District Deputy Grand High Priests, District Education Officers, High Priests and Companions across the state. This Grand Jurisdiction is the best and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.
My theme of “Talk Masonry With Enthusiasm” seemed to be prevalent throughout my travels. I do not have a count at this time to the number of exaltations, but it certainly seemed as though we had a dramatic increase. Our losses, due to death, have not yet been surpassed, but I strongly feel the pendulum has begun to swing the other way.
The time for an accounting of this year has come. A fact of life is loss. Each year we lose a number of our treasured friends and Companions. We mourn their loss. Let us always remember fondly the time we had with them. Let us now give our reverent attention to Right Excellent Companion Reverend F. Raymond Sharritts, Grand Necrologist and Associate Grand Chaplain.
REPORT OF NECROLOGIST
Right Excellent Companion F. Raymond Sharritts, Grand Chaplain “Most Excellent Companion Draye, Distinguished guests, Right Excellent Companions and Companions.
I was concerned when I saw the buffalo down here underneath me. I want to talk to you this morning about Moses. Moses his calf, his golden calf, and I’m thinking, ‘I get a buffalo, and he gets a golden calf!’ As this passage comes in Joshua – ‘Sadness was hanging over the valleys of Israel. Word has just come that their great leader Moses is dead. God has called him and the people are now in a state of confusion. Even from the elders down t the children, they are turning to each other and they are wondering. ‘What are we going to do? How could this thing happen to us? The one we have depended upon; that has been so close to us, is now gone.’
All us can understand because we have experienced this with the death of our loved ones and our Companions. We turn to each other and we ask questions such as, ‘Why?’
Their spiritual counselor was gone; the person who had led them was no longer in their midst. No one was there to give them the answers and to be their leader. And
suddenly God speaks to Joshua and the voice of God says to him, ‘As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you. I will not forsake you. Only be strong and very courageous that you may observe and do everything according to the law.’ And so God promises the people of Israel. “I will be with you. I will not forsake you.’
One of the great tenets of being a York Rite Mason is that promise that God journeys with us and sustains us, even in the loss of a loved one.
The story is told of a great King who brought together all the wise men of his kingdom and said, ‘I want you to find for me, a motto that I can live with, in both the good and the bad things of life.’ And so they spread out throughout the kingdom; they watched everyone and finally, after a few months, they came back together and by consensus came up with this motto – ‘This too shall pass.’ The King said this is a great understanding. You put these two things together – I shall not leave you; I shall not fail you. And the things of life that overwhelm us shall pass.
We come today to honor our Companions who have died. We come with that understanding that God is with us; He shall not fail us; He shall sustain us.
There is a story that is told in Wales at the beginning of the century. In those days, young men were hired to lead donkeys who pulled out the coal cars. A young man went into the mines, frightened to death. His father and brothers were working in the mines and they realized there was a dangerous intersection that sometimes the cars would break loose and would come flying down the rails. If one was not careful at that intersection, they could get caught and killed, So on his first day in the mine, as his is leading his donkey with a carload full of coal, he notices that the closer he gets to that dangerous intersection, that there is a light there. The closer that he gets to that intersection, he discovers that his father his taken his lunch hour and is standing there with a lantern that he might see and be comfortable in that crossing.
I’ve often thought that for us, this great promise that you and I share when death comes to us, that God who promised Joshua, ‘I will not fail you. I will be with you as I was with Moses’ also comes to us when we come to the experience of death. It’s part of the affirmation that we have. That we do not need to be afraid; that we simply can be faithful and be strong and be of courage and pick up the mantle and go and do what God has asked of us.
I’m going to ask you to do something that you’ve probably not done before in our Grand Chapter. I want each of you to stand. Each of us represent our local Chapters; our districts. Each of us have lost Companions and dear friends this year. And now in a moment of silence, let us name them in our hearts and in our memory and thank God for the blessings that they have brought to us.
Let us pray………..
Dear Father, we thank you for the gift of our Companions who have crossed over to the Grand Chapter triumphant. Let us now rise, like Joshua to the task at hand, to do His will and to serve Him better, knowing that our God will not fail us nor forsake us.