Greetings and Salutations
Brethren. I greet you as the sixth master of Heartland Lodge. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, or even Happy Kwanzaa if that is what you celebrate at this time of the year.
I want to thank you for placing your trust and the welfare of our lodge in my hands. I will expend my very best efforts to be worthy of the task that you have set me. With the able assistance of our officers and members, I am sure we will have a great year.
As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes so succinctly put it: " Watson, the game is afoot". The officers and I have some ideas of things that we would like to do and improvements that we would like to make. The building association is continuing with the repairs and improvements to the lodge building and grounds. I am sure that you will agree with me that they have done a wonderful job thus far, and I am sure they will continue in that same vein.
One of my first priorities as master is to try to ensure that there are qualified individuals ready to step into the line in order to ensure continuity. If you didn't already notice, let me direct your attention to the fact that there is only one actual past master of Heartland in this year's line. I know it's semantics, but I don't feel I count, as I was master of another lodge the first time.
I'd also like to improve our lodge library; which is pretty nice already. In order to get this ball rolling; I am going to challenge all of you to donate any Masonic books that you have already read to the library as I am planning to do.
I'd also love to see the Masonic Formation program up and running this year. This program, properly handled, will help new candidates and more experienced "travelers . ' alike to learn new and exciting things about Masonry and its history. It will also help them learn how the lodge and building associations run.
Cheri and I sincerely hope that you enjoyed the installation and dinner. We are extremely grateful to all those folks that helped us make it happen, including the ladies and gentlemen of our youth orders and their advisors, the ladies of the lodge who were so helpful during preparations, and of course, the officers and members who pitched in to help.
There is a Christmas party coming up on the eighteenth of the month at the lodge. Dinner will commence at 6:30 PM and will consist of a dinner of meat loaf supplied by the lodge and side dishes of any type (including salads and bread) supplied by those attendees whose last names begin with the letters A-L. Those whose names begin with the letters M-Z will supply dessert. There was an error in my article last month so please note the party will be on Friday the Ig h of December. There will also be a gift exchange. If you wish to participate, please bring a gift for a man or woman (depending on which one you are) wrapped in plain brown paper and marked with the letter M or L as appropriate. If your kids want to be involved, mark their gift with the letter B or G as appropriate. There will be no "stealing" of gifts this year and no alcohol of any type please. There are new directives from Grand Lodge prohibiting it.
We will be opening Lodge one night this month to accommodate those candidates who wish to perform their proficiencies. We will then have some raisings in January. If you are currently ready for your proficiency start beating your coach up now so that he can let me know how many to plan for. I would prefer to group degrees of a single type together to allow the officers to better prepare and therefore perform better. Obviously, emergent situations will be handled as they occur.
I apologize if this article seems excessively long. I will try to make future articles less wordy.
John H. Keretz. P.M. Master