Monthly Archives: September 2019

Florence Lodge Hosts Colonial Ladies at the Table Lodge

Florence Lodge No. 281 hosted a Colonial Ladies at the Table with the National Sojourners Omaha Chapter #18 and the Heroes of ’76 Joseph Warren Camp at the Benson Masonic Center in Omaha, Nebraska on September 27, 2019. The table lodge dates back to the earliest Masonic times in the 18th century, when the feast was a significant occasion to gather about the “festive board,” to honor a brother who might have been initiated or passed. Masonic historian H.L. Haywood writes that the result “was that Masonic fellowship was good fellowship in [the lodge], as in a warm and fruitful soil, acquaintanceship, friendship, and affection flourish – there was no grim and silent sitting on a bench, staring across at a wall.”

Brother Col. Ed Nolte, Past National Commander of the National Sojourners served as Master of the Table Lodge. He began the evening with the Toast to the Flag, written by John J. Daly in 1917. In recounting the history of the table lodge, he told members and guests that in Colonial times, the Table Lodge was one of Masonry’s greatest assets, buoying up the spirit of colonists who were members of the Craft – Washington, Warren, Montgomery, Clinton, Lafaytette, Franklin, Revere – when they were at their lowest ebb. The food may have been meager, but the fervor and zeal were in full force. Objects in the room took on a military flavor – the table became a trestleboard, the tablecloth became a standard, the napkin was the flag, and the glass was the cannon. Thus, today, we continue that tradition by charging the cannons (filling the glass) with strong or weak powder (wine or juice), take aim (raise the glass to one’s lips), fire or discharge the cannon (drink). Then the Master orders members to ready arms, in which case everyone slams the glass down in unison (or perhaps less so as the evening toasts go on), emulating the roar of the cannons.

Throughout the evening, Ed Nolte gave a history of the American flag in its different forms over the course of American history. Members and guests rose to propose patriotic toasts to our founding fathers and founding mothers, to the branches of the Armed Services, to the Grand Lodge, to Brethren near and far, and to our departed Brethren. We took time to remember Brother Major Chuck Folsom, U.S.M.C. who passed away earlier this year, and who would have attended, offering correction and instruction whenever needed.

The evening was catered by Sweet Lorraine’s Catering, who served chicken parmigiana, smoked pulled pork, California mixed vegetables and rice pilaf, and black berry cobbler. 48 guests attended for a wonderful evening, and the members of Florence Lodge No 281 extend their deep appreciation to the National Sojourners, the Heroes of ’76, and all the members and Brethren who served our nation in the armed services.

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Posted by on September 30, 2019 in Random Thoughts


Bellevue Lodge Donates Funds to Area Schools

On Tuesday Sept 24, 2019 members of Bellevue Lodge #325 presented checks to Jeff Wagner, Principal of Bellevue East High School, and Meredith Petit, Principal of Fort Crook Elementary.  The money was donated from funds received during Bellevue Lodge’s month Enchilada dinners.  Jeff Wagner stated that the money for Bellevue East High School would be used for the Student School Supplies and Hygiene Pantry, while Meredith Petit stated their funds would go toward the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support program. Not present was a representative from Mission Middle School who will also be receiving a check.

The Bellevue Lodge will continue to have monthly Enchilada Dinners to help support various schools throughout the year.

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Posted by on September 27, 2019 in Random Thoughts


DeMolay Initiation in North Central Nebraska

Long Pine Lodge No. 136 hosted a DeMolay Initiation on September 21 , 2019. It was the first DeMolay Initiation held in the North Central Region of Nebraska since the Chapter closed in O’Neill. The Degree Team organized by WBro. Grady Wells was comprised of members from Nebraska DeMolay who traveled to the Sandhills. WBro. Stan Weidner, Grand Senior Steward was in attendance.


Posted by on September 23, 2019 in Random Thoughts


College View Lodge Passes Two

On 11 September 2019, College View Lodge No. 320 passed Brother Caid Bleess and Brother Jack Hottell to the degree of a Fellow Craft Mason. WB Tom Anderson conferred the degree as Worshipful Master, with WM Curt Wolbert as Senior Warden, WB Byron Van Patten as Junior Warden, WB Doug Johnson as Secretary, WB Paul Hadley as Chaplain, Brother David Johnson as Senior Deacon, WB Gary Kassebaum as Junior Deacon, Brother Sean Bush as Senior Steward, WB Chuck Burk as Junior Steward, and WB Jim Michaelson (East Lincoln Lodge #210) as Tyler. WB Doug Johnson and WM Curt Wolbert gave the Questions and Answers lecture, WB Jim Michaelson presented the Middle Chamber lecture, and RWB Bruce Watkins issued the Charge.

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Posted by on September 16, 2019 in Random Thoughts


York Lodge Hosts Blue Rock Shoot and Outdoor Degree

Over 30 brethren from Geneva, Osceola, Stromsburg, Utica, and York gathered in southern York County for an evening of fellowship and courtesy degree work. Our host was Worshipful Master Fran Crowe of York Lodge No. 56. The event began with a friendly contest shooting blue rock, followed by a fine meal prepared by the Worshipful Master’s wife, Barb. After supper we adjourned to the outdoor lodge room, where we met in a low vale. A lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons was opened in due form for the purpose of conferring a degree on Colby Young, son of Stromsburg Lodge #126’s Worshipful Master Chris Young. WB Young delivered the charge for his son at the conclusion of the degree. The weather cooperated and we enjoyed a comfortable, mosquito-free evening. Following the degree Grand Historian WB Kevin Scheele presented Brother Colby with his copy of the Entered Apprentice degree standard proficiency. As the three lesser lights were extinguished, the sun set and our time together drew to a close. Congratulations to Brother Colby and all of the brethren involved in the degree work on a job well done!

Pictured left to right: Grand Historian WB Kevin Scheele, WM Chris Young of Stromsburg No. 126, B. Colby Young, WM Fran Crowe of York Lodge No. 56.

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Posted by on September 12, 2019 in Random Thoughts


Year Pins Awarded in Scottsbluff

At the regular communication of Robert W. Furnas No. 265 on September 2, 2019, held in Scottsbluff, year pins were presented to two brothers: W. B.  Ted Westervelt received his 50-year pin and certificate and Bro. Robert Hartley was awarded his certificate and lapel pin signifying 75 years of service to Masonry! Both were presented by W.B. John Ferguson, Grand Junior Deacon, and W.B. Jock Farris, Grand Junior Steward.

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Posted by on September 10, 2019 in Random Thoughts


Retreat 2019

The Grand Lodge Officers of the Grand Lodge of Nebraska, along with their ladies, hold a retreat event annually for the purposes of planning and fellowship. This year, the event was held September 6-7 at the Divots Conference Center in Norfolk. The event is planned by the Deputy Grand Master. This year’s retreat included a mini golf tournament.

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Posted by on September 10, 2019 in Random Thoughts


Bellevue Lodge Holds Membership Dinner

Most Worshipful Bob Moninger is shown being received and making remarks to Bellevue Lodge No. 325 following the Lodge’s Annual Membership Dinner on September 4, 2019.  Also in attendance, welcomed in the East and given Grand Honors was Most Worshipful Freddie Clopton, Grand Master, Nebraska Prince Hall Affiliated.

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Posted by on September 10, 2019 in Random Thoughts


Challenge Coins Awarded

Two Masons were awarded the Grand Master’s Full Form Proficiency challenge coin for their excellent performance of Fellow Craft Questions and Answers at Bee Hive Lodge No. 184 in Omaha, during the regular communication on September 5. Pictured are Austin Dueling, Grand Senior Warden Jim Carlton, Worshipful Master Dave Workman, and John Simmons.

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Posted by on September 10, 2019 in Random Thoughts