Trestleboard: September – October 2012

*** From the East ***

Hello, Brethren! The lodge is returning from being dark for the summer. But we were far from inactive. About 50 of us, family and friends attended the Dayton Dragons game on June 8th. And while the annual Airshow Parade was one of the hottest I remember, we showed off our lodge. Thanks as usual go to WB Jim Elliot for getting the Shriner trailer and his truck into place, and driving.

We continue with a busy fall ahead of us. So let’s bring the fraternal brotherhood out. Please pay particular attention to the Lodge Schedule in this Trestleboard.

An informal tradition in our lodge is to come out of dark in a special way, with a watermelon, corn, hamburgers, and hot dog gathering at 6:00 PM, September 4th, before our stated meeting. Please join your brethren to celebrate our

I hope you’ll make a special effort to attend our Outdoor Raising on Saturday, September 22nd. Feel free to invite other Master Masons. If you plan to attend, please let me or the Secretary know so we can assure enough food and chairs are available. And if you’d like to help set up, please let us know that too.

Grand Lodge Communication will be held October 19th & 20th at the John S. Knight Center, Akron. Lodge representatives will be Bro Jeff Waite and WB Dick Chipman. If anyone else is interested in attending, reservations must be made by September 3rd.

Lastly, some rooms in the lodge building are badly in need of painting. If you have any supplies you could donate, please contact me at the number above. Thanks in advance for any support you can provide.

Well, Brethren, hang on for a busy time! I sincerely hope to see you in Lodge.

In Memoriam
Brother Richard D. Thurman
Brother Thurman was born on May 20, 1930 and passed on July 12, 2012. Richard was a faithful member of Vandalia Lodge for over 41 years.

Brother Carl T. Smith
Brother Smith was born on March 30, 1918 and passed on June 1, 2012. Carl was a faithful member of Vandalia Lodge for over 46 years.

Brother Robert E. Branscome
Brother Branscome was born on July 24, 1935 and passed on August 17, 2012. Robert was a faithful member of Vandalia Lodge for over 50 years.
“They Rest From Their Labors”


*** Other News ***

Remember the Lodge Dinners are every second Friday of each month. Our next dinner is on September 14th, 5-7PM. Call for reservations at 1-866-925-6722. Bring family, friends and prospective members. Its always a superb meal and great fellowship.

The lodge directory is still in work. The next proof should be available shortly. As soon as it is found acceptable, we’ll turn it over to the publisher to print it. Many apologies for how long this has taken.

Still getting the Trestleboard by mail? Please consider receiving it by email. Just send your email address to and We’ll do the rest. Thanks for helping us save money.

*** From the Secretary ***

Lodge Statistics. Our Lodge fiscal year ended on August 31st and we now have 248 members, having lost 6 to death, 1 to transfer and 3 to suspension last year. We gained 5 members with 2 through degrees and 3 by affiliation. We have 8 Entered Apprentices at various levels of progress. This total contrasts with FY 2004 when we had 300 members.

Lodge By-Laws and Standing Resolutions. Last June, the Lodge enacted several changes to these documents. The more important changes are: Annual dues and plural membership fee increased to $80; Fee for three degrees increased to $200; 50 year members are not required to pay dues; and the Treasurer will be paid $1.00 per member per year.

Annual Dues Notices. By mid August, the Annual Dues notices were mailed to all of our Brethren. Please note that dues are payable as soon as possible. One of the reasons that I try to send these notices early is to help you plan on making your payment. If you need to space out your payments, please contact me. Either way, the dues of $80.00 are payable by November 6th. Alas, 10 of our members have not paid their dues for FY 2012, but I hope they will.

Membership Awards. Grand Lodge notified us recently that the following brethren are eligible for service awards this year: 60 years – James R. Elliott and Haser D. Letner; 50 years – Paul W. Baker, Ronald E. Dornbusch, David L. Dresser, Donald D. Fuduloff and Ronald E. Hamilton; 40 years – Richard D. Bibb, Denver E. Hoskins, Ernest B. Loeb and Donald W. Quast; 35 years – Charles E. Metzner, Jr. and Larry D. Sowders; and 25 years – Morris E. Kemper. The Annual Awards Dinner will be held in December. I’ll send out personal invitations to each awardee. Pins for 35 and 40 year members are available for $5 each. If you want one, please let me know. A small donation to the Lodge would be appreciated to help offset this expense.


  From the East  

Brandon H. Estep: Worshipful Master (937) 305-6444


Spring Is Here, Brethren!  The Lodge has been very active over the winter.  And spring will be busy as well.

Ladies Night:  Once again we had a successful Ladies Night at our lodge, with 72 in attendance including six widows. WB Leonardi prepared a wonderful meal complete with flowers and candy for all the ladies. RWB Tim Strawn had a nice presentation about the OMH Capital Campaign (more about this in the Secretary’s section).

Inspection:  Our annual inspection will be March 13th at 7:00 pm in the Master Mason Degree. We will be having stuffed pork chops served by Eastern Star at 6:00 pm.  If you wish to attend the dinner, please call WB Chipman or me so we can give the OES at headcount.  The cost for dinner is $8.

Vandalia Craft Club:  Our newly formed craft club is already busy with a canned food drive to benefit the Vandalia Food Pantry. Dues are just $5. Membership is open to all Master Masons “in good standing”. In order to raise operating money for the club we are offering a charter membership for $40. Benefits include a Charter Member Plaque to be displayed in the lodge with all the members’ names on it and a special patch for the Craft Aprons. Please contact WB Larry Hall or me to join.

Dayton Dragons Game:  Again this year, we will be going to a Dragons game.  We have tickets for sale for the Friday, June 8th game.  The tickets are $13 and include a free Dragons Hat. The game starts at 7:00 pm.  Friends and family are welcome.  For tickets, contact Bro. Michael Carpenter at (937) 901-2799, or  The tickets must be paid for by April 8th.

Electronic Trestleboard:  Please consider receiving your Trestleboard via email.  The savings on printing and postage are meaningful.  To do so, please contact either Bro Michael Carpenter, or WB Dick Chipman,  Thank you for helping.

Deacons/Warden Workshop:  The Deacons and Wardens Workshop will occur at Vandalia Lodge on April 21st.

St. John’s Lodge #13 200 Year Reconsecration:  One of the oldest lodges in the state of Ohio, St. John’s Lodge #13 will host its 200 year Reconsecration at the Dayton Masonic Center at 10:00 AM on March 17th.  If you want to attend, please call either WB Chipman or me for a headcount.

Please Come to Lodge:  In the Secretary’s section of this Trestleboard, you can read about what we want to do for all of you that might have reservations about coming to Lodge, especially because you might not be a Master Mason, or feel “rusty” about what to do and how to act.  To help some of you, our March 6th stated meeting will open in the Entered Apprentice degree so that all can attend. Bro. Charles Cooke will be giving his EA Examination and WB Leonardi will be presenting the educational program “Whence Came You”.  So please begin the journey to actively rejoin your Lodge.  Or if you know of a Brother from ours or another lodge that might have similar reservations, please invite him to join you and us.   Brotherly Love is one of the pillars of our fraternity so let’s reach out to each other and all Brothers.



From the Secretary


Late Payment of Dues!!!  As of today, our Lodge has well over 20 members who have not paid their 2012 dues. Adding to that, we have willingly decided to remit the dues this year for 7 members who have very serious problems, such as Alzheimer’s, strokes and major physical disabilities. Overall, our planned income is down this year by well over $2,000.  Last year we carried several brothers who asked us for help so we said that we would pay their 2011 dues, but I have only heard from one of them so far. Altogether this creates a tough problem for our Lodge operations, especially for charity. During the past few weeks, several members have told us that they would send us a check for this year, but I have received only four such checks. I really hope that these brethren can better respond by fulfilling their obligations.

Attending Lodge.  Recently, we discussed the fact that several of our members might be a bit uncomfortable attending lodge because they might not be familiar with the work or remember the signs, tokens, words, test oath and related matters. The Grand Lodge of Ohio has made some major changes in the past few years to help relieve these concerns. As a Master Mason, all that you need to gain entry to the Lodge is a current dues card and a photo I.D. If you are an Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft, we can open Lodge in either degree so that you can enter Lodge and enjoy the work. However, we need to know that you are planning to attend Lodge so that we can alert our officers of the degree for the night. Call us a day in advance — the phone numbers for the Master and Secretary are in the masthead — and we’ll be happy to open in your degree. In addition, we are quite willing to meet with you individually or in groups to review  the various methods of recognition for all three degrees … this should help you become comfortable with the entry and ritual requirements.

OMH Capital Campaign for Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Last fall, the Grand Lodge and the Ohio Masonic Home kicked off a major fund raising campaign to provide “Memory Care” at its two OMH campuses near Cleveland and Toledo. The OMH Benevolent Endowment Foundation plans to raise $7 million over the next three years to build these new facilities and solve the problems existing at those campuses. Right now, neither campus can provide the necessary care and safety for dementia patients, so our needy brethren must be turned away and sent to other care facilities. We have to do better than this for our brethren in need, so Vandalia Lodge will fully support this Capital Campaign. We have already accepted some contributions toward meeting the goal of $70 per member. Our Lodge goal is to raise $17,700 or more for this campaign. After our Inspection in March, we will be sending each of you more detailed information about this campaign and explain how you can individually contribute to it.

Grand Master’s Reception. This annual event will be held for MWB Kevin B. Todd at the Dayton Masonic Center on March 17th. Doors open at 5:30 PM and dinner will be served at 6:30. There will entertainment, presentations and comments by the GM. Tickets cost $20 each but the Lodge will have them for you at $10. Reservations must be turned in on March 6th so be sure to call the Master or Secretary with your reservations.