"Tidings from the East"

In the next three months our lodge has several events planned. First is coming up on the first Saturday in March, and is a triple 50 year award ceremony. This is a public event and we will be honoring Bros. Louis Timmons, James Gear, and James Hampton with the festivities scheduled to start at 7:30 pm. If you know of any friends of these brothers that might like to share this joyous occasion, feel free to invite them.

The second event is our annual fund-raising chicken dinner. This year it will be held on April 3rd, and enclosed with this newsletter are some tickets. As in past years any help in selling tickets, preparing the lodge, and running this undertaking is appreciated. Without your yearly support of this event our lodge could not function.

Before I discuss the other events planned, I would like to point out that our lodge will be facing some tough financial times in the next few years. The lodge trustees have already identified several areas on building upkeep that will require attention. To answer these needs the lodge will require new sources of revenue be they new members, volunteer labor, or financial donations. Our lodge is also attempting to support existing scholarship programs as well as re-invigorating our support of masonic charity in and around Otterbein. Unlike decades in the past, considerations such as insurance take much larger portions of our annual budget so ANY help offered will be gladly accepted.

You can also help out by doing three things immediately. First, please see that we have your current phone number so that we can reach you for the telephone survey our lodge officers will be conducting in the coming months. This survey WILL surprise you, and we WILL value each and every brother's input. Second, make plans to attend our upcoming Chicken Dinner and our special 50 year award ceremony in the next two months. Third, make plans to attend and support some of our upcoming visitations to shut-ins. More information on these will be forthcoming in either our newsletter or the lodge's website at . If you forget the address, just drive by the lodge, you can't miss it.

Finally one meeting you should make plans to attend will be our "Rusty Nail" meeting. tentatively scheduled for May or June. This meeting will help you remember all of the secrets, and will be quite unlike ANY masonic meeting you likely have attended. (It *will* be a hoot.) This along with our annual Grand Lodge inspection in March or April will help re-introduce the venerable ceremonies and procedures of the craft.

Parting on the Square,

Bob Finch, W.M.