Brethren, we are now in the 4th quarter of the year. It’s been a good year thanks to the brothers who have advised me and supported me through all our activities. When W:. Frank Kneaves health issues prevented him from continuing as our secretary, W:. Kevin Hughes picked up this enormous task, and has done an outstanding job and we sincerely thank him. This year we have raised 6 master masons. All three degrees, with few exceptions, were performed by brothers of our lodge. I am very proud of that.
Our electronic media is showing a very positive impact on our lodge by bringing inquiries about masonry and lodge membership and it shows our lodge activities at public events.
Earlier this year we presented close to $15,000.00 in scholarship awards to 15 students. Recently I was in a coffee shop and one of the parents noticed me and thanked me for their son’s scholarship. It’s encouraging to see that our masonic efforts are making a positive impact.
The Overland Park Fall Festival was a wonderful event for our lodge. We created a float and participated in the parade. Jobs Daughters of Bethel #27 and young men from the Order of DeMolay joined us on the float. Our flags and banners waved and we received many acknowledgments and encouraging words from the public as we proceeded down the street. We sponsored a Red Cross blood drive. Their blood mobile was kept busy all day with festival participants offering to give blood which exceeded all expectations of the Red Cross and they were very pleased. Considering those effected by hurricanes and horrible shootings, I’m sure this blood will be badly needed.
In the year 2023, Overland Park Lodge #436 will have occupied our current building 100 years. Our building has served us well through the years and we must assure that this building will be maintained and equipped to serve us in the future. I have established a repair and renovation committee to accomplish this task with completion by the year 2023. Structural integrity and water leaks in the foundation are our big concern. We are seeking advice from foundation repair companies with expertise in stone and mortar foundations built over 100 years ago.
Looking back over the year I wish I had put more emphasis on masonic education. We’ve had a lot of interest in being more involved in the community and we are serving that need. To me, learning about masonry and how to grow as a mason, getting direction and understanding of your purpose in life can bring you peace and comfort that your efforts in life are worthy and fruitful. Every time I open lodge and state “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”, I think about how powerful that unity can be and what it can accomplish. This next year we have some fine men in line to become our 2018 lodge officers. I look forward to working with and supporting them to bring about that understanding of how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
W:. Brian Hancock