2021 Election of Officers

Election of offices for the 2021 year were held on Wednesday, December 2nd. The officers elect are:

Worshipful Master – Skip Donnell
Senior Warden – Joey Cline PM
Junior Warden – Ken Whitcomb
Senior Deacon – Doug Bondy
Junior Deacon – Derek Cheek
Senior Steward – Wayne McCullough PM
Junior Steward –
Chaplain – W Russell Taylor III
Treasurer – Ancle Jones PM
Secretary – Brian Hooten PM
Tyler – Wayne Moody PM

Installation of officers will be held on Saturday, January 2nd at noon. Light refreshments will be provided.

But We Survived, and Became Stronger…

Brothers, you cannot turn on the television or radio any more and not hear about pandemic that is going on all around us. First and foremost, I ask that you take a moment to say a prayer for all of those who are directly impacted by this terrible virus – also remembering their friends and family – this will be an event that will live forever in their memories.

Please, also say a prayer for those who are continuing to work to provide for the rest of us – the doctors, nurses, first responders, truck drivers, factory workers, restaurant operators, store employees – the list is too long to include everybody – but we all know who these people are. The folks without whose dedication this world would quickly grind to a stop. This includes all of the doctors and researchers who are spending tireless hours attempting to find an approach to combat this invisible enemy.

For so many years we have been so involved in our day to day activities, we rarely if ever have stopped to ask the question – what if… What if we were forced to stay in our homes for weeks in due to an unseen threat? What if there were shortages of food? What if I could not find toilet paper? Two months ago these were foreign concepts to the majority of people. But you do not have to go back in history very far to realize that these were all too common concepts to our ancestors.

World War I – “The war to end all wars” was 1914-1918. Thought the fighting never reached our lands, the impacts were felt by all persons around the world. Immediately following in 1918 there was the Spanish Flu pandemic. These events directly impacted my grandparents and great-grandparents. But we as a country survived and became stronger.

The great depression – spanning 1929 through the late 1930’s – impacted both my parents and grandparents. Every day necessities were virtually impossible to find. Food of any kind was a precious commodity. There were bread lines and many people suffered suffered hunger and malnutrition. But we as a country survived and became stronger.

World War II again saw shortages in both every day commodities and employees to produce products. Factories were converted to produce materials to support the war effort. “Rosie the Riveter” became the heroine in the recruiting effort for female workers in the workplace. There were Civil Defense organizations and drills, paper drives, scrap drives, food rationing, etc. But as a country survived, and became stronger.

But enough about history – suffice it to say that we need to make sure we study the past – we need to learn from those lessons that our forefathers experienced. Armed with that knowledge, we can make better, well informed decisions on what we do to day.

Now – back to the present day. I find it so ironic that when you listen to a radio station we hear about how “hectic” life has become. Before the pandemic – to me, hectic was the new normal. It meant attempting to balance work, meals, groceries, laundry, and getting the kids to 20 different school / sport events in a single week.

Today – that has all changed. Work from home is the norm for a vast majority of the population. Adding to the stress of that – we are now in a position of homeschooling our children. Social distancing is becoming a way of life. Play dates are on hold and we are being asked to stay at home with the exception of essential travel.

Today was one of those “essential travel” days for me – I went out to get groceries. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection, the but thing that stood out to me the most was the people. More specifically, the expression on peoples faces. In many you saw fear, others loneliness, and some sheer exhaustion.

With everything going on in the world around us – there is one thing that I ask you all to remember – a smile is free! It is the original social distancing tool. You can be six feet or fifty feet apart, and the message sent by the simple act of smiling is received.

You may be asking yourself – what difference does a smile make? To the person that is in fear – it means hope. To a person who is alone – it means friendship. To a person who is exhausted – it means inspiration. To the country – it means that we are not giving up! It means that we will rally around each other no matter how dark things may be, and that humanity and compassion will prevail.

It means that as a country, we will survive and become stronger!

Stay SAFE Brothers!!

A Call to Arms….

Brothers – we have all heard the news and are aware of the tremendous strife and turmoil that our country, even word, are experiencing at this time. The coronavirus (COVID 19) has had a profound impact on virtually every aspect of our daily lives. In an effort to do our part to help combat this virus, the grand lodge of Indiana issued a statement on Friday, March 13, 2020, suspending all Masonic activities – further stating that the Lodge building should only be entered by essential personnel such as maintenance workers, contractors, and any officers of the lodge or other bodies who need to tend to business related to items.

To many people this action, and the actions seen taken throughout the country are extreme, but reports indicate that persons over the age of 60 are the most vulnerable to the virus. Brothers, if you look around the the Lodge room, you will see that the majority of us are in that demographic.

As we receive further guidance from the Grand Lodge we will make sure we update the site to keep you up to date.

That being said – regardless of whether we are able to meet or not, we are all still Masons and brothers. It is at times such as this our heritage and pride should come shining through. We should be setting the example for others to follow. We all took an obligation to help a fellow distressed brother mason – and to the best of our abilities, we should be living that – now more than ever.

Take the time to ask a neighbor if they need assistance. If you are going to a store, ask a neighbor if there is something that they need. Provide a word of comfort to a scared child or family. Reach out to a friend / brother that you have not talked to in years and ask them how they are doing.

As humans, we are social creatures. We crave interaction with each other. Now, for a short term, we are being isolated from what many hold dear – direct interaction with friends and family. However, there are many who do not have families to reach out to them. Feelings of isolation can build very rapidly, and we must work to stay ahead of this.

I challenge each of you to make a difference in the life of others. Pick up the phone and reach out. A friendly, reassuring voice can mean so much to people at this time. There is no ulterior motive – it is brothers doing what we do best – being there to support each other – through the worst times of life.

Consider this a “call to arms” – be more than a man – be a MASON!

Welcome to our Newest Master Masons

Brothers, today (Saturday, January 25, 2020) was a momentous day for us. We raised our first two new Master Masons in our new Lodge building. It was a very exciting time.

Welcome Brother David Scott and Brother Derek Cheek!!

Brother Derek Cheek (center left) and Brother David Scott (center right)
Newest Brothers and Installing Officers

The day and event was made even more special thanks to the outstand support of our Brothers from other lodges. Whether you were there to watch and learn, or took an active part in the ceremony – is is this kind of comradery that makes this organization so special. All tolled, we had 28 persons in attendance. A tremendous heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you!!

After the ceremony we enjoyed a light lunch provided by the ladies of our Oakland OES chapter. Thank you ladies for all you do!!

The Pouring of the Wine…

The official building dedication for our Lodge was completed on November 16, 2019. During that ceremony, the oil, wine, and corn poured was symbolic. At our stated meeting on December 4th we were able to officially complete this task with real wine and oil. Brother Brad Jones poured the corn, Brother Jack Shepard the wine, and Worshipful Master Joey Cline poured the oil. So the building dedication is “officially” completed. After allowing suitable time for this to soak in and dry, we will be framing this momentous piece of our history.

Thanks to everybody who was able to join us!!

Building Dedication – An Incredible Event

Saturday, November 16, 2019 Oakland Lodge #140 F&AM officially dedicated their new building! It was an incredible event with approximately 75 persons in attendance. We were blessed to have the Indiana Grand Lodge Officers presiding over the event. Thank you Brothers for taking your time to make this day such a special event for us. It is one that all those attendance will not soon forget.

We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the Greenfield York Rite Knights Templar. To open our ceremony they did the Presentation of the Flag – this was both an impressive and moving ceremony. Looking around the room during this heartfelt lecture, you could see the awe and respect of all in attendance. They then followed that up with their Arch of Steel ceremony as a show of utmost honor and respect for our most distinguished Grand Lodge Officers. The precision and impact of this is one that personally, I know I will never forget!

Special thanks go to our Oakland OES ladies who work so hard to help us. These special ladies provided the desserts that all enjoyed during this event. But there is so much more that they contributed. Their time, their love, their patience – without their assistance, we would not have been able to have such a smoothly running event. Between helping serve all of our guests, and then working tirelessly to assist with the clean up efforts – you are all such special ladies, and we are so fortunately to have you there supporting us!! From the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU for everything that you do!!

After the conclusion of the ceremony, everybody was asked to join us in a meal in our newly dedicated “Blackburn Hall”. There they were treated to a delicious home cooked meal of chicken and noodles, green beans, and bread – all provided by South 113 (https://www.south113.com/) located in Rushville, IN. Not only was the food great, but the folks that prepared the meal were top notch. I highly recommend you check them out for all of your special event needs.

We will be adding numerous pictures from this event to our photos page, but for now, I will leave you with this image….

A Brother Returned…

As part of our new website, we pay tribute to those individuals who served as Worshipful Master. The history of Oakland Lodge #140 is long and there have been several good men presiding over the years. As part of our process to get this website up and running, and to embrace current technology, we undertook the task of digitizing images from our past. If you have taken the time to browse our pages, you have likely run across our pictures of our past masters. The ultimate goal is to obtain a photo of each individual who has served as Worshipful Master.

Some individuals we currently have nothing but the dates of when they led our lodge. While there are others whose photo has succumbed to the ravages of time and water damage. For some reason one individual stood out. We had a photo – but water damage had taken its toll. The face was completely gone. What better place to start.

This individual served Oakland Lodge #140 as Worshipful Master in 1939. His name – Milton A. Newhouse, P.M. A quick search of the internet was done and very rapidly an obituary came to light – but no picture. The next step was to reach out a broader audience – to see if we could possibly get a response from a relative. Within 24 hours of the online search beginning, information was coming in. Within 48 hours we had a photograph. Though not the image when Mr. Newhouse when he served the lodge, but of the 18 year old boy that would grow to be the man who led our lodge. But that was not all. Among the articles received, there was a very interesting snippet from a local newspaper regarding Mr. Newhouse, and when he was raised to the degree of a Master Mason.

Reintroducing – Mr. Milton A. Newhouse, PM…
Milton Azariah Newhouse – born 21 April 1905, died 1 March 1978 in Rochester, IN. He was married to Bernice Milton. It was noted that he had a World War II draft card, and professionally he was a doctor. He was raised to the degree of a Master Mason in 1930

Milton A. Newhouse 1923 photo from Arsenal Technical High School – Indianapolis, IN

Welcome home Brother.

Dedication Ceremony

The brothers of Oakland Lodge #140 F&AM are excited to announce the formal dedication of our new lodge building. The dedication ceremony will be officiated by the Grand Master of the State of Indiana – Kenneth E. Roy. The event will be Saturday, November 16, 2019. Everybody is welcome to attend this event. The ceremony will begin promptly at 11 am, with a luncheon to follow. We look forward to seeing you as we celebrate this momentous event.

Welcome to our New Lodge and Website

There have been many changes for us this year.  Some happy and momentous, and others sad.

To start with the sad – we mourn the loss of our brothers who have gone before.  We feel comforted in the fact that they will be lighting the way for the rest of us.  One brother that instantly comes to mind is Brother Elmer “Blackie” Blackburn, P.M..  Blackie was an individual that we all should aspire to emulate.  Not only was he Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1957, he was a 75 year member of Oakland Lodge #140.  He is the only person who could state that he attended meeting in all three of our lodge buildings.  Brother Blackie – you are missed.

For the new news, we now celebrate the completion of our new lodge building.  It has taken two years and countless man hours to complete, but we are now “up for business”.  Special thanks to all the brothers who have dedicated their time and effort to make this dream a reality.  Our dedication ceremony is November 16, 2019 at 11 am.  The Grand Master of the State of Indiana – Kenneth E. Roy will be officiating the dedication ceremony.  We hope to see you all there!

This is also a new website for us.  As with all things digital, these things take time to flush out and square away.  Please check back often for updates and highlights of our lodges activities.