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Grand Masters Visitation July 25, 2020

Great News! Pencil this in on your calendars. No, ink it in!
The 11th District has invited us to be a part of a Grand Master’s visitation/reception to be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Plans are to have 2 reconsecration ceremonies for two 11th district lodges during the afternoon with a dinner and program in the evening. RWB Steve Grindle has been in conversation with the Grand Master this past week to confirm the date.
There are still many questions to be answered, but tentative plans are to recognize masters of the lodges, recipients of Grand Lodge awards (community service, excellence in youth, etc.) and possibly others.
While reservations still may be limited to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines, we are hoping to honor our Grand Master, our Grand lodge officers, and award recipients with a nice group from the 5th District. I have consulted with our DDGMs as soon as I heard this was in process and they are excited that this opportunity has been presented to us.
Mark July 25 on your calendar and more details will be released as they become available.
Bob Rettig, DA

Grand Lodge of Ohio Communication regarding COVID-19 Pandemic

Brothers all,
On the evening of April 22, 2020, the DDGM's across Ohio were invited to a virtual meeting with the Grand Master of Ohio, Keith Newton. Many topics were discuseed and we had a good meeting.
  • Our last two inspections, Napoleon and Sycamore, have been cancelled. They will be given a good report going back to their Pre-inspections that had taken place previously.  All Brothers with Perfect Attendance at Liberty Center Inspection is considered as being complete and will be given plaques accordingly.
  • Special Olympics that would have been in June has been cancelled.
  • A dispensation will be issued for Lodges to meet in July and August to make up for any missed meetings if they wish to do this. The dispensation will be issued to waive any disciplinary action for Lodges that do not meet their minimum Stated meetings in 2020 due to cessation orders,
  • All Reconsecration and Re-dedications will be re-scheduled yet this year.
  • As of now, the One Day class has been postponed.  To be determined later if it will be re-scheduled.
  • Our Grand Master Reception had been postponed.  It will possibly be re-scheduled under a different format.  The Grand Master wants to give the Excellence in Youth Awards and also the Community Service Award.
  • Grand Lodge of Ohio is still scheduled for October 23 - 24, 2020 at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, Ohio.  Reservation information is forth coming.
  • Grand Master Keith Newton wanted to remind Lodges to continue to give to charitites.  One charity that was mentioned is Sharon Newton's charity, "Sleep in Heavenly Peace".  This charity builds and delivers beds to children who don't have one. There is still a great need for these.
All Brothers of your Lodges need to be notified of these changes in our schedule.
If you have any questions, please call me.
Robert Stotler, DDGM

Obituary: WB Dale Rice, Sherwood 620

Worshipful Master Jack Stevens of Sherwood Lodge informed us today that Worshipful Brother Dale Rice passed from this life into the Celestial Lodge above. May our thoughts and prayers be with his family and friends. He was a Past Master of Sherwood Lodge and a member of the Valley of Toledo, AASR.

Drive by visitations are planned on Thursday and Friday at Deal - Rice Funeral Home - Huntington Chapel and at Poplar Ridge Church of the Brethren, Defiance, on Saturday from 10:00 - noon. Graveside service will follow at Poplar Ridge Cemetery.

Obituary: WB Richard Savage of Hicksville 478

Its with a sad heart I have to post this message. Richard Savage a 50 plus year member of Hicksville Lodge 478, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the Zenobia Shriners passed away yesterday  morning at 5am. Dick was very active in his Masonry till his health got so bad he couldn't attend. He was the Master of his lodge in his 80's. There is a great hole in our Masonry caused by his passing. Rest well brother

Grand Lodge of Ohio Cancels all Masonic Activity through May 10, 2020

Brethren All

Effectively immediately, I declare all Lodge activities, including but not limited to Stated Meetings, Annual Inspections, Ceremonies, Grand Master Receptions, the Grand Masters Class event and Special Meetings of all Ohio Lodges holding allegiance under the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio to be CANCELLED through May 10, 2020. The following directives will support continued business during this period where meetings are restricted:

  • All usual and customary bills for utilities, taxes, and services acted upon by the Lodge can be approved with consent of the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary and Treasurer during this period. Phone or email are acceptable modes of communication and should be recorded by the Secretary.
  • No Lodge will be disciplined for not meeting the minimum required meetings according to our Code this Masonic year due to this national pandemic.

"Step Into The Light" Brethren. I suggest you use your time now to promote and care for each other. Call your Lodge brethren and widows to lend a hand. Even if we are not able to visit with each other, we can drop off any needed groceries or prescriptions where needed. The time is now more than ever to live our tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

This letter applies to all masonic lodges, their craft clubs, committees, Temple Companies, social events, and district associations. These guidelines and directives apply to all Ohio Masons including appendant Ohio Masonic orders.

We will continue to provide regular updates to these guidelines as changes develop. Meetings and events will be rescheduled at a future time.


Keith W. Newton


Fraternal Feud at Camp Masonry

There will be a quiz show event at Camp Masonry this year called Fraternal Feud. This event has been held in the 11th district a couple of times and it is a really fun event to test teams on their knowledge in such categories as Ritual, Symbolism, Famous Freemasons, and other categories.

The organizers of Camp Masonry would like to have a District vs. District competition this year and would love for the 5th District to put a team together to compete against the 11th, 16th, and 17th Districts. There are some rules for who can be on the 4 man team:

1 Past Master (can be a PDDGM, PDEO, etc.)
1 primary officer (WM, SW, or JW)
1 other officer (Deacon, Steward, Secretary, Tyler, etc.)
1 Master Mason (non-officer, non-PM)
No current Deputies, DEOs, District Advisors, etc.

Would the 5th District be interested in putting a team together for this event? Reach out to Martin Lawerence (DEO) if you might want to participate. 

Grand Masters Reception Cancelled on March 27

Under the advisement of our DDGMs and DA, and with support from the Grand Lodge of Ohio, the March 27 Grand Master's Reception in the 5th Masonic District is cancelled. NWSCC is acting in compliance with a recent statement from the Governor of Ohio regarding cancelling of large attendance events through March. In light of the short timeframe and ongoing concerns regarding large assemblies, we are not planning an alternate venue for that day. We have a district association meeting on Sunday March 15 to discuss next steps and will keep you informed.

Toledo AASR cancelling March events

Dear Brethren,

After much deliberation and on the recommendation from the Deputy for Ohio I have decided to cancel all Scottish Rite Events for the remainder of the month of March, 2020. This includes the Ambassador Meeting on March 25th, Henry County Scottish Rite Association meeting on March 26th. Degree practices may continue at the discretion of the Degree Director and the Head of the Body. I will continue to monitor this situation and will make a determination about events in the month of April by the end of March. My hope is that everyone will continue to remain healthy and those that may get sick have a speedy and full recovery. If there is anything anyone needs please feel free to reach out to Ill. Bro. Jeremy Z. Sharninghouse, Executive Secretary, at the Valley Office.

Trent T. Dominique, 33°
Deputy’s Representative, Valley of Toledo-AASR

Volunteers needed for Special Olympics

Brothers, as many of you who attended Sherwood Inspection heard from our District Advisor, there is a need for volunteers at the Special Olympics of Ohio Winter Games at Bowling Green State University on February 21-23. We have an opportunity here in our own back yard to show the public what Masonry is all about. They need volunteers to help with several areas throughout this weekend. As Special Olympics is something that we help sponsor, we have an chance to show the public what Masonry is all about. Help is needed on the 21st from 3:30pm to 7:00pm, all day on Saturday the 22nd and from 8:00am am untill 4:00 pm on the 23rd. If you are interested in help please contact WB Gary Norris at 419-574-3192 and he will add you to the list. Please let Gary know by January 29.

6 Tips for Preparing Your Lodge for Inspection Season

Every year, a Masonic lodge in Ohio must fulfill one of its main requirements to maintain its Charter: an inspection by the Grand Lodge. Inspection season presents to lodges an important challenge. And, in most lodges, passing inspection is a celebrated milestone or accomplishment of the year.

In Ohio, these inspections consist of two components:

A review of the secretary’s and treasurer’s records confirm that administrative rules and procedures of the Grand Lodge are being followed, and

The lodge demonstrates that its officers can properly confer the three degrees of Freemasonry.

The lodge typically demonstrates its ability to confer the three degrees on a three year rotating cycle – Entered Apprentice one year, Fellow Craft the next, and then Master Mason in the third year. Then the cycle starts over. Men will come from all over the district to see other lodges perform their degree work.

In celebration of these inspections, the host lodge being inspected will often offer a dinner (or other meal) prior to the meeting. Sometimes those dinners become traditions in their own right. Fellowship Lodge #106, for example, holds a beef and noodle dinner each year. These inspections, although important, offer the chance for brothers to come together as a lodge and celebrate together.

So, what are the keys to having a successful (and fun!) inspection at your lodge? Here are the top 6 things to keep in mind:

  1. Prepare, prepare, and prepare again. As Lodges receive a list in advance of what the District Deputy Grand Master wants to see, the Secretaries and Masters that review these documents and prepare ahead of time can expect a smooth inspection.
  2. Take care of the candidate throughout the evening. With all the excitement, dinner, and work taking place, it can be hard to support the candidate, answer his questions, and make sure he feels comfortable and welcomed. Lodges that assign an officer or another Brother to mentor the candidate for the evening will be giving that candidate a much better experience.
  3. Send invitations in advance. The tradition of formal invitations was a hallmark of Masonic courtesy for many years, and nothing beats the personal touch of a handwritten letter. If you’re inviting distinguished Masons such as a Grand Lodge officers, past District Deputy, or even other lodges, send your invitations well in advance so all can accommodate their schedules.
  4. Rule of thumb: don’t “surprise the Deputy.” Masters and Secretaries should discuss the inspection agenda in advance with the District Deputy Grand Master. This is helpful to inform the Deputy if there are any known problems, walk through the schedule of events, speakers, and how any questions or problems are going to be answered or corrected.
  5. When in doubt, leave the lecture for a seasoned Mason. Generally, it’s best to not ask a Brother to give a lecture for the first time at inspection. Giving a lecture is, in and of itself, a big deal, a genuine accomplishment. It is hard enough to do under the best of circumstances.  Adding the extra pressure of performing in front of your brethren and guests makes it doubly hard. Nobody wants to see a first-time lecturer lose focus, forget his lines, or need extra prompting. It is an embarrassment for the man giving the lecture and a disappointment to the candidate.
  6. Relax and enjoy the night. If the lodge is doing its job week-in and week-out, it just has to do what it always does in order to be successful. People put extra pressure on themselves so they don’t embarrass themselves or their lodge, and it is the pressure that sometimes causes a new problem. If all the officers are prepared and perform their assigned duties, the lodge will have a successful inspection and the candidate will receive an excellent degree.

Do you have any other tips for a smooth-sailing, fun inspection night? We want to hear them! Share with us on social media, or email


District Deputy Grand Masters
R.W.B. Martin Lawrence
Sycamore Lodge #520
R.W.B. James E. Parsons
Liberty Center Lodge #518
District Education Officers
W.B. Dennis Richardson
Wauseon Lodge #349
W.B. Craig Szczublewski
Fulton Lodge #248
District Advisor
R.W.B. Robert R. Rettig
Napoleon Lodge #256
District Education Chair
R.W.B. Robert "Joe" Stotler
Hicksville Lodge #478
W.B. Josh Chapin
Edon Lodge #474
1st Vice President
W.B. Dennis Richardson
Wauseon Lodge #349
2nd Vice President
James Hanna, Jr
Omega Lodge #564
W.B. Craig Szczublewski
707 Main St
Delta, OH 43515
Fulton Lodge #248
R.W.B. Douglas W. Eis
Napoleon Lodge #256
District Membership Chairman
R.W.B. Larry Kujawa
Wauseon Lodge #349
W.B. Craig Szczublewski
Fulton Lodge #248