Marc C. Brofka
Worshipful Master, Millburn Lodge
October 18th, 2012
Farewell from the East The following is a copy of the Worshipful Master Report submitted at the annual meeting on October 18th, 2012.
As we close the book on the 159th year of Millburn Lodge, we have much to reflect on.
First with the membership and the raising of our fellow Brothers. This has always been one of our most important responsibilities as a Lodge. As our Worshipful Brother Secretary has already reported, we have Initiated eight Brother Entered Apprentices, Passed eight Brother Fellowcrafts and raised ten Brothers to the sublime degree of Master Mason. This would not have been achievable without the hard work and dedication of all the Officers and the active Brothers within the Lodge. It is with pride I can say that in the proud tradition of Millburn Lodge, we have in every instance, been able to complete all of our work without the aid or assistance of other Lodges or their members. When all of the additions and subtractions have been made, our Lodge has grown by 5% to 190 members. At this last Grand Lodge Session, Millburn Lodge was recognized for this achievement and awarded this certificate, so congratulations to you all for all or your outstanding work.
- Breakfast with Santa
As with our custom, the first Sunday in December is our annual Breakfast with Santa, and this year was no different. We had an excellent turn out by the membership and I would like to thank all those who donated their time an materials to help make it a profitable event. I would like to also thank Brother Dick Ipsom who filled in as our resident St. Nick.
- Family Bowling at Sunset Bowl
This was another event we set-up for all of the members and their families to come out and have a good time. I would like to thank Sunset Bowl in Waukegan for their generosity in accommodating us.
On April 25th, we held a ILChip event at St. Gilberts church for Cub Scout Pack # 68. For those of you who don’t know, our own Junior Warden also serves as the Pack Master for this Pack. In that evening, we processed over 78 children. We had such a large turnout that we could not handle all of the children that were present. The overwhelming approval by the parents for our event has caused them to ask for us to come back and hold a second event in the near future. We should never forget that this is the face of our fraternity. It is not what we do in within the confines of our Lodge that will define us, but what we do out in our community that will ultimately impress upon the world who we are and what we represent.
- Table Lodge at Wadsworth Pyramid
This was by far one of the largest highlights of this year. For those of you who were not able to attend, you missed a great event. Thanks to the generosity of the Onan family, we were able to hold our Table Lodge at the Wadsworth pyramid. We had a total of forty Master Masons who attended, many of whom were visitors from other Lodges in the county. And afterward, everyone agreed this was an event that would be remembered for years to come. I would like to thank Most Worshipful Larry Inglis for coordinating the Table Lodge and all of my Officers and Brethren who assisted in putting this event together.
- Asian Pacific Dinner
Once again, this is an annual event we host in May in honor of all of our Asian Brethren. If you missed it, you missed out on some excellent food.
- Past Master Dinner
Thanks to our Brother Senior Warden who coordinated this dinner at the Asian Gourmet Buffet in Gurnee for all of our Past Masters and their families. As Officers, we must always look forward to what we can accomplish for our Lodge and the Craft. But we can never forget about the past and those who came before us. Their knowledge and leadership are essential in what we do and can never be forgotten.
- Lodge Competition
This year marked the return of the Lodge Competition, and immediately I declared that we were in it, not for the glory or any formal recognition, but that we prove to ourselves that we are fit and proficient in the Work of the Craft. Bear in mind this is always made harder for us due to our calendar and the competition being six months after our installation of new officers in their new roles. Yet in the tradition of our Lodge, there are no excuses, just the dedication of the Officers in learning their roles. In the previous years of the Lodge Competitions, Millburn Lodge would always win first place in the 1NE district. With the return of the Lodge Competitions, nothing has changed. It is with pleasure I can say we still own the Lodge Competition by taking First Place this year. But I expect that everyone will still strive to maintain this level of excellence. For the award is just recognition of the accuracy of the Work. 8.
- Property Taxes
As many of you know, there are only two certainties in this life, and one of them is taxes. And in these times, we have seen the squeeze being applied to all, property taxes being one of the worse. Our property taxes over the years have risen to nearly $1000.00 and due to a change in the paperwork process, nearly increased to ten times that. But thanks to the hard work of Brother Jay Reed, Worshipful Brother Secretary Dave Marion and myself, we were not only able to get them brought back to normal, but reduced down to about $160 for the year. I would like to thank both of them for their service and dedication to the Lodge.
Many of my officers have heard me nag on this one for a while, and this should be the last time. But for the few of you who have not heard, our website is back up and loaded with a ton of stuff. We have everything someone would need to find out about our Lodge & Fraternity. We also have a calendar of upcoming events. And we have links to PayPal to pay your yearly dues and even how to pay for your lifetime membership if you were interested. We also have an E-Bay account where we can sell anything that is donated to the Lodge. There are now no more excuses for not paying your dues because you can’t get to the post office and by a stamp or that your wife hasn’t written the check out for you to mail.
- Grand Master’s Award of Excellence
As you have heard, that was a lot of stuff we did in a short amount of time. But that kind of work and dedication is noticed & recognized. This year our Lodge won the Grand Master’s Award of excellence. And I say our Lodge because no one man earned this. We all did by working together by doing what we do, week in and week out for the love of our Lodge and the furtherment of the Craft. But take this time to be proud of what you did and be proud of your Lodge. Millburn Lodge is only as strong as it’s members and it is with pride I can say she is strong indeed.
This report has covered most of the highlights of this last year, but unfortunately, there will be lowlights as well. One of them has been unforeseen repairs that have been made to the Lodge. First off, we had the baseboard let loose by the Tiler doors ruining the back bleachers and carpeting. But thanks to the hard work of many of you, we were able to repair everything at cost. But that cost still was around $1,000. This summer we found our roof damage and had to have repairs made. Thanks to Brother Erik Prinzing, our cost was only $400, but in the end, it still is a patch job. The roof is near the end of its lifecycle. We still have chimney issues ahead of us in the short term, but many long term issues will be on the horizon. I ask that you give your support to the incoming Officers as they address these needs.
As we heard from our Brother Treasurer, our finances were less than the previous year. We had the previous repair issues that I have already mentioned, but also we have many Brothers who still need to get their dues in. Also, many of the fund raising items we have done did not bear as much fruit as they did in the past. As things improve in the world around us, I hope those effects work back to us.
- The Future
I know I have reported many highs and a couple of lows, but as I mentioned earlier, we must look to the future and how we will leave things better than how we received them. Of the many things we have done this year, the one I have the most hope in is our newest addition to our Temple. Our new Bethel of Job’ s Daughters has found a welcome home here. And in working with all of them, I am extremely proud of them and what they are accomplishing. We also have the possibility of a DeMoley chapter forming here. Although it is still in the planning phases, I am optimistic they will one day take shape.
I would like to take this moment and thank my Senior Warden for all of the hard work he has put in. Until you have sat in the East or West, you will have no idea what it takes to keep this place going. With all of the issues I have had in my personal life and with work this last year, I could always count on Rob to help get things done when I could not. Most Masters would be thrilled to have a Senior Warden who did half of what Rob does and we are all lucky to have him. It is not an exaggeration when I say he will make a fine Worshipful Master.
This has not been a perfect year. We have had our ups and downs and even the occasional squabble. But that is the thing with family. As we all know in our own personal lives that family is not perfect. But in the end we are all Brothers in our Masonic Family and that Brotherly Love will unite us all.
It has been an honor and a privilege to be your Worshipful Master and I thank you all for all of the hard work you have done and allowing me to be along for the ride.
Thank You all,
Marc C. Brofka