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2021 News

Installation of Joseph C. Radocy as Deputy's Representative for the Valley of the Firelands

About 70 members and their wives, along with several Masonic dignitaries, attended and participated in the installation of Joseph, C. Radocy as the third Deputy's Representative for the Valley of the Firelands. Four new members were initiated into the Valley at a 4th degree exemplification before the installation. A dinner followed, and the evening was concluded with the installation by Illustrious 33rd and Deputy for Ohio D. Richard Heldman, along with Ill. Phillip Elliot, Active for Youngstown, and Ill. James Easterling, Active for Akron and Past Grand Master. Other notables present included Ill. Martin R. Woodworth, Deputy's Representative for the Valley of Cleveland, William Carter III, Grand Orator for the Grand Lodge, Ill. Eric R. Schau, Past Deputy for the Valley of the Firelands and Past Grand Master, and Ill. Charles R. Murphy, Past Grand Master

Mt. Vernon Lodge Received the Benjamin Franklin Award of Distinction

The Ben Franklin Award of Distinction celebrates a milestone anniversary (every 25 years starting at 50 years) for the lodge. The Valley of the Firelands celebrated 200 years of Masonry in Mt Vernon Lodge No. 64. Platt Benedict was the first permanent white settler of Norwalk, Ohio. Born in 1775, in Danbury, Connecticut, he traveled to the region with Elisha Whittlesey in 1815 and built a log cabin in 1817 on what would become the Norwalk. He eventually opened a gristmill and a paper mill and served in numerous positions, including a town trustee and postmaster. A dispensation was granted to Brothers Timothy Baker, W. M.; Platt Benedict, S. W., and John D. Hoskins, J. W., in April, 1821, for the formation of a lodge at Norwalk. At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in on December 12th, 1821, a charter was granted to Mt. Vernon Lodge No.64. The Chapter of Rose Croix in The Valley of The Firelands is named after Platt Benedict.

Illustrious Brother Steven Hessler 33°, Chairman of The Valley of The Firelands Board of Trustees (left), and Worshipful Brother Charlton Summers, Worship Master of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 64 (right).

Illustrious Brother Steven Hessler 33°, Chairman of The Valley of The Firelands Board of Trustees (left), Worshipful Brother Charlton Summers, Worship Master of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 64 (center), and Illustrious Brother Joseph Radocy 33°, Valley Deputy’s Representative (right) 

25th Degree

The 25th Degree, Brother of Achievement, was presented on Thursday, October 28, 2021, in West Salem, Ohio and repeated on Saturday, October 30, 2021, in Milan, Ohio. A combined total of over 90 members and 3 candidates (in white collars) attended the two degree presentations, both of which filled the lodge rooms to capacity.


Oktoberfest 2021

More than 100 brethren and their families attended the third annual Oktoberfest in the Mansfield Liederkrantz, Mansfield, Ohio, on October 24, 2021. A polka band and several members in lederhosen added a distinctly Bavarian touch to the festivities. The attendees enjoyed chicken and plate-size slices of snitzel along with a variety of German beers and other refreshments. This has become the annual fundraising event for the Valley, and over $9,000 was raised for Valley needs.

2021 Fall Reunion

September 25, 2021

About 60 Valley brethren and visitors reviewed or achieved new degrees at the Valley of the Firelands Fall Reunion at the Sandusky Masonic Center. Four new candidates (wearing white collars) were initiated with the fourth degree and received their Scottish Rite caps. All attendees then watched the 22nd and 17th degrees on video and the 18th degree portrayed live. Most Worshipful Brother Richard Dickerscheid (in center in group photograph) paid a surprise visit to the reunion after lunch.

Special Degree Conferral

September 10, 2021

Staff Sergeant Wyatt J. Cooke (left), received the 4th and 26th Degrees in a special session called to accommodate his leave time between Incirlik Air Base, Turkey and Lakenheath Base in England. Wyatt is the son of Robert Cooke (right), Senior Warden of Platt Benedict Chapter of Rose Croix in The Valley of The Firelands.

20th Degree at Ashland, Ohio

August 17, 2021

Forty-seven brethren gathered at the Ashland Lodge building to receive the 20th degree, Brother Ad Vitam. Frank Schumacher, a new plural member from the Valley of Columbus, received his cap from Ill. Duane Kemerley, 33o. Cody Noon, Junior Warden in the Platt Benedict Chapter of Rose Croix, then presented the introduction to the video produced by the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction and guided the discussion afterward. 

Masonry Challenges Program

August 14, 2021

More than 50 brethren enjoyed a presentation by R. W. B. William Carter III, Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, on the many challenges to Masonry. Listed as a program on anti-Masonry, it detailed a number of challenges faced by the fraternity and its members both from inside and outside the fraternity. More than 50 brethren gave rapt attention to the presentation that lasted more than five hours with a dinner break in the middle. That so many brethren stayed through the entire presentation is a testament to the skill of R. W. B. Carter in leading the give and take of ideas during this highly worthwhile discussion.

4th Degree - 1917 Version

July 10, 2021

More than 50 brethren viewed the Valley of the Fireland's exemplification of the 1917 version of the 4th degree at the Sandusky, Ohio, Temple, perhaps the first time this degree has been seen in many decades. The current 4th degree was first given to four new candidates of the Valley to allow their witnessing the 1917 version, one of whom became the candidate. Cody Noon oversaw the assembling of the cast and props, directed the degree, and played the role of Adoniram. Originally scheduled for January, 202, it had to be delayed several times because of the ongoing pandemic. Patience and perseverance finally paid off in a degree performance that was well received by those in attendance.

Ohio Conference of Deliberation

June 12, 2021

The Valley of the Firelands was mentioned several times at the Ohio Conference of Deliberation on June 12, 2021. It received the first Valley of Excellence Award ever conferred on a Valley by the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. It was also the first Valley to earn a perfect 100 score for the award. The pictures shown below were taken for the September issue of the Northern Light magazine. The Valley was also noted as having no members in arrears for dues.

10th Degree - Master Elect

May 20, 22, 2021

Twenty-five brethren and visitors from other Valleys attended each of the two offerings of the 10th Degree in the Bucyrus Temple on May 20 and the Vermillion Temple on May 22. Scottish Rite caps were presented to several brethren who had recently joined as plural members. The members were then presented the introductory educational material, and most participated as characters in the table format of the degree.

Willard Ice Cream Cruise-In

May 14, 2021
Lisa's Ice Cream & Donuts, Willard, OH

Members of the Valley of the Firelands and their families enjoyed ice cream treats on a sunny Friday evening in Willard, Ohio.

Board of Trustees Meeting and Annual Election of Officers

May 5, 2021
Bellevue Lodge, Bellevue, OH

The officers of the Valley of the Firelands Bodies were elected and installed in a ceremony conducted at Bellevue Lodge, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Those elected for the 2021-2022 year were:

Hector Kilbourne Lodge of Perfection
Elected: Michael J. Cooley, Thrice Potent Master; William Bevens, Deputy Master; Eric Young, Senior Warden; Appointed: Daniel J. Harr, Sr., Junior Warden; Robert Lemaster, Orator; Austin Norville, Master of Ceremonies; Will Mitchell, Captain of the Guard

Seneca-Green Springs Council of Princes of Jerusalem
Elected: Jeffrey Ingersol, Sovereign Prince; Shaun Taylor, High Priest; Edward Andres, Jr., Senior Warden; Appointed: Tony Wise, Junior Warden; Scott O. Nave, Master of Ceremonies; Joseph Anthony, Master of Entrances

Platt Benedict Chapter of Rose Croix
Elected: Gail Reeder, Most Wise Master; Robert Cooke, Senior Warden; Cody Noon, Junior Warden; Appointed: Tom Hilton, Orator; Daniel Brake, Master of Ceremonies; Kirk Miller, Captain of the Guard

Sandusky and the Firelands Consistory
Elected: Douglas A. Kranch, Commander-in-Chief; Alan Bacon, 1st Lt. Commander; Russel Beach, 2nd Lt. Commander; Appointed: Robert Weber, Jr., Orator; Lawrence Palmer, Chancellor; Max Rowe, Master of Ceremonies; David Dauterman, Captain of the Guard

Tyler of the Valley: Arnold Humphrey

Spring Reunion

April 24, 2021
Tiffin Masonic Center, Tiffin, OH

Fifty brethren gathered for the annual Firelands Spring Reunion, Five candidates were initiated with the 4th degree, after which they were presented with their Scottish Rite caps. Brethren then enjoyed the presentation of the 26th degree, Friend and Brother Eternal, by video. A tour of the newly-opened nearby Ohio Civil War Museum in Tiffin was included. After lunch, the Valley presented the 14th degree live, including the presentation of 14th-degree rings to all who participated.

Feast of the Paschal Lamb

March 29, 2021
Elyria Masonic Center, Elyria, OH

Seventy-one brethren and ladies attended the Valley of the Fireland's annual Feast of the Paschal Lamb. Rick Schau, the Deputy's Representative for the Valley, presented Masonic widows Sandy Baum and Roxanne Bates with a dozen roses and a platter engraved with their husband's name.

Rite On!

March 7, 2021
Messenburg Plaza Place, Huron, OH

More than 60 brethren and their wives enjoyed a meal of beef brisket and baked cod and celebrated the many awards given to brethren in attendance. James Buck, Jordan Lawrence, and Jeff Kaple received the Master of the Journey 32 pin for seeing all 29 degrees. Arnold Humphries received the Master of the Journey jewel for having seen all 29 degrees twice.  William Bevens, Shaun Taylor, James Moore, Andrew Handshoe, Richard Schenk, Robert Weber, and Anthony Wise received their 32nd Degree Certificates from the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.  Jordan Lawrence,  Mike Cooley,  Anthony Wise,  Cody Noon, Robert Cooke, and Tom Hilton were inducted into the Colonels. Closing comments were given by Deputy's Representative Rick Schau and Richard A. Dickerscheid, Grand Master of Masons in Ohio.

Contact an Officer: Email - secretary.valleyofthefirelands@gmail.com     
Phone - (567) 376-9741     Principal Location - North-central Ohio
Mailing Address: The Valley of the Firelands, P.O. Box 98, Tiffin, Ohio 44883
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