Community Lodge Traditions
Annual Stag Event
Members of Community Lodge come together on many occasions throughout the year, but our annual stag picnic is a casual event that welcomes non-masons who are interested in learning about the lodge.
The Minute and a Half Club came into operation around March 28, 1924 by WB Robert Taylor after visiting a noon day lunch club in another city and as a visitor, he was solemnly introduced and nominated for honorary membership and to his surprise, the vote was unanimously “NO!” This meeting was only held on days/nights after conferring the M.M. Degree and after refreshments. The limiting of speeches to a “minute and a half” was also Taylor’s original idea as it kept some of the longer-winded brethren under control. The Members of Community Lodge enjoyed the idea and fell into the plan in a splendid manner and it was adopted as an official tradition of the Lodge. We did embarrass some of our visitors, but when it was over and done, it was done with a big laugh and they were never offended.
It was eventually moved to Memorial Day to coincide with the Memorial Day Sunrise Service. It is believed that WB Robert Taylor was the first President, followed by other storied Worshipful Brothers such as MWB Edgar Lewis Ott, RWB Dick McKeever, WB Vallie Bauer and currently WB Carl Long. The jewel of the president is a silver platter, adorned with a criss-crossed knife and fork, and suspended from a white cord accented by golden thread. The “Honoree” of the Club each year is “Roasted” and presented with his membership card following the vote.
Memorial Day Sunrise Service
Lodge Bulletins No. 26, 27 and 28 have reference to the first of the Meetings ever held at Community Lodge, more of the story from the above quoted January 22, 22 1962 letter from WB Robert Taylor to A. Richard Odebrecht at his home on Northam Rd. It will be used to reinforce the History now appearing on the Lodge Website. When Brother Taylor proposed this meeting, he was told that he would not have a quorum present. But when Lodge was opened at 4:00 a.m., there were 84 in the Lodge room including the MW Grand Master of Ohio. Others drifted in until we served about 120 for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. At 4:00 a.m. we raised one candidate (Asbury L. Odebrecht) to the Master Mason Degree, followed by a brief Memorial service. The ham and eggs for breakfast followed by a meeting of the Minute and a Half Club and by 8:00 a.m. everyone was on their way home. Taylor had also heard of a Lodge who held a Memorial service at 600 a.m. followed by breakfast, but the idea of meeting at 4:00 a.m. and conferring the M.M. Degree was somewhat original to him. The special Day allowed the Brothers to assemble and make due respect to their fallen Brothers and yet to be at home in time to celebrate with their families. So Mote It Be.
The special activities outlined above were originated by Taylor just to make his year more interesting with no idea that they would be continued by each administration, but now after 85 years, both the Minute and half Club and the Memorial Day Sunrise Service have been continued without a break and have become traditions by Community Lodge. They still hold the interest of our members, young and old and attract many visitors. Taylor also presided over the Minute and a half Club for more than 25 years and turned it over for some of the younger Members to continue. The jewel of the President of the Club consisting of a tin pie plate with a knife, fork and spoon on it and suspended from a white rope collar was designed and made up by Charles C. Miller and several of our other Members who worked at the Jeffrey Mfg. Co. and presented to WB Taylor the morning of May 30, 1928.