Brothers, I can't believe a year has already ended. In my final message, I want to thank all of you for your patience. There was much more that I wanted to accomplish, but it seems like time has run out. Sadly, we have lost members on my term to laying down their working tools. Sadly I had to preside over Gene Parsley's Lodge of Sorrow and was on the road when it was opened for Paul Armstrong. We will always re-member them in our hearts, and more im-portantly we must remember their widows and orphans. I hope we can get a "widows dinner" started to remember these fine ladies and to extend the hand of friendship and brotherly love to the families of the good men who have gone to serve the G-d in Heaven above.
As I write this, I have two initiations that business has prevented me from organizing and I did not want to organize without being present for them. We have brother Tori Thompson ready to take his proficiency at our stated meeting. I will defer to the incoming Master the unfinished work of my term.
We held a successful garage sale, our golf tournament failed, and we held a blood drive. Those are things we can be proud of. I do think, however, we should focus on our degree work and moving along our peti-tioners and EA's further into their Masonic journey. I will be honest. Many times I do not look forward to lodge night because I am tired and I always have other things I should be doing - paying bills, trying to keep my head above water at work, spending time with my family. Yet without exception, each time I hear the artful words of our ritu-als spoken, and relay those to the lessons behind the words, and see my friends where we all meet on the level--I'm glad I was there. I'm glad I took part.
Sure, Ben Franklin is a small lodge and we always will be. I will probably have at least another trip through the chairs. That's okay with me because it is in my heart. I am thankful I am a Mason. I'm proud to be a Mason. I'm thankful for our small but close group of men who keep Ben Franklin alive. I thank all of you for allowing me the opportunity to have served you as Master of our lodge, and I will close with the same mes-sage as I began... come to lodge and have fun. Brother Dan will need all of our support as all those who follow him will.
Worshipful Master Ron S. Ellis