Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
|Guest Speaker Brad Uken, Manager of the Champaign Co. Farm Bureau|
We had another well attended meeting yesterday. We'd like to thank Brad Uken, Manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau for joining us today. I think everyone enjoyed his talk about the drought and farm issues. I learned a few things--and that's not always easy to accomplish.
A few mentioned they aren't getting the call-em-alls. I'll get that list caught up this month. I haven't been doing a very good job keeping up with adding new members.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Each year, prior to the annual meeting of High Twelve, club Presidents submit a report of their club's activities during the previous year. We've only be around a short time, but I thought I'd share the report I sent. ~TEC
Illini High Twelve No. 768
August 9, 2012
The Illini High Twelve No. 768 just received our charter on May 17th, 2012—ninety one years to the day that High Twelve, International was founded. Considering our short time in existence, and only two “official” meetings under our belts, I have more to report than you might think, and a couple things I’d like to say in our first official report—you might as well get comfortable.
On behalf of the members of Illini High Twelve, I’d like to thank the officers of the Illinois Association of Masonic High Twelve Clubs and High Twelve, International for their tireless assistance and support in helping us get off the ground. They even found us a bell and gavel to use, a flag to use at our meetings, a Wolcott School House, and charter member lapel pins for all our members. We can’t thank you enough for making us feel like part of a larger family.
The Illini High Twelve meets the third Thursday each month at noon at the Urbana Garden Restaurant at I-74 and Lincoln Avenue in Urbana, Illinois. We started out meeting in their side dining room with a single table, then we were up to several tables, and as our membership has grown, we’ve slowly taken over the entire dining room. It’s a great venue, and the management and staff at the restaurant have bent over backwards to accommodate our group—and they serve a really good lunch at a reasonable price.
But even as new as we are, we’ve been very industrious. We have our own logo that ties into the proud tradition of the University of Illinois. The logo was designed by our Chaplain Bro. Mitch Duszynski. I think eventually, we’ll have the pattern embroidered on jackets and hats for our members. And we have an informational blog at illinihightwelve.blogspot.com and you’ll find the Illini High Twelve on Facebook, too. Shortly after our charter meeting, I send a letter out to all the local lodges (about 25 were on the mailing list) telling them about our club, what we do, when we meet, and encouraging them to join us for lunch. We also use Call-Em-All to remind our members of our monthly meetings a few days in advance.
So we’ve been working hard on getting the word out about our new club. And it’s paying off. Our membership is growing—we’re up to 38 members. We’ve enjoyed very good attendance at our first two meetings, and have had two very good speakers. Our Secretary, Greg Knott, has done a phenomenal job at lining up speakers. In June, Gordy Hulten, the Champaign County Clerk spoke to us about his office. Last month, we enjoyed a visit from Dr. Tom Ramage, the President of Parkland College. This month, Greg has invited Brad Uken, the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau to speak. And we have more speakers lined up.
Our club is rather unique in its goals. The idea in the beginning was to use it to promote Freemasonry in the community, and in particular amongst the faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois. We also want to use the club to help new members of our fraternity network and make new friends—help get them engaged and involved in our fraternity early on. We encourage our members to not only bring their spouses, but to bring a friend from work who they think might make a good Mason, or an Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, or newly-raised Master Mason from their lodge.
We have a lot of fun in these meetings, and we keep it very informal. Many of our members and guests work, so it’s always “come as you are,” nobody gets upset if you had trouble getting away from the job and walk in late, or have to leave early to get back to work. We keep the business portion of the meeting very short so there’s plenty of time to talk and laugh before we introduce our guest speaker—and this conversational time seems to help our speakers relax, and gives them a chance to meet the members more informally before giving their talk.
Our plans for next year? For the time being, we’re going to continue doing what we’re doing. Establishing ourselves in the community, and adding to our membership. We have a very ambitious membership goal—I’d like to have 100 members before I hand off the gavel to the next President next May. And I’d be very surprised if we didn’t reach that goal.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Todd E. Creason, 33°
Illini High Twelve No. 768