2021 Villages Masonic Lodge Activities
April 19 - Annual Widow's Night
On April 19th the Villages Masonic Lodge held its Annual Widow's Night at Lil Bits Cafe. There were 14 Widow's and caretakers of Brothers who have passed to the Celestial Lodge. The Widows are also invited to attend all the monthly social dinners. This is a good time to reconnect with the wives of our deceased members and to keep them engaged in Masonry - a part of our oath. There was a short presentation on the history of the Masonic Widow's Pin by Worshipful Master James Hawkins. One of our Special Guests, Renee Edwards presented and donated to the Lodge, several items including a wonderful Scottish Rite picture of all the Degrees that belonged to her husband, Gary Edwards.
April 12 - Stated Communication
The April Stated Communication was held on April 12th and highlighted a 55 year Service Award. Worshipful Master James Hawkins presented the award to Brother Frank H. Topping. The Lodge also balloted on a mew member and we are proud to accept Brother Marty Seltzer as a dual member into the Villages Masonic Lodge. A great meal was prepared by JW David Windmiller and his wife Madelyn - Thank You.
April 10th - Rainbow Fun Degree
The Mt. Dora Assembly No. 79 Rainbow Girls & Dora's Angels Pledge Group held a "Rainbow Fun Degree" on April 10th. The Drgree was to honor R:.W:. Larry Kent, Past District Deputy Grand Master of the 15th Masonic District of the Grand Lodge of Florida. This was a very fun event filled with a sumptuous meal prepared by the Rainbow Girls and an exciting dessert auction. The Villages Masonic Lodge was very well represented. R:.W:. Kent was dubbed "Lori Ann Kent" as he was inducted into the Rainbow Girls. The Rainbow had a fun time preparing R:.W:. for the event and transforming him into Lori. "Oh you beautiful doll you great big beautiful doll."
March 15th - Monthly Social Dinner
The Lodge enjoyed its monthly Social Dinner at the Evans Prairie Country Club on the 15th of March. A great turnout and everyone had a good time socializing and enjoying a wonderful meal.
March 12 - 70 Year Membership Award Presentation
On Friday March 12th, 2021, a 70 Year Membership Award was presented to Clifford A. Wallon, Jr. by Worshipful Master Jim Hawkins and R:.W:. Larry Kent at the Freedom Place assisted living center in the Villages. Several Officers from the Lodge as well as residents of Freedom Place also attended.
March 8 - Stated Communication
The March Stated Communication was held on March 8th and had a visit from the DDGM R:.W:. Gary J. Gamache to deliver a message from the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Florida Tommy J. Turlington. A great St. Patricks Day meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage prepared by Junior Warden David Windmiller and his wife Madelyn. The prize drawing for the Virtual Valentine Dance was also held.
February 15th - Monthly Social Dinner
February 8th - Stated Communication
The February Stated communication was held on February 8th, 2021 and was highlighted by our annual Chile Cookoff. There were 7 entries into the contest and while all entrants were hopping to unseat the perpetual winner, R:.W:. Larry Kent, it was not to be as the R:.W:. once again took home the prize for the Best Chile. R:.W:. Ed Mayfield also presented a certificate to JS Tyler Langham for completing the Masonic Leadership Training Course. During the Lodge Meeting, the Worshipful Master, Jim Hawkins presented Tyler Langham with a Certificate for becoming a Lodge Perpetual Member.
January 21st - Entered Apprentice Degree
The Lodge held its first degree of the year on January 21st. The Entered Apprentice Degree was confired upon Robert Leon Patrick Wetzel and Richard Larry Alfree. A great turnout by the Lodge witnessed the ceremony.
January 18 - Monthly Social Dinner at Orange Blossom Restaurant
The monthly Social Dinner was held at the Orange Blossom Restaurant on January 18th. In attendance was MW Robert D. Trump, Past Grand Master of Masons for the District of Columbia. All attendees enjoyed a great meal and social interaction. We also had several of our Special Ladies (Widows) in attendance.
January 11th - Stated Communication
On January 11th, the first Stated Communication of 2021 was held. Worshipful Master Jim Hawkins presented WBrother Sam Ramdail with a Certificate, pin and card in appreciation of becoming a Lodge Perpetual Member.
January 9, 2021 - Installation of Officers
On January 9th, the Villages Masonic Lodge held its annual Installation of Officers. Installing the new Lodge Officers were Installing Officer, R:.W:. Gary J. Gamache, DDGM, Installing Marshal, R:.W:. Larry Kent, PDDGM and Installing Chaplin, R:.W:. Edward Mayfield, Jr., PDDGM. Installed were James Hawkins as Worshipful Master, Michael Gaudiosi as Senior Warden, David Windmiller as Junior Warden, Tom Papin as Treasure and Emmett Mills, Jr. as Secretary. In addition, all appointed officers were also installed. The ceremony followed a great meal prepared by Senior Warden Mike Gaudiosi and his wife Maddy and assisted by the International Order of Rainbow Girls. The DeMoley assisted during the ceremony. Light refreshments, coffee and cake followed the ceremony.
2020 Villages Masonic Lodge Activities
December 22, 2020 - Donation to Sumpter County Police Emergency Fund
The Villages Masonic Lodge #394 raised over $1,200 to help the Sumpter County Sheriff's Department address the needs of local families and children, especially during the holiday season. Making the presentation on behalf of the Lodge are (l-r) Worshipful Master-Elect, James Hawkins, Officer Crystal Roldan, Current Worshipful Master Richard Koenig, and Past Master Tom Papin. The gift will help shore up the food supplies as well as help fund gifts for children who otherwise would go without.
December 14, 2020 - Monthly Stated Communication
The December Stated meeting was the final meeting for 2020 and we bid Worshipful Master Richard Koenig a fond farewell. Worshipful Rich made several presentations to many of the Brothers for their work and dedication to the Craft over the past year.
December 10 - Monthly Social at Sammy's Restaurant
The monthly Lodge Social was held at Sammy's Restaurant and a great time was had by all who attended.
November 13 - Grand Master's Visit to the 15th Masonic District
The Grand Master of Masons in Florida, Most Worshipful Thomas L. Turlington, Jr was received by the 15th Masonic District by Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master, Gary Gamache on November 13th. Many from the Villages Masonic Lodge were in attendance and presented donations to the Grand Masters Charity and the Grand Master's wife's charity.
November 12, 2020 - Rusty Nail Degree
On November 7th, the Lodge hosted 7 Master Masons who have been away from active lodge attendance with a light meal followed by a Rusty Nail Degree. The Lodge Officers performed a great degree aimed at refreshing the brothers memory of the steps, duegards and signs, and grips and words of the three degrees of Freemasonry. A short Masonic Education was presented by R.W. Michael Yanetti on what it means to be a Mason.
November 9, 2020 - Stated Meeting
The November 9 Stated Meeting was highlighted by an Apron and Bible presentations to new Masons Bruce Ferri and Tyler Langham by Chaplin Carl King and Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi at the luncheon. Worshipful Master Rich Koenig then presented a 55 year certificate and pin to Brother David Marston. The luncheon was another delicious meal of roast pork prepared by Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi.
October 19th - Widows Night
On Monday October 19th the Lodge held its annual Widows Night to honor and remember all the wives of our deceased members. The event was held at Lil Bits Cafe and was well attended. The evening was arranged by Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi and assisted by Worshipful Master Rich Koenig. Everyone enjoyed the buffet dinner and especially the pineapple upside down cake. Recently widowed wives were presented a certificate and pin. Thank you to everyone who joined us to honor our lodges widows.
October 17th - Rolling Acres Road Clean-Up
On Saturday October 17th 9 Brothers (and 1 wife - Thank you Maddy) met to do our quarterly community service project. After a great breakfast at Perkins the brothers split up into 4teams (2 went North, 2 went South, 2 went East and 2 went West) and picked Rolling Acres Road clean of debris - 5 bags full. Thank you to all who participated.
Memorial Service for Worshipful Ronald John D'Orazio, D.O.
On Saturday October 3rd a Masonic memorial service was held for Worshipful (2016) Ron D'Orazio at the Wildwood Masonic Lodge. There were over 40 in attendance as Worshipful Rich Koenig led the Memorial Service assisted by Worshipful's Tom Papin, Emmett Mills Jr. and Carl King. Worshipful Rich presented Ron's wife with a Memorial Booklet and Widow's Pin and a Blue Slipper pin to Ron's daughters. The family of Ron hosted a wonderful luncheon following the service.
September 21 - Past Masters Night
On September 21st an evening social was held to honor all Past Masters of the Villages Masonic Lodge and Past Masters of other lodges who are also members of the Villages Masonic Lodge. Following an excellent dinner prepared by Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi and his wife Maddy, Senior Warden Jim Hawkins introduced and paid tribute to all Past Masters beginning from the inception of the lodge in 1998. Past Masters present (picture below L-R) were Michael Yanetti, Ed Mayfield, Larry Kent, Emmett Mills Jr., Frank Van Leer, Erwin "Doc" O'Dell, and Carl King. All Past Masters not present or passed on were also recognized. We also were honored to have many spouses present to brighten the evening. Following the tribute, Past Master Michael Yanetti gave a very interesting presentation on Christopher Columbus. A wonderful evening.
September 14 - Stated Meeting Card Presentation
At the September 14th Stated Meeting,District Deputy Instructor R:.H:. John Doucet presented an Orange Card to Past Master Tom Papin for proficiency in all 3 Degree Lectures - a major accomplishment. He also presented a Blue Card renewal to Worshipful Master Rich Koenig.
September 2 - Masonic Hi-12 Membership Award
On September 2nd, Florida State Masonic Hi-12 President Eric Klienbach presented the Florida State Hi-12 Club Membership Award to the Villages Masonic Hi-12 Club for achieving the greatest membership gain during the 2019 year. Receiving the award are James Hawkins (2019 Villages Hi-12 Club President and Villages Masonic Lodge Senior Warden), and Emmett Mills Jr. (2020 Villages Hi-12 Club President and Villages Masonic Lodge Secretary). Also present were Florida Hi-12 Club !st Vice President Brian Zeppa and Merv Harris (Villages Hi-12 Club Secretary and past State and International Hi-12 Club President).
August 27 - 60 Year Award to Brother Richard "Dick" Rickards
Worshipful Master Rich Koenig presented a 60 year pin and certificate and Grand Honors to Brother Dick Rickards. He was assisted by Senior Warden Jim Hawkins, Senior Deacon David Windmiller, Junior Deacon Jeff Lessard, Junior Steward Alex Santoriello and Past Master Tom Papin in PPE.
August 20 - Donation to the Villages Honor Flight
Worshipful Master Rich Koenig presented a check to Honor Flight from proceeds of the Stated Meeting charity basket. Representing the Villages Honor Flight were Brother David Windmiller and his wife Madeline who are both active with Honor flight.
August 20 - Donations to the Villages Elementary at Lade Lake
Several Brothers including Worshipful Master Rich Koenig, Senior Warden Jim Hawkins, Senior Deacon David Windmiller and Past Master Tom Papin were present when the Villages Masonic Lodge #394 delivered school supplies donated by the Brothers at the last Stated Meeting. Worshipful Master Rich Koenig also presented a check for $400 from our monthly charity basket collection to New Principal Gregg Dudley. The school was very appreciative of the supplies and money as they begin to prepare for the Fall school opening.
August 10 - Official Visit of the District Deputy Grand Master
The Villages Lodge #394 August Stated meeting hosted the official visit of R:.W:. Gary J. Gamache, District Deputy Grand Master of the 15th Masonic District and his Committeemen in masks and socially distancing. Also in Attendance was R:.H:. John D. Doucet, 15th District Instructor. Worshipful Master Richard Koenig officiated the official reception. A meal preceded the lodge meeting where each of the 15th Masonic District Committeemen provided an overview of each of the District's Committee's. R:.W:. Gamache delivered a message from the M:.W:. Thomas L. Turlington, Jr. Grand Master of Masons in Florida.
July 30 - Master Mason Degree
A Called Meeting was held on July 30th for the purpose of raising Brothers Bruce H. Ferri and Tyler Charles Langham to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. It was a special Degree for Tyler as his Grandfather, Brother Ray Goad, was present to raise Tyler. Senior Warden Jim Hawkins sat in the East for the first part of the degree, District Instructer, R:.H:. Dale Ducet was King Solomon in the second part (filling in for Worshipful Master Rich Koenig who was in home quarantine) and Past Master Tom Papin gave a great lecture. We also thank Brother Al Wellman of Pinnensular Lodge for filling in as Chaplin. There were 17 Brothers present on the side- line in addition to the Officers with PPE and socially distancing. It was a great Degree!
July 16 - Called Meeting
A lodge meeting was called by the Worshipful Master for the purpose of hearing the Fellow Craft Catechism of Brother Bruce H. Ferri. A great examination was conduced by Junior Deacon Jeffrey Lessard and performed well by Brother Ferri. The meeting was conducted with proper PPE and Social Distancing.
July 13 - July Stated Meeting
A great turnout of Brothers and visitors for the July Stated meeting which saw several anniversary milestone awards being presented. During the lunch and social hour Brother James L. Nutter received a 40 year pin and certificate - Congratulations! R:.W:. Ed Mayfield presented Junior Deacon Jeff Lessard with his MLT Certificate. Worshipful Master Rich Koenig presented an honorary membership in the Villages Masonic Lodge to R:.W:. Larry Duff. During the Stated Meeting brother Richard C. Mills received a 55 year pin and certificate and brother Richard E. Rickards received a 60 year pin and certificate - wonderful long-term service to the Masonic fraternity. Clarmont Lodge paid the Villages Lodge a visit and left with the traveling gavel.
June 27th - Master Mason Degree
The Village Masonic Lodge #394 had the pleasure of performing a courtesy Master Mason Degree at Peninsular Lodge #85 in conjunction with Peninsular Lodge. The ceremony raised Brother Frank Allen Smith to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason as a courtesy for the Grand Lodge of Canada. Brother Smith's home lodge is in Stuttgart Germany. Senior Warden Jim Hawkins sat in the East for the ceremony and a great lecture was given by Past Master Tom Papin. District Deputy Grand Master Right Worshipful Gary Gamache was present to welcome brother Smith following the degree along with Worshipful Rich Koenig and Past Master Tom Papin.
June 18th - Fellowcraft Degree
The Villages Masonic Lodge performed a great Fellow Craft Degree for Brother Bruce Ferri at the Leesberg Lodge on Thursday, June 18th. Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi sat in the East as the Worshipful Master and did a splended job on the degree. The Villages Lodge thanks the Leesburg Lodge for the use of its facility as the Wildwood Lodge is closed for repairs. Following the Degree, Past Master Tom Pappin was presented with his "Orange" card for proficiency in two degree lectures by District Deputy Instructor R:.W:. Dale Ducet and accompanied by District Deputy Grand Master R:.W:. Gary Gamache and Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi.
June 11th - Villages Lodge Donates $500 to Soup Kitchen
Four brothers (Past Master Tom Papin, Worshipful Master Rich Koenig, Senior Warden Jim Hawkins and Senior Deacon David Windmiller) presented a check for $500 to the Wildwood Soup Kitchen on Thursday June 11th. A large portion of the funds donated came from the June Stated Meeting as brothers reached into their pockets and made a healthy donation to this worthy cause. The soup kitchen has seen a tremendous increase in the need for its services due to the Coronavirus and the donation will help the soup kitchen continue its public outreach in helping to feed the poor and those who have fallen on hard times. GREAT WORK BROTHERS!
June 6th -Cliff Bulmar Masonic Funeral
Seventy four Brothers, friends and family attended the Masonic Funeral for Brother Clifford Bulmar held at the Wildwood Masonic Lodge on Saturday, June 6th.
April 19th - Brother O'Dell makes the local news!
Brother Irwin O'Dell, PM, of the Villages Masonic Lodge was featured in the Villages Daily Sun on Sunday April 19th. This was a feature article on brother O'Dell's service in the Coast Guard during the cold war. This is an interest read - see below
March 25th Donation to Boy Scout Troop 113
On Wednesday, March 25th, Worshipful Master Rich Koenig presented a check to Boy Scout Troop 113 on behalf of the Villages Masonic Lodge
March 9th 2020 Stated Meeting
It was another busy schedule for our March Stated Meeting. After a great meal prepared by Junior Deacon Mike Gaudiosi we progressed to a 40 year service award presented to Brother Robert Johnson by Worshipful Rich Koenig and DDGM Larry Kent. Congratulations to Brothers Joseph LeClair, Howard Baker and Thomas Bradley as the lodge voted to accept each as new lodge brother. The Lodge also presented a well deserved Honorary membership to W. Brother Gary Gamache.
February 20th 2020 "Fellow Craft Degree"
A Fellow Craft Degree ceremony was done for Brother Tyler Langham with Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi sitting in the East. There was good attendance on the sidelines and PM Papin gave a wonderful Lecture.
February 18th 2020 "Capture The Gavel"
On February 18th the Villages Lodge traveled to Leesburg Lodge and returned home with the coveted "Traveling Gavel."
February 15th 2020 "Valentine Dance"
Our First major fundraiser was a tremendous success. Under the direction of Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi over 170 attendees had a sumptuous meal followed by dancing to the music of "Bubba the Famous DJ" (aka W. Emmett Mills). The evening was filled with several drawings for great prizes. Save the date of October 17th for the equally fantastic Halloween Dance.
February 10th "Stated Meeting"
This was a busy Stated right from the beginning. The lodge started off with it's Annual Chili Cookoff and to no ones surprise, Junior Warden Mike Gaudiosi presented Right Worshipful Larry Kent, DDGM, the grand prize (for the 3rd or 4th straight year) out of five superb chilis. Thank you to all the entrants. Worshipful Master Rick Koenig also introduced two young ladies from the Mt. Dora Rainbow Girls selling tickets for the Groveland Lodge 190 Peoples Choice Barbeque Competition on March 28th. This was followed by a short presentation from Brother Rick Terry of the Florida Lodge of Research on the "The Only Woman Master Mason." During the lodge meeting Worshipful Master Koenig and DDGM RW Larry Kent presented 55-year awards to WB Victor Campbell and brother Wayne Bryan (not pictured) and W Tom Papin, and RW Mike Yannetti provided an interesting educational segment on the 7 Steps.
Charity Presentation - SoZo Kids
The Lodge presented a check to a representative from the SoZo kids on January 18th
January Stated Meeting - January 13, 2020
The January Stated meeting of the lodge was well attended and was highlighted by a farewell to Brother Ron St. Claire who is moving back to Kentucky; A 40 year member pin and certificate presentation to Brother William Spletzer; and a Past Master Apron presentation to juniorPast Master Tom Papin
Lodge Installation - January 4, 2020
On January 4, the 2020 Officers of the Villages Masonic Lodge were Installed. The new line was headed by Worshipful Master Rich Koenig.
Lodge Masonic High-12 Participation
Libby Whatley, wife of former lodge Muscian Holt Whatley, donated Holt's Tuba to the Wildwood Schools Music Program headed up by Worshipful Brother Sean Wallace.
State Hi-12 President, Eric Kleinbach, thanks R.W. Emmett MIlls and Past Hi-12 President Brother James Hawkins for their service and commitment to the Villages Masonic Hi-12 Club.
Local Charitable Presentations
Worshipful Master Rich Koenig and Past Master Tom Papin present a check from the Lodge to the local Marine Corps overseeing the Toys for Tots program
Villages Masonic Lodge Officers present school supplies and a large cash donation to it's adopted school, Villages Elementary of Lady Lake.
Other Villages Masonic Lodge Activities
Some of the many Military Veterans who are members of the Villages Masonic Lodge gathered for a picture at a recent Stated Communication
DDGM Larry Kent, Worshipful Master Tom Papin and Sr. Deacon Mike Gaudiosi present Brother Alex Santoriello his "white" leather apron
Brother Alex Santoriello "Sings for his supper" at a recent meeting. His Broadway experience serves him well in his role as Lodge Singer
A Rusty Nail Degree sponsored by the Villages Masonic Lodge turned out 25 brothers wanting to regain their comfort level and return to active involvement in Lodge activities. Twelve new members resulted from this effort
Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Florida, John Westerman III, appreciated the efforts of District Deputy Grand Master Larry Kent and Singer Alex Santoriello at his recent Official Visit to the 15th Masonic District
Members of the Villages Masonic Lodge #394 Visited Fort King Daylight Lodge #389 to share ideas and stories
DDGM Larry Kent, R>W> Ed Mayfield, Worshipful Master Tom Papin recognize and appreciate the contributions made by DeMolay Brothers Dan Stromgren and Cliff Bulmer