As I write this message, I ponder the state of our Valley. We are abundantly blessed. We have an absolutely beautiful facility at which to meet. The next time you are in the building, study it. Study the architecture. Study the wood work by placing your hand on it. Study the craftsmanship. Consider what the walls have seen and heard through the years. Reflect on the men who have been exactly like us – look at their pictures and remember that they walked through the building just as we do today. Our forefathers have provided us with a stunning facility. Consider that much of this work was done by hand and steam shovels. I have seen many people walk into our building and stare at the interior in amazement.
We are blessed in having a tradition of over 100 years in our particular Valley. These traditions are important, and important to us. These traditions are the fiber of Scottish Rite Masonry – Brotherhood, patriotism, service to God, service to our fellow man, the tradition of attending reunions. Maybe the tradition of just being able to say that you are a 32nd degree mason in the Valley of Coudersport. These are the traditions that make us who we are. It’s what sets us apart from other organizations. It’s what makes us great. Again, look at the class pictures from the past. Realize that those men had the same ideals as we do today. Understand that you are bound with them in Brotherhood. I challenge you to look at one of the earliest class pictures, and pick out a particular Brother. Stand in the house portion of the building, and appreciate that that particular man probably stood in the same exact spot on the floor that you are standing on. The ideals of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the Valley of Coudersport are timeless.
We are blessed in where we are today. I sincerely hope that you are like me in at least one respect – that some of my most beloved friends come from our Valley. Were it not for my membership in our Valley, I probably would have never known them. Yet, because of my membership, they are counted among my dearest friends. They are indeed my brother. Such a close relationship is hard to find in today’s world. Although we are different, we share values, beliefs and interests. Those who are active in our Valley have become a close-knit group, and that is a real blessing. When our membership total was large, this was not possible.
In looking at the future of our Valley, it is certainly my hope that our traditions continue for another hundred years. It is our duty to ensure that it happens. However, we face many challenges today. Those challenges demand change from us. Membership continues to decline to the point that we now have less than half the members we did just a few short years ago. In addition, the vast majority of our members are over 60 years of age. Our main source of income is membership dues. The bottom line is that our revenue continues to decline, while expenses continue to increase.
Your Trustees have pared down expenses as much as possible. Believe me when I tell you that perks that were historically afforded to your officers are no longer there, and have not been in quite some time. In fact, the opposite is true. Our Secretary and Treasurer used to get paid for their services, and rightly so because they devote much time and expense to the job. They no longer receive any remuneration at all, yet they continue to put in as much time as ever. I encourage you to thank them for their generosity.
Our building requires constant maintenance. Some of it is routine, but some is not. Your trustees have kept up on necessary replacements and improvements. Currently they are soliciting bids to replace the 100-year-old roof on the house. If you look at this roof from the outside, you will quickly understand that this is no easy task. The roof is leaking in many places, and it would be a travesty to lose this historic building because of the lack of maintenance. We expect the roof replacement to cost approximately $150,000. This is our conundrum. We do not have that much money, but we cannot afford not to replace it.
At their September meeting, the Board of Trustees will be making decisions on raising income. I sincerely ask you to pray for the Board as they make difficult decisions, and ask you to support their decisions. In all likelihood, they will be coming out to you, our members, for assistance. Brothers, the fate of our Valley rests on all of us. The goal will be to increase revenues by $60,000 annually. This simply must be done to balance our budget. Our assessment to Supreme Council and the Council of Deliberation is 64,040.00 annually.
We will also be renewing our Capital Funds Campaign. This will be a drive to raise enough money to invest, so we can fund building repairs from the interest. More information will be coming out on this shortly.
Please don’t forget to support our Sportsman’s Bash on October 7th. Brothers, this is of extreme importance, as this event produces in the neighborhood of $50,000 annually. Please sell tickets; please buy tickets; please show up on the 7th and volunteer to help.
I encourage all members to attend the quarterly meeting on September 20th at the Knox Lodge. This is your organization. We will be holding a special election to elect a Treasurer. This is necessary to replace our dear departed Brother, Ill. David L. Gelder, 330.. In addition, stay tuned and I will share details of the decisions that are made.
Brothers, we are indeed abundantly blessed. It our duty to afford that opportunity to future members of the Valley of Coudersport. Thank you in advance for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the quarterly meeting, a promotional dinner or the October reunion.
Doors Open at 5:30PM - At the Coudersport Consistory
Drawing starts at 6:30PM
Tickets are available at the Consistory Office
Tickets must be paid in full by February 1, 2018.
$50.00 per ticket
All members with 300 Club tickets, please
return them as soon as you can, we need to get a head count ASAP for the meal.
Giant Sportsman's Raffle
100 Firearms and $10,000 Cash
*100 guns will be given away in 100 days for $100*
Plus Day 101 will be the drawing for $10,000 Cash
Tickets AVAILABLE NOW!!
ONLY 1,000 TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE!!
Winners determined by the Pennsylvania Pick 3 evening drawing.
Drawing runs April 1, 2018 thru July 10, 2018
$10,000 Cash Prize drawing on July 10, 2018
Tickets may be purchased from the
Coudersport Consistory Office, by
mail or you can pay by credit card.
The Observance of the Solemn Ceremonial Feast of the Paschal Lamb”
The Story of the Crucifixion
Saturday, March 17, 2018
One Showing—3:00PM Tickets—$3.00 each
Roast Beef Dinner to follow in the dining room.
Tickets $12.00 each
Dinner Reservations MUST be made by March 9, 2018.
Produced by Coudersport Consistory Players and Passion Play Choir.
Location: 111 E 2nd St., Coudersport, PA 16915 or
Call 1-800-980-8490 for Tickets
(Tickets will be available in office by Feb. 15th.)
March 21, 2018
Leon M. Abbott Scholarships provide financial support for the continuing education of young men and women from Scottish Rite families and Masonic related youth groups. Since 1951, more than $3 Million has been awarded to students from each state of the Northern Jurisdiction.
Scholarship applicants must be accepted at an accredited college or university and be currently enrolled as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior and the child of a Scottish Rite Mason in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, they may also be a member of a youth organization sponsored by the Masonic fraternally or a graduate of one of the 32nd degree Masonic Learning centers for Children in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
Applicants can access the following website link to print scholarship application:
APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN DUPLICATE (2 COPIES) TO THE VALLEY SECRETARY BY APRIL 6, 2018. TWO COPIES OF FAMILY FEDERAL 1040 INCOME TAX FORM (AS REPORTED TO IRS) MUST ACCOMPANY EACH APPLICATION. ALSO INCLUDE GRADE TRANSCRIPTS.
Mail to: Coudersport Consistory, P.O. Box 69, Coudersport, PA 16915. (814)-274-8490