Volume LVAugust 2008Number 3

11th Annual Outdoor Meeting in the Hills
by Rodney E. Boyce, District Deputy Grand Master for District 30


Above: The officers of James Cochran Lodge No. 614 Right: (l-r) Brandon Christner, David Christner, R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner, Matthew Christner and Rodney E. Boyce, D.D.G.M.-30

Over $600 was collected for Change for Troops during the event.

On Friday, June 20, 2008, the 11th Annual Outdoor Meeting in the Hills was held at Christner's Grove near Connellsville, Pa. On hand were 646 brethren from 138 lodges and four jurisdictions.

The brethren enjoyed the sunshine and dinner consisting of a cooked-to-order N.Y. strip steak, accompanied by salad, a baked potato and corn - all served to the brethren in less than 40 minutes! After the meal, as the brethren readied for the meeting, dark clouds began appearing in the sky.

James Cochran Lodge No. 614, Connellsville, held this special meeting. Bro. David M. Christner, Senior Warden, acted as Worshipful Master by Special Dispensation and opened the lodge with the Unity Gavel. Bro. Christner's grandfather, Ellis H. (Alex) Christner, who owned the property where the yearly event is held, passed away in 2007. Worshipful Master Jeffery L. Murphy graciously offered for Bro. Christner to act as Worshipful Master in honor of his grandfather.

Unfortunately, as R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner approached the East, the threatening clouds opened and a downpour began. After the Grand Lodge Officers approached their seats, the Grand Master declared the meeting closed. He announced that it might have been the shortest meeting on record!

Everyone then retreated and attempted to find shelter from the rain. After the brief heavy downpour, the rain dissipated. Bro. Murphy, along with Bro. Christner, presented Bro. Earle L. (Pete) Miller, P.M., Secretary of James Cochran Lodge, with a plaque honoring him for his 23 years of service as Secretary and congratulated and thanked him on behalf of the lodge.

R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner congratulates David M. Christner, acting W.M., James Cochran Lodge No. 614 ...and the rain begins

During the evening, Grand Master Gardner presented James Cochran Lodge with his medallion. Bro. Christner then presented a donation to Grand Master Gardner for the Temple Restoration on behalf of James Cochran Lodge. In addition, Bro. James S. Roberts, P.M., President of the 30th Masonic District School of Instruction, presented a donation to the Grand Master on behalf of the District School for the Temple Restoration.

Bro. Alan R. Sandusky, P.M., King Solomon's Lodge No. 346, Connellsville, and Chairman of the CDS Building Corporation, commented on the progress of the new Pleasant Valley Masonic Center and urged the brethren to continue with their generous support, as the lighting and paving of the parking lot remain to be funded.

During the evening, brethren were able to view the Unity Box and handle the Unity Gavel, which was on display. The attending brethren contributed over $600 to the Change for Troops calling card program.

Despite the brief interruption, the brethren enjoyed much fellowship. Hot apple dumplings and cinnamon ice cream were served after the meeting.

The brethren of Marion Lodge No. 562 of Connellsville look forward to hosting the 12th Annual Outdoor Meeting in the Hills next year. They invite everyone to join with them on Friday, June 26, 2009.

Who was in charge of the forecast? Dinner time! Brethren observing the meeting

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