As many of you know, the annual Grand Lodge Sessions have been taking place in Sacramento this week. They started on Wednesday and wrap up tomorrow, Saturday. Representing your Lodge at Grand Lodge Sessions were the following Past Grands: Andrew Skaggs, Bob Bockwinkel, Dave Reed and me. I thank my fellow Past Grands for attending! In addition, Dave Reed was a candidate for election to the Odd Fellows Homes of California Board of Directors and I was a candidate for election as Grand Warden of California. The Odd Fellows Homes of California Board of Directors controls our two wonderful retirement communities in Saratoga and Napa. The Grand Warden is always the hotly contested election at Grand Lodge Sessions because the Grand Warden subsequently becomes the Deputy Grand Master and then the Grand Master of the State of California. The Grand Warden also serves on the Grand Lodge Board of Directors.
I am delighted to report that Dave Reed was elected to the Odd Fellows Homes of California Board of Directors, a powerful and important position in our Order. He joins another Davis Lodge member on that Board – Vic Bucher – who currently serves as Vice Chair. I am currently the Chair of that Board, but will be leaving that assignment due to my election. Election?!
Yes, I was elected Grand Warden this afternoon. There were four candidates running for the position, so I thought surely there would be run-off elections. But, remarkably, I was elected on the first ballot. The vote of the Grand Lodge was as follows: Rosenberg 87, Astrahan 33, Young 30, and Saari 16. This is an interesting turn-around from last year when I lost a close election as Grand Warden by a vote of 82-75. To be very frank, I wasn’t sure that the Grand Lodge (which is composed entirely of Past Grands and Past Grand Masters) was ready for me or for the “Davis way”. But, apparently they are. (Years and years of declining membership in the Order is a very convincing potion.) Odd Fellowship will never be quite the same. And that’s good. This great and ancient Order must evolve to survive. We have come a long way with our philosophy and our approach. And we know that it works. Our Davis Lodge is active, involved, vibrant and growing. We hope to do the same for other Lodges in this jurisdiction.
I am also pleased to say that I talked with DOZENS of representatives from other Lodges. They are all vitally interested in the way we do things in Davis. (My book on the future of Odd Fellowship sold briskly, by the way.)
Finally, its my honor to report that the Davis Lodge, during Grand Lodge Sessions, received the Grand Lodge Board of Director’s Award “For Growing Our Membership and Outstanding Service to the Community.” Davew Reed and I accepted the award on behalf of the Lodge. Gosh, the Davis Lodge has come a long way in receiving recognition from other Lodges and the Grand Lodge. They once mocked us. But now they award us.
If any of you are interested, I am being installed as Grand Warden tomorrow (May 18) at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Doubletree Inn-Hilton (located across the street from Arden Mall) in Sacramento. You are certainly invited to attend if you have time and inclination.