Grand Master Rick Boyles 2013-2014
Grand Master’s Speech Given At Sessions
Brothers and Sisters,
First, let me thank all of you for allowing me to serve as your Grand Master. This is a job that I take seriously, and I will do everything in my power to do a good job. I wish to thank the Past Grand Masters who have gone before me, all of whom have done a job with no salary and yet in each case, each man has done his best to uphold the finest of Odd Fellow traditions. Whatever your political view, these men should be admired for taking a difficult job and doing their utmost to keep us going. Of course, I would like to thank Past Grand Master Rod Metoyer for all he has done to keep the order on an even keel. And, I certainly want to thank my sponsor and my friend, Past Grand Master Gene Breeland for all of his tutelage and kind words. I have learned a lot from him, particularly to keep personal animosity at low ebb and to view the order with a long history and hopefully just as long a future. He is a great man and I am proud to call him my friend. Of course, I am pleased to have a partner like Paulette Lamphere, and my Deputy Grand Master Tim Brown, and his partner, Debbie Shuler who are all very helpful. I also wish to congratulate the new Rebekah Warden Donna Morrison and Grand Warden Dave Rosenberg.
Secondly, I wish to thank my family, my wife Laurie, my daughter Jamie, who are here today in attendance. My family has always been supportive of my membership in this fine group and is always willing to assist me in my various endeavors. My son, Michael and my eldest daughter Jessica could not attend but also have shown their support constantly.
Of course, I wish to thank my lodges for their support, the Alameda and Fremont Lodges on the Odd Fellow side and the Fremont Lodge on the Rebekah side have all shown their support and I have been happy to serve all three lodges however I can.
Then there are my favorite people in the order that I should take note of. I am thankful for Peter Sellars for accepting the position of Grand Instructor. Not only is he instructing our members he is instructing the Grand Master as well, who probably needs it most of all. I am thankful for brothers Dave Rosenberg and Don Smith. Dave, Don and I formed the DMC committee a few years ago and it has grown to become an important force within our order. I am sorry that some seem to think it has a political agenda. Change is evolution, nothing more, and we must change in order to grow. Both Dave and Don are tremendous members who have nothing but good things in mind for the order. Any resentment that is directed towards them is simply childish, and somehow we have to realize that turmoil is an enemy of all of us no matter what agenda any of us may have. All those who oppose change or oppose the status quo, in other words, either side of the issue, must someday come together and become as one or we will collapse from the additional stress of simply attempting to connect with one another. I am thankful for my friend Bob Murphy from my own lodge. I give him a lot of grief but he has been a great help to me over the years, and a true honorable Odd Fellow. I thank the Grand Secretary Ray Link, who has helped me a great deal and kept me focused on important issues. I thank my friends John Morgan and Randy Krassow for being friends and being intent on doing a job that has many detractors and yet no one seems to provide a viable alternative. Without the Board of Directors, we would be reliant upon mainly the Grand Master to make all decisions and quite frankly, most Grand Masters are not knowledgeable enough to make fiscal decisions. We need to remember that this state controls probably more property, more business interests, and has to make delicate choices that may go beyond the ability of what just one man is able to make.
Lastly, I have reeled off some of my favorite Odd Fellows, and have left one out on purpose. He and I have been great friends for many years now. I seek his advice continually and have found him to always be wise and a great help to me. We like to make fun of each other, but in truth I defend him wholeheartedly and he defends me even though he always says I should ride in his trunk. I wish to thank my friend Jay Johnson and his wife Nancy Johnson.
In the medical profession there is a phrase in the Hippocratic Oath that goes Primum non nocere in Latin; in English that means “first, do no harm”. This is my initial goal. To do nothing whatsoever that would take away from our future. We must stop all this turmoil. We must end all these tireless disputes. No one is wrong. Everyone is right. Each person has their own point of view and who are any of us to imply one or another is incorrect? In order to grow, first we must do no harm to ourselves, we must remember that we are all brothers and sisters and walk hand in hand to our future. Our future is entirely up to all of us. We must carry the burden together, or individually it will cripple us one by one.
In closing, I just want to state that we all need to connect somehow. We all have to realize that the leaders don’t matter, if we just want to disagree about everything. There will always be disputes, but we need to remember that we are here for one reason, and that is to remain a viable group and quit trying to burn our own bridges. Our history is very significant, and should be greatly admired, but we also want to work on our future and ensure that, like our wonderful history, we allow the brilliance of our future shine through.
A New Beginning
We are coming to our annual Grand Lodge Sessions and many of us have hopes and plans for that time. Some come loaded with an agenda of one type or another, but let’s remember that all of us are brothers and sisters, and that all of us wish the best for each other. No one person has the corner on wisdom. No one direction is correct for all of us. I support anyone and everyone who deals in sincerity. We must lose this polarization that has divided our order and agree that together even though we have different ideas, we can still share the love for each other.
The greatest of those who have gone before us have practiced this best. Let’s try and remember that our tagline is Friendship, Love, and Truth, and cast aside these weapons with which we only succeed in harming ourselves.
In Friendship, Love and Truth, Rick Boyles
Odd Fellows will celebrate 143 years in Davis
On Friday, the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge No. 169 will celebrate its 143rd anniversary, making it the oldest continuously operating entity in Davis. Chartered April 12, 1870, the lodge originally was known as Yolo Lodge No. 169 because there was no “Davis” in those days.
The lodge is a fraternal organization founded on the principles of “Friendship — Love — Truth,” reflected by the three interlocking links of its logo. The lodge is open to men and women 16 years of age or older.
Community members are invited to an open house at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St., from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Tours will be offered and complimentary beer, wine or soft drinks will be available following the tours.
“The Davis Lodge provides both a venue for community service and also a social network for its members,” said longtime member Dave Rosenberg, a former Noble Grand and current membership chair. “We often provide our lodge free of charge to help community and charitable organizations, and provide a wide spectrum of support to members of our community. It’s good to be an Odd Fellow.”
There are 192 members of the Davis Lodge ranging in age from 16 to 86, and 28 applicants are seeking admission to membership.
“The motto and commitment of all Odd Fellows, worldwide, is ‘to visit the sick, relieved the distressed and education the orphan,’ ” said Bob Schelen, current Noble Grand. “Our Davis lodge has adapted this slogan to modern times by helping with raising funds and volunteering with such groups as the Food Bank of Yolo County, Suicide Prevention of Yolo County and with foster children, senior citizens and those with mental illness.”
The Davis Odd Fellows Lodge is the fastest-growing lodge in the United States, Rosenberg said, but the 143rd anniversary focuses on the past of Odd Fellowship in Davis.
Established just five years after the end of the Civil War, the lodge was founded by Grand Master John Brown Harmon of Apollo Lodge No. 123, San Francisco. He was accompanied by Elias Driggs Farnsworth, Most Worthy Grand Sire, who was visiting California at the time; Lewis Soher, Mokelumne Lodge No. 44; John A. McClelland, San Francisco No. 3; T. Rodgers Johnson, also of San Francisco Lodge; Daniel Webster Welty, Sacramento Lodge No. 2, Sacramento (who would be elected Grand Master in 1875); John P. Davis, Victoria B.C.; and Henry K. Snow, Capitol Lodge No. 87, Sacramento.
A large delegation from Eureka Lodge No. 4 and El Dorado Lodge No. 8 also attended.
Charter members of the Davis Lodge included Noble Grand Jacob Horning, the first representative to Grand Lodge in 1871, in Sacramento; Vice Grand Frantz Multner; Recording Secretary Charles Hartman; Treasurer Markus Weinberger; James D. Ford; H. Bunkattar; A.B. Bonhan; James H. Clark; John L. Morgan; F.E. Fliggles; and George Pierce.
On Aug. 21, 1876, the lodge members dedicated their new building. Grand Master Harmon J. Tilden, a member of Parker Lodge No. 124 in San Francisco, granted a dispensation to the lodge, permitting members to wear their regalia in public during the downtown parade and dedication program.
The ceremony was under the supervision of Julius Amos Kinsman, a member of the Yolo Lodge.
At the time their membership was 53. The members remained at this location until their new lodge hall at 415 Second St. was dedicated in 1956. The Davis Odd Fellows remain at this location today.
The hall but underwent extensive remodeling in the past few years, including installation of a stainless steel commercial kitchen, new restrooms, an elevator and major renovations to the Lower Hall and Upper Hall.
On April 11, 1970, Yolo Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary. Guests at the centennial observance included two granddaughters of the lodge’s first Noble Grand, Jacob Horning.
Mrs. John Rogers, 84, and Mrs. George Washington Swenson, age 81, both residents of Davis.
Others taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime event were Noble Grand Karl Wuest, master of ceremonies, who died Sept. 15, 1983; Vice Grand Alvin Stone; Recording Secretary John Dunlap, who died Jan. 24, 1979; Treasurer Robert Ring, who died May 20, 1976; Inside Guardian James Blades, who died April 12, 1985; Outside Guardian Norton Honeyfield, who died in March 1986; and Financial Secretary, Samuel Weis.
Members of the Davisville Rebekah Lodge No. 253, founded April 15, 1901, served refreshments following the program.
In 18th century England, it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such and organization were called “Odd Fellows.” Odd Fellows are also known as “The Three Link Fraternity” which stands for Friendship, Love, and Truth.
Today, the Odd Fellows is a worldwide fraternal Order having over 10,000 lodges in 25 countries. We are actively involved in a variety of civic and philanthropic efforts on a local, national, and international level. Highlights of these include:
- The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs spend over $775 million in relief projects annually
- The IOOF Educational Foundation provides substanial loans and grants to students
- SOS Children’s Village provides a caring home for orphaned children in Cambodia
- Living Legacy focuses on planting trees and enhancing our environment
- The Arthritis Foundation
- Visual Research Foundation supports vision care and research through the Wilmer Eye Institute
- United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth
Odd Fellows Valediction
I AM AN ODD FELLOW:
I believe in the Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of Man;
I believe in Friendship, Love and Truth as basic guides to the ultimate destiny of all mankind.
I believe my home, my church or temple, my lodge, and my community deserve my best work, my modest pride, my earnest faith, and my deepest loyalty, as I perform my duty “to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan” and as I work with others to build a better world because in spirit and in truth, I am, and must always be, grateful to my Creator, faithful to my Country, and fraternal to my fellow man;
I AM AN ODD FELLOW!
Odd Fellows Creed
Genuine Friendship, which hears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, is the first step toward progress and personal enrichment, and the teachings of Temperance, Prudence, and Justice.
Love is the basis for all life’s ambitions, service to humanity, and more family oriented.
Truth, the imperial virtue, promotes economic stability, equality under law, freedom of enterprise, the highest of ethical standards, and lasting peace, the ultimate goal of fraternity.
Universal Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God is imperative to the survival of the World, and can be accomplished only through the practice of fellowship and understanding among all peoples and nations.