Recognition Night News

posted Oct 9, 2012, 10:36 AM by WMLodge 208   [ updated Nov 1, 2012, 7:03 AM ]
Masonic Recognition Dinner
Contact: Bill Locke
Telephone: (815) 476-9525

Wilmington Masons Hold Annual Recognition Dinner

At their annual Lodge Recognition and Ladies Night on Saturday, September 22,
held at the Gipper’s II restaurant, the Wilmington Masons paid tribute to those who have
made significant contributions to the lodge and the community.

Bert Niehls was named “Community Builder” by the lodge. In making the
presentation, Niehls’ many contributions to the community were cited. Niehls served as
a member of the Wilmington City Council and on the Wilmington Park Board. Over the
years he has worked with the youth of the community by coaching various sports teams—
softball, baseball, and wrestling—and by helping create and maintain facilities for their
activities. He can also be justly proud of the assistance he has been able to give to many
young people of the community by sponsoring them for week-end work at the Route 66
Race Track. For the past several years he has supported the adult slow-pitch softball
league by handling administrative duties and maintaining the ball field. Most recently,
Bert has superintended the construction of the memorial that is being erected on the
North Island. It is a tribute to those who have served their country—as a member of the
military or through other types of service.

Master of the Lodge George Roesel presented Niehls a plaque and thanked him
for his many contributions.

The lodge member named to receive the Lodge Builder award for 2012 was Keith
Koca. Koca could not be present to receive his award because he is currently serving
with his Army unit in the Middle East. While Koca’s deployment, undoubtedly, had a
bearing on his choice as Lodge Builder, his many contributions to the lodge were the
main reason for his selection. Koca has been very helpful in improving the lodge’s use
of technology—by upgrading equipment and sharing his computer knowledge. He has
also made significant contributions as a member of the Masonic Education Committee.
In that capacity he has presented lessons on Masonry at our Stated Meetings which have
been interesting and enlightening. Worshipful Master Roesel expressed his appreciation
for Koca’s help to the lodge and asked for prayers for his safety.

Also recognized during the evening were the widows of deceased Masons and
Past Masters of the lodge. As special guests of the lodge, the widows included: Freida
Geiss (Orville Geiss) and Peggy Shepherd (Royce Shepherd. The Master of the lodge
thanked them for all the support they have provided lodge.

Past Masters were also recognized for their service. The Past Masters present
were: Wayne H. Austin (1970), Basil Crutchfield (1976), William E. Locke (1982 and
2002), Allen W. Pflibsen (1999), Lee M. Springer (2004) and George Roesel (2011 and
2012). Also present were Bill Swope, who has served as Master of Peotone Lodge No.
636, and Dean Geiss, who has served as Master of Braidwood Lodge No. 704.
A total of 43 members and guests were present.

Wilmington Masonic Lodge provides many services to the community. One of its
most important programs is the Illinois Masonic Child Identification Program (IL CHIP).
This program gathers information about children to be used by their parents in the event
the child becomes lost or missing.

The children will be recorded on a video, finger-printed, swabbed for DNA,
weighed and measured. All the information that is collected will be given to the parents
for safe-keeping.

An IL CHIP event is scheduled for Thursday, October 25, at Bruning Elementary
School—during their Parent-Teacher Conference time. Parents of Bruning children, as
well as others from the community, are encouraged to bring their children to the event.

Pictured above are Past Masters who attended the 2012 Wilmington Masonic Lodge
Recognition Dinner held on September 22 at Gippers II. Standing left to right are: Bill Swope (Past Master from Peotone Lodge), Bill Locke (1982 & 2002), Wayne Austin (1970), Al Pflibsen (1999), George Roesel (2011 & 2012), and Lee Springer (2004). Seated is Basil Crutchfield (1976).

Bert Niehls (left), awarded the Masonic Community Builder\Award, poses
with the Worshipful Master George Roesel of Wilmington Lodge No. 208.

WMLodge 208,
Oct 9, 2012, 11:45 AM