Labor Day has come and gone and I hope everyone enjoyed the break from their labors while they wore themselves out making sure they did.

Seems like this is kind of a “Ho Hum” time of year for the Lodge as folks are taking vacations, hunting, fishing or just plain relaxing. However, there are some who are working diligently learining their work for next year.

By the way, mark this date on your calendar; December 3, 2011 will be Eel River Empire 147 Installation of Officers. The time hasn’t been confirmed yet. It will be a closed installation.

Our attendance has dropped off these last few months. I encourage all of the brethren to come out and attend our dinners and meetings. Please bring your wives or significant other with you so they can enjoy a night out away from the kitchen and socialize with the other wives while we are attending the meeting. We are open to suggestions from everyone as to what the wives would like for entertainment while are in the meeting. There is a lot of talent in our area and many are willing to present programs. We would like to generate a family atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

Here is another date to remember; October 1, 2011. We will be putting on the “Kids ID Program” again this year in the Strongs Creek Shopping Center in Fortuna. The time will be 10 AM to 2 PM. If you know anyone with small children, please encourage them to take advantage of this program. Please assure them that we do not retain any of the information or pictures that are taken. It is for their personal use only.

Other dates:

Fun night at the Lodge, September 21, 2011. Come and swim with the card sharks. Stated Meeting, October 8, 2011. Dinner at 7:00 PM and the meeting starts at 8:00 PM.


Richard H. Sweet, Secretary



Well, here it is August again. Seems like this year is flying by and that fall is nearly upon us.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable time at the Annual Masonic Picnic on the 7th at Rohner Park. Thanks to all who were involved in preparing, hauling wood and stoking the barbecue pit in preparation for the roasts. We owe a big thank you to all who delivered barbecue and beans to the folks who were unable to attend for various health reasons. Also thank you to the other Lodges who helped prepare and serve the food.

The youth groups did a great job of serving the ice cream and toppings. Of course, it was all low calorie.

Who was that unmasked man seated in the barber chair????

As you know, Duane Plant had made a deal with the four Lodges that if they could come up with $1000 as a donation to the Rainbow Girls, he would be shorn clean. Beard and ponytail gone!!! Well it happened. he is now a new man. Some folks who have known him for twenty years didn’t recognize him.

The big Masonic Shootout at the Humboldt Trap Club in McKinleyville come off without a hitch I am told. Seems like Eel River Empire came in second after Six Rivers employed a ringer to snatch the title away from them. I wasn’t there so this just hearsay on my part.

Everyone have a happy and safe Labor Day.


Richard H. Sweet, Secretary



At our July stated meeting we had the pleasure of bestowing upon Bro. Philip Grunert PM, the Hiram Award. This was in recognition of his service not only to his Lodge but also to his community. Phil is a thirty six year member of Eel River Empire Lodge 147. Phil has been Treasurer of the Lodge since 2005 and has served on various committees and aids in degree work for the Lodge. He has also devoted many hours in an advisory capacity to the California Department of Fish and Game. He also participates in and is involved in many local fish and game activities.

Pictured above L – R: Phil Grunert, Diane Grunert and Jim Widdoes who acted as Master of Ceremonies.

There were eight other Hiram Award recipients present to honor Phil.

Pictured above L – R: Duane Plant, Dan McClelland, Phil Grunert, Jim Widdoes, Jay Grunert, Bernie Kemp, Rich Sweet and Assistant Grand Lecturer David Perry.

We had the pleasurer of having Bro. David Perry AGL, his wife and daughter visit us this evening. It was great that he could take time from his busy schedule to do so.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Masonic Picnic to be held on August 7, 2011 in Rohner Park, Fortuna. Serving will start at 12:00 noon. Bring your own uninsels, dishes, drinks and deserts.

Perhaps it is time to get more involved in your Lodge. Perhaps there are membes out there who do not wish to devote the time to go through the chairs but would be interested in helping with degrees or in the case of the Tiler, to be there for stated meetings and some degree nights. The chairs of Tiler, Marshall, Chaplain and Stewards could be filled by members who do not wish to advance through the line but could be depended upon to be there when needed. Please give some thought to this and if you are interested, we would love to hear from you.

Bro. Phil Grunert announced that in addition to the $1500 donated by the Lodge, donations following the cancer awareness program presented last month, the total has been raised to nearly $3000 to be donated to the “By Your Side” program.

Here’s hoping to see you at the picnic.


Rich Sweet, Secretary



Those members and friends who missed our last stated meeting held on June 11, 2011 surely missed out and the thirty four who attended acquired much knowledge. In keeping with the Most Worshipful Grand Master’s project, “By Your Side”, a wonderful two hour program was presented on cancer, it’s detection, it’s treatment and it’s survivors. The speakers were Bro. Phil Gruneret, Bro. Lee Hopkins, Rohnerville-Redwood OES member De De Cathy and Oncology Nurse Sandy Gibs. All are cancer survivors except Sandy. Each of the survivors described how their cancer had been discovered and what treatments were prescribed. One of the most important things that was passed on by the survivors was to pay attention to your body. No one knows it better than yourself. If you notice something that isn’t quite normal, don’t just wish it to go away, have your doctor check it out. It might save your life.

Sandy was then asked to speak and she described her schooling. She said that an oncology nurse must first be a registered nurse. This training is then followed by specialized schooling and on the job training. The nurse must then pass the oncology nurse examination. Sandy that it was the most difficult examination she had ever taken. Just to take the examination costs between $250 and $700. After passing the test and working in the field, they must take a refresher course every four years to keep their license current. Now we know why there is a shortage of oncology nurses. They are worth their weight in gold!

Please Read. At our next stated meeting, July 9, 2011 we will be presenting Bro. Phil Grunert PM with his Hiram Award. Officers please take note; We will open Lodge at 6:15 PM and then go to refreshment for dinner and the presentation. Please be there on time for opening. The ladies of Rohnerville-Redwood OES will be preparing and serving the dinner. As we are expecting a large turnout for dinner, it will be by reservation only. Please get your reservations in early, the cutoff date will be July 5, 2011. Please make reservations with Rich Sweet, 707-764-3626 or Email (Preferred) wb6myf@sbcglobal.net and I will see that your name gets into the pot. Cost will be $10.00 per person.

Everyone have a happy and safe Fourth of July and God Bless America.

Rich Sweet, Secretary


Today, May 21, 2011, was Masonic Appreciation Day at Newburg Park. The Eel Valley Babe Ruth League demonstrated their appreciation for the donation from Eel River Empire No. 147 Lodge in the amount of $5,000 toward purchasing new uniforms for the five teams in the league.

The first pitch was thrown out by the Lodge’s star pitcher “Spit Ball Widdoes.


Rich Sweet, Secretary



Your Attention Please!!!

In keeping with our Grand Master’s 2010-2011 “By Your Side” project, Eel River Empire Lodge will be presenting a special program hosted by our Treasurer, Phil Grunert PM and our Junior Warden, Lee Hopkins, who are both cancer survivors.

Every year, more than 500,000 people die from cancer in the U.S and it is said that everyone has some form of cancer approximately four times in their life….so why not possibly you? Come and find out.

This project aims to raise awareness about oncology and especially the oncology nurse. Come to the program and find out how little effort is required by you to perhaps save yourself or a loved one from cancer in the future.

The program will be presented at our next stated meeting, June 11, 2011, beginning at 5:30 PM and will be followed by dinner at 7:30 PM. This is an open invitation to all Masonic affiliated persons and their guests. Please come, listen and ask questions from the several who have been diagnosed, treated and survived.

The dinner will be prepared by Shirley and Lee Hopkins. I have enjoyed Shirley’s cooking and can attest that you don’t want to miss it.

Because of the preparations required to cook the dinner it is requested that you RSVP prior to June 6, 2011 to: Rich Sweet (764-3626), Lee Hopkins (768-1938) or Phil Grunert (725-3637).

Masons At The Ballpark

Keep in mind the group picture to be taken at Newburg Park in Fortuna on May 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM. All Masons, their families and prospective members are invited to attend. After the pictures, stick around and watch the game.


Rich Sweet, Secretary


“Mason’s Day at the Ballpark” will be held at Newburg Ball Park, in Fortuna, May 21 at 10:45 AM. This is to honor Eel River Empire Lodge 147 for their donation of $5000 to purchase new uniforms for the five Babe Ruth League ballteams, four in the Eel Valley and one in Southern Humblodt. It is requested that all Masons attend with their ladies to be included in the group picture to be taken with the ball teams. There will a Babe Ruth ballgame following the pictures. Please plan to attend and show the kids that we care about them.


Richard H. Sweet, Secretary


I had promised to provide pictures from the Annual Masonic Pheasant Hunt, however, I didn’t receive any. The reports that I received were that there were nine persons who participated and that the weather was very bad. Perhaps that had something to do with it.

In the above picture, our Treasurer, Phil Grunert (Left) is presenting Ron Brown, President of the Eel River Valley Babe Ruth League with a check for $5000 to purchase new uniforms (Shirt and Pants) for the five Babe Ruth teams. Four in the Eel Valley and one in Southern Humboldt area. The shirt they are holding is a sample of the new uniforms. We wish our teams great success in the coming season.

It is with sadness that we are saying farewell to two of our most dedicated members in Lodge and Eastern Star. Jerry and Sylvia Colanter will be moving to Alabama shortly. There was a Goodby Potluck held on Saturday, April 16th at noon in the Eel River Empire Lodge to give them a good sendoff. God speed and best of everything Sylvia and Jerry.

At our April stated meeting, Bro. Frank Cope was presented his Golden Veterans Award signifying more than fifty years of continuous membership in the fraternity. In the picture above are shown L to R, Worshipful Master Harry Pond, Bro. Frank Cope, Wanda Cope and Worshipful Gary Quintrell, Inspector of the 105th Masonic District.


Rich Sweet, Secretary



Well, here we are, the first quarter of 2011 is gone. Where did it go??? Last month we announced that the third Wednesday of each month would be fun night in  place of ritual practice. We seem to have some great hunting story tellers and card sharps in the croud. Of course I belong to neither croud. If you would like to join us, we meet in the dining room of the Lodge at around 7:00 PM and leave when everyone runs out of wind. All members and visitors are welcome to join in. Visitors need not be a member of the Lodge, bring a friend. We need some new blood to spice up the action. We would also encourage anyone to make a short presentation to the group concerning any hobbies, picture presentations, video presentations, Masonic History or history of the local area, or anything else of interest. No dancing girls please.

Please mark our next stated meeting, April 9, 2011, on your calendar. Not only is it stated meeting night, but also we will be honoring Bro. Frank C. Cope III with his Golden Veterans Award commemorating his fifty years in Masonry.

By the time everyone receives this, all of the hunters at the Annual Masonic Pheasant Hunt will have slew all of the clay birds and downed all of the wily pheasants unlucky enough to be in the near vicinity. We will look forward to the stories and pictures of the event.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all and a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.


Rich Sweet, Secretary

March Trestleboard

The February stated meeting was preceded by a great fried chicken dinner prepared by the ladies of Rohnerville-Redwood OES. It consisted of fried chicken vegetables and cherry pie. There were twenty three members and visitors present.

After dinner the brethren retired to the Lodge room and the Stated meeting was called to order with the officers in their new stations. Also, the flag of our country was escorted into the Lodge Room and placed in it’s proper place in the East.

The first part of our year is always a busy time with the offices becoming settled into their new stations and with practices scheduled every Wednesday evening. The Worshipful Master has changed the schedule of practices somewhat and has designated the third Wednesday as a “Fun Night”. It will be a chance for the officers to relax, play cards, discuss any difficulties with ritual and to get to know each other better. All brethren are invited to attend and enjoy some wholesome fun. The time is 7:00 PM and will last until they wish to leave.

Shown above are the Officers of Eel River Empire Lodge No. 147 for the ensuing Masonic year. Shown L to R front row: Secretary Richard H. Sweet PM, Treasurer Philip Grunert PM, Worshipful Master Harry M. Pond PM, Senior Warden Douglas Tupen, Junior Steward Charles Bennett PM, Chaplain Jay Grunert PM. Back row, L to R, Junior Deacon James Holdner, Senior Deacon Matt Ziesak, Junior Warden Lee Hopkins and Officers Coach Ted Lichti. Not shown, Senior Steward Mark Mathis, Tiler Luis Ferrer and Marshall Thomas Atwood.

All of you who wish to hunt clay birds and wily pheasants take note and mark these dates on your calendar. March 18th, 19th and 20th will be the Annual Masonic Pheasant Hunt. As last year the season will be opened on Clay Birds at 3:00 PM on Friday afternoon. Twenty rooms have been reserved at the Golden Pheasant Inn (530-934-4603). They will be held until March 11th. The cost of the rooms will be $60.00 per night, double occupancy including a dog. Dinner Saturday night will be at the Mexican Resteraunt the same as last year. For further information, contact: Jim Holdner, Cell 707-601-1619, Home 707-445-4142.

Fraternally, Richard H. Sweet, Secretary