Davis Odd Fellows Club Night – March 22, 2018

Dear Odd Fellows and Pledges,

WHEN:  Tomorrow evening, March 22, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Lower Hall, Davis Odd Fellows Lodge.

WHO:  Members and Pledges, and their Guests, are cordially invited.

WHAT: Thursday evening’s “Club Night at the Lodge” features: (1) Dinner at the Lodge. It’s a crowd favorite, prepared by our Chefs Sarun and Michael –  Lasagne (both Meat Lasagne and Vegetarian Lasagne), Greed Salad, House-Made Dressing, Garlic Bread. Delicioso! Dinner will be available soon after 6:05 p.m. (2) Our Full Bar will be open with a complete selection of mixed drinks, spirits, craft beers and wines. (3) Trivia Night. Trivia Master Raleigh Klein will return and will challenge you with three rounds of Trivia, including prizes for the winning tables.Trivia starts around 6:35 p.m. (4) Social Time. There will be plenty of time to chat and socialize with your Lodge mates. (5) Jigsaw Puzzles. Lea Rosenberg will supply the ever-popular jigsaw puzzles for the tables. (6) The Big-screen TV will be on with your favorite sporting event. (7) The Odd Fellows Store. Back by popular demand, Dave Rosenberg will have the coveted All-Seeing-Eye sweatshirts for sale, as well as the Little Red Books for sale, Odd Fellows pens for sale, magnetic bumper strips for sale, and Odd Fellows flashlights – all for sale.

WHY:  Club Night at the Lodge is brought to you virtually every Thursday evening – just to kick back with your Lodge mates, relax, socialize and have some fun.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
For the Club Night Committee

Davis Odd Fellows 148th Birthday and Open House

1870 was an interesting year.

In that year, construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was begun, the soda fountain was patented, the first motion picture was shown to a theater audience, the Cincinnati Red Stockings went on tour as the first professional baseball team, President Ulysses S. Grand met in Washington with Sioux Chief Red Cloud, the U.S. Department of Justice was created, the Franco-Prussian War began, the Transcontinental Railway was completed, and the Davis Odd fellows Lodge was chartered on April 12, 1870, in the little hamlet of Davisville.

In commemoration of the event, Davis Odd Fellows Lodge #169 invites the public to an Open House and 148th “Birthday Party” at the Lodge Hall on Thursday, April 12, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. The Lodge Hall is located at 415 Second Street in Downtown Davis. Odd Fellows will provide mini-tours of the historic Hall. There will be music, the Odd Fellows bar will be open for members of the public to purchase libations, and dinner will be available for purchase at $7 per plate.

Odd Fellows came to California in 1849 with the establishment of the first Lodge (California #1) in San Francisco. The Davis Lodge was the 169th Lodge instituted in California, on April 12, 1870 – a mere five years after the end of the Civil War and death of President Abraham Lincoln. “To put this in perspective,” said long-time member Dave Rosenberg, “the University Farm which later became UCD was founded in 1905, and the City of Davisville which later became Davis was established in 1917. Our Odd Fellows Lodge predated UCD by 35 years, and predated the City by 52 years. We’ve been around for a long time.”

The Davis Lodge (then known as “Yolo Lodge” because it predated the City of Davis) was instituted by Grand Master John Brown Harmon who traveled from Apollo Lodge #123 in San Francisco. He was accompanied by the Sovereign Grand Master Elias Driggs Farnsworth, who was visiting California at the time. A number of members from other California Lodges including Sacramento, Mokelumne Hill, Eureka and other locations also attended. The first Noble Grand of the Davis Lodge was Jacob Horning.

In 1876, the Odd Fellows dedicated their first Lodge Hall located on G Street. There was a downtown parade and the Odd Fellows wore their regalia during the parade and dedication ceremony. At the time, the Davis Odd Fellows numbered 53 members. The Odd Fellows remained at the G Street location until 1956 when they sold the building to the Masons, and moved into their current location on Second Street.

On April 12, the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge numbers over 293 men and women ranging in age from 19 to 91, have been in Davis for 148 years, and have been at their current Lodge Hall for over 60 years. The Davis Odd Fellows Lodge is one of the fastest growing Lodges in the United States, and is the largest Odd Fellows Lodge in California in terms of membership. Members of the Lodge are very active in the community, and engage in many charitable and community supportive events, including Second Sunday Bingo, Breakfast with the Bunny, Breakfast with Santa, A Taste of Davis, Thursday Night Live music at the Lodge, the Classic Film Festival, the Davis Chocolate Festival, and many more. The Lodge website is www.davislodge.org.

DMC – What Becomes Us?

You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, goes the old saying.

Sometimes I think that’s exactly what we are trying to do. Many of us look at charity work to somehow make us progress and grow membership, but it’s not clear that this is how charity works. Charity is admirable, to be sure, and we should all practice it, but does it help us gain members? Many will quote the Shriners and their children’s hospitals, or other fraternal groups which do acts similarly inspiring, but if you delve into the numbers in all fraternities, you will see that all groups are losing members.

Why is this? A mix of reasons, of course, but neither the rise in membership nor the decline are influenced much by charity work, unless it is, wait for it, of a directed poignancy. Why is this? Several reasons, of course, but this may be easiest borne out by looking at our history, or, in fact, almost all fraternal histories. Our order was at its biggest when it had its most direct relevance upon its own members. The problem with most modern groups, not just our fraternity, but almost all groups, is that they fail to retain relevancy. Over time, many lodges have, essentially, become groups of one socio-economic level. The lodges that retain relevance have a clear amount of influence on their members lives and are capable of growth. Lodges that fail have lost any relevance to their own members. If you the reader have never been to a failing lodge, I implore you to visit one and see for yourself. Lodges that are failing, are skeletal, full of artifacts, perhaps, but lacking in any trend in modernity. In fact, often failing lodges are a window on our past; they show photos of eras long gone and tell of groupings much larger than their composition today. Successful lodges, such as Davis, Yerba Buena, and others are practicing events modeled around today’s world. The Davis Lodge, for example, does community and charitable work based upon today, such as environmental cleaning of roadways and helping foster children who have “aged out” of the foster care system. Yerba Buena Odd Fellows Lodge, along with several other Bay Area Odd Fellows Lodges, such as Alameda and Berkeley sponsored appearances in the largest parades in the Bay Area, including, to the horror of some regressive members, the Gay Pride Parade, never mind the fact that hundreds of veterans traditionally march in the Gay Pride Parade. Many successful lodges have experienced at least a leveling of their membership by practicing diversity, not charity directly, of course, but practice of a charitable spirit.

We see that we can sustain growth by having some influence with our members. If a member among us is tired, hungry, homeless, depressed, we should feel compelled to help in some way. If we do not, how are we practicing our own mandates? Almost out of a work by Dickens, we can’t house all the homeless, feed all the hungry, lighten the load of all those depressed but those among us who are in need, physically or spiritually, should be the recipient of something relevant from our own lodge. Isn’t it tiresome to hear that another failing lodge closed without even a sign of relevance? To grow, requirement one should be to assist one’s own members in their times of need. Show a sign that we care. To me, lodges close, because first, they have made the conscious decision to fail to care. Lastly, some members look at their lodges as a profit center. This was never the point of the Odd Fellows. We must maintain our lodges, but we are also compelled by no less than the IRS code to assist our members. We are all brothers and sisters, theoretically, at least that is the pronouncement we make at every occasion.

Do any of us go home hungry, or lonely, or embittered? Then we have failed at a basic lodge level. This is not just a gesture to be extended at Christmas time, but every day within every year. Either we practice what we preach or what we preach is a lie. Membership growth is fostered by an exhibition of the human heart, nothing less. Lodges fail, and we all fail, when we fail to care about our own members. I remember when I was still new in the order and riding with another member to visit a distant lodge passing a member who had broken down in her car. We didn’t stop and help her and that has haunted me to this very day. I have no recollection why we didn’t stop, but if we fail to help a member in their moment of need, what does that say about all of us and our precepts? We are all mortal, and particularly those who profess deep religious beliefs are truly fooling themselves if they are looking for a spot in heaven while denying a crust of bread to someone we encounter on this earth.

In F., L., & T., Rick Boyles

Club Night – March 8, 2018

WHEN: Thursday, March 8, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Lower Hall, Davis Odd Fellows Lodge.

WHO: Members and Pledges, and their Guests, are cordially invited.

WHAT: Thursday evening’s “Club Night at the Lodge” features: (1) Dinner at the Lodge. Chefs Sarun and Michael have prepared – Chicken Enchilada Casserole (there will also be a Vegetarian Alternative), Chips and Salsa, Green Salad and House-made Dressing. Just $7 per plate. Dinner will be available soon after 6:00 p.m. (2) Our Full Bar will be open with a complete selection of mixed drinks, spirits, craft beers and wines. (3) Trivia Night. Trivia Masters Kati and Kellie O’Day are on stage and will challenge you with three rounds of Trivia, with prizes for the winning tables. Trivia starts around 6:35 p.m. (4) Social Time. There will be plenty of time to chat and socialize with your Lodge mates. (5) Jigsaw Puzzles. Lea Rosenberg will supply the ever-popular jigsaw puzzles for the tables. (6) The Big-screen TV will be on with your favorite sporting event. (7) Piano Lounge. Lodge Musician Blake Temple will entertain us with some background piano music.

WHY: Club Night at the Lodge is brought to you virtually every Thursday evening – just to kick back with your Lodge mates, relax, socialize and have some fun. The Club Night Committee is chaired by Kathy Hemness and Kevin Sitz.

Club Night – March 1, 2018

Dear Odd Fellows and Pledges,

WHEN: Thursday, March 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (We end Club Night a bit early so folks can go to the Upper Hall to enjoy Thursday Live!)

WHERE: Lower Hall, Davis Odd Fellows Lodge.

WHO: Members and Pledges, and their Guests, are cordially invited.

WHAT: Thursday evening’s “Club Night at the Lodge” features: (1) Dinner at the Odd Fellows Lodge. Our excellent chefs have prepared – Vegetarian Chili, Homemade Cornbread, Green Salad and House-made Dressing. Just $7 per plate. Dinner will be available soon after 6:00 p.m. (2) Our Full Bar will be open with a complete selection of mixed drinks, spirits, craft beers and wines. (3) Trivia Night. Trivia Master Kevin Sitz is on stage and will challenge you with three rounds of Trivia, with prizes for the winning tables. Trivia starts around 6:35 p.m. (4) Social Time. There will be plenty of time to chat and socialize with your Lodge mates. (5) Jigsaw Puzzles. Lea Rosenberg will supply the ever-popular jigsaw puzzles for the tables. (6) The Big-screen TV will be on with your favorite sporting event. (7) Piano Lounge. Lodge Musician Blake Temple will entertain us with some background piano music.

WHY: Club Night at the Lodge is brought to you virtually every Thursday evening – just to kick back with your Lodge mates, relax, socialize and have some fun. The Club Night Committee is chaired by Kathy Hemness and Kevin Sitz.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
For the Club Night Committee

p.s. March 1 is the first Thursday of the month, so “Thursday Live!” music is back in the Upper Hall. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. It’s open to the public and always free of charge (although donations are gratefully accepted). The show this Thursday features “Old Timey Americana” music with the very talented and popular Meredith Axelrod.

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