The Grand Master's Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

     I apologize for not getting a message out sooner, time flies and life is busy. I will try to get a note out to you all each month with news of my travels and anything else I think would be of interest to you.
     First off, PGM Sonny’s Session went very well, the accommodations and venue were excellent. I loved his banquet, especially the entertainment, Sonny’s put together band was awesome! Having John Miller, the Sovereign Grand Master present, along with Patty Heighton, the IARA Vice President and her Mom made the Session even more special than usual. Thank you, Sonny, and everyone for a great weekend.
     I started off with a bang, just a few days after Session, I made my first visit on April 19th, to Osgood Lodge in Portsmouth. They had a great meal of spaghetti and meatballs with a salad, plus dessert prior to the meeting, I managed to keep my white shirt white. This lodge is doing a wonderful job of being active in their community, they gave many sizable scholarships out and are very proud of sponsoring a Little League team. Their lodge hall is beautiful, well kept up with nice grounds which they are very proud of. Thank you, Osgood Lodge, for your courtesies and honors, I look forward to seeing you all again.
     On April 21st, I attended the NNEPM Department Council Annual Meeting in Dover, at the Wecohamet Lodge Hall. While it was attended lightly, only 15 (plus 1), I was happy to have been present. This was my first Department Council meeting, being a veteran myself, I enjoyed seeing the uniforms and military drill & ceremony during the meeting. BG Dennis Couturier and his staff held a great meeting. It was also great meeting the GMC, Gen Ken Lasswell and listening to his message. Thank you, Dennis,
your staff, and NNE Members, for your welcoming and all courtesies. The LAPM also had their Annual Meeting, I was very happy to have been able to visit with them, Thank you Lady Joyce Higgins, to your staff and members. It is always my pleasure seeing you all. A great lunch was had also.
     On April 22nd, my family and I had a great vacation in Florida……. But even a week isn’t long enough.
     Next up, Sovereign Grand Rep Kevin Taylor and I made the trip to the 85th Annual Pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Washington D.C., on May 4-6. We met up with Joyce Higgins in Wells, ME and then we jumped aboard the Maine IOOF Chartered Bus. It was great traveling with them all, like one big family. Kevin and I networked with many brothers and sisters from many jurisdictions at the Hilton Hotel in Arlington, VA. Our room was on the 22nd floor, with a pretty good view. On the 6th, we attended the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Words alone can’t describe what it felt like to represent NH along with Kevin, Joyce and BG Dennis Couturier. Even though only the SGM lays a wreath at the Tomb and all the Jurisdictions lay theirs below at the bottom of the stairs, this was one of the highest honors I’ve attended to in my life. Thinking of all the men and women buried at the cemetery brings tears of respect and love to my eyes, without their sacrifice, we wouldn’t be who we are today. If you have never visited Arlington National Cemetery, I recommend that you do. On the way home, the bus stopped at Kevin’s favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel, now it’s one of mine too! Thank you to the Maine brothers and sisters and to the bus company, for a safe and fun ride to and from DC!
     On May 11 & 12th, the Grand Encampment of NH held their Annual Session in Keene. The session had to be moved to Paquoig Lodge in Marlborough on Saturday due to a scheduling issue. Thank you Paquoig, your Lodge Hall is a special place. Grand Patriarch Chester had a good session. Congrats to Marcia Whitney on being elected the GP for 2018-2019, good luck with your year! Thank you for all courtesies.
     Lastly, I visited Eaton Park on the Annual Clean-up Weekend, May 19th. I showed up a bit late on Saturday to help, but it was raining. The gang there had done a lot of work before the rain started, the park looked good. I believe it will be ready for the campers on their scheduled dates, the materials for the new ramp were being picked up that weekend and work was underway. I was able to attend the Eaton Park Association meeting, it was well attended and much good was discussed. Thank you all for your work and dedication to the Park.
     Wow, that’s quite a bit of traveling…… As you all are aware of by now, the Grand Instructor Maurice Lussier (Moe) will be conducting a Degree Rally at the Sullivan Lodge in Claremont on July 14th. Thank you, Sullivan and Moe, please consider sending your candidates needing any degree work, the more the better. I hope that we will need many more degree rallies, this would mean that we all are getting new members for our lodges.
Please find some info about Copper Cannon Camp enclosed with this letter. Copper Cannon is part of my project, a wonderful place for kids to enjoy the outdoors.
Thank you all so much for all you do, I look forward to visiting with you.
In Friendship, Love, and Truth,
Patrick Doughty, GM


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