Western Star Lodge #14 first met June 1847 and was granted a Charter on January 18, 1848. Janesville City Lodge #55 first met on October 3, 1854 and was granted a Charter on June 13, 1855. These two lodges formed a joint venture and purchase from the Methodist Church their building on the Northwest corner of Court and South Main streets in the city of Janesville in 1905. After remodeling the building, the Lodge was dedicated on December 27, 1906. The Lodges met there until selling the building and construction of the current Lodge building at 2322 East Milwaukee Street. The corner stone for the current building was laid in ceremony on November 9, 1965 and the Lodge dedicated on October 1, 1966 by the Grand Lodge officers of Wisconsin. Western Star Lodge #14 merged with Janesville City Lodge #55 in 1996 to become know as Janesville-Western Star Lodge F&AM #55.
Janesville-Western Star Lodge invited all Rock County Masonic Lodges to participate in supplying information about the Masonic Organizations. Beside the Masonic Lodges, there was information about Jobs Daughters, Bethel 21, an order for young girls, and Eastern Star, Janesville Chapter 69, an order for Ladies and Masons. Masonic Lodges from Beloit, Edgerton and Milton participated.
The following members visited Brother Robert S. Wilson to help him celebrate his 100th Birthday on December 28. Standing are Jerry Thompson, Larry Preston, John Meek and Norm Burns. Robert shared his outlook and past on his life in Masonry.
Janesville-Western Star 55 Masonic Lodge held its Past Masters Dinner Celebration on November 10th at the Janesville Masonic Center.
Milestones of 25 and 50 year memberships were acknowledged. Brother Timothy Zingshiem received his 25 year award and Brother Wiley Kessinger received his 50 year award.
Janesville-Western Star had 29 members with 50 or more years of membership.
Brothers Jerry Thompson, John Meek, Norman Burns and Dale Anderson were acknowledged for their continued contributions to the Lodge and the Janesville Masonic Center.
Wisconsin Jobs Daughters Grand Bethel Honor Queen and her father spoke about Jobs Daughters in Wisconsin and the reactivation of the Janesville Bethel. Job’s Daughters International™ is a premier organization for young women that provides a wholesome environment based on the foundation of high morals, love of country, love of family and friends and respect for others throughout the world.
Pictures from the 01/25/2014 Black Tie Event at the Robert Burns Supper in Rockford have been posted. It was a fun filled venue with excellent food, and great entertainment. It was truly a pleasure to be able to watch the performances of the Clan MacAlpine Band, as well as the Rockford Thistle & Heather Highland dance groups.
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Events: Janesville Western Star Lodge #55 Black Tie Event is fast approaching on 1/25. Anyone who has not ordered their tickets, there is still time, however you will need to get that sent out no later than the 17th to guarantee you will receive your tickets on time. More info on the event athttp://www.rockfordburnsclub.com/id2.html. Be sure when printing you put “MASONIC GROUP TABLE” at the top of your ticket order form. A question was brought up whether a tuxedo is mandatory for the event; the answer? NO, It is not mandatory, a brothers presence is always the best attire!
March 2014 Date TBD – Master's Invite Supper at the Center. As a gesture of appreciation for the membership, Mehgan and I would like to put together a supper for the members and their spouses. It would be a meal provided and prepared by the Master and his lady. More details to come as the planning is in the early stages. Keep watch for details regarding the menu, and the official date, as well as a request for rsvp.
Refreshments: For the January 27th meeting, refreshments to be provided in a potluck style BEFORE the meeting. Members in attendance of the 01/13 meeting have put together a potluck list of items that will be brought. Refreshments will be from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. ALL Members, family and friends encouraged to attend. This is something new we're trying out and the more in attendance the bigger and better it will get. This will be a great way to better use the facility and get in a bit more family time, as well as eating at a more reasonable hour, and to better enjoy the fellowship!
Upcoming Meetings, Degrees and Practices: A few changes coming down the line with meetings; Starting with the 1/27 meeting we will be condensing the majority (where possible) of the business such as minutes, voting, bills, etc to the first meeting in the month, and focusing more on the membership, philosophies, degree conferral, and practices for the second meeting in the month.
For 1/27 we will be calling down to the FC Degree, and doing a bit of practice that night. All FC's are encouraged to attend the 1/27 meeting, participate in the practice and enjoy the Fellowship!
Also for the 1/27 meeting, I have charged each member to come up with one idea to bring to the next meeting for a community activity. All ideas are welcome, and feel free to submit them via email if you would prefer. A few ideas brought to the table already were volunteers for the Presbyterian church that Brother Jr Deacon attends, for events that they hold, donating use of our facility for community actions such as for the new Fireman’s project replacing the Firepup program. AED machine training, etc.
We are tentatively scheduled for our second meeting (02/24) in February to proceed with the conferral of the FC for Brothers Doug Johnson and Josh Grube. I will provide confirmation to the membership once all the necessary details have been covered, however plan for this date as a FC Degree night either way.
I will also be in contact with Jim McMillan in regards to scheduling his EA Degree. I have left him a voicemail to touch base so that we can get him on the schedule. So far it's looking like it will be a March date for him. I will update as I learn more on his schedule as well as where we can get him fit in. We may call a special for this one.
Much ground was covered in the 01/13/2014 meeting as far as exciting new plans for the 2014 Masonic year at our Lodge. I've highlighted a few things coming down the line over the next few months to get everyone up to speed. There will be much more to come!
Janesville Western Star #55 Junior Warden Rob Hanson (left) presents a check to Dean of Students of TAGOS-Jon Woloshin.
TAGOS is a Janesville Charter School that is a Project Based Learning School and has proven to be a very successful concept.
The donation was one of the Lodge’s Community involvement projects this year.
The students do not have transportation available from the school system and they must find their own way to attend school.
Janesville Western Star #55 raised $338.00 for the endeavor, using the donation can to raise funds throughout the year.
The funds will be used to provide transportation to and from their facility for students.
Pictured are a few of the students as well as Rob and Jon.
Information regarding the TAGOS Charter School can be found at www.tagoleadershipacademy.org.