Grand Master honored with gifts, laughs, and Brotherly Love

By Rich Rygh 

Grand Master David R. Ritchie and his Lady Barb were honored at a testimonial dinner at the Bridges Restaurant in Darlington on April 20th. 

The event was emceed by Past Grand Master (PGM) Scott E. Pedley and everyone enjoyed an evening of roasting and praise. 

Grand Tiler Royce Jones and his Lady Marlene were also recognized on their 50th wedding anniversary. 

Julie Thompson presented Lady Barb with some items relating to chickens (Barb’s favorite hobby) and a beautiful stained glass chicken she made especially for the occasion. 

Junior Grand Warden Joseph E. Thompson had a few stories on his travels with Grand Master Ritchie and PGM Pedley. The Grand Master was presented with a Freemasons Tribute Editon Henry Rifle from his Leadership Team. 

PGM Pedley noted all the sarcasm for the evening was written by his Lady Ronda. 

District Representative Robert Barnett said he loved the Grand Master like a Brother, but he was here this evening to bury Caesar not to praise him. 

Brother Robert “What’s His Name” Barnett gets his opportunity to roast the Grand Master.

PGM Pedley told the story of the night he and the Grand Master were traveling. He was driving and the Grand Master started practicing one of his sermons. He said it was a good thing he had one of those cars that stayed between the lanes, because he said he immediately fell asleep. 

Junior Grand Steward George T. Eisenmann III expressed his appreciation for all the guidance he received from the Grand Master when he started as a Grand Lodge Officer. He said, “I am proud to call him (his) Masonic dad.” He asked if he could maybe borrow a hundred bucks. 

Grand Lecturer Davey L. White Jr., PGM, reflected on how he met the Grand Master and what a special individual he is and how much he assisted him during his year as Grand Master in 2011. He said Grand Master Ritchie leads by example and feels that is what we need. The Brethren of Warren Masonic Lodge presented the Grand Master with a check in the amount of $500 for his appeal. 

PGM Pedley read a note from PGM Dennis V. Siewert relating how the Grand Master is such a fine example of the Law of the Boy Scouts and thanked him for all he does for the Masons of Wisconsin. 

PGM Pedley praised Grand Master Ritchie for being the great man, friend and Mason he is. 

PGM Pedley introduced the Grand Master, “the merchant of excitement” for his closing remarks. 

The Grand Master said it has been a phenomenal time and he thanked the many people he feels he owes so much. He recognized the Brethren of Evening Star Lodge, his home lodge, for all they have done for him. He closed with a “Big thank you to all”.