Monday, May 20th was a busy evening at the Omaha Valley Scottish Rite. The evening began with a debate on Nebraska’s proposed Red Flag law, allowing a relative to petition the court to have someone’s firearms taken away, based on a potential physical or mental health threat. Supporting the bill was Sarpy County Sheriff’s Captain Kevin Grieger and opposing the bill was Rod Moeller, with the Nebraska Firearm Owners Association. Both sides presented interesting arguments for and against the bill, though most attending the debate opposed the bill in a hand vote.
Afterward an excellent featherbone rib dinner, Venerable Master Patrick Watson, 32° asked our newest Scottish Rite Masons who joined in Spring Reunion to come forward, and their lady or top-line signer presented them with their 32° Scottish Rite cap.
At the end of the evening, Frank Kroupa, 33°, Chairman of the Cathedral Board invited members and guests downstairs to the first floor lounge, where he and Charles V. Sederstrom, Jr., 33°, SGIG in Nebraska dedicated the newly built bar. The bar recognizes nearly 20 years of service by the Culinary Masters, many of whom are Past Potentates of Tangier Shrine. Around 2001, Jim Parks, Sr., 33° noticed that the catered dinners for Lodge meetings did not attract much attendance. He decided to engage the Tangier Shrine Divan members, who would cook dinners. Over the last 18 years, they have cooked hundreds of excellent dinners for Lodge meetings. Charles Sederstrom, Jr. wanted to find a way to honor them for their work over the years, and proposed a lounge where they could enjoy a cocktail while cooking dinners. Additionally, the bar would add amenities to help rent the building. An anonymous donor supported the project with a significant donation, and Frank Kroupa asked Rod Larson to begin working on the project.
As Chuck Sederstrom cut the ribbon, Frank Kroupa presented a plaque which formally dedicated the bar to the Scottish Rite Culinary Masters and Tangier Shrine. This project is another great example of the Scottish Rite Cathedral Board’s mission to adapt the historic building for the benefit of members, add features for our enjoyment and comfort, even as they respect the history of the 105 year old building.