Sad news from Onion Creek 220

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by RTidwell, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. RTidwell

    RTidwell Registered User

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    I received this disturbing email from my home lodge. For those in or near Austin you may want to keep an eye out for this at your lodge.

    "Brethren, I have the following disturbing report, withheld until talking with Austin Fire Department’s Arson Investigation Division today.

    Last Tuesday or Wednesday, OCL suffered the 4th vandalism incident in the past 12-18 months. The list follows:

    (1) Sometime last year, the lodge sign on North Bluff Drive was destroyed by being cut completely through the sign and two Plexiglas covers.
    Thanks to Bro Troy Shugart, that sign has been completely replaced with a new one.
    (2) Several months ago, there was an unsuccessful attempt to break in through the rear door of the dining room.
    (3) About two weeks ago, someone took down our American flag, turned it upside-down, and re-hoisted it. That same day, the outside screen was torn open and several panes of the men’s room window were broken.
    (4) Last week, the northeast window in the dining-room was broken and a burning “Molotov-cocktail” was thrown into the dining room. Fortunately, the bottle did not break and the fire did not spread much beyond the flaming stopper. Other than the window damage, fire damage was limited to melting some of the plastic vertical blinds on the window and burning the piano cover and damaging the piano. The piano was badly burned but not destroyed; it will be examined tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage.

    AFD’s Arson Division mounted game cameras outside the lodge and many images were captured. These pictures are being examined to determine the identities of the people and vehicles. That examination should be finished by Friday, and AFD will be notified of any unrecognized people or vehicles. The arson attempt raises the vandalism to a 2nd class felony, and any charges brought will be prosecuted as such.

    Discussions are ongoing to provide the best possible security for the lodge. A new rear steel dining-room door has been ordered and will be installed soon. Motion-activated outside lights and noise- and motion-activated inside sensors are being evaluated; options for alarm monitoring services are also being investigated. If any brother is in the alarm business, we would appreciate your input to possible solutions.

    Tomorrow, a similar message will go out to other lodges in the area to be alert for vandalism. There have been reports of some anti-Masonic leaflets being posted on some other lodges, but we believe the OCL vandalism is the most serious so far. Further info will be provided as it develops. Any practical suggestions and your prayers will be sincerely appreciated."

    For those of you who may not know OCL is the 2nd oldest lodge building in the state still in use today. It is also one of the oldest public school houses in Texas.
     
  2. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    Sad news indeed. I will keep everyone in my thoughts and prayers. I would check into an alarm system. There are many out there with some great add-ons. There are cameras available that will allow you to see what the camera sees from a different location. Also, I would check into seeing if the police could do some extra patrols around the building throughout the night. An increased police presence may help deter some of it. I have a friend in the alarm business and I will check with him to see what he would recommend.
     
  3. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Sad news indeed. Would hate to lose such a historical building.
     
  4. RTidwell

    RTidwell Registered User

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    OCL is a State Historical site so we are limited to what we can and can not do. We are set off from the road and in a somewhat secluded spot. How ever we do have several police officers that visit our grounds during the day and night as a place to fill out their reports and such.
     
  5. Jacob Johnson

    Jacob Johnson Registered User

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    our lodge received a packet of antimasonic propaganda taped to the door a few months back. I hope this isn't a growing trend. I'm sorry to hear that the small minded have been terrorizing your lodge brother. Keep us posted on the investigation.
     
  6. Tomlee2001

    Tomlee2001 Registered User

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    Sad deal..... This lodge was instrumental n helping me with my work since I was away from my home lodge. This lodge from a historical perspective was awesome to see and be apart of and the brothers were so generous both to me and the work I witnessed them perform for the community.
     
  7. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    We got the exact same package, and so have several other lodges near us in Tarrant County.
     
  8. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

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    Each of the lodges that got a package needs to file a police report
    If there is no report, then it didn't happen!

    If you find a strange package, leave it alone and call the local law enforcement agency. Tell the dispatcher of similar incidents if they are happening in your area. This applies anywhere not not just lodge. Make sure they process the package for finger prints. If they don't know how to lift prints off of tape tell them to contact Houston Arson.
     
  9. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

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    If it were just packets of misinformation then it would be easy to say the misguided simply lack understanding. But to go to the level of destructive behavior up to and including arson...that's too far and shouldn't be ignored, Police reports should be filed or the individual(s) may do something that get's them or others hurt.
     
  10. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

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    One more thing I forgot to add...The members of the lodge can do their own patrolling so to speak. I'm guessing that some go work early/come home late...maybe they need to swing by the lodge coming/going to work, also during the day too.
     
  11. Christopher Parker

    Christopher Parker Registered User

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    I will make a pass by anytime I head south to Buda after work. I hope they find the responsible party and punish them to the fullest extent of the law.
     
  12. AnthonyBolding

    AnthonyBolding Registered User

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    I live down the street from my lodge so I'll probably walk there a couple of nights to check up on it.
     
  13. Thestoat

    Thestoat Guest

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    Please let us know if the authorities catch anyone, I am truly distressed by this, very concerning incident
     
  14. Hndrx

    Hndrx Premium Member

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    Wow, security cameras are not too expensive and are pretty easy to install yourself. Perhaps more lodges should consider that.
     
  15. tmcguire

    tmcguire Premium Member

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    It is my opinion that this type of subject should be brought up at the next stated meeting. Our lodge received an anti-Masonic packet. It was largely not discussed. However with these escalated events at Onion Creek, I think it is very important to mention these events at the next business meeting.

    Like so many younger Masons of today, I have a largely technology based background where I deal with backups and disaster recovery each week. This applies to our lodges in that…what measures have been put in place for disaster and recovery? Are lodge artifacts safely protected? Are lodge paper documents and ledgers in a fire resistant cabinet? Is your electronic data backed up offsite?

    I sincerely hope these offenders are caught and remain astonished that this type of thing happened.
     
  16. brandon.prewitt

    brandon.prewitt Premium Member

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    You can get an 8 camera system with remote access capabilities and install it yourself for about $1200.
     
  17. SWATFrog

    SWATFrog Premium Member

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    I hate to hear that. It is sad what ignorant people do. When I'm patrolling nights I make a point to at least hit my lodge in Round Rock a couple times a night. And of course i also swing through the Post Oak Island Lodge located in beautiful downtown Beaukiss,
     

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