Buddy's Tattoo Shop
Newport, Rhode Island
Happy New Year. The final page of our 148th fraternal year has turned, and we are now into our 149th year. The arc of our fraternal story continues to grow, and by all signs, undergraduate and graduate, forever linked, it is going to be an exceptional year. We all share in a fraternal history, a fraternal fellowship, that only grows richer in meaning as the years pass. We are all keenly aware of our history at the University of Maine, and we are, rightly so, proud of that history. Upon that fact there is no debate, and I am unequivocally sure that we are all thankful for whatever motivation, coincidence, circumstance, brought all of us to the front door of the Castle to start the pledging-initiatory journey to become Omega Mu brothers. In any case, thank God you went through the front door to become Omega Mu brothers, and in so doing becoming part of the historic lore of our fraternal brotherhood at Maine, steady and true since 1848, 1874, 1899, an unbroken fraternal chain. The brotherhood that we know and love today is the same as the love that the Q. T. V. brothers felt when they all sat together in front of the first Q. T. V. Chapter Hall. Our brotherhood is a living fraternal tradition, and it has been dear to the hearts of generations upon generations of men. And, as such, we are unique, and that is a wonderful testament to our collective resilience, perseverance and determination. With that being said, with our success in the past and present, we will continue to be a vibrant brotherhood 100 years from now. Alive and well, our rich fraternal heritage will continue. Be proud of that, that is all.
The fraternal evidence of our rich history is a point of pride for all of us. Happily, we walked through the front door of the Castle. Happily, we all lived together in the Castle. Happily, and with deep gratitude, we return to the Castle to see life-long friends in the beautiful architectural space of our home, the Castle. Our Omega Mu brotherhood and the Castle, our historically great, durable, and indispensable union for joy through life. A simple truth that started with a simple Q.T.V. catchphrase: “Enjoyment, sociability, and the best interests of the brothers through life.”
We are a tradition-grounded brotherhood, and we have been since our beginning. In various modified forms, traditions, rites, and events have shaped and defined the fraternal culture and fabric of our brotherhood since our Q.T.V. years. Good fraternal traditions have created our fraternal vitality and stability. Some of our traditions and events have been sincere and formal in nature, others had daily significance, and some have been nothing more than madcap escapades and easy-going pranks. They created a joyous fraternal spirit, in and out of the house, and unconditional fraternal fidelity. Generations of brothers shared in all of them, and all of them were enriching. They showed the soul of our brotherhood, and they created a positive fraternal camaraderie, a bond of friendship, that does last for life. In truth, traditions positively influenced our fraternal life with unwavering spirit, and we remember each of them with a smile. Consequently, viewed through the long lens of history, that is an unqualified good thing, and it continues to be that way today. Our good fraternal life would simply not have been what it was without them, and there is no way of overstating that reality.
With that in mind, our traditions are the source of our living memory, and one thing is historically clear about each of them: living in the Castle was not a dull life because of them. Most importantly, we did not discuss whether our traditions were relevant, old-fashioned, or out-dated. On the contrary, we cherished all of them. And, perhaps, it is not too far-reaching to say that they did shape us for the better; I believe they did. They certainly did not hurt, and we lived with a strong collective sense of well-being. Taken all together then, we all experienced something unique and enjoyable because of the fraternal rhythmic structure of our daily, monthly, and seasonal traditions. They were all equally important, and they all had a shaping expressive effect in making our fraternal life really enjoyable. Living in the Castle was a seminal time in our lives that we do not regret, nor should we, and generation to generation our fraternal traditions have been, and they will continue to be, the underlying thread of our preeminent success at the University of Maine. We are a proud fraternal brotherhood, and we continue to deepen our historic roots with every new generation of Omega Mu Fiji undergraduates.
As we are several years away from celebrating two historic moments in our combined fraternal history, we celebrate all of our traditions that have, separately and together, sustained us, fraternally steady and true, since 1874. a distinctive fraternal legacy. In the truest and broadest historic sense, there is no other brotherhood like ours, and for many years to come our undergraduate and graduate brothers will continue to guide and shape our unique, life-long brotherhood by sustaining our enjoyable, life-sustaining, and persevering traditions. To re-state the simply truth of our Q. T. V. fraternal coda: “Enjoyment, sociability, and the best interests of the brothers through life.” This abiding declarative statement still defines us as we enter 2023. The simple ideal of our founders, and it is the heartfelt essence of our fraternally cherished words: "Brotherhood." With that in mind, it is always fitting to look back and appreciate of one of our newer traditions: the spring pilgrimage to Buddy's Tattoo Shop in Newport, Rhode Island. Perge.
Marked For Life
“What if the space be long and wide,
That parts us from our brother’s side
A soul-joined chain unites our band,
And memory links us hand in hand.”
(Phi Gamma Delta fraternity song)
Chip Chapman, ’82