“A place that goes on whether your there or not, that you come back to and find waiting with welcome. “
The restoration of The Castle continues with unbound, hardworking enthusiasm and continual success, inch by inch, room by room, on the main floor. The work goes on. It is painstaking work, but the eminence of The Castle will shine through very soon, providing all future Omega Mu Fijis an enriching fraternal home and brotherhood in which to flourish and enjoy life while at the University of Maine. A rich, bountiful new chapter in our fraternal history is really starting, and it bodes well for our all-important trajectory vision of our fraternal life to come in the next 120 years. Our brotherhood and The Castle will not tail off into non-existence.
As I was finishing my culling, cleaning, and sorting work in the house library a month ago, one of the last books that pulled out was filled with forty-five portrait photos of our QTV brothers starting in 1874. Once again, I shook my head in amazement at finding them and then thinking that the book in my hands had been in every one of our fraternal homes, every one! It is a great pictorial archive. I read name upon name: Balentine, Kidder, Flint, Bartlett, Keith, Mullen, Ladd, and all the rest. I looked at each portrait photo and thought about the ideas, idealism, and coordinated effort that they exhibited with each new thorny endeavor in our early fraternal years. With tremendous cooperation, work ethic, fraternal agility, patience, and perseverance they always succeeded, and every endeavor was substantially challenging. For their faithful commitment, we are most thankful. In breadth and depth, equanimity and fraternal cheer, they established our fraternal character that we are collectively demonstrating now in our committed, passionate interest in restoring the most distinguished iconic fraternity house at the University of Maine with meticulous exactness as it was in 1925.
It is a privilege, honor, and responsibility to be part of our historic fraternal bloodline, and there’s no denying it, we are moving forward with 120 years of fraternal pride in restoring our beloved Castle. It is intensely personal, and that is the ongoing pulse of our historic tradition of generational loyalty as start a new fraternal chapter of transition and change with historic sensibility and future strength and vitality. We know it. Our previous generations of brothers more than delivered on maintaining our fraternal promise that started in 1874 and 1899. It is a play-off of Newton, I know, but the shoulders of our brothers were broad in our early years with all of the moves they made from house-to-house, and they were broad after the fire in 1924; we are the broad shepherding shoulders now for all future generations of Omega Mu Fijis because our fraternal ideas, ideals, and historic vision remain sound today. For the fraternal life and spirit that courses in my veins, I am so pleased to see the architectural rhythm and order of our 93 year old house being restored, from a multiplicity of viewpoints, with care and dignity. It’s a rather involved process, as you see by the photos, but the effect on all of us will be spellbinding when it is finished because it will engage all of our senses and historic memories, present and past, when we walk through the front door, and we will savour them. We will not be close-mouthed when we see The Castle fully restored and spruced up; I know it. There will be a jubilee spirit of rejoicing happiness from all of us that will create a genuine historic sense of well-being from every generation of Omega Mu Fijis. We will celebrate every beautiful, shinning detail in our eminent architectural home.
Proud to be an Omega Mu Fiji and our ongoing fraternal greatness since Balentine, Colesworthy, Estabrooke, Crosby, Kidder, Mullen, Ladd, Hart, Buck, Curtis, Work, Danforth, Coulombe, Golden, Ballou, Thurston, Rand, Dave Smith, McCarron, Stern, McInnis, O’Leary, Chaplin, McLean, and so many others in our fraternal bloodstream.
Chip Chapman, ’82