“A place that goes on whether your there or not, that you come back to and find waiting
with welcome. “
There are no words, verses, lyrics, or choruses to adequately describe what it felt like to see the library restored, the living room restored, and the dining room restored, as well as work in the basement. It is warm and embracing. It felt satisfyingly wonderful to sit, if for just a minute or two, in the restored library after the dedication of Joseph Sebastian Boulos Library at the end of September. The theme, tone, and atmosphere of the day was one of pure gratitude and celebration. We celebrated the beautiful, dedicated life of Joseph Sebastian Boulos, our fraternity brother, for his single-minded, strong-willed service to our nation. Second, we celebrated, with simple gratitude and satisfaction, the fascinating detail of the elegant restorative work that had been done in the dining room, living, room, library, and downstairs. The brothers who first lived in the house in 1925-1926 would be pleased with how the house has been architecturally refreshed and in good order. After all, what we have accomplished is a direct reflection our fraternal culture and values, a culture of greatness and engaged involvement from generation to generation for the past 120 years. Being an Omega Mu Fiji took on new meaning, and being a backwards thinking person, I could not help but think how the past and present always exist in each and every room in The Castle, a timeless fraternal legacy, a multilayered fraternal narrative, of good men who lived together in The Castle who continue to embody the old Q.T.V. fraternal truth: "Enjoyment, sociability, and the best interest of the brothers through life."
Intangible and invisible, in many cases, their footsteps, stories, friendships, and memories are still within the well-walked rooms of our hallowed Castle. They are the strong, spirited, fraternal roots of our brotherhood, and we honor them. As I looked around the library and the living room, many pictures of brothers came to mind and I just smiled at the happiness that I lived a balanced, full life here, and fraternity life is always a balance of romanticism and responsible discipline, alive and always interesting, and that is the way it always should be. It is often said, “You get out what you put in.” That is rare now, it seems to me, but something of purpose and life-long consequence does happen if you do. That is elemental to achieve life-sustaining success in anything. I will always be thankful for being an Omega Mu Fiji. Second, I could not help but smile because the library, like many other sections of our hallowed Castle, was in a state of ruin, degradation, disrepair, and that we have all helped restore and persevere them through conscientious effort because we care about it’s architectural beauty and historic heritage. Lovingly and carefully, diligently and tirelessly, much has been accomplished. For what has been already accomplished, we are thankful, but for the restorative work yet to be done we look forward to seeing it soon. And, we will get there because our forward-thinking determination will not alter, and the results will be equally gratifying. Our architectural Phoenix is rising. We know this well because our brothers believed the same thing in that intense year of fraternal labor, hope, and faith in helping build the timeless nobility of the Castle in 1924-1925 with earnest, nonnegotiable purpose. That is our distinctive, collaborative character.
It was intimate and very personal for me to simply to sit, for a moment or two, in the Joseph Sebastian Boulos Memorial Library and be simply grateful for the restored beauty of The Castle, and the invisible, intrinsic grace of good fraternal friends. The synthesis of each creates a matchless treasure: our 120 year Omega Mu brotherhood. A brotherhood rich in determinative value and historic sentiment. We embrace our past, yet we are always new, and we are always getting better as the oldest fraternal brotherhood at the University of Maine.
Phi Gamma Delta will continue to have a strong, shaping effect on generations of future brothers, providing them with purposeful direction in the broad range of careers that they are each called to serve with distinctive character and vitality. It was, indeed, a day of tremendous emotion in seeing the fraternal cohesion of many brothers coming together to honor Joseph Sebastian Boulos, and in seeing the beautiful restorative work in The Castle. The visual effect of seeing it all together was deeply gratifying, and I felt a narrative connection as to how the first group of undergraduate brothers must have felt when they first walked into the Castle in 1925: thankful! They must have felt that they had struck gold at 79 College Avenue, and I believe we all felt that way when we walked though the front door, too. Time marches on, and we fraternally move on with a fraternally rich combination of collaborative generational character, and principled fraternal persistence. That has been our way, and it remains our way of doing things. Consequently, we will continue to have a beautiful, generationally united fraternal storyline for another 120 years. It has been, and it is, a great thing to be an Omega Mu Fiji brother, and I know that brothers in the future will feel the same way. Proud to be Fiji.
“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