Trestleboard – April 2019

From the East:

As the Master, I try to keep an eye on everything and everyone.  I always want to do my best serving my brothers. If title and position had a certain pay rank, I think I would be the highest paid Steward.

If anything, that’s something I hope that each of the future Masters will take to heart. As Masters, we should TRY and be the first one’s there, and always be the last to leave. As Masters we are the Guardians of the Temple. We need to make sure everything is in its place, and everything locked up.

Anyway, enough teaching for today.

As the cover says, it’s a New Day for Consuelo.  At least the month of March seemed that way to me. We had 3 events in the month of March, the stated Meeting, a 1st degree, and a Pot Luck.

All of them were successful!

As Master, that brings pure joy to me.  I wish a few other brothers would be there but I am happy with all the brothers that showed up.

To my brothers, that were at the different events in March, thank you very much!!  I truly appreciate it.

Starting with our stated meeting on March 11th, we received the Inspector of the 911th Masonic District, Wor. Thomas R. Handell. Wor. Tom and I are close friends, so having him at the lodge is always a pleasure to me.  He’s one of my mentors that I do look up to for advice and counsel when needed.

That night we voted on the application for Emilio Ampuan to receive the degrees, and everything went well,  which was a personal relief.

Next on our hit parade for March was the Initiation of Mr. Ampuan. Again, this was a great evening because of the brothers that did come out.  To see that many brothers was impressive, and I think a memory that will stick with the Junior Warden for his life.

And finally, on March 29th, we had a Pot Luck with the member from Consuelo and our own Order of Eastern Star Chapter.

It was a good turn out. Lots of food that was there and some good times were had by all.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t have fun because I was in the lodge room preparing for other degree work.
But such is the life of a busy Master!!

Overall, it was a great month!

Thank you everyone who participated!!

From the West:

The following is not something that I wrote. The words were given to me by someone who I have learned a great deal from and can never repay in kind. So, I pay them forward.
 Masons are committed to our public schools because no society can remain free without an educated population. The vast majority of our young people will be educated in our public school systems.

The involvement of Freemasons with public schools is not a new development. While many Freemasons have played special roles, there are three that will be noted here.

First was a gentleman by the name of Robert Semple. He was the publisher of California’s first newspaper and the President of the Constitutional Convention held in Monterey in 1849. The Federal Government had set aside 500,000 acres of public land for California, to be devoted to internal improvements. 

Some delegates to the convention wanted to use the proceeds from the sale of this land for roads, harbors and other forms of development. But Robert Semple spearheaded the movement to reserve the entire proceeds for the support of education. After much debate, the delegates to the convention approved Semple’s proposal.

A short time later in 1853 a second event happened which would also be important to the development of public schools in California.

A man by the name of John Swett, who would later become a Freemason, moved to California. After trying his hand at prospecting for gold, John accepted a teaching position in the San Francisco City schools and in just ten years he was elected to the position of State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

During his life, John became known as the Father of California’s public school system and was responsible for two important principles:
1st. That it is the duty of a free people to provide for the education of every child. 2nd. That the prosperity of the State should be taxed to pay for that education. Throughout the years he fought hard for these principles and eventually succeeded in having them incorporated into the laws of the State of California.

By 1920 California’s population had ballooned to 3.4 million. The growth of public schools followed, however in the years following World War I the condition of California’s public schools deteriorated. War and the lure of higher salaries had stripped the teaching profession.

The public, apathetic and occupied with other concerns of those unsettled times, seemed willing to permit the entire school structure to collapse. The California Department of Education reported a shortage of not less than 1200 teachers and that 600 California schools had been closed.
 Some proposals to fix the situation had been made, but indifference continued to prevail among the public, in large part due to ignorance regarding the growing problem. 

However, one man, a San Francisco lawyer named Charles Albert Adams took an active as well as informed interest in our public schools. Charles was also the Grand Master of Masons of the State of California at the time, and as Grand Master he issued a proclamation setting aside the week beginning in September 27th, 1920 as public schools week. During this time a meeting was to be held in every Masonic Lodge in California, open to the public and to discuss the crisis affecting our public schools.

An amendment to the California Constitution had been proposed which would provide a fixed contribution of state funds to public schools. While Freemasons do not take sides politically, the issue was discussed openly at these meetings and later school officials would credit these meetings and the publicity generated by them as being largely responsible for the passing of this amendment. Public schools in California now had an amendment in the State Constitution, which provided for their funding.

Since then every Grand Master of the State of California has upheld the belief that discussing dangers threatening our public schools is of value to society and to this day the observance of Public Schools week continues.

Therefore, Masonry in California from the past to the present day has been a firm supporter of public schools. We, as Masons, must continue to openly support our public schools system and to guard the quality of the education provided.

From the South:

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is…..

If you haven’t been to Lodge in a while, you are missing out on something that is taking place. Since our first “Potluck” dinner in January, there has been something going on at Consuelo Lodge that has the Brothers stirring and creating a bit of excitement within the halls of Consuelo Lodge. For those who have not had the opportunity to attend lately, after a warm greeting from a familiar face, the next question typically follows, “Who is that person?” “Who are all these people?”  The Brethren of Consuelo are again dwelling together in unity.  Brothers who haven’t been to Lodge in years are starting to come back, and many times they are coming back in groups.

At the March Stated Meeting, we had one of the largest attendances I have seen in some time. On March 25th, we had a First Degree, and everyone commented on how incredible it was to see those two rows stretched out well past the center of the lodge. When I had the privilege of walking down between those two rows, I was taken aback by the atmosphere and sight of it all. I can only imagine what it looked like from Brother Emilio Ampuan’s view.

It reminded me of what have been taught, that we should be, “One sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work, and best agree.” How true is it that Freemasonry has such a sacred band that after many years, one can come back into the Lodge, and create such joy with just his presence and a friendly handshake. This society has Brothers from such diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, opinions, and experiences, yet we have that one common experience that unites us, that one common moment that allows us to leave for some time, and return again, to pick up our tools and continue our work.

Already, for our April Stated Dinner, I have reservations from Brothers I have never been introduced to, and who I look forward to meeting.  In just the four short months of 2019, we have created more opportunities for fellowship. The “Potluck” dinners have been a great opportunity to break bread with our Brothers, and their family, in a very casual atmosphere. The night typically involves great conversations, card games, and karaoke has been requested for the next one.  The Lodge this year, paid for Brothers to attend the Masonic Conference at UCLA. Those Brothers then treated us to a discussion on what they had learned at the conference. Things are changing, and it appears to be having a positive effect on the Brothers.

As we approach the 125th Anniversary of Consuelo Lodge, I look forward to what is in store for all of us. When those that can best work, and best agree, strive to make better experiences for everyone, the possibilities for us, and those around us are infinite. I want to close by personally thanking all those Brothers that have not been to Lodge in a few years, who are returning.  All of you make a difference, each and every time you walk in the door, and share your experience.

Take a moment to reach out and wish them well:

Check in on J. Daniel Profitt – he recently had knee surgery.

Check in on Gordon Cargill – He recently got a pacemaker, and is home recovering.

And we hope Donald Heath is doing well. He is missed from our ranks and the sidelines!

Take care of yourself my friend and we hope to see you again soon!


  • April 17th – Extinguishing of the Lights – At the Scottish Rite Temple.  Your Master is the Director this year to this event. It’s a wonderful evening!  If you want dinner, call the Scottish Rite Center by Friday, 4/12/19.  If not, ceremony starts at 7:00 in the Golden Eagle Auditorium.
  • April 21st – Relighting of the Lights – Also at the Scottish Rite Temple – Ceremony at 8:00 AM  with a buffet breakfast. Reservations are needed. 
  • April 29 – EA Degree for a new candidate.

Third Degree Anniversary

5Thomas Parks
5Jeffrey Powell
6Matthew McColm
10Michael Bepko
10Jeffrey Hertig
11Roy Norman
16James Clarke
18Michael Byers
19Robert Maze
20James Allen
29David Steinmetz
33Gary Stine
37Jackson Cate
39Jose Bautista
40David Scott
44David Sonn
55Gordon Cargill


Kenneth St. Clair
Jeffrey Waggle
William Gregory
Jose Bautista
Dempsey Doyle
Harold Magnes
Ross Douglas

David Shaffer
James Miller
Jesse Middleton
Jeffrey Hertig
Michael Averill
George Norris
Robert Gold
Leonardo Gonzalez
Verl Lobb

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