Trestleboard – May 2021

From the East

Worshipful Jesse Middleton

     Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! While it is not the most preferred conditions, the Temple again has Brothers working together within its walls. By the time you have read this, the Officers have already performed at least one practice of the Second Degree. One Brother is ready to perform his Proficiency, and a hand full of others are preparing to present to the Senior Warden and Officer’s Coach (Wor. George Tegart).
     Coffee and Donuts has now been held twice at the Lodge, and will continue to do so on Wednesday’s. If you are interested in more details, please call or text Vance Johnson or Wor. Tim Sheets.
     While we are again holding some meetings in person, please be aware there are some restrictions. In order to meet in person, there must be an RSVP list. That list is then used to create a seating chart which is used to ensure Brothers are remaining at a safe distance. This list is kept as a record and is turned into the EMHA. Prior to entering the Lodge, every Brother must have proof of vaccination, or negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.
     This document will be shown to the Brother greeting those entering the Hall. He will also be taking temperatures just as a precaution. Please note, there will be no Personal Identifiable Information (PII) recorded. The only things being recorded is your name and a check mark next to it that confirms you provided the proper documentation to participate. It is also requirement that everyone wears a mask that covers both their nose and their mouth at all times. Lastly, if you are not feeling well, the best precaution is just to remain home and not risk the spread of any type of infection.
     There will NOT be any Degree’s in the month of May. I find it is best to take May and practice the Degree’s with officers and knock the Proficiencies out of the way. I personally believe its a disservice to the candidate to perform a Degree while wearing a mask. If, after the late-June, we still have to wear a mask and continue to perform these cautious steps prior to every meeting, for this candidates that are interest, we will perform their degree in alignment with restrictions imposed upon us.
     In the meantime, Stated Meeting’s and committee Meetings will remain virtual. The intention here is to continue to have our Brothers from out of state or who are on travel continue to join our meetings.
     On the lighter side, there are two events being planned for late-June, one that I will be considering our Grand Re-Opening. I am still holding this a bit tight to the vest, but i assure you, you will want to keep an eye out for emails and such, with further instructions. This reminds me! Please, go into imember and make sure your information is up-to-date and that we have your correct email address. There are other events as the year goes on that will be taking place, and I want to make sure everyone is receiving the information.
     For Charity, we are currently looking into helping a couple of local schools as the end of the year comes. Right now, we have reached out to a local school that was in need of. “Earbuds” and microphones in order for their students to more effectively complete their schoolwork. Also, to finish off the school year, we will be looking into again paying off school lunch balances for a local school.
     Both of these projects have been brought to our attention or started, and made easier by Worshipful Tracy Reynolds who continues to do his part, even though we don’t see him as much as we may want to. If you see him, and or talk to him, please thank him for his service and continued Charity with the schools.
     Lastly, thank you to the Brother’s who have been reaching out to me via email and phone calls to discuss their thoughts and concerns. I truly appreciate those conversations. Those conversations are what move the Lodge along, allowing it to grow and prosper. Please continue to bear with us, we are making progress. Sometimes it is best to take baby-steps and slowly roll-out a plan than it is to just jump in head first and have to figure it out out while also stemming off situations that could have been prevented. The light at the end of the tunnel is here, we just need to ensure we continue to progress in a safe and professional manner. As I’ve said before, we all have an opportunity before us as we begin to re-open the Lodge. If you want to leave your mark on the future of the Lodge you must begin to act. Pleased continue to stay safe and healthy. I look forward to seeing you all, in-person, very shortly.

From the West

Bro. Jeff Powell

     As I have written about several times before, my occupation often has me traveling to various parts of the world. Last month, my vocation location was in the Baltimore / Washington DC area, for the the duration of about three weeks. When I first found out that I would be traveling to the East coast, I was hoping that I would have some time to look around, do some sightseeing, and essentially become a tourist for a day or two. In Washington DC, there are two specific places that have been on my bucket list for a while; the Scottish Rite House of the Temple and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. One thing that I had wanted to see at the House of the Temple, is the Albert Pike museum. Unfortunately the House of theTemple was not open any of the days that I would have been able to visit, and remains on my bucket list.
     One thing I enjoy doing, even when I am not traveling, is looking around for things that might be Masonic or even closely related to Masonry. When driving around in Maryland near the building that i was working at, I noticed a “Odd Fellows” building, which had a meeting hall upstairs and a retail store front downstairs. This building remained me of Santa Maria Lodge in Ramona, and also about how the original Consuelo Lodge on Grand Avenue must have been, which incidentally was also shared with the Odd Fellows. I didn’t really stumble across anything else Masonic in the area, but of the street and town names indicated that the original settles in the area were probably Masons.
     Also, while were on the topic, when I arrived at the office that I was to spend the next three weeks at, I did what probably what every Mason would have done. I looked around the parking lot to see if any of the cars had any Masonic emblems affixed to them. There was one, which meant to me that I would working with at least one Mason during my trip. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and i found out that vehicle belonged to the ex-wife of Mason and she hadn’t removed the logo.
     Anyway, I did end up having a free day where i could tour the George Washington Memorial. Due to the pandemic, unfortunately the tour had been shortened and did not include the actual tower, but I was still grateful to have a partial tour which included three lodges, a theatre, and a museum.
     One of these lodges is a replica of the lodge where George Washington served as Master. I don’t want to include too many spoilers, as to encourage others to visit if they can, but the place is amazing. In the museum, there is a section for each of the US presidents who were Masons. A couple of the items in the museum which I found most interesting to me was a huge block of stone transported from a Jerusalem quarry, and brick from 1792 which contained a Masons Mark and was removed from the White House during the renovation in 1950. I will go back someday and catch the ‘full’ tour.

From the South

Bro. Jon Gary Rick

     My Brothers, I stepped foot into our Lodge room for the first time in nearly a year. I heard our ritual ring out in our hall and I instantly felt at home. On May 1st, many of the officers of Consuelo met under strict guidelines for a degree practice. The last time this occurred was on March 1st 2020, a total of 436 days prior. That date holds significance for me as the following evening, I was honored with the privilege of welcoming Brother Fattouch into our Lodge by obligating him in the First Degree of Masonry; something I had never done before, I of course didn’t know it at the time, but that would be the last degree we would confer that year.
     After what has seemed like an eternity, we finally have a way forward; to once again meet. The process is not easy, the requirements can be uncomfortable, but let me assure you that the end result is well worth it.
     We have many amazing Entered Apprentices & Fellow Crafts who have been waiting a time with patience to return their proficiencies in order to take their next step in Masonry. I humbly implore you, that when the time comes, if you’re able, please join myself and the other officers by supporting these brothers and celebrate all their effort at the lodge by hearing their work.
     This simple action, your presence, will help build momentum within the Lodge that will have a lasting impact in the months and perhaps years to come. As we move forward, we do so together as Brother’s.
     If you need any assistance meeting any of the requirements to attend lodge safely, please let me know. I will do everything within my ability to aid and support you so I can see your handsome faces again (even if they’re slightly covered by a mask).

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