Around 1853, the subject of this photograph, Samuel Larison (also spelled Larrison), drawn by the promise of the Gold Rush, emigrated to California. Larison mined for a few years and “met with more or less success.” Eventually he left prospecting and purchased land to farm. He settled with his family near the town of Cloverdale in Sonoma County, California. There he became a pioneer winemaker, a cooper for the new wine industry, and a charter member of the town’s Masonic lodge.
“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – Harvey Mackay. My Brothers, where has the time gone? Already it is July, and we are into the second half of our year. While we are just beginning to open the doors to Consuelo Lodge, we are already full-speed ahead in preparing to confer the best possible degree the Lodge is capable of, providing all Brothers with the best possible experience in their Masonic journey, and becoming more visible in the Escondido community.
As Oliver Napalan prepared to be raised to the degree of Master Mason in October 2019, he was sweating buckets. And rightly so. While he’d felt a few nerves in advance of receiving each of the first two degrees of Masonry, he knew this time would be different.
The trades have historically represented a path to a living wage. That doesn’t just mean electrical work, carpentry, and plumbing. High tech and skilled sectors like solar installation, renewable-energy maintenance, and IT support are expanding rapidly. Yet few young adults are encouraged to enroll in the kinds of schools that teach those skills.
My Brothers, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally here. I appreciate everyone’s patience, and their excitement to get the show going. The last 17 months have been something that most, if not all of us, have never experienced. The isolation and unknowing has certainly taken its toll on many people, and it is not lost on me that some aspects of life may never go back to what they were 17 months ago.
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).
My Brother’s, April is here, and with the spring flowers comes the hope that Lodge will soon be open for in-person meetings. This past week, it was communicated that the Grand Master has requested that lodge’s, “Get Ready.” The news has also been passed via the Secretary & Treasurer’s training that The Grand Lodge of California is actively working on a plan to open up Lodges in a safe and respectable manner. The Grand Master has even calendared an in person event for June.
My Brothers, how quickly two months passes. By the end of March, a quarter of my term as the Master of Consuelo Lodge will be behind us. This week I happened to have a great conversation with a Past Master of the Lodge. In our discussion, he made a reference that will now be forever be a part of my year, “The Master’s position is just another shot at being a “Steward” of the Lodge.” How true that is.
My Brother’s, the first month of 2021 is behind us. Consuelo’s first ever virtual Installation was nothing short of a great success. Thanks to the Officer’s Line for taking the time out of their evenings and away from their families to record this historical event. A special thank you to Wor. Tom Handell, Wor. Mike Sherman, and Wor. Mark Doubleday, all of who were part of the Installing team. Lastly, thank you to our Junior Warden, Bro. Jon Rick who spent many hours burning the midnight oil to edit the final cut.
My Brothers, thank you all for electing me to serve as Master of the Lodge for the 2021 Masonic year. I want you all to know that I appreciate you all for having the faith in me to lead the Lodge out of the darkness of 2020 and into the Light of 2021.
My Brothers, Sisters, Families and Friends,
I am hoping this finds you safe and well. The Season is upon us! Every year I hear stories of reflection and it reminds me to look back on the things that happened during the year and how they connect to the past, beyond the previous watermark of a new year.
Thank you for your letter submissions and thank you Worshipful Ross Douglas for building the lodge a time capsule for our letters to the future. This will commemorate our Lodges history. Here are a few pictures, please enjoy.
I hope this finds you all safe and well. Elections will be held at our first virtual stated meeting on December 14, 2020. The meeting will start at 7:30 per Consuelo by laws. Please look for the meeting details and be there to support our Brethren who have worked very hard to prepare for the possibility of being elected to serve our Lodge in 2021. Please look for details for the meeting as the date grows nearer.
Lodges must hold elections each year. Lodges must hold installations for the Pillars who will be serving for the ensuing year.
There are protocols that must be adhered to unless alternatives are granted by the Grand Lodge of California.
Consuelo #325 usually holds elections at the November Stated Meeting. This year, we will hold them at our December 14th, Stated Meeting so that we may properly notify our Brethren of the elections and to prepare for the elections.
What are we working toward as a fraternity? It’s a simple question, but also a complex one— and one that in the past we haven’t necessarily worked on answering.
As the year 2020 winds down, I look back on the things that occurred and look forward to passing leadership of our Lodge to the capable hands of our Senior Warden, Jesse Middleton and Junior Warden Jeff Powell. I realized the opportunity to serve in a way that no other Master has done in the past.
Masonry prepares us to cope with and play active roles in change. What we learn, we apply. We strive to change our internal and external character to better ourselves so that we may better serve humanity. Why I am I starting this article by stating things we already know?
As Master of the Lodge I am continually humbled by the situations that arise. Flexibility in these uncertain times is a must. To be ready to address anything that may go wrong, quickly, is a must. Planning for future events while adhering to rules of governing bodies, that may change month by month, week by week or day by day can cause discomfort which we learn to cope with.
In the 1950s, when the famous touring magician Lee Grabel pulled into a new town to perform his Broadway Magical Mystery Extravaganza, the illusionist always sought out a local musician to help with his most famous act: the floating piano.
My Brothers, one of my mantra’s, that You all well know, is that many hands make Light work. Along the way to the East, I met many Brothers who allowed me to share the world through their eyes. They experienced the history I could only read about in books. Many of these Brothers became good friends, as well as Brothers. As Brothers passed from this physical life to the spiritual life they had prepared for, I realized that the things that I learned from, and about, these Brothers may not be passed on to my newest Brethren. I thought a lot about how we could preserve the memories of our brothers in some way and pass them on to future generations.
“You have joined the sacred order of the Stonecutters, who since ancient times have split the rocks of ignorance that obscure the light of knowledge and truth,” booms Patrick Stewart’s cartoon character, Number One, master of the secret fraternal lodge that Homer Simpson is being initiated into.
They say that you can measure your success as a parent by the success of your children. And by that standard, I’m proud to say I’ve been an exceedingly successful dad.
It’s well established that Masonry provides fathers and sons with a bond that’s often passed down multiple generations, providing both a literal and spiritual link across the ages. And yet, the lessons of Freemasonry aren’t confined to a paternal lineage. In fact, for some, they take their full bloom when applied to the complex, delicate, and profound connection between a father and daughter.
It’s hard to imagine that 100 years ago, when she first launched the Order of Job’s Daughters, Ethel Wead Mick could have conceived of Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” mantra. Or of hashtags like #GirlBoss and #MeToo. Yet for the millions of “Jobies” that have come through the organization over the past century, the concept of young women as self-actualized, empowered, and equipped to thrive in the classroom and the boardroom is anything but new.
One of the things that jumps out at me when I start thinking back on all the experiences of the past year, is the many ways the choices I’ve made of my own free will and accord have brought me and my Brothers to that place where we are no longer at a perpetual distance and we are sharing ideas, strategies, philosophies and stories about our experiences.
How is your year going? I get asked that a lot. Our year has been a wild ride! 2020 is our Lodge’s 125th year in existence. It has been a year of unique history. We are weathering a pandemic, business closures, growing unemployment, eroding tax bases, increased crime and civic unrest and lawlessness. It sounds pretty bleak.
I’ve rewritten this article three times as I try and predict when we will be able to conduct meetings, how we will calendar events and what is the most effective way to communicate. I understand how important communication is. I also understand that over communicating can create confusion in the Temple. I have whittled this article down to outline three major efforts for your consideration.
This year started out with a bang and has come to a screeching slow down. Not a stop. We are heeding instruction from our Grand Lodge. As quickly as we slowed, we will be cautious to not jump to action before making absolutely sure it is safe to do so.
On February 10th, Consuelo was scheduled for their Official Visit. The Officers line was decimated by illness. After trying several different ways of working the problem, a postponement was requested of our Inspector, so that Consuelo will have the opportunity to do the OV in a commendable fashion. Thanks Worshipful Brother Nielsen, Inspector of Masonic District #941!
Consuelo’s Officers were installed on January 4th. I could write at least 12 months of articles on the many things that happened that day and another 12 thanking everyone that spent much of their most valuable assets to be there with us that day. Consuelo’s Officers truly appreciate you being there. It was an incredibly profound experience in so many ways. On behalf of Consuelo Masonic Lodge #325, Thank You!
I cannot start 2020 without closing out the last year 2019 with news of an incredibly fun event. Brother Fred Nassari has, for past years, setup a Palomar Hospital visit. Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls and our young men of Demolay, stuffed gift bags and made a caroling tour of Palomar Hospital on December 22, 2019. We visited many patients that are hospital bound, sang some carols and presented gift bags to them. There were bags for girls and boys as well as adults. There were some tears of joy. Gift bags were passed out as we made our way through the halls. We ended the evening by doing our whole set list in the main lobby of the Emergency Room. The voices of our youth were well received and met with applause after each song. To all who lent your voice to this event, thank You for using the talent wherewith GOD has blest you to bring light to this event.
It was a wonderful year that I experienced… and it could only have been done with my officers and friends.
I’m not going to ramble on…
I’m just going to review the year with pictures.
A lot has happened in the month of October, and it’s all good. I won’t ramble on too much but just give you the highlights.