The Stated meeting of May 11th 2019 was called to order on the first degree of masonry at 10:16 am. The minutes of the two previous meetings, the stated meeting of the month of April, and the special meeting for the raising of Brother Loren McKechnie were read, and motion made to accept them to the record that no omissions or corrections were due. The secretary, Worshipful Brother Kevin Herrick P.M., did make note that for the second time in recorded history, (the first being by Brother Joseph Rudyard Kipling in 1885 in the Lodge of Hope and Perseverance #782, Lahore, Punjab, India) that the minutes of a third-degree raising, were presented to a Masonic Lodge by the degree recipient himself.
A vote was held on the application for affiliation for Brother Jeff Strouse, and the application for degrees of candidate Garret Wright, both being previously announced in the previous two stated meetings, where an investigation committee assigned, and a positive report returned. Both votes were found to be fair, clear and bright, and thus approved. Brother Jeff made the suggestion that we might adopt a new custom into the Lodge. That where the charge might be delivered to new candidates, by the most recent recipient of that degree. Maybe we have just witnessed a new tradition born, with this suggestion, but I doubt the charge is put to memory while experiencing the degree. As with all great undertakings in life, practice and dedication are required for success.
The first degree for Garret is scheduled to occur, at our next stated meeting on June 8th 2019 10 am. Traditional breakfast at 9:00 am. (w/officer practice, the day before on June 7th) Please make every effort to attend and welcome the candidate Garret on this special occasion for us all, the making of a newly minted Texas Lodge Mason.
Brother John Densem presented the Lodge significant offerings for the benefit of masonry, and this lodge in particular. Firstly he shared with us a very interesting trip report on his travels east, to a Masonic Lodge in Gloucester England. The trip report has also been etched, and lettered upon that infinitely movable tablet known as the Texas Lodge website, in its own post. Visit to Hicks Beach Lodge The trip report, and musings about the uniqueness of customs and ritual under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England, also inspired the sharing of another post, outlining a video documentary which allows you to see some of this uniqueness “first hand-ish”, by the marvel of modern streaming video. (if you have Netflix)
Brother John expounded further, that he might travel to foreign countries and the virtues of brotherly love and masonic exchange, as well as offers of aid a fellow weary travelers in a second and third overture. His subsequent travels took him even further east (and south), to New Zealand, and to a Highland Pipe Band Championship Competition. He duly noted, the Local Masonic Lodge took out an advertisement in the event program and stumbled upon the Lodge booth at the event. He and made fast friends and offered our hospitality here in California, should they ever travel west (and north).
John extolled yet a third dimension of hospitality to travelers, in the form of a generous gift and proposal. In travels closer to home, in Sonora California, John was inspired by a sidewalk bench. Whose dedicating plaque offers a moment of rest, and hopefully reflection, to passers-by. John has graciously offered to gift such a bench to the Lodge, to be procured or built, that it be fastened to the porch of Texas Lodge, for fellow weary travelers to enjoy, that they might rest and refresh themselves.
As the plaque states: “This bench is dedicated to the weary traveler that he might sit down to rest and refresh himself”.
Our Worshipful Master Raymond E. Hill IV shared with us a touching story, whereby, he first connected with the Texas Lodge building itself and sat on its front steps before he stood as just and upright Mason.
Worshipful Ray spoke of a weekly ritual or habit of sorts, whereby he rode his bicycle with his kids downtown San Juan, and was caused to stop each weekend, on the first step of our Lodge. There was something about this building, its history, and the energy within it, which drew him toward us. His seeking respite on our front stairs was often to share an ice cream refreshment with his children or enjoy a moment of shade from the hot summer sun’s reflection.
Our Worshipful Inspector B.J. McCuiston offered some thoughts on The Knights of St. Andrew, and the presence & connection with the Highland Games held in Pleasanton on August 31st-Sept 1st. He also offered some thoughts on an upcoming family reunion trip to Texas, with attendance of the Most Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. It was noted the McCuiston Family’s deep connection with early Masonry in Texas, and the connection with the founding fathers of Tx Lodge No.46 of California.
B.J. also offered a discourse upon the virtues of Masonic traveling, brotherly love, and offered us a great saying “When traveling, a fellow Mason is a friend, you have not yet met”.
Brother Wayne Heimsoth offered us the Masonic research paper which outlines the circumstances, and characters surrounding the founding of Texas Lodge No.46 in California. It can be found in this post HERE: The History of Texas Lodge Founding
Be it also noted, that the traveling brethren who are headed east to a quintuple raising @ the ghost town Lodge of Nevadaville will be leaving the morning of Monday the 27th 2019. A Google Map of their proposed route can be examined here. Link to map of the Texas Lodge Rumble on Hwy 50.
With due order and propriety,
Brother Loren George McKechnie 32°
Assistant Secretary & WebMaster