The Stated Meeting of February, was held via Zoom, on Saturday the 13th at 10AM. With all Brethren in attendance confirmed to be Masons, the Lodge was opened at 10:05AM. The Master Lead the Brethren in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, of our great nation.
Previous Meeting Minutes:
The minutes of the Virtual Stated Meeting of January, were approved as read.
Bills and Communications:
A bill for the Past Master Apron, Case and Gold Card were presented from Los Angeles Fraternal Supply Co. in the amount of $401.65 A motion to pay our bills was made, and seconded. We resolved to pay our bills, and the Secretary and Treasurer were so advised. No other Bills were received, or presented for consideration
Reception of Applications:
There were no applications for affiliation, or degrees. Upon the topic of Applications and the “withdraw thereof” a discussion was held on the EA Brother Garrett Wright, who has moved to Prescott AZ, and has desires to continue is earthly work under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Arizona. Our Secretary expounded upon the discussions he has had with our Worshipful Inspector, and the Secretary of the Aztlan Lodge No.1 in which he desires admission.
The pertinent facts remain; Brother Wright has no immediate intention to return to CA, he desires not to hold dual membership in two states, Arizona Lodges do not consider EA’s members of the lodge, and do not charge them dues. Brother George, the Secretary of that Lodge, generously offered the idea, that courtesy work might be requested via our Grand Lodges, in the occasion that Brother Wright could continue his work, and become a Master Mason within the year, he could remain a California EA, until he became a Master Mason within Aztlan Lodge No.1 of Arizona.
Our Worshipful Officers Coach David Dreisbach commented, it would be more simple and clean, if Bro. Wright were to “With-Draw is application from Texas Lodge” and simply apply to Aztlan Lodge. This was also the recommendation of our Secretary. It was decided by a vote of the brethren, that we support and confirm such a withdraw, if that is the process the Grand Lodge of California wishes to pursue, after being consulted.
Masonic Widows Month: The Worshipful Master Jeff Strouse informed his Lodge, that February is Masonic Widows Month, and as such, he had reached out by post, to each of our 15 widows. His letter offered warm words, and requested they make contact with the Master for a more personable interaction and to confirm contact information in our database. At the time, he has made phone contact with 2 of them, with more expected in the near future.
Installation of our Jr. Warden: Our Worshipful Brother Richard Bartlett was installed as Jr. Warden on this 13th day of February, his installation being delayed previously by the need for an election to the position. This was brought about by switching chairs w/ Wor. David Dreisbach at the last minute.
Ladies of Oriental Shrine Visit: Brother Heimsoth informed us of a potential visit from the Ladies of the Oriental Shrine, whose National meeting is schedules to occur in September of this year. Should the meeting not be “canceled” due to Corona Virus Concerns or Further Lockdowns, we might expect to extend our hospitality to the Ladies, on Friday September 17th. This is noted on our calendar, with attendance numbers to be confirmed.
Annual Secretary Report: The Secretary provided and read the Annual report for the 2020 year. With a few comments on the challenges the new Grand Lodge System for accepting payment of dues, has been creating, as a few 2021 dues payments were accounted for being received in November of 2020, for the 2021 year. The report and details can be found in the Minutes Book, but summary is as follows. 61 Members total, 0 Gains, and 4 Losses for the 2020 year.
Membership consists of 8 EA’s and 50 Master Masons, with only 2 members dues remitted, as they reside in the Masonic Home in Freemont. It was moved & seconded and thus the report was accepted by the Brethren.
Hall Association Annual Report: Brother Lebaron gave a detailed summary of the Hall Association annual report. I will spare the details here, but one item of note, consisting of the predominant expense of the balance sheet is our building insurance, which was $2,632 for the year. It was moved & seconded and thus the report was accepted by the Brethren. Later discussion on this insurance topic, outlined the form which our insurance provider Marsh Insurance requires be filed each year by April 1st, to update the Building Value and replacement property insurance limits.
Previous coverages were – $450K building, $50k Contents and $1,500 rental income. Current building limits are – $800K, $100K, $6,600 respectively. There was discussion of possibly increasing the building replacement cost coverage, to be discussed in the February 20th Hall Association Meeting @ 10AM.
Hall Association Audit Report: Brother Densem offered an update on his incredible labors regarding our tax and filing situation with the State of California, and his collaboration with the Grand Lodge of California. He expects our form 199N and 90N to be filed by the April 15th deadline by Grand Lodge, and will follow up to insure this is completed. The topic of improvements to the building and the budget therefore was also addressed, and that this should be considered by the Hall Association. This topic was deferred to a Hall Association meeting that will occur February 20th, at 10AM. It was moved & seconded and thus the report was accepted by the Brethren.
Lodge Budget Amendment: The Worshipful Master Jeff Strouse offered a refinement to the previously accepted budget. The items amended were the approximately $3K which was removed for the Master/Wardens and Treasurer/Secretary Retreats, those being held virtually this year, at no cost.
Has any Brother, anything for the benefit of Masonry?
Worshipful David Driesbach offered some incredibly sad new regarding the loss of an amazingly dedicated brother.
On December 17th 2020, The roll of the workmen has been called, and one Master Mason, Brother Hershel Amos 33°, has not answered to his name. He has laid down the working tools of life and with them has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use. His labors have taught him to divest his heart and conscience of the vices and superfluity of life, thereby fitting his mind as a living stone for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Strengthened in his labors here by faith in God, and confident of expectation of immortality, he has been granted admission to the Celestial Lodge above. His Brethren mourn the passing of a great man and Mason.
Another bit of bad news was also reported. A discreet update of a health condition diagnosis, regarding Brother Randy D. who many may know, but who is not a brother of this lodge. If you know him, please reach out with Brotherly Love. His diagnosis suggests we must treasure his incredible talents and work, both here and now in the coming years.
At 11:21AM the Lodge was closed.
Secretary Loren George McKechnie Date: 2/16/2021
Worshipful Master Jeff Strouse Date: 2/16/2021