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February Stated Meeting: 2-8-2020

Lodge was Opened on the 1st Degree: The Stated Meeting of February was held on 2/8/2020 and began at 10:18am. The pledge of allegiance to the flag of our country was lead by the Master, who invited the citizens of the United States to join.

Officers Stations: Were Filled by the Installed officers, with the exception of the Marshall’s station, which was filled by Brother Jack Swallow, as Brother John Densem was traveling.

Minutes: Being the second stated meeting for the year of 2020, the January Stated meeting minutes were read, and approved. The special meeting minutes for the 1st degree of Zachary Monk, were deferred as they were found only in the digital form, and the Lodge’s new printer had not yet been “installed.”

Bills & Communications: The Secretary presented 3 bills to be paid. One for the 2019 Past Master “Gold Card”, of Worshipful Raymond E. Hill IV. One for postage stamps, for mailing the brothers dues cards, and other communications. And finally one for a picture frame for the upcoming 50 year award, to be presented to Richard M. Fischer at the March 19th stated meeting. A motion was presented to pay our bills, it was seconded and approved by the brethren.

Miscellaneous & Unfinished Business: The applications for affiliation of two Brothers, have been withdrawn, by letter correspondence.

The Lodge Hall Association visited the Bank, to update signature cards, and found a CD which had been forgotten for about a decade, renewing quietly and earning interest. A special thanks to John Densem Treasurer of the Hall Association, and Jessie Rodriguez for their diligence, and persistence in seeking the entire financial picture of the Lodge & Hall Associations.

Visitors: We were visited by two Brothers from Siminoff Lodge #850 from Union City. Bob McCane & Robert Pinkerton enjoyed a tour of the historic lodge room before breakfast, and were not sure they wanted to venture down our imposing stairway, and back up again. We accommodated, and breakfast was served in the Tyler’s room, a few chairs and card table, near at hand.

During the stated meeting, Worshipful Robbins presented them with the traditional coffee cup, as a memento of their visit. Later in the meeting, Bob made a gracious thanks to the lodge for our hospitality of going above and beyond, and also commented about our rich history, our spittoons’, the 13 star Flag, our tracing boards, and the young, successful and vibrant state of our lodge and its members.

Has any other Brother, Anything….

Wayne Heimsoth, Secretary of Mt. Moriah Lodge #292 of Los Gatos offered a warm invitation to their March 10th meeting, which will be attended by the Grand Master of California. They will be presenting not one 75-year award, but two brothers who have earned the distinction.

Worshipful Raymond E. Hill IV P.M. our Jr. Warden, made a timely suggestion. Due to the March Stated Meetings proximity to St. Patrick’s Day, we might serve an Irish Breakfast, “corned beef, hash & eggs” at the March Stated Meeting. He also suggested that we wear our Kilts. I added, that for those brothers who might not own “the whole 9 yards” of fabric, that there was a company named “Sport Kilt” in California, who offers inexpensive solutions.

Worshipful David Driesbach P.M. offered a story of visiting Siminoff Lodge at Union City, where he had been telling a story about a memorable brother from years past, and low and behold, he ran into this friend from 40 years ago at Siminoff Lodge.

A word from our Worshipful Inspector of the 353 & 357th Masonic Districts, B.J. McCuiston:

B.J. posed the brethren a question. What were you presented with and subsequently wore, at your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degrees? The Lambskin Apron of course. He continued to implore, if the Lodge brethren had ever been told what we were supposed to do with it, thereafter? We learn to wear with pride, and integrity, with respect for yourself and the fraternity. Yet, some people are under the incorrect impression you are to “Take it home, keep in a safe place, and wear it one final time.”  

B.J. expounded on this myth, and how these types of myths often become repeated and then somehow repeated so often, that they become unofficial and unintended parts of Masonry. Your Apron, as those of ancient antiquity of which it symbolizes, is to protect laborers, during labor. Be it operative or speculative, when worn for work, does not necessarily beget a spotless vestment at the end of our journey. A spotless vestment, at the making of a new mason is expected, and a symbol of innocence, but at the end of our journey it being spotless symbolizes something else entirely, possibly indicating a lack of important work internally or externally.

Our Worshipful Inspector then told of a story he witnessed about a visiting brother from Japan. We learned about the proper techniques to welcome a visitor, and if he cannot be vouched for, for him to “work his way into” a lodge. I will limit the details here, as to protect the process, but there is an important point to be made, that the process of performing degrees and proficiencies in the “Short Form” limit a brothers ability to “work”.

On the topic of unofficial traditions inadvertently becoming ritual, it has been respectfully noted, that while ritual calls for asking if “any brother to offer something for the benefit of the lodge, or masonry in general” three times, with no response before close, it is only after the third unanswered call, that the lodge is to be closed. There is no stipulation for our Worshipful Inspector to have the last word.

A word from our Worshipful Medical Doctor, Kevin Herrick P.M:

The Worshipful doctor Kevin Herrick offered the lodge some timely information about the outbreak of a novel (unknown) coronavirus, originating  in Wuhan China. It making its emergence in early December 2019, and developing to infect some 79K people in china by March. It has been making its way around the world, into 67 counties.  See the table inserted.

It has also infected a husband and wife in San Benito County, who had symptoms, and had previously traveled to China, or had contact with people who did. They presented themselves to the ER at Hazel Hawkins Hospital. After transferring to Natividad hospital, and being tested, they were then transferred to San Francisco where they have more advanced care and isolation facilities.

The take away from this illness, now named COVID-19 is that it very well may spread to become a global pandemic, but there are things we can do to protect ourselves. These measures are simple, and the same as you might employ to protect yourself from the regular seasonal “influenza” or common cold. Namely, washing your hands, not touching your face, and isolating yourself if you have symptoms.

The other element we need to prepare ourselves for is the possibility of home quarantine, either voluntary or somehow enforced. The Worshipful Doctor Herrick P.M. expressed his concern for the brethren to prepare to isolate themselves, in their homes, and have supplies of medicine, food and water to “wait this thing out” if needed.

As I write this, we are learning about spread of the virus SARS COV-2  through South Korea, a cruise ship in a Japanese port named the “Diamond Princess”, and through parts of Northern Italy. More info can be found here World-O-Meter.

There are some similarities and things we could possibly learn from the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. Initial review of our meeting minutes from 1918 indicate no mention of the “influenza” epidemic, but it is duly noted, that the minutes only indicate meetings in January, February, March, and then a gap, until September, (no meeting in November) and then a final December meeting.

Returning to regular meetings thereafter. Hopefully this too will pass, and we will be able to continue our regularly stated meetings, each second Saturday morning, as it has been since 1854.

It might also be noted, that in 1918 Texas Lodge no.46 was made of 54 Master Masons, and today 53. There is an article about it here: Masonic Membership over the past century.

Statistics for COVID-19 As of March 1st 2020

Other items of Note:

The Worshipful Master Robert Robbins, made a spontaneous cash donation to the lodge. Resulting from his Cellular Telephone receiving a text message who which he replied, and then opened his wallet to the cheers of a few brothers. He grabbed what appeared to be all the cash within, and handed it to the Secretary, and the spontaneous donation was made.

Upcoming Events: Get the Tri-District App: on your iOS or Android. & Visit the Google Texas Lodge no.46 Calendar 

March 7th:

Mason’s Family and Friends are invited to learn about California’s Own “Speakeasy Lodge” Celebrating A Century Since Prohibition Hosted in The “Speakeasy Lodge” Of Carmel 680. Brother Andrew Crockett will regale all who attend with the little known history of Carmel 680 and it’s ties to prohibition. The best part though will be reconnecting with brothers, meeting brothers who you don’t already know and sharing a great day with family and friends. Please RSVP at this link.

10am –11am Hosted Brunch (Bagel Bakery Catering: approximately $5/person)  Yum!!!

11am –12:30pm Carmel Lodge no.680 Stated Meeting (Gotta do business) Family & Friends: explore Carmel Beach or Downtown Carmel
12:30pm –1pm Caravan over to Cannery Row, Park Cars

1pm –5pm Monterey Bay Aquarium Located at the ocean’s edge on historic Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is your window to marine life. Visit sea otters, penguins, sharks, jellies and thousands of other marine animals and plants. (Tickets: $50/Adult, $40/Senior, $30/Child(under 3 free) – AAA? a student? you can get a discount

5pm – 7pm Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company ($30-40/person, group tablereservation ahead)
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. captures the charm and American spirit that made the movie “Forrest Gump” a smash hit. Shrimp is the specialty here, but in its fun and casual setting, there is definitely something for everyone.

March 10th:

Grand Master, to present a dual, 75-year award at Mt. Moriah Lodge #292 in Los Gatos. It is with much pleasure to invite you Tuesday, March 10th 6pm to a super special occasion to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee Award (75 years) for Brother George P. Baker, Jr. We will be honored by the presence of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of California, Most Worshipful John E. Trauner, and Grand Lodge officers. It provides a wonderful opportunity to meet the leaders of our craft.

Agenda | 6:00pm to 7:00pm: Dinner – Open to all, including friends and families.

7:00pm: Diamond Jubilee Award Presentation  Reception and Cake to follow. RSVP to W. Bro. Ketan Jashapara, Master Mt Moriah #292 (408) 826 7265

March 14th:

Texas Lodge No.46 Stated Meeting, Irish Breakfast of “corned beef, hash & eggs”, and remember to wear your kilt. We will be presenting Richard M. Fisher his 50 year award and pin. After Lodge, I invite the brethren to enjoy some Fraternity and Fellowship in the Parlor, studying the Constitution of the United Stated, and enjoying a movie about the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, some of which are our Masonic Brothers. Expect the fellowship to begin after the meeting around 12:30pm, until 3pm or so. I will donate a book for each brother attending, to further their study.  All together it is believed that about nine of the fifty-six men that signed the Declaration of Independence were masons, and about thirteen of the thirty-nine that signed the US Constitution were also masons. George Washington, Ben Franklin lead the Pennsylvania chapter, Paul Revere lead a Massachusetts chapter, John Hancock, and Chief Justice John Marshall who greatly influenced the shaping of the Supreme Court.

March 17th:

St. Patrick’s Day Boo Chit, Conversation and Food for Cow-Boys | March 17th @ 7:30 pm10:30 pm

Pull up a chair at Texas 46 and share conversation over a game of Uno, Man Fuel and Refreshments. You bring $25 bucks and have One Hoe-Down of a Time and some verbal DoseyDoe in jest with each other…On the Level, by the Plumb and treating each other always Fairly and Squarely. RSVP and number of guests with H.Abith@texas46.org

April 4th:

San Juan Bautista Living History DaysApril 4, 2020 @ 8:00 am2:00 pm

Meet the characters of early San Juan Bautista as our costumed docents bring the past to life. Spend the day with Victorians, Mountain Men, and Pioneer women. Watch the skills and demonstrations of early craftsmen. Enjoy an old fashioned soda in the family-friendly saloon, above which the Texas Lodge men used to meet from 1854 to 1869 until our Lodge Building was erected.

April 11th:

Texas Lodge no.46 Stated Meeting, join us for our regular stated meeting, the second Saturday of each month.-Breakfast at 9:00am -Lodge Meeting at 10:00am

Humbly Submitted:

Loren George McKechnie

Secretary of Texas Lodge No. 46 F. & A.M. of California