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April 13th 2024 | Stated Meeting of Texas Lodge no.46 F&AM of CA

The April 13th 2024 stated meeting of Texas Lodge no. 46 Free & Accepted Masons of California opened upon the book of Nehemiah Chapter 7, Page 679 of our Bible. The Lodge was opened at 10:12AM upon the first degree of Masonry, in San Juan Bautista California, for the transaction of business.

Officers Worshipful Brother Raymond E. Hill IV PM in the East, Worshipful Brother Tony Averill in the West, and Brother Jack Swallow in the South dutifully served the Lodge. Senior Deacon Robert Robbins, Jr. Deacon Worshipful Brother David Driesbach, Treasurer John Densem, Secretary Loren McKechnie, Jr. Steward Charles Hewitt, Sr. Steward Jesse Rodriguez, Tyler Worshipful Dr. Kevin Herrick Other officers, members, and visitors present are recorded in the Tiler’s register.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our great nation,  was led by the master.



Hall Association Report





Worshipful Hans Straus sits in the East, in Texas Lodge no.46 F&AM of California


Worshipful Brother Hans Straub

The Worshipful Master informed the Brethren, that our dear Brother Hans Straub PM, had recently laid down his earthly working tools, his toil here on earth coming to a close.  The Lodge remembered him with a moment of silence, a battery of 3 x 3 and a prayer.

“Almighty Father, Into thy hands we commend the soul of our departed brother. ” 

Death is not the end

Worshipful Reb Monaco recounted some finer points of Han’s Masonic Record to the lodge, his contributions to San Benito Lodge, and the “Fostering” of Texas Lodge, and Seminoff Lodge at the Masonic Home, among many other Masons along the way.  As you know, Hans resided at the Masonic Home, with his wife Ilse who preceded him in death.

Hans was born in Germany in 1931, and experienced Nazi Germany as a youth. He recounted some of these details to the Lodge, previously when he was presented a 35 year pin. You may not recall seeing a 35 year pin in Masonry, but it was constructed by the Worshipful Doctor Kevin Herrick in his Doctors office downstairs, for this special occasion.  The Secretary gifted each Brother in attendance, a “forget-me-not” pin of their own, to remember Hans and this special day.

Many Brethren stood to recount remembrances of Worshipful Brother Hans, his German accent, and his kind heart has fostered Brotherly love and kindness to all of the Brothers in Texas Lodge. He was always helping in every possible way. Brothers recalled his professional talents as a Volkswagen Mechanic and his advice that the 1970 Beetle was the best model year.

One must admit, there is a special feeling of deep and true caring for each other, that exists in Texas Lodge. Hans is a big part of that spirit.  You may recall Robert Robbins visiting him monthly in the Masonic Home, or Dr. Kevin Herrick driving north early in the morning to bring him down to see his Brothers of beloved Texas Lodge.

In this March 2019 Photo, Hans is standing tall and proud next to Brother Alan Shattenberg, also a Masonic home resident. Hans fondly anticipated the ascent of those steep Texas Lodge Masonic steps, and did so on his own, without help. A Brother not far behind, watching his back. (Carrying his oxygen bottle, or walker)

Hans is a very important Brother of Texas Lodge, he was responsible with a group of Worshipful Brothers including Tony Averill, Charles Hewitt and Ken Justice among many others, who refused to allow Texas Lodge to fall into disrepair.

Believe it or not, many small town lodges have at times, faced peril and their future threatened. This can manifest in the deterioration & neglect of the Lodge Building itself, or in its leadership and progressive line of offices. The latter manifests as a threat of Charter Suspension due to inability to fill a progressive line.

The remedy to this situation, known as “a 5 year plan”, is the way in which Grand Lodge allows you to continue and rebuild the Lodge, with hopes of preserving its history for the future. Hans Stepped up, with Tony Averill and others and carried the gavel, for multiple terms in office. Without these men heeding their calling, none of us would likely be here sitting in this Lodge today.

Recent Events w/ Hans:

Presentation of a German Language Bible from 1935

Hans sitting as Master of the Lodge in August 2023

A Memorial will be held at the Masonic Home Time and Date TBD

Caduceus Pin Presentation

Loren McKechnie, mentioned to Kevin upon seeing him in the dining hall this morning, that he needed to talk to him about something “medical”… Without hesitation, and his ever-professional bedside manner, the Worshipful Doctor motioned to go somewhere more private.

This  “something medical” was a simple gift of a Caduceus pin, the logo of entwined snakes, upon a staff which also featured a Masonic Square & Compass. Loren expressed, that he ran across the pin, and “though you needed it” as a symbol of appreciation for the “care & love” the Doctor is always investing in his Brethren.

Kevin suggested that this “gift” be held onto, and the presentation be witnessed by the Brethren, and presented in the Lodge meeting, proper. So, later in the meeting, Loren requested to make the presentation “west of the alter”. In comedic fashion, this was in response/retribution to the communist pin, Loren had received as a gift from Kevin, upon his return from a trip to Viet Nam.

Loren shared this appreciation for all the “love & care” that Kevin invests in his patients, his Lodge and “all of us”, and continued with a brief oration defining the history of the Caduceus symbol, with “research” being provided by Google Gemini Ai.

Loren explained it was a Greek Symbol of Hermes, and Kevin disambiguated “not of Herpes”, which garnered a laugh by the Brethren. This is where Ai may have been oddly correct. The Google Ai went on to explain.

“The caduceus is also identified with thieves, merchants, and messengers. Mercury is said to be a patron of thieves and outlaws, not a desirable protector of physicians.” to which the Doctor, mentioned the “insurance industry” maybe…

 The Worshipful Doctor humbly accepted the pin, and aptly commended that he tries to assist, and not meddle too much in the lives of his patients, family and Brothers.  


The Lodge was closed in due form at 11:30AM, peace and harmony prevailing.

Respectfully Submitted,

Loren George McKechnie

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


Richard Bartlett, Worshipful Master