From the East
by Wor. Tracy Reynolds
Adventures in the East
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.
We are, however, prepared to get through whatever may come. This is when we truly need to rely on each other and do whatever we can to help each other. Our Prince Hall Brethren have communicated that we can rely on them for any assistance they can provide for us and we have assured them that we will assist them in any way that we can. We must not give in to irrational fear but instead think through problems to the best possible outcome, not only for ourselves but for our fellow inhabitants on this planet. We are Masons. It is what we do.
At the end of June, the year will be half over. Until we can meet again, in a physical sense, we will be having weekly virtual Google Meet meetings. These are unofficial, untiled, no ritual meetings. They will be very informal. They will technically start at 6:30pm but the virtual doors will be open at approximately 6pm for anyone that shows up early. Show up when you want, leave when you want. Expect to be greeted by everyone in attendance when you do sign on. We are looking at 1 hour meetings but if Brothers want to hang out longer, the doors will stay open.
We will be having presentations as well as fellowship and some competitive games that will, hopefully, give the treasure hunt clues more meaning. There will be a weekly gift card prize from a local grocery store or eatery. These are meant to be fun so be ready for anything as everyone has their own unique sense of humor.
Our Consuelo Brother Steve Walker sent us some really good news. Please support our Brother Steve Walker, as much as possible, in this chapter of his great adventure. From Brother Steve:
Within the scope of our everyday lives each & every one of us is given an opportunity, and what we end up doing with those opportunities going forward may describe our destiny.
During April of 2015 I was elected to the International Association Legions of Honor, who are veterans or active military of the armed forces and also members of the affiliate Shrine Temple in their region. There is a Commander, eight Lieutenant Commanders, a Finance Officer and an Adjutant elected.
The current shutdown of most functions affected IALOH and our annual convention was cancelled. I am 1st Lt. Commander elect and will be installed at our annual Arlington, VA Pilgrimage in November. During the April 2021 annual convention, I will be installed International Commander. IALOH consists of 145 Shrine LOH units from the 196 Shrine Temples around the globe. This will begin a year of travel and continued fellowship with my brothers who are military veterans.
All of our youth groups have been very active, virtually. If You get a chance, I highly recommend that you attend Youth group meetings and support them whenever possible. We are lucky to have healthy Youth Groups at Consuelo. Their fund raising efforts have been tremendously impacted just as many businesses are. Unfortunately, they are not eligible for relief programs that are being offered to businesses.
Job’s Daughters is still flocking deserving Brothers and Sisters as seen in last month’s Trestleboard when Roger Parker got flocked or last year when Worshipful Doug was flocked in the East.
Rainbow Girls had their virtual installation on Saturday, May 30th. I had an opportunity to attend one of their virtual meetings. It was really fun, serious at times, funny at times and always interesting. Brother Preston Hill, mentioned at the last Consuelo virtual meeting, that Rainbow Girls is starting up a fund-raising effort, that will be an open-ended fund raising effort so days like Valentine’s day, Mothers day, Birthdays or any other days when you may want to express appreciation for someone, this would be a good option. I’ve heard there is no insurance against getting stuffed. It sounds like it may be a great way to honor our Widows. We’ll have to see when the details are ironed out. The contact information will be sent out after the young ladies release it.
No one is outside the reach of the Flockers and the Stuffers as we employ these methods to show our appreciation for many that we do not get to visit as much as we would like to. There are several Flocking options. Please contact Phyllis Parker for information: 1-858-213-6702 or email@example.com
Eastern Star has virtual meetings on the same nights that they were holding our regular meetings. I make these as much as possible as they are always fun and informative.
Campers/Transients - The campers that use the area in back of the dumpster have caused problems for years but just recently started escalating their escapades to include vandalism, leaving trash all over and parking shopping carts on the strip of land on the south side of our building.
To curtail accessing the south side of the building from the street, large, unevenly shaped granite chunks were picked up and brought to the lodge and placed in an approximately 20' by 5' strip. This creates an uneven surface to prevent people from climbing the stairwell and using the crossbar for the fence to jump the fence. It also makes entering through the broken wire on the fence a very uncomfortable option. Thanks go out to, EMHA President, Preston Hill, Brothers Jason Byer and Roger Parker, for lending the muscle, brains and resources. Brother Preston found a free granite giveaway and suggested that it might be just the thing we need to help solve our camper problem. I think it will definitely go a long way toward making that area undesirable for campers.
The EMHA has filed paperwork with Escondido Police Department which puts our Lodge on a watch list of sorts. This has curtailed much of the camper population. The stone will further dampen access via the street side to the dumpster area. This relationship with Escondido Police Department was further strengthened when Brother Senior Warden Jesse Middleton met with Police representatives and discussed options for curtailing the problems we were having with the transients. He put together a list of suggestions and area's of concern that were referenced by the PD rep's. Thanks Jesse for getting that info and making it available.
The vandalism that has occurred over the past couple of months has been repaired thanks to the efforts of EMHA President Preston Hill and Hall Manager Patti Neuman. Preston has been addressing a lot of major projects like the floor tile tripping hazard, the painting of the Lodge room, the exterior painting of the building, the repair of exterior fixtures, repositioning of security cameras and many other things. Mr. President Preston, thanks much for all that you do and have done.
Clue for the month.
The sixth clue is hidden in plain site on this web page:
The second is the same as the first. There only 7 in the top section if nothing is clicked.
|From the West
By Bro. Jesse Middleton
So you're a Mason I presume?
So you’re a Mason, congratulations! You have all the quirky t-shirts about being a mason, your cars bumper is a mobile billboard of where you have dinner every night, the golden ring on your finger lets everyone close by know you belong to the oldest fraternity known to man, and your social media profile picture with the square and compass lets the world know just how great of a man you are.
Does it get any better? Sure it does. Soon you get to tackle the ritual! Now you can sit on the sidelines and pick-out what each Brother does wrong, and in a fun and interruptive way, you can now bring it to the entire room’s attention. Soon everyone will know just how great of a Mason you truly are. You are able to regurgitate the ritual verbatim and not miss a single cue or step. You truly are the pinnacle of Masonry.
I make the prior comments in jest. I myself have the square and compass on my vehicles bumper, I have the ring, and along the way I bought the t-shirt. I have even been the individual who chimes in with what another Brother has done wrong within the ritual, a time or two. But I digress, as fun as the symbols are, and as important as the ritual is, neither of those makes you a Mason. What makes a Mason is not his ritual work, but his true work. This may come as a surprise to some however case in point, George Washington, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, Buzz Aldrin, Samuel Adams, John Glen, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, of all of those Brothers, which one is most famous for his ritual work or wearing of Masonic apparel? Can you recall any comment you have ever heard regarding these Brothers ritual or regalia? No, what these men are known for is breaking down barriers and doing their best to improve the world they lived in.
One of my favorite quotes from Albert Pike is, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal." It truly is a quote worth meditating on. We do things for ourselves because it gives us an emotional lift. In all actuality, it does little more than flood our brain with a few natural chemicals that changes for a few mere moments, and just like that the moment is fleeting. The benefit begins and ends with you. There is no lasting effect. When we help someone, when we raise someone up with a hand or a few minutes of our time, that creates a change that is not fleeting. For anyone that has studied chaos theory, or the “Butterfly Effect,” you know that every little action creates a reverberation. When you help someone, it changes their outlook and mindset; unknowingly you have set something in motion that will have a positive effect for generations to come. A wonderful Greek proverb that speaks to this goes, “A society grows great when old men plant tree’s whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
You don’t have to lead a revolution, travel through space, or lead a nation to make a difference either. Right here in our city of Escondido we have a plethora of opportunities to make a difference each and every day. Some may not know it, but our Lodge has been active in the community during these difficult times of COVID-19. Even though we are made to social distance, even though we are dealing with our own personal lives, we have made the time, as a Lodge, to make a difference in a number of people’s lives. Every time I get to interact with my Brothers, I am reminded of just how lucky I am to be surrounded by so much experience and diversity. This experience and diversity, coupled with a focus on improving the world around us, is the exact reason the monarchy and dictators have feared Masonry since its inception. Nothing is nobler than the righteous man making a sacrifice for the advancement of his fellow man.
In closing, I ask that we all consider what we have done to this point to make the world around us a better place. The ritual is not the work the mason is called to put it in. The work a Mason is called to do is far greater. It is also not a competition. Sometimes the smallest acts are the most meaningful. So every day strive to do one thing to lift someone else up, get that “Butterfly Effect” going. Get those hands dirty and put in the work, that way when someone asks you what makes you a Mason, instead of the generic answer many of us resort to, lay it upon them the things that you have done to make this world a better place to live. Don’t be braggadoccious, but do be proud of your work. And, when someone asks you what Masonry is about, explain to them what the lodge has built in the local community, and your commitment to building a better world.
Announcements and Reminders
My Brothers, in the link below is a basic emergency preparedness kit with a list of essentials and a few tips on staying safe in emergency situations. This list is not all encompassing, but is the very basic of what everyone should consider doing or putting aside for any type of emergency.
Golden Arch Assembly #239 - Fundraiser Events
Please support our Rainbow Girls in there fundraiser events. Please click the link for more details
Sunday June 14, 2020
Panda Express - 20% of event sales will be donated.
The Bear Project - Stuff your friends, family or neighbors yard.
To be announced. Pending direction from Grand Lodge of California and government authorities (Local, State, and Federal).