article from the Grand Lodge of California Website:

World War II ended in 1945, but it wasnt until 2004 that a memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to the 16 million who served in the armed forces during that war.

Health and financial obstacles have prevented most surviving veterans, now well into their 80s, from taking the long trip to honor their fallen friends and their years of service.

Operation Greatest Gift, the Grand Masters Project for 2009-2010, will make this dream come true for hundreds of California's World War II veterans.

We will organize several three-day trips to Washington, D.C. designed to provide what many veterans cannot provide for themselves: an assisted visit to the memorial, at no cost to them. Because of our support, they will have an opportunity to say goodbye to fallen friends, be recognized for their service to our country, and come to terms with an important part of their lives.

The Grand Masters Project will also raise funds to support the work of the Masonic Hospital Visitors Program Committee. This committee of dedicated Masons ensures that there is always a presence at our states veterans hospitals by providing friendship, social programs, and regular visitation.

Together, we can show our veterans that their service has not been forgotten.

Supporting Operation Greatest Gift

We expect to raise $400,000 to make this dream a reality. The Grand Master will be traveling throughout the state, and will be honored to accept gifts from both lodges and individuals.

Please contact the Grand Lodge Office of Philanthropy at (415) 292-9117.
Gary Porter - 1966 Vietnam Combat Art Team
Gary Porter - 1966 Vietnam Combat Art Team
Brigadier General Joseph V. Potter, U.S. Air Force, Ret., and the present National Commanding General of the United States National Defense Corps., on Dec.5, 2009, bestowed upon Gary W. Porter, a Master Mason, the American Legion Medal of Valor for his participation in the numerable combat battles that occurred during his tour of duty in Vietnam as a Combat Artist for the U.S. Army Military History, Department of the Pentagon, in 1966 - 1967. Operations Attleboro and Shenandoah II are two of the Battles of note that were reported to have one of the largest counts of US casualties and killed in action at that time. Brother Porter honored himself, the US Army, and his country in those battles with actions beyond the call of duty for a Combat Artist.

A note of interest is that Brigadier General Potter was a close friend of Gary's while they were at El Cajon High School, in the late 50's, in the San Diego area, and both attended San Diego State University. During that time they played in the same Rock and Roll band, "The Debonaires", Joe was the drummer and Gary played Alto Saxophone. In 1965, Joe went into the Air Force to become a highly decorated "Ace" Jet Fighter Pilot and Gary chose the Army. It was not until 2009 that Joe started to write his "War Stories", his personal accounts of his battles, and sent the manuscripts for Gary to read, and then they put two and two together and found that they were both in the same battle “Attleboro” at the same time. Joe was in the air, Gary was on the ground, and they never knew it. Gary said, "Had it not been for Joe directing his rockets just ahead of us, to clear the area of VC, my name would be on that big black Vietnam Honor Wall instead of the walls of the Pentagon".

OD One-Pentagon Lost
OD, One Each - Lost at 9/11

Brother Porter completed 44 pieces of art during that time and 42 of them are now displayed at the Pentagon, two paintings were destroyed at 9/11. "The Battle of Attleboro", a very large oil painting, and "OD One Each" are now considered to be "Casualties of War" by the Pentagon. Gary will return to the Pentagon in April of 2010 to once again see the paintings that are now Historical Documentation of Army Military History. He has not seen them since they were completed in 1967.

Gary became a Mason in the year 2000 and has contributed three paintings to the Coachella Lodge depicting the three degrees of masonry and was commissioned by the Paul Talley family to paint a fourth depicting the interrogation of the Second Degree. Gary is now retired and is painting exclusively for other lodges and the private homes of Master Masons in the State of California. Ontario Lodge #301, Ontario Ca., now has eleven of his paintings in their lodge.

Gary is very active in the Order of Eastern Star, Coachella Chapter #360, with his wife BJ, past Deputy Grand Matron for 2009, and he was Worthy Patron for the years of 2004 and 2005.

3rd Degree Coachella

3rd Degree Ontario

2nd Degree-Clint Marshall

3rd Degree - Clint Marshall


We had a great visit last year from Masonic Traveler bro. Larry Lundgren from Miriam Lodge #20 in Vernon BC. He expalined to us that on Nov 11th they have " Armistice Day " which is the same as our Veteran's Day.

They have a tradition that at 11am they have two minutes of silence for their lost officers and soldiers. Being involved in the local " Healing Field " program myself I am very passionate about this and showing respect to our Veterans for all they have done.

Bro Larry sent us a link to a great video called " A Pittance Of Time " by Terry Kelly. Here it is... and I think it applies to all of us in the world who have served and sacrificed at some point.

Enjoy this video and pass it on!

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Submitted by:Laura Normand

In response to California’s critical shortage of nurse educators and administrators, the California Masonic Foundation (CMF) established the Clare V. Cunningham Masonic Scholarships Supporting Leadership in Nursing
in 2008.

CMF has partnered with the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) to award five $2,000 scholarships annually to California nurses attending an approved leadership training course, and one $10,000 scholarship annually to a high-achieving California nurse leader pursuing an advanced degree in nursing.

CMF will unveil two more scholarship programs in the coming months.

At their February conference, ACNL recognized CMF with the Friend of Nursing Award, which is presented yearly to one individual and one organization making significant contributions to or demonstrating significant support of the nursing profession.

Photo: CMF Board of Trustees President John Lowe and Executive Vice President Doug Ismail accepted the Friend of Nursing Award at ACNL's annual conference.

You may have gotten one of these in the mail. Not only this is a treat for me being that it is held at my favorite University (Fight on baby!) but it is also free to just about anyone for free. I highly recommend this as it will be an incredible educational experience.


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Submitted by:Laura Normand

The Ninth Annual California Masonic Symposium, “Applying Masonry in Contemporary Society,” will be held Saturday, May 2 at the University of California, Los Angeles. This year’s event is open to Masons and the public at no charge.

In lectures, papers, and panel discussions, the 2009 Symposium will examine how Masonic principles shaped the development of western democracies and where, in today’s deeply divided society, those principles may be more necessary than ever. The program includes talks by Henry Wilson Coil Lecturer
Dr. Margaret C. Jacob, Past Grand Secretary John L. Cooper III, and Past Grand Master R. Stephen Doan.

Masons, their families, and members of the public are encouraged to attend this free Symposium. Register now on by clicking on the Symposium button (to the right of Current News), or by selecting Masonic Education from the Member Center pull-down menu.

*** Courtesy of ***

Submitted by:Duane Terkildsen

On February 1, brothers from Moreno Valley Lodge No. 804 continued a Super Bowl Sunday tradition at the Loma Linda Veterans Affairs hospital begun eight years ago.

The lodge runs a veterans hospital visitation program year-round, led by Brother Duane Terkildsen. During the football season, that program includes Monday night football gatherings with hot dog roasts and culminates in the annual Super Bowl Sunday party.

This year, the Super Bowl party was supported by a group of 11 volunteers that included Moreno Valley Lodge brothers, local Eastern Star members, friends and family, and Stitch, the service dog - a lodge member's dog that has been certified to visit with hospital residents.

The party was attended by about 100 hospital residents and staff.

Photo by Brother Johne Johnson, Moreno Valley Lodge No. 804

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