*** Courtesy of CA Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:John Lowe

Irvine Valley Lodge No. 671 has been announced as the winning team for best 1st degree ritual ceremony. The competition, which took place in June, was open to all California lodges. Fourteen lodges from across the state competed in a preliminary round of competition, and the winners of each division were selected to participate in the finals.

On June 28 and 29, those finalists presented in another round of exemplifications. Lodges were scored based on floor work, words, and overall presentation.

Irvine Valley Lodge No. 671 won with a consolidated score of 98.4. Other division finalists were Liberty Lodge No. 299, Bicentennial Daylight Lodge No. 830, Atwater Larchmont Tila Pass Lodge No. 614, and Central Coast Lodge No. 237.

*** Courtesy of CA Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:David Daley

On June 17, young men from DeMolay chapters across the country gathered in Anaheim , California for the National DeMolay Public Speaking Competition. This year, regional winners gave speeches on the assigned topic “What’s Right about America ”. Sean and Tyler Daley, brothers in both family and fraternity, won in their respective divisions. Both brothers are active members of Triangle Chapter in the town of Riverbank , California , which is sponsored by the 585th Masonic District.

Pictured from left to right: Sean Daley, Senior Division Winner; Pat Hart, Grand Master of DeMolay International; Tyer Daley, Junior Division Winner; Grand Master Richard Wakefield Hopper.

*** Courtesy of CA Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:Laura Normand

Freemason.org received the Silver EXCEL award for both Web site general excellence and design excellence from the Society of National Association of Publishing (SNAP), an association of more than 750 membership organizations.

The awards recognize overall design excellence, editorial content, functionality and ease of use, imaginative graphics, and correct links.

Angel Alvarez-Mapp, Communications Production Manager, accepted the award on behalf of the Masons of California.

*** Courtesy of Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:Terry Mendez

California Masons will soon receive a copy of Member’s Guide to Masonry in California , a new resource for members. In the future, the guide will be sent to new Entered Apprentice Masons with a welcome to the fraternity from the Grand Master.

Whether you are a new member or a brother of several years, this guide is a useful resource that provides information about how to fully participate in the fraternity for a lifetime of friendships, personal growth, philanthropic activity, and fraternal support.

A sample of the topics covered includes your rights and duties as a Mason, leadership opportunities and training, and fraternal support in case of need.

Please share the contents with your family and keep it handy for future reference.

*** Courtesy of Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:Adam Kendall

Manly P. Hall, member of Pacific-Starr King Lodge No. 136 and San Francisco Scottish Rite, was a noted philosopher, prolific writer and considered an expert on spiritual beliefs, philosophical principles and symbols. In six decades he gave 8,000 public lectures and wrote hundreds of essays and more than 50 books, including his masterpiece “The Secret Teachings of All Ages.”

Hall’s biographer, Louis Sahagun, will discuss his new book, “Master of the Mysteries: The Life of Manly Palmer Hall”, at a free presentation and book signing July 9, 7 p.m., at the San Francisco Scottish Rite center, 2850 19th Ave. Sponsored by the Henry Wilson Coil Library & Museum of Freemasonry and the San Francisco Scottish Rite. For information, call the Library & Museum at 415/292-9137.

*** courtesy of Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:Doug Ismail

California Lodge No. 1 made the annual Teacher Appreciation Celebration at San Francisco ’s Jose Ortega Elementary School a particularly special one.

Master John Bermudez, Treasurer Mark Marquez, public schools committee chair and Past Master Richard Modolo and lodge member and Grand Lodge Chief Philanthropy Officer Doug Ismail attended the May 16 all-school assembly to make a big difference for the little school. Bermudez explained the craft’s commitment to public education, and the brothers presented gift cards to teachers and staff along with a check for the PTA. The gift exceeded $5,000, almost 75% of the entire PTA budget for the year.

“We believe that supporting an elementary school like Jose Ortega is an important way for us to get involved in our community and help kids when they are young and vulnerable,” says Bermudez. “I was proud to be a Mason and a member of our lodge that day. The looks on their faces said it all.”

*** Courtesy of CA Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:Laura Normand

Under the leadership of Past Grand Master Fred Sorsabal, four Sacramento-area lodges launched a campaign to raise funds to bring yet another Masonic Student Assistance Program (MSAP) workshop to their area. The workshop strengthens educators in identifying and reaching out to at-risk students.

“Our community benefits from our work, and MSAP is a wonderful way to demonstrate how Masons really do make the world a better place, ” says Sorsabal. “We want to ensure this training continues.”

Members of Natoma Lodge No. 64, Scepter Lodge No. 808, Yolo Lodge No. 195 and Roseville Lodge No. 222 have raised nearly $15,000 so far. “I know these guys will find a way to make this happen for our community,” says Sorsabal. “It’s just too important.”

More than 700 teachers throughout California were trained last year by the California Masonic Foundation’s MSAP program. The cost of each three-day workshop for 100 attendees is approximately $35,000. “At just over $325 per teacher, it is among the most cost-effective training available,” explains John Lowe, chairman of the California Masonic Foundation. “We feel that if we train one team to save even one child, the investment is worth it.”

For more information about the MSAP program, contact Ellen Coll, MSAP Coordinator, California Masonic Foundation, at 415-292-9139.

*** courtesy of Grand Lodge ***

Submitted by:B. Ethan Maxon

Local lodges are building their own Web sites (often with the help of the Grand Lodge of California’s Web server) with two primary focuses: make information available to interested men who are drawn to the fraternity and provide an information resource for existing members who make a habit us using the Web to stay connected with lodge events.

Web-savvy members of Temecula Catalina Lodge No. 524 (particularly Brother Eric Steineman) designed a dynamic and graphically-driven Web site that has become the primary source for meeting prospective members. The site is filled with information about membership, the craft, Masonic links, the lodge calendar, recent events, officers, etc.

Since 2005 Temecula Catalina Island lodge has tracked the source of all men who have knocked on their door. Their Web site accounts for about 39% of the leads the last three years. During the same period, 10% of the leads came from Grand Lodge and 51% from all other sources, such as phone queries, referrals, fairs, etc. In other words, 46 of 119 interested men during that period came from browsing the lodge Web site. California lodges will see this trend grow because Web sites are a powerful resource.

To view the site, go to www.temeculamasons.org .

*** COURTESY OF LA TIMES***

Freemasons in midst of popularity, membership boom

The secretive society gains a higher, hipper profile as younger men seek out a place for fraternal bonding.
By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 18, 2008
IN LOS FELIZ, across from a 7-Eleven on North Vermont Avenue, a few dozen men in their early 20s to late 80s share a dinner behind closed doors. Some wear full tuxedos with bow ties and jeweled cuff links, some have shoulder-length hair, and others wear open-collared shirts that reveal the slightest filigree of tattoo arching across their chests.
FOR THE RECORD:
Photo credits: In Sunday's Image section, an article about Freemasons was accompanied by a photograph of President Ford that was credited to the Los Angeles Times; Eric Draper of the Associated Press was the photographer. The uncredited photo of Clark Gable that also ran with the story should have been credited to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. —

Read more: Freemasons in midst of popularity, membership boom