As I noted in my previous blog Tis the Season, in California we are installing new officers for the coming masonic year 6008 AL. These installations are open to the public, and are very well attended.
Today, at 2pm the Moreno Valley Lodge installed the line of officers.
- Wr. John Cover Spear, Master
- Br. Ron Dudec, Senior Warden
- Wr. Patrick Janitell, Junior Warden
- Wr. Frank D. Pavlik, Secretary
- Br. Richard M. Foust, Treasurer
- Wr. Irvin "Mac" McRoy, Chaplain
- Br. James a Willem, Senior Deacon
- Me as Junior Deacon
- Br. Sheridan H. "Mac" Tanner, Marshal
- Br. Victor Villavicencio, Senior Steward
- Br. George M. Lyons, Junior Steward
- Br. Romero P. DeMelo, Tyler
As always, I was moved by the poignancy of the additional obligations of the master of the lodge, to which he must give his positive assent:
You agree to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law.
You agree to be a peaceable citizen, and cheerfully to conform to the laws of the country in which you reside.
You promise not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against government, but patiently to submit to the decision of the supreme Legislature.
You agree to pay a proper respect to the civil magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honorably by all men.
You agree to hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of the Order of Masonry, and their regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations; and to submit to the awards and resolutions of your Brethren, when convened, in every case consistent with the Constitutions of the Order.
You agree to avoid private piques and quarrels, and to guard against intemperance and excess.
You agree to be cautious in carriage and behavior, courteous to your Brethren, and faithful to your Lodge.
You promise to respect genuine Brethren and to discountenance imposters and all dissenters from the original plan of Masonry.
You agree to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and to propagate the knowledge of the Art.
You promise to pay homage to the Grand Master for the time being, and to his officers when duly installed; and strictly to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge or General Assembly of Masons, that is not subversive of the principles and groundwork of Masonry.
You admit that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry.
You promise a regular attendance on the committees and communications of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper notice, and to pay attention to all the duties of Masonry on convenient occasions.
You admit that no new Lodge should be formed without permission of the Grand Lodge; and that no countenance should be given to any irregular Lodge, or to any person clandestinely initiated therein, - being contrary to the ancient charges of the Order.
You admit that no person can be regularly made a Mason in, or admitted a member of, any regular Lodge, without previous notice, and due inquiry into his character.
You agree that no visitors shall be received into your Lodge without due examination, and producing proper vouchers of their having been initiated in a regular Lodge.
These are among the Ancient charges and regulations of Free and Accepted Masons, and to these your assent must be freely given. Do you submit to these charges and promise to support these regulations, as Masters have done in all ages before you?
After the installation, I was approached by a brother who told me he read my blog, and wished there were more masons like me... there are, thousands who are better men, but its nice to see someone that reads the blog. Thank you brother!
and the viewing...
Sadly, one of the brothers from my lodge passed on December 9, a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, Rafael Estevez. Today was the viewing, and tomorrow at 2pm, the brethren of the lodge are going to say a final farewell to our brother. Tonight, I met the family, and sat with them, and was truly moved by the family's grief.
Most Worshipful Estevez was a good man, a very active man in our lodge and in Maya lodge, where he worked to help develop the Spanish version of our Grand Lodge Ritual and develop a Spanish Language Degree team. The Grand Lodge of California, F&AM now has Spanish, French, and Armenian (!) language only lodges, Traditional Observance Lodges, and mainstream lodges under charter.
This was a wonderful brother, who managed to leave Cuba after serving 8 years in a Cuban concentration camp for the crime of opposing Fidel Castro and asking permission to leave the island. While he was in prison, our brother masons in Cuba helped his wife and his one son by bringing them a little money every month to tide them over, since everything he owned had been seized by the government of Cuba when he was sent to prison.
On making it to the United States, MW Estevez joined Maya Lodge, but had to take his degrees over again, since the Grand Lodge of California, F&AM did not recognize the Grand Lodge of Cuba. After which he moved to Moreno Valley and joined my lodge.
The hardest duty of a mason is to attend the funerals of a brother, but I go to them whenever I can, though this is not as often as I would like, given that most funerals are done during daylight hours on weekdays when I work. Tomorrow, we will be performing the masonic funeral ritual for our departed brother, and I will be there.
Its my duty... and, my privilege.
May the blessing of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons. May brotherly love prevail, and moral and social virtue, cement us.