From the Commander of Kadosh (December 2017)

posted Dec 13, 2017, 3:08 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

I knew that Crocker Lodge #212 was located somewhere in San Francisco. As it turns out, this is one “Special” Lodge. I learned at Mtn. View DeAnza’s Stated Meeting that our Inspector Wor. Edwin ‘Hercules’ Valdez was going to receive his Hiram Award from Crocker Lodge and I would go.

Well let me tell you that Daley City is one large neighborhood and Crocker Lodge is located right in the middle of many multi-story residential houses on the side of a big hill. There were no empty parking spaces but I saw one vehicle just starting to move and we grabbed that space. A quick walk down one steep block and we were there.

The place was packed. “Everyone” was already in the dining room and really enjoying themselves. We gobbled up the hors d’oeuvres, the Chardonnay & Merlot, and also some of that “slushy stuff” from a machine on a table which poured out endless Margaritas at the pull of the handle. Yes! I could tell at once that this was going to be one great evening of celebration! After a delicious dinner Hercules’s daughter introduced Hercules and his family then she related to us his lifetime biography.

Hercules is a remarkable fellow—of medium height and Philippine descent with a Post-Masters Degree in the Sciences, a member and Past Master of Crocker Lodge #212, a Roman Catholic Priest and a Grand Lodge District Inspector for the San Francisco middle coastal area down to Salinas. He is a likeable and friendly gentleman who knows all the work and at Crocker Lodge they really love him. He is their guy.

After dinner we adjourned upstairs to the Lodge Room by the 33 stairs or by the elevator. The Lodge Room is spectacular. All of the 3 rows of seats on each side were filled. The floor is carpeted with a very large black and white checkered rug with a red and black tessellated boarder. Framed Past Masters pictures adorn both the south and north walls above the chairs. Present Wor. Master R. W. Whitfield presided over the ceremony. The award was preceded with a Walk-about discourse of the Lodge Room. Wor. Tony Sammaio, AGL of Division 3, then described the background of the Hiram Award which was followed with the award presentation to Wor. Hercules.

A letter of congratulations from our newly elected Grand Master M.W. Bruce Galloway followed by a letter and certificate from Grand Secretary Wor. Allan Casalou, after which Bro. Hercules was presented with his Hiram Award and Medal—plus the award pin which was attached to his jacket collar by his wife. Next came Hercules’ “address” to the attendees. He mentioned his religious and current background and thoughts, and why he is now active in Masonry and of his travel to the “Village Crocker” in Africa. He followed this with a lengthy allegorical story “ I see you have traveled”. It was of a man traveling from where he started, to his destination, and along the way of what Masonic symbols, roads, buildings, people, and related items which were of interest to him—until he finally reached his destination—when he said “and that’s the end”. Every one was shocked waiting for the rest of the story!

Well, my friends, after a minute or two of curious silence, we finally “got it”. The story was not about the destination—it was about the trip. And he concluded with the remark “When you are going on a journey from one place to another—you bring what you have to where you are gong”. This was the Hercules parable.

Dell Bleiler, Commander of Kadosh