From the Venerable Master (June, 2010)

posted May 19, 2015, 3:07 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 19, 2015, 3:07 PM ]

Brethren and Ladies:

Some 150 years ago Brother Peter Lassen led 12 covered wagons from Missouri to California, forgoing the treacherous, and now infamous, Lassen Trail.  After months of hardship, he successfully delivered new settlers to Benton City, the state’s northernmost community.  Among them was Reverend Saschel Woods, who carried one of the first Masonic Charters into California. The Missouri Charter was part of a new chapter in Freemasonry. But the long journey, inspired by the promise of California, tied Lassen and Woods to the Masonic fraternity in another way:  it echoed the travel experiences of the first Freemasons.
According to Masonic lore, the original Freemasons were master stonemasons in the middle ages, who roamed the European countryside for work that demanded their skilled labor – cathedrals, castles, abbeys, and other massive building and structures. Skilled stonemasons had earned a special privilege: they were free to travel anywhere in search of work. These master masons became known as “Free” masons.
Their work, by nature, sent them into distant lands and under the scrutiny of strangers. So, the first freemasons devised ways to prove quickly and definitively that they possessed the unique skills of a stonemason: they created secret modes of recognition, known only by fellow Master Masons.
Those modes of recognition evolved as the fraternity opened its doors to speculative Masons, giving rise to the rituals Masons practice today.  However, the modes recognition that prove that a man is part of a Brotherhood with common knowledge and experiences have not changed with the passing of time and today still prove that a man can be trusted, even as a newcomer in a strange land. 
Our Formal Night of Instruction and Agape Dinner on May 18th were a great success.  Many thanks to the Very Worshipful Allan Casalou, who presented an excellent lecture, and to Bro. Chuck Cowden who spearheaded the dinner.
I would also like to give a special thanks to our General Secretary, Bro. Bob Rowan, 32° KCCH, for doing a wonderful job with the audio-visual setup for our Spring Reunion.  We could have not succeeded without his help.
THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS to Angela Athens for all of her efforts to make San Jose Scottish Rite run more smoothly from the office to the banquet hall.  She recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with us.  
In the month of October we will be having our Fall Reunion starting with the 4th Degree immediately following the Stated Meeting on October 13th.  The 5th thru 14th degrees will be communicated on October 19th and the 18th through the 32rd Degrees on the weekend of October 22 and 23rd.  There will be a Formal Banquet on the evening of Saturday, October 23rd to honor the new Scottish Rite Masons and their ladies that will include the Cap and Ring ceremony.  Bro. Hal Leister 32° KCCH, Degree and Banquet Director, promises another great evening.  Please mark your calendars now!
Don’t forget that San Jose Scottish Rite will have our annual BBQ, casual attire, on July 13th.  We will be honoring Asiya Shriners.  Please come out and support this event and bring a prospective new member!

Durward C. Ayre, 32° KCCH
Venerable Master