From the Venerable Master (November 2023)
San Jose Lodge of Perfection Bocce Ball Event
The San Jose Lodge of Perfection hosted an exciting Bocce Ball event on October 23, 2023, which was a resounding success, drawing a diverse and enthusiastic crowd. The event was well-attended by members, spouses, children, grandparents, and their grandchildren, creating an inclusive atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.
1. Impressive Turnout: The event garnered significant participation from members of the San Jose Lodge of Perfection, their families, and friends. The turnout was heartwarming, as individuals of all ages came together to enjoy a day of outdoor fun.
2. Inter-generational Bonding: One of the most heartwarming aspects of the event was the inter-generational participation. Grandparents bonded with their grandchildren while sharing their love for Bocce Ball. It was a beautiful sight to see different generations enjoying the sport together.
3. Exciting Bocce Ball Matches: The Bocce Ball courts were a hub of activity throughout the day. Players of all skill levels joined in, with both newcomers and experienced players competing in friendly matches. The competitive spirit was alive and well, but the emphasis was always on having fun.
4. Delicious Food: No event is complete without delicious food, and our Bocce Ball event did not disappoint. There was a wide variety of refreshments and snacks available, keeping everyone well-fueled for their matches. A local catering company provided an array of mouthwatering options.
Camaraderie: The spirit of camaraderie was evident as people cheered for each other, exchanged friendly banter, and celebrated every successful shot. It was a testament to the strong sense of community within the San Jose Lodge of Perfection.
Feedback and Gratitude: The event was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Many attendees expressed their gratitude for such a wellorganized and enjoyable day. Families were especially thankful for the opportunity to bond and create lasting memories.
I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the San Jose Lodge of Perfection for sponsoring and organizing this memorable Bocce Ball event. It was a day filled with laughter, excitement, and the joy of togetherness.
The success of this event was due to the collective efforts of the organizing committee, the participants, and the sponsors. We look forward to more such events in the future that strengthen our bonds of friendship, brotherly love, and community.
Thank you once again to all who participated and made this event a resounding success!
November in the eyes of a Mason
November holds a special significance in the eyes of Freemasonry, as it is associated with several important Masonic observances and traditions. Here's a glimpse into the month of November from the perspective of Freemasonry:
1. Remembrance and Reflection: In many Masonic lodges, November is a time for remembrance and reflection. It is a month when Masons pay tribute to their fallen brethren, particularly those who served in the military. Lodges often hold ceremonies or events to honor the memory of Masons who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
2. Feast of All Saints: November 1st is the Feast of All Saints, a day celebrated by various Christian denominations. While not an exclusively Masonic observance, it is a day when Masons who are also Christians may reflect on the spiritual aspects of Freemasonry and the moral lessons it imparts.
3. Charity and Philanthropy: Freemasonry places a strong emphasis on charity and giving back to the community. November serves as a reminder to continue Masonic philanthropic efforts. Many Masonic organizations run charitable initiatives and fundraisers during this month to support various causes and help those in need.
4. Education and Enlightenment: Masonic lodges often host educational lectures and discussions throughout the year, and November is no exception. This month provides an opportunity for Masons to delve deeper into the principles and teachings of Freemasonry, promoting personal growth and enlightenment.
5. Historical Significance: November also holds historical importance in the world of Freemasonry. Various Masonic events, meetings, and anniversaries may have occurred in this month throughout Masonic history. It's a time to remember the heritage and legacy of the Craft.
6. Brotherhood and Camaraderie: Masons place great value on brotherhood and camaraderie. November is a time to come together with fellow Masons, both within their own lodges and in inter-lodge gatherings, to reinforce the bonds of friendship and unity that are at the core of Freemasonry.
Gratitude and Thankfulness: As the month of November is often associated with Thanksgiving in many countries, Masons may take this opportunity to express gratitude for the teachings, values, and principles they have learned through Freemasonry. It's a time to be thankful for the Masonic journey and the positive impact it has on their lives. In summary, November is a meaningful month for Freemasonry, marked by remembrance, charity, education, brotherhood, and reflection on the values and teachings of the Craft. It serves as a time for Masons to come together, support their communities, and honor the memory of those who have contributed to the Masonic tradition.
San Jose Lodge of Perfection Naresh Rampershad, 32° 2022-2023 Venerable Master
From the Wise Master
As a prior US Navy Submarine Sailor, I look forward to sharing Veterans Day with those I served with directly and all other Brothers and Sisters who wear or have worn the uniform in service to our country and Freedom. In years past, I have met up with other veterans where we might share stories of great adventures when we were young and maybe not so wise. It is also a great time for us to remember to check on our Brothers and Sisters who may need help fighting their demons after returning from conflicts.
It is timely that we have the great celebration of Thanksgiving after Veterans Day, when we can celebrate those friendships that support us and the family that loves us. We have the opportunity to reflect on things that went well for us during the year and the lessons we learned from the things that didn’t go our way. Of course… there is always the feast and favorite leftovers to follow.
This year in particular I am giving thanks for being part of a relatively recently created team to support the IT and Technology infrastructure for our Valley. Over the last six months, we have taken a lot of steps to dig up what was created before, implemented replacement systems that are up to date, and plot the course for the future. We’ve spent several nights and weekends working on the material and now our Valley is all the stronger for it. I was only able to catch a couple of pictures throughout the process (shown here). Hons. Toone and Rampershad, thank you for making the work fun!
San Jose Chapter of Rose Croix Timothy M. Lynch II, 32° 2022-2023 Wise Master
From the Commander of Kadosh (November 2023)
The degrees of the Council of Kadosh are chivalric and philosophical but also contain mystical material. The word “Kadosh” is a Hebrew word meaning “Holy”.
The complexity of these degrees (19°–30°) cannot be overstated and is exemplified by the number of pages attributed to them in Morals and Dogma.
The twenty-eighth degree alone is over a quarter of the 1000+ page tome.
The Council of Kadosh manifests in the quest to find ways to express that strengthened light in the matters and affairs of the world.
The Council Of Knights Kadosh (19º-30º) symbol is a doubleheaded eagle of silver with wings spread, resting upon a Teutonic cross of red, bordered in gold.
The eagle is sometimes depicted with one-half black, and the other half white, reflecting an older title of the degree, “Knight of the White and Black Eagle.”
The Degree was once the the perfect or most extreme example of its kind, and the eagle was depicted atop a ladder which symbolized the increasing duties one accepts in knighthood, which are symbolized by the cross.
In the council of Kadosh, the 30th degree titled Knight of Kadosh, is the last of the philosophical degrees. It is not within the realm of Masonry to punish oppressors and tyrants who enact barriers to brotherly love and affection. Those who oppress or are tyrants are always punished in the course of history. It is the goal of a Knight of Kadosh to defeat the passions and fanaticism that lead to oppression by spreading love and toleration. The Knight Kadosh is all to aware of his obligations. He is just, fair, impartial, and respectful of all ideas. He fights for the freedom of conscience. He stands against those who would attack these liberties, but in doing so revenge is not in his thoughts or philosophy. A Knight of Kadosh is a lover of great examples of conduct and thought.
San Jose Council of Kadosh David M. Kampschafer, 32° 2022-2023 Commander of Kadosh
From the Master of Kadosh (November 2023)
As you read this Halloween is past and Christmas is in the air and in stores. First let’s explore a Christmas tradition that may have Masonic overtones. After that, let’s look at other items that came to my attention.
The Christas tradition is that classic, “Here Comes Santa Claus” performed by and writing credits given to our Illustrious Brother Gene Autry, 33 rd. degree. Several years ago, listening to it, a verse caught my attention. “Peace on earth will come to all if we just follow the LIGHT, So lets give thanks to the Lord above, ‘cause Santa Claus comes tonight”. It was the word “light”. I wondered if Brother Autry included that reference to “follow the light” as Masons understand the concept of light. Afterall if all follow the light peace can indeed come to the earth. Listen for that verse next time.
There is reference to “light’ in another song. It came out in the early 1900s and was written by Brother Irving Berlin, “God Bless America”. Brother Berlin changed a couple of lines after he wrote it. The original was “. . .Stand beside her and guide her to the right with the light from above, Make her victorious on land and foam . . .” He changed it to what we now sing: “Stand beside her and guide her, Through the night with the light from above, from the mountains to the prairies to the ocean white with foam . . .” He changed it because, in politics “right” refers to conservative groups but he wanted to bring Americans together not separate them. He also removed “Make her victorious . . .” because this suggests military conquest (World War I had just ended). That change made it into the peace song he was after. As an aside, after Kate Smith sang it at the end of one of her radio programs it became an instant hit. She continued singing for the next 50 years.
Now let’s go from Masonic symbolism in music to possible symbolism in objects. The picture of the porcelain figures was taken at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. The title is “Two freemasons” and was made in 1740 in Germany. Missing is a compass in the hand of the left figure. The flap on the apron of the left figure is turned up. The seated figure’s apron has the flap down. The detail in the photo does not clearly show the seated figure is also wearing the Master’s jewel. I am not familiar with 18th century German Masonic ritual or customs, but it can be speculated the left figure is giving his proficiency to the Master of the Lodge.
The mechanical item seems to have two Masonic emblems. It is a Westinghouse air brake valve on a diesel locomotive. The emblems are not Masonic. They are the logo for Westinghouse Air Brakes. It is a “W” and “A” on top of each other. The line in the middle is the horizontal line in “A”. Try drawing it yourself. What little I know is George Westinghouse was not a Mason, however in the design and engineering department there may have been Masons. Many Masons were on train crews in the 19th and early 20th centuries. When you are at a rail museum, look around the locomotives, and rail car brake systems. You will see it almost everywhere, even on the cab’s brake stand.
Masonry is a great influence on its members, but its emblems, symbols and references may be out in public in the most unexpected places.
San Jose Consistory Richard M. Fisher, III, 33° 2022-2023 Venerable Master of Kadosh
From the Chief Knight (November 2023)
We are fast approaching the busiest season for blue lodges in our valley. With several award ceremonies, holiday celebrations, and of course installations, everyone is getting very busy very quickly. During the month of October, our Chapter of the Knights of St. Andrew provided the Arch of Steel for two worthy Hiram Award recipients, Wor. Max Mora (GR479) and Wor. Dennis Byrd (SJ10). In November we will be providing the Arch of Steel for the Grand Master’s Reception hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Masonic Officers Association. Throughout December and January we are also providing Flag Escort for a few lodges during their installations. If your lodge is interested in having us present the flag at your Installation of Officers, please let us know.
San Jose Knights of St. Andrew Timothy M. Lynch II, 32° 2022-2023 Chief Knight, KSA