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Sword & Trowel

August 2018

Volume 6 No. 03

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Table of Contents Vision Statement ..... Brief Article ..... Times a Flying ..... York Rite going down ..... Scholarships ..... Contact Information ..... Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons ........ Website .......... ............................................. Officers: Grand Council Cryptic Masons California .. Alameda ..... Auburn ..... South San Francisco ..... San Bernardino ..... Grand Sessions .....

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Vision Statement

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Brief Article

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Times a Flying Companions and Sir Knights, Companions the last two months have been very eventful and have flown by as a result. During that brief two months, Anne and I have attended many very fun and successful events including receptions, picnics and awards ceremonies. And, like all of you, we have been busy with family matters, with masonic activities on the local scene and with work. This does indeed make the time pass quickly. Things will still be happening on the York Rite front in August and September but at less frequency. That is a good thing as Anne and I have to go to Florida and handle some family matters. As many of you know, my mom went home to be with the Lord in late June after having lived a good full life. Now, I need to go and say my final goodbye and to be at the committal of her ashes and a Celebration of Life, as she desired. I also have to open and start the probate of the will and begin the process of distributing personal items involving all the heirs (my siblings). We plan to head there right after our Arizona Grand Sessions visitation on August 9th and 10th. But, I expect to return by mid-September and should be able to continue the process from here. In handling some of the immediate arrangements and making plans for the trip, I am mindful of, and also saddened by, the very recent events that have enveloped many of our friends, fraters and family. I know all of you join me in continued prayers for our very own Lady Jacki McKeay as she battles numerous surgeries brought on by a sudden life-threatening illness. We pray for every success in the surgeries and a complete recovery. We also extend our best wishes and prayers to Most Illustrious Companion Martin McKeay who was recuperating from surgery himself when Jacki was taken ill. I also pray for all those caught up in the tragic fires in Northern and Southern California. All these things shed light on how unpredictable and fragile life is and reminds us that our jobs and commitments to fraternity are important but our loved ones and friends are what really count. So, stay safe everyone and may the Lord lift his countenance upon us, and be gracious unto us and give us peace. God Bless. With the greatest respect and humility,

William S. (Bill) Dann Most Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons California

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York Rite going down WOW, I have been busy and it is enjoyable or at least part of it was, but I am working harder than when I actually worked and received pay. Oh Well. I should explain the last sentence, my dog & if you have a dog, you know what I am about to say is true, Their love for you has no bounds mine is at my feet; well anyway, he had a steel plate with six screws put on his right hind leg. We lost another Chapter, Council, and Commandery this year and we should begin to cry. I have read the “Last York Rite Mason” written by John Cooper and its beginning to become easier and easier to figure out who will be the Last York Rite Mason. My guess it will be in the southern section of California, probably around Van Nuys, CA. Today, York Rite essentially does not exist between Stockton and Bakersfield and how many Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons do we have in that small, itsy, bitsy part of California When we were busy attempting to save Modesto York Rite and many were involved, Fenton, David, Kenneth, Don, Thomas, and etc we arranged a Breakfast, we made enough money to carry us through the year as our dues were not enough to cover per capita payment to Grand York Rite. What made this breakfast fantastic, remarkable even, Companions came to the event that the Secretary/Recorder had to look at the Dues Card to insure he was a member (having never met the Companion). This Breakfast reminded me of a Brunch that was put together … The point of the above conversation, we must do something and quickly. I have written several articles about a 3-legged stool (a milking stool) which is a very solid support stool while milking. For the Companions new to York Rite this was before moderation of our milking facilities, back when we used outhouses. Outhouses are not sheds where we stored our working tools. Anyway, a 3-legged stool has only 3 legs, imagine that. Let’s take the first leg, any leg, just pick a leg. This leg is for the High Priest, Illustrious Master, Commander. He (all officers) must know their work, the ritual. But that is not all he does, he has two other legs to worry about, but this should not make him leery or tired, he is in office for only one year and then he become a Past. But what of the other two legs, they help support the High Priest, Illustrious Master, and Commander. I was talking to two Masons trying to get them into York Rite and additionally, Shriners. Well they had already made progress toward the Shriners, so we started talking about York Rite and its history. They asked questions, good ones, and they said our lodge has dinner, opens, reads minutes, pay bills, close, and we go home. I told them we basically do the same but you will learn additional Masonic History, about the difference of American York Rite and York Rite in other countries. They also made the comment, so York Rite is like the Lodge, but with this difference, during opening, a book is read, read minutes, pay our bills, during closing a book is read, sometimes getting lost, and we go home. Nothing much I could say. Let’s get to the other two legs and label them activities & programs, labels at this point is immaterial. We must have activities in keeping the Companions and Sir Knights involved in our body. What about a quarterly gathering at a local Cheesecake factory, Beer garden, Pizza, where we can sit and talk, have fun, with our wives present. Some lodges are already at this point and some York Rite bodies are also progressing to this point. Now let’s go to programs, and this is a tough one, Programs. Above all, we must do something other York Rite Bodes and Lodges are not doing, we must be unique. We cannot have a 4 th of July Parade, its being done; Teacher of the Year Dinner, its being done; Policeman of the year, its being done; Chocolate and Wine gathering, its being done; Picnic, its being done; I know, I know, a Sword & Trowel

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foodbank, its being done; Christmas Dinner for Homeless, its being done. These are some suggestions & please forgive the wording, I have heard all the excuses before. We have covered three items in its short form; •

Leg One: High Priest, Illustrious Master, Commander, & Officers: ritual must be from memory

Leg Two: Programs: on a yearly basis, do something for the community, as a yearly dinner for the homeless. In our area, let’s see, let me think, I am getting old & accessing my brain is becoming harder & harder, I’m still thinking, can’t think of a damn thing.

Leg Three: Activities: a quarterly dinner party. In our area, let’s see, let me think, we ain’t going through this again, can’t think of a damn thing.

Garbled Memories from the last York Rite Mason: Interviewer: You don’t sound terribly excited about becoming a member of the York Rite. Brother Mason: I was disappointed, I must admit. I was used to Masons in my lodge being excited about Freemasonry, eager to join in conferring the degrees, and wanting to learn about Freemasonry all the time. We talked about Freemasonry, about how we could make it a real part of our lives, and we liked being with each other in lodge. I didn’t find that in York Rite. Interviewer: Tell me more. Brother Mason: Well, for starters, I found out that the local York Rite couldn’t confer any of the degrees. We had to go to something that they called a “festivals” to get the degrees. And because no one from my York Rite was at this “festival”, except the High Priest, Illustrious Master, and Commander or their representatives, I didn’t know anyone there. The ritual was OK – most of them seemed to have worked on the degrees enough so that they could confer them satisfactorily – but there were so many of them that by the end of the day everyone was too tired to talk about the meaning of what we had seen that day. In fact, at the end of the day everything was so jumbled in my mind that I couldn’t tell one of the degrees from the other. Interviewer: So, these Masons didn’t know much about the degrees that they were conferring? Brother Mason: Apparently not. I tried to talk to some of them about what was being conferred during the breaks, and over lunch, but no one seemed to want to talk about Masonic things. After thinking it over, it’s my opinion that they didn’t know anything about what they were doing, and so they didn’t want to discuss it. Interviewer: that must have been discouraging. Brother Mason: Well, yes, it was. I had a hard time figuring out why these Masons were spending so much time learning to confer these degrees if they weren’t interested in them. They did tell me that I should come back to see the degrees again, but as I’d had to drive 120 miles to get the degrees in the first place, that didn’t seem to be very practical. And, then, they only conferred the degrees once a year – if that. In the years that followed I found out that many of these “festivals” (as they called them) were cancelled because there were no candidates. So, I couldn’t see the degrees again even if I had wanted to. Interviewer: Did you attend your Chapter, Council, or Commandery? Brother Mason: I tried. As I mentioned, no one in my lodge was a member of York Rite, and in any case, the Chapter, Council, and Commandery I joined met in the neighboring town, about thirty miles away. I went a few times, but they didn’t even seem to be able to open or close. They tried to read the ritual, but even then, they got terribly confused, and eventually just gave up and declared it open. They never conferred any degrees, and never talked about them. I paid my dues, but after a year or so, I just quit going. Think about it, in the year of our Lord 2004 we had over 8,000 Companions and Sir Knights; Sword & Trowel

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in the year of our Lord 2018 we have over 3,000 Companions and Sir Knights. An excellent article by Randy Downing, KYGCH, Illustrious Master San Jose Council No. 20

Scholarships Companions, your children, grandchildren, & for some, great-grandchildren may receive financial help for attending school. After opening up Scholarship Center website, have them go to bottom of page & find the Scholarship Manual in (PDF format – 450KB) to download. There they will find instructions for filling out the forms. This is the link which will take you to the public Grand Lodge web page on scholarships. All the information you need should be right there. This is a complete manual that you can download that talk about all of the scholarships available from the California Masonic Foundation as well as the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Eastern Star, High Twelve, DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, & Rainbow for Girls.

Contact Information Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons: Most Illustrious Companion, William S. Dann, KTCH, KYGCH Pacific Council No. 37 Grand Master Cryptic Masons of California Grand Secretary/Recorder: Philip Hardiman, KTCH, KCT, KYGCH, PGHP Grand Secretary Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons California, Grand Recorder, Grand Council Cryptic Masons California, & Grand Recorder, Grand Commandery Knights Templar California 1123 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814 E-mail: sec-rec@yorkriteofcalifornia.org Assistant Secretary/Recorder: Thomas Krummell, KCT, KYCH 1123 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814 e-mail: assistant-sec-rec@yorkriteofcalifornia.org Website: Grand York Rite of California Note: Hyperlinks or links to other pages or web sites are prevalent throughout the document.

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Officers: Grand Council Cryptic Masons California 158th Most Illustrious Companion Grand Master Cryptic Masons William S. Dann, KTCH, KYGCH Pacific Council No. 37 & Anne Right Illustrious Companion Eduardo Estrada, KYCH Deputy Grand Master Omega Council No. 11 & Natasha Most Illustrious Companion Robert A. L. Whitfield, KYGCH, MIPGM GRAND TREASURER Oakland Council No. 12 & Genie

Right Illustrious Companion Robert A. Morrison, KYCH Grand Principal Conductor of the Work Butte Council No. 50 & Pauline Most Illustrious Companion Philip Hardiman, KTCH, KCT, KYGCH, PGHP Grand Recorder Sacramento Council No. 1 & Nancy

Most Illustrious Companion William E. Price, KYGCH, MIPGM GRAND DIRECTOR OF RITUAL California Council No. 2 & Janet Right Illustrious Companion Richard E. Thornton, KCT, KYCH GRAND CHAPLAIN (North) Stockton Council No. 5 & Cara Right Illustrious Companion Peter G. Champion, KYCH Grand Captain of the Guard San Luis Obispo Council No. 38 & Janice Right Illustrious Companion Michael T. Sherman, KYCH GRAND STEWARD Helix Council No. 58 Right Illustrious Companion William Miklos III, KYCH GRAND ORATOR Amador Council No. 31 & Angelica Right Illustrious Companion Efren D. Prado, KYCH GRAND MARSHAL (North) King Solomon's Council No. 29 Right Illustrious Companion K. Mark Harris GRAND SOLOIST/MUSICIAN Oakland Council No. 12

Right Illustrious Companion John Edward Bickerstaff GRAND CHAPLAIN (SOUTH) H. Edward Barr's Oasis Council No. 64 & Jennifer Right Illustrious Companion Guy M. Chalmers, KYCH GRAND CONDUCTOR OF THE COUNCIL Redwood Empire Council No. 46 & Jeanne Right Illustrious Companion Jeffrey A. White, KYCH GRAND SENTINEL Pacific Council No. 37 & Lisa Right Illustrious Companion Thomas A. Krummell, KCT, KYCH ASSISTANT GRAND RECORDER Gateway Council No. 13 & Marcia Right Illustrious Companion Ronald W. Alcorn III, KYCH GRAND MARSHAL (South) Alhambra Council No. 25 Right Illustrious Companion Andrew B. Pippin, KYCH GRAND BIBLE BEARER Ventura Council No. 15 & Julia

Right Illustrious Companion Gary Richard Quintrell, KYCH GRAND STANDARD BEARER Pacific Council No. 37 & Heidi

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Alameda

Grand York Rite Reception Most Excellent Grand High Priest, Anthony T. Yuson, KYGCH Most Illustrious Grand Master, William S. Dann, KYGCH Right Eminent Grand Commander, SK Gregg A. Hall, KYGCH Date:

August 4, 2018 Time: 3:00 P.M. Social 3:30 P.M. Dinner

Location: Alameda Masonic Hall 2312 Alameda Avenue Alameda, California R.S.V.P. with a Check to “East Bay York Rite” Send to: Marion Rogers 7273 Hansen Drive, Dublin, CA 94568 925-596-3312 marion.rogers@comcast.net

Cost $25.00 per Person

PLEASE R.S.V.P. before July 28, 2018 Sword & Trowel

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Auburn

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South San Francisco

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San Bernardino

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Grand Sessions

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Profile for Richard E. Thornton

Sword and Trowel August 2018  

a Monthly Newsletter published by the Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

Sword and Trowel August 2018  

a Monthly Newsletter published by the Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California

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