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Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of California Richard D. Baskin, GHP ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Vol. VIII No. 10 1 3 3 4 4 4 5 5


Grand High Priest’s Message Companions, In Masonry we are taught to explore astronomy as one of the seven liberal arts and sciences. That investigation leads us to review and study the explanation of the equinox and how it relates to history, present day and our teachings. The equinox is defined as one of two points in a planet’s orbit where the tilt of the axis of rotation points neither toward nor away from the Sun and the length of day and night are roughly of the same duration. This year we will experience that phenomenon for the first time on Monday, March 20th. In ancient civilizations, when the sun crossed the equator in a northward direction, which we now call the vernal equinox, the interpretation of the event had dramatically opposite meanings depending on which hemisphere you were in. For those in the northern hemisphere, it signaled the start of a new year, a season of planting, and the creation of new life. Philosophically, it represented the victory of light over darkness, the ending of the dark half of the year, and the beginning of the light half. For those in the southern hemisphere the vernal equinox represents the opposite; the end of the year, culmination of a season of harvesting, and the victory of darkness over light in the eternal struggle. Page 1 of 13

We are reminded that in 325. C.E., the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. Easter, being the oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion. Easter is a time to reflect on God’s grace and pursue ways to model this trait in our own lives. It gives us time to reflect on God’s call for us to live a more godly, morally-based life; and reminds us of the tenets of our great fraternity and of our Masonic obligation. A time to evaluate and rebalance the things most important in life. March is a busy month for our Grand Chapter as we work to complete preparations for the next Grand Capitular year for the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of California. Our annual Grand Chapter Officers’ meeting will be on March 11th in Bakersfield. I have a full agenda for the Grand Officers and I can assure you they are ready and willing to go to work. In addition to our Grand Officers, we will have a number of our Past Grand High Priests in attendance, so I look forward to a very productive meeting. I would also like to remind you to sign up and make your reservations for our Grand York Rite Sessions, starting on Monday, May 22nd at the Bakersfield DoubleTree Hotel. Our meeting will be on the 23rdand I hope you will attend and support your Grand Chapter. You can download the registration form from our website or use the copy of the registration form at the end of this newsletter. Lastly, remember that the ads in the Souvenir Brochure help finance the activities at the Grand Sessions, so encourage your Chapter to take one out and include a picture of your Officers and members. We will hold the last of our Schools of Instruction in the North and Central parts of our great state. Our Grand Lecturer will promulgate the date, time, and location of the schools once the remaining details are worked out. I can assure you that you will enjoy the ritual and the follow on discussion. We have worked to make sure the schools are affordable, only costing you a little time. And for that investment you will get lunch and the most up to date information on our ritual. The information alone is worth the price of admission. What would March be without a note about St. Patrick’s Day? So I thought I would include a couple of items of interest. 1. The most common St Patrick's Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. 2. Religious symbols include snakes and serpents, as well as the Celtic cross. Some say that Saint Patrick added the sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross. Other Irish-related symbols seen on St Patrick’s Day include the harp, which was used in Ireland for centuries, a mythological creature known as the leprechaun, and the pot of gold that he keeps hidden. Companions, I close my article with the sad news that Most Excellent Companion Xavier A. “Sam” Pitassi, Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honor was called from labor on February 12, 2017. He was Grand High Priest (2001 - 02), Deputy General Grand High Priest (2002 – 05) of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International and Potentate of Al Page 2 of 13

Malaikah Shrine in 2011. Sam was a valued leader in Freemasonry, giving freely of his time and experience to help other on their Masonic journey. He will be missed. Richard D. Baskin, KYGCH 162nd Grand High Priest ___________________________________________________________________________________

your hotel reservations made. Let’s make this a great event, with an increased number of Companions in attendance.

GRAND KING’S MESSAGE Companions, By this time, all Chapters should have held their annual installations, and a new Capitular year is underway. Remember that your Chapter should have a well-rounded program, and not simply meet to do routine business, then go home. A lack of content in meetings is one of the fastest way to turn new Companions away. Try to present some type of educational program. Have a social activity before or after the meeting. Bring in a guest speaker to talk about something of mutual interest. Hold a ladies’ night, to honor those that make it possible for us to come out and play. Make your Chapter meeting something that Companions want to attend, because there is something of interest in it for them. Our current Grand Capitular year is coming to a close, and we are looking forward to the next year. I know that plans are underway for upcoming receptions, beginning in June of this year. I urge you, if your Chapter is planning an event which involves the Grand Chapter officers, that you first make certain the date will work for the honorees, and that you then complete all the details of the event as soon as possible, to assure you success in both attendance and execution. I hope that you are all thinking about attending our Grand Sessions in Bakersfield in May. Remember to get your registration in as soon as you can, and make sure to get

I look forward to seeing you all in May, and throughout the coming year. Fraternally Randy Downey, KYCH Grand King

FROM THE GRAND LECTURER Companions All, As a result of a conflict with the Grand Lodge Inspector's School of Instruction in Union City on 1 April and Our SOI in Woodland on the same date; We have decided to MOVE the Grand Chapter SOI to Sat, 29 APRIL, at Davis, Yolo #195, Lodge located at 1655 Da Vinci Ct, Davis, CA! Please change our NorCal SOI date accordingly on your calendars and join us there! We plan to meet at 9 am and start our SOI at 0930. Lunch will be provided and we will be completed by 3 pm. All Royal Arch Masons interested in practicing our ritual are invited to attend by letting our Northern Region DGL, EC Tom McClellan, know you are attending via email at <> so that he can arrange our lunch! Remember, no memory work is required at these SOI's! Bring your books and join us for a fun and informative day together! Don't forget that our Central CA SOI is being held THIS month, Sat. 25 March, at Hanford Lodge on

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Douty Street, Hanford CA, meeting at 9 am with the school starting at 9:30 am and ending at 3 pm! Please RSVP to our Central Region DGL, Ken Edwards, at <> to arrange for lunch! Cheers to All!


Steve Goad, Your most humble Grand Lecturer

GRAND SESSIONS 2017 Dates for the 2017 California Grand York Rite Monday, May 22, 2017 – Grand Commandery Tuesday, May 23, 2017 – Grand Chapter Wednesday, May 24, 2017 – Grand Council A copy of the Registration Form is copied at the back of this newsletter. This form and related forms can be found at:

GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER The next Triennium will be held in Portland on August 23 through August 30th next year. General Grand Chapter will be held on Tuesday August 29th, with General Grand Council meeting on Monday the 28th. You should put these dates on your calendar now, and plan to register before July 26th, 2017 to get the best rates. Hotel RSVPs are due July 31st, 2017. This meeting is open to all Companions. This may be the closest the Triennial will be to California in at least 9 years, so give attendance next year your serious consideration. In addition to the meetings, there are numerous other activities planned, and services available, that you may want to avail yourself of. See the 2-page flyer at the end of this newsletter.

The mission of the Golden State Research Chapter is to stimulate interest among Royal Arch Masons by expanding their knowledge of Royal Arch Masonry through research leading to the publication of educational materials that expand the understanding of Royal Arch Masons in their history, traditions, and symbolism Information describing why this Chapter was formed is available at WWW.GOLDENSTATECHAPTER.ORG. The next meeting for our Research Chapter will be held in Bakersfield during the York Rite Grand Sessions in May. All Companions are invited and encouraged to attend. I encourage all Royal Arch Companions to join the Golden State Chapter of Research in order to receive further light in our beautiful Capitular Degrees. Our website address is, where we post many papers and newsletters. This is also where you will find an application of affiliation to the Chapter. To become a member of the Research Chapter

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candidates must submit an application form and a $10.00 fee. There are no annual dues in the Research Chapter. Our flagship publication is publishing the Grand Orations of the Grand Chapter, Grand Council and the Vespers Service of the Grand Commandery.

GRAND CHAPTER SCHOLARSHIPS The committee selected five awardees to receive $1,000.00 scholarships: Angelina Harris Savanha Moore Madeleine Pollara Aymie Souza Emily Cunningham

Scholarship requirements will remain the same. Early submissions can be forwarded to the Office of the Grand Chapter Secretary at Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons Attn: Grand Secretary 11428 East Artesia Blvd. – Suite 13 Artesia, CA 90701-3872 Telephone: (562) 924-6500 E-mail: Once chosen, the award of $1,000 is renewable for a total of 4 years, as long as the requirements are maintained. Do you know a Rainbow Girl, Job's Daughter or DeMolay that could benefit by knowing this information? What are you waiting for make that call!

For further info about Scholarships, go to the following website: rch/rara.html The Masonic Family has a large number of scholarships available to our youth, but how many of those in need of assistance really "KNOW" they are available? California Royal Arch $1,000 Scholarship requirements: A member of the Masonic Family (ie: Rainbow, Jobs Daughter or Demolay) A US Citizen A California Resident A 3.0 Grade Point Average Enrolled or Accepted at an Educational Institution Deadline to apply for the 2017 Scholarship Program will be published in Jan 2017.

THE CLOTHES LINE A line of Jackets for our York Rite bodies continues to be available at MP. ENTERPRISES. The price for red and blue is great -- $75.00 plus tax and shipping, for sizes 34 to 49 in short, regular and tall; and $87.00 plus tax and shipping for sizes 50 to 60, also in short, regular, and tall. Purple Jackets are little more expensive at $95.00 for the smaller and $107.00 for the larger. Also available are Men’s and ladies’ vests, tuxedos and shirts, pins, patches, and flags, and OES T-Shirts. Contact Max Luy at (510) 502-3224; or at his website:; or

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directly to his



Mar 25 Apr 1 Apr 5 Apr 6 Apr 6-9

ENCOMPASSER The January 2017 edition of the Encompasser is now available at the following website: passer_issues.html OR. Go to and click on The Encompasser on the left of the top toolbar.

Apr 11 Apr 12 Apr 16

Apr 26

THE RIFLE RAFFLE The Henry Repeating Arms Company has donated one of their Golden Boy Freemason Tribute Edition rifles to each Grand Commandery in the United States. See the flyer on page 13 below. Here in California, the Grand Commandery is holding a raffle with 100% of the proceeds to go to the Educational Foundation, which could generate as much as $50,000 for scholarship purposes. Please note that such a raffle is permitted under terms of Section 1200.050 of the California Masonic code. See Grand Commandery line officers or Inspectors to find out how to purchase tickets for this worthy educational cause

Apr 27 Apr 29 Apr 29 May 2 May 3 May 4 May 9 May 1924 May 1920 May 25

Mar 14 Mar 23

Event Scottish Rite Red Cross KYCH Lodge #626 Grand York Rite Officers Conference Commandery Chapter #61

Hanford Chula Vista San Diego San Diego New Mexico San Diego San Diego San Diego

San Diego

San Diego San Diego Woodland Chula Vista San Diego San Diego San Diego Bakersfield San Diego San Diego

If you would like to attend any of these events and need to know particulars about where and when and cost, please call any of the contact numbers below

GRAND HIGH PRIEST’S CALENDAR MARCH 2016 – MAY 2017 Date Mar 1 Mar 2 Mar 4 Mar 7 Mar 1012

Grand Lecturer OSI Lodge #626 Scottish Rite Red Cross New Mexico Grand York Rite Commandery Meeting Scottish Rite Extinguish Lights EASTER: Relighting the Lights Ceremony Masonic Information Night, Scottish Rite Chapter #61 SRICF Grand Lecturer OSI Lodge #626 Scottish Rite Red Cross Commandery Grand York Rite Sessions Scottish Rite Spring Re-union Chapter #61

Location San Diego San Diego San Diego Chula Vista Bakersfield

San Diego San Diego Page 6 of 13


Editor: Phil Hardiman, KYGCH (916) 712-4814(C)

Grand High Priest: Richard D. Baskin, KYGCH (619) 990-6465 (C) Grand Secretary: Ken Hope 11428 E. Artesia Blvd, #13 Artesia, CA 90701-3872 (562) 924-6500 (W) (562) 484-1611(C)


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Attention Royal Arch Masons in California!


To introduce Master Masons to the Degrees of the Chapter, our Grand Chapter has authorized the conferral of the Mark Master Degree to interested Brethren without fee. A petition to the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is still required, to take advantage of this opportunity. “Keystone Classes” are being planned for this program now, for group conferrals of the Mark Master Degree throughout the state in the Fall of 2015. This is where YOU come in. Please talk with that Brother you would like to recommend to your Chapter, and tell him of this opportunity to “sample” the further degrees of the York Rite. To help you explain this opportunity to your Lodge Brethren, the following new materials are available to you:  

A new Petition for this introductory Mark Master Degree. A brochure inviting a Brother to explore the Chapter Degrees.

You can print these new materials from the Grand Chapter website, at Or you can ask any Chapter Secretary, District Inspector, or Grand Chapter Officer for copies of these new materials. Be sure to explain the advantages of this opportunity to your Lodge Brothers:    

The Mark Master Degree expands and extends the Craft Degrees, shedding further Light on what it means to be a Mason. Further Degrees in the Chapter are entirely optional. This is an opportunity to share Masonic fellowship with members of other Lodges in the local community. No proof of proficiency is required to advance in Degrees.

-- Companions, please talk with your Blue Lodge Brethren today ! ! --

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The Workman - March 2017  

Monthly publication by Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of California