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December 2022
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My Brothers, it has been a pleasure serving in the East this year. Although it was tough at times, I enjoyed the fellowship and support from all of you. Thank you to the Officers who stepped in and made 2022 a productive year.

Our first full year after the shutdown was a heavy weight on my mind. As I mentioned to Brothers before the start of the year, my goal was to bring us together and make sure our Lodge continues to exist. Nothing extravagant. Just enough to get the ball rolling toward a good future.

We had the honor of initiating Brother Jonathon Brown. We had the honor of raising Brothers Ramey Packer, Brandon Jenkins, and Kevin Hall to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. We had the honor of welcoming Brothers James Dimmitt, Kamyl Asse, and Patrick Fischer (Montana!) into our Lodge. What incredible additions we have brought into the fold!

This year brought loss as we celebrated the life of our beloved fallen Brother Randy Brink. A Sacramento celebrity who was celebrated at Sutter Field by the likes of the Sacramento Kings, the Sacramento Rivercats, and many other organizations who had the luck of being touched by him.

We had Bowling with Brothers and our Annual Family Picnic. We finally had a Table Lodge after two decades that was enjoyed by many of the Brothers (especially Worshipful Faranda!). I am happy to close out our year with Ladies' Night on December 9. A cocktail hour to celebrate our spouses and significant others.

 

As this Masonic year ends, I expressed my relief to many of you. The events and rituals were fun to participate in and reminded me why we became Masons. However, the preparation and planning were a whole other story. Oftentimes, Past Masters will tell me that I will miss it. Maybe. Maybe not. What I can tell you is I am already looking to the future.

"Moving the goalpost" is a logical fallacy, but that collection of words holds a different meaning to me.

 

As I close this chapter of my life and make it to this "goalpost" of being in the East, I now look forward to moving said goalpost to another point. Whether it is pursuing further education or just raising my kids, I will use this treasured experience of service in the East.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays my Brothers!

 

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December is a special month for Washington Lodge No. 20 in that it marks the Annual Installation of Officers, which ceremonially and officially installs the new Officers for the ensuing Masonic year into their new roles.

 

Reflecting back, 2022 has been a wonderful year.

 

Under the leadership of Worshipful Russell Tomas, our Lodge has held many wonderful stated meetings, degrees and outside events. He has brought some unique innovations that have really added a fun flair to our gatherings.

 

It was my pleasure to assist him and the Lodge at large in a few different capacities. It was also my privilege to work with all of the Officers of Washington No. 20, who were exemplary in the discharge of their duties.

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Next year our Lodge will continue its wonderful leadership under our own Brother Mauro Lara.

 

I have had many delightful experiences working with Brother Lara, and I am confident he will continue to lead with wisdom, and as an embodiment of the cardinal and theological virtues we masons know so well.

Another Masonic point of observance in December is the celebration of the feast of St. John the Evangelist on December 27th. St. John the Evangelist, along with St. John the Baptist, are the two patron Saints of Freemasonry

 

This last June’s issue of California Freemason featured an article by Most Worshipful John L. Cooper, PGM, that discusses the origins of how these two St. Johns became our patron saints. One insight he offers, that I particularly like, refers to the balanced dualism of the two Johns.

 

John the Baptist is said to represent passion and zeal, while John the Evangelist represents knowledge and faith. The idea is that brought together, they can represent a well-balanced path toward enlightenment.

 

Dear reader, as the holidays approach, I wish for you and your respective families all the wonderful time spent together that this season provides. This time of year can also be a little crazy, so I also wish it to be well-balanced!

 

Perhaps, we may all take inspiration from the knowledge and faith as illustrated by one of our patron saints.

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Hello, Brethren.

 

It seems like it was just a short while ago that we started our Masonic year with great enthusiasm and full of excitement. Thankfully, our enthusiasm has not diminished, and our excitement grows. We look forward to another Masonic year in 2023 with similar eagerness and passion. Led by our Worshipful Master, Russell Tomas, in the East, the Officers fulfilled their duties with much fervor and delight. Thank you, Wor. Tomas, for navigating the Lodge and the Officers. And thank you to the Officers for completing those stated duties.

 

Along with the holiday celebrations that come at the end of December, we also want to send a shout out to our brethren who celebrate birthdays this month. We have 18 brethren whose birthday is celebrated in December. We also recognize 8 brethren who in December celebrate being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Congratulations to each and everyone. Happy Birthday!!

 

Celebrations

 

Roast Chestnuts Day, December 14

 

Quite often throughout the month of December we hear the expression “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” most popularized by the “Christmas Song” originally recorded by none other than Nat “King” Cole. In fact, oftentimes the phrase is confused as the title of the song. The song was written in 1945 by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé. It was first recorded by the Nat King Cole trio in 1946 and twice more, in 1953 and 1961. Is the 1961 recording that is considered as the definitive recording.

 

But I really digressed, I wanted to talk more about roast chestnuts.

 

It’s time to honor the humble chestnut on Roast Chestnuts Day, December 14. As it’s the season to be jolly, Roast Chestnuts Day comes at a perfect time for the holiday season. Roasted chestnuts often fill the air with their earthy scent as they’re cooked by street vendors during December. Not only this, but the delicious snack keeps the cold away for those in the northern hemisphere. While the day is a relatively new celebration, the tradition of roasting chestnuts has been around for a long time. When they are roasted, the natural sweetness of the nut is revealed, delighting our taste buds!

 

History of Roast Chestnuts Day

 

We have a lot of cultures in history to thank for learning how to roast chestnuts, bringing us the Roast Chestnuts Day we have today! Chestnuts hail from a tree indigenous to the Americas and Asia. There is a multitude of species that mankind has been harvesting for centuries. The Native Americans had been consuming them long before the first European settlers arrived. The Europeans, in turn, were introduced to the chestnut from Sardis. Sardis was an ancient capital, which is now part of eastern Turkey. It was an important city of the Persian Empire until it fell to Alexander the Great in 334 B.C.

 

Alexander the Great, one of the world’s greatest military generals, together with the Romans, planted chestnuts throughout Europe. The trees were spread throughout the mountainous Mediterranean regions where certain grains could not grow well. Chestnuts became a staple food source for locals and a valuable item in bartering. The ancient Greeks ground them into flour and made chestnut bread. Some species of chestnut trees were grown for their wood as well.

 

The United States produces only 1% of the world’s chestnut production. China is the world’s leader, even though most American chestnuts are imported from Italy. American chestnuts were decimated by a deadly blight, which ravaged the trees during the early 1900s. Approximately four billion chestnut trees succumbed and their recovery has been mediocre.

 

Chestnuts have a soily, mildewy taste. Although they can be eaten hot off the coals, they are better eaten with herbs in stuffing or other dishes. Soon after roasting, the nuts can become so hard they could break a tooth if bitten down on too forcefully. However, it’s still possible to chop them. Some larger grocery stores and most Italian markets leave the chestnuts in their shells and others sell unshelled chestnuts in a can, which are much softer. Roasting them became a popular treat.

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Boxing Day, December 26

 

Another celebration or holiday we often hear about each December is Boxing Day. But, what is Boxing Day?

 

Boxing Day is held every December 26th in many countries associated with the British empire. It started as a day to give gifts to the household staff of Britain’s upper classes but has morphed into a sort of shopping holiday of its own. In fact, it’s one of the most popular days to return Christmas gifts to the stores.

 

When Christmas Day is over, the celebration continues on Boxing Day on December 26. The name was first used in 1833, but the exact origin has never been determined. Theories behind ‘Boxing’ Day include references to Christmas gifts, charity drives, or a nautical tradition.

 

History of Boxing Day

 

The day after Christmas, Boxing Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. But let’s clear up something first — Boxing Day is not about pummeling opponents. This unique holiday has its roots in gift-giving on one hand and classism on the other. Here’s what we know about Boxing Day’s origins.

 

The entire British class system worked to make Christmas Day a big deal for wealthy elites. They splurged on Christmas dinners of geese, turkey, and other fowl cooked by kitchen staff. Household servants worked hard making all the holiday preparations during the years well before the conveniences and technological advances of the Industrial Revolution. Messenger boys regularly ran errands and postmen delivered mail and packages year-round.

 

Boxing Day, on December 26, gave the wealthy a chance to repay their servants and tradespeople with paid time off and small gift boxes filled with trinkets or coins as a show of appreciation for their service during the holidays and throughout the year. Servants and tradespeople also prepared gift boxes for their own families, too.

 

Some historians attribute Boxing Day to the small boxes of alms placed near the church doors requesting donations to help the poor during Advent. On the day after Christmas, members of the church clergy would distribute the donations to needy citizens throughout the community. December 26 was chosen for these charitable acts because the day was dedicated to St. Stephen, a patron saint known for good works and his status as the first Christian martyr.

Ironically, during modern times, Boxing Day is synonymous with holiday shopping, good times, and sports. Rather than boxing, soccer and cricket matches are the sports of choice that bring everyone together for more holiday fun. In the UK, sports are often played on Boxing Day, especially football matches and horse racing. There is a cricket test match on Boxing Day each year in Australia, where they play against another country. Fox hunts were also a big part of Boxing Day traditions, but in 2004, the activity was banned in the UK. Hunters still gather, dressed in their finest coats, but now follow designated artificial trails.

 

Traditionally, the holiday was celebrated by giving to the needy and less fortunate, but over time, Boxing Day has evolved and been commodified in several different ways. Boxing Day is also now a time of year when big sales are offered by shops traditionally after Christmas in the UK – similar to Black Friday in the USA. Sales and revenue are so heavy now in countries that celebrate Boxing Day that now some retailers advertise ‘Boxing Week.’ These worldwide sales feature deals and discounts lasting until the end of the month.

 

Happy Holidays to one and all and my best wishes for a most successful New Year.

 

Just for Smiles

 

What is it called when a snowman has a temper tantrum?

Answer: A meltdown.

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

Answer: Frostbite.

What did one Christmas tree say to another?

Answer: Lighten up!

How much did Santa pay for his sleigh?

Answer: Nothing, it was on the house!

 

SMILE!! 😊

BIRTHDAYS

DECEMBER 2022

BIRTHDAYS

  • 02 Cyril Shah (Master Mason)

  • 03 David Minke (Master Mason)

  • 04 Joseph Barnes (Master Mason)

  • 10 James Dimmitt (Master Mason)

  • 11 Jason Sibbring (Master Mason)

  • 12 Joseph Basham (Master Mason)

  • 12 Edward Hardiman (Master Mason)

  • 13 Gerald Van Wagner Jr. (Master Mason)

  • 17 Morrison England Jr. (Master Mason)

  • 20 Martin Buff (Master Mason) (Oganist)

  • 21 Michael Allen (Master Mason)

  • 21 Stanley Sanders (Master Mason)

  • 24 Floyd Tritt (Master Mason) (Tiler)

  • 25 Donte Cuellar (Master Mason)

  • 25 Stephen Michalski (Master Mason)

  • 26 Jack Penny (Master Mason)

  • 30 Eddie Haskins (Master Mason)

 

MASTER MASON ANNIVERSARIES

 

  • 04 Joseph Basham (12 Years)

  • 10 Tim Tyler (24 Years)

  • 14 Andrew Wilson (22 Years) 

  • 15 Clinton Abbott (23 Years) 

  • 15 Melvin Pinsler (71 Years)

  • 17 Joseph Dongo (PM) (24 Years)

  • 19 Francisco Marques (PM) (Secretary) (26 Years)

Washington Lodge No. 20 

Mission Statement
 
To practice and promote a way of life that binds like-minded men in a worldwide 
brotherhood that transcends all religious, ethnic, cultural, social and educational differences. 

Through Masonic principles and tradition, and by the outward expression of these 
through its fellowship and compassion, Washington Lodge No.20 Free & Accepted Masons provides ways in which to serve God, family, country, neighbors, and self in an environment that contributes to the enrichment and betterment of its members, mankind, and its communities. 

BusinessTime
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Challenges Facing Freemasonry:

Proceedings of the Policy Studies Organization

by John L. Cooper III (Past Grand Master)

Secrecy and ritualism often go together, although for many societies the secrecy is no longer as strong as it once was. However, ritual remains one of their major characteristics, making them distinct from a large number of other groups that may have a few ceremonies such as passing along the chair's gavel or investing new members with lapel pins but which are chiefly issue-oriented.

 

Sometimes it is hard to demarcate between a ritualistic and issue-oriented movement. While the Grange, for example, is certainly an agricultural lobby, it has always had a strong ritualistic side.

 

Rotary or the Lions would seem to be more on the service side, but we have all met members who were as enraptured by the Rotary Wheel as anyone ever was by the Masonic square and compass.

 

All of this presents special challenges to understanding. As Dr. Cooper points out, there can be a change in emphasis over the years. But for all the changes, few public or university libraries take seriously the collecting of material on the Masons, so the serious researcher must get permission to use Masonic archives and libraries.

 

A number date from the nineteenth century and have large holdings. An idea of what they might contain is indicated by the classifications of the Library of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in Washington, which dates back to 1888 and even then had more than eight thousand volumes.

 

Categories include philosophy and symbolism, church and state, paraphernalia, glassware, benevolent and educational institutions, hospitals, cemeteries, architecture, poetry and drama, humor and satire, and women in Masonry.

 

Paris is unique in having at least four major collections. Another challenge is understanding the special language and usages that an organization such as the Masons invokes. The more ritualistic the society, the more arcane will be the terminology found in papers.

 

As an example, a considerable problem for the researcher is the dating system used by different Masonic bodies. Ordinary Craft or blue lodge Masons who have taken the first three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason use the Anno Lucis system, adding 4000 years and giving the year as dated from the Creation. Thus a blue lodge Masonic document of 1995 would be 5995.

 

Royal Arch Masons begin the calendar with the start of work on the Second Temple at Jerusalem in 530 B.C., so that this is the year 2525. Royal and Select Masters number the years from the completion of the original King Solomon's Temple in 1000 B.C., making this the year 2995.

 

Masonic Knights Templar date documents from the founding of the Order in 1118 and hence this is 877.

 

There are other pitfalls: On occasion the researcher will face documents that have been rendered into cipher or have had critical words removed. He or she will also encounter vast amounts of allegory and metaphor, so that without an advance immersion in the rituals the text will be unintelligible.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

MW John L. Cooper III is a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of California, having completed his term of office on October 12, 2014. Before that, he served as Grand Secretary for 17 1/2 years, retiring in 2008.

 

He has a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, and spent 25 years in public school teaching and administration before becoming Grand Secretary in 1991.

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1633917452

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1633917453

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

DECEMBER 2022

• 01 Social Hour Thursday • 05:30 PM (Club Room)

• 01 Stated Meeting Dinner Thursday • 06:15 PM (Banquet Room)

• 01 Stated Meeting Thursday • 07:30 PM (LR1)

• 08 DARK Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)

• 09 WLN20 Annual Ladies Night - Cocktail Hour Friday • 07:30 PM (LINK)

• 15 Officers' Practice Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)

• 18 WLN20 Annual Installation of Officers Sunday • 02:00 PM (LR1)

• 21 Officers School of Instruction Wednesday • 07:00 PM (LR3)

• 22 DARK Thursday 

• 29 DARK Thursday

JANUARY 2023

• 05 Stated Meeting Dinner Thursday • 06:00 PM (Banquet Room)

• 05 Stated Meeting Thursday • 07:30 PM (LR1)

• 12 Officers' Practice Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1 or Banquet Room)

• 18 Officers School of Instruction Wednesday • 07:00 PM (LR3)

• 19 DARK Thursday 

• 26 WLN20 Annual Roll Call Dinner Thursday • 06:00 PM (Banquet Room)

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Washington Lodge No. 20
2022 Officers

Russell Tomas
Master@WLN20.org
(707) 315-6593

Nicholas Johnston

Senior Warden

Mauro Lara

Junior Warden
 

Eric Hixson (PM)

Treasurer


Francisco Marques (PM)

Secretary@WLN20.org


Richard Wilson (PM)

Chaplain


Prezell Harris

Assistant Secretary


Matthew Mason

Senior Deacon


Joseph Wallach

Junior Deacon

Creston Whiting-Casey III

Marshal


William Workman

Senior Steward


Michael Contreras

Junior Steward


Martin Buff

Organist


Floyd Tritt

Tiler

Francisco Marques (PM)

Junior Past Master

D. Edward Entrican (PM)

Treasurer Emeritus

Jared Yoshiki (PM)

Officers' Coach

Nicholas Johnston

Head Candidates' Coach


Michael Woo (PM)

Inspector 414th District

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