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October 2023

From the East

Mauro Lara - Worshipful Master 

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Hello, Brethren, Family, and Friends.

Fall has fallen. September 22 was the autumnal equinox signifying the meteoritical end of summer and beginning of fall. For the most part, we have experienced moderate weather in our area, though other parts of the country may still have some lingering summer-like effects. And of course, we have seen in the past some late hotter days, typically called Indian summer. However, we can start to look forward to autumn with the holidays and good food associated with it. Halloween typically starts the year-end holiday season. I don’t know about you, but once we start to come close to Halloween, it seems that the last few months of the year go by so fast, that it is also a blur. Nevertheless, this time of year is usually set aside for family gatherings and activities, a most joyous time.


Our Lodge activities continue to move through a rapid and plentiful path. More about that shortly. Suffice it to say here that my plan to ramp up activities in the final portion of the year after the slow months of summer really hit a high note. This last month we had an exquisite celebration with our Annual Past Masters' Night combined with the Third Degree for our Brother Moises Gonzalez. Next, we were also treated to Constitutional Observance Night which was spearheaded by Worshipful Phil Hardiman, PM.


In both of these, a Past Master took the helm to plan and execute each. And we are the beneficiaries of this success. More to follow.


Here we are in the last month of the third quarter of the year. Is it just me or does it seem to you that the year is moving along rather quickly? The good news is that not only is the year going by fast, but we as a Lodge have done a number of events and will continue to do so through the balance of the year. More to follow.




On September 21, our Annual Past Masters' Night was held at the Masonic Temple. In the past, this event has been held earlier in the year. This year we scheduled it late in the year so we could not only recognize and honor our Past Masters but combine the evening’s festivities with the Raising of our Brother Moises Gonzalez. Past Masters' Night turned out wonderfully. First, I want to thank our very own Junior Past Master Worshipful Russell Tomas, PM, for organizing and engineering the evening.


By my count, there were 31 people in the Banquet Room to honor and recognize our Past Masters. The picture below shows 9 Past Masters, but it must be noted that Worshipful Jesse Solis-Jacques, PM, was en route from Travis AFB when the picture was taken, and Worshipful Richard Wilson, PM, was ill and not able to participate. Dinner was delicious and enjoyed by everyone. Worshipful Russell Tomas, PM, presented each Past Master with a small token of recognition and I presented each with a box of See’s Candy on behalf of the Lodge. A great dinner and evening. If you did not attend, you really missed out on something. Each Past Master’s name is listed below the picture.



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Picture of Past Masters - Left to right: 

Russell Tomas, Scott Goode, Jared Yoshiki, Juan Faranda, Phil Hardiman, Eric Hixson,

Francisco Marques, Jon Isaacson, and Joseph Dongo


After enjoying a fabulous dinner and recognition, we proceeded to the lodge room to confer the Third Degree of Masonry upon Brother Moises Gonzalez. The significant part here is that the entire Degree Ceremony was presented by our Past Masters. Each element of the degree was conducted by a different Past Master, making the conferral a very significant event. The delivery of the various segments was unparalleled.  When the planning for this conferral started, I imagined that we would witness something singular, however, I could not ever possibly have imagined the level of precision that we witnessed from each Past Master both in the execution as well as in the Ritual. Thank you to each and every one for preparing and performing in such an amazing way.


I also want to thank the current Officers for preparing to back up the different parts. Though it was not needed, due to such an overwhelming show of support from the Past Masters, the Officers prepared, nevertheless.


One item I do want to emphasize regarding our Past Masters is that Washington Lodge No. 20 is blessed and privileged to have such a strong Corps of Past Masters who are engaged, supportive, and active in our Lodge. This conferral would not have been as it was without such a strong group of Past Masters. I thank you for your support, wisdom, guidance, and engagement.


The next event took place on September 29, our Annual Constitutional Observance Night. This was organized, planned, and executed by Worshipful Phil Hardiman. Thank you Worshipful Hardiman for providing such an insightful, educational, and useful presentation. I have seen presentations by Worshipful Hardiman before, each with a great deal of information and understanding. This was at that same level if not above.


A book entitled “The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865” was distributed to those in attendance. This is a very good reference book for us to use. As always, there is much to learn about our historical documents and about the foundations of our country.

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October is set aside for the Grand Lodge Annual Communication, which will take place October 27-29, 2023. As you know, this is the one time where Masons come together from all over our state to connect with one another and to discuss and vote on a variety of new initiatives that impact Masons throughout the state and beyond. It is also the time when Grand Lodge Officers are elected and installed. Indeed, a very worthy and memorable event.





On November 4, the Annual Ladies' Night is scheduled in the ballroom at 6:00 PM. Place this on your calendar. It is another more formal way for us to recognize the ladies in our Masonic life and honor them. More details on this are forthcoming very shortly. Be on the lookout. It is another opportunity to come together in brotherly love and affection.




Another observance this month is Columbus Day. Is there a Masonic connection with Christopher Columbus? Perhaps, perhaps not.   




The historical figure of Christopher Columbus is known for his pivotal role in bridging the Old World and the New World through his voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. While his expeditions are widely documented, less known are his potential ties to the world of Freemasonry. Let’s explore the intriguing connection between Christopher Columbus and Masonry, shedding light on the possible influence of Masonic principles and networks on his exploratory endeavors.


Columbus and the Age of Discovery


Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer sailing under the flag of Spain, embarked on his famous voyage in 1492, seeking a western route to Asia. His encounters with the islands of the Caribbean marked the beginning of a new era of exploration and colonization in the Americas. Columbus's voyages played a significant role in shaping the course of history during the Age of Discovery.


Masonic Influences in Columbus's Time


The Freemasons had already been established in Europe by Columbus's time. The origins of Freemasonry are known for its symbolic rituals, codes of conduct, and principles rooted in morality and brotherhood. While Masonry as we know it today may not have existed in its modern form during Columbus's era, there were Masonic precursor organizations and societies with similar ideals.


Columbus and the Templar Connection


One intriguing theory suggests a connection between Columbus and the Templar Knights, a medieval military and religious order known for their secrecy and esoteric knowledge. After the Templars disbanded in the early 14th century, some members are believed to have gone underground, preserving their traditions. These Templar descendants may have had an influence on the emerging Masonic movement, which would later evolve into the Freemasonry of the Enlightenment period.


While historical evidence is scarce, some researchers speculate that Columbus had access to the knowledge and resources of societies like the Templars, which could have assisted him in his ambitious voyage. These alleged connections remain speculative and are the subject of ongoing debate among historians.




The connection between Christopher Columbus and Freemasonry remains shrouded in mystery. While there are intriguing theories suggesting a link between Columbus and Masonic traditions, concrete historical evidence is lacking. Nevertheless, the fascination with the possibility of Masonic influence on one of history's most renowned explorers adds an air of intrigue to the story of Columbus and his voyages. Whether or not Columbus was directly influenced by Masonic principles, his journeys undeniably left an indelible mark on the course of world history, making him an enduring figure of exploration and discovery. 




Something about Columbus...


Q: What did Columbus do on his birthday?

A: He got older.


Smile 😊


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From the West

Matthew Mason - Senior Warden  

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We are coming to the close of yet another great year at Washington Lodge No. 20.


We are now halfway between the Saints John celebratory dates, and what a great year it has been. Brother Moises Gonzalez has been raised just this past month, and there are more degrees on the horizon.


And just because the close of the year is nearing, that does not mean the lodge has gone dormant. We have our monthly Stated Meetings, of course, but also our upcoming Annual Ladies' Night, being put on by our own Junior Warden, Brother Joseph Wallach.


Following that, we have our Annual Installation of Officers, with our new Officers being installed by Grand Master-to-be, Right Worshipful Sean Metroka, on Sunday, December 17th. Yes, this is one week later than normal due to scheduling, but it will be worth it (plus, we wanted to give Worshipful Mauro Lara an extra week to enjoy his year).


I look forward to seeing you in Lodge. Remember, lodge participation is good for the soul, both yours and ours. By seeing our Brethren, we get to connect and share our common bond through Masonry.


I know it fills my cup when I get to hear what’s going on in your life, and all of us love to help you through your own Masonic journey.

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From the South

Joseph Wallach - Junior Warden  

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October is one of my favorite months and contains one of my favorite holidays, Halloween


The decorations, the candy, and of course the occasional scary story.  Some may see it as something that is merely macabre but I’ve always felt it had a deeper meaning. 


It is a holiday that reminds us, in a non-threatening way, of what awaits us at the end of our mortal journey. 


A memento mori to enjoy the time we have here with the people around us, enjoy the celebrations, mourn the losses, imbibe in the beverages of your choosing, and eat the good food (like the delicious dinners prepared for us before our Stated Meetings). 


We have fourteen Birthdays to celebrate this month including Past Master Russell Tomas, PM.


I hope to see you all at our next Stated Meeting.





• 03 Monthly Executive Committee Meeting (Zoom) Tuesday 06:30 PM

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

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

• 12 DARK or Degree Practice (LR1) Thursday

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

        Topic: Advanced Stations - 3rd Degree

• 19 DARK Thursday 

• 26 DARK Thursday   

• 27-29 174th Annual Communication - GL of California Friday-Sunday

Officers' Checklist


• 01 Monthly Executive Committee Meeting (Zoom) Wednesday 06:30 PM

• 02 Fellowship Dinner (Banquet Room) Thursday 06:00 PM 

• 02 Monthly Stated Meeting (Annual Election of Officers) (LR1) Thursday 07:30 PM

• 04 Annual Ladies' Night (Ballroom) Saturday 06:00 PM

• 09 DARK or Practice for Installation Day (LR1) Thursday  

• 16 DARK or Practice for Installation Day (LR1) Thursday  

• 23 DARK Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)

• 30 DARK or Practice for Installation Day (LR1) Thursday 06:30 PM

• 00 OSI (Officers School of Instruction) (LR3) TBD by New Inspector 

Officers' Checklist



  • 0Russell Tomas (Past Master)

  • 03 Martin Zimmerman (Master Mason)

  • 09 Jonathan Bray (Entered Apprentice)

  • 13 John Otten (Master Mason)

  • 15 Christopher Boothe (Master Mason)

  • 15 Thomas Goodwin (Master Mason)

  • 26 Jack Cornelius Jr. (Entered Apprentice)

  • 28 J. Scott Goode (Past Master)

  • 28 Douglas Arrington (Master Mason)

  • 28 Emad Sweidan (Master Mason)




  • 08 James Lenau (25 Years)

  • 08 Peter Petersen (42 Years)

  • 10 Norman Helsel (21 Years)

  • 13 Kevin Hall (01 Year)

  • 17 Eric Van Houten (04 Years)

  • 19 Rodrigo Bitar (06 Years)

  • 21 Dwight Bradish (24 Years)

  • 21 David Kelley (52 Years)

  • 23 Robert Cameron (20 Years)

  • 24 Paul Evans (55 Years)

  • 24 Robroy Gerolamy (62 Years)

  • 25 David Minke (11 Years)

  • 26 Mark Christie (23 Years)

  • 28 Richard Entrican (47 Years)

  • 28 Richard Redmond (30 Years)

  • 29 Donte Cuellar (08 Years)

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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. 

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The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865

by John Grafton (Editor)

The great documents in this important collection helped form the foundation of American democratic government.


Compelling, influential, and often inspirational, they range from Patrick Henry's dramatic "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at the start of the American Revolution to Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, issued in the closing weeks of the Civil War.


Also included are:


The Declaration of Independence;

The Constitution of the United States;

Thomas Jefferson's classic rationale for rejecting allegiance to the government of King George III;

The Monroe Doctrine, the cornerstone of American foreign policy; 

James Madison's The Federalist, No. 10;

Washington's First Inaugural Address and Farewell Address;

Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address;

William Lloyd Garrison's Prospectus for The Liberator;

Andrew Jackson's Veto of the Bank Bill; and

Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, Emancipation Proclamation, and Gettysburg Address.

An introductory note precedes the text of each document, providing fascinating background history and information about the author.


An indispensable reference for students, this handy compendium will also serve as an invaluable introduction for general readers to American political writing.


John Grafton was an Editor at Dover Publications for many years before his 2019 retirement.


He is the editor of several volumes in the Dover Thrift series, including Great Speeches by Abraham Lincoln, The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History, 1775–1865, Great Speeches by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and 100 Great American Short Stories. 


He lives in New Jersey.

Purchase Book


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Washington Lodge No. 20
2023 Officers

Mauro Lara
Worshipful Master

Matthew Mason

Senior Warden

Joseph Wallach

Junior Warden

Eric Hixson (PM)


Francisco Marques (PM)


Richard Wilson (PM)


Prezell Harris

Assistant Secretary

William Workman

Senior Deacon

Brandon Jenkins

Junior Deacon

Christopher Hamilton


Kamyl Assè

Senior Steward

Patrick Fischer

Junior Steward

James Dimmitt



Martin Buff


Russell Tomas (PM)

Junior Past Master

D. Edward Entrican (PM)

Treasurer Emeritus

Jared Yoshiki (PM)

Officers' Coach

Joseph Dongo (PM)

Head Candidates' Coach

Michael Woo (PM)

Inspector 414th Masonic District

Brandon Jenkins

Hall Association Board Director

Past Masters (1852-2022)

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