I just came back from a vacation through several countries in Europe. I saw so many attractions, had some amazing experiences, and had one flashback about our fraternity that I wanted to share.
When I was a young Master Mason, I took a trip up North with the family to visit different college campuses. We were in Petaluma having dinner downtown when I noticed we were next door to the Petaluma Lodge building. It was several stories high and adorned with Masonic symbols. As I stood there admiring it wearing a Masonic baseball cap, a stranger approached me to talk about Freemasonry. He was not a Mason but asked me what it was like to have Brothers around the world. I told him I had not traveled outside of California since becoming a Master Mason but imagined it must be nice, and I was looking forward to having that experience.
Before we left on vacation, we checked the weather. It was going to be raining the entire time we were overseas. We would be walking to different venues, so I packed a Masonic jacket. We visited the Hague and booked a canal cruise. It was windy, but the rain gave us a break. As we were boarding the boat, the operator stopped me, grabbed my jacket, pointed to the square and compass, and hugged me. He was a brother Mason. It turned out we parked right next to his Masonic Lodge building.
That simple gesture reminded me of that conversation I had years ago with the stranger in Petaluma. I love what we stand for as Masons. What value we provide others and ourselves. But the idea that we can travel so far from home and meet a Brother ready to greet us with a smile and warm embrace made me proud to be a member of this wonderful institution.
Over the past two months, we have seen some degrees performed and several practices for next year's officers in preparation for qualification. Last week we had a third degree, and it was a fantastic degree! All the officers performed their ritual quite well, and the timing was excellent, including the long-form third degree lecture. Congratulations to our new Master Mason, Brother Patrick Barrios! We have some more degrees scheduled for the Past Masters Third Degree and the Table Lodge. More information will follow.
Last month, Wor. Reese Padfield was called from labor. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Padfield Family during this difficult time. Wor. Reese and I worked together on many occasions during my time going through the officer line, and certainly during my year as Master in 2021. Wor. Reese was an encyclopedia of Masonic History and Masonic Law. He was kind and generous to all Masons. He had quite a sense of humor and was such a good person! We at Conejo Valley Lodge 807 will continue to honor his memory!
Masonic Family Calendar