On Tuesday night, Conejo Valley Lodge was honored to host the Very Worshipful Allan Casalou, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of California, for a Masonic Education Night regarding the State of Fraternity at 300 Years. Refreshments were shared before the event with the brothers, their families, and friends who were in attendance for this public Masonic Education Night.
In Very Worshipful Casalou’s presentation, he shared about the history of Lodge’s across 300 years of the fraternity. Each of the slides he shared included follow-up conversations on each of the centuries of Freemasonry, and when how looking back we can define them today.
Starting in the 18th Century, which for conversation was defined by “Tavern Masonry”, due to many lodges during the 18th Century met in upstairs and backrooms in taverns. Some of the more notable lodges we discussed were: The Goose and Gridiron Ale-House, The Apple-Tree Tavern, The Rummer and Grape Tavern, The Crown Ale-House, and the Green Dragon Tavern.
During the years of the 19th Century, masonry was defined as “Town Center Masonry”, since lodges built during this time where usually built in the center of town and also had other commercial and civic uses. One lodge in particular has been recreated in several paints that defines this era in Masonry, which is The Lodge over Simpkins Store. A quick Google search of this lodge will show you interesting paintings that share the diversity of the brothers, yet share many similarities inside the lodge room as it does today.
When the 20th Century arrived, incredibly large Masonic edifices were erected and many lodges left downtown areas for more suburban areas and neighborhoods. This century in Masonry was defined as “Cathedral Masonry” due to the large masonic buildings that were built during this time. These super lodges formed due to many reasons, such as the increase in membership and the consolidation of smaller lodges.
Finally, which leaves us at where we are currently at today. Since this century has just begun, it’s too soon to tell how our century will be defined. For the purpose of conversation this was called the century of “TBD Masonry” or To Be Determined Masonry, has many more years to go. What we did discuss are some of the current trends in the past years, which is like the other centuries, very unique from the last 100 years.
The night was caped by a few questions from the brothers, their families, and friends as we reminisced on what each century shared in common. Some of these key takeways included how Masonry has allowed true friendship, an attitude to always learn and improve, and of course making a positive impact in our communities and world.
It was an honor to have the Very Worshipful Allan Casalou, and Conejo Valley looks forward to hosting him again soon!