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From the East

By J. E. C. Rafisura — Master



August had been a busy month so far and it will continue to be in the coming weeks and months. I would like to thank everyone for participating in our past events and helping us continue to thrive as a fraternity. It was great to see the smiles of our brothers and widows at the Masonic Homes during our recent Strawberry Feed. Thank you Bro. Sec. Perry Klahr for spearheading this activity and to the officers and their families and some members who showed up to help prepare, take orders and serve different sorts of strawberry goodies!


It was also an honor to have our Filipino Heritage night during our August monthly gathering. It’s been a while since I wore my barong (men’s national Filipino formal wear). Glad I was still able to fit in it! My lady also joined me with her Filipina-inspired “bolero” vest while she distributed give-away handcrafted folding fans made of handmade paper courtesy of my family’s business back in the Philippines. Fully open them up and you will see it customized with the masonic emblem on it.


The event had a very good turn out with Filipino-American members, past masters and current masters from our neighboring lodges - Acacia No. 243 (Hayward), San Leandro No. 113, Alameda No. 167 and Patterson Masonic Lodge No. 448 as our guests. It was great to see all of them proudly sporting their barongs, or at least, versions of it. I was glad to see Wor. Ed Matraia and Bro. Aaron Johnson (his was “fresh from the Philippines”) in their barongs! Thank you brothers for your full support! It was also cool to see some members and ladies wearing their tropical/islander outfits for the hot summer!


Food-wise, the kitchen crew and volunteers, headed by our executive chef, Roy Tamez PM did a wonderful job. Truly a gifted cook being able to pull-off a Filipino dish (baked pork-chop, fancy pilaf rice, lumpia and mango ice cream) after doing his own research on the recipe. He has never done Filipino dishes before but after making a few research on his own, it turned out to be as authentic as it can be. I am also glad I got good feedbacks on the “social lubricants” (alcoholic beverages) I brought in. Many felt the instantaneous kick of Red Horse with an 8% ABV content. To some, the classic San Miguel Beer, that’s been around since the 1800’s did the job. Worthy of the same gratitude, our DeMolay and Rainbow youth orders and their Dads and advisers, who silently labor and help us enjoy our festivities in comfort with their self-less services. Thank you everyone!


As we move forward, we are all set on our travelling/visiting third degree at the Volcano Consolidated Lodge # 56 in Volcano, California on August 19. Thanks to the third degree team and those who stepped up to fill-in positions. Bro. Ernie Nidick, Wor. Al Kenyon, Wor. Bill Ferrell and even our officer’s coach, Wor. Bob Pinkerton will have roles to play during the sublime ceremony. To bro. Steven Dorough, this is going to be a “all hands on deck” event and it is going to be fun! Following this trip will be our Annual Lodge Picnic with the Golden Gate Steamers in Tilden Park on August 26. I hope you already made your reservations. With all these events and in the spirit of family-work-life balance, I had to cancel our lodge potluck that is supposed to be on the 31st.


This is all for now and I hope to see you in our events and festivities! Please do not hesitate to call me or any of the officers if you have questions or concerns.

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