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From the South

By J. Rafisura — Sr. Warden-Elect

Four brothers, raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, in one month! In my book, that is a record. I congratulate Master Masons Aaron Johnson, Tremaine Ellison, Scott Hamilton and Usman Ghani! Your perseverance has allowed you all to progress and became Master Masons! May you continue to search for light and truth to become better men! As you continue your journey to the lodge above, please do not also forget the joy of your travels below - fellowship with your friends, brothers, family and service to your community and humanity.

Speaking of travels, on October 2, I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Mendocino Lodge for the 3rd degree conferral of Bros. Aaron and Tremaine. Started my drive at around 4:30 in the morning from my home in East Contra Costa County. It was still dark and nippy outside. I drove my truck from Highway 4 to I-580 and through the majestic Redwoods of Highway 29! The sceneries were just magnificent, travelling through the winding road beneath the canopy of perhaps century-old trees. After going through the tree tunnels, the road opened up to the coastal Highway 1 where the drama of the fog and ocean mist aligned into a seemingly endless splendid landscape. What a road-trip.

As I reached Mendocino, the “3rd degree team” of Crow Canyon Lodge #551 had already been in the historic lodge of Mendocino Lodge #179. It is one of the oldest building in the area having been completed in 1873 and now registered in the National Register of Historic Places. The lodge was granted its dispensation in October 1865. It was a pleasure meeting some of the members of the host lodge. The Degree went so smoothly and efficiently that we felt that we could have done one more (degree) on that same day! Following the rituals and ceremonies, Worshipful Master Paul invited the brethren and the ladies to some fellowship with refreshments in his hotel room in Harbor Lights Hotel, Fort Bragg. It was a blast! We had corn, wine and oil, or at least, their representations thereof and it was more than enough! Everyone knew, that after the lodge shutdown, virtual meetings and a series of degree practices, it was what we needed – an in-person bonding in a historic location!

I would like to encourage the rest of our brothers, if you want to have fun, camaraderie and good old refreshments after long days of labor, please get involved in our lodge. As we draw closer to a new Masonic Year, you may let any officers know if you want to take a more active role in our fraternity. There will always be room for any brother that is willing to serve, in his own free will and accord!

Brethren, as the year comes to an end, it also marks a new beginning for the next year. Our hopes and prayers are for the following year to be better than the last two years and for it to be full of happiness and good health and in-person-activities. No face-masks, hopefully!

In December, we will be having our regular Stated Meeting, Installation of Officers, Feast of St. John and Holiday Party. I’m excited to participate in all these upcoming activities, however, the last two events are tentative depending on the number of participants who will sign-up in advance. So please, if you want the Feast of St. John and the Holiday Party, let us know. Our WM-elect will soon make his determination.

As for the next year, I am grateful and honored to be the Senior Warden serving alongside our WM-elect Brian Ross and the rest of the officers. I’m so glad to see our newly-raised brethren taking active roles in our lodge. I can see it is going to be a fun year—a year to celebrate freedom from virtual meetings and stay-at-home orders. It is also a year in anticipation of Crow Canyon Lodge’s centennial anniversary in 2023. I invite the rest of the brothers to please participate in our activities and be a part of our events and planning sessions.

Lastly, I wish everyone Happy Holidays. May the spirit of the season bring joy and peace to you and your families.

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