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From the South

By Andrew Hawes — Jr. Warden

“Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote…”

…Thus begins the Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, an epic poem written in the late 1380s. Chaucer lived at a time when we don’t have many details about Masonry that were preserved through to today – in fact, he lived and wrote his masterwork more than 300 years before the foundation of the Grand Lodge of England, from whence our own Grand Lodge of California received its charter.

Just as today, back over 600 years ago, March was a dry month, and April brought longed-for showers of rain, which as we say today “bring May flowers!”

It is exciting to me to feel the weight of our Masonic history, to think back on those times so long ago that even our English language was so different we can now barely read it or understand it, and realize that even then, there were men who might have been our brothers in lodge if they were alive today, or we in their time. Masonry unites not only men of every sect, country and opinion- but men of different eras as well.

As we continue our 2022 fellowship into “Aprill,” we start off our masonic month on the 7th, with a Ham dinner served up with scalloped potatoes and salad.

Next month, we celebrate our public schools – the foundation of our nation’s greatness – with Public School Night, where we will honor some of the teachers from Castro Valley. Also in this month, your Master and Wardens will be working on improving ourselves in masonry, at the Master and Warden’s Retreat, put on each year by the Grand Lodge.

For all of our brethren in the Ukraine, let us offer our prayers and best wishes, during these difficult times.

Yes, for those of you who were unaware, there is Freemasonry in Ukraine. The first Masonic lodge in Ukraine was founded by Polish noblemen in 1742, and the Grand Lodge of Ukraine is recognized by our own Grand Lodge of California.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my little history lesson on Freemasonry in other parts of the world, and I look forward to seeing you in lodge soon!

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