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From the West

By J. E. C. Rafisura — Sr. Warden

New Masonic Year! A fresh start for a wonderful year ahead! 2021 was a blast! A lot of curve balls have been thrown at our lodge in particular. In 2021, not only did we have to deal with Covid-19 in its 2nd year, but we also have to absorb the loss of valuable mentors who moved out of state. Thanks to the strong leadership of Worshipful Paul Rodriguez-O’Brien, now a P.M. and to the support and commitment of the entire membership – we are still here, thriving and stronger than ever.

As we take on 2022, we continue to do what we do best – gather, learn, strive to improve thy self, have fun and keep the fraternity alive.

On December 11, 2021, I had the pleasure of joining our brothers over breakfast at Norman’s Grill in Castro Valley. Key officers and pillars showed up. On a cold autumn morning, we wasted no time and had the preliminary discussion on next year’s entire monthly menu, including the famous crab (with shrimp this time?) feed in February. Our executive chef, Uncle Roy, had everything listed down. But then again, other than our craft’s time-honored “rituals and traditions”, nothing is really written in stone. Uncle Roy’s menu, as always, is a living and breathing list, capable of change – a testament to our lodge’s flexibility and adaptability, (more like a perfectly-timed organized chaos.) Only a handful of Past Jr. Wardens and galloping kitchen crews know how the mind of the great Uncle Roy works. Now, my predecessor and newly-minted Jr. Warden Andrew W.P. Hawes will be initiated into the culinary world. I have no doubt, however, that Bro. Andrew will do a fantastic job! A tip or two though: 1. Keep Uncle Roy and the crew chubby and healthy; 2. Never trust a skinny cook!

This year, I look forward to assisting and supporting WM Brian Kelly Ross and to planning for next year’s Centennial Anniversary of our lodge. I have initially proposed to our Master the creation of a special committee to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime event in 2023. If you have any suggestions or would like to be involved, please let me know. For now, let us continue this wonderful journey and as always it is a pleasure to be travelling with all of you!

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