Grand Lodge Messenger – Grand Master’s Special Edition (4th Quarter)

YOU HAVE A JOB TO DO

Our Annual Communication is just around the corner. This will be your opportunity to exercise your responsibility to set the future direction of our Craft. 

We have three Resolutions that have been carried over from last year’s Annual Communication. Lodges have put forth seven Resolutions for your consideration, two of which have been deemed out of order. In addition, I am making six recommendations.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 1 (2017-8): To eliminate the usage of the Masonic Retirement Center auditorium for any purpose.

As the facility is presently on the market for sale, this precludes the availability of the auditorium.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 2 (2017-9): To permit the use of video recording during a Grand Lodge Trial.

Video recording would result in instant availability of the record of trial proceedings and would be a valuable tool, in conjunction with the written transcripts and audio records, to permit rapid response to appeals.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 3 (2017-10): To clarify the Grand Lodge Trial Committee’s duties and to eliminate a conflict regarding who imposes the penalty after a verdict of guilty in a Masonic Trial.

It needs to be clear that the job of the Trial Committee is to investigate, consider, conduct, report, and make a recommendation to the Grand Master. It is then the Grand Master’s duty to take the appropriate action.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 4 (2017-11): To redefine the name and purpose of the Military Recognition Committee.

The general idea behind this Resolution is to shift this committee from one that doles out plaques to one that works with Washington Masonic Charities to provide assistance and support to our veterans. I think it was best put by VW Jim Tourtillotte: We need to make sure that we don’t forget the kid who went to Iraq, came back messed up, and disappeared to the family farm in Washtucna never to be seen again.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 5 (2017-12): To bring uniformity in the Cornerstone Ceremony.

When the Alternate Cornerstone Ceremony was developed, the part of the Master Architect was eliminated. I believe that this part is vital to the ceremony, and should be reintroduced.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 6 (2017-13): To provide the Grand Master the option of appointing a Deputy of the Grand Master for a third consecutive term.

When I joined the Fraternity some 20 years ago, there were more than 30,000 members. Today, there are around 12,000. Over the years it has become increasingly difficult to find Brethren willing and able to serve as Deputy of the Grand Master. The demands of this job have become numerous and extremely weighty, and we must not get into the habit of appointing a man just because it is “his turn”. This recommendation will allow present Deputies the ability to identify and train those Brethren who are not quite ready, but may benefit from a year of training vs. being thrown into the fray. Several Jurisdictions already place no term limit on the position of Deputy (or its equivalent). This resolution is about giving our Grand Lodge the ability to develop future leaders.

Ask questions. Listen carefully to the answers. Look well to your ballot, and vote for the good of Masonry.

 

CAN YOU WIN THE GAME IN THE 4TH QUARTER? 

It may be human nature to ease up as one approaches the end of a journey, but the old track athlete in me needs to just plow forward, lower my head, and push my hardest through the finish line. I was coached to run through the tape, so I have and so I shall.

One of the great highlights of this 4th Quarter was being received as Grand Master at the recent DeMolay Conclave. It was an overwhelming and emotional experience. As I stood at the altar being presented and introduced to the young men of DeMolay and their advisors, I found myself flooded with memories of my time as a DeMolay.

I remembered falling in love with the idea of being part of an organization that had a goal of making me a better son, a better brother, a better friend. I recalled with great fondness the camaraderie that DeMolay offered. I harkened back to the ritualistic ceremonies and the lessons they imparted. I married a Job’s Daughter, consider a Rainbow Girl to be my oldest and dearest friend, and am a charter initiate of a Masonic Lodge named after the founder of DeMolay. The Masonic Youth experience in many ways defines who I am.

This is why the “One More” initiative was introduced. Each of us has a responsibility to “Be the Difference” in the lives of our Masonic Youth. It is well to remember that our youth may someday be the future leaders of not only our Fraternity but potentially of our corporate or government sectors. We owe it to them and ourselves to provide the mentorship and guiding example that will allow them to reach their fullest potential so that they can Be the Difference in their little corner of the world. Just ask MW Carl Smith if it was worth his time to be a DeMolay advisor.

Every Grand Master will tell you that he looks forward to his District’s Meeting during his term of office. The Brethren are particularly excited to welcome one of their own, and the Grand Master is filled with the entire gamut of emotions. Such was the case at the District No. 13 Meeting.

At the District No. 13 Meeting I found myself in the presence of one of my DeMolay advisors, the Past Grand Master who signed my high school diploma and gave me the gift of Masonic curiosity, the founding father of my home Lodge, and the Past Grand Master who has always been there with guidance & counsel. I am proud to call District No. 13 home. We may be loud, but that’s how we proudly roll.

I had occasion to speak with the folks at Puget Sound Honor Flight to see if they might carve out some time at an upcoming arrival so that I might present another check from the sale of my lapel pins. They were very accommodating, but little did I know that I was being set up.

To be sure, a check presentation was made, but only after they presented our Grand Lodge with a plaque recognizing not only our contributions of money but also of our time. Over this year, I have asked for your money, but I have also asked for your time. I’ve asked you to attend the flight departures and flight arrivals. You have done so, and have hopefully felt the same life-affirming experience that I have. I’ve heard it said that our support of the Honor Flight program has been one of the best things our Grand Lodge has done. I am hard pressed to disagree.

While I’m on the subject of doing great things, I have a question. Have you ever wondered what motivates your Brethren? How about an invitation to change their little corner world, to “Be the Difference”. When you give your Brethren the opportunity to “Be the Difference”, their lives and membership in the Fraternity take on deeper meaning and significance.

For the past few years, the Brethren of District No. 19 have been a primary sponsor of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Great Strides Event. The inspiration behind their sponsorship is Levi Johnson, son of our Grand Standard Bearer WB Gordon Johnson. Levi has struggled and lived with CF, and is a shining example of what happens when one does not let the disease define who they are.

The Brethren of District No. 19 proudly call themselves “Levi’s Uncles”. They host a charity dinner in support of the fight against CF and are the number one fundraising team at the annual Great Strides Event – not to mention that they grill up some tasty hot dogs for the run/walk participants. To the Brethren of District No. 19, CF is not just another charity. It is more of a noble cause, a rallying point that brings them together to improve their little corner of the world – to “Be the Difference”.

In 1980, the Brethren of Thornton F. McElroy Lodge, No. 302 thought enough of my scholarship and community service to award me one of their scholarships. My tenure as an elected Grand Lodge officer has granted me the opportunity to attend several presentations to deserving students throughout our Jurisdiction.

At one such presentation, as part of the application process the students were presented with this query: Name a Mason who has inspired or influenced you. There were predictable responses like George Washington and Ben Franklin, as well as outside the box responses like Joseph Smith and Prince Hall. There was also an unexpected response of Jim Mendoza. The young student who put forth my name got a hold of my biography and stated that she was impressed with my efforts in the fight against breast cancer and with my support of the Honor Flight Network.

As I listened to this young lady, I found myself thinking “folks are paying attention”. Brethren, it is well to remember that when we hold ourselves out as Masons that brings with it Great Expectations to Walk the Talk Every Day in Every Way. I get it. It’s not easy. You stumble along the way, but you persevere. Maybe that’s why we often refer to Freemasonry as work.

Freemasonry is an incredible smorgasbord, filled with numerous avenues of finding the light which we all seek. It has been a great delight to be part of the events hosted by our Concordant and Appendant bodies. Each event was memorable and left a lasting impression upon my heart. One such event was the Reception of the Grand Master hosted by the Seattle Valley of the Scottish Rite.

The Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) of the Orient of Washington is Ill. and Most Worshipful Brother Al Jorgensen. The Personal Representative of the SGIG in Valley of Seattle is Ill. and Most Worshipful Sat Tashiro. As I sat between these distinguished Brothers, I couldn’t help but think that in many ways they got me started on this journey. I served as Deputy of the Grand Master in District No. 13 under both of these Past Grand Masters. MW Sat has a personal story that inspires one and all to higher thoughts, nobler deeds, and greater achievements. As MW Al was himself a Deputy of the Grand Master in District No. 13 as well as a member of my home Lodge, the idea of holding one’s self to “Great Expectations” takes on a whole new meaning. Most Worshipful Sirs, it is an honor to share in your legacy.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It all started when I was accepted into membership in Frank S Land Lodge, No. 313. To the Brethren of my home Lodge – especially WB Drew Baker and VW Jeffery Brunson – THANK YOU. WB Drew, your vision of creating a Lodge that spoke directly to the younger Mason remains extraordinary. I am so glad to see you going through the line one more time, and it will be my privilege to be in your service. VW Jeff, as the first Worshipful Master of our Lodge you bore the brunt of some unfair criticism from those who may not have understood what we were trying to do, but remained steadfast in your belief that the Masonic experience we were trying to create was the right experience for our membership. I have appreciated your guidance and counsel over the years – particularly these most recent ones. I cherish our friendship, and I am at your call whenever you need me. Drew and Jeff, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not be a Mason today, let alone serve in this office, if it were not for the two of you.

As I close this final Grand Master’s Communicator, I share these words from WB George Washington:

“In reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that you, My Brethren, will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after these years of my life dedicated to your service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion.”

As the clock winds down on this 4th Quarter I have been often asked how I wish to be remembered. That is a question of legacy. My Brothers, it is well to remember legacy is about planting seeds that you may never see produce fruit; it is about writing songs that may be sung by someone else; it is about plans that may take a different direction that what was originally envisioned. Whatever manner I am remembered, as I stated at the beginning, I hope that my time as your Grand Master has inspired you to nobler deeds, to higher thoughts, and greater achievements that allowed you the opportunity to “Be the Difference”.

Long Range Planning

By VW Brother David Colbeth

If you ask 100 Masons what is their definition of a Long Range Plan, you’ll probably get 100 different answers. There is no one right way to do something. However, we can all agree on a direction or vision of what we’d like things to look like in the future. How can we see the future? Because we absolutely know what we DON’T like about the past. By changing what we don’t like, will help us understand what we DO want for the future of this Fraternity.

Before you can begin to plan, you have to know why you are doing it. The Grand Lodge of Washington has already developed a strong Mission Statement/Purpose which reads: Freemasons of Washington will be recognized as a relevant and respected Fraternity, committed to attracting and retaining all men of high quality who strive for self improvement and the opportunity to make a positive difference in their community.

Would you agree that is a good, strong Mission? I would say it is and submit that our current form of the Long Range Plan is a further descriptor or extension of our Mission statement, or a Vision Statement if you will.

I’ve been asked on several occasions, “How are we going to hold the Grand Lodge accountable to fulfill this Mission and a Long Range Vision?” Haven’t we all taken an obligation to ourselves and to each other? If we can’t fulfill our obligations to each other then why are we part of this Fraternity?

While this Long Range Planning initiative is designed for the Grand Lodge of Washington and all of it’s Committee Chairman & Committeemen to fulfill, the concepts of creating a Plan or Vision for our Lodges are absolutely applicable.

You might know of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs. Maslow also coined the term “metamotivation” to describe the motivation of people who go beyond the scope of the basic needs and strive for constant betterment.

The human brain is a complex system and has parallel processes running at the same time, thus many different motivations from various levels of Maslow’s hierarchy can occur at the same time. Maslow spoke clearly about these levels and their satisfaction in terms such as “relative”, “general”, and “primarily”.

Instead of stating that the individual focuses on a certain need at any given time, Maslow stated that a certain need “dominates” the human organism. Thus Maslow acknowledged the likelihood that the different levels of motivation could occur at any time in the human mind, but he focused on identifying the basic types of motivation and the order in which they should be met.

Physiological needs

Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first.

Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements.

Safety needs

Once a person’s physiological needs are relatively satisfied, their safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. In the absence of physical safety – due to war, natural disaster, family violence, childhood abuse, etc. – people may (re-)experience post-traumatic stress disorder or transgenerational trauma. In the absence of economic safety – due to economic crisis and lack of work opportunities – these safety needs manifest themselves in ways such as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, disability accommodations, etc. This level is more likely to be found in children as they generally have a greater need to feel safe.

Safety and Security needs include: Personal security, Financial security, Health and well-being and a Safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts

Social belonging

After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third level of human needs is interpersonal and involves feelings of belongingness. This need is especially strong in childhood and it can override the need for safety as witnessed in children who cling to abusive parents. Deficiencies within this level of Maslow’s hierarchy – due to hospitalism, neglect, shunning, ostracism, etc. – can adversely affect the individual’s ability to form and maintain emotionally significant relationships in general, such as: Friendships, Intimacy, and Family.

According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, regardless whether these groups are large or small. For example, some large social groups may include clubs, co-workers, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, and gangs. Some examples of small social connections include family members, intimate partners, mentors, colleagues, and confidants. Humans need to love and be loved – both sexually and non-sexually – by others. Many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression in the absence of this love or belonging element. This need for belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure.

Esteem

All humans have a need to feel respected; this includes the need to have self-esteem and self-respect. Esteem presents the typical human desire to be accepted and valued by others. People often engage in a profession or hobby to gain recognition. These activities give the person a sense of contribution or value. Low self-esteem or an inferiority complex may result from imbalances during this level in the hierarchy. People with low self-esteem often need respect from others; they may feel the need to seek fame or glory. However, fame or glory will not help the person to build their self-esteem until they accept who they are internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can hinder the person from obtaining a higher level of self-esteem or self-respect.

Most people have a need for stable self-respect and self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs: a “lower” version and a “higher” version. The “lower” version of esteem is the need for respect from others. This may include a need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The “higher” version manifests itself as the need for self-respect. For example, the person may have a need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom. This “higher” version takes precedence over the “lower” version because it relies on an inner competence established through experience. Deprivation of these needs may lead to an inferiority complex, weakness, and helplessness.

Maslow states that while he originally thought the needs of humans had strict guidelines, the “hierarchies are interrelated rather than sharply separated”. This means that esteem and the subsequent levels are not strictly separated; instead, the levels are closely related.

Self-actualization

“What a man can be, he must be.” This quotation forms the basis of the perceived need for self-actualization. This level of need refers to what a person’s full potential is and the realization of that potential. Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be. Individuals may perceive or focus on this need very specifically. For example, one individual may have the strong desire to become an ideal parent. In another, the desire may be expressed athletically. For others, it may be expressed in paintings, pictures, or inventions. As previously mentioned, Maslow believed that to understand this level of need, the person must not only achieve the previous needs, but master them.

After reading all of this great information about how the Human Mind works, you are probably asking, “What does this have to do with Long Range Planning?” What if we applied the concepts of Human Needs to our Lodges and Masonic practices? It might look something like this:

1. The most basic need of human existence is physiological/biological needs; air, food, drink, shelter, sleep. If we try to line up the most basic need of the Masonic experience, what would that be? Why do we exist as Masons, as a Chartered Lodge? Isn’t it to make Masons?

If we didn’t want to make new Masons, why would we need to have Charters and Lodges and a Grand Lodge to oversee our work? We wouldn’t!

Because we want to be able to make new Masons under a Chartered Lodge, then we must first obtain a Charter. What does it take to receive a Charter? We can turn to the Washington Masonic Code for the easily defined answer. The requirements of a Lodge to receive their Charter:

You need a place to meet, no debt, By-Laws, 15 members and “…proof of its members’ skill and ability to perform the work, including the conferring of the Three Degrees”. That’s it!

Yet how many of our Lodges today could perform the work, including the conferring of all Three Degrees, with all parts covered by the CURRENT members of our Lodge? This is the basic need.

2. Once we can make new Masons, then we can consider the next level of development. Safety needs; security, law & order, stability as Maslow suggests. How does this translate to Masonry?

What experience are the Members having when the first ask, then go through the Degrees and more especially after the Degrees are finished is there more for these newly minted Men to embrace? This is where the Membership Experience element becomes critical; Engage and retain members and their families through an enhanced, sustaining, and relevant membership experience.

3. If our Members are enjoying a quality Membership Experience, then naturally the next step is to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their Lodge Brethren. This relates to Maslow’s element of Love & Belonging; friendship, trust & acceptance, affiliation, part of a group. We can enhance this through Masonic education; Educate members and communities about the fraternity’s intriguing and enduring history, values, practical application of our principles, and relevance to society today.

4. Once our Members are educated, what is the next logical step? Maslow suggests that it is Esteem needs; independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others. Our Lodge officer experience is perfectly suited for this element. But what if a man does not want to be an officer? That man can be provided with other opportunities to show his leadership abilities through mentoring, giving training sessions, and outreach to the Community. This would certainly satisfy the LRP plan element of Leadership & Management; Strengthen our leaders and cultivate new ones; strengthen management and governance effectiveness at all levels.

5. While we spend a lifetime developing ourselves and hoping to attain that perfect ashler status, it alludes us until the GAOTU calls us home. While we are still here on Earth, Maslow suggests that Self actualization is our next highest ability; self-fulfillment, personal growth, achievement, mastery. Again our Fraternity provides many interesting opportunities to fulfill this Human need.

The LRP provides at least 2 elements that can help in this area including Beyond the Lodge; Instill a wider Masonic perspective, inside and outside the fraternity, by deepening the connection between members, lodges, the worldwide body of Freemasonry, concordant organizations, and the Public at large. And, through Philanthropy; Focus our philanthropic efforts through Washington Masonic Charities.

You will be voting to implement the Long Range Plan at the next Annual Communication. This plan is for the future. In the words our Grand Master, “while the words have been written today, the song will be sung after his term has concluded”.

One of the stumbling blocks of Long Range Plans in the past is that successive Elected Grand Lodge officers have not supported the Plan. I can assure you, your Deputy GM has agreed to support this Plan. Your Sr. Grand Warden has agreed to support this Plan. Your Jr. Grand Warden has agreed to support this Plan and all 3 Candidates for the Grand South have agreed to support the future of this Long Range Plan. Please take time to familiarize yourself with the current Plan or Vision statement as it is currently written. http://6supports.weebly.com

 

Fraternally submitted,

VW David W. Colbeth, Chairman

Long Range Planning Committee & Task Force on Long Range Planning
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

Washington Idaho Rainbow Kickoff to 2017!

Washington Idaho Rainbow is excited for our 2016-2017 Grand Year and the ties that bind us with our Masonic families. We were so excited to see so many of you at our Dream Camp in August when our Grand Worthy Advisor, May Powell, announced our Serve Project, Alzheimer’s AssociationHilarity for Charity, as well as our local community outreach in making a difference with those needing assistance with memory care.

On September 11th, we had a great kick-off for Hilarity for Charity, with our first Color Run, which was in conjunction with Sultan-Monroe Lodge. Approximately 160 people participated in this explosion of color and raised $20,000. Several Masonic Leaders were in attendance including our Grand Worthy Advisor, May Powell; Washington DeMolay’s State Master Councilor, Luke Walker; Worthy Grand Matron of Washington, Peggy Mills; and Most Worshipful Grand Master of Washington, Jim Mendoza. Approximately $17,000 will go to the Hilarity for Charity (www.hilarityforcharity.org) and $3,000 will go to the local education fund for Sultan-Monroe Lodge. Community effort was received from Evergreen Speedway donating water, ZipFizz energy drink for their support and donations of water bottles, color packets and monetary donation, and Monroe PlazaStarbucks for coffee for our volunteers.

In Rainbow, we like to keep busy, and our girls with their many chaperones, have been traveling across Washington/Idaho to Official Visits as well as instituting our new assembly in Twin Falls, Idaho. It’s been amazing to see many of our masonic family on the sidelines during these events supporting our girls, viewing their ritual work and participating in the fun and fellowship.

Fun is not only about the girls – we have adult fun too. At our annual Fundraising Gala in November, many adults joined to raise $17,480.00 in funds not only to help with our annual jurisdictional budget, but also with our Leadership program. Because of those in attendance, over 121 girls will be able to attend Leadership Camp for free, and we will be able to send one of our adults for training in the nationally renowned “Girl Meets World” leadership program. If you’d like to donate toany of our programs, contact, Kris Arnold, Grand Executive CommitteeTreasurer, at win1kristi@aol.com. Thank you to the many leaders in our masonic family for attending the Gala and supporting our cause. Without each of you, there would be no We. Because of your support, Rainbow is alive and well in Washington and Idaho.

In December, we will continue to travel through our Jurisdiction, attending many meetings and initiations, and celebrate the holiday season through service and fun. In the new year, we will continue our travels toreceptions and visiting many of your events as well.

To find out more about upcoming jurisdictional Rainbow events, visit http://nwrainbow.org/events/.

To find a local assembly and meeting date, visit http://nwrainbow.org/about/where-to-find-rainbow/.

Wishing you all a spectacular holiday season and one amazing new year. We look forward to sharing many events along our journey.

Until we write again,

Dot Gosset

Print Media, WA/ID I.O.R.G.

Freemasons in Spokane move headquarters after nearly a century

Originally published on Spokesman.com

A group of men are huddled in a half circle inside the cold walls of the decrepit Selkirk building downtown. Many of them are wearing ornate aprons embroidered in different colors and patterns. One man talks from behind a podium with a broadsword stuck in a piece of wood in front.

A large stone sits to his right – a ceremonial cornerstone in dedication of the new-old building that will soon house several chapters of Freemasons, called “lodges.”

One by one, the tools of Freemasonry – the square, level and plumb – are used to measure the stone and inspect its worth. Then, corn, wine and oil are poured on its surface.

“May the all boundless offer nature bless the inhabitants of this place with abundance of the necessaries, conveniences and comforts of life,” says Jim Mendoza, Grandmaster of the Freemasons of Washington. “And grant to us all a supply of the corn of nourishment, the wine of refreshment and the oil of joy.”

Upon hearing these words, the masons cross their chests with their arms, their hands outstretched; they look like mummies. They bow their heads: “so mote it be,” they say in unison. The stone is perfect.

Sometimes, this is what being a Freemason is – fraternity, with a little pomp and circumstance. It’s much less exciting than the pop culture image of Freemasonry: Nicholas Cage in the “National Treasure” film franchise hunting down a fabulous hidden treasure stashed by the Founding Fathers – many of them Freemasons.

In reality, Freemasons are closer to a college fraternity (without all of the “buffoonery,” they jokingly say) than an all-powerful secret society. There are rules, expectations, a strong sense of community, and a deep history spanning as far back as the 14th century.

There are also many powerful and historical figures among their ranks: George Washington, Paul Revere, Theodore Roosevelt, John Elway and Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder, to name a few.

In Washington, Freemasonry began in 1858, and in Spokane, around 1880 – when settlers first arrived to the area. The first lodge was formed not long after. In 1910, there were enough masons to warrant their own building – the Masonic Center on Riverside Avenue (Theodore Roosevelt was present for the groundbreaking).

They stayed there for a century, until it was sold in 2013. The center was too large, and the amenities in too much disrepair to afford. The lodges headquartered there moved in with other lodges, with a plan to move out once the new center is complete. The ceremony Saturday was one of the last steps before construction and repair go into full swing at 506 W. Second Ave.

Many of the windows are boarded, and the walls have large, gaping holes exposing the outside. Several sections of the first floor are unfinished, showing the earthy foundation sitting underneath. Rather than move into a finished building, tradition is to either build a new one or find one that could use some tender love and care.

“We like to fix things up better than we found them,” said Richard Coffland, a deputy grandmaster.

By early next year, the space will look a lot different. The plan is to knock down the rusted metal beams on the first floor; the space will be shared by Spokane Lodge 34, Oriental 74 and North Hill 210. On the top floor will be a masonic museum and library preserving the storied history of Freemasonry in Spokane.

The second floor will be shared by the Scottish Rite, another branch of masonry, and Early Life Speech and Language clinic, which provides free research-based therapy for children ages 2 to 7.

Ashley Miller, the clinic’s development officer, said half of the second floor of the new masonic building was offered as a permanent home to the nonprofit. For the past two years, Freemasons have remained one of the clinic’s top supporters, having just put on a large golf tournament to raise funds.

“They’re always looking for ways to help us grow,” Miller said.

It’s self-improvement and improving the community, Freemasons say, that is the essence of being a Freemason – not necessarily the complex ceremonies or ornate dress codes. For hundreds of years, masons have donated to their communities, helped construct new buildings and repaired old ones. And all the while, they’ve lectured the fraternity is more about building human character than anything.

“In that sense, we are all architects,” Mendoza said.

As for conspiracy theories about Freemasons controlling the United States government, having ties to the Illuminati, or stashing treasure as portrayed in Hollywood blockbusters?

“I find it to be very humorous,” Mendoza said. “I look at it this way: I attend many of the lodge meetings where they argue over who’s going to bring condiments to the barbecue.”

Cornerstone Laying Ceremony of Spokane Masonic Center

October 22, 2016
Spokane, Washington

Most Worshipful Grandmaster, Grand Lodge Team, Distinguished Guests, Friends, Ladies, Gentlemen, Brethren All,

It is not the aesthetics of this building that matters, but the proper construction of its foundation that will bear the test of time.

Our Ancient Craft’s history can be likened to a pond, where a ripple effect can impact the entire ecosystem from one mere pebble thrown, though it’s rings in the water will cover a distance far mightier than its density. That’s how mankind’s history works – simple events influencing other events as it significantly produces one milestone after another.

The year was 1905 in this city of Spokane when a masonic temple was built to accommodate the growing interest in Freemasonry.
The same temple was expanded in 1925, which coincided with the peak of the fraternity, especially in this country during which time over 12% of the adult male population were members of the craft. The numbers generated by the strong interest produced enough dues that allowed many Grand Lodges to build on truly magnificent Masonic proportions.

As for the original Spokane Masonic Temple, now known as Riverside Place, it may not come as a surprise how Spokane Lodge #34 membership had grown from 16 members in 1880 to over 1200 by the year 1925. The total number of Masons in the State had grown from 1089 in 1880 when the Lodge was formed, to 46,409 by December 31, 1925. In addition to the growth of the Spokane Lodge itself, a number of new Lodges had been formed by the end of 1925 bringing the total Masonic population of the City to a total of 3,725 Master Masons.

Considered one of the grandest fraternal lodges in the western part of the Unites States and a principal structure in the Riverside Avenue National Historic District, the Spokane Masonic Temple was representative of the City Beautiful Movement as it was applied and adopted in this city.

After extensive research, other wise known as a Google search, I learned that the City Beautiful Movement was a reform philosophy of North American architecture and urban planning that flourished at the tail-end of the 1800s. The intentions behind this movement were to introduce beautification and monumental grandeur within cities, thus creating moral and civic virtue among urban populations. Advocates of the philosophy believed that such beautification promoted a harmonious social order that would increase the quality of life. However, some critics were apprehensive, recognizing the movement as overly concerned with aesthetics at the expense of true social reform.

On the contrary, most of the influential and prominent citizens of this city drew on their talents during its construction and period of development. This was a true reflection of the need and importance of the fraternal and social organizations to the mainstream community to keep up with the growing demand for added social interactions.

After a century of fraternal existence in the community, we decided to part ways with the famed structure that exemplifies the disciplined classicism that evolved from the Beau-Arts movement and the influence of other architectural styles of that period.

This morning we brought with us the same Landmark as before, a synthesis of virtues of the Ancient Craft in its genuine form by bringing it under the same hat of none splintered way of thinking, all in harmony together as we solemnly lay the cornerstone for this New Masonic Temple. A building whose masonic identity resides within its tiled recesses with the spirit animatedly flowing from those emblems as it typically expressed the individuality of our temples.

As we cheerfully conform to the ancient usages and established customs of the fraternity, we are presented with the three precious jewels of each station in the lodge, the square, a level and a plumb to constantly remind all present of its Moral & Masonic uses in our daily lives such us virtue, equality and rectitude.

This was followed by the Masonic Consecration of the lodge, a deeply symbolic ceremony during which the lodge following ancient custom, was anointed with corn, wine and oil: corn representing abundance and plenty,
wine the symbol of strength, and gladness and oil representing peace and joy.

With a continued desire to be the difference in promoting the honor and interest of the craft agreeably to its ancient forms and usage, allow me to share with you an excerpt from the original oration given by W. H. Ludden, Grand Orator, at the Cornerstone Laying of the Spokane Masonic Temple on October 6, 1904:

As the square angles of this stone symbolize virtue and its cubical form represents truth and perfection, so the foundation of Masonry and the perfect character of every Mason is based on virtue and truth.
With pleasure and gratitude, we meet here today to lay sure and lasting this cornerstone that there may be erected upon it a Masonic temple from which shall go forth a brotherhood of men to spread everywhere the eternal principles of truth and brotherly love. It shall be their purpose to smooth the rugged places in life, provide for the widow and orphan, and point out every man the right way. This stone will last for ages, but when the temple reared upon it has decayed and the stone itself crumbled to dust, the sublime principles of our order will still exist in their sublime significance.
A temple is reared upon a foundation rock, but the Masonic life and character is founded upon the principles of truth. No one shall enter here except he place his trust in the supreme architect of the universe, and the Holy Bible, the chief cornerstone of our order. How true it is that within this temple when completed will be cherished those virtues which adorn society and make the work a heaven even to those who cannot enter.
There are many temples of art in which we can cultivate our tastes, there are temples of science in which we can familiarize our minds with the works of nature and nature’s God, there are temples of religion in which we can prepare our hearts for the sacred communion of saints. But in all these, ambition may stir the passion or differences of opinion create contention and discord, destroying that peace without which earth has no joy and heaven can have no existence.
In the temple of Masonry only those human qualities which lie at the foundation of human brotherhood are called into action. Before the altar all animosities are laid aside. If man is to learn anywhere faith in his fellow men, careful scrutiny of his own conduct charity, liberality, fraternal love, kind consideration, it is in the courts of that temple.
It is because they who enter in pass on to good influences and noble purposes and kind associations that this temple of ours becomes like that ‘not made with hands.’ The completion of this building will be a permanent addition and ornament to our city and the lessons taught within its walls will bring and influence to our citizens that will be an eternal benefit.
The foundation of our temple we have now laid. With solemnities suited to the occasion, with prayers to Almighty God for his blessing, and in the midst of this assembly we have begun the work. We trust it will be prosecuted and that springing from a broad foundation, rising high in massive solidity and grandeur it may remain as long as heaven permits the works of man to last, a fit emblem of Masonic thrift and of the gratitude of those who have reared it.
We know, indeed, that the record of progress is most safely deposited in the universal remembrance of mankind. We know that if we could cause this structure to ascend, not only till it reaches the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surfaces could still contain but part of that which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over earth, and which history charges itself with making known to all future times.
We know that no inscription less broad than the earth itself can carry information of the principles we commemorate where it has not already gone; and that no structure which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledge among men can prolong the memory of our order.
But our object by this edifice is to show our own deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of brotherly love and truth, and by presenting this temple to the eye to keep alive similar sentiments and to foster a constant regard for the principles of Masonry.
Human beings are composed not only of reason, but of imagination and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments. Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate a mere building, or even to cherish this particular spot. It is higher, purer and nobler.
We consecrate our work to the spirit of eternal truth, and we wish that the light of peace may rest upon it forever. We come as Masons to mark a spot which must forever be dear to us and our posterity. We wish that this structure may proclaim the magnitude and importance of the principles of Masonry to every class and every age.
We wish that infancy may learn the purpose of its erection from maternal lips and that weary and withered age may behold it and be solaced by the recollections it suggests. We wish that labor may look up here and be proud in this midst of its toil. We wish that in those days of sadness and sorrow that must come on us the desponding hearts may turn hitherward and be assured that the foundations of truth and brotherly love will stand strong.
We wish that this temple rising toward heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God may contribute also to produce in all minds a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We hope that this structure will stand years and years like the lighthouse on the shore, warning all who behold from danger and leading all with a pure and holy light to a life of peace and brotherly love.

On behalf of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington we thank you for being a part of this auspicious event and we wish you all the success.
God Bless.

Respectfully Submitted,
W. George Franco – Grand Orator 2017

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