We have recently lost two Past Masters from this earthly existence to that house not made with hands. Worshipful Horst O. Winkel and Worshipful E. Robert Mickelson were dear friends and tireless workers in the Craft of Masonry in their own way. Horst was currently the Master of Vitruvius Lodge #145 and Illustrious Master of Redwood Empire Council #46, and involved every day with the DeMolay boys and any Masonic endeavor.

Bob Mickelson, and his father Martin Mickelson, had governed and shaped Vitruvius Lodge for four decades from 1933 and ’40 for Martin and 1962 for Bob. Both Past Masters uniquely celebrated 75 and 50 years of membership together in 2003. These two leaders of the Craft have left a lasting legacy in our area that we will remember for a long time.

Congratulations on being passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft for Brother David Sonnenberg, who was joined in this conferral by Brother David Beck, son of P.M. Leon Beck, from Vitruvius Lodge also receiving his second. It was fun combining officers of the two Lodges and made for a larger audience to hear and learn from this important step through the craft of Masonry and strengthens the bonds of friendship of our two neighboring lodges.

Now we are in the rites of summer with high heat, water sports, BBQ’s, and family get togethers. The York Rite meetings of the Royal Arch, Cryptic Council, and Commandery are in recess for the two months of July and August and will not hold meetings. Our Lodge, however, still flourishes with potluck dinners and good companionship for the next two months, but no Degree work, to give the conferral teams a break.

The administrative team, Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer, and Secretary, along with the Hall Association President, persist however in planning events, visiting Lodges, active committee work, and preparing for next year.

Our Secretary, Wor. P.M. Joe Zusin, has really pulled off a remarkable achievement by first conceiving, then planning, a “Budgeting for Lodges and Halls” seminar with our Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge, Arthur Salazar, conducting and teaching us the ins and outs of laying out this very important planning tool. The seminar will be held in our Lodge on Saturday, August 5, from 8 am to noon. We expect that the Wardens and Senior Deacons of our area will be most interested to attend. Great work Brother Joe!

Lastly, I’ve been thinking about a program that’s being started in our Northern California Research Lodge about incorporating the lessons of Masonry in our everyday lives, “Applied Masonry” so to speak. It’s a four-part look at what our symbolism and allegories actually mean, how we describe them to ourselves, what may be their historical meaning, and how they can be used for us. Even for well-read and experienced Masons and new Entered Apprentices, this practice can be useful and shed new light on what it means to be a Mason, particularly in this modern age. Maybe you and I can discuss this further when I see you at Lodge, I’m looking forward to it.