Does the month of October just make you feel spooky? Something about the change of season to autumn and the yellow and gold colors signals that nature, having given us our harvest, is telling us it‟s time for the plants to begin to prepare for the winter. Then it‟s hallowed eve and all Saints Day, an observance meant to honor the great ones in our lives who have passed and now has turned into an occasion to bring out the devil in us.

But not to despair, there will be a very happy, spooky place to scare the socks off us out in Bloomfield at Vitruvius Lodge. There the DeMolay boys will decorate the building haunted house style, not to far from the actual truth, to celebrate Halloween, dress-up in costumes, and have fun scaring whoever dares cross that threshold. I believe they will hold it the weekend of October 28-29 but you should double check with Worshipful John Monahan of Vitruvius for exact details. The pictures will tell the story.

Picking up from last month, we held an elegant Ladies Luncheon at the Lodge and fifteen were treated first class. We broke out the china and clothe tablecloths, enjoyed cheese and crackers, zucchini soup, small samies of egg salad, ham and cheese, and chicken salad, topped off with rich chocolate cake and a fruit cup. Highlighting the lunch was a very informative speaker from the Masonic Homes who spoke of the numerous benefits available to Mason‟s ladies and family. She said that our group asked more intelligent questions than any she had given the talk to up and down the State. Every-one enjoyed the afternoon event. Special thank you to Don Nicodemus who served, bow tie and all, and stayed for the cleanup.

Finishing up from last month, the Executive Committee met and among other things, began to plan for next year. To my mind, the timely planning and mutual discussion is a very good sign that the officers of this lodge next year will be better prepared and efficient from the start. The group discussion is a small example of the group programs being planned for next year and the goal of close communication between all of our members as the goal. I‟m anxious to help in any way as a mentor or advisor to the young men aspiring to improve themselves in Masonry.

This month early in October will mark the day that David Sonnenberg receives his Third Degree. He is anxious to participate in the fullest way with the affairs of the Lodge beginning with attending the Grand Lodge Annual Communications, open to Master Masons only, on October 13-15. Following Grand Lodge, we are planning to visit our Prince Hall Brothers at Monarch Lodge in Oakland to celebrate their charter day anniversary banquet, then a Third Degree conferral in November there.

We‟ve become very close to these Brothers and enjoyed a lively competition at the inaugural BBQ picnic and cook-off held in Bloomfield. They brought some heavy-duty smokers and grills and cooked up some great sausages, ribs and chili. They won the overall award of excellence but we can claim the best chili award thanks to Uncle Don‟s winning chili recipe. Don Nicodemus whipped up the winner from his uncle‟s directions and sure enough it was delicious. The contest was for three BBQ items, chili, chicken, and tri tip. Don won for the chili, our Brother, David Sonnenberg, won second place for his pineapple chicken, and our Brother, A.J. Sivalingam, cooked a delicious tri tip. Thanks to each of them for their cooking expertise. The picnic was a phenomenal success celebrating Worshipful Leon Beck‟s 95th birthday and the food was great!

At the Grand Lodge Communication in San Francisco, a grand banquet will be held at the Fairmont Hotel across the street to celebrate the 300 years since the founding of the structure of Freemasonry in London, England, in 1717. At this banquet awards will be given to certain accomplishments of Lodges throughout the State. Petaluma Hamilton #180 will be honored with the “Best Social Media” award for our presence on Facebook, Twitter, and the Web in general. The Brother mainly responsible for the improvements to our Web presence is Brian Brozovic, who was pointed out in this award. Brian has taken the website of our Lodge, created and maintained by Worshipful Christopher Wright, and expanded it to reach many more people through the various sites and tracked the effectiveness of the number of „hits‟ and „likes‟ responding to their visits. He also has included many more articles of interest and pictures in our sites that is attracting potential interest in our Lodge. Our site begins at and goes on from there, check it out and congratulations to Christopher Wright and Brian Brozovic.

Lastly, on Thursday, October 26th we will hold our second open house at the Lodge from 6:30-9 PM. I‟ll be writing an article for the local paper and we‟ll hang banners and balloons to mark the occasion of 300 years of Freemasonry. I hope we can dispel the myth of a „secret‟ organization and open people‟s eyes to the great benefits of Masonry to our society. We‟ll serve hot pizza and warm handshakes to everyone. I hope we have a good crowd that night and at our next Stated Meeting on October 5th. Come for dinner and stay for the meeting to see the good things happening there. I‟ll be glad to see you.

Guy M. Chalmers,