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Newsletter for the month of August 2015


Dear Brethren, Ladies & Friends Of Golden Rule Lodge:

July started slow, but picked up around mid-month

We had two bright, upstanding young men receive their 1st Degrees in July – Mr. BLANE CURTACE on July 20, and Mr. CARL SCHREIBER on July 27. Please warmly welcome them into our Lodge and Masonry at the August Stated Meeting.

A BIG THANK YOU to Bro Daniel Reyes for the beautiful case he built and donated to the Lodge, to store and protect the Officers Aprons & Jewels. You can see a picture on page 2 in the GAUGE.

I nominated Wors JOHN KIRK to receive the pres- tigious Cornerstone Award, presented annually by the Sciots, for outstanding service to Masonry and the community. The presentation was July 24 and several GRL Brothers were in attendance. Wors John was most deserving of this award, and I and all the Brothers thank him for his years of service!

In June we had our first Masonic Roundtable, where Brothers came together from many lodges throughout the Bay Area to discuss what the First Degree meant, and meant to them. The evening was a great success, so we’re holding the second one on Aug 10. The topics – How do we attract new members, and how do we keep members from falling away and/or bring them back? Please come join us and give your ideas and thoughts. Open to ALL Masons, from all lodges. See you there!

If you haven’t made your reservation for our yearly Traveling Degree to Columbia then do it NOW!! The dates are Friday, Sept 11 – Sunday, Sept 13. We have already reserved the Aladdin Hotel and the Columbia Temple, so all we need now is YOU to make your reservation! Call the Aladdin Hotel at: 1-800-696-3969 to book your room. Ask for the special Golden Rule Lodge rate of $89/night for up to FOUR people in the room. I will be sending out an email this week with more information on the Banquet dinner items (there WILL be Prime Rib!), cost, special activities, etc. Right now – the main thing is to get your room reservation booked!! We have a couple of surprises planned to make this years Traveling Degree one of our Best Ever!! Don’t procrastinate – call the hotel NOW!!

A brief synopsis of the weekend......Friday is the in gathering, starting around 3pm. Golf at a 9 hole course for anyone interested. See Hank 4 details. Talk and Fellowship by the pool & in the Master’s Suite until we all go to bed. Saturday morning – on your own to sleep late or explore the town. FREE breakfast in hotel lobby. Noon - all Master Masons meet in parking lot & carpool to Columbia Temple to Raise Brother Steve Wiedlin to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. 5 – 7pm is Social Hour, with a Banquet honoring our new Master Mason at 7pm. Afterwards, fellowship by the pool or Suite until...Sunday. Get up when you feel like it, have breakfast, explore the area, see the sights and head for home. Most important – HAVE FUN!!

Two more items of interest – On Aug 11, Scottish Rite will be hosting a Reception & Festive Agape Dinner for the Grand Master,MW Russ Charvonia. This will be a true Festal Board, with a 5 course meal, toasts, singing and much more! Open to all Brothers and guests. Dress is FORMAL. Cost is $25 per person. Reservations required by noon on Friday, Aug 7. NO walk ins. See Hank for details & to make your reservation. Join us for a great night!

Our Grand Lodge says that all Lodges in the state should have a Constitutional Observance night each year, to honor and remember the Founders of our Country and the Constitution they wrote, which is still considered one of the most important documents ever written! The Zorah Grotto will be hosting such a night on Thurs, Sept 10, in the SJ Masonic Center. Dinner at 6:30, program at 7:30. Cost for catered dinner is $20. Call Bud Ramsey at 408-224-9431 for reservations. See you all in lodge, at degrees, and at the roundtable!


Hank Vlcek




Symbols, Emblems and Allegories of the 3rd Degree

Dear Brethren, Ladies, and Friends of Golden Rule Lodge No. 479,

By this time in your experience with the Ritual you have learned for yourself that every phrase, event, and other detail in the ceremonies of initiation are full of meaning; not a single item is in them merely for effect or as an ornament. This is especially true of the Third Degree. In it you will find, to a larger extent than elsewhere, the profounder teachings of our Fraternity. You passed through the Degree in one night; to understand it will require many nights, and though you may study it for years to come you will never exhaust it.

The symbolism of the First and Second Degree was for the most part designed around the art of architecture; their purpose was to teach you to be a builder, in the First a builder of yourself, in the Second a builder of society. In the Third Degree the symbolism takes another form; it is a spiritual symbolism, cast in the form of the life and death of the soul, and its principal teaching is that if a man has permitted himself to be buried under the rubbish heap of his sins and passion and lusts, it is possible for him, if he has learned the secret of the spiritual life, and with the help of God and of the Brotherhood, to rise again into a new life. This teaching gives us the key to the whole Degree, and in the light of it all its symbols, emblems and allegories must be understood.

The Working Tools of the degree are all the implements of Masonry, but chiefly the Trowel, by which we are taught to lay the cement of Brotherly Love. But Brotherly Love itself has its source and seat in the soul. To love a man above his sins, to cherish him in spite of his faults, to forgive him in all sincerity, to bear with him and to forbear, all this is possible only to us as we live the spiritual life and have our souls purged of lust and selfishness.

The method of the Ritual is to bring us into the presence of the greater truths of life and to keep us there, knowing that their mere presence will in the long run have a deep influence over us; each man is left to work them out in detail according to his own needs


Robert Ahrens

Sr. Warden, PM




Growing Good Corn

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" he asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

Lewis Carol once said, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” We should always “be there” for each other when the need arises.

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