From The Junior Deacon

In January, we had our first “lodge of education.” Our brother junior warden coined the phrase to distinguish the new format from a lodge of instruction and from a table lodge, both having traditional formats.

A lodge of instruction is conducted within a tiled lodge. Historical or instructional lectures are presented to a lodge in silence with no discussion while the lodge is tiled. Lodge of instruction presentations are then discussed over a feast of agape afterwards, which is in itself another traditional format. The formal discussion is facilitated by the worshipful master and his wardens and interjected by a series of toasts.

A table lodge is scheduled in our trestleboard in March. Table lodges, like lodges of instruction, follow a prescribed format. Table lodges are celebratory feasts with a series of toasts meant to raise the bonds between brethren. Come to our table lodge to see a tradition which our lodge began within our district. Come see why the tradition has caught on.

In January’s lodge of education I continued a discussion started in the February “From the junior deacon” column. We resumed the search for the parts of our triune self that have been temporarily lost to us in the temporal world. The symbols I used to demonstrate our triune self and triune journey were the three degrees of freemasonry. As an entered apprentice, the doer begins to do what is necessary in the physical body to prepare for the self’s journey of remembering, and eventually, of knowing. The fellow craft aligns his thinking with what is learned in the physical plane, and with this knowing tries to connect the physical thinking, ground to this temporal body, with the knower which the thinker has lost. The thinker has forgotten all its past knowing, which the knower knows on its plane. The master mason must remember what it knows, and think how it will communicate with the thinker, and wake the doer to reunite with its self. In simpler terms, we might refer to the doer as the being in the physical plane. The thinker is the mind, which depends on the physical being to exist and function in the temporal plane. The knower is perhaps the spirit, the part of the self which is separate from the physical plane but depends on the physical body to exist in the temporal plane. The knower has separated many, many times from the doer and the thinker. Very, very few of us thinkers remember anything that the knower has come to know. This is what the master mason must seek.

Sleepers awake in the degree of master mason more often than not. The memory is jostled, and the inner self awakens. If the heart and organs of reception are all aligned with spinal cord and brain, the mind receives the light contained in the words, postures, and movements of each ritual.

More often than not, we will step away from the rituals of the degrees thinking nothing of them. Those who go on to travel, to visit other lodges, to support other brethren experiencing the degrees, may come to see the further light. Experiencing the degrees over and over, hearing and repeating the words, repeating the movements and actions, and experiencing the masonic myth you are repeatedly placed in a different plane of existence. Dramas, liturgies, initiatic ceremonies place us in a different space. When we speak of the masonic myth, we are not referring to legend or fairy tales. Myth, from the Greek “mythos,” is a set of assumptions, foundational beliefs, or underlying story basic to a belief system, forming its culture and values. The myth of Buddhism is the life and teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, a noble sage of the Shakyans in India. His primary teaching was the attainment of enlightenment in this physical plane or the exaltation of the human in this body.

Freemasonry is a journey of the self through three degrees of remembering this myth. The myth is one of building a temple not made of stone. The rough ashlar must become perfect and the cement that binds it pure. This is the myth of freemasonry. Let us live it, my brothers.


Irving Sambolin

From The South

Greetings, Brethren!

We have an exciting month in store for you, including a Fellowcraft degree conferral, some fun for the whole family as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and our first of this year’s four table lodges.

March Events

We will have our stated meeting on the 7th, including an official visitation from our district inspector.  You and your family are invited to join us for dinner before the meeting.  We will be enjoying salad, a ham dinner, and dessert for only a $5 donation.  Please RSVP with Annie by Friday the 3rd.

On the 14th, Bro. Alaeddin will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft.  All Fellowcraft and Master Masons are encouraged to join us on that special day for a delicious home-cooked meal followed by a memorable conferral of the second degree.  Bro. Alaeddin has worked hard to get to this point, and we’re excited to see him continue his journey through Masonry.

As a much-needed respite from laboring in the quarries these last few months, we’ll be hosting our Spring Table Lodge on the 21st.  All Masons are invited to join us for a chef-prepared seven-course meal, warming toasts (with a keepsake toasting cannon), thought-provoking readings of Masonic interest, and jovial fellowship among the Brethren of Golden Gate Speranza Lodge.  The dinner menu will include: a savory radicchio and pear salad, potato and parsnip soup, roasted romanesco broccoli with white cheese sauce, Wagyu boneless ribeye steak, fresh peas with mint, sesame tahini & blood-orange curd sandwich cookies, and clementine posset.  Reservations are absolutely necessary, and we’re very quickly running out of available seats, so please submit your reservation online (at: or by contacting me immediately.   

Finally, we’ll be closing out the month with a (slightly belated) St. Patrick’s Day Bingo night on the 28th.  We’ll be enjoying the traditional corned beef and cabbage (one of my favorites), for only $5 per person.  Masons may invite up to three guests.  All money received will be donated to a local public school.  Please RSVP with Annie by Friday the 24th.

I’ll close with another poem of Masonic interest, by Robert Lee Sharpe:

A Bag of Tools

Isn't it strange
That princes and kings,
And clowns that caper
In sawdust rings,
And common people
Like you and me
Are builders for eternity?
Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass,
A book of rules;
And each must make-
Ere life is flown-
A stumbling block
Or a stepping stone.

Keep gaveling away at that ashlar, my Brethren.  We hope to see you soon.


Michael Ramoneda
Junior Warden

From The East

This is an article that was written in 1972 by a Mason who is no longer with us.

Many years ago the king of a very small country decided to reward one of his subjects (who we will call Sam) for a favor that had been done for him. To show his appreciation the king decided to give Sam all the land he could walk around from sunrise to sunset. It was all arranged and at sunup the race against the clock began. After walking for a few hours Sam passed the house of a friend whose wife had died just a few days earlier. This friend wanted Sam to stop and talk for a while for he was very lonely, Sam said he had no time now but would return tomorrow when he was not as rushed and with that he sped away on foot to cover the beloved ground he wanted to acquire.

At about high twelve, when Sam would normally rest and refresh himself our friend decided he did not want to spare the time, and anyway he could rest and eat during the evening hours, so he stepped up his pace.

Later on in this day Sam passed a wagon that had overturned, the farmer asked for help but Sam explained he had no time now but would send someone to help him for the day would soon be over and much land had to be covered before dark, and again he sped off
Just as the sun stared to set our friend returned to the starting point where the king was waiting and with his last bit of energy Sam stood up in front of the king and then . . . fell dead at his feet. With this the king looked down at Sam and said, “Six feet of land is all he will ever need now.”

Because we live in a world where we keep up a very fast pace maybe now is the time for each one of us to stop and ask where am I going, how will I get there, and what do I want to do along the way?

Brethren, are you running around like Sam? Why not attend Lodge, meet the new members and enjoy a fine meal but remember reservations are a must!!!

Henry Dosdorian

From The South

Greetings, Brethren!

We sure started the year off right — our festive January was complete with both a tasty crab feed and our first Lodge of Education for the year.  It’s my hope that such a great first month bodes well for the rest of the year to come.  We have a busy February ahead of us (especially considering it’s the shortest month of the year!), with both our annual Sweethearts Dinner and two 2nd Degree practices (in preparation for Bro. Alaeddin’s 2nd Degree Conferral on March 14th), in addition to our regular stated meeting.  

Our stated meeting will be on the 7th.  You and your family are invited to join us for dinner before the meeting.  We will be enjoying a salad, roast beef, and dessert for only a $5 donation.  Please RSVP with Annie by Friday the 3rd.

Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a Tuesday this year, and that makes our Sweethearts Dinner even more special.  You and your significant other are invited to join us for dinner on the 14th, followed by a social evening of party games.  Our Sweethearts Dinners are always fun, and we encourage all of the Brethren to join in the fellowship, even if you’re not able to bring a date.  Please RSVP with Annie by Friday the 10th.

The second half of February is all about business: on the 21st and 28th, we’ll be practicing our second degree conferral for Bro. Alaeddin.  Attendance is mandatory for officers, and very much encouraged for all of our Fellow Craft and Master Mason Brethren.  Our first practice in January went great, even though most of us were practicing new roles for the first time ever (or for the first time in many years).  I just know our degree work will be mighty impressive after these final two practices.  Then, on March 14th, we will be passing Bro. Alaeddin to the degree of Fellow Craft.  We would like as many Brethren to attend as possible, so let’s all be a part of the special moment and support Bro. Alaeddin as he continues his Masonic journey.

The second half of March promises to be fun and relaxing after all of the hard work of the preceding eleven weeks.  All Masons should be sure to save Tuesday, March 21 on your calendars, as we’ll be enjoying our Spring Table Lodge.  We’ll enjoy a seven-course meal, rousing toasts (with your very own commemorative toasting cannon), thought-provoking readings of Masonic interest, and jovial fellowship.  If you haven’t yet, be sure to RSVP as soon as possible through the Lodge App, or by emailing or calling me — limited seating is available!  Finally, we’ll be finishing March off with a (slightly belated) St. Patrick’s Day Bingo night.  Plan to bring the family!

I’d like to end with a poem of Masonic interest (though not written by a Mason), entitled The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Dromgoole:

An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”

As always, we hope to see you soon.  Be well, Brethren!


Michael Ramoneda
Junior Warden

From The Junior Deacon

What is a mason? As the newest junior deacon I must know how to recognize masons at the door after the tiler’s examination. I wonder sometimes how to respond to someone who asks how do you recognize a mason. I hope to say, by being a man set apart, not by entitlement, but by humility and by his deep concern for humanity.

Some of you are the Lodge’s friend on Facebook® or FB, and have started to see more posts regarding what is a mason and what is masonry. This is an effort to attract not only men, but overall activity to our page, therefore, to compel men specifically in search of masonry to seek out our Lodge. For a series of posts on this topic, the old masonic catch phrase slash acronym was adopted, 2B1ASK1, and a hashtag was added. Of course, there are a few other masons and lodges posting to this hashtag. However, our posts will not get lost in their number.

For those of you less internet media savvy, a “hashtag” is a catch word or phrase that, using the number sign or hashtag in front, such as #2B1ASK1, enables us to find everything that is posted under that “hashtag” by clicking on it within many of the online or phone apps, especially Facebook, Twitter®, and Instagram®. It’s mind-boggling to see all the posts. Sometimes a word may bring more than a million hits! Activity on our public FB page increased about 200%. One of our posts regarding our library, thanks to Brother Rocky Burley’s FB presence, received over 43 views. We hope this will increase the activity inside our Lodge.

My Brother Raymond Ward at our recent installation presented me with an old masonic print. It had been given to him as a young master mason, and he prepares to receive his 50-year pin very shortly. I dearly thank our brother for this generous gift and for his support and attendance at all my degrees. That’s what brothers are for. As junior deacon this year, I hope to welcome you all through our doors at one time or another, my brothers. Come support one another.

Brother Raymond’s masonic print reads... “A mason is a man and a brother whose trust is in God. He meets you on the level, and acts upon the square. Truth is his compass and he is ever plumb. He has a true grip on all that is rite. He is loyal to his order and whatever his degree he is master of himself. In the lodge of life he wears unstained the white lambskin of innocence. From his initiation as an entered apprentice he travels ever east toward the light of wisdom until he receives the final, the divine password that admits him into the ineffable presence of the eternal Supreme Grand Master of the Universe.”

If you’re on Facebook, or play on your kids’ and grandkids’ Facebook, or download the phone app on your phone, join us. Like us @GoldenGateSperanza30 or search for “Golden Gate Speranza Lodge #30.”


Brother Irving