Author: Robert Strohmeyer

From the East, January 2023

From the East, January 2023

Happy New Year, brothers and friends. I hope the holiday season has treated you all well, and that the new year brings you prosperity and good health. 

We have a big year ahead of us at Acalanes Fellowship, and we’re already well into the swing of Masonic activity, preparing to confer degrees, getting ready for our annual crab feed fundraiser, and looking forward to a calendar full of great events.

Among all the things we’ll be doing this year, we’ll be celebrating the 70th anniversary of one of our three constituent founding lodges: Acalanes Lodge #723 was formed in 1953, and held its first meetings at Acalanes High School here in Lafayette. So, while our original charter as Fellowship Lodge #480 is now 103 years old, it is good to remember the history of all the lodges that came together to create Acalanes Fellowship, and mark this particular milestone with pride.

On the morning of Saturday, January 7, we’ll initiate three new brothers into our Craft. We sent out an invitation to all Masons on our mailing list, but if you would like to join us, please RSVP here beforehand. 

As soon as we finish this weekend’s initiation, we’ll transition to conferring Third Degrees upon six brothers who made tremendous progress in their Masonic journey last year. Look for announcements of these degrees in the weeks ahead, with the first of them happening on Saturday, January 28th, and a steady cadence going into March. All Master Masons in good standing are encouraged to attend.

On Saturday, February 18th, at 5pm, we’ll have our annual crab feed fundraiser, to be held at Orinda Masonic Center again this year. Space is limited, but tickets are available now. Don’t wait to register and join the fun! (And as ever, we’re looking for volunteers to help with everything from setup to cooking to running the front of house. So please reach out to me if you’re able to help.)

We’ve come a long way since the quiet, online-only days of the pandemic, and our lodge is now active and vibrant again. More than a dozen new members have joined our ranks since the pandemic began, and more than half of them have progressed in their degree work already. It’s truly a pleasure to see Acalanes Fellowship so vibrant and full of activity. If you haven’t made it to lodge in a while, I hope you’ll come join us for a meeting or a degree soon.

Robert S. Strohmeyer, PM

2023 Committees

2023 Committees

Brethren, I am pleased to share with you our fraternal committee appointments for the 2023 Masonic Year.

Executive Committee
Bob Strohmeyer, PM, Master – Chair
Brad Rupert, PM, Senior Warden
Pete Peterson, HA, Junior Warden
David L. Kreutzinger, Treasurer
Randy Tolerton, PM, Secretary

Charity Committee
Brad Rupert, PM, Senior Warden – Chair
Bob Strohmeyer, PM, Master
Pete Peterson, Junior Warden

Auditing Committee
Adam Hanin, PM – Chair
Terry Killgore, PM
Marion Rogers, PM

Member Retention Committee
Randy Tolerton, Secretary – Chair
Tom Riley, PM, HA
Fred Lezak, HA, Marshal

Hiram Award Committee
Brad Rupert, PM, Senior Warden – Chair
Pete Peterson, HA, Junior Warden
Marion Rogers, PM, HA
Fred Lezak, HA, Marshal

Sunshine Committee
Frank Shoffner, Chaplain – Chair
Tom Riley, PM, HA
John Minagro

Dining Committee
Pete Peterson, HA, Junior Warden – Chair
Christopher Benz
Rob Seitelman
Mark Williams, Senior Deacon

Life Membership Committee
Randy Tolerton, PM, Secretary – Chair
Rider Brose
Mark Williams, Senior Deacon

Installation of 2023 Officers

Installation of 2023 Officers

Thank you to all who joined us for our annual Installation of Officers on Saturday, December 3. Despite the rain, it was an evening of warmth and brotherhood as we celebrated the installation of our 2023 officers.

Master: Robert S. Strohmeyer, PM
Senior Warden: Bradley O. Rupert, PM
Junior Warden: Peter Peterson, HA
Treasurer: David L. Kreutzinger
Secretary: C. Randall Tolerton, PM
Chaplain: F.H. “Frank” Shoffner
Marshal: Frederick T. Lezak, Jr., HA
Senior Deacon: Mark A. Williams
Junior Deacon: Kaveh Astaneh
Tiler: Chandler S. Eason, Jr.

Above: A very special thank you to our installing team: Marion P. Rogers, PM (left), Master of Ceremonies; Robert A. L. Whitfield, PM (second from left), Installing Officer; Phillip L. McAllister, PM (far right), Chaplain.

Our incoming Worshipful Master, Robert Strohmeyer, PM, with Inspector of the 305th Masonic District of the State of California, the Worshipful Michael Tagulao, PM.


Bro. Kaveh Astaneh Raised to Master Mason

Bro. Kaveh Astaneh Raised to Master Mason

Congratulations to Bro. Kaveh Astaneh on being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Bro. Astaneh was raised during a visitation to Orinda Lodge No. 122 under the charter of Acalanes Fellowship.

The officers of Acalanes Fellowship are grateful to Worshipful Michael Finein and the officers of Orinda Lodge for their conferral of such an excellent degree. The fraternal bond between our lodges remains as strong as ever.

Looking Forward to 2023

Looking Forward to 2023

Brethren and Friends, I am deeply honored to have been elected once again to serve Acalanes Fellowship Lodge No. 480, F&AM, as Master.

Our lodge has weathered many challenges since the oubreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m particularly grateful to the leadership and fortitude of Wor. Adam Hanin and Wor. Terry Killgore over the past three years. Wor. Hanin kept Acalanes Fellowship active and engaged through two difficult years, in the process producing one of the finest programs of Masonic Education and fraternal engagement I’ve seen in my nearly two decades of Masonry. Wor. Killgore led us out of the pandemic with a focus on events and engagement that helped us to reinvigorate the lodge and membership after two years of entirely virtual activities. Acalanes Fellowship is a stronger lodge today for their efforts, and the year ahead looks brighter than perhaps any in our past because of their efforts.

We are fortunate to enter the new year with not only a tremendously engaged leadership line of seasoned Masons, but also a robust corps of great new Masons who have spent this past year studying our noble Craft and ascending through the Degrees. As a result, our officers’ line will be strong in 2023. Here are the officers we will be installing on December 3:

2023 Acalanes Fellowship Officers

Master: Robert S. Strohmeyer, PM
Senior Warden: Bradley O. Rupert, PM
Junior Warden: Peter A. Peterson
Treasurer: David L. Kreutzinger
Secretary: C. Randall Tolerton, PM
Chaplain: Frank H. Shoffner
Senior Deacon: Mark A. Williams
Junior Deacon: Kaveh Astaneh
Marshal: Frederick T. Lezak, Jr.
Tiler: Chandler S. Eason, Jr.
Organist: John P. Minagro

We have several brethren currently slated to receive their Third Degrees in the new year, and two of those brothers, Christopher Benz and Robert Seitelman, have zealously volunteered to serve as our Senior and Junior Steward, respectively, on becoming Master Masons. I look forward to installing them in their stations as soon as possible, and to witnessing the unfoldment of their Masonic careers.

Please join us for our annual Installation of Officers on Saturday, December 3, at 5pm. Registration is now open. Families and friends are most welcome, and there is no charge for the dinner. We just need your RSVP as soon as possible to reserve your seats. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW.

Our Trestleboard is now a blog!

Our Trestleboard is now a blog!

The Masonic Trestleboard is a time-honored tradition in our fraternity. Since at least the second half of the 20th century, Trestleboards have been produced as newsletters sent out to the brethren with updates about events and goings-on in the lodge, as well as commentary on issues of interest to the Craft. It’s an important lodge communications tool, but one that most lodges have struggled to keep in step with the digital age of the 21st century. To that end, I’m pleased to share that our Trestleboard is now a blog!

What does Trestleboard-as-blog mean to you? Well, it means more timely updates from the Master and officers, and an easy place to keep up with the latests posts.

Will you still get an email to check out the latest from the Trestleboard? Yes, you will! We will continue to send a monthly email blast to all our mailing list, highlighting the latest content from our Trestleboard blog. The experience will be very similar to what you’ve become accustomed to, but instead of producing and mailing out a PDF file, we’ll email you links to the latest interesting articles and events.

We’ll keep the back catalog of historical Trestleboards available here on the website, as well. So, happy reading, and we’ll see you on the internet and in lodge!

Bob Strohmeyer, PM
Senior Warden 

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