Fraternal greetings from the East, my brethren.
I am grateful and humbled by the call to serve as Master of Acalanes Fellowship Lodge #480 as we enter into our 99th year of Brotherhood under our charter. Looking ahead to the coming year and what I hope will be many centuries beyond, I see a vast expanse of opportunity before us, and I’m emboldened by the possibilities our future may bring.
Freemasonry in general, and Acalanes Fellowship in particular, is built upon a legacy of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and we are taught in our Masonic travels that the greatest of these is Charity. These are more than mere words, and in 2019, we will focus together on ensuring that these profound principles are solidified in our lodge to secure our legacy for future generations. With that in mind, I am pleased to declare our theme for 2019: Legacy & Service.
The legacy of Acalanes Fellowship is multifaceted and runs deep through the course of our long history. We are known as The Friendly Lodge, and while we might all feel that friendliness is not an anachronistic characteristic among Masons, I have come to feel through my own travels that the culture of our lodge earns its moniker, and not a single one of us should ever have to put a dollar in the box for saying so (though we all ought to pitch our money in for more noble reasons). Friendly as we are, there is more to our legacy.
Acalanes Fellowship Lodge #480, and the constituent lodges that have consolidated into our fold over the decades, has a substantial and honorable heritage of initiating, passing, and raising Masons for nearly a century, and those brothers have gone out into the world to perform great works in our society. We have strived for—and generally achieved—the goal of making these good men better. From among our ranks, men have risen to positions of prominence in our communities, to positions of political power, and even a couple of Grand Masters of Masons have called Acalanes Fellowship their home lodge.
Preserving this legacy of Acalanes Fellowship requires honor for our past, an eye to the future, and a diligent care for the concerns of the present. It also requires money. Our aging Masonic Hall has many issues, and will require substantial repairs and improvements over the coming years. Before long, we will need a new roof, as the current one already leaks, new pavement for the parking lot, new kitchen appliances, and electrical improvements. We have a committee assigned to the ongoing task of evaluating options for the renovation or relocation of our Hall. There are no options that do not require substantially more financial resources than we currently have at our disposal.
And then there is the greatest of our virtues: Charity. For all the charitable giving and service work our brethren do, both together and separately, Acalanes Fellowship can do a great deal more to make a meaningful, lasting, and visible impact on our community. All it takes is a bit more focus on high-impact programs and the will of the brethren to give of their time and treasure according to their ability. This year, I resolve to direct that focus appropriately, that Acalanes Fellowship might elevate its mission in our community and better fulfill its Masonic charitable aims.
In the service of these goals, we will hold four seasonal fundraising events in 2019: In addition to our annual Crab Feed, we will host social events in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. At these events, we will have programs to promote and secure our legacy and raise funds and volunteerism in service to our community.
I look forward to working with all our brethren in the coming months to realize this vision. The results will be rewarding to our community, our pride in our lodge, and future generations of Masons.
—Robert S. “Bob” Strohmeyer