Well, February has come and gone. I managed to not put my foot in my mouth at our first stated meeting of our new Masonic year. Thank you to all the brethren who came out for a well attended meeting that was followed by a great knighting ceremony for our newest Knight of Saint Andrew, Brother Andrew Todd!
Looking forward, we have the El Bekal Shrine coming in for our March stated meeting, so make sure you come out for what will be a fun time followed by a movie in the dining room for a little extended social time with your brethren.
This month Bro. Todd challenged us to weave in a story of loyalty in the theme of our articles. And I thought it appropriate to shine a light on another Brother of ours who has always been a great example of loyalty to me. Bro. Shaun McCuen. Bro. McCuen and I have had a long journey in Masonry. He, like my previous example of Wes Green, was also a candidate that I coached through his first three degrees at Orange Grove Lodge. It’s been my privilege to watch him grow in Masonry and through a sincere friendship, he has always shown me that he’s one of the greatest examples of loyalty. His enthusiasm for the work we do in the degrees of the Scottish Rite, his willingness to move heaven and earth to make things happen. He has always been nothing but a true and loyal Brother, not only to me, but to all of you as well. And we all owe him a debt of gratitude for all he does for our Valley. So thank you, Bro. McCuen, you are a good and true friend and a loyal Brother to us all.
James Cervantes, 32º
Director of The Work
Knights and brothers. I want to welcome our newest Knight of our order. Brother Sir Andrew Todd 32°. He was Knighted during our last stated dinner. Special thanks to Venerable James Cervantes, 32° and Brother James Segerstrom, 32° for their assistance in the ceremony.
Monday, March 4th at 5:45pm we will have our next meeting. I strongly encourage all current Knights as well as perspective Knights to attend.
For any one not familiar with the KSA. It’s the working arm of the valley. The “Black hat brigade”, as I call it. We take an obligation to support the valley in all its functions. Examples may be reunion weekends and super breakfasts. It’s a good and positive way for a black hat to be recognized for his hard work. Not to mention brotherly love and affection, as well as some awesome swag. If any Brother has input of any kind — including questions — please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (714)335-8941. Warmest regards and brotherly love.
Shawn McCuen, 32° KSA
Orange County Knights of St. Andrew
The Loyal Toast – ‘To the Queen and the Craft’ And to his liege lord the king
Be true to him over all things.
The oldest Masonic document in existence, the Regius Manuscript or Halliwell Manuscript, which is dated c.1390 and now deposited in the British Museum, contains these lines in the Fourteenth Point.
The Old Charges of the fifteenth century called on Masons to be true to God, true liegemen to the King, and true to the Craft. The Charges of a Freemason printed in the Constitution of our Grand Lodge (Part VI – 2006) contain this statement: “kings and princes in every age have been disposed to encourage the Craftsmen on account of their peaceableness and loyalty.” Thus, loyalty to the Sovereign has ever been and still is an essential principle of Freemasonry.
The custom of toasting at Masonic banquets is a tradition of long standing, an inherited ritual observed in the early 1700’s and probably before. [i] First place is always given to The Loyal Toast – ‘To the Queen and the Craft.’ The significance of the united toast is that loyalty to the Sovereign is an essential principle of Freemasonry. It has been suggested that: “The custom of toasts at our festive meetings is so old as to have become a social landmark – it should not be lightly abandoned or tampered with to any serious extent. … We should retain the combined form by all means, and we should do so whether the reigning Monarch is or is not a Freemason.” [ii]
Many members of the Royal Family in Great Britain have been active Freemasons and several Royal Dukes have served as the Grand Master. Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, eldest son of George II, became a Mason in 1737. HRH The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII (Grand Master 1875-1901), King Edward VIII, who after the Abdication became the Duke of Windsor was an active Freemason (initiated 1919), and on his accession in 1936, he was appointed Past Grand Master. His brother King George VI was initiated as Prince Albert in 1919 and was installed as Grand Master Mason of Scotland in 1936 and appointed Past Grand Master of the UGLE on his accession in 1937. On several occasions he testified to the beneficial influence of Freemasonry in his life. The present Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England (from 1967) is HRH the Duke of Kent, Prince (initiated 1963). HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was initiated in 1952.
When King George VI died in the early hours of February 5, 1952, he was succeeded by his daughter, who was subsequently crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953. The question arose, should the Loyal Toast couple a lady with the Craft? Bro. Harry Carr provided a definitive answer: “When this toast is given, the Lodge is not bestowing Masonic honours on a lady, but displaying its proper and loyal duty to the Crown.” [iii] During her long reign (1937- 1901), Queen Victoria was designated ‘Patroness’ or ‘Protectoress’ of the Masonic Order. Her father, the Duke of Kent and her son, Prince Edward, both served as Grand Masters.
Some of our most cherished ritual in the General Charge recited at Installation owes its origin to a toast to the Queen and the Craft given at a Ladies Night held at the Town Hall in Galt (now Cambridge) by V.W. Bro. Otto Klotz when he was Worshipful Master of Alma Lodge No. 72 on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, December 27, 1864. After a laudatory reference to Queen Victoria as “that Sovereign who unquestionably is the noblest, the best of all the monarchs that ever held the sceptre of Great Britain; loved and revered by all her millions of subjects,” he addressed his remarks to the ladies: “In respect to the Craft which according to Masonic custom is coupled with the Queen, it may not be inopportune to give a few explanations regarding the so-called secret and mysterious Brotherhood, the Freemasons, especially so since the Brethren are this evening honoured with the presence of so many ladies, whose amiable company they do not often enjoy in this manner. To the ladies, therefore, I shall endeavour to explain what Freemasonry is – and in what the real secrets of the Craft consist.” Among the “few explanations” that followed, the fourth and fifth paragraphs of the General Charge relating to “A Freemason’s Lodge …” and “The object of meeting in the Lodge …” were included. [iv]
Here’s a health unto Her Majesty Elizabeth II was crowned ‘Queen of Canada’ and is Canada’s official head of state through which the entire authority of the government is set and in whose name laws are enacted. The Grand Master’s Address to the 127th Annual Communication of Grand Lodge in 1982 given by M.W. Bro. Howard O. Polk, made reference to “an information release under date of January 6, 1911, reciting the significance of the time-honoured Toast in which it established that the Toast is an ancient usage and custom of ancient Freemasonry” and reminded the Brethren that, “Her Majesty the Queen is still the Queen of Canada” and concluded, “It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to be very cautious not to take any steps, however trivial they may appear, which might give semblance to the idea that the indissoluble connection of the Queen and the Craft is not subsisting as it was in the days of our forefathers. Therefore, the Toast should be continued, unaltered and undisturbed.” [v]
In our Grand Jurisdiction, protocol directs that the Loyal Toast is followed immediately by the singing of the Royal Anthem – God Save the Queen. [vi] ‘God Save the Queen’ was officially designated as the Royal Anthem by the Canadian Parliament in 1967, Canada’s centennial year. Bro. Harry Carr reminds us that, “It is not necessary to make a speech extolling the royal virtues, and any such embroidery is considered to be improper.” [vii] A similar direction was issued by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office in London and reprinted by Quattor Coronati Lodge No. 2076: “It is incorrect to indulge in elaborate phrasing.” [viii]
The question arises when ladies and guests are present at banquets and receptions, should non- Masons participate in the Loyal Toast? Common courtesy demands that when any toast is proposed, all present, except the person or persons whose health is being drunk, should stand, raise the glass in salutation and drink in honour of the person or persons designated in the toast. The ladies present also recognize our Sovereign Lady as the Queen of Canada, and they honour the Craft by their presence. Therefore, the Chairman, Master of Ceremonies, or the Brother proposing the Loyal Toast should simply say: “Please rise, the Queen and the Craft” without further words or actions added. It is customary that water is used for this toast. It is improper and incorrect to clink glasses.
Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
By R.W. Bro. Raymond S. J. Daniels, F.C.F.
Mike Selix, 32°, KCCH
Orange County Lodge of Perfection
Welcome to the RiteCare Childhood Language Center of Orange County where children’s smiles are brighter than the sun. We have two amazing stories to share with you this month but let’s take a look at the numbers first. In January we evaluated four children and all will benefit from the services we provide. 66 children are currently enrolled for weekly therapy sessions with our student clinicians at the CLC. Interestingly we have 3 sets of twins, another 3 siblings in one family and 2 families with 2 siblings each, all enrolled at our Language Center.
Children helping Children!
In this picture we have two young boys, Wade and Elliot, who attend the CLC. They have become great friends by sharing their time at the CLC.
When Wade started attending the CLC, he was non-verbal. His only way of communicating to his parents and teachers was through gestures, head nods, and tantrums. Wade was a very frustrated little boy. The smaller boy, Elliot, only spoke a few select words so a conversation or speaking in sentences was not possible.
These boys became friends in the waiting room. By the end of a 12-week semester, Wade had enough words to “read” a book to Elliot. Elliot thinks Wade is the “coolest dude ever.” Every week, Elliot, with a book in hand, waits for his buddy Wade to arrive to read to him. Elliot is talking more and tells us about the present Santa brought to him at the Scottish Rite Christmas party and he tells us about his new baby sister who will be arriving shortly. These two friends helped each other overcome their challenges and become great communicators.
More Children helping Children!
At a recent Board Meeting for the CLC we learned that more storage was needed to help organize all our equipment and make it more accessible to the student clinicians. This would help to make the therapy sessions more affective if they could easily find the right equipment in a quick manner. A Board Member, Jim Andronaco, quickly volunteered to purchase the wire shelves but now we needed a crew to assemble these at the CLC.
Our new Board Member, Danny Dunn, thought this would be a great opportunity to teach his son, Elijah, about helping others and the importance of giving back to the community. On a Sunday morning Danny and Elijah met at the CLC in Santa Ana to build the shelves. Elijah was fully involved in the entire process. Soon he was leading the effort while Danny was there to help and provide guidance as Elijah continued to build. When we were all finished Elijah looked around the office, he started to ask questions about what happens at the CLC. Danny and his family are very familiar with the challenges of overcoming communication issues, so he was able to remind Elijah about their past experiences. By helping to build these shelves Elijah was now part of something bigger. He was helping to change someone’s life by this simple act of building shelves.
I completely enjoyed meeting Elijah and getting to spend some time with his dad, Danny at the CLC. It is easy to see the love Danny has for his son and the gentle fun way they work together. Elijah is very bright; we had a great conversation on that Sunday. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to work with Danny & Elijah soon.
We had room for three shelves in the conference room area. When the student clinicians arrived at the CLC office the next day they were very excited to pull everything out of boxes and closets and arrange it nicely on the new shelves! All the tools they need are easy to find and are used to help our children and families.
Because of you these great stories are possible. Thank you for all your support!
David Frias 32° KCCH Chairman RiteCare Childhood Language Center of Orange County
Brethren: With the busy period of the start of the year well behind us, March is a great time to rebuild your connection with the Scottish Rite. The Stated Meeting of March 2nd provides a perfect opportunity to enjoy the benefits of participation in your Valley of Orange County. This Stated Meeting begins at 6:30 pm and will be followed by dinner and a special screening of a Masonic movie. You joined the Scottish Rite to receive more light in Masonry. This special event is being presented for that express purpose. Please email or call the office to reserve your spot.
If any Brothers are unclear about their 2020 membership dues status, please email or call the office. We are still hearing from some Brothers who mailed their dues in only to have them returned in the mail due to the old address printed on the dues return form. That was an inadvertent error which is hopefully behind us. The earlier that a Brother pays his dues, the earlier he will get to enjoy all of the special programs scheduled for this year. if you have a good candidate for Scottish Rite in your Blue Lodge, please get a petition for degrees completed so we can read and vote on his petition before our May Reunion. Our initiation fee now includes enrollment and all study materials for the Master Craftsmen class which is a major bonus. We are all familiar with the ageless adage: “You get out of Masonry what you put in to it.” Now is the ideal time to maximize the return on your investment in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry..
Jamie Hopkins 32° General Secretary 714-543-7277 email@example.com
Brothers: I welcome you to another month of being a loyal brother of our order. Whether behind the scenes or in the eye of the public we have many brothers who show their loyalty each and every day to one another. Whether it be through the Language Center, piggy banks or passing of the offering continually serving our fellow man in great and small charities shows those outside our group what it means to be a true and loyal brother.
Loyalty is a noun from the old French word loial and has a meaning of the quality of faithfulness, fidelity, fealty and allegiance. The faithfulness of so many of our brothers is what drives me to continue to do my best in any way possible. I have seen many show their fidelity and allegiance to our cause and thus gives me strength to carry on.
Loyalty: The word loyalty conjures up thoughts of blind obedience, or following orders whether or not you agree with them. Surprise! That’s exactly what loyalty is. When you pledge your loyalty to a person or a cause, you are committing to stand behind him or the organization (so long as you are not causing harm to yourself) and that loyalty should never be questioned.
Loyalty is essential in relationships, in camaraderie, in war and in peace. We must be loyal to our County, to God, and to the values we hold dear, and especially loyalty to Freemasonry.
It is through this loyal brotherhood that we thrive. As Masons, we know that we can count on each other’s word and deeds – in other words, we can count on their Loyalty.
Here’s to a happy, prosperous, meaningful, and very loyal 2020.
Such an ominous threat from history’s most famous bard, and one that leads us, ultimately, to this month’s theme: Loyalty.
But first, a little background.
In the time of Julius Caesar, the Romans did not mark their calendars the same way we do today. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (early in the month), the Ides (mid-month), and the Kalends (1st of the following month). In the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the new year.
This was, traditionally, a holy time for the Romans, with many religious observances. But it would, of course, become infamous for something completely different.
On the Ides of March in the year 44 BC, Caesar made his way to the Theatre of Pompey to attend the Senate as he had done many times before. Soothsayers had predicted bad things for the Emperor before the end of this fateful day, and his wife was troubled by nightmares of his death the evening prior. She’d begged him not to go.
On his way he passed a seer who had predicted his downfall and derisively commented, “The Ides of March are come”, implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.” And so it was, that day, that a group of Roman Senators, led by Marcus Brutus, exacted the assassination of their Emperor.
It is from this infamous act of treachery that we are left with Julius Caesar’s (supposed) last words: “Et tu, Brute?” (“And you, Brutus?”)
Which, incidentally, may be the source of the English word brutal. Although I have absolutely no data to back this up.
Much can be said about the reasons for this bold betrayal, but it really came down to this: The Senate believed that Caesar had become too powerful. And in his undoing, we have one of history’s greatest examples of treason and betrayal; which is the mirror we can hold up to discuss loyalty.
One of the foundations of freemasonry is loyalty. Loyalty to our brothers, loyalty to duty, loyalty to our Venerable and Worshipful Masters who lead and guide their respective houses.
Loyalty is often unglamorous, or worse, inconvenient. It requires sacrifice. It often requires the setting aside of one’s own ambitions for the benefit of friendship, love, or the greater good. Loyalty is quiet and unassuming; it requires humility.
I would encourage all brothers to contemplate loyalty in the days and weeks to come. Consider to whom you owe loyalty. Consider why you owe this loyalty to them. Recognize the sacrifices that you’re making and the benefits that will be recognized from its efforts.
Until next month, my brothers, I (tongue planted firmly in cheek) bid you a hearty, “Et tu, brother?”