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Issue: Striking Gold

Executive Message

A Golden Opportunity

By John E. Trauner, Grand Master
California Masonry: Rooted in the Gold Country, Forged in Ideals

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My wife, Dana, and I live on the same ranch in Rough and Ready where my family has lived for more than a century and a half. My great-grandfather John Francisco came to this area near Grass Valley in the 1850s, in search of his California dream. My grandfather Manuel Frank lived on the ranch his whole life, as did my mother and father, Doris Frank and John T. Trauner.

Like many people who call the Gold Country home, we’re deeply connected to the history of this region and the miner mentality that originally drew more than 300,000 people west in search of a better life. Many of those ’49ers were Masons, and by settling in mining camps, they established what would become the foundation of our fraternity—and, in many ways, of California as we know it.

As I begin my term as grand master, it’s my privilege to usher the Masonic miner tradition into the future. Ours is a singularly proud and important heritage, and I am committed to preserving our history and supporting the growth of the craft in our rural, small-town lodges. As I observe the rugged determination of Gold Country lodges, I know that whatever challenges arise here, the Masonic flame can’t be extinguished.

It’s time we breathe new life into it.

The spirit that inspired people like my great-grandfather is still alive in the Gold Country. Let’s harness that energy and use it to support what has always been a vital part of our fraternity’s story.

John E. Trauner
Grand Master

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