Executive Message

Strong as Ever, 100 Years Later


In his 1796 farewell address, George Washington gave his country recommendations for the new century. “As the structure of government gives force to public opinion,” Washington observed, “it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.”

That Washington would leave office by trumpeting public education was fitting. The 19th century would see the nation’s educational system transform into an organized system of public instruction—with Masons and Grand Lodges acting as supporters and advocates all along the way. In 1920, California Grand Master Charles Adams created Public Schools Week by calling upon all California Masons to engage with their local schools, a response to a critical shortage of teachers as a result of the war. In this issue, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of that important observance. As Grand Master, I call upon you to join me and thousands of our brothers in supporting California public schools. Attend the upcoming Public Schools Month activities as we recognize outstanding teachers with our new Golden Apple award and unveil a newly minted bust of Grand Master Adams. Help me celebrate our students, teachers, administrators, and volunteers—and let them know we’re standing strong with them.

Let’s renew our commitment to public education. California’s schools, and our nation, will be better off for it.

John E. Trauner
Grand Master

California Masonry: Rooted in the Gold Country, Forged in Ideals

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