A Year to Remember
Looking back at an unforgettable 12 months.
A year ago, as my fellow brothers and I gathered for Annual Communication, I was full of excitement for my term as grand master. Obviously things have not gone quite as planned.
But as I reflect on the past 12 months, I realize just how much our Grand Lodge has accomplished. This past year has not been a loss. In many ways, the challenges we’ve faced have given the Masons of California an opportunity to show how important the fraternity can be to its members and their community.
Think about this: Since launching in late March, the Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund has raised more than half a million dollars from more than 3,000 members, lodges, and friends. That is, by far, the largest online fundraising campaign in our fraternity’s history, and one that’s having a direct impact on the lives of those in the greatest need.
A few more numbers: Since March, more than 80 percent of California lodges have hosted online meet-ups, which have allowed countless members to reconnect with their lodge. We’ve seen nearly 1,200 brothers reinstated to good standing through our restoration campaign. Our brand-new Masonic Speaker Series has attracted more than 10,000 registrants, making it instantly one of our fraternity’s signature education offerings. Our Online Masonic Leadership Course had more than 5,000 registrants.
None of that happens in a “normal” year.
So yes, it’s been a challenging year, like nothing we ever planned for. But I’m heartened by how we’ve responded. Looking forward, we hope for a light at the end of this tunnel, and a return to something close to normalcy. As we shape the next five, 10, and 30 years of Masonry in California, there are clearly lessons from a tough 2020 we can take with us.
It’s been my privilege to serve as your grand master.
John E. Trauner
California Masonry: Rooted in the Gold Country, Forged in Ideals