Grand Master Randy Brill explains what small-town Masonry can teach us all.
Diveristy in Friendship
by Antone R.E. Pierucci
California Freemason: How did you first get involved in Freemasonry?
Mike Tagulao: My dad and brother were both Masons, although they never discussed it in our house. But I kept hearing about Masonry in movies and on TV shows. It was like a hint. One day, I was back in Virginia visiting my brother, who’s in a military lodge there, and I saw him wearing his Masonic ring. So I asked him about it, and he told me my time would come.
CFM: How did you wind up in the Bay Area?
MT: I was born in the Philippines and migrated here when I was 16. My dad was in the Navy and was stationed in Virginia, and then in San Diego. His last assignment was at Port Chicago in Concord, and he ended up retiring here. So that’s where we stayed.
CFM: You entered the officer’s line really quickly. What made you want to get involved in lodge leadership?
MT: I just like to help out the brothers—especially the new members. They come in and have no idea that Masonry is so huge. There’s so many opportunities for learning. I’m still learning. So I’ve been involved in a lot of things with the lodge. I’m a Masons4Mitts captain. I’ve been a district inspector for three years. I’m involved in all sorts of boards of trustees and associations. I’m also on the board of directors for the Rainbow assembly here. Masonry’s really in my blood.
CFM: You’ve also been a generous donor to the California Masonic Foundation. What made you elect to give back in that way?
MT: Masonry is all about charity. When I’m interviewing someone about becoming a Mason, I’ll ask them what they think is in it for them. Basically, why do they want to join? And a lot of people think they want to join because of the benefits, or because of the connections they’ll make. But it’s not about that. It’s about wanting to help out. And that’s not just about money. It’s also your time and your knowledge. There’s always something you can share.
More from this issue:
Fraternal societies like the Freemasons were born out of ancient, operative trade guilds. They weren’t the only ones.
When fire threatened their community, members of Kern River Valley No. 827 turned to their greatest asset to provide Masonic relief.