Above: Deputy Grand Master Robert J. Eagle Spirit, Sr., at Bo’s Cigar Lounge in Bellflower.

California Freemason: How did you first become a Prince Hall Mason?
Robert J. Eagle Spirit, Sr.: I was a drill instructor back in 1992 in San Diego, and I kept seeing the Masonic symbol everywhere. One day, I asked another instructor who wore a square and compass necklace, and he referred me to a warrant officer, so I spoke to him, did my research, and ultimately joined his lodge, Gibraltar № 58. From then on, I was always interested in Masonry and fraternal organizations. I’m also involved in the Royal Arch, the Knights Templar, Royal and Select Masters, the Consistory, and the Shrine.

As deputy grand master, you are up for election as grand master this year. What does that mean to you?
The higher you move up in the line, the more you want to serve those who brought you there. It’s not about what the grand master wants done. It’s what we want to see done. So my vision is simply to continue the good work we’ve been doing. We have a vision, and I believe I’m a facilitator of that. I just want to focus on ensuring our members are in leading roles and are good people of society.

You’re also a big supporter of Masons4Mitts. Why do you see that as an important program?
There were a lot of reasons to get involved with Masons4Mitts. I’m a big baseball fan. I played the sport growing up, and I like supporting youth programs. And the programs Masons4Mitts supports don’t only teach kids about the sport, but also about discipline, teamwork, communication, and other core values.

Do you envision a closer partnership with the Masons of California?
I hope so. At the end of the day, we’re all Masons practicing the same values. I know everyone in the [Grand Lodge of California] line, and they’re all great people. Grand Master Metroka is a former Marine, so we have that in common. We also have the new partnership with the Masonic Homes of California, which I think is just beautiful. It’s not a handout; it’s a hand up. I hope our Prince Hall brothers take advantage of it.

Photography by:
Justin L. Stewart

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