Brethren and ladies,
On May 21, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a statement indicating that most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted as of June 15, 2021, with exemptions for “mega events.” Mega Events are characterized by large crowds greater than 5,000 indoor and 10,000 outdoor attendees. As lodge meetings do not fall in this category, we are hopeful that the Grand Master will soon allow lodges to meet in person without restrictions. We will, of course, wait for official notice from Grand Lodge. To read the details of the CDPH May 21 statement, go to:
As we have discovered in this past year, online meeting technology has its advantages. With this innovation, we have been able to stay in touch and are able to communicate with our brothers who might otherwise be unable to join us in physical meetings due to infirmity, extreme inconvenience, or other geographical challenges. We will therefore continue to hold some meetings and events online either fully or partially.
One such meeting will be the Masonic Education lecture that we will broadcast on Zoom on June 23 at 7:30 p.m. In the spirit of the feast of St. John the Baptist, which often coincides with Summer Solstice, Wor. Daniel Rivera, a foremost scholar in Masonic spirituality and esoterica, will be talking to us about the two Holy Saints John. Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist are widely accepted as the patron saints of Freemasonry. This is a lecture you will not want to miss! For details, please see the flyer below.
As for the July stated dinner and meeting, we are projecting and hoping that it will be in-person. Please be on standby for further notice.
Sincerely and fraternally,
It has been a short while since I last was able to write and I apologize for any silence during the last weeks. While we are still trying to plan for a full re-opening of lodge, I will be focusing on a game plan to once again begin in-person coaching. In the past, we have done this on Tuesday evenings in the Charles Toberman Library. As of now, the preliminary plan is to re-institute those Tuesday nights. If you are looking for any coaching before then, or if Tuesday are not doable, as we are all busy with life, please feel free to email me and let me know and I will be happy to work to try and accommodate any schedule. It is an honor to help Masons continue their journey to their next step, whichever degree.
Please, all continue to be safe and healthy and I am greatly looking forward to once again seeing you all in person in formal lodge.
Your Senior Warden
Greetings from the South,
As June is in full bloom, we all are celebrating grads, dads, and summer fads. For the first time in quite a while we are able to travel. What are your travel plans this summer if any? Are you planning a trip or are you sitting this one out until all restrictions are lifted? It is predicted that the restrictions may be lifted by mid-June. We just took a short trip to San Francisco and saw traffic, congestion, lines, large crowds, high gas prices and things looking like they are slowly getting back to normal. I am praying for a great summer for all of us this year. We are planning our first in person stated meeting for the month of July on July 1, 2021, at 7:30 PM.
I am asking anybody able to please attend this event. We have not had a in person stated meeting in over a year. Our lodge needs your help to get our membership back in lodge. Please try if you can attend in July. It is an honor to serve such a wonderful lodge and I look forward to a great year.
Thank you and please stay safe.
Cedric Williamson, Sr.
Junior Warden -Elect
Join us for our monthly stated meeting where we discuss important lodge business. This meeting is open to all Masons.
We request that you keep your camera on during this meeting, so that we may be able to verify your identity.
Meeting ID: 836 2992 8019
Please join us on Friday, June 18, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. at the Van Nuys Masonic Building to celebrate the life of Wor. James Higby.
In addition to his memorable delivery of the Masonic Pin poem to newly raised Master Masons of Hollywood Lodge, Wor. Higby is remembered as a gentle soul who touched many people with the beautiful songs he wrote.
Wor. Higby was Master of Hollywood Lodge in 1988 and was a member of several Grand Lodge committees. He was a Mason for 58 years when he was laid to rest on May 12, 2020.
Dear Members and Friends of Hollywood Lodge #355 F&AM,
During the month of May we continued to do our meetings by way of Zoom. The first meeting of the month, we played a rousing few rounds of Jack Box Games. The games were hosted by Ms. Colbert. All the girls had a fun testing their guessing skills.
As far as our meetings go for now, we will be doing them over ZOOM and if you would like to join our meetings, please let me know and I will send you the ZOOM link. We have our meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Since the Grand Master is starting to let us come back to the lodge we are hoping will be back in the Bethel.
We at Bethel 289 Tarzana wish everyone to continue to be safe and healthy during this tough time we are currently going through. We have been told that we are to suspend all in person meetings and functions for now. Hope that we get to see everyone soon.
Associate Bethel Guardian
Bethel 289 Tarzana
Cell Phone # 661-312-7398
Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist are said to be the patron saints of Freemasonry. Combined, they are known as ‘The Holy Saints John,’ and are prominent in all of Freemasonry’s ritual and degree work.
Wor. Daniel Rivera is a Past Master of Elysian Lodge No. 418 and a contributing member of the Southern California Research Lodge No. 1005. He has written numerous well-respected papers on Spirituality and Esoterica.
Prolific lecturer, Manly P. Hall wrote: “The World is the schoolroom of God. Our being in school does not make us learn, but within that school is the opportunity for all learning. It has its grades and its classes, its sciences and its arts, and admission to it is the birthright of man.”
Within that idea, he adds, that “each of us must walk that path, and the only ones ready to go onward are those who have passed through the gateway of experience.”
Our lodge is off to a great start on our launch of new Masonic Education program, and I’d like to share some results of the online survey of our Membership:
Freemasonry in general, esoteric, and symbolism was the top answer for the kinds of lectures and information our members would like to see presented. Goal(s) that were most important for our lodge for those who answered indicated focus on continuous studies for all masons, and emphasizing educating new masons. Sharing experiences of our members was another strong interest. 50% wanted our Lodge to continue our study programs online via the Zoom app. 58% said to keep it Intermediate level and engaging, and 83% answered that Masonic Education was an important component for our Membership in general. The feedback is appreciated. Keep it coming.
Last month, on May 12th, 2021 we welcomed Wo. Brian Bezner, PM and Inspector of the 626th District here in California, who gave an engaging and lively lecture on “Masonry and The U.S. Government.” He followed the lecture with a Q & A session.
As we will be heading ever onward, please don’t hesitate Brothers to reach out and help guide and shape our program.
Education Through Craft!
Bro. Kevin S. Michaels
Chairman of Masonic Education
Hollywood DeMolay is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization under DeMolay International and dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the...
Congratulations to Bro. Steven Klein who received his 50-year pin and certificate from the Order of DeMolay!
Let us know how you're doing. Your brothers want to know.
A huge security breach occurred in December 2020 and January 2021 that puts you at risk and you have probably never even heard of it! Accellion is a data security company whose software is used by thousands of universities, government agencies and private companies to safely transport their most critical and sensitive data.
Hackers discovered a flaw in the software and quietly copied massive amounts of data. They have since posted portions of it on the dark web, demanding payment to stop the release of more. The stolen data includes personal information, like social security numbers, medical records and financial records.
Accellion quickly created patches and distributed them to organizations using its software. They encouraged clients to shift to its replacement product which they claim is more secure. They brought in outside experts who confirmed that all “known” flaws had been fixed. But the damage had already been done with the data in the hands of the hackers.
Organizations are slowly realizing the extent of the breach. On March 31, 2021, The University of California posted, “UC has learned that it, along with other universities, government agencies, and private companies throughout the country, was recently subject to a cybersecurity attack….in which an unauthorized individual appears to have copied and transferred UC files by exploiting a vulnerability in Accellion’s file-transfer service.” UC offered free credit-monitoring services to those impacted. https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2021/03/uc-part-of-nationwide-cyber-attack.html
How many of Accellion’s clients were impacted is anyone’s guess. However, I would encourage anyone to act under the assumption that their medical, banking, employment and tax records may have been compromised. As I have written in previous articles, there is not much you as an individual can do to avoid being a victim of such breaches. But you can take measures to minimize the damage.
1. Be cautious if contacted by any bank, insurance company, the IRS or other entity and satisfy yourself that the contact is actually from the organization before taking any directed action.
2. While you will need to make your own decision, I would simply delete any email that demands money stating, “Your personal data has been stolen and will be published.”
3. Never click on the link in an email that you did not explicitly request, no matter how legitimate it appears. You do not know where it is really taking you.
4. Carefully monitor your credit card and other financial statements for signs of fraud and promptly take action if you find anything that you did not authorize.
5. Periodically access your three credit reports at https://www.annualcreditreport.com and satisfy yourself that all accounts and balances are legitimate.
6. If you are using the same ID and password for multiple accounts, change them so that a breach in one does not put the others at risk. Use an automated password manager.
7. Accept an offer of a free year of credit monitoring services that will often come from the entity you trusted to protect your data.
Bro. Hal Bookbinder
National Sojourners is a national fraternal organization that aims to meet the needs of those who are serving or have served in the U.S. Military, and for honorary members who are Master Masons. Its roots begin with the leaders of the American Revolution.
The Hiram Award was designed to be presented to the “unsung hero” of every Lodge such as the volunteer who makes the coffee at each meeting, the one who sets the tables or arranges the furniture and ornaments in the Lodge room, the painter, the gardener, the handyman, the organist, the program chairman or any...
Bro. Walter McClain - Chairman
Child ID is the program promoted by our lodge to identify children for their families. If anything were to happen to a child or a child is lost, this program helps the authorities to help find and identify missing or harmed children.
Call Brother Walter to Volunteer for any event.
When you log in to iMember, you will be able to interact with your lodge brothers, pay your dues, and use resources available to you as a member of Hollywood Lodge No. 355 and the Grand Lodge of California.
Do you have a business or service you want to advertise to your lodge? Perhaps a rental cabin in the Mammoth Mountains? Let us know and we will put your ad on the next edition of Chips from the Quarry.