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Symposium Brings CA History Alive


On June 9 and 10, Masonic historians regaled more than 250 brothers and friends with fascinating stories from Freemasonry’s past at the 2018 California Masonic Symposium. From foundational state and Masonic leaders to colorful characters in Freemasonry’s past, this year’s Symposium was one of the most interesting yet!

Brian Bezner, chairman of the Masonic Education Committee as well as master of ceremonies, reminded guests of the Symposium’s longstanding tradition. It was initiated in 2001 with more than 100 members and ladies in attendance – making it one of the largest Masonic education events in history. After just one year, attendance rose by 50 percent. The Symposium’s location rotated between Northern and Southern California until 2012, when it was held for the first time in both parts of the state.

This year’s Symposium took place in San Francisco and Long Beach. Grand Master Galloway welcomed guests and celebrated the longstanding tradition of Masonic scholarship in California Masonry. This year's speakers and topics included:

  • “Freemasonry and the Creation of the State of California” – Past Grand Master John L. Cooper III
  • “Prominent Masons of California” – Past Grand Master R. Stephen Doan
  • “The Other Side of History: The Controversies and Secret Rites of Benjamin D. Hyam, Third Grand Master of California” – Masonic scholar Adam Kendall

“As I looked out over the audience in both San Francisco and Long Beach this year I sensed that we had picked a good topic for the Symposium, and that our presentations resonated with those in attendance,” says Cooper. “Understanding the role that our Masonic ancestors played in the creation of the State of California, and their role in the birth of our Grand Lodge, is valuable to all who study Masonic history and the history of our state.”

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