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May 2023: A Snapshot of Positive Awareness

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    A Snapshot of Positive Awareness

    A visitor strolling past Texas Lodge No. 46 in San Juan Bautista might rightly have a few questions spring to mind. With its circa-1869 white Italianate Victorian exterior, the building is among the oldest and most visually interesting around, a blast-from-the-past reminder of the town’s earliest days. And then there’s the lone-star Texas flag hanging out front. What possible connection could there be between this Central Valley outpost and the deep heart of Texas?

    Well, there’s an answer to that. And for the curious visitor, it’s all a simple tap of the phone away.

    As the calendar turns to May, which is Positive Awareness Month for the Masons of California, Texas No. 46 provides a useful blueprint for one of the simplest, but most effective, ways that lodges can deliver useful information to the community around them—and in so doing, raise their profile locally and improve the awareness and reputation of the fraternally statewide.

    Click, Click, Boom: QR Codes

    For Texas No. 46, an important and cost-effective way to provide information about Freemasonry—and their lodge in particular—to a curious public is through QR codes placed around their building. One such code, placed in a window next to the front door, reads “Learn more about the history of this building.” Another says, “Learn why there’s a Texas Lodge in California.” The first, when scanned into a smartphone, takes a viewer to the lodge’s homepage. The other leads to a series of resources on the history of the lodge.

    For members of the lodge, these kinds of QR codes are an easy way to provide answers to questions they know the public have. And for Positive Awareness Month, they’re a strategy other lodges can easily copy. “For people under the age of 40, QR codes are an important way of collecting information while on the go,” says Kevin Herrick, the current master of Texas No. 46. Herrick has regularly seen passersby stop long enough to snap a picture of one of the QR codes and continue along with their day. “They might not even look at the information then and there,” says Herrick, “but eventually they’ll stop and view it.”

    That idea has bubbled all the way to the top of the fraternity. At the California Masonic Memorial Temple, QR codes can be found both outside and inside the building, leading viewers to a series of interactive, webpages that are custom-made for prospects to learn more about Freemasonry in California, the history of the building, and information about Masonic lodges. With nearly a quarter-million visitors coming into the building each year, the codes are an inexpensive and useful way to deliver a multimedia message.

    At Texas No. 46, the signs are only the beginning, Herrick says. Already, the lodge has plans to create a similar QR code leading to information on its collection of Masonic aprons. “Next, we want to share QR codes that link to newspaper articles detailing the charitable work our lodge does within the community,” Herrick says. “That way we can share with the public the vital role our lodge plays. We’re not just empty real estate. We’re an important part of the community.”  And QR codes are helping spread that message.

    More Online Resources for Positive Awareness Month

    While Texas No. 46 points its visitors toward webpages the lodge has developed for itself, there are several more resources that any California lodge can share with visitors or prospects.

    Opening the Door: A Simple Guide to Freemasonry Order hard copies of this booklet full of answers to frequently asked questions about Freemasonry and Masonic lodges from L.A. Fraternal Supply Co. to give to lodge prospects.

    What Is Freemasonry? An interactive online slideshow with basic information about the fraternity, membership, and lodges.

    History of Freemasonry Another web slideshow full of information about the development of California’s Masonic culture.

    Inside a Masonic Lodge A multimedia primer on the many symbolic ornaments of a Masonic lodge room.

    Becoming a Mason Another dynamic webpage about the hows, whys, and wheres of applying for membership.

    The California Masonic Memorial Temple Learn about the history and significance of the CMMT and the Emile Norman endomosaic inside it.

    Other useful resources: Online lodge locator; list of other Masonic organizations; online archive of the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry; online library of basic articles about Freemasonry, its history, symbols, and appendant bodies.

    Get social: Visit and follow the Masons of California on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube—now featuring brand-new YouTube Shorts] video library!

    For Your Trestleboard

    Use this content to spread the word about resources provided by the California Masonic Foundation, the Masonic Homes of California, and more.

    Masonic Health Services:

    Services at MCYAF Across the Lifespan

    The Pavilion at the Masonic Homes

    Masonic Homes of California Resources

    Masonic Value Network

    Masonic Philanthropy:

    Masonic Youth Order Resources Library

    California Masonic Foundation Cornerstone Society

    May Officers' Checklist

    Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your May checklist.

    Executive Committee

     Senior Warden, along with Executive Committee

    • If you haven’t already, register for the 2023 Master and Wardens retreats in Lake Tahoe or Palm SpringsIdentify and approach members for 2024 open elected and appointed officer positions 
    • Identify and approach members for the 2024 Audit, Membership Retention, and any other committees.
    • Set calendar for 2024 and identify event leaders.
    • Continue preparing 2024 budget.
    • Set installation date and approach installing officer, master of ceremonies, and chaplain
    • Review all candidates’ progress toward advancement.

    Junior Warden


    • Send list of members with late dues to the Retention Committee.
    • Send any suspension notices via certified mail.
    • Provide necessary information so Charity Committee can consider remissions.
    • Begin reviewing roster for accuracy in preparation for the end of the Grand Lodge membership year, June 30.


    • Important: By May 15, submit IRS form 990 and FTB form 199 (unless your lodge has previously agreed to have Grand Lodge prepare and file these forms). Please contact financial services at (415) 292-9170 for any questions.
    • Lodges not using Intacct should submit their annual financial statements to Grand Lodge by May 15.

    Hall Association

    Questions? Contact Member Services at or (415) 776-7000.

    Question of the Month

    Last month, we asked is your lodge having difficulty putting on degrees because of a lack of manpower (not enough officers, etc.)? 

    • Yes - 23%
    • No - 72%
    • Other - 5% (Not qualified to perform various degrees. Only when it comes to the 3rd degree that we have a lack of manpower).

    Here's your next survey question