March 19, 2020
Hello Again Brethren,
The day after I sent out the group e-mail regarding upcoming Stated meetings, I received another communication from the Grand Master John Trauner. Until further notice from the Grand Master, which I will forward out to Fort Crook Brethren, there will be no Masonic gatherings of any kind in the state of California. I have attached the Grand Master’s communication to this e-mail for those that did not receive it directly. I will be in contact with Lodge officers regarding the payment of Lodge bills that come due.
I urge everyone to stay in communication, particularly with our older Brethren and widows, and those you know that are at elevated risk to this virus. Make sure everyone has what they need to get through this stressful time. Offer to deliver necessities or run errands for those at high risk. You know what to do, charity is part of our make-up. Stay safe Brothers, stay informed, and may the blessing of the Great Architect protect us all.
Fraternally, Mark L. Stalcup, Master
In light of the current Public Health Issue (COVID 19) confronting our community, country, and the world, I thought I should contact the Fort Crook Brethren concerning Lodge operations and events. The California Masonic Code requires us to hold monthly stated meetings, and if a stated meeting is cancelled, it must be held the following week. Due to the time periods involved with this issue and the local, state, and federal responses, postponing a stated meeting for one week seems illogical. However, in recent communications from California Grand Lodge we have been offered two options: 1) For lodges that do cancel stated meetings, that section of the CMC 807.000 requiring meetings be postponed rather than cancelled is hereby suspended for through April 15. Lodge secretaries and hall boards are authorized to pay any necessary routine bills such as mortgage/rent, insurance, utilities, phone, water/sewer, etc. All other payments and business must wait until the next stated meeting for approval, and 2) as an alternative, holding the stated meeting with the minimum required attendance, i.e. seven officers to open Lodge on the first degree. At this time I think option 2 makes the most sense for Fort Crook Lodge. So, for our upcoming April stated meeting scheduled for April 14, I would ask for Lodge Officers only to attend, all other brethren are excused from attendance, though no one will be turned away. If any of the Lodge Officers are ill, believe they have been exposed, or do not want to risk exposure, please contact me so I might be able to find a replacement for your chair. If the local situation worsens in the intervening weeks, we will re-evaluate.
The Intermountain/Modoc Shrine Club has cancelled upcoming breakfast dates until further notice. Our presentation of the Golden Veteran’s Award to recently reinstated Brother Seymour ‘Sam’ Thurber planned for March 19th has been postponed until further notice. Brother Crockett is planning our annual lunch get together with our Alturas Brothers in Adin. There is a rumor that the Adin Supply has sold and may be closing. If true, the location may be moved to Oney’s Frosty in Adin. At this time we will go ahead with the planning of that event and re-evaluate as the time nears. The only other gathering we have planned at this point is our annual picnic at the Intermountain Fairgrounds in August. Again, we will continue with planning and re-evaluate.
I will now offer my personal thoughts on the issue at hand. I do believe that the public health risk is real and all reasonable precautions should be taken to keep one’s self and family safe from exposure to the virus. The California Department of Public Health advises the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
However, I also believe there is a huge overreaction occurring and that fear and panic are being driven by the media, our politicians, Hollywood, etc., and it is doing great damage to this country. Agendas other than the health and safety of the citizens of this country are being pushed forward by these groups. I urge you to not participate in the panic, use common sense and good hygiene and we will get through this.
Fraternally, Mark L. Stalcup, Master
Mark Stalcup ~ PM
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