Tag Archives: Masons

Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 presents plaque to Burney High Teachers

As part of the Masons long-time effort to support public education, Grand Master Jim Crockett and Mason George Whitfield from Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 presented a plaque to Principal Ray Guerrero at a student assembly at Burney Junior-Senior High School.

Masons Jim Crockett and George Whitfield with BHS teachers and Principal Ray Guerrero

Jim Crockett said, “Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 in Fall River Mills has for years supported the schools in the Intermountain Area. This year we are presenting plaques to the Staff and teachers of Fall River, Burney and Big Valley schools in recognition of their efforts and achievements furthering the education of the students.”

Clique on image to enlarge

The plaque says, “We hereby proclaim our sincere thanks to the teachers and staff of Burney Junior Senior High School and extend our congratulations for their provision of outstanding academic instruction, leading in turn to exemplary achievement by all enrolled students.”

Bruce R. Galloway, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of California proclaimed April Public Education Month for 2018. On April 1, the California Department of Education also issued a statement encouraging people to recognize April as Public Education Month.

Before presenting the plaque to Principal Guerrero, Crockett gave a brief history of Masonic support for public education.

Crockett and Whitfield address the student body

In his talk he said,

Because Freemasonry places such great importance on education, we have become steadfast supporters of the Public Schools. Horace Mann, the father of our present system of public schools, wrote that the object of a free public schools system is “to give every child a free, straight, solid pathway by which he can walk directly up from the ignorance of an infant to a knowledge of the primary duties of a man.”

The California State public school system was started in the 1850’s, and the first State Superintendent of Public Instruction was John Swett, a transplanted Mason who had come west in the years following the Gold Rush.

The public schools have always been a special concern of California Masons. Charles Albert Adams, Grand Master in 1920, wrote that as Masons “we subscribe to the belief that an enlightened citizenship is the first great care of a progressive State:’ He believed that the future of our free democracy depended on the quality of our public schools.

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Fort Crook Lodge 250 give backpacks to second graders

Over the past week, Masons Jim Crockett and George Whitfield from Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM  delivered more than 100 backpacks to second graders in the Intermountain area.

George Whitfield and Jim Crockett passing out backpacks at Burney Elementary as teacher Michael von Schalscha and school psychologist Brent Beyer look on

On Friday, August 18 they delivered 12 backpacks to students in Montgomery Creek.

Montgomery Creek (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

On Tuesday August 22, they gave out about 40 backpacks at Fall River Elementary School

and another 40 at Burney Elementary School.

Burney Elementary (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

Then on Thursday August 24, they drove to Big Valley to deliver another 17 back packs to grateful children.

Big Valley (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

This is the 16th year that Fort Crook Lodge 250 has done this program. Each backpack contained a ruler, a composition book, pencils, crayons, and erasers.

At each school, Crockett and Whitfield gave a short presentation before presenting the backpacks.

Crockett and Whitfield explain about the Masons

For instance, at Burney Elementary, the children listened attentively as Master Mason Jim Crockett spoke about the history of the Masons. He told them that this year is the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry.

George Whitfield asked if any of the children had heard of George Washington and explained that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were both Masons.

To help the children understand the Masons in their own terms, second grade teacher Joy Ford told the children that “the Masons are a club like the Boy Scouts, only for adults.”

Joy Ford helped the students to understand the Masons

The children appreciated the explanation and nodded and smiled.

The three core principles of Freemasonry are brotherly love, relief, and truth.

Mason George Whitfield shakes hands with a young student as he hands him a backpack

After hearing that the Masons were 300 years old, one young boy raised his hand and asked Mr. Crockett, “How old are you.”

“Older than George,” he replied.

“And I’m too old to be asked that question,” Mr. Whitfield quipped as the children laughed.

When questions were finished, all the children lined up in two orderly rows and advanced to share a friendly handshake and receive their pack.

Master Mason Crockett said, “We truly enjoy the kids and their expressions and gratitude in receiving the backpacks with the school supplies inside.”

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Filed under Bieber, Big Valley, Burney, Fall River, Fall River Mills, Montgomery Creek, Schools, youth