About Us - Oakland Valley - 1883
Oakland, in 1880, had become the city second in importance to California after San Francisco. A number of Masonic Lodges were occupying the new Masonic Temple at Twelfth and Washington Streets. In the summer of 1883 Supreme Grand Commander Albert Pike 33 o visited Oakland and he selected twelve men to receive the 4th through 32nd Degrees. Within days after their initiation 19 other Scottish Rite members joined with them and soon petitioned the Grand Consistory in San Francisco. After much discussion and some dissent, agreement was reached and charters were granted for a Lodge of Perfection, Chapter of Rose Croix and Council of Kadosh. By 1896 membership had grown to about 170 and the Bodies were outgrowing the Masonic Temple. They purchased, renovated and furnished an old synagogue at 350 Fourteenth Street and built the first Scottish Rite Temple west of the Rocky Mountains. Just 12 years later a second Cathedral at 1443 Madison Street was dedicated. By 1925 the membership had grown to 4,313, an increase of more than 100% in five years. Like all the Valleys, Oakland membership peaked at 8,867 in the late 1950s and held steady for almost a decade when it began a slow decline. (1) Still another, this time new, Cathedral was dedicated on December 12, 1927. The ceremony was held at 1547 Lakeside Drive where the Rite still resides. This Impressive Temple boasts hand carved ceilings, grand staircases and opulent furnishings. Its dining room comfortably seats 1,000 and the main auditorium, circular in shape, seats 1,500. The stage was considered to have only one rival: the Metropolitan Operas House in New York. The Valley of Oakland celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1980, the year that the Childhood Language Disorders Clinic commenced operation. On June 6, 1998 the Scottish Rite Ladies Club celebrated its 100th birthday. It had begun as a very successful fund raising project for the Masonic Home at Decoto. The ladies petitioned to form a Club and they met at the former synagogue on 14th Street. Its charter purpose was, in part, to "...assist the Scottish Rite Bodies with their goals." The Club contributes to the Almoner's fund and to various community charity projects. Presently its major charity is The Childhood Language Disorders Clinic. The Bodies have several special annual events: the "Brightside of Youth", a program and talent show for the Masonic youth groups; a Founders Medal, a Ritualist of the Year Award and a Past Venerable Master Night. The Oakland Childhood Language Disorders Clinic started 19 1983 in a house trailer on the Temple parking lot, with one clinician and 10 children. The Clinic was moved inside the building in August, 1994. It currently employs a director and six part-time professional clinicians, usually working one-on-one with children. It presently serves about 40 children from the Oakland area and evaluates about six children a month. There is a waiting list of approximately 30 children. The proceeds from all Scottish Rite activities go to support the Clinic and a well established gifting program also offers generous support. (2) Bibliography Sources My thanks to all those, names and nameless, who helped me amass the materials used in compiling this history of the Orient of California. Ill:. Robert D. Haas 33° 1. California First Century of Scottish Rite Masonry p. 47 ff. Oakland Bodies 2. Oakland Ladies Club, N.W. Dunlap 33 o 100 Year Booklet
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