About Us - San Bernardino Valley - 1956
Following World War II Southern California experienced a population explosion and especially in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. A group of Scottish Rite Masons who held membership in several different Valleys but lived in the two counties, met to discuss the possibility of establishing a Scottish Rite in the area. As a result of the meeting, Letters Temporary were issued September 8, 1956, for a San Bernardino Lodge of Perfection and San Bernardino Chapter of Rose Croix. The first meeting of the Lodge of Perfection was held at the San Bernardino Masonic Lodge just ten days later. Charters were granted for the Lodge and Chapter in October, 1957. The first class of graduates of the Chapter traveled to the east to receive their Council. and Consistory Degrees at the Pasadena Bodies. They later transferred their memberships to the San Bernardino Council of Kadosh and the San Bernardino Consistory both of which were constituted December 18,1959. The Lodge of Perfection arranged a two-year lease of the Highland Women's' Club where they met for several years. The rolls listed 525 members in April, 1958 and 858 on December 31, 1958 -- an increase of more than 60% in just 8 months. Two years later the Rite numbered 1,187. With the rapid growth in membership, it was necessary to consider a new Cathedral. (1) Looking to the future, the Bodies purchased ten acres in north San Bernardino. Plans for a new Temple at 4400 North Varsity Way were drawn up in 1967 and the building project soon got under way. Ground breaking ceremonies were held January 24, 1970. The Pasadena Bodies contributed $2,500 to help furnish the Temple. Stage backdrops were designed and painted and stage props gathered. An organ was donated for the auditorium and on June 1, 1972 the building was dedicated. A brother provided in his will, funds to construct the John Oester Banquet Hall. The Valley of San Bernardino provides two $300.00 scholarships to local community colleges on a rotating basis. Each February the widows of departed brethren are honored at the February Stated Meeting. To encourage membership a golden Eagle Award lapel pin is presented to brothers who bring in ten candidates. A diamond is embedded in the pin for each additional ten candidates he brings. The Rite sold 3-1/2 acres of its property to fund the construction of a Childhood Language Disorders Clinic on the site of the Temple. The Clinic building has three treatment rooms, a toy closet, office and kitchen. The Parents room is equipped with one-way class so the children may be observed during treatment. There is a large waiting room at the front entrance with office space for the secretary. Since its opening in 1982 the Clinic has treated about 850 children. Two part-time therapists, one of whom is the Clinic Director, comprise the staff and they treat about 35 children at a time and have a six month waiting list averaging about 20 children. In addition to the generosity of the brethren, an Annual BBQ and Benefit Auction raise funds for the operation of the Clinic. For members wishing to join the "365 Club" can pick a day to support the Clinic with a $135.00 donation. Their names are displayed on a plaque in the foyer. (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. 327 ff. San Bernardino Bodies 2. Louis Jelink 33 o , Art Callaway 33 o
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