One lodge-visit so far, and what a meeting.
The visit was set up via the online forum called The Three Pillars, thanks to regulars Dave Mavity and ‘Fylfot’. On this occasion they had an Initiation and a large number of guests.
Academia is a Traditional Observance loge, which basically means that these guys take freemasonry seriously. The ritual folows California standards, but with a few, important (to my opinion) additions. They also have a dress code of wearing tails, and the Agape/Festive Board is an important part of the evening. They meet in the Oakland Scottish Rite Center (which is obviously a Temple, regardless of the name) – a magnificent building from the late Twenties, and I was shown the great hall as well as the midnight view overlooking Lake Merritt; we had diner in the darkpanelled library, which was also very appropriate.
As Fylfot said elsewhere, the evening’s work was “secret-sacred”, so I won’t go into details, merely say that this was a truly memorable visit – one couldn’t hope for more gracious hosts – and I hope to go back there again, soon.
(I have also stopped by the Oakland Masonic Center, where Live Oak Lodge meets, but nobody was there – it is walking distance though, so I may pop by before a stated meeting, just to say hello.)