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July 24, 2015 @ 12:18 am by admin

Preserving Our Past

“The favor I am now to ask of you is to desire you will request of such Lords of the Admiralty as you are acquainted with, that when Mr. Port the present Gunner of his Majesty’s ship the Duke is superannuated (which he intends to apply for in less than a fortnight, being very infirm and unable to his duty) I may be appointed gunner of the said ship.” – 1753 letter from Bro. Thomas Dunckerley

Stories worth saving

All lodges save some documents to meet CMC and legal requirements. But many photographs awards, and other Masonic documents are worth preserving for their historic value to future Masons.

Take, for example, this letter from 1753, which details Bro. Thomas Dunckerley’s request to become gunner on the Royal Naval ship, “the Duke.” Dunckerley went on to become an influential grand lodge officer in England, where he inspired part of the Entered Apprentice lecture. And because of past Masonic archivists, we can now enjoy this fascinating glimpse of our history in the archives of our Grand Lodge.

Masonic artifacts, like the Dunckerley, letter tell a story that connect us to our past. But for these stories to live on and inspire future Masons, they must be preserved – and able to be found and shared.

Tools for your lodges

Now, California lodges have two easy options for storing important documents – both living and historical – to save your lodge records for posterity.

  1. Iron Mountain: Historic Archives
    Iron Mountain can help you scan and preserve critical historic items like photographs, bound books, awards, and other memorabilia. Bulk scanning of your lodge documents is also available.

    It’s easy to start your Iron Mountain account, and California Lodges receive discounted pricing.

    A helpful FAQ about how to prepare and organize artifacts will be posted later this month.
    Access Iron Mountain to get started

  2. The Vault: Living Documents
    Start saving and sharing digital records today with The Vault. This convenient online system is already set up to store important records like minutes, bylaws, meeting agendas, recent trestleboards, and tax filings. Folders can be customized and expanded to meet the needs of your lodge. Best of all, information stored here is securely protected, backed up, and accessible only after members log in with a user ID and password.

    To get started using your Lodge Vault, go to: Member Center > My Lodge > Lodge Features > The Vault.

    A “Vault User Manual” is located in the Lodge Features section of My Lodge.

Remember: Your lodge has a living story that’s meant to be shared. It tells the world who you are and why you’re proud to be part of Masonry in California. Don’t wait another moment to tell your story.

If you have any questions about these services, please contact Member Services at (415)292-9180 or

All articles may be repurposed by any Masonic publication with credit to the Grand Lodge of California. Print this article and post it at lodge; include it in your Trestleboard or website; email it to members; or use the buttons at the top of this page to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

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