On Aug. 5, the California Grand Lodge joined the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of California to conduct a joint cornerstone ceremony for the new Willie L. Brown Middle School in San Francisco. Nearly 100 Masons attended the ceremony, along with members of the San Francisco School Board, including San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza, and officials of the City of San Francisco.
Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of California Donald R. Ware led the officers in attendance through a dedication ceremony, which closed with a benediction upon the building and all who will learn within it. “The children who enter in these doors will become living stones for the advancement of these United States,” Ware said.
To accompany the ceremony, officers installed a time capsule, which included letters from the National Alliance of Black School Educators, the principal of Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School and Carranza; a list of all the Masonic officers participating in the ceremony; and a decorative pin, donated by Grand Master Charvonia. Following the installation of the time capsule, the building was adorned with a decorative plaque.
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., for whom the school is named, is a Prince Hall Mason and was a guest speaker at the event. “The students who see this plaque as they walk into the building will understand the significance of the ceremony we are holding today,” Brown said. “It will serve as a tremendous source of inspiration.”
Grand Master Charvonia also addressed the audience. “As Masons, we believe that the cornerstone of civil society is an educated populace, and from the beginning, we have been strong supporters of free public education,” he said. “Today’s ceremony is especially significant because middle school is where the foundation of our young people is grounded – it is at this age that learning takes place that will help shape the rest of their lives. Although this is a beautiful building, the true beauty will be found in the learning that will occur here.”
This historic ceremony was the first cornerstone dedication conducted jointly between the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge and Masons of California Grand Lodge in the City of San Francisco.
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