On the Town: Shriners embrace leaders

The Castaway Restaurant served as the venue for a gathering of the members of the Burbank Shrine Club as they observed their annual installation of officers this past Sunday evening. The event, which also included an official visit from Shrine Potentate, the Illustrious Sir Dave Chernik of the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple of Los Angeles, saw local Masons and Shriners joined by their family members to both honor the incoming officers and directors and show their appreciation to the outgoing 2012 leadership.

Sunday's ceremony saw Chernik install Dave Williams as president, S. Joseph Naber as 1st vice president, James Laage as 2nd vice president, Daniel Hood as 3rd vice president Sterling Lockett as treasurer and Jeremy Chongco as secretary. The evening also included the seating of the club's 2013 board of directors: Williams, Dale Dodge, Christopher Barnes, Steve Harris, Herbert Rohwer and Norm Furman.

Among those in attendance for the ceremony were David Sizemore, Vernon Ross, Jim Woodburn and his wife, Merle, who served as Burbank's city clerk in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and members of newly installed President Williams' family including his wife, Nataly, and daughters, Suzy and Hannah.

This past year saw Burbank Masons and Shriners welcome many visitors from other lodges around the country and the world, children and teachers from local schools and Grand Master Frank Loui for their table lodge. The organization's focus for 2012 was on their continued help to many individuals and organizations with their Child ID program, a blood drive, CPR classes and support of the Midnight Mission.

One of the programs the Masons and Shriners embraced this past year, Raising A Reader, is a national nonprofit organization that helps families build and sustain literacy routines in their homes. During 2012, the organization served 118,000 children and families by rotating bright red bags filled with award-winning books into children's homes on a weekly basis. The group pairs this rotation with parent training and information on how to effectively share books to promote family literacy habits, language and literacy skills, and a love of learning. Families are also connected with their local public library, and children receive a blue book bag at the end of the program to keep so that they can continue the practice of borrowing books and build a lifelong habit of reading.

The Burbank Shrine Club, under the jurisdiction of L.A's Al Malaikah Shrine, has been a part of the Burbank Masonic family for many decades. Burbank's Lodge No. 406 of Free and Accepted Masons received a dispensation from the California Grand Lodge to form a Lodge in Burbank in 1909. The first home of the Burbank Masonic Lodge was in a building on South San Fernando Road. The lodge moved to its second location on Olive Avenue near City Hall in 1931, and then to its current home on Glenoaks Boulevard in 2000.


DAVID LAURELL can be reached by e-mail dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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