In a ceremony held at the Burbank Masonic Center last week local Masons gathered for the 110th time to support their 2019 leadership and honor those who served throughout 2018.
More than 250 friends and family members joined the Burbank Lodge 406 of Free and Accepted Masons as newly elected and appointed officers were installed.
Under the direction of the lodge’s installing team, the assemblage witnessed the elevation of Jesus Valdiviezo to serve as the organization’s 2019 worshipful master, the highest honor to which a lodge may appoint one of its members and is filled annually by a secret-ballot election.
This year’s installation ceremony began with a welcome address by outgoing Worshipful Master Jhairo Echevarria, followed by the installation of the lodge’s 2019 officers including Valdiviezo, who proclaimed the theme of his term will be “service through leadership.”
“In our lodge, as within every Masonic lodge, no matter what title we hold, we serve and we care,” said Valdiviezo, who emotionally credited his father for inspiring him to become a Mason.
As his parents, Manuel and Grace, and his wife, Elizabeth, looked on, Valdiviezo recalled that, as a young boy, his father would tell him stories about the experiences he had with his brothers from the lodge.
“He told me if I ever wanted to become a Mason, it would be up to me, and that if I did, the Masons would take care of me,” Valdiviezo said.
“Many things have changed in this world since I became a Mason, but one thing that has not changed is that Masons still take care of one another, our families and our communities. This year, our work — our service and caring — will continue to be resilient in a changing world,” he added.
Along with Valdiviezo, who also plans to focus on the lodge’s youth orders of DeMolay and Job’s Daughters during his term, other officers installed during last week’s ceremony were Senior Warden Gary Glass, Junior Warden Armen Khalafyan, treasurer Peter Babaian, secretary Ricardo Cervantes, chaplain Leon Adkins, marshal Luis G. Echevarria, senior deacon Nishan Matossian, junior deacon Martin Mihal, senior steward Andy Grim, junior steward James Castro and tiler Lee Broussard.
The installation ceremony also saw Michael Arnold, president and chief executive of the Midnight Mission, pay tribute to outgoing Master Echevarria for his dedicated support.
He was also lauded for his work in the Burbank community by Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and Councilman Bob Frutos.
In 1909, a dispensation was granted by the California Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for a group of men who formed Masonic Lodge 406.
The lodge actually predates the city of Burbank, which was incorporated in 1911, and members held their inaugural meeting on July 1 of that year in their first home on South San Fernando Road.
With initial membership applications received from five ranchers, five farmers, a doctor, a carpenter, a teamster, a butcher, a teacher, an oil driller and a railroad worker, the lodge continued to grow.
The organization moved to its second location on Olive Avenue in 1931 and its current location on Glenoaks Boulevard in 2000.
Today, with more than 200 members and more than a century of service to the community and charitable organizations, local Masons are currently supporting the causes of the national Masonic organization as well as local groups and organizations.