Greenleaf Gardens Lodge

No. 670 Free & Accepted Masons

F. & A.M.

Our Lodge

Our Master & Officers

 Jose Mercado: Past Master, 2009
  David Enos
Donald Gene McLaurin Jr. PM 2013, 2012, 2007
 William D. Johnson, Hiram Award Recipient
 Brent W. Berry
 Jerry G. Laiblin, Past Master 2001, 2002
 Charles Trent, Hiram Award Recipient
 Fred Argosino
 Armando Ramirez
 Don McNair
 Javier Valenzuela
 Guillermo Acosta, Jr.
 Jack Mires, Hiram Award Recipient
 Mac Macaraeg, Jr, Past Master
Officers Coach
 Donald Gene McLaurin Jr. PM 2013, 2012, 2007

Living Past Masters
1957 - Norman Roberts 1959 - Richard C. Watson 1961 - Gerald E. Hopper
1963, 1998 - Lee A. Strong 1969 - Stanley E. Shrainer 1971, 1991, 1992 - Donald E. Keller
1972 - William R. Coburn 1972 - James D. Kaprielian 1972 - John M. Garcia
1974, 1999 - Robert M. Biggers 1979 - Rulon B. Martyn 1982 - Stanton A. Rees
1982 - Dwaine W. Jones 1986 - Gerald L. Baker 1987 - Ernest E. Symmes
1988 - Jerre L. Morris 1989 - Marc H. Green 1990, 1995 - Jon P. Andreassen
1991 - Raymond L. Wilcox 1992, 2003 - David J. Pickup 1993 - Larry S. Petersen
1994 - Adolpho Gorra 1996 - William F. LaValley, Jr. 1997, 2000 - Edgard Abi-Khalil
2001, 2002 - Jerry G. Laiblin 2004 - John S. Turner 2005, 2010 - Phill E. Mossey
2007 - Don McLaurin, Jr. 2009 - Jose Mercado  

Living Hiram Award Winners
The Hiram Award is given a Brother Mason in recognition of service to the fraternity or mankind in general. It is intended for a Brother who, year after year, displays his devotion without receiving special recognition or special honor. Every Lodge has many such members. They are the living cement that binds our fraternity into a Brotherhood. You can find them at labor in kitchens, the coaching rooms, the committees, his church and community helping his fellowman, anywhere a true and steady Hand of assistance is needed. Below is a list of those brothers so honored by the Greenleaf Gardens Lodge No. 670 Lodge for their dedicated service to our Lodge, Masonry in general and mankind.
J. Norman Roberts, P.M. - November 20 1982 Dwain E. Jones, P.M. - November 4, 1984
Lee A. Strong, P.M. - June 25, 1986 Robert M. Biggers, P.M. - October 2, 1990
Donald E. Keller, P.M. - April 24, 1991 James D. Kaprielian, P.M. - December 2, 1992
Larry S. Petersen, P.M. - November 15, 1996 Jerry G. Laiblin, P.M. - October 10, 1997
Jack W. Mires - June 17, 1998 Philip T. George - November 14, 2001
Edgard Abi-Khalil, P.M. - Nov. 13, 2003 Don McNair - September 22, 2004
Phill E. Mossey, P.M. - June 28, 2006 Jerre Morris, P.M. - March 19, 2007

Chair Phill Mossey, PM
Members Charles Trent, Don McNair, Jose Mercado P.M. Ex-facto Members-Bill Johnson, Jerry Laiblin, PM

Candidate Advancement, Coaching & Mentoring
Chair Jose Mercado PM
Members All Officers

Chair McLaurin, PM
Members Jerry Laiblin, PM, Jose Mercado, PM

Membership Retention
Chair Don McLaurin, PM
Members Jerry Laiblin, PM, Jose Mercado PM, Charles Trent, Guillermo Acosta Jr.

Education, Scholarship, Public Schools
Chair Jerry Laiblin, PM
Members Don McLaurin PM, Phill Mossey, PM, Chuck Austin, Brent Berry, Armando Ramirez

Chair Jerry Laiblin, PM
Members Don McLaurin, PM, Phill Mossey, PM, Phil George, Charles Trent, Armando Ramirez

Masonic Education
Chair Don McLaurin, PM
Members Phill Mossey, PM, Jose Mercado PM, John Matuz

Public Relations and Community Activities
Chair Don McLaurin, PM
Members Guillermo Acosta Jr, Armando Ramirez, Phill Mossey, PM

Recognition/Hiram Award
Chair Jose Mercado PM
Members Don McNair, Jack Mires, Charles Trent

Chair Jr Warden
Members Don McLaurin, PM, Jerry Laiblin, PM, Brent Berry, (Also includes Stewards Committee Members)

Special Functions - Activities
Chair Jose Mercado, PM
Members Don McLaurin, PM, Javier Valenzuela

Technology, Website and Internet Communications
Chair Lauren Lampietti
Members Henry Ong, Armando Ramirez

Community Service Committee
Chair Don McLaurin Jr., PM
Members Brent Berry, Jerry Laiblin PM, Phill Mossey, PM, Jose Mercado, PM

Youth Groups
Chair Phill Mossey, PM
Members Jose Mercado, PM, Charles Trent

Lodge History

Our Temple
12001 Beverly Blvd. Whittier, CA 90601

In the Beginning:
The early history of the formation of the Greenleaf Lodge No. 670 and Gardens Lodge No. 621 is one rooted in the most basic tenets of our craft, with a desire for an association with good men of similar purpose. Greenleaf Gardens Lodge No. 670 united with the Gardens Lodge No. 621 to form Greenleaf Gardens Lodge No. 670 in 1995. This union has strengthened every member with the consolidation and has united our Lodges as one band of brothers with a common aim of bringing Masonry to the forefront within the community. In that by setting an example of brotherly Love, relief and truth for all good men to follow.

We would like to offer a brief history of the beginnings of each Lodge. This review does not cover all the participants who have contributed in the progress in the building of each of the Lodges, nor does it cover the entire history, but is a concise documentation of the beginnings of each.

The Gardens Lodge No. 621:
The beginning of the Gardens Lodge can be traced back to a meeting which was held be a group of interested and civic minded sojourning Masons on April 18, 1923, in a barber shop located in Belvedere Gardens. The barbershop was operated by Brother, Edward Skinner, a member of the Pasadena Lodge No. 272. This group felt that there should be a Lodge of Master Masons located in the community of Belvedere Gardens. They knew of other sojourning Masons in the area with no Lodge to attend and who would be interested in a Lodge in their area.

These Masons continued to meet and at one of their meetings it was agreed that a name should be selected for their group until such time as a formal name was adopted. After much discussion, the name "CINOSAM" was adopted, this being "MASONIC" spelled backwards. It was also agreed they would hold their meetings twice each month in the back room Of the barbershop.

At the first official meeting of the "Cinosam Club", there were 23 members present and the brother John C. Post, a member of the Hollenbeck Lodge No. 319, acted as President. Brother Edward P. Woods, a member of the Westgate Lodge No. 392, acted as Vice President and Brother Floyd C. Nelson acted as Secretary.

Finally, on May 15, 1925 the embers of the Cinosam Club, together with other sojourning Masons, held a meeting in the Chamber of Commerce Office in Belvedere Gardens, to take the first steps towards forming a Lodge of their own. They were proud of the community of Belvedere Gardens, its residents and its business establishments. These men Sincerely hoped to organize a Lodge in their own community that they and others to follow could enjoy and of which they would be proud. The records show that they exceeded their fondest hopes and expectations.

At the meeting, Brother John H. Craig was called to act as a temporary Chairman and Brother Floyd O. Nelson to act as temporary Secretary. Much was accomplished, including a discussion of an appropriate name for the Lodge. It was decided that all proposed names for the new Lodge would be submitted to Brother John C. Post who was given full authority to select a name and report back at a later date. A motion was then made to petition the Grand Lodge of California for a dispensation to organize a Masonic Lodge in Belvedere Gardens and the following officers were proposed:

John C. Post, Worshipful Master
Edward P. Woods, Senior Warden
Edward F. Skinner, Junior Warden
Fred M. Hale, Treasurer
Roderick M. Harvey, Secretary

A Committee was formed to find a meeting place and report back to Brother Post. The committee reported that the name. "The Gardens Lodge" had been selected. They also reported that Koehl Hall would be the new meeting place and that the rent would be $40.00 per month.

The dispensation was issued by the Grand Master on August 5, 1925 and on August 18, 1925 the Gardens Lodge, U.D. was instituted by Worshipful Franklin D. Caldwell, Inspector of the 86th Masonic District.

The first meeting of the "Gardens Lodge U.D." was held in August 19, 1925 and there was a total of 17 petitions for membership received on October 15, 1925. This was less than 60 days after the first meeting of the Lodge. The Grand lodge issued the Charter for the Gardens Lodge No. 621.

Grand master Albert E. Boynton and several of the Grand Lodge officers appeared at Sunset Masonic Temple in Los Angeles on October 30, 1925 and officially constituted the Lodge. There were four other Lodges constituted at the same time.

The Lodge continued to grow and plans continued to be made. A Temple Board was formed as the "East Los Angeles Temple Association". They held their first meeting on December 6, 1939. A series of property transactions the followed which finally concluded in 1950 with the purchase of the property located at 9310 East Olympic Blvd. The original building located on the site was to be remodeled to form the Lodge room and dinning room and kitchen was to be added later. The Secretary received the deed to this property on July 5, 1950.

Brother George Brooks, Past Master of the Gardens Lodge, being a building contractor, then took over the actual remodeling job abd served as foreman. Several of the members would come down on the weekends to assist with the carrying out of his plans. Other members who could not help on weekends would offer their help during the week. Brother George took one year off from his regular work in order to get the building in condition.

Much of this time he worked for little or no wages at all. Brother George was truly a Master builder and the architect of the Temple. During this time, the financial records were maintained by Brother Floyd, Vandegrift, P.M., who was the Secretary of the Temple Board During the time the members were working in the Temple, their wives, as well as the ladies of the Eastern Star, No. 464 would bring and serve lunch to everyone at the Temple.

When the remodeling work was completed, the first meeting in the new temple was held on September 5, 1951. Shortly thereafter, construction was started on the dinning room and it was used for the first time on January 5, 1952. Grand Master Louis C. Drapeau and several of the Grand Lodge Officers were present to dedicate the Lodge building on September 6, 1952. The dinning room and Lodge room was filled to capacity for this event.

The Final mortgage payment for the building was made in April 1960.

In the 1980's they moved to Rio Hondo Lodge and then moved to the Montebello Lodge until the earthquake in 1991. At that time they moved again to the Greenleaf Lodge and decided to consolidate with them to form Greenleaf Gardens Lodge No. 670, in 1995

Many fine men assented to the oriental chair between 1960 and 1995. Uniting with the Greenleaf Lodge in 1995 has proven to be a great relationship and we are honored to have such good men join together to form one Lodge of Brothers united.

Greenleaf Lodge No. 670:
The history of the formation of the Greenleaf Lodge No. 670 has come down to the actions of two men. Brother Bill Moore and Hugh M. Topping Sr. Brother Bill returned from World War I and felt that forming a new Lodge in Whittier was advantageous to the community.

Greenleaf Lodge was started in the shop at the Standard Oil Co. and some of the early references to Greenleaf were as "The Standard Oil Lodge". It was Bill Moore with his idea talking to a brother Worshipful Harold Mann, which started the process.

Once it was decided that they would attempt to form a new Lodge, it seemed that associated came easily and Grand Lodge stated that they would definitely consider a new Lodge as the community was large enough to support another. The early planning sessions began in the rear of Art McNeil's insurance office. They had the bare minimum of officers consisting of Worshipful Ken Matson, Ed Skinner, Ray Berry and Harold Mann, all of whom remained as active brethren throughout their lives. These men formed the nucleus of the new Lodge, which was to be names after the Poet John Greenleaf Whittier and which was suggested by Ken Matson. All of these men worked with their hands and had little experience with bookkeeping or secretarial duties. Hugh M. Topping Sr. arrived in Whittier to take over the duties as the city fire chief. He agreed to be the Secretary of the Lodge which added to the momentum for forming the new Lodge. A dispensation was granted and the Officers were elected and appointed. Work was commenced under the fellowship and spirit of all Masons who desire to make a home for themselves and a place to be proud to meet within the community.

Our first line of officers in 1928 were: Kenneth L Matson, Worshipful Master, Harold Mann, Senior Warden, Paul Wessman, Junior Warden, Hugh M. Topping (Chief) as Secretary and Arthur MacNeil as Treasurer. Degrees were performed and the raising of the first Master Mason was conducted in that year.

Time raced forward and the membership increased. Within a few short years a move was made from Greenleaf Ave. to South Bright Street. This facility was our home until late in 1951.

In 1945, under he leadership of Worshipful Larry Vestal, a Temple Association was formed with the purpose in mind of building our own Temple. This was the dream of some of our founding fathers and they spent every effort towards that goal. Breakfasts were held, barbecues, annual dinners and whatever would make money for the Temple fund. Property was acquired on West Hadley Street. It was "horse-traded" for property on Beverly Blvd. The building project was started in 1950.

First, the avocado trees were cleared off by the brethren.

"The call went forth and the craftsmen assembled with equipment ranging from handaxes and hammers to giant bulldozers.
A brother brought in heavy equipment, leveled and impacted the site for the building. A contract was set for the floors, the outside walls and the roof."

Temple Construction

Again, the brethren took over - digging ditches for the sewers, gas, electricity and water lines under the floor. After contractor put floors, walls and the roof into place and the real fun began.

Temple Construction

Every weekend found about 100 brothers swarming all over the place putting in doors, conduit, light fixtures, painting, sanding smoothing, and you name it, they did it, all very well. The fellowship found in the relations among the workmen only enhanced the closeness of an already warm and friendly Lodge. In August of 1951 there was held the first Stated Meeting in the new Lodge room under the Worshipful Grover Ahmann.

Temple Construction

With the passing of the years, fine men have held offices in Greenleaf Lodge. We have provided our Masonic district with four Inspectors; Edmund Skinner, Hugh Topping II, Lee Strong and Raymond Frazier. Two of Greenleaf's Past masters have been selected to serve in appointive stations in the Grand Lodge of California. Worshipful James Twadell as Grand Pursuivant in 1995 and Lee Strong in 1978 as Grand Senior Deacon and Grand Orator in 1990.

Special thanks to Len Rubin for assistance with photo enhancement.


Greenleaf Gardens Lodge No. 670 F. & A.M.

12001 East Beverly Blvd.  
Whittier, CA 90601 Google Maps  Map and Directions
(562) 695-2755  
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