During the last month I have been busy doing what I enjoy most, visiting Lodges. I began with my trip to Northern Solano Lodge in Fairfield, CA, where I had the honor of presenting some of our long-time members with certificates and pins. Two of those were for 25 years and given to my Recording Secretary, Lori Rossi and her husband and CAO of the Western Foundation Mark! Thank you both for your commitment to our Order.
I spent some time with my Sisters and Brothers in the Giuseppe Verdi Lodge in Sparks NV. There we initiated four new members. I am so happy to take part in such events. New members keep our Order going.
I’ve just come back from the Cesare Battisti Lodge in Rohnert Park, CA. I had the pleasure of initiating twenty, yes twenty new members to their Lodge. We celebrated St Patty’s Day with a Corned beef and cabbage luncheon. President Ernie cooked a great meal for my buddy, Joy Bruno and me the night before the meeting. As usual, I overate and loved every minute of it!
Your Grand Council met on March 19th, We discussed Convention.2022 to be held at the Double Tree, Anaheim, in Orange from June 21st thru June 26th. There are meetings for our officers during the beginning of the week. Our annual Bocce Tournament will again be held on Wednesday, June 22nd at 3:30. Information on this event will be in your packets. There will be a luncheon to honor our Lodge Presidents and their spouses. We haven’t met in a couple of years, and all felt it would be good to include both.
We are having a Royal Court of the Golden Lion Luncheon at Convention. I hope that more of you will consider donating to the Royal Court. In the past we have held Gala’s and I hope in the future to be able to do that again and honor Italian/Italian American men and women in the business world and contribute to their charities. Until then we are working with the committee and the Western Foundation to distribute some of those funds to deserving charities.
We are working on a plan to present our Grand Delegates to facilitate the sale and relocation of the Grand Lodge building. We plan to get this information out to all Delegates before Convention so you will have time to review.
Our Past President, John Tedesco has been working diligently for the past three years to recover some insurance payment issues and he has finally recovered about 13 years of discrepancies. He will have a full report for you at Convention.
Trustee of the North, Anna Graeber, presented a tool that all the Council agreed would benefit Membership. We hope to get one of the officers of “Mailbox Power” to speak to us at Convention of its benefits. I think the important thing is being able to reach Italians and Italian Americans in our areas inexpensively. I know we can attract new members at this time. People are tired of being alone and looking for worthwhile groups to join. We need to reach out to potential members before they again become complacent. Please help us grow our Order.
National sent out an electronic questionnaire. One of the most important questions was #13, “What can we do to create a better member experience? What can we do differently to attract, maintain, and share what we do?” Some of the answers from our California Sisters and Brothers surprised me.
Money was expressed in many of the answers. I understand the need to save. I too am on a fixed income and am concerned about spending. The issue is on what we feel is important enough to spend our discretionary income. My family has been a part of the Order for many years. Dad and Mom had a lot more discretionary income than I do but I don’t think that matters. I will still give all I can to spread our culture through out this nation. I will still give all I can to help fight the Columbus bashing. I will still give all I can to help my Sisters and Brothers in need. I hope that many of you will agree with me.
Some of the answers said we didn’t evolve with the times. I think we are trying to do just that. Unfortunately change needs movers to make it happen. If you walk away then we have no one to lead us towards that change.
Some of the answers dealt with communication. I think we are working to that end with our emails, Il Leone, and Newsletters. Please look for these from your Lodges so you can stay up to date on communication.
There were so many suggestions and I’d like to share more of them with you in the next article.
I want to remind you to tune in to the Italian America Show on Sunday Evenings, Live Streaming. Your First Vice-President, Pauline Richmond has been sending out reminders and links to the show to all our Lodge Presidents. I hope you are forwarding these to your members so they can participate. You can also watch it anytime if you go on the National page (OSDIA.org) You will find a Twitter link that you can select and watch all the episodes thus far. You don’t need a Twitter account.
Till next month
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Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
Grand Lodge of California
P. O. Box 2467
Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone: (415) 586-1316