The Sacramento Kings and California Masons held a Cornerstone ceremony for the new Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center (ESC).
The event marked the first cornerstone ceremony of a major sports stadium in California, and the first time many members of the local community had witnessed a cornerstone ceremony. But the event was also historic for other important reasons: the construction site (where the bulldozers are currently displaying “Sacramento Proud” logos) stands on the grounds where the first Grand Lodge of California was organized in 1850. The event also marked the first time the Masons of California have partnered with the Prince Hall Masons of California for a cornerstone ceremony.
The Kings are the first American sports franchise to hold this several hundred year old ceremony.
What made the ceremony even more symbolic was its location. The ESC will be at the exact location of the very first Grand Lodge of California. It has since moved to San Francisco.
“It was formed right over here a few feet to my left on April 19th 1850, and actually if you think about it before the state of California was even formed,” Grandmaster Russ Charvonia said. “So this is very symbolic and a very important day for California masonry.”
The symbolic cornerstone was checked with the highest standards of the ancient Stone Masons, using a square, plum, and level.
“I now declare this foundation stone to be well formed, true, and trusted,” Charvonia said.
The cornerstone was also filed with a capsule including masonry and sports memorabilia. Three Masonic leaders offered the corn (wheat) of nourishment, wine of refreshment, and olive oil of joy to bless the site.“Who knew a building could do so much and that destiny could bring Sacramento, basketball, and Free Masonry in such a unique way,” Grand Orator, Joseph Esshaghian said.
At the end of the ceremony, Assembly members Dr. Richard Pan and Roger Dickinson read Resolution 2360 to mark the occasion.
The ESC is scheduled to open in 2016.