HomeCommunity NewsMasonic Lodge 406 Installs New Officers

Masonic Lodge 406 Installs New Officers

First published in the Feb. 4 print issue of the Burbank Leader.


For the 114th time since it received its charter from the Grand Lodge of California, Burbank Masonic Lodge 406 installed its elected and appointed officers this past week.
Gathering at the masonic center, local Masons and guests were on hand to show their appreciation to outgoing Master Armen Khalafyan, and their support to Peter Babaian, who was sworn-in for his second term as the lodge’s master.
Khalafyan, who has been a member of the lodge for seven years and served an unprecedented back-to-back two-year term due to the pandemic, said his desire to become a Mason stemmed from wanting to be a part of a brotherhood and to seek spiritual growth.
“During the two years, I served as master due to COVID, it was difficult to do what we normally do for our community,” said Khalafyan, shortly before turning over the leadership role to Babaian. “Much of my work has been to bring us back to normalcy ― to get us back on track, and we made great strides this past year. We saw 11 members become degreed masons. That is the most we have ever had in one year.”
Asked about the guidance he may offer his successor, Khalafyan said he has great confidence in Babaian in that this is his second time to serve as the lodge’s master.
“He will keep the Masonic vision strong and follow it in order to continue our positive impact on our community,” said Khalafyan.
Prior to last week’s installation ceremony, Babaian, who has been a Mason for 13 years, had a private meeting with Burbank Mayor Konstantine Anthony in which he expressed his intent to continue the organizations’ commitment to local charities.
“The city is proud to support Peter Babaian as he returns to his role as the lodge’s master,” Anthony said after their meeting. “As a city, we are grateful for all the wonderful work the local Masons do for so many people in our community.”
The office of worshipful master, now held by Babaian for a one-year term, is the highest honor to which a lodge may appoint one of its members and is filled annually by a secret-ballot election.
Last week’s black-tie ceremony included a dinner reception and saw the installation of elected officers Ricardo Cervantes, who will serve as junior warden; Kevin Fitzgerald, who will be treasurer; and Jhairo Echevarria, who has been elected as secretary.
The lodge’s 2023-24 appointed officers were also honored. Those leadership roles include Chaplain Benjamin Lupu, Senior Deacon Sheldon Mazo, Junior Deacon Armen Hovanessian, Marshal Omar Vasilakis, Senior Steward David Ter-Petrosyan, Junior Steward Denis Vitoreli Jr. and Tiler Armin Schulof.
Among the dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony were past Grand Master of California Russ Charvonia, who served as the evening’s installing officer; past masters of Lodge 406 Jeff Yates and Elvan “Al” Moen, who respectfully served as master of ceremonies and installing chaplain; and Burbank City Councilwoman Zizette Mullins, who was accompanied by her husband, Michael.
A small group of men held their first preliminary meeting in 1908 ,with the hope of establishing a masonic lodge in Burbank. The following year, a dispensation was granted by the California Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and Masonic Lodge 406 was formed. The lodge actually pre-dates the city of Burbank, which was incorporated in 1911, and members held their inaugural meeting on July 1, 1909, 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, moved to its second location on Olive Avenue in 1931 and to its current location on Glenoaks Boulevard in 2000.
Today, with more than a century of service to the community and charitable organizations, Masons are currently supporting the causes of the national Masonic organization as well as local groups and organizations.
Specific groups that the Burbank lodge supports include the Raising a Reader and Masons4Mitts charities, as well as their youth orders, the L.C. Kelley chapter of the Order of DeMolay and Bethel 97 Job’s Daughters International.

DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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