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Masonic tradition continues at Turlock's public safety building
The Masonic cornerstone has a long tradition in the completion of new structures. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

An ancient ritual was performed at the newest home to Turlock's public safety departments on Friday, in the form of a Masonic cornerstone ceremony.

The Free Masons of the Turlock Lodge joined together with the Turlock Police Department and City Council to dedicate a cornerstone at  the Public Safety Facility.

Dean Williams, Master of the Turlock Masonic Lodge, explained that in the "old days" when a structure was built the Masons would place a cornerstone on the northeast side of a building to complete it.  The cornerstone symbolizes completion and tradition.

In addition to the cornerstone, a 50 year time capsule was included which contains items such as an invitation and program from the day's ceremony, a badge and patch from the Turlock police and fire departments and various other items in reference to police and fire services as well as photos of different stages of the Public Safety Center during its construction.

The ceremony was led by the Masons and included various guest speakers such as Mayor John Lazar, Police Chief Robert Jackson and the head of the California Masons, the Most Worshipful Grandmaster John Cooper.

The Public Safety Facility opened almost a year ago, after six years in the making and costing more than $30 million. The more than 59,000 square feet houses the Turlock Police Department and the administrative branch of the Turlock Fire Department.