Big Bear Masonic Lodge No. 617

We Make Good Men Better


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Mason Jim and Barbara Weyant with John Wells



Submitted by John Wells

Fellow Masons, Family and Friends gathered for a special recognition of James (Jim) Weyant, a  resident of Big Bear City and a public servant of the Valley, as well as Southern California. 

Fifty-years ago this evening, February 16, 1968, Jim Weyant was Raised at Torrance Masonic Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, No. 447. The Masonic term Raised – As Masons, the first degree or Entered Apprentice, is commonly referred to as Entered.  The second degree or fellowcraft, is referred to as Passed.  The third degree or Master Mason is referred to as Raised. 

Jim Weyant was Passed to the sublime degree of Master Mason, Thursday February 15, 2018.   


Born in Los Angeles, California where the family lived until a move to Torrance, California when Jim was fourteen years old.  Soon after graduation from Torrance High School he enlisted in the Merchant Marines.  It is interesting to note that Jim Weyant’s first time to sea, the same route he recently took to embark on another life adventure, this time it was to marry Barbara Nyulnd, The Mrs. James Weyant!


Upon completing his Merchant Marines tour, Weyant joined the Torrance Police Force and there served for thirty-two years. While with the Torrance Police Department, he also became an attorney. Weyant passed the Bar in 1973 and maintained his standing until just this Year- 2018. Jim Weyant also became a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County during his time in Torrance.  Weyant, as he does in seemingly every endeavor, was Raised to the top of his department and attained the rank of Active Captain.  

There, in Torrance, Weyant also began his journey as a Mason with the Torrance Lodge No. 447. 

In 1982 Jim Weyant purchased a weekend place here on the mountain; then in 2002, years later – Weyant built his dream cabin and became a fulltime resident of Big Bear Valley. 

Upon the move from Torrance and demitted from the Torrance No. 447, he became a fulltime member of Big Bear Masonic Lodge No. 617, located on Summit Boulevard in Big Bear Lake. 


The move to Big Bear City was his intention to finally retire and indulge in R & R, and enjoy the fruits of his long dedication to public service. Jokingly, since that move Weyant has, indeed done, comparatively, very little! 

He is a member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Posse /Mounted Search and Rescue.  Weyant has served on the Big Bear Historical Society and held the Office of President; as well be a volunteer for the Discovery Center for fifteen years.


Theatre Performer/Actor, JimWeyant is a favorite on live-stage with the Community Arts Theatre Society. His credits are: Inherit the wind, the cowardly lion in Wizard of Oz,  A Christmas Carol (several Times),  A Funny thing Happen on the Way to the Forum, Oklahoma, Odd Couple, Guys & Dolls, Oliver and of course Daddy Warbucks in Annie.  Weyant has been a dedicated CATS devotee working on lets, lights, just name it Jim was there. Additionally he served on the CATS Board of Directors and is CATS acting legal council. In addition all those things Jim Weyant has done in the Valley, there’s even more.

Let’s redirect to The Mason Jim Weyant..

For those of you unfamiliar with Masonry, it is a progressive science taught by Degrees.  The First Degree is called Entered Apprentice, Second is a Fellowcraft and only after the Third Degree is a Man accepted as a Master Mason.  There are organizations within Masonry to follow: The York Right, Scottish Right and The Shriners.  Jim Weyant is also a Shriner with Al Maleka Shrine in Los Angeles. But the Blue Lodge, and the first Three Degrees is where the meat of Masonry is found.


After each Degree the candidate has to Prove Up. In other words, exhibit a proficiency in the lessons of that degree before he is Free to receive the next Degree. It should be noted that not everyone makes it. You may know the Masonic Motto, We Make Good Men Better.  It is one thing to say you are becoming a better man, yet another thing all-together to prove you are and be worthy to receive the next Degree.  For some this is a journey lasting years and as I mentioned a moment ago, some never make it.  A few years ago, Worshipful Dow did some research and found that, just here in Big Bear Valley, over the last few decades, we had over sixty men who entered the Lodge, but never attained Master status.

Once accepted as a Master Mason, there are offices, or chairs that a man can attempt to fill. Here, however, one must Prove that they are worthy before they can hold that Office. Each Chair has a different set of requirements, and along with-it, Life & Leadership Lessons.  Again, in many Lodges most Brothers never get the opportunity to fully experience these honors.

Jim Weyant was Entered on July 14, 1967, Passed to the degree of Fellowcraft September 8, 1967, and Raised to degree of Master Mason on February 16, 1968 – Which is the same year the Big Bear Lake Masonic Lodge building was dedicated!


Jim Weyant has held the offices of Sr. Deacon, Jr. Warden x2, Sr. Warden x3, Tiler, Treasurer, Chaplan x4, and sat as Master of the Lodge two times; 2006 & 2010.  Note: Wardens, Treasurer and Master of the Lodge are Elected Positions.  Nothing automatic about sitting in the East.   During his time as Master Jim Weyant Initiated, as his Masters Project, our Speakers Bureau which is regularly called upon to Speak to Masonic History in the Big Bear Valley.

Masons have been meeting in Big Bear for nearly 100 years and having names like, Stansfield, Knickerbocker, and many, many others; we do have a bit of history in our Masonic Blood-lines.  Just an aside, as Leader of the Lodge the Master is entrusted with the Guidance of the Brethren including their spiritual enrichment, The Master is forever after addressed by Masons as Worshipful in respect to having held that Revered Chair.

Did he stop There? Of course not! Since sitting in the East, Jim has continued to be an integral part of the growth, and at times, our very survival, (It’s not always easy to adhere to our strict principles and values. Especially over the past couple of generations when the rest of society has seemed to be only interested in Fun, Quick and Easy. 

Holding the line for integrity can be difficult in times like that…..   

We, the Big Bear Masons are seeing a resurgence in younger men, once again seeking enlightenment into values of Trust, Honor, Honesty, Truth, Justice and Charity and the Lodge is growing again! 


Since his time in the East, Jim Weyant has also served his Lodge as Officers Coach (Responsible to see that our traditions are passed onto future generations intact) He frequently Travels to Masonic Symposiums and lectures to keep us up on the latest discoveries. We NEVER STOP learning . .  . Jim Weyant is currently our Sitting Chaplin. 

He was most recently recognized for his selfless, sometimes thankless, and frequently unknown deeds. WE believe that Doing-the-Right-Thing is not about who knows who did it, or the recognition -  but just doing the deed is reward enough. True Charity is not always about money. It’s giving of YOURSELF that matters. Many Masons spend their whole lives living this charitable life-style devoting their efforts to family, community, country and their Brothers and Lodge. These efforts are generally unknown perhaps to anyone - to anyone expect hopefully the Master of the Lodge, whose job it is to know everything his men are doing … So, with an eye to his selfless charity, in 2016 Jim Weyant was awarded the Highest Honor a Lodge of Masons can bestow – The Hiram Award!