Achewon Nimat was formed in the early 1960’s by the merger of Machek N’Gult Lodge 375 and Royaneh Lodge 282. The first meeting & gathering of Achewon Nimat was held on Sunday afternoon, December 13, 1964 at Goodman’s Restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square and was attended by over 300 members (199 from Machek N’Gult lodge and 105 from Royaneh lodge). The banquet and lodge elections marked the official start of the new “as yet to be named lodge” of the San Francisco Bay Area Council. Almost 11 months earlier in February of 1964 in a ceremony held atop Yerba Buena Island in the middle of San Francisco bay, the Oakland Area Council and the San Francisco Council would merge forming the San Francisco Bay Area Council thereby uniting 30,000 Scouts from both sides of the bay. With the merging of the two councils, so too would the Order of the Arrow Lodges associated with the former councils, Machek N’Gult Lodge of the Oakland Area Council and Royaneh Lodge of the San Francisco Council. Although the two lodges technically merged at the banquet, January 1, 1965 is the official date of the merger and the establishment of Achewon Nimat. Larry Teshara (former National Deputy Chief) from Royaneh Lodge acted as the master of ceremonies during the luncheon and was assisted by the past lodge chiefs for Machek N’Gult (Dennis Haw) and Royaneh (Jeff Baechler). The number for the new lodge would be 282 as it was common practice for merged lodges to take the lower of the two lodge numbers. At this same banquet the lodge number 375 for Machek N’Gult was retired and removed from the National Charter of Order of the Arrow Lodges. After the luncheon was over, a special meeting was held to elect Lodge officers for the new lodge. Bill Garvine from Machek N’Gult Lodge was elected as the first chief of the new combined lodge. It had also been decided prior to the banquet to split the Lodge into two chapters, Royaneh Chapter for the West Bay (San Francisco region) and Machek N’Gult Chapter for the East Bay (Oakland region). The name, totems, patch design and bylaws for the new lodge however would not be selected and adopted until the first business meeting could be held for the new lodge a couple months later on February 28, 1965. Although the beginning of Achewon Nimat lodge started on that afternoon of Sunday, December 13, 1964, our history in the Order of the Arrow actually began some twenty years earlier in 1944 when Royaneh Lodge was officially formed in the San Francisco Council and then three years later when Machek N’Gult Lodge was formed in the Oakland Council. So to talk about the history of Achewon Nimat we can’t forget about the hundreds of arrowmen and thousands of scouts that actually started the journey almost 75 years ago in the lodges of Machek N’Gult and Royaneh and the councils of Oakland and San Francisco. Although our lodge is now called Achewon Nimat (meaning Brothers Together), our real beginnings in the Order of the Arrow started at a camp in the hills of Oakland called “Dimond” and at a camp near Cazadero called “CC Moore”. With the merging of the Oakland and San Francisco councils now complete, the merging of the two Order of the Arrow Lodges of the former councils was set in motion. During the course of the year, discussions were held at the executive level of the lodges to talk about the process of combining the two lodges. One of the early decisions agreed upon was to break the new lodge into two chapters, the East Bay chapter (Machek N’Gult) and the West Bay chapter (Royaneh). As was indicated earlier, the first meeting & banquet of Achewon Nimat lodge was held on Sunday afternoon, December 13, 1964 at Goodman’s Restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square. The cost of the event was $3.75 and even included your dues for 1965. The luncheon of Chicken, potatoes, rolls, salad and dessert marked the official start of the new “as yet to be named” lodge of the San Francisco Bay Area Council. The banquet dinner was served at 2:00 pm but prior to that both Machek N’Gult and Royaneh held their own final business meetings at 1:00 pm. Following the dinner, a special lodge meeting was held to vote for the new combined lodge chief and his officers. Before the elections it had been previously decided that the first lodge officers for chief and treasurer would come from the Machek N’Gult chapter and the officers for vice-chief and secretary would come from Royaneh chapter. The following year in 1966 the order would be reversed where Royaneh chapter would nominate the lodge chief and treasurer and Machek N’Gult would nominate the vice-chief and secretary. It wouldn’t be until the lodge election of 1967 that the positions for the lodge were fully open regardless of their previous lodge affiliation. With the merging of the two lodges, plans were made for the first Lodge business meeting to vote on many items. On Sunday, February 28, 1965 Lodge Chief Bill Garvine called to order the first official business meeting of the new lodge. The meeting was held on “neutral” territory at the Naval Base Theater on Treasure Island (Bldg 401-9th street/Ave I) where the lodge rules were discussed and adopted. The meeting was called to order at 3:15 PM and the bylaws of Machek N’Gult were modified to reflect the new lodge and these bylaws were used as the basis for Achewon Nimat Lodge. The signatures of the following Arrowmen are included on the original copy of the approved Lodge Rules: Jeff Baechler (Royaneh Lodge Chief - 1964), John Nichols (Royaneh Lodge Chief - 1963), Dennis Haw (Machek N’Gult Lodge Chief - 1964), Don Wilkinson (Machek N’Gult Membership), Paul Meier Sr. (Machek N’Gult Lodge Chief - 1947), Ralph W. Benson (Staff Adviser - 1965), Rear Admiral Don Mckay (Lodge Adviser - 1965). More importantly the name and totems for the new lodge was also selected and agreed upon. The name chosen was “Achewon Nimat” which stands for “Brothers Together”. A design for the pocket patch was also selected at this meeting. That first patch issued by the Lodge in May 1965 contained a dark blue sky as a nod to Machek N’Gult, a snow capped mountain representing Camp Dimond-O, tall Redwood trees from Camp Royaneh and water signifying the Pacific Ocean. Paul Meier Jr. (whose father Paul Sr. was the first lodge chief of Machek N’Gult in 1947) came up with the lodge name as well as the pocket patch design. Achewon Nimat would also use the totems from each of the two earlier lodges (the Bear from Machek N’Gult and the Indian head from Royaneh) to symbolize the joining of the two lodges together. Achewon Nimat is one of the few lodges in the Country that uses two totems. With the joining of the two lodges it was difficult at first to get agreements as to anything because members from both lodges, still upset over the merger, didn’t want to speak to one another. In fact for the first year both lodges operated as separate lodges so compromises had to be made. The first pocket patch issued by Achewon Nimat included a navy blue sky in honor of the Machek N’Gult Lodge colors and the second patch (issued in October 1965) included a light blue sky in honor of the Royaneh Lodge colors. The name of the newsletter would continue to be called The Arrow Point which Machek N’Gult founded back in 1949. At the end of the first full year as a combined lodge, Achewon Nimat carried out seven ordeals with the induction of 400 new members and sent 35 members to the National Order of the Arrow conference in Bloomington, Indiana. Ordeals or service projects where held at each of the six council camps (Dimond-O, Willits, Los Mochos, Loomer, Lilienthal and Royaneh) using ceremony sites that had been previously used by the former Lodges. The ceremony site at Los Mochos (known as Cardiac Hill) which had been created by Machek N’Gult Lodge in the early 1950’s and was one of the most spectacular ceremony sites of all the camps. The site was located across from the entrance gate at Los Mochos on a hillside overlooking the canyon. As a Brotherhood candidate in the late 1970’s I still vividly remember the hike down the main camp road at Los Mochos and looking across the canyon to the hillside trail illuminated by the small smudge pots and the roaring fire atop the rock outcropping. As we made our way up the trail, the giant rock was illuminated by the fire. Mark Rickey, in the role of Meteu, was standing in front of the Brotherhood candidates with his large shiny buck knife drawn and pointing to the sky waiting to draw blood from the next candidate. As I looked around, each of the candidates had a look of horror in their faces as Mark would draw that cold steel knife across our hands to signify the bond of brotherhood. In 1966 with Kirby Childres as Lodge Chief held six ordeals where 316 new members were inducted into the lodge. During this same year, many of the districts merged in 1966 following the merger of councils two years earlier. Live Oak village was formed by the merger of Central & Castle districts; Golden Acorn village was formed the merger of Lake and Sunset districts, Charrowood village was formed by the merger of Chabot, Arroyo and Redwood districts, Golden Gate was formed by the merger of Embarcadero, Mission Trails and McLaren Park districts, Serra was formed by the merger of Sunset west and Lake Merced districts, El Camino was formed by the merger of Twin Peaks and District 10 and Balboa was formed by the merger of Buena Vista and Richmond Districts. The annual Mikemosin (lodge business meeting) was held at the Snow building in Oakland’s Knowland Park where Grant Young from Live Oak was chosen to be the Lodge Chief for 1967. During the meeting the lodge chose to purchase four teepees and that the use of the word “Chapter” should be changed to “Village” as village sounded more Indian-like. In February of 1967, a group of 40 arrowmen from Live Oak Village planted over 500 Ponderosa Pines at Willits Scout Reservation as a service project. Many of those trees are still thriving today and providing shade for both the scouts and the local animal population. During April the dance team performed at the new Oakland Coliseum complex for the Scout-O-Rama in front of 23,000 attendees. In 1968 during Wayne Butler’s administration, the lodge began to grow internally. The Lodge rules and Lodge directory were established and finally the whole idea of disunity within the lodge due to the merger three years prior seemed to have disappeared. The lodge held its annual banquet at the Claremont Hotel in Oakland and the lodge ended the year with 1500 members. Lodge Chief Steve Wilhite started the year off strong as many of the previous committee chairmen continued in their positions producing experienced and qualified leaders. Procedures were setup for Brotherhood and Vigil ceremonies and the finishing touches were added to the lodge rules. An accident at Camp Royaneh during one of the ordeals sent Steve to the hospital and forced Vice-chief Mark McMullin to take on the reigns of the lodge for a period of time. The year 1969 ended with an inspiring moment at the Lodge Banquet where outgoing chief Steve Wilhite was given a standing ovation. A number of major changes took place in the lodge during 1970. The wampum bead system was developed to show the history of an arrowman’s activity in the lodge. Each of the colored beads stood for a type of activity. Large Red beads were for each honor, small red beads were for each ordeal you attended, white beads for each village meeting, black beads for each LECM and so forth. A listing of the beads and their colors is located in the appendix section of this document. In October of 1970 the “one per life” restricted Brotherhood Lodge Flap was released. The flap was made available to all Brotherhood and Vigil members of the lodge and each patch was numbered and signed for. A total of 604 Brotherhood patches were handed out between 1970 and 1979 when all restricted patches were discontinued by the OA. Brotherhood patches #1, #282 and #375 were never released due to their number significance and are still maintained in the Lodge archives. The other major change to the lodge was that the lodge year was changed from January/January to September/September to follow the typical school year. 1970 also marked the year in which the most arrowman were ever a part of Achewon Nimat when the year ended with 1535 registered members. The following year Don Wilkinson became the first person from Achewon Nimat lodge to receive the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor that the National Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members. The DSA honor was presented to Don at the 1971 NOAC at the University of Illinois. As 1972 came to a close, “Area 12-B” which our lodge and former lodges had been associated with since 1947 was reconfigured into Section W3A. In 1973 the lodge adopted a new Chapter system where the lodge was divided into three sections. The East bay (Live Oak, Golden Acorn, Charrowood), the West bay (SF area) and the South Bay (Hayward, Fremont, Twin Valley). Ultimately the East Bay would take the name Machek N’Gult Chapter, the South bay took the name Ohlone Chapter and the West bay took the name Royaneh Chapter. The first annual Winter Camp Awareness indoor seminar was held in January 1974 on Treasure Island in one of the old historic aircraft hangers. The first WCA was attended by over 500 scouts from all over the Council where they were taught the fundamentals of Winter Camping. At the 49ers and Falcons football game on November 24th during the half time show, the Lodge Dance Team performed before a crowd of 46,000 fans (the 49ers won 27-0). In 1975, Achewon Nimat was host to the W3A Section Conclave at Fort Cronkhite in Marin County. The theme of the conclave was “Held Tightly Every Link” and as a special bonus, Dr. E Urner Goodman, founder of the Order of the Arrow, attended the Conclave. At the conclave, Achewon Nimat took home our first ever award for the Most Indian Lodge. It was during this same awards ceremony that Dr. Goodman presented Section W3A with the first ever National Standard Section Award. Many of the arrowmen in attendance had the honor of getting their sashes signed and pictures taken with Dr. Goodman including Machek N’Gult Chapter chief Jerry Sakamoto. Unfortunately Jerry’s mom washed his sash and along with it Dr. Goodman’s signature. In September of 1975, the name of Machek N’Gult chapter which had been around since the merging of the two lodges was renamed to Wekemnayon chapter. Rumors swirled about why the name had to be changed but this would be the last time that the name Machek N’Gult was officially used by Achewon Nimat. .

Achewon Nimat Lodge 282 History

Achewon Nimat Lodge 282 San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
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Achewon Nimat 282
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