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VOL. 46

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

SPRING 2020 NUMBER 1

The Official Publication of The Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana, F & A.M.

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Inside this issue...

THE LOUISIANA FREEMASON is the Official Publication of The Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana, F & A.M., digitally published quarterly and in print annually for members of Lodges in Louisiana. THE LOUISIANA FREEMASON will accept unsolicited articles, with the right to edit and use when space permits. Articles and pictures become the property of the magazine. Articles that are printed do not necessarily reflect the views of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Email/Address Changes should be sent to the Lodge Secretary.

From the Grand Master

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Ashlars of the Temple by Brother Mark St. John

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Louisiana Brethren Connect by Brother Gar Pickering

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We Meet on the Level by Brother Michael Poll

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What is the Scottish Rite? by Brother Taylor Nauta

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The Grand Master’s Surprise

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Masons in the Westport Fight by Brother Gar Pickering

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2020 Resolutions

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Committee To Supervise Publication of

THE LOUISIANA FREEMASON

Steven S. A. Pence, PM Editor-in-Chief 105 Bay Hills Dr. • Benton, LA 71006

J. Gary “Gar” Pickering, Managing Editor/ Committee Chairman Publication Committee Members A. Nicholas “Nick” Auck, PM J. Quincy Gotte, PM Richard D. Mahoney, PM

Send all email or mail for consideration for publication in The Louisiana Freemason to:

J. Gary “Gar” Pickering c/o The LOUISIANA FREEMASON 5746 Masonic Dr., Alexandria, LA 71301 Email: submissions@la-mason.com

2019-2020 Grand Lodge Officers Steven S. A. Pence, Grand Master James E. Steen, Deputy Grand Master Terrell D. Fowler, Grand Senior Warden Jay B. McCallum, Grand Junior Warden Charles R. Smith, Grand Treasurer Woody D. Bilyeu, PGM, Grand Secretary Dennis F. Snoddy, Grand Chaplain John F. Knox, Grand Marshal Jimmie D. Dunkin Grand Senior Deacon Michael D. West, Grand Junior Deacon Steven L. Jennings, Grand Sword Bearer Kirby J. Henry, Grand Pursuivant Johnny C. Byrd, Grand Standard Bearer Murray E. Seals, Grand Tyler Camile J. Guidry, Jr., Grand Master Expert Don A. Springler, Grand Hospitalier John B. Becton, Grand Inner Guard Willey G. Bell, III, Grand Photographer J. Keith Gates, Grand Organist J. Andrew Owen, Grand Musician

On the cover: Detail of Grand Consistory of Louisiana, A.&A.S.R. coat from Late

I.C. Turnley, Jr., MD, PGM, Grand Physician

19th/Early// Spring 20th Century. The Louisiana Freemason 2020

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Visit the Grand Lodge online... www.la-mason.com

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@LouisianaGrandLodge

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From the Grand Master...

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ow good and pleasant it is for God’s people to live together in harmony. This is one interpretation of Psalms 133:1, which we find in our Entered Apprentice Degree circumambulation. Due to the prohibitions and mandates surrounding the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) outbreak, our togetherness is disrupted. It is only a matter of operating with Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, while keeping the flame of Hope alive, that each of us will do our best to address this extraordinary and complex situation at our Lodges and within our Craft. I’ve written and rewritten this article several times, as the message I want to convey has changed over the last several weeks. You see, this is to be my last submission, as Grand Master, for our publications. It has been 10 months since I was installed as Grand Master of Masons in Louisiana. What an incredible journey you have allowed me to travel. My term was to end on Sunday, April 26th upon the installation of our new Grand Master. However, with us not being able to gather together, the 209th Annual Grand Lodge Session is postponed. Know that your Grand Lodge will be working to find a suitable venue and hotel accommodations to schedule the Grand Session as soon as the governmental restrictions and mandates are lifted. The COVID-19 is highly contagious when compared to other flu-like viruses. It is far greater than what we have experienced in recent history. There have been deaths reported within our ranks, due to this illness. There have also been encouraging reports of members successfully recovering from the virus. When thinking of the word contagious, we normally associate it with a disease or illness. Especially at this time, contagious takes on a serious, life threatening meaning. Because of this virus, your daily lives, and many of your livelihoods, have been affected. Certainly, our Fraternity has been disrupted. There are things that shouldn’t be altered or changed due to our current circumstances.

Our philosophy, our tenets, and our beliefs should stand firm and unaltered. Contagious has another meaning and is so appropriate today. This definition deals with spreading and affecting others in a positive way. Faith, Hope, Charity, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are contagious when we put them into actions and they are observed by others. At this time, these actions should spread throughout our communities, our families and our fraternity. These “lights” need to shine brighter and overshadow despair, fear and uncertainty. We may be physically distanced, but we are equipped through technology to keep “in touch” with one another. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Corinthians 13:13). The church Paul established was in turmoil and was going through times of unrest and uncertainty, much like our nation is experiencing with COVID-19. The Apostle explained how his life changed from childlike thoughts to that of a man with faith, hope and charity. Our journey in Masonry is similar. We enter the Lodge as a youth, living in darkness and seeking the light of reason Freemasonry has to offer. Our trust, as each of us expressed, is in God, giving us a stable foundation in life. As we progress through the degrees, we are taught hope for an eternal life, and the lessons of charity. Charity is taught through our faith and hope. It provides forgiveness for faults and injustices, and for doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. Our charity extends to those who differ in opinion, and to those who need wise counsel. Let your Masonic Light shine as greatly as that which you experienced upon being brought to light through the progression of the degrees. There have been concerns voiced about whether many of our Lodges will survive or attendance will wane after the Governor’s proclamations have been lifted. There is some validity to these concerns. Habits of atcontinued on page 15

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

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Ashlars of the Temple

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e learn that the rough and perfect ashlar are two of the three movable jewels of a Lodge. Stones quarried for structures begin as rough, crude cubes which are then carefully shaped, measured, and checked until they are perfect stones suitable for the building they were quarried for. These stones are then stacked, side by side, and on top of one another in alternating patterns to form a wall. Next, the wall is solidified with cement. This continues on until a structure is completed. This process has a deeper moral and philosophical meaning to Speculative Freemasonry. We all begin our Masonic life as rough ashlars. The rough ashlar is a symbol of our dependence on material things, on our dependence on our passions and desires to rules our actions, and our separation from God in our daily lives. Just as this crude-looking stone is not fit to be used in a structure, this rough stone is not fit as a piece of our character in our inner temple we are spiritually building. We must use the symbols given to us throughout our degrees to shape the makeup of our character into pieces more suitable for our spiritual temple within ourselves. Decoding this symbolism serves as a reminder to us individually as we shape our character, and to us collectively as we build and improve our Lodge. THE OPERATIVE ART From a literal point of view, ashlars begin as raw stone, which are cut, or hewn from a quarry. This produces a slightly oversized, but very rough-looking cubical stone. Care must be given at this point in selecting which area to quarry. Not all stone is created equal. There could be fissures, voids, or some other material weakness in an area of the quarry. Once an area is selected, rock is removed into rough, cubical objects. Now that we have crude ashlars to shape, the Apprentice gets to work. It is his job, based on the working tools given to him, to measure and shape the stone. He uses the 24-inch gauge to measure the ashlar and determine what area should be

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by Brother Mark St. John, Contributing Writer removed. The Apprentice then takes up the common gavel, and begins chipping away the extra, or unnecessary stone. He constantly switches between these two tools, going between analysis and action, until at last he feels the cube is ready. The ashlar is then presented to the Fellow Craft who checks after the Apprentice with the working tools of his degree. Every vertical surface is tested with the plumb, to ensure an even and upright surface from top to bottom. He then takes up the level and checks every horizontal surface for the same qualities across from side to side. Finally, with the square, he checks every right angle to ensure an exact 90° angle is maintained throughout the stone. If any adjustment should be made, the ashlar is sent back to the Apprentice to further work the stone until perfection is reached on every facet and every angle of the cube. Lastly, all perfect ashlars are carried to the construction site, where the workers place the stone at the direction of the Master Mason, who uses his working tool, the trowel, to solidify the wall being built by spreading cement throughout all joints between the stone, until at last a collection of perfected cubical stones become a single wall. The Master Mason utilizes the third movable jewel, the trestle board, to place the stones according to the design thereon. This continues until the temple walls are completed, and the temple itself is constructed. FOR THE INDIVIDUAL MASON A man may step away from the “quarry” of humanity. Separating himself with a desire for something different, something more. This may initially be curiosity. Sometimes, he is seeking a deeper meaning to his life, and thinks Freemasonry may have the answer. He may know something about the Fraternity, but he wants to see what it is all about. He may have even done extensive research online and may have a good foundation in his mind of what our Fraternity can teach him. He has hopefully chosen to step forward and petition a Lodge

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


“Logia Verdad Matanzas Cuba - Masonic Daylight Lodge (8)” by antefixus21/ licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

for the right reasons. He is deemed worthy to receive the degrees of Masonry. Afterwards, he begins his work. Throughout the degrees, this man is taught lessons and shown tools which serve as reminders of how to shape a moral and upright man. The ashlars he quarries are the internal attributes of his character. These attributes are rough and misshapen at first, which represents that his actions may still be under the influence of the material world and his passions. Think back to the literal description of working an ashlar. The Apprentice chipped away needless stone, then measured his work with the gauge. This makes the distinction that we do not always act; we must sometimes contemplate our past as well as our future actions. By the same token, we cannot stay in a state of constant analysis; we must sooner or later act, and should do so morally. If we are chipping away those actions and thoughts which are not in line with a high character, what is left must be actions and thoughts of rightness. The Apprentice uses the tool of action, the common gavel, as he chips away “all of the vices and superfluities of life,” shaping his actions in ac-

cordance with virtues of rightness4. He works the traits of his character until he has effectively ridded himself of the actions and thoughts of a material person, one who succumbs to his passions, or one who is not spiritually connected to God. The 24-inch gauge, a tool of analysis4, is said to help a Mason properly divide his time among service to God and a distressed, worthy brother, his vocations, and refreshment and sleep. Just as the gauge was used to determine the size of the stone worked, it can also be thought of as his initial measure of rightness. The gauge is thus a tool to measure the extent of a man’s morality against the makeup of his character. What can be meant by a man’s rightness? The working tools of the Fellow Craft show us what this entails. After being passed, a man uses the lessons taught by these new working tools to compare his actions to the ideal. According to the Louisiana Masonic Monitor, the plumb, “which, like Jacob’s ladder, connects heaven and earth, is the criterion of rectitude and truth. It teaches us to walk justly and uprightly before God and continued on page 24

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Louisiana Brethen Connect via Mobile App

by Brother J. Gary “Gar” Pickering, Managing Editor

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ave you heard of The Louisiana Brethren app? It’s come a long way since its beginnings, and has recently been released in a second version after five years of use by brethren from all over Louisiana. It all started at the lodge level, and has long since gone where none of its original users thought it would go. In 2015, Brother Chad Koelling, then Junior Warden of Abe Hinson #472, proposed the idea of a lodge app to the brethren. The slogan at Abe Hinson at that time was “Young Bucks Taking Over”, due to the older, more experienced brethren supporting the younger men in the lodge by being willing to try new things. Due to this attitude, the idea of developing technology for lodge use was well received. With the support of the lodge, Brother Koelling proceeded to work with GroupAhead, an app development company, to come up with an app that would become known as “The Trowel” to some, and in time, “Louisiana Brethren” to others. For many months, Brother Koelling supported the app from his own pocket, as support for it continued to grow in lodge. After a time, brethren in lodge began to donate to the cause, supplementing some of the monthly hosting fees. In no time brethren from other lodges in the 9th Masonic District caught wind of what was going on with “Abe Hinson’s App”, and wanted access themselves. Very quickly, the app was growing into a communication tool where upcoming degrees and activities in other lodges across the district and state were being shared, and as such, “Louisiana Brethren” outgrew its original purposes. The idea of an app was very appealing to some, but rather than other lodges in the district having their own apps developed, in August 2015 brethren from across the district were given access. This allowed for expanded communications in the 9th District, and also provided more supporting donors to the app, which was effectively now a district 6

app, and no longer an app for just one lodge. In this age of digital technology, the 9th Masonic District was communicating at high speed. Word-of-mouth spread to lodges in other districts across Louisiana, and soon access was granted to any brother in good standing with the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. When a new request for access was received, users within the app would vouch for whomever was requesting access, and only through that process were new members added. The user-base continued to grow, allowing information from every district to be shared in one place. Lodges used the calendar of events to share degrees and special programs, practices were announced in posts, and brethren regularly shared with one another their experiences and support. Though the app continued to be supported from donated funds, the tool was proving to be invaluable to those who used it regularly. Many who supported proudly sported a “Louisiana Brethren” lapel pin. Official sponsorship from the Grand Lodge of Loui-

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


siana came in December 2017, making the Louisiana Brethren App the first of its kind in Louisiana; a Grand Lodge of Louisiana social media tool for Masons under its jurisdiction. The sponsorship relieved the pockets of the Masons who had supported it for over two years, and streamlined the process by which new members were approved. Status was confirmed with Grand Lodge membership records, rather than by the earlier vouching process. Even with all of the fraternal communications in the app, the story of the Louisiana Brethren is not one of perfect harmony. As membership grew, it became necessary that moderation likewise grow with it. While the intention for the app was one of positivity, there were some who chose to use it to stir dissention and gossip. Even in its formative years, the app’s moderation was informed by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana’s “Social Media Policy”, and as it grew into an official Grand Lodge tool, the members were held to the highest standard of behavior within its forums. There are those who may have heard misinformation regarding what is discussed within the app, but those who use the app knew how quickly unnecessary aggression, rumor-milling, and dissention were handled. So, what has become of the app today? With over 800 users in the Louisiana Brethren app, things were going well in 2019, but towards the end of year, just two years after the app came under the sponsorship of the Grand Lodge, the developer and host of the app announced that they were no longer taking new clients. They then informed their current clients that their applications would no longer be active by Spring 2020. With this in mind, the IT Committee, under the direction of its Chariman, MWB Woody. D. Bilyeu, Grand Secretary, began to research options. Other jurisdictions and appendant bodies who were clients of GroupAhead have likewise found themselves in a similar situation. While other Masonic organizations are still deciding whether or not to keep an app, after user polls and feedback were received it was decided that an app was still something that the brethren in Louisiana wanted. Wasting no time, Grand Lodge staffers Brother Chad

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

Koelling, IT/Database Support, and this author, as Director of Communications, were tasked with developing the strategy for how the Grand Lodge of Louisiana was going to respond to that need, and after talks with other developers and service providers, a host for the app was decided upon, and the decision to develop the app “inhouse” was made. Work began in early January 2020 in developing the app, and then testing it in beta with select users from the original app. Their feedback influencing what features were needed going forward, the development work was completed later that month, and “Louisiana Brethren v2” was launched in February 2020. At the time of this writing, since the launch of v2, nearly 400 requests for access have been made, and users of the app are starting to contribute to the posts, offer feedback, and patiently assist the developers in working out the “bugs”. The original app’s main features were the posts and a calendar. Adding to those features, Louisiana Brethren v2 offers much more in the way of content and information for its users, including a directory of lodges and their meeting times, access to The HOML, as well as the ability to view and read The Louisiana Freemason magazine, all in-app. Users also have profiles similar to Facebook, finding it to be very familiar to what social media users are accustomed to. Due to the necessarily exclusive nature of the app, in order to access Louisiana Brethren v2, new users must follow a simple, yet integral, procedure through which they are manually cleared by app administrators, and assigned user names and temporary passwords. With the app being available for download via the Google Play and Apple stores, it is critically important that each applicants status be confirmed as being a regular Mason in good standing with the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. New requests continue to come in daily, and are approved in the order in which they were received. The response has truly been overwhelming, and as Masonry continues to move forward into the 21st Century, it is promising to have such a response to new ideas and technology from the brethren.

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Get Started! 1) Submit an account request via this url: bit.ly/2VkpInk. 2) Upon receiving your User name and Temporary Password, download the app to your mobile device. Email appsupport@la-mason.com for support, or to report an issue.

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The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


We Meet on the Level

by Brother Michael Poll, Contributing Writer

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hen I first joined Freemasonry, I was deeply moved by the philosophy and moral lessons that were taught in the ritual and monitors. But, I believe that what moved me the most was that so much of the teachings were layered. By that I mean, the lessons were presented in a way that if you wished to only consider the outer teachings, that was fine. But, if you wanted to dig deeper, there was so much more to discover. For me, this was the true beauty of Freemasonry. You could custom tailor the teachings for each individual. But then we came to the part where we spoke of the level, and how we all “meet on the level.” The clear message being sent was that we were all equal. All of the members of the lodge were on the same “level.” That sounds nice, but it’s hardly true. Some years back, I revised the classic Robert’s Rules of Order into a Masonic edition. As was pointed out in the revised book, the office of Worshipful Master has far greater authority, rights and power than the presiding officers of clubs. It’s one of the reasons why the classic edition of Roberts Rules is so problematic for a lodge. The membership of a lodge is simply not equal in authority to the Worshipful Master. In fact, in society we are not all equal. We most certainly have equal value as human beings, but we all have different abilities, skills and levels of knowledge. One person may be good at singing, another at building things, or art or science or on and on. We all have some things that we are good at and some things that we are not so good at. If we were all equal, we would be photocopies, or clones, of each other. That’s not the case. We are all individually distinct human beings. So, what do we mean when we say that we are all “on the level”? If you stop and think about our degrees, teachings and rituals, you will see that we provide the same rituals and teachings to all of our candidates. Yes, each jurisdiction is a little different and the rituals vary The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

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a little to a lot. But, the basic elements of initiation are the same no matter the ritual, rite or jurisdiction. All candidates and initiates are given the same tools and opportunities. All candidates are given the same message through the degrees: “Here are symbolic working tools that you can, if you choose, make use of to create improvements in yourself.” The choice of taking advantage of the teachings and lessons is 100% up to the initiates. No one is going to force anyone to grow, advance or be anything that they do not choose to be. When we say that we are all on the level, it doesn’t mean that we all have the same skills, talents, strengths or weaknesses. In the days of the old Operative Freemasons, they used the level as an actual working tool for their profession. It was used to assure their work was quality work. The old Operatives earned their livings by the value of the work that they did. Proper use of their tools assured them that they would continue to work. In Speculative Freemasonry it’s not required that we take advantage of the symbolic lessons that we are given. We will not be fired from our Masonry if we do not grow from the lessons that we are given. We can just sit back in lodge and enjoy the show. While sitting back, failing to grow and basically doing nothing but being there would have resulted in an Operative Mason being thrown out of the lodge, the same is not true with us. In fact, just sitting there, or being there, in some lodges can result in your election to become a lodge leader. That’s a real problem with some lodges. We are simply not all equal in ability, skill and performance. If the only ability that the lodge needs for leadership positions is the ability to show up, then the lodge is in serious danger of soon failing. The symbol of the level teaches that we all have the same value as human beings. It doesn’t matter as to our skill set, any abilities that we may, or may not have, or the level of our personal growth as a result of the lessons we are given. As a human being, we are all due respect, fair treatment and basic decency. But, the lodge is also due the very same things. We must be fair and respectful to the lodge as well as the members. If one member 10

is very good at ritual and your close friend is horrible at ritual, do you pick your friend as the lodge ritualist because we are all on the level? Being on the level means only that we are all given the same lessons and opportunity to learn and grow. We are all valued, respected and treated the same. Being on the level does not mean that we are all assumed to instantly possess the same abilities, skills or experiences. Being fair does not mean that we get what we want simply because we want it. The lessons of Freemasonry require study and often restudy. We grow in Masonry because of the work we put into our study. The best lesson that we can take away from this aspect of Masonic philosophy is that we need to be dead honest with ourselves about ourselves. We are not to allow that little green devil known as envy to force us to focus on others who may have different, or greater, talents in certain areas than us. We all have our own talents — discovered or undiscovered. We are to focus on ourselves and the work that we need to do to reach our own full potential. We are in competition with no one but ourselves.

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This book and more available at cornerstonepublishers.com. The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


What is the Scottish Rite?

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by Brother Taylor Nauta, Contributing Writer

ou’ve undoubtedly heard of the Scottish Rite, and perhaps you’re even a member. But how much do you know about it? There are a lot of Scottish Rite Masons who don’t know much at all about the structure, history, rituals, or philosophy of the Rite. They petitioned, got accepted, went to a reunion, got a whole bunch of degrees in one weekend, or even one day, and they’re now 32° Degree Masons… although they cannot even name all of the Scottish Rite Degrees, much less recall the lessons taught therein. But it’s not their fault, really. We largely have Reunions to blame for that. How much can you really be expected to learn and retain in a one-day class where many degrees are conferred or communicated? In order to become well-versed in Scottish Rite Masonry, one must be willing to do a lot of reading. A lot of diligent study and homework is required, as there is a lot of ground to cover. The structure is somewhat complex, the history is a bit ambiguous, the rituals delve into a wide array of subject matter, and the philosophy is profound. THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE RITE. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is a ritual system Freemasonry, comprised of 33 initiatic degrees. It always strikes me as funny whenever anyone says that they’ve joined the York Rite or the Scottish Rite. The word “Rite” means “Ritual”. How do you join a ritual? You don’t. You join an organization that performs and preserves a certain ritual or system of rituals. For example, you don’t join the York Rite, but rather a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a Council of Cryptic Masons(Royal & Select Masters), and a Commandery of Knights Templar(if you’re a Christian). The Chapter, Council, and Commandery are separate bodies within the American York Rite system of Freemasonry, but there is no single body called the “York Rite”. Likewise, you don’t join the Scottish Rite. Rather, you The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

Detail from antique Lake Charles Valley Banner. Louisiana Masonic Library & Museum collection.

join a Lodge of Perfection, a Chapter of Knights Rose Croix, a Council of Knights Kadosh, and a Consistory of Masters of the Royal Secret. The Lodge of Perfection confers the 4°-14°, the Chapter of Knights Rose Croix confers the 15°-18°, the Council of Knights Kadosh confers the 19°-30°, and the Consistory confers the 31°-32°. The 33° Inspector General Degree is an honorary degree, only conferred upon a select few who have demonstrated exemplary service to the Rite and/or their community, and it is only conferred by the Supreme Council of the 33°; the governing body of the Scottish Rite system as a whole under its relative jurisdiction.

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It’s important to know and remember that the Lodge of Perfection, Chapter of Knights Rose Croix, Council of Knights Kadosh, and Consistory are separate bodies within the Scottish Rite system, and each body has its own respective officers. Some Scottish Rite Masons seem to think that the Venerable Master is the presiding officer of the whole Valley, but that is simply not so. He is only the presiding officer of the Lodge of Perfection, while the Wise Master presides over the Chapter of Knights Rose Croix, the Commander of Kadosh presides over the Council of Knights Kadosh, and the Master of Kadosh presides over the Consistory. WHAT IS A VALLEY? A Scottish Rite Valley is not a body or an organization with a charter. The best way to describe it would be to compare it to a Masonic District, except for the fact that, unlike a District, a Valley has no officers besides a General Secretary and a Representative from the Orient. The Valley is basically an area or a territory comprised of constituent Lodges of Perfection, Chapters of Knights Rose Croix, Councils of Knights Kadosh, and Consistories of Masters of the Royal Secret. Technically speaking, there could be multiple Lodges of Perfection, Chapters of Knights Rose Croix, Councils of Knights Kadosh, and Consistories of Masters of the Royal Secret in one Valley, although there is usually only one of each due to the fact that there simply aren’t enough members in the area to justify having multiples of those bodies. But if, let’s say, the Baton Rouge Lodge of Perfection were to become too big, or if there were twenty members in Gonzales who were tired of driving all the way to Baton Rouge for meetings, another Lodge of Perfection could be established in Gonzales, or anywhere else within the boundaries of the Valley of Baton Rouge, to accommodate those Brethren. It would simply require approval from the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Louisiana Orient. Though this is seldom seen, this is how it’s supposed to work. For example, a Lodge of Perfection was originally intended to have no more than 27 members, and a new Lodge of Perfection is supposed to be formed whenever that limit of 27 members is reached. Though there could be any 12

The New Orleans Valley Cathedral pictured on a postcard from 1916.

number of Lodges of Perfection within the boundaries of a Valley, though you rarely see more than one. There are usually at least two or more Valleys in a State, and those Valleys are under the governance of a Statewide body called an Orient. For example, there are five Valleys in Louisiana: The Valley of Lake Charles, the Valley of Monroe, the Valley of Shreveport, the Valley of New Orleans, and the Valley of Baton Rouge. All five of those Valleys are under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Orient, which is presided over by a Sovereign Grand Inspector General or Deputy of the Supreme Council of the 33° for the Southern Jurisdiction. Now, without going into too much detail, let’s talk a little bit about the history of the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite was born out of an older Rite called the Order of the Royal Secret, which was created in France by a Mason named Étienne(Stephen) Morin. Morin’s Order of the Royal Secret was comprised of 25 degrees, using some degrees that had existed in other Rites and some degrees that were likely Morin’s own creations, and the highest degree in his system was the 25° Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. As far as we know, Morin created the Order of the Royal Secret in 1763, he brought it to Jamaica in or around that same year, and it reached American soil in 1764 when its high-degree bodies were established in New Orleans, Louisiana. Around that same time period, Morin deputized a Dutch Mason named Henry Francken to establish the Order of the Royal Secret throughout New World. From there, The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


Francken sailed to New York in 1767, conferring the 25 degree system in Albany, and in 1768 he appointed another Dutch Mason, Moses Hayes, as a Deputy Inspector General, issuing him a patent that gave him authority to preside over the Rite in the West Indies and all of North America. Over the next couple of decades, the Order of the Royal Secret continued to grow, and bodies were established in several areas along the Eastern Coast of the American Continent; and By 1788, the Order of the Royal Secret was being worked in New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, and elsewhere. On May 24th, in the year 1801, Deputy Inspector General John Mitchell, who had served with George Washington at the rank of Colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, appointed Reverend Frederick Dalcho as a Deputy Inspector General of the Order of the Royal Secret. And just one week later, on May 31st, the Supreme Council of the 33° for the United States of America emerged as a brand new organization, with Colonel Mitchell presiding as its first Sovereign Grand Commander and Rev. Dalcho as the first Lieutenant Commander. This original Supreme Council was established in Charleston, Virginia; and it’s “See” is still there, although it has physically moved its headquarters to the House of the Temple in Washington D.C. In 1804 a Supreme Council was established in France, and sometime between 1813 and 1815 yet another Supreme Council was established in New York to have control over some of the Northern States. Its boundaries were officially defined in the Union of 1867, when an agreement was made between the Supreme Council of the 33° for the Southern Jurisdiction and the Supreme Council of the 33° for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. It was decided that the Supreme Council of the 33°, NMJ, would preside over the territory comprised of the fifteen states which are north of the Mason-Dixon Line and East of the Mississippi River, and the Supreme Council of the 33°, SJ, would preside over the remaining thirty five states and all other

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

American territories. This agreement is still in effect to this very day. Now that you know a little bit about its structure and how it came into existence, let’s talk about rituals of the Scottish Rite and why a studious Master Mason ought to be interested in pursuing them. Whereas the degrees of the York Rite are primarily steeped in JudeoChristian themes(the Blue Lodge, Capitular, and Cryptic Degrees are primarily rooted in the Old Testament while the Commandery Orders are largely based on the New Testament and Medieval traditions of Christian Knighthood), the degrees of the Scottish Rite are deeply philosophical and are drawn from a very diverse pool of historical, mythical, and spiritual influences. The 1°-3°(Yes, the Scottish Rite actually has its own EA, FC, & MM Degrees, although they are never conferred out of respect for the sovereign authority of Grand Lodges to confer the Blue Degrees) are based on the legend of King Solomon’s temple, the 4°-14° continue to delve into that legend while elaborating more on morality, duty, and the mysterious and ineffable nature of God, the 15° & 16°, deal with the legend of the 2nd Temple, the 17° & 18° delve into Christian mysticism, Kabbalah, and alchemical symbolism, the 19° deals with the 3rd Temple, the 20° is an interesting degree in which the candidate is introduced to the great lawgivers of humanity, the 21° is chivalric degree about impartial Justice(primarily based on the legend of a Medieval Tribunal), the 22° teaches about the dignity of Labor, the 23° & 24° are based on Jewish mysticism and the Ancient Mysteries(such as the Eleusinian Mysteries), the 25° is based on Sufi(and Druze) Islamic mysticism and stellar lore, the 26° touches on the parallels of all sorts of different trinities throughout the World’s religious traditions(the Christian Trinity, the Hindu Trinity, the Egyptian Trinity, etc.), the 27° is a profound treatise on solar mythology and other esoteric symbolism, the 28°-30° are chivalric degrees based on medieval legends and traditions, the 31° is based on Egyptian mythology, the 32° is a comprehensive degree that covers a ton of ground and ties it all together, and

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Detail of Grand Consistory of Louisiana, A.&A.S.R. coat from Late 19th/Early 20th Century. Louisiana Masonic Library & Museum collection.

the 33° is basically an administrative degree. That’s the Scottish Rite in a nutshell, though it is a gross oversimplification. I fear that any attempt to summarize a Degree is risky, for it may potentially cause people to trivialize it. In no way am I trying to trivialize the Degrees of the Scottish Rite, for they are not trivial at all. Each Degree of the Scottish Rite is filled with philosophical light and profound moral lessons, and one must understand each preceding degree before he’ll be ready to digest the next degree in the sequence. The Scottish Rite is a complete, coherent, progressive Rite, and it should be treated as such. The Scottish Rite is often called the University of Freemasonry, and rightfully so. A lifetime of study would barely scratch the surface of its subject matter, honestly. Perhaps the most important ongoing theme of the Scottish Rite is the search for the WORD and the various

ways in which that search is illustrated throughout the Degrees. In the 13° Royal Arch of Enoch the candidate discovers the Lost Word, but he doesn’t learn its pronunciation or deeper significance until the 14° Perfect Elu; the completion and perfection of Craft Masonry. In the 18° Knight Rose Croix the candidate discovers a different version of the Word, this time from a Christian perspective. Finally, in the 32° Master of the Royal Secret, the candidate learns yet another version of the Word, this time from a Hindu perspective, and all the preceding degrees are tied together into a beautifully coherent whole; a lovely tapestry of truth and wisdom. For me, these brilliant elaborations on the meaning of the Word are well worth becoming a Scottish Rite Mason. After all, the symbolic search for the Lost Word is, in my opinion, the most important theme in all of Masonry; along with the allegorical endeavor to build the Temple, of course. continued on page 18

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The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


From the Grand Master, from page 3

tending Lodge on a regular basis have been replaced with, in many instances, total elimination of all regular activities. We all know someone who has gotten out of the habit of attending church or Lodge on a regular basis. This may have been caused by illness, vacations, or life circumstances. We have probably experienced this in our own lives. Getting back into the habit took energy and self-discipline, and in many cases getting over the embarrassment of being absent. Lodges that were struggling to open or conduct business, prior to the virus outbreak, will continue to struggle. Some, unfortunately, may be dark forever going forward. Many of these Lodges were pursuing mergers or consolidations prior to our current situation. There were others that had already begun discussions on the future of their Lodge. But for the majority of our Lodges and our members, I have a strong conviction that the brothers are looking forward to the time when they can again meet on the level and let their light shine in the Lodge halls. I can be counted in those numbers. I want to thank the Lodges that invited me to attend their special programs during my year. Thank you for the courtesies, fellowship and hospitality I received from each of you. When Becky was able to accompany me, she was warmly received and made felt welcomed. Thank you for helping to create great memories for her. Many years ago, when I first began visiting lodges outside of my own, Becky would ask whether I knew anyone at the lodge I was going to attend. In some cases, I told her that I did not. She asked if I was uncomfortable going somewhere where everyone was a stranger. I always replied that I was going to be with my brothers, so why would I ever feel uncomfortable? She now understands. Sincerely, thank you. Becky and I have enjoyed your friendship, hospitality and the fellowship that you bestowed on us. As my term is coming to an end, I want to express, to each of the members, my gratitude for allowing me to serve you. It is not only an honor and privilege, but also a one of great responsibility and expectations. I hope, in your eyes, that I have met those expectations and performed responsibly. I leave with wonderful memories and experiences. Stay safe, remain calm, and follow the directives of your State and Local governments. Stay in contact with your members and brothers. Continue to pray for those families and brothers affected by this dreadful disease. We may not know when, but this pandemic, and restricted life will pass. May God bless and keep you, and continue to bless our Fraternity. The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

MY BROTHER’S STONE One night I went to a place I’d never been I wondered to myself if they would let me in Out of the darkness and the fog With a nervous hand I turned the knob A creak and a groan the door opened wide And with one trepid step I went inside With a smile and a hand shake one after another The bid me each one “Welcome brother” A meal was had simple and fair Prepared by the hands of the men gathered there. With fellowship fun and the repast done We ascended the stairs one by one Lambskin aprons were donned by all Before we entered the great hall The purpose for gathering in this instance Was to listen to and inspect the work of the apprentice His words were proficient and his stone rough hewn Exactly as he was instructed to do Lessons that night were taught to him On how to become a better man Instructions in architecture, science and math And other things to know as a Fellow of the Craft With instructions complete and lessons learned well I bid my brother a heartfelt farewell Weeks went by and I received a hail That new fellow had learned it all well Again we assembled to listen and then To look upon his work again His stone had corners, level and plumb But this man’s work was far from done That night we raised a brother once again Our brother had become a better man As the years passed and time flew by We traveled together, he and I Honing our skills and Mastering our craft It’s with melancholy thoughts that I consider the past You see I found that first night a bond I can’t explain When I met this fine brother I called Dwayne My stone is nice, but it’s not quite there His stone, however is perfect, smooth and square Mine sits before me with much to prepare His stone has been added to that Mansion up there.

For Brother Eldon Dwayne Lewis

Born 10 September 1969 / Called Home 3 November 2019 Many Lodge #411 Initiated 4/5/2016 / Passed 10/14/2016 / Raised 9/15/2016

By Brother Mace Morris, P.M. / Phoenix Lodge #38 15


THE GRAND MASTER’S SURPRISE An editorial of sorts...

Deep within the archives of the Louisiana Masonic Library & Museum, there is a box full of photos taken by Worshipful Brother Naresh Sharma, and in one of those boxes there was found an envelope. That envelope was labeled “Steve Pence’s Initiation Photos! St. James Members had gone to participate in his degree!!!” Inside there were several photos of various brethren in riding in a limo, shaking their new younger brother’s hand, and looking generally glad to be a part of such a momentous event that would plant the seed for our Most Worshipful Grand Master Steve Pence to preside over our beloved fraternity in the Grand East. Surely the proudest of all was his father, Worshipful Brother Lloyd Gerald Pence.Though many of those brethren have passed, they all gave to Masonry, and all were part of the Masonic beginnings of Most Worshipful Steve Pence, Grand Master of Masons in Louisiana. M ∴W ∴ Pence has served our fraternity well since that day, and is not only our current Grand Master, but has been the Editor of this very publication for many years. It seemed only fitting that these photos should have a special place in this issue, as the Grand Master and his Grand family prepare for the 209th Annual Grand Communication this Spring. I hope you enjoy these photos, and may they remind us all the even our Most Worshipful leaders were once brand new Entered Apprentices. As I have heard some say to the newly initiated, what separates a lodge officer or Grand lodge officer from the many orphaned Entered Apprentices out there is that they kept coming back, and they kept working, but we all started in the same condition before knocking on the door of Freemasonry. 16

- J. Gary “Gar” Pickering, Managing Editor The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

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What is the Scottish Rite?, from page 14

himself, but he should also be trying to better the world around him for the sake of humanity and the glory of God; making the world better and happier for our having lived in it, laboring to make this World more like Heaven and less like hell. “One of the earliest lessons taught the Masonic Initiate is, that every Masonic Temple, itself a symbol of the Universe, and of the soul of every upright and worthy man, is supported by three great columns, WISDOM, STRENGTH and BEAUTY.” (What is Masonry and Its Objects?, “Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor & Guide”, pp. 52)

Altar arrangement from Cervantes No. 5, a Louisiana Scottish Rite Craft Lodge. Courtesy of Brother Sam Cannon.

Temple Mysticism, by which I mean looking at the Temple in a symbolic, inner, esoteric way, seeing it as a symbol representing the meeting point of the Divine and the mundane, has been around for a long time. It’s ancient, really. And it’s a big theme within Masonry. Likewise, the idea of a Divine Word, by which God created all things, is equally ancient and important to Masonry. In Masonry, the Temple you’re building is you; your character; your soul; a pure heart and mind; an upright life erected to God so that the Shekkinah(or Holy Spirit) can dwell within you. But the Temple also represents the World, the material Universe, and humanity as a whole. It is a symbol alluding to the dwelling place of the Divine Presence, which is everywhere. If you believe God is infinite and omnipresent, it would be cognitive dissonance to believe that there’s a place where He is not present. Thus, He fills the expanse of the Universe, His Wisdom, Strength and Beauty being everywhere evident to the candid eye; and a little spark or ray of His Divine Light exists in every human soul. Therefore, not only should a Mason be trying to better 18

The Word is, among other things, a symbol representing Divine Truth; the Ineffable Absolute; knowledge of the Invisible God. God is infinite, and thus His nature is incomprehensible to the finite mind of man. We may only know Him by his attributes, by revelation, and by His manifestations in nature; and because we are limited beings, our knowledge of a limitless God will always fall short. We each inevitably misunderstand Him in our own respective ways, each of us having imperfect concepts of Him that depend greatly on our own upbringing, social conditioning, and level of mental cultivation. For this reason Masonry, and especially Scottish Rite Masonry, teaches the important virtue of religious tolerance. Nobody has a monopoly on the Truth. “...every religion and every conception of God is idolatrous, in so far as it is imperfect; and as it substitutes a feeble and temporary idea in the shrine of that Undiscoverable Being, who can be known only in part, and who can therefore be honored, even by the most enlightened among His worshippers, only in proportion to their limited powers of understanding and imagining to themselves His perfections.” (What is Masonry and Its Objects?, “Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor & Guide”, pp. 63)

God is the One in whom we live, move, and have our being. Indeed, He is the self-existent Source of all being. He is the very fabric of which reality, time, and space are comprised; and though He is fully present within time and space, He also transcends time and space altogether. He is the Paradox of all paradoxes, the Mystery of all mysteries, and the Perfect Goodness that defies all description. Therefore, the symbolic quest to discover The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


the Lost Word is emblematic of Man’s desire to know the unknowable. It illustrates our efforts to penetrate the veil of Mystery that separates the seen from the unseen. It is the search for an unattainable certainty in this mortal life so full of uncertainty; and the substitute for that certainty we seek is faith. “In all ages, the golden threads of Truth have gleamed in the wool of Error. Fortunate the Mason, who, by the Light of Wisdom, the True Masonic Light, first Emanation from the Deity, can discern the golden threads, God’s hieroglyphics, written when Time began; and read them aright, as they were read by our Ancient Brethren in early Ages! Thus in all ages the WORD of GOD, His THOUGHT, the Great Creative Power, not spoken through material organs nor in a voice audible to mortal ears, has sounded in the souls of men, and taught them the great Truths of Reason, Philosophy and Religion. Fortunate the Mason, to whom that WORD, the Deity Manifest, is audible, intelligible, significant; God’s THOUGHT, that made the stars, and all that is, and the Great Laws of Harmony and Motion!” (What is Masonry and Its Objects?, “Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor & Guide”, pp. 64-65)

The Blue Lodge Degrees first illustrate the allegorical construction of the Temple and the symbolic search for the Word, but the Scottish Rite Degrees elaborate on those themes to a much greater extent. The York Rite also elaborates on those two themes, of course, but not in nearly as much depth as you’ll find in the Scottish Rite. In the York Rite system, the Blue Lodge Degrees illustrate the construction of the Temple and the search for the Word, the Capitular Degrees illustrate the completion of the Temple and the discovery of the Word, the Cryptic Degrees illustrate the preservation of the Word within a secret part of the Temple, and the Commandery Orders illustrate the incarnation of the Word and the defense of the Temple. The Scottish Rite system, however, contains all of that and more. Virtually every lesson and theme in the York Rite can be found somewhere in the Scottish Rite, but the same cannot be said in reverse. There are lessons and themes in the Scottish Rite which are nowhere to be found in the York Rite. There are two reason for this: The Scottish Rite has more degrees than the York Rite, and so it

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

naturally covers more subject matter. The Scottish Rite is a coherent and progressive Rite by design, with each degree being deliberately designed to occupy a specific spot in the system; but the York Rite was piecemealed together over time. As an active member of both the York and Scottish Rite bodies, I can say that both systems are lovely, interesting, and profound in their own respective ways. Both Rites are designed to do the same thing, but they go about it differently. All Rites of Freemasonry use allegorical legends and symbols to illustrate lessons about the nature of reality, God, and the human condition, giving comprehensible form to what would otherwise be ineffable abstractions that words alone cannot suffice to convey. The York Rite and the Scottish Rite are both Masonic ritual systems designed to take a sincere, truth-seeking candidate on an initiatic journey towards Self Knowledge and enlightenment. Like the York Rite degrees, each degree of the Scottish Rite is a symbolic hero’s journey where you, the candidate, are the main character. Each degree introduces you to various scenarios that are meant to impress deep lessons into your mind; and there are layers upon layers of meaning in each degree which each Mason must discover for himself by study and contemplation. I’ve heard some Master Masons tell me that they don’t want to pursue the degrees of the Scottish Rite or the York Rite because they somehow think that high-degree Masonry undermines the idea that there is no degree higher than the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. Well, let me assure you that, though there are 33 degrees in the Scottish Rite system, it’s important to realize that none of those high degrees are of any consequence in the Blue Lodge. High-degree ranks mean nothing outside of their respective Rites. In the Blue Lodge, there’s technically no degree higher than that of the 3° Master Mason. A 32° Master of the Royal Secret in the Scottish Rite or a Knight Templar in the York Rite doesn’t “out-rank” a 3° Master Mason in the Lodge. Once a Master Mason, always a Master Mason;

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no matter how many more degrees you choose to pursue in the many Masonic bodies that exist beyond the Blue Lodge. We are all “on the level” once we reach the 3rd Degree, though there are many more degrees which we can pursue for additional perspective and insight into the meaning of Masonry’s allegories and symbols, such as the Temple and the Word. It’s also important to remember that pursuing high degrees should not be an excuse to abandon your Blue Lodge. Sadly, there are some Masons who, being uninterested in the philosophical light that our Craft and its Rites have to offer, only became Masons so that they could join the Shrine. Even more sadly, there are some who become ridiculously enamored with amassing titles and honors. Such Masons will spend lots of money on lavish aprons and jewelry, but it’s doubtful that they’d spend the same amount of money on books. Don’t be that guy! Fortunately, though, most of the Brethren I know who are active in the bodies of the Scottish Rite and York Rite are also active in their Blue Lodges. Most of us who love the Scottish Rite are lovers of Masonry in general, and we still darken the doors of our Blue Lodges as often as possible. All the Mysteries of Freemasonry can be found in the rituals and symbols of the Blue Lodge, really, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear. But those first three degrees are deliberately opaque and densely packed. They’re not designed to be readily deciphered and immediately understood. Rather, they are meant to be carefully, diligently studied. It is up to each Mason

to do his own homework and discover for himself the meaning of Masonry, which is synonymous with the meaning of life itself; and I find that it is indeed helpful to experience some high degrees to give you additional perspective and insight into the meaning of the Blue Lodge Degrees. Speaking for myself, I must say that pursuing further light in the Scottish Rite has been quite helpful in deepening and broadening my understanding of the Craft. But just like Masonry is not for every man, Scottish Rite Masonry is not for every Master Mason. It is for those studious Master Masons who hunger for knowledge, thirst for understanding, and delight in wisdom. In closing, I’ll refer to a quote by Illustrious Brother Albert Pike 33°, in which he eloquently described Scottish Rite Freemasonry as “a continuous advance, by means of the instruction contained in a series of Degrees, toward the Light, by the elevation of the Celestial, the Spiritual, and the Divine, over the Earthly, Sensual, Material, and Human, in the Nature of Man.” For me, no better summary could be given for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. It is an organization that stands for Tolerance, Liberty, Equality, Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth, Freedom of Thought, Freedom of Conscience, and Freedom Speech. What more could a seeker want? The Scottish Rite might not be for everyone, but it is definitely right for me.

Bibliography: A Bridge to Light by Rex Hutchens Lectures on Masonic Symbolism by Albert Pike Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike Reading Masons & Masons Who Do Not Read”, a paper written by Dr. Albert Mackey 33° in 1874 and published in 1875. Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor & Guide, 3rd Edition by Arturo De Hoyos The Journey of the Elu to Enlightenment by Robert Davis The Three Temples by Rachel Elior

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The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


Masons & The Westport Fight by Brother J. Gary “Gar” Pickering, Managing Editor Originally Published in the The Louisiana Freemason Weekly eEdition for Oct. 4, 2019

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Sam Todd Lodge photo from 1915 with Brother Mayo Moore in attendance. Louisiana Masonic Library & Museum Archives.

n Christmas Eve 1881, at the crossroads of what is now LA Hwy 113 and LA Hwy 462, in a place called No Man’s Land, a fight broke out. This fight was between the descendants of pioneers who had come to these woods several generations before, known as Ten Milers, due to their proximity to Ten Mile Creek, and new arrivals, outsiders, from other parts of Louisiana and the South. Many of these settlers had come from New Orleans, Alexandria, and elsewhere around the state. As they travelled West from Alexandria, they would have crossed the “Dead Line”, which was just west of Hineston. It is said that the fight

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

started over a horse race a few days prior; the losers accusing the winners of cheating. History shows than the fight was over much more than just a horse race, and this day was the day it was settled that the new folks needed to move along. One of the families that had settled on this side of the Calcasieu River was that of a merchant named Joseph W. Moore, of County Mayo in Ireland, who had made his way to this frontier by way of New Orleans, where he had first arrived from Ireland. It is said that he left Ireland in an escape, after he killing the hound of an

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English nobleman, arriving in America in 1853. After arriving in New Orleans, Moore found employment as a clerk on a steamboat on the Mississippi River, and in 1856 he moved to Alexandria, Louisiana. He kept books for a while, at the Washington Hotel, and he taught at Spring Hill Academy. Later he was married in 1858, and in 1862 he joined the Confederate Army. He served through the rest of the war, and served at the Battle of Vicksburg. Returning to Alexandria, he was served in elected Parish rolls, and in 1881, in partnership with two other gentlemen, he opened the store that would become the epicenter of “The Westport Fight”. One of his partners was the young Doctor Hamilton, of Virginia, who was also present at the infamous skirmish, and the other was Captain Joseph T. Hatch, who also fought for the C.S.A., and was at Vicksburg. Some stories say that Capt. Hatch was just a “silent” partner, and others say that Hatch owned the Mill that was attached. The store has been referred to as “Hamilton & Moore”, and more frequently “Moore & Hatch” in historical records, and retellings of the events of that fateful day where Moore, Hamilton, and Hatch were all present. Two of Joseph Moore’s teenaged sons were there that day as well, the youngest being Mayo Moore. This story has been told and retold, with various versions and other relevant history being fairly well documented. What isn’t included in the historical record of the Westport Fight, and what the reader will be will likely find quite interesting, is that the two partners, Lt. Joseph W. Moore, and Cpt. Joseph T. Hatch, were both Masonic brethren. Young Mayo Moore would likewise grow up to become a Master Mason. Another man, John Gordon “J.G.” Musgrove, was present during the shootout, and played a major role in its instigation. It was Musgrove who became involved in an argument over the race on the porch of the store, and who nearly died in the gun fight. Following the fight, Musgrove would give up the lifestyle that led him so close to death that day, and became a man of God. He would eventually became a Baptist minister. The store was located near, what is now, Pitken, roughly halfway between Hineston, the last stop heading west before passing the “Dead Line”, in those days, and Sugar22

Brother Joseph T. Hatch

town, the next established settlement as one headed southwest from “Westport”. One unique feature of Sugartown, in this area at that time, was that it had a Masonic Lodge. In his historical fiction book As the Crow Flies: The Westport Fight, Central Louisiana author Curt Iles has the narrator note that the presence of this lodge was one of the markers showing that Sugartown was “civilized”. This lodge, still active today, was Sam Todd Lodge #182, which was chartered in 1867. The lodge was named after the Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana F.&A.M., Most Worshipful Brother Samuel Todd, who served as Grand Master three times (1859, 1869-1872). At the time lodge was charted, MWB Todd was the Grand Secretary. That Most Worshipful Brother would travel by wagon from New Orleans to visit the lodge, taking him a full week to arrive! Brother Joseph W. Moore would move to Sugartown in 1882, after losing the store to arson following the Westport Fight, but it was not his first time in the settlement. Brother Moore became a member of Sam Todd Lodge #182 in 1875, through affiliation by transfer. Though this writer has not yet confirmed it with certainty, it appears that Moore was a member of Quitman Lodge #76, in New Orleans, around the time of the Civil War. It appears that he was quit active in the lodge, and served as Worshipful Master shortly after moving to Sugartown permanently. His son Mayo Moore, a teenager at the time, would be initiated, raised, and passed in Sam Todd Lodge in 1897. Brother Joseph T. Hatch was a member of Fellowship Lodge #217, which was chartered in 1873 in Hineston, which put The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


the lodge just east of “No Man’s Land” at the time. Hatch became a member by affiliation in 1874. Revered J.G. Musgrove would become a member of the same lodge, also by affiliation, in 1887. Like Moore and Hatch, he was also a Confederate veteran, having served in the Louisiana Cavalry.

In addition to being heroes, we know that among the men that day, we had brethren who took the same obligations as the rest of us, and sat in lodges in small towns, that are still here today.

Congratulations

to our Grand Master, M∴ W∴ STEVE PENCE on a successful year in the Grand East, from ABE HINSON No. 472!

Gravesite of Brother Joseph Moore and his wife Eliza in Dry Creek, Louisiana. Courtesty of Curt IIles.

The Louisiaiana Masonic Library & Museum is open M-F 10am-4pm.

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Looking back over history, it can safely be said that at least four Louisiana Freemasons were present that day, when old families waged war against new families in the back piney woods of No Man’s Land. Masonry in Louisiana has a long and interesting history, from New Orleans to the frontier, and everywhere in between. In an interview in 1988, George Washington Johnson, then 98 years old, of Pitkin said “Every man engaged in the Westport Fight was a hero. Only heroes lived in Western Louisiana in the early (19)80s…”.

5746 Masonic Dr, Alexandria, LA 318.305.4501

1415 Horseshoe Dr, Alexandria, LA 71301

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Find us online:

Visit us online at

abehinson.com

library.la-mason.com

/AbeHinson472 /OfficialLouisianaMasonicLibraryMuseum The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

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Ashlars in the Temple, from page 5

man, turning neither to the right nor to the left from the strict trials of virtue.” The level “demonstrates that we are all sprung from the same stock, partake of the same nature, and share the same hope… He who is placed on the lowest spoke of Fortune’s wheel is equally entitled to our regard; for a time will come, and the best and wisest of us know not how soon, when all distinctions save those of goodness and virtue shall cease, and Death, the grand leveler of all human greatness, shall reduce us to the same estate.” The square “teaches us to regulate our lives and actions according to Masonic line and rule, and so to harmonize our conduct in this life as to render us acceptable to that Divine Being from whom all goodness springs and to whom we must give an account of all our actions.” The square, as it is used to measure the angles of an ashlar, is used to measure the exactness of our virtues and morality. There are four cardinal virtues: fortitude, prudence, temperance, and justice. These virtues were first found in Plato’s Republic Book IV, and can be found in the Old Testament. In addition, there are three theological virtues, described in 1 Corinthians 13 as faith, hope, and charity, or love: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” These seven virtues should also sound very familiar to any Freemason. And so, the square becomes the ultimate guide to his thoughts and actions, as these seven traits are what are measured in his character by its edges. The plumb measures his deviation from each of these ideals, while the level measures whether or not he applies these principles to everyone equally and justly. He works every stone of his character with these tools, analyzing, working, and checking every one until all are perfected. He then stacks these “inner stones” to begin erecting walls of his character. The Master Mason has laid out his designs on the trestle board, and by it he has a plan for his Spiritual Temple. He then uses the trowel to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, which unites the ashlars of his character into a wall, which is repeated until at last, a place worthy of God to dwell is completed within him. As a Master Mason, he has united his inner wall of virtue and morality with the greatest of all virtues, the virtue of love-unconditional, unprejudiced, and unending love for all mankind, especially a brother Mason. 24

FOR THE LODGE The symbolism of the working of the ashlar can apply to an entire Lodge as well. This all begins when a man petitions a lodge. As the stone is carefully chosen from the quarry, we must wisely ballot on a man’s worthiness to receive the degrees in Masonry. As the stone may contain fissures, voids, or some other weakness, so might a man who petitions Masonry. He may petition for the wrong reasons, such as to attain a perceived position of power or leadership. He may join simply to learn what is so secret about our Fraternity. He may also just not be a good, upstanding person to begin with. This is what makes the Investigative Committee’s job so important. They must determine if a man is worthy of the Fraternity, while at the same time answering any questions the man or his family may have about what Freemasonry is, and perhaps more importantly, what it is not. During the layover period, if at all possible, it is good for other brethren to meet a petitioner so they have a face to the name they are balloting on. Finally, we must all truly ballot for the good of the order to admit good, upstanding men we feel can not only benefit the Fraternity, but the Fraternity can benefit him. After a man is balloted on and he is initiated, it is time for him to get to work. He has the catechism work he must learn in order to be passed to the degree of Fellow Craft, but he has also just undergone something he has never experienced before. Mentors should not only work with a young brother on his memory work, but help him understand what he has just experienced. They should answer questions as long as they are able, and not only give the new brother some idea of what things in our ritual mean, but also teach him to seek out meanings for himself. That is not to say he should scour the internet or books for answers. An Apprentice or Fellow Craft may spoil what is to come in future degrees. He may also find things that are different in other jurisdictions that would cause confusion for him at first. It is also no secret that there is plenty of garbage information online about Masonry. A young brother may not have the ability to sift through good and bad information. At a minimum, time must be spent in explaining why we do what we do; otherwise, our ritual can become trivialized. It is true that some brothers will have more interest in symbolism and ritual than others, but we The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


must lay some amount of groundwork for each candidate to begin to understand the degrees. Just as our perfect ashlars were all prepared the same and then used for different purposes, so should we be in cultivating younger Masons. At some point, after the groundwork of a young brother’s understanding has been set, we should set him free to pursue his own interests in the Craft. There are brothers who enjoy ritual, while there are others who enjoy fellowship, or charity, or involvement in appendant bodies. Some enjoy all of the above. Back to our literal example, every stone was prepared the same, but used for different purposes. Some were for exterior walls, while others were for interior rooms. Some were for hallways or dining halls, while others were for the Sanctum Sanctorum. It is important that a Brother find his place and be given the ability to excel, all while acting by the character shaped for him by our ritual and lessons. As the five orders of Architecture teach us there are many different ways to build our own spiritual temple and we must not build idly, so must we encourage new brothers to find their path to keep them involved and prevent burnout or disinterest. Support and encouragement is also a two-way street. Younger Masons should also support and help the older Masons. They have helped hold together the Fraternity that went from the heyday of yesteryear to the struggles of the last few decades quantity-wise, and deserve our appreciation in holding the Fraternity together. They are a source of information and should help guide the younger brothers in the Craft. Younger Masons who enjoy ritual and are capable of learning it should do so in order to relieve some of the work that is put on older brethren in conferring degrees. Tasks such as cleanup and meal preparation should be handled more by younger men as much as possible so that our older brethren do not have to be on their feet as much. Younger Masons should take on more responsibility with holding office positions and sitting on committees, not only to learn how the Lodge operates, but to further help and assist older brethren. Older brethren, at the same time, should not be afraid of change or different points of view. Men are drawn to Masonry for all different kinds of reasons, and as much as is possible, we should respect and cultivate those interests. There is room in our great Fraternity for all walks of brethren, and we should always practice the great The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

meaning of the trowel and unite these different men into one common mass with brotherly love and affection. Freemasonry is not always clear or obvious in its meanings. Sometimes, meanings in symbols must be sought by each of us. There is rarely a case in our Fraternity where one symbol means only one thing, and these symbols can have not only a “textbook” meaning, but also different, yet meaningful and unique meanings to each individual. Another point to remember about these symbols is that we are constantly surrounded by them during Communications and Degrees, and we should contemplate and remember their meaning. Freemasonry is meant to be practiced individually, as a collective group within a Lodge, as a collective group of Lodges at a Grand Lodge, and outside of Masonic gatherings in our everyday life. It is important to note that a perfect ashlar is impossible to accomplish in this life. We are mortal, and as such, we will always fall short of the ideal. It is the journey to this perfect ashlar that matters. We will improve ourselves as we shape our stone. The meanings of the rough and perfect ashlars, and how our working tools can be applied to these ashlars, are not only poignant lessons for our own inner spiritual development, but can help brethren remember how each member of a Lodge should be cultivated and cared for to make the Lodge the best it can be. (Special thanks to MWB Lloyd E. Hennigan, Jr, Past Grand Master of Masons 2008, Grand Lodge of Louisiana, Free & Accepted Masons, for his input and review of this paper)

Bibliography:

Huckaby, G.C. (compiled by). The Louisiana Monitor of the Degrees Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason and Other Masonic Ceremonies. 26th Ed. Fine Print, Alexandria, LA/Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana, F. & A.M., 1988. Plato, Republic, Book IV, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, February 4, 2013. Holy Bible: King James Version, 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13. DeVore & Sons, Inc. Wichita, KS. 1988. MacNulty, Kirk W. The Way of the Craftsman: A Search for the Spiritual Essence of Craft Freemasonry. Plumbstone Publishing, Washington DC. May 1, 2017. Poll, Michael R. “Our Changing Freemasonry.” New Orleans Scottish Rite College. New Orleans, LA. September 21, 2019 25


2020 RESOLUTIONS RESOLUTION No. 2020-01 Refer to: Digest of Edicts Section: FLAG Page 82 of the Handbook of Masonic Law. WHEREAS, the Section Entitled FLAG describes how to salute the Flag. WHEREAS, it has been the custom to recognize that Veterans and Active Duty Masons have been allowed without objection or restriction to militarily salute of the American Flag when it is being presented, during the Pledge of Allegiance and during the National Anthem.

WHEREAS, to ensure consistency Author of Resolution: Bro. JOHNNY and to solidify what is currently C. BYRD, Haughton Lodge 95 F&AM being recognized and not restricted SIGNATURES: 5 by allowing Masonic Veterans and current military Brethren to render a military salute. RESOLUTION No. 2020-02 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: that the following be inserted at the end of the Section entitled FLAG in the Digest of Edicts, page 82 of the Handbook of Masonic Law “That Masonic Veterans and current members of the Military, may at their descretion perform a military salute to honor the American flag during the presentation, Pledge of Allegiance and during the National Anthem.”

WHEREAS, the Perpetual Membership program began with an Edict in 1990 for the purpose of perpetually securing a supplemental revenue source for our constituent lodges, as well as for our Grand Lodge, and, WHEREAS, over time, devaluation, due to inflation, significantly reduces the purchasing power of the income from the program because the payments remain

The Intentions Behind the Perpetual Membership Program, and What Resolution No. 2020-03 is Designed to Correct. “Why does the program need to be changed?” “What does this Resolution Seek to Change?” The first thing to adress with any concern is that that this will not affect you if you are already a perpetual member, and will benefit your Lodge on New Perpetual Memberships. The Only Change to the HOML is the Blue Lodge Dues Multiplier used to determine the cost to the member of a new Perpetual Membership purchased after the resolution goes into affect.

What was the program’s original intent?

How was the original multiplier determined? The Perpetual Membership Program was designed based on the best information available to Break Even at an Annual Return of 5%. At the time the Program was instituted, Long Term Interest Rates were in excess of 8% and had been higher for the preceding 12 years. For example: 5% is 1/20 of each $1.00 of dues, the multiplier was set at 20 times the annual dues.

What Actually Happened to the Financial Markets?

The original purpose of the Program was to benefit the Lodges by collectively investing an amount of money that would earn enough interest to pay members annual dues to the local Blue Lodges. This program was designed to break even earning 5% Interest. Are you earning 5% interest on your money? We are not either.

26

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


frozen at the rate that was in ef- calculated in accordance to Secfect when the member joined, and, tion B at the time of application to determine the installment payments. WHEREAS, this increasing short- Example: On January 1, 2020 Lodge fall of revenue to the Lodges is born dues (local dues plus Grand Lodge by ever increasing, higher yearly dues per capita) are $50.00. The number to the regular members to make up for of years he has been a Master Mathe lost purchasing power from the son is 15 so the factor is 50-15=35. Perpetual Membership program, and, Multiply $50.00 by 35 for a total of $1,7500.00. Then divide by 5 to deWHEREAS, both fairness to all termine the annual fee will be $350 the members and protection from for five (5) successive years, plus the future viability of the pay- lodge dues. ments to the Lodges must be secured as was the original purpose III of this well-intended program, All other provisions of the section entitled “Perpetual Membership” T H E R E F O R E B E I T shall remain in full force and effect. RESOLVED, that the Handbook of Masonic Law, Digest of Edicts, sec- Authors of Resolution: Bros. John F. tion on Perpetual Membership, pages Knox, Jr., P.M., W.H. Booth Lodge 100-100C, be amended to conform #380; Allan K. Bean, P.M., Keystone with the following revisions; Lodge #213; John B. Becton, P.M., Westlake Lodge #443; Elmo J. Pitre, Jr., P.M., Bayou Fellowship Lodge I The member desired a Perpetual #484; and James H. “Chuck” MorMembership shall apply to the Sec- gan, III, P.M., East Gate Lodge #452. retary of his Lodge during the first SIGNATURES: 5 quarter of the calendar year for such membership on forms prescribed by the Grand Lodge. The applicant RESOLUTION No. 2020-03 member shall tender therewith the Sum of fifty (50) times the annual Refer to: Article IV Section: Secdues for his lodge, including Grand tion 1 Page: 3 of the Constitution Lodge per capita, at the time of application, minus the number of years WHEREAS: Masonry is an ancient of good standing the member has to fraternity dating back to the building the Masonic Fraternity, but in no of the Temple of Solomon, and event less than twenty (20) times the lodge’s annual dues. The Lodge WHEREAS: Hiram Abiff was the Secretary shall complete his part of most experienced of builders chosen the application and shall forward the to build the temple, and same together with the full fee due, to the Grand Secretary. The date of WHEREAS: Knowledge alone canhis application shall be the date the not give one experience- only time Grand Secretary certified he received can give the experience necessary to the application. be the best at ones trade, and WHEREAS: Masonry relies on that II experience to be lead in its endeavors D. The Perpetual Membership fee by the designs on the Trestle board may optionally be paid in five (5) by which it can pursue its labor, and equal installments in addition to regular Lodge dues. Use the “Sum” WHEREAS: Inexperienced leaderThe Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

ship may draw incorrect or incomplete designs on the trestle board, which would cause confusion among the workers, and WHEREAS: Experience and/or leadership in one’s Profession does not necessarily translate to experience in the leadership of our Fraternity as Grand Master of Masons in the State of Louisiana, and WHEREAS: Nothing in the Handbook of Masonic Law addresses the issue of inexperience when nominated for the position of Grand Master of the State of Louisiana, and WHEREAS: Speculative masonry still relies on the experience of its leadership to produce the best possible designs on the trestle board by which they can pursue their labor, and WHEREAS: Although important for masonry, the time used in joining, learning, and moving through the officer’s positions of Appendant Bodies does not give the experience to a craftsman, but may delay the learning experiences of the Blue Lodge to draw the best designs on the trestle board, and WHEREAS: In all instances, inexperienced, incomplete, or incorrect designs upon the trestle board by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the State of Louisiana would cause as much or more confusion in the lodges as if there were no designs at all on the trestle board, and WHEREAS: The Constitution has a restriction in place already on who can be Grand Lodge Officers (All elective Grand Officers and District Deputy Grand Masters must be Past Masters of regular constituent Lodges, chartered under the Grand Lodge), so that the act of adding one other restriction on being elected Grand Master of Masons will not 27


cause great change in our future, but will add another level of eligibility; reducing, however slight the possibility may be, that the leader of our Fraternity will not cause confusion within the Lodges, and Whereas: the change proposed does not affect who can hold any other position in the Grand Lodge Line-up, except to the extent that the Grand Master must meet the requirement presented in this resolution at the time of election. Therefore, Be it Resolved: The Constitution, Article IV Section 1, be changed to read: After the sentence beginning with “All elective Grand Officers and District Deputy Grand Masters must be Past Masters of regular constituent Lodges, chartered under the Grand Lodge” ADD “, and nominees for the position of Grand Master must also be a Master Mason in good standing for at least 20 yrs.” Author of Resolution: Eugene “Sam” Morse, P.M., Pine Grove #288, Perfect Union #1 SIGNATURES: 1 RESOLUTION No. 2020 - 04 WHEREAS, every well-regulated institution, especially this of ours, requires a means to discipline with clearness and specificity those members who have brought discredit to our Fraternity; and WHEREAS, some brothers have expressed and caused confusion regarding the differences between Grand Lodge Trials under Article IV of the General Regulations and Lodge Trials under Article VII of the General Regulations and the applicability of those procedures; and

WHEREAS, it is also desirable that Trial Commissions be appointed to try cases in order to 1) reduce the workload on lodge secretaries; 2) avoid the disruption to the peace and harmony of a lodge that a trial often brings; and 3) provide uniformity for the trial procedures; and WHEREAS, several brothers at Grand Lodge have voiced a desire to see the Handbook of Masonic Law rewritten or revised for clarity and specificity; and WHEREAS, the Grand Master issued Edict 2019-2 to address these concerns, to clarify existing law, and streamline our Masonic Disciplinary process; and

WHEREAS, The Grand Lodge of Louisiana owns and deals with acquiring, managing, leasing and selling properties owned by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana: and WHEREAS, The Board of Trustees for Masonic Home Properties and Charities (prior “Horne Board”) had responsibility for dealing with all properties owned by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, whose name was changed in 2008 to the Board of Trustees for Masonic Charities, composed of seven elected members serving staggered 7 year terms, and the elected Grand Line as ex-offico members, and in addition to its other responsibilities, said Board of Trustees is now authorized and empowered to sell, alienate, lease and otherwise deal with property and/or real estate (outside Alexandria) held by their charities: and

WHEREAS, the procedure set forth in Edict 2019-2 has proven to be workable and a clear improvement over existing law, and should be made a permanent part of our Hand- WHEREAS, in 2009, the Board of book of Masonic Law; Trustees for Fraternal Properties was created, comprised of THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the elected Grand Lodge Officers and that Article VII of the General Regu- Junior Past Grand Master, to act for lations of the Handbook of Masonic the Grand Lodge in Law is hereby repealed and the at- dealing with Grand Lodge Fratertached Article VII – Louisiana Ma- nal Properties (in Alexandria); and sonic Disciplinary Code be and the same is hereby adopted as the new WHEREAS, the perso1rnel of the Article VII of the General Regula- two Boards are somewhat overlaptions; and ping, with the respective members often seeking the advice BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED and concensus of both groups in that Article IV of the General Regu- dealing with our real estate lations of the Handbook of Masonic without consideration of boundarLaw is hereby repealed in its entirety. ies; and

Resolution Authored by: J. Keith WHEREAS, historical experience Gates, PM, Goldonna Lodge No. has shown the implied purpose of 293, O.K. Allen Lodge, No. 33 the said dichotomy of SIGNATURES: 4 responsibility has been resolved, and no useful purpose is now demonstrated for the separation of RESOLUTION No. 2020-05 responsibilities as the Grand Line WHEREAS, it is desirable that all Refer to: General Regulations, Ar- serves on both Boards during their brothers be tried under the same trial ticle 1, Section 2 (T) (pg. 14) and respective terms in office; and procedure; and General Regulations, Article WHEREAS, it is in the best interest X, Section 5 (pg. 56) 28

The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


of the Grand Lodge that the distinction be disso lved and the Board of Trustees for Masonic Charities, which membership already includes the elected Grand Line, be authorized and empowered to deal with all Grand Lodge real estate on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana without geographical distinction. THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The Board of Trustees for Masonic Charities henceforth be authorized and empowered to sell, alienate, lease and otherwise deal with real property owned by the Grand Lodge in its Fraternal capacity; provided, however, that any such action should be . taken only when approved by a favorable vote by a majority of the Board members, and further provided the Grand Master shall have the power to cast a deciding vote in the event or a tie. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the duties of the Board of Trustees for Fraternal Properties being merged with those of the Board of Trustees for Masonic Charites, the said Board of Trustees or Fraternal Properties be abolished. Resolution Authored by: Lloyd E. Hennigan, Jr., O.K. Allen Lodge, No. 33, Michael Dempsey Lodge, No. 327, Carrietta Lodge, No. 312 Number of Signatures:5 RESOLUTION No. 2020-06 WHEREAS, M:W:B: Idolphus Carroll Turnley, Jr., MD, PGM, has served this Grand Lodge of Louisiana, F&AM, with distinction for more than 70 years, and WHEREAS, Dr. Turnley has served this Grand Lodge as Grand Physician continuously since 2001 to date, and WHEREAS, Dr. Turnley’s health The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

will no longer permit him to perform THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED his duties appertaining thereto, and that the Annual Grand Communication for the year 2022 commence on WHEREAS, his period of service or about the day prescribed in the has been long and distinguished, Handbook of Masonic Law, General and it is fitting and proper that said Regulations, Article 1, Section 1; service be properly recognized and or such other date set by the Grand Lodge in Annual Communication asacknowledged, seblmed; and that it be conducted in THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana. that M:W:B: Idolphus Carroll Turnley, Jr., M.D., P.G.M. be granted Author of Resolution: By: R:.W:. Grand Physician Emeritus status in Te r r e l l D . F o w l e r, G . S . W. , sincere appreciation and recognition M a g n o l i a L o d g e N o . 2 3 8 of his years of continuous, dedicated Number of Signatures: 38 and distinguished service to the Fraternity in said capacity. RESOLUTION No. 2020-08 Resolution Authored by: Lloyd E. Hennigan, Jr., O.K. Allen Lodge, Refer To: Digest of Edicts, SecNo. 33, Michael Dempsey Lodge, tion: DUES, FEES AND ASSESSNo. 327, Carrietta Lodge, No. 312 MENTS, pages 80 and 81: Number of Signatures:4 WHEREAS, the current per capita dues amount of $23.50 per year that facilitates funding Grand RESOLUTION NO. 2020-07 Lodge Fraternal operations has not Refer to: Handbook of Masonic been adjusted for inflation since the Law, General Regulations, Article calendar year 2017; and 1, Section 1, Paragraph 5, Page 12: WHEREAS, we are experiencing WHEREAS, Section 1 of Article declining income due to deaths, 1, of the General Regulations of the demits and 50 year membership exGrand Lodge specifies the time of the emptions and Annual Communication but does not WHEREAS, the Grand Secretary stipulate the place; and and Board of Budget and Control WHEREAS, in the past the Annual have utilized every available lawful Communication has been held in source of funding for Grand Lodge various cities located in different Fraternal operations and at the same time have exercised the most conserareas of the state; and vative and prudent cost-cutting fiscal WHEREAS, the City of Lake controls; and Charles is an appropriate location and has facilities sufficient to support WHEREAS, the operating budget the Annual Communication of the for the Grand Lodge Fraternal operations for 2019 shows a deficit; and Grand Lodge in the area; and WHEREAS, The Grand Master of 2021-2022 is desirous of having the Annual Communication in Lake Charles, Louisiana for the 211th Annual Communication;

WHEREAS, the Grand Lodge must face the rising costs of doing business, including the rapidly rising insurance rates, salary increases for our office staff, and providing funds 29


for the preservation of our library and offenses are considered as Masonic Offenses, and; archives; and WHEREAS, it is poor business practice to operate at a deficit; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the per capita dues for Grand Lodge Fraternal be increased by the amount of $1.00 per year for the next ten (10) years and that the portion of the Digest of Edicts on pages 80 and 81 under the section DUES, FEES AND ASSESSMENTS pertaining thereto, be amended as follows: Delete the phrase: “Thirteen dollars and fifty cents per capita dues for the year 2008, the amount to be increased One Dollar ($1.00) per year during each of the next ten (10) years commencing in the year 2009, for each member borne on its rolls during the year, except those exempted by Article VIII, Section 1, of the Constitution.” and Substitute therefore: “Twenty Three dollars and fifty cents 2018 per capita dues to be increased $1.00 per year for the next ten (10) year period commencing in 2021 for each member borne on its rolls during the year, except those exempted by Article VII, Section 1, of the Constitution.”

WHEREAS, The Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Revised Statute 14:2(B) defines “Crimes of Violence” as follows: “Crimes of violence include but not limited to; Solicitation for Murder; First Degree Murder; Second Degree Murder; Manslaughter; Aggravated or First Degree Rape; Forcible or Second Degree Rape; Simple or Third Degree Rape; Aggravated Battery; Aggravated Second Degree Battery; Sexual Battery; Second Degree Sexual Battery; Intentional Exposure to AIDS Virus;; Aggravated Kidnapping; Second Degree Kidnapping; Aggravated Arson; Armed Robbery; First Degree Robbery; Aggravated Burglary; Purse Snatching; Assault by Drive-by Shooting; Carjacking; Terrorism; Aggravated Assault with a Firearm; Armed Robbery by Use of Firearm; additional penalty; Second Degree Robbery; Disarming of a Peace Officer; Aggravated Assault upon a Peace Officer; Second Degree Cruelty to Juveniles; Aggravated Crime Against Nature; Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes; Human Trafficking; Home Invasion”, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, in all other respects the provisions of this section remain in full WHEREAS, should any member of a constituent lodge operating under a force and effect as published. charter issued by the Grand Lodge of Author of Resolution: Woody D. Bily- Louisiana, F & A M be convicted of a eu, P.G.M., Eastern Star Lodge #151, Crime of Violence as defined by The O.K. Allen Lodge #33, Etoile Polaire Louisiana Code of Criminal ProceLodge #1, West Monroe Lodge #419. dure Revised Statute 14:2(B), or if in another state a Crime similar to one of Crimes of Violence, as defined by The Louisiana Code of Criminal ProRESOLUTION 2020-09 cedure. Revised Statute 14:2(B), and Refer To: Handbook of Masonic sentenced to a period of incarceration Law, Digest of Edicts (Pages 95 & in any type of Penal Facility in or out of the State of Louisiana, or ordered 96) to be confined to any type of facility Whereas, the Handbook of Masonic by the courts, and; Law, Digest of Edicts, “Masonic WHEREAS, that member’s ability Offenses and Unmasonic Conduct to be present at a masonic trial will on pages 95 and 96 explains what be non-existent, the member shall 30

be very limited in his ability to communicate his defense in a masonic trial and; WHEREAS, a certified copy of the court records showing his conviction and sentence shall be enough evidence against him to find him guilty of Unmasonic Conduct. THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that upon the receipt of a certified notice of the member’s incarceration or confinement, due to a conviction for the commission of a Crime of Violence as enumerated in Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, R.S.1 4:2(B), said member SHALL be immediately suspended from all of his Masonic Memberships, Rights and Privileges for a term to run concurrent with his sentence. Upon his release he shall have a period of Six (6) Months from the date of his release to file his appeal with the Appeals and Grievances Committee to defend himself against the charges of Unmasonic Conduct. If no appeal is received within the six (6) month timeframe, he shall be expelled permanently and his name shall be permanently stricken from the rolls of his lodge or lodges. Author of Resolution: Woody D. Bilyeu, P.G.M., Eastern Star No. 151, O.K. Allen No. 33, Etoile Polaire No. 1 and West Monroe No. 419. Number of Signatures: 14 RESOLUTION: 2020-10 Refer to: Handbook of Masonic Law, General Regulations, Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph 5, Page 12: Whereas, Section 1, Article 1, of the General Regulations of the Grand Lodge specifies the time of the Annual Communication but does not stipulate the place and; The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020


WHEREAS, in the past the Annual WHEREAS, there is not ample Communication has been held in space for the various Boards and various cities located in various areas Committees such as the Appeals and of the state and; Grievance Committee, Masonic Law and Jurisprudence Committee, Board WHEREAS, the City of Lake of Charities and Benevolence, Board Charles would be an appropriate of Budget and Control, and others to location if sufficient facilities were meet causing them to be at an offsite available on the date(s) specified for location, some distance from the Main Event Location and; the Annual Communication; and; WHEREAS, the facilities contemplated in another resolution at this Annual Communication has a fire code rating barely sufficient to handle one half of the normal and expected number of attendees which may compromise the safety of attendees and; WHEREAS, the facilities contemplated in another resolution do not contain sufficient high resolution video boards capable of displaying proposed resolutions, committee reports, and most important of all the results of voting on the resolutions and reports, as well as election results and; WHEREAS, there is not ample space to setup and retain the various elements of an Annual Session, ie, Service Committee, Registration Committee, Credentials Committee, Communications Committee and others and; WHEREAS, there is not ample space to host the various luncheons and banquets associated with an Annual Communication, including but not limited to, AMD Luncheon, Grand Masters Reception, Grand Masters Banquet, Ladies Luncheon, Delegates Hospitality Suite, Visiting Delegates Banquet, Royal Order of Scotland Breakfast, Scottish Rite Honors Luncheon, each of which must be held at an offsite location causing attendees to be inconvenienced by having to travel to various locations and; The Louisiana Freemason // Spring 2020

WHEREAS, the Report of the Investigative Committee is printed in a manner that individual investigative committee members can examine previous members decision {favorable or unfavorable) it leads to the possibility of disharmony within the lodge. While it is not always possible to deduct exactly who reported in a WHEREAS, all support staff and particular manner it is possible to do many committee members will need just that depending on who signs and to be housed and provided with per when. This is a process that should diem: and in some cases mileage provide anonymity. Additionally, reimbursement, all of which unduly Brothers should be instructed to not inflates the cost of the session; discuss their final decision regarding T H E R E F O R E B E I T favorable/unfavorable but encourRESOLVED, that the Annual Grand aged to discuss their opinions regardCommunication for the year 2022 ing the petitioner. commence on the time specified by the Handbook of Masonic Law Gen- T H E R E F O R E , B E I T eral Regulations, Article 1, Section 1; or such other date set by the Grand RESOLVED, that the word “only” Lodge in Annual Communication be interjected in the following senassembled; and that it be conducted tence in Article VI, Section 3, pg. 30, in the city of Alexandria, Louisiana “All three members must only sign at the Alexandria Riverfront Center the report without disclosing how its where sufficient facilities are located. individual members report as regards “favorable” or “unfavorable”. And Author of Resolution: N u m b e r o f S i g n a t u r e s : 1 6 that the following sentence be added after said sentence. “The individual members of the investigative commitRESOLUTION 2020-11 tee must contact the lodge secretary separately and report their recomRefer to: Article VI Initiation, Admendation favorably or unfavorably vancement and Affiliation Section: 3 Page: 30 and Sundry and that the secretary records the Forms Section: Report of Investiga- recommendation on the investigative tive Committee Page: 122 report.” Whereas, HOML states that “All three members must sign the report without disclosing how its individual members report as regards “favorable” or “unfavorable”, and “the Master is charged with the responsibility of protecting any unfavorable report from the committee. An unfavorable report of a member of the investigative committee has the character of a black ball.”

Author of Resolution: William (Bill) Salmon, W.M., Trinity Union #372 Number of Signatures: 1

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