The Arizona Keystone Scientia Co ronati Research Lodge #4 F. & a. m. Newsletter jul â€“ sep 2010 A.L. 6010
Volume 3, Issue 3
The Arizona Keystone Volume 3, Number 3 Jul - Sep 2010 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF George Weil, Master MANAGING EDITOR Keith Rosewitz, Secretary The Arizona Keystone is an official publication of Scientia Coronati Research Lodge #4 F. & A. M. and printed quarterly. Unless otherwise noted, articles appearing in this publication express only the private opinion or assertions of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Scientia Coronati Research Lodge #4 F. & A. M. or the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arizona.
Articles are subject to editing and becomes the property of Scientia Coronati Research Lodge #4 F. & A. M. No compensation is allowed for any article, photographs, or other materials submitted for publication.
Permission to reprint articles will be granted upon written request to the Editor. When reprinted, articles should note “Reprinted with permission of The Arizona Keystone (Month, year).”
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3. MASTER’S NOTES
Editor: The Arizona Keystone 773 S. Maple Lane Chino Valley, AZ 86323
4. PEN AND PAPER
Master’s Notes My Brothers, The year 2010 s beginning to wane. We must begin to plan for the dawn of the new year. I have deliberately chosen articles from the magazine “Freemasonry Today” because of the value of information that it contains. I hope you found those articles as informative as I have. Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are the three most important tenants of Freemasonry and the one that this newsletter will focus on is Relief or Charity. There are many ways to understand charity as, like prayer it means something different from person to person — and even for the same person, it might be different at different times. Maybe the act of charity defines each of us, makes us more aware of our Masonic identity. Charity reflects our inner character that speaks volumes when it comes to the relief and suffering of worthy brother masons their widows and orphans.
PEN AND PAPER Yasha Beresiner Looks at Some Unusual Artifacts in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London Charity is one of the three great principles on which Freemasonry rests and it is rich in history and tradition. Masonic charity has an impressive past expressed in artifacts both of antiquity and more recent times. This was well demonstrated in the exhibition in London’s Freemasons’ Hall. The four major charities we have today were established in 1974 when a report by Sir Arthur Bagnall recommended that the Masonic charities should be brought together into four organizations, central of which would be the Grand Charity. The same report also recommended that Masonic charity should extend beyond Freemasonry itself in order to aid other worthy causes.
Keyser’s Jewel Martin Cherry and Mark Dennis, librarian and curator respectively, at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London – in fact, the fifth Masonic charity - showed us a few more curious items that are such a perfect example of the extent to which charity has always played a part in every Freemason’s heart. The most overt symbol of every brother’s charitable stance is the charity breast jewel. One in particular is outstanding: the ‘Sussex Jewel’. It invariably bears the date 1830 when it was instituted by the then Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex. A named and dated bar attached to the collar of the jewel indicated that a brother had served more than once as Steward to a festival and had personally made a donation. Today, although rule 253 in our Book of Constitutions is still in effect, the amalgamation of the first two of the charities named there makes new presentations of the jewel obsolete. Between his initiation into Isaac Newton University Lodge, No. 859, in 1867 and his last Stewardship of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls in 1928, Charles Edward Keyser (1847 – 1929) served almost annually on all of the three charities concerned during the course of his sixty-one year Masonic career. His ‘Sussex jewel’ and collar is a colorful and extraordinary object with 118 bars evenly distributed showing his stewardship of all three main charities. It is in many ways symbolic of Keyser’s whole-hearted dedication to Freemasonry. He was exceedingly wealthy and successful in his private life, a member of thirty-six lodges and a Past Master of twenty-four of them. He always assured the qualification of his lodges to charitable causes, often by contributing personally.
Grand Charity Boxes The most senior of today’s charities is The Freemasons’ Grand Charity established in January 1981 but able to trace its roots back to 1720s, just a few years after the establishment of the first Grand Lodge in June 1717. Its annual donations - exceeding £ 6.8 million in 2008 are dispensed equally within and beyond Freemasonry. The Charity relies on income from Festivals and, of course, from individual donations by lodge members. Every lodge is equipped with a charity box and some took the initiative to create unusual artifacts for the collection of funds. The now erased Arts Lodge No. 2751, commemorated two of its famous Past Masters, Henry Ashley and F Winton Newman, Grand Superintendents of Works, architects of Freemasons’ Hall, by re-fashioning into a charity box an original stonemason’s maul used in the building of the Peace Memorial. Silver plaques on the base and along the rim below the handle of the 250mm high maul are engraved with a special dedication to the two Brethren and dated 1934, the year of the consecration of the new Freemasons’ Hall. Another curious charity container of porcelain by the Derby manufacturers Stevenson & Hancock has modeled emblems of all the Orders of the Craft, and beyond, embedded on the rim of a plate which is covered with a beehive-shaped dome in which a slit allows the deposit of coins. The Latin text along the edge translates: He gives twice he who gives readily.
Antients’ Medal The charitable side of Freemasonry has been manifested throughout Freemasonry’s history. When, in 1751, the Antients Grand Lodge was formed in London, in direct competition to the Premier Grand Lodge of 1717, it immediately established itself as a charitable body intent upon the welfare of its members. A splendid oval jewel 58mm by 75mm refers to the Charity Committee of Ancient Masons Instituted AD 1800 AM 1560. The beautifully hand-engraved gilded jewel, dated 28 June 1811, depicts on one side, charity standing suckling a baby held with her right hand while she holds a young girl with her left. To her right a young boy clings to her flowing robe while holding a flaming heart. After the union in 1813, the general funds of both grand lodges were combined into a Board of Benevolence and charity continued as the predominant priority of the United Grand Lodge of England. 5
Piggy Bank The body first founded by Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini in 1788 for the schooling of girls became, in 1986, the Masonic Trust for Boys & Girls; it was granted the title ‘Royal’ in May 2003. Today only the independent Royal Masonic School for Girls still survives, and highly successfully. The charity is intent on providing funds for the education up to University level of all children and grandchildren of needy Freemasons. It may have been the grand-children that the West Lancashire Province had in mind when they produced a quaint and amusing piggy bank for the 1966 Festival. It is decorated with the colorful girl’s face with blonde hair and big blue eyes topped by golden eyelashes and heart shaped red lips!
Certificates One of the long-standing features of the Masonic year have been the Charity Festivals held by a different Province each year. They raise huge sums of money now distributed to the present day Masonic charitable Trusts. In the past, the relatively large amounts raised were recorded on large and beautifully ornate certificates presented to the presiding Freemason on each occasion. An attractive sepia toned certificate of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls lists the Prince of Wales as the Patron of the Institution. It was presented by the committee to W H Rylands in grateful recognition of valuable services rendered on the 103rd Anniversary Festival 12 May 1891. The sum raised by 266 Stewards totaled £ 8,617.2.6, a very considerable sum at the time. Another brightly colored certificate is that of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, set up by the eccentric Dr Robert Crucifix in 1842. It was originally, rather unattractively, named the Institution for Aged and Decrepit Freemasons and the first home founded in 1850 had the tasteless title of the Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Decayed Freemasons. Fortunately the heading on the 1892 certificates reads Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution for Aged Freemasons and Widows of Freemasons. The sum here collected by some 1500 Stewards is a staggering £ 67,422. Both certificates measure 634mm by 500mm. Time and space have never favored us with these series of articles. Once more we touched only the surface of available material, especially in a collection as large and substantive as in our Library and Museum of Freemasonry. We looked at a small selection of artifacts that reminded us of the essence of our Craft: that charity is the true cornerstone of the Masonic edifice. (Reprinted by permission of Freemasonry Today. Autumn 2009—Issue 50.)