Volume 15 Issue 1 No. 115 January 2019
Cover Story, Burns and Freemasonry in Dumfriesshire Rank is but a Guinea Stamp Did You Know? Jacob’s Ladder Burns Lodgings in Edinburgh Lodge Burns Immortal 1730 Famous Freemasons – Gutzon Borglum The 24 Inch Gauge Rays of Masonry The Old Past Master Working With Wisdom Did You Know? The Tenets The Working Tools of a Canadian Mason
Main Website – Burns and Freemasonry
In this issue: Cover Story ‘Burns and Freemasonry in Dumfriesshire.’ This is the third in a trilogy of Articles about Burns written by R.T. Halliday. The previous two are in earlier editions of SRA76. Page 4, ‘Rank is but a Guinea Stamp’ From the pen of author Julian Rees Page 6, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 11, ‘Jacob’s Ladder.’ Page 12, ‘Robert Burns Lodgings in Edinburgh’ Where Burns stayed in the Capital. Page 14, ‘Lodge Burns Immortal 1730’. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 18, ‘Gutzon Borglum’ Famous Freemason. Page 21, ‘The 24 Inch Gauge.’ The fist degree working tool. Page 22, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “The Twenty-four Inch Gauge” Page 23, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “Attendance”. The second in this series. Page 25, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 27, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 29, ‘Masonic Auld 100’ Page 29, ‘The Tenets’ Page 31, ‘The Working Tools of a Canadian Mason.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Burns and Freemasonry’ [link] 1
Front cover – Adapted Stock Picture
BURNS AND FREEMASONRY IN DUMFRIESSHIRE In previous dissertations1 I dealt in turn with the Masonic features of Burns’s life in Ayrshire and in Edinburgh. To complete the trilogy indicated therein there remains but the concluding stage, his eight years’ residence in Dumfriesshire. There, again a farmer and among Masonic confreres, he was back in his natural rural element. But his personal activities in Freemasonry do not bulk so prominently in this stage. For this there were several cogent reasons, each contributing its quota to the result. In the first place there was a lack of opportunity. Masonic lodges in the eighteenth century had not the statutory dates and fixed places of meeting that are the rule today. Nor had Dumfries brethren the Masonic enthusiasm which Burns and his colleagues had helped to infuse into the Ayrshire circles around the Kilwinning centre. For example, the Lodge in which Burns became an office-bearer in Dumfries had no meeting between the St. John Festival in 1793 and that of 1794; and the senior local lodge had to pass a regulation in 1788 that “any member within the district of Masonry who does not dine annually with the Lodge upon St. John’s Day shall pay one shilling for his dinner or be expelled.” 1
Ayrshire, Burns Chronicle, 1929’ Edinburgh, Burns Chronicle, 1947
Again, there was in the earlier days of his residence in the county lack of time. During this period he was a married man with the responsibilities and anxieties of a household and the nearest lodge was six miles away. He was a very busy man. Not only had he virtually to rebuild his steading in addition to the routine work of his farm, but from the autumn of 1789 he was an officer of Excise with jurisdiction over ten rural parishes, travelling in this latter capacity over two hundred miles each week, mostly on horseback. Throughout a year’s loyal Volunteer service he never once missed the weekly training parade. In addition to those strenuous physical exertions his literary output was phenomenal. Finally, there was the health factor; he was a very sick man. His early hardships had by this time seriously undermined his constitution and the effects were beginning to make themselves apparent. But it is the Masonic element in his career which concerns us at present and despite these obvious handicaps the Dumfries epoch has much that is directly and indirectly of more than ordinary Masonic interest. But of that anon. Burns’s first introduction to Dumfriesshire was during his Border tour in 1787 when he spent a week in the county town and received the Freedom of that Royal burgh. A similar honour was later conferred on him by two other Royal Burghs in the county, Lochmaben and Sanquhar. Those with Annan and the adjacent burgh of Kirkcudbright formed the constituency of Dumfries Burghs which conjointly returned a member to Parliament. Burns wrote the political squib, “The Five Carlins” in connection with the election contest in 1789 which has an indirect Masonic association. In this skit he personified as the carlins the five burghs and parodied their differences over the candidates seeking their suffrage. 2
One of those candidates was Capt. (later Major) Wm. Miller, the second son of Patrick Miller of Dalswinton, the Poet’s landlord, and he was portrayed in the lampoon as a “Sojer youth.” He won the 1799 election and became M.P. for the Burghs. He later joined St. Luke’s Lodge in Edinburgh and served as its Master from 1807 to 1811. He was a member of Grand Committee of the Grand Lodge of Scotland from 1809 till 1814 and in 1813 was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Dumfriesshire. During this first visit to Dumfries above recorded Burns paid a visit to Patrick Miller by arrangement, he having purchased the estate of Dalswinton on the River Nith two years previously. They had foregathered in Edinburgh and Miller, aware of his predilection for an agricultural life, had offered a lease of a farm on his estate on advantageous terms. For throughout his brief heyday in the Metropolis. Burns cherished no illusions as to what his future course was likely to be, and such tentative plans as he had in his mind were, in the terms of his first Masonic minute, "'aid in accordingly," As early as March, 1787, he wrote to Mrs. Dunlop, "I intend to return to my old acquaintance, the plough, and if I can meet with a lease by which I can live, to commence farming"
was doing himself flagrant injustice. This was very typical of him. Although somewhat dubious as to the outlook Burns took the farm of Ellisland six miles north of Dumfries as from Whitsunday, 1789 It was described as a "poet's choice" so far as scenery was concerned, but a ramshackle place requiring as above indicated much masonic work of a more laborious type than he was accustomed to in order to render it habitable for his dependants. As another string to his bow he obtained the promise of an appointment in the Excise. Carlyle thought the combination a reasonable one, but how far it was a feasible proposition for one in his condition and circumstances was soon to be demonstrated. In accordance with his plans, however, he underwent the requisite six weeks course of training prior to moving to Ellisland. His instructor was the Tarbolton excise officer, James Findlay, who, incidentally, was to succeed him as Depute Master of St. James Lodge later in the year. The prospect of the toil entailed by the Ellisland renovations served to damp the ardour of Burns. But once again he relied for consolation on his Masonic brethren for he wrote to Hugh Parker, Kilmarnock, soon after his entry;
Three months later, however, he wrote to James Smith of Linlithgow, " I have yet fixed on nothing with respect to the serious business of life. I am just as usual a rhyming, mason-making, raking, aimless, idle fellow. However, somewhere I shall have a farm soon."
Wi' a' this care and a' this grief, And sma' sma' prospect of relief, And nought but peat rook i' my head. How can I write what ye can read! Tarbolton, twenty-fourth o' June Ye'll find me in a better tune."
He was doubtless referring here to his active work in St. James Lodge at this time but
This anticipated date was the annual summer Masonic festival of St. John the Baptist and the Installation of Findlay as the new Depute Master of the Lodge to case the
burden on his shoulders. Despite this effected change, however, and the assertion made by Dr. Robert Chambers in his " Land of Burns," the St. James minute-book shows that Burns presided at meetings held, at Mauchline—for the Lodge was empowered to meet in either place—on 21st. October and 11th November, although these minutes are not among those which bear his own signature. He was then living in a hut near his new homestead, described2 by him as “an old smokey spence far from every object I love or by whom I am beloved,” labouring each day on his farm and travelling each week-end forty-five miles to his old home at Mossgiel. For here his wife was undergoing instruction in farm management from his mother and sisters preparatory to joining him in December.
dates from 1750 when it elected to throw in its lot with the new central governing body. It is now No. 53 on the roll as the "Dumfries Kilwinning " Lodge. This was not the lodge to which Burns gravitated although it has interesting associations with him. Here his eldest son, Robert, was initiated in August 1833 after his retiral from the Stamp Office in London with 29 years service and the minute records that “as a mark of respect to his illustrious descent it was agreed to elect him without payment of the usual fees." He later acted for some years as its Secretary and became Master in 1845. He died in 1857. It is also of passing interest to note that Dr. Blacklock, Burns's Masonic friend, was also initiated here prior to his translation to Edinburgh where he affiliated to Lodge St. Luke.
Although to Burns in his cheerless plight Dumfries was then3 “This strange land, this uncouth climb, A land unknown to prove or rhyme,” it had at this period the distinction of a fashionable resort; “a minor capital ruling in the South with nearly as much sway as Edinburgh rules the East. It is a place of snugness, of opulence, of tests and of pretension, as the residence and resort of genteel families, who form a comparatively large proportion of its population and give a very perceptible tone to its manners.” (Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland; 1866) It was also rich in old Masonic lodges. Although its population was but 8000 it could boast of no less than five. The senior of these was 'Ye olde Lodge of Dumfries" claiming precedence from 1575. It still treasures records from 1687 and four copies of the “Ancient Charges " of much earlier date. Its charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland itself constituted in 1736,
Whether because of its name or its early connection with the Customs and Excise service the Lodge patronised by Burns was Dumfries St. Andrew's, No. 179. It dated from 1774 and was colloquially known later as “Burns’s Lodge." Here he affiliated on 27th December, 1788, the palpable inaccuracies in the minute of the occasion being doubtless the sequel to the celebration recorded. “St. John's Day, 27th December, 1788. The Brethern having Selebrated the Anniversary of St. John in the usual manner and Brother Robt. Burns in Aelliesland of St. Davids Strabolton Lodge, No.178 being present the Lodge unanimously assumed him a member of the Lodge being a Master Masson he subscribed the regulations as a member. Thereafter the Lodge was shut. Tim Mackenzie.” Burns remained an active member of this Lodge until his death. The most notable of the relics of his connection with it is the apron presented to him by the Laird of Hoddam, Master of the Lodge and Provincial Grand Master of Dumfriesshire. It is described as of “Chamois leather, very
Letter to Mrs Dunlop, 14th June 1788. Epistle to Hugh Parker
fine, with figures of gold some of them relieved with green, others with a dark red colour. On the underside of the semicircular part which is turned down at the top is written in a bold fair hand, ‘Charles Sharpe of Hotham to Rabble Burns. Dumfries, Dec. 12, 1791.’ ” In those days there was no restriction on the embroidery or embellishment of the Masonic apron such as is in force today and artists were at liberty to adorn them with any designs which might appear to them appropriate. Hence the gold and green figures depicted on this presentation one. The part turned down at the top, the flap, has the semicircular shape peculiar to Scotland, those of England and Ireland and most others being triangular. In August, 1791, the Lodge took part in an important Masonic function, the laying of the foundation stone of the new bridge over the River Nith. This bridge was to replace the old thirteenth century structure close by, which was justly reputed to be the finest specimen of this type of masonry in Scotland and second only to London Bridge in the British Isles. Although there is no known record extant of Burns’s presence at this ceremony it is highly improbable that he would miss such an outstanding Masonic event in his immediate vicinity in which his own lodge bore a share. The bridge was opened for traffic in 1794. The foundation stone had an elaborate Latin inscription which is translated thus : “By the will of Almighty God, in the reign of the most august prince, George 111, and in a most flourishing period of the British Empire, the foundation stone of the bridge over Nith, to be built, for public convenience and at the joint expense of the county and town of Dumfries and Stewarty of Kirkcudbright, was laid amid the acclamations of a numerous concourse of spectators by Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch Esq., 5
Grand Master of the Mason Lodges constituted in the southern district of Scotland, accompanied by a respectable body of the Order, on the 19th. August of the Christian era 1791, from the institution of Masonry may the undertaking be fortunate and merit the approbation of the posterity.” The inevitable crisis at Ellisland occurred in 1791 and in November of that year Burns gave up his lease, sold off his stock and effects at what he considered a good figure and prepared to devote his whole time and remaining energy to his new profession of gauger; “Searching auld wives' barrels. Ochon, the day! That clarty barm should stain my laurels; But what'll ye say! These movin’ things ca'd wives an' weans Wad move the very hearts o' stanes” He had secured a transfer to Dumfries town in December with increased emoluments and he moved to a small house in the Wee Vennel there, now Bank Street. From this time he was freer to attend the meetings of Lodge St. Andrew's and of sixteen meetings held from this time until his death he is recorded as attending eleven. The list of these is: 1791. 27 December 1792. 6 February 1792. 14 May 1792. 31 May 1792. 5 June 1792. 22 November 1792. 30 November 1793. 30 November 1794. 29 November 1796. 28 January 1796. 14 April
In May, 1793, he removed to a more commodious dwelling in “Millbrae Hole” or Mill Vennel, now renamed Burns Street. He was appointed a Steward of Lodge St. Andrew's in February, 1792, and on 30th. November was elected Senior Warden. In this office he was present on St. Andrew's day the following year and again in 1794, no meetings as already noted having taken place in the interval. At the meeting on 5th. June, 1792, the minute records, “Ed. Andrews of the Dragoons and John Syme, Esq., of Barncailzie, were admitted brethren without fees.” Syme was notorious for his hospitable board and Burns, one of his intimates, was a frequent visitor at his home. It was here that he inscribed on a tumbler the premonitory lines: “There’s Death in the cup, so beware! Nay more--there is danger in touching; But who can avoid the fell snare, The man and his wine’s so betwitching." Unfortunately Syme’s unenviable reputation as a left wing revolutionary was apt to compromise, and certainly did compromise Burns unduly, so frequently is a man judged by the company he keeps. On 28th. January, 1796, “Mr. James Georgeson, merchant in Liverpool appeared and who being recommended by Bro. Burns was admitted apprentice.” It was also agreed at this meeting, as was frequently the practice, that the admission fees of the new apprentice be applied towards the expenses of the assemblage! The last meeting at which Burns was present was on 14th. April. He had given his promise to attend on that occasion to see his friend Capt. Adam Gordon initiated and out of loyalty to him he fulfilled his promise
although he was then in the throes of his fatal malady. He died on 21st. July. Like Burns's Mother Lodge, first registered as “Torbolton's St. David's” the Dumfries St. Andrew's Lodge met with adverse circumstances and became dormant. But while the infusion of fresh blood had a stimulating effect at Tarbolton ensuring revival under the more up-to-date title of “St. David, Tarbolton and Mauchline,” no such luck attended Dumfries St. Andrew's. Its meetings, few and irregular at best, ceased altogether in 1804 and in 1816 it was finally deleted from the roll of Grand Lodge. In 1879 Grand Secretary Murray Lyon noticed that some of its effects were advertised for sale by public roup and he promptly secured them. When he reported his purchase to Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, then Grand Master Mason, Sir Michael paid the purchase price and presented the relies to Grand Lodge where they now repose. They include the minute-book with the record of Burns's affiliation and attendances and his signature to the byelaws; the lodge gavel and one of its aprons. In the Dumfries years the traducers of Burns were at their zenith. They were few but venomous for political, ecclesiastical and other reasons, as a revenge for his many biting satires, and Freemasonry bore the brunt of their heaviest artillery. Its convivial gatherings—and in those days many were undoubtedly bacchanalian—were adjudged responsible for his rapid physical deterioration. Nor were some of his brethren such as Syme and Heron, “companions of his social joys,” altogether guiltless in this respect. Early narrow-minded biographers accepted and unfortunately promulgated these propagandist calumnies and later ones 6
re-echoed them without due investigation. “But it is the doctor and not the moralist who must answer this.”4 Modern research in scientific fields affords tip, more enlightened perception, and here I quote the expert opinion of the late Sir James Chrichton-Browne, an eminent physician and Vice-President of the Royal Institution5: “Burns's death was not an accidental event but the natural consequence of a long series of events that had preceded it, though these events were not of the nature that Carlyle surmised. Burns died of endocarditis, a disease of the substance and lining membrane of the heart, with the origination of which alcohol has nothing to do. It was rheumatism that was the undoing of Burns. It attacked him in early life, damaged his heart, embittered his life and cut short his career.” Sir James, indeed, blames a faulty medical diagnosis due to imperfect knowledge and there is no question as to the truth of his conclusions. On his deathbed Burns said to his wife, “Don’t be afraid Jean; I’ll be more respected a hundred years after I’m dead than I am now.” The Dumfries Mausoleum and Trusts, the many Ayrshire memorials, and the multitude of Burns Associations throughout the Universe provide abundant fulfilment of that dying prophecy. R.T. HALLIDAY Reproduced from the Burns Chronicle 1948, pages 26-33 by the SRA76 Editor. See also SRA Jan 2018 & SRA76 Jan 2014. 4
Professor Hans Hecht of Gottingen in his "Robert Burns," 1936. 5 "Burns from a New Point of View," by Sir James Crichton-Browne
Rank is but a Guinea Stamp What originally did I join Freemasonry for? Comradeship. In that, I think I have a lot in common with many an aspirant. At the time of my initiation, I had only a hazy idea about the spirituality, the esoteric side. I had not done much research. True, I had been fascinated by Walton Hannah’s attack on Darkness Visible. Freemasonry Incidentally, I often wonder if Fr. Hannah knew that his book might encourage people to become Freemasons. What I had been told was that the lodge I was to join was a lodge of ritualists, and the idea of taking part in an arcane ceremonial sent a small frisson of excitement through me. But no, it was the prospect of closer comradeship with, I hoped, like-minded people that really attracted me. It goes without saying that I had little idea about hierarchy, beyond knowing that there was a Master who governed the lodge with his Wardens; still less did I know about promotions and adornments of elaborate regalia. Of course I was soon disabused of my naivety. The attention paid to giving precedence to Grand Ranks in the 1960s was enormous. And still earlier in the lodge’s history, I found that it had been the practice, in the 20s and 30s, for ‘junior’ Brethren to address those holding Grand Rank as ‘Sir’, and for them to address the ‘junior’ Brother by surname only, as in a boys’ boarding school, without even the benefit of the title ‘Brother’.
Well, that sort of thing has changed, and a good thing too. But it would be a mistake to suppose that, as an Order, we have ceased to be obsessed by rank. At the close of a meeting of one of the London Groups recently, the Chairman asked, despairingly, if there were any further questions, but not to do with promotion. London, of course, is rather better off than the Provinces, in not automatically commuting active ranks to past ranks, and indeed in not awarding past ranks like confetti in the first place. But the constant hankering after rank in all parts of the country seems not to have abated, however enlightened we seem to have become.
But, sadly, there are some for whom rank and precedence are the essential part of this. As Freemasons, we lay great stress on the importance of the Centre, that being a point in ourselves from which we cannot err. To know your centre is crucial, but it is important to distinguish between selfcentredness, which may be largely egotistical, and being centred on yourself, which is to know and understand yourself, what we might call self-awareness or selfvalidation. In our ceremonial, our aim is to become centred on ourselves and the group of which we form a part. In rank-andprecedence scenarios, the aim, I am afraid, may all too often be self-importance.
Up until the last issue of Freemasonry Today, at least, some of our readers seemed to share this obsession. I say some of them, because my own postbag bears ample testimony to the fact that for many of our readers the subject of promotion is profoundly boring. I had an email not so long ago from a Brother who said ‘It would be nice if we could rid our wonderful Craft of masonic graffiti. I love Masonry, and all it stands for,’ he continued. ‘But more and more I am dismayed by the number of Brethren I encounter who seem hell-bent on seeking rank, not as a way to serve, but to bolster their ego.’
All this sounds rather negative. But let me say that it is always revealing and heartening to see how many Freemasons happily pursue their masonic tasks without any thought of personal reward. Of this, my postbag also bears ample testimony. These Freemasons are those for whom the inscription on the Round Table in the film Camelot is true: ‘In seeking to serve others, we become free’. And as Free-Masons, what could be more worthy of aspiration than freedom?
There are two aspects to a Grand Lodge or Provincial Grand Lodge opening and closing, involving as they do very complex arrangements for processing in and out. On the surface, it looks very much like pomp and circumstance. But of course ceremonial plays a crucial part in everything we do as Freemasons. The opening of Grand Lodge is as much a way of raising our consciousness as is the opening of any private lodge. If we can concentrate on that, we may be getting somewhere.
Another two quotes come to my mind. One is from the Pro Grand Master of UGLE in his inspiring talk Whither Directing our Course at last summer’s Cornerstone Conference. He said, ‘I have read many booklets produced by different Provinces to explain Freemasonry to their candidates. So many of them, however, deal with the form and etiquette of the Craft and do not give any real explanation of its purpose and content.’ He was at pains to remind us that we need to understand what our Craft is and what it does for us as individuals. My second quote does in a way mirror the first. A young Freemason, initiated not long ago, 8
was told by a Past Master of his lodge before an installation meeting: ‘What goes on in there is all theatre. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a show’ Happily, not many Freemasons subscribe to that view.
DID YOU KNOW?
among sympathizers in France, Germany and the U.S.A., all working in their own fashion in the hope of reaching an accord between the Craft and the Roman Catholic Church. I myself was deeply concerned in the work, writing and lecturing on the subject and I had several important interviews with the Late Cardinal Heenan, who helped the cause very considerably in his approaches to the Papal authorities. The full story covering the public efforts and private negotiations has not yet been published. Suffice to say that in July 1974 Cardinal Heenan received a communication from the Holy See announcing that the Papal ban had been lifted. Roman Catholics everywhere [but not Officers of the Church of Rome] are now able to join the Craft without the penalty of excommunication and already a number of excellent Roman Catholic Candidates have joined the Craft in England. [See Carr's, "The Freemason at Work" pages 277-281].
Question: What effect did the "Papal Bulls" have on Masonry?
Question: What do the references to the Golden Fleece and Roman Eagle mean in our Apron Charge?
Answer. The whole story would require a very long answer and I must be brief. In the 240 years or so since the first Bull against the Masons was promulgated in 1738 by Pope Clement XII and reissued by many of his successors, in various forms during the next 150 years, they have prevented millions of good and respectable Roman Catholics from joining the Craft. Throughout the centuries no real attempt was made to bridge the gulf that separated the Freemasons from the Church of Rome, until after the Second Ecumenical Council. Some of the more liberal ideas that emerged from the Council, began to spill over into other fields and within a few years, spontaneous efforts were being started
Answer: The Order of the Golden Fleece was one of the most illustrious Orders of Knighthood in Austria, Spain and Flanders, founded by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy and the Netherlands in 1429. The insignia, or Jewel of the Order is a golden sheepskin with head and feet, resembling a whole sheep hanging the middle from a gold and blue flintstone emitting flames. The Eagle was to the Romans the ensign of Imperial power. In battle it was borne on right wing of each Roman legion. It was held in veneration by the soldiers and regarded as affording sanctuary. We cite the Golden Fleece and Roman Eagle to illustrate the respect and veneration that we owe to the simple white lambskin Apron.
Let’s get down and get to grips with this potentially wonderful system. Let’s forget self-promotion. Let’s clean up the graffiti, open up, and think for ourselves. Article by W. Bro. Julian Rees whom SRA76 acknowledges to be the author. Our grateful thanks go to him. This article is copyright and should not be copied unless permission is given by the author. Julian's website can be accessed at this link. https://www.julianrees.com/ This excellent article it the first in a series of articles by Bro. Julian Rees the magazine will feature over this year that Bro. Rees has given us permission to use.
Question: What is the peculiar characteristic of the colour Blue in Craft Lodges? Answer: The question seems to imply a quest for the symbolism of the two shades of Blue used in our [English] Craft Regalia, and I answer in that vein. The M.M. Apron in use today, was first prescribed in the Book of Constitution, 1815, by the newly United Grand Lodge. It was then "plain white lambskin ... with sky-blue lining and an edging 1"/2 inches deep, "virtually identical with today's Apron which is officially described as with "light blue lining and an edging not more than 2 inches in width ..." Before that time there seems to have been total freedom of choice, both as to the colour of lining or edging, and of the various decorations, printed, painted, or embroidered with which they were frequently adorned. On 24 June 1727, the Grand Lodge prescribed that Masters and Wardens of private Lodges should "wear the Jewels of Masonry hanging to a White Ribbon"; there was no mention of Aprons, which were Presumably of white skin. On 17 March 1731, Grand Officers were ordered to wear "blue Silk Ribbons" [ie Collars] and "Aprons lined with blue Silk". A note in the Rawlinson MS. c. 136, dated 1734, makes the earliest mention of "Garter Blue Silk" for the Grand Masters" Aprons and from this time onwards Grand Officers' Collars and Aprons are always linked with Garter Blue just as they are today. It is important to observe, however, that until 1745 at least, the blue Robes of the Garter Knights were of "a light sky-blue" and there is useful confirmatory evidence that this was the original shade of Grand Officers' regalia, sky-blue! In 1745, the light sky-blue was altered by King George ll to the present
rich Garter-blue, to distinguish his Garter Knights from those who received that honour from the Pretender. Our present use of the "garter-blue" so prescribed in the modern Constitution dates back to c. 1745. Finally, it must be emphasized, that in all the scanty evidence on the choice of colours of English regalia, there is never any hint "that the colours of Freemasonry were selected with a view of symbolism". [For the details in this, I am mainly indebted to a valuable paper, Masonic Blue: in A.Q.C. 23, pages 309-320, by the late Bro. Dr. W. J. Chetwode Crawley].
Question: Is Freemasonry a religion or has it a religion? Answer: No, to both questions. "A" religion connotes some particular religion. Freemasonry is nonsectarian. Before its altar Christian, Jew, Mohammedan, Buddhist, Gentile, Confucian, may kneel together. If the question be phrased "Is Freemasonry religious" then the obvious answer is that an institution "erected to God" which begins its ceremonies and ends its meeting with prayer; which has a Holy Book upon its altar; which preaches the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, of course, has a religious character, although, let it be emphasized again, wholly nonsectarian. All Grand Lodges require their initiates to express a belief and trust in God. No atheist can be made a Mason. The Questions and answers from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Did you Knowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
Jacobâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ladder We have often heard; â&#x20AC;&#x153;The covering of a Masonic lodge is a celestial canopy of diverse colours, even the Heavens. We hope to arrive at the summit by the assistance of a ladder, in scripture called Jacob's ladder. This ladder has many staves or rounds, but there are three principal ones, namely Faith, Hope and Charity;" There is a great purpose behind the lecture and a hidden Truth for those who wish to dig for its treasure. We do not profess to provide the only answer, but we might help you to obtain greater meaning and significance from this beautiful lecture. If it is true that Masonry is a progressive science, there is no better symbol of progress than a ladder, with its feet resting on the earth while the top points upward to the Heavens. We are taught to believe that we ascend step by step by faith, until we reach the summit of Masonry, which is, figuratively speaking, an ethereal mansion veiled from mortal eyes by the starry firmament. Let us now search for the hidden truths, hinted at in this figurative language by our ancient brethren. We are told that this ladder has many staves or rounds, but there are 11
three principal ones. Actually it ought to consist of seven -Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice as well as Faith, Hope and Charity. The four cardinal virtues were dropped from the lecture many years ago. Jacob's ladder represents the progressive scale of intellectual communication between earth and heaven. Upon this ladder, as it were, step by step man is permitted with the angels to ascend and descend until the mind finds complete re-pose in the bosom of Divinity. A newly initiated candidate stands on the floor of the lodge, typifying the world in which we live, and begins his ascent up the ladder of life from "earth" to "heaven", from "life" to "death", from the "mortal" to the "immortal". Step by Step he progresses until he reaches the top of the ladder, figuratively resting in the covering of the Lodge, which is symbolic of Heaven itself. Our discussion will centre around the three theological steps of the ladder, Faith, Hope, Charity. Let us consider why Jacob dreamt of a ladder, as recounted in Genesis 28. He outwitted his brother Esau, and, by false pretences, fooled his father Issac into giving him the blessing that rightfully belonged to Esau, the first born. Jacob stole Esau's birthright. His birthright was more than mere property. The real birthright of Esau was the High Priesthood of the tribe and family. It was the power, and the position in the community that it represented that made Jacob deceive his father and cheat his brother. The office of the Priesthood was the highest office of leadership, and Jacob wanted that birthright, so that he would assume the honour, the power and the prestige that accompanied that office. Jacob fled from the wrath and vengeance of Esau, who had realised the trickery and treachery of his brother. Jacob, in his flight,
came to Brethren at nightfall and lay down to rest, weary and afraid. While his exhausted body slept, his sub-conscious mind was still active and, by way of a dream, it illustrated his ambition in the form of a ladder reaching from earth to Heaven with angels ascending and descending. The angels that ascended to God were the same who descended from God to Man. Jacob had granted the glory, the power of the priesthood, but never for a moment had it occurred to him that with the privilege and power went responsibility and service to his fellowman. We all remember the time we stood in the West, facing the East, on the occasion of being made a Mason to solemnly declare upon our honour that we sought membership because of a sincere wish to render ourselves more serviceable to our fellow creatures. Were we strictly honest in that hour? Or were we prompted more by selfish ambition like Jacob? It is the great lesson of service that Jacob learned at Bethel with his head on a pillow of stone, and his mind in the clouds. Think of these things and, when next you see Jacob's ladder, remember that the progress made figuratively up and down the ladder is meant to teach you to descend to the level of your fellow men, so that you may fulfil the duty placed upon you in the lecture at the N.E. angle. It is a great achievement when you are received into a Masonic lodge and 'made a Mason', but much depends on why you sought that privilege. The full measure of success was not achieved when you were made a Mason; "success" is not a destination, but a continuous journey. To whom much is given, of him much shall be required. Such is the lesson veiled in allegory that is obtained from the story of Jacob's ladder. Sourced from - The Committee on Masonic Education Volume 1 No.1 – January 1981.
Burns Lodgings in Edinburgh Burns had seven periods of residence in Edinburgh, though his second, third and fourth periods were in the course of his second visit from Ayrshire, interrupted by the two excursions to the Highlands and the Ochertyres. In all he spent nearly sixty weeks in the capital. The dates of the visits and the places where he lodged were:1.-28th November 1786 to 5th May 1787 – Baxter’s Close (with John Richmond*) 2.-7th August 1787 to 25th August 1787 – Buccleuch Street (with William Nicol*) 3.-16th September 1787 to 4th October 1787 – Buccleuch Street 4.-29th October 1787 to 18th February 1788 – St. James’s Square (with William Cruickshank*) 5.-11th March 1788 to 22nd March 1788 – Buccleuch Street 6.-16th February 1789 to 28th February 1789 – St. James’s Square 7.-29th November 1791 to 6th December 1791 – White Hart Inn, Grassmarket BAXTER’S CLOSE Baxter’s Close, the eighteenth-century property of the Baxter’s or Bakers, was demolished in the making of Bank Street, formed in 1798. Upper Baxter’s Close was the alley adjoining (the still-existing) Lady Stair’s Close, over the entrance to which a tablet, erected by the Edinburgh Pen and Pencil Club, records that “ In a house on the east side of this Close Robert Burns lived during his first visit to Edinburgh 1786.” 12
Here he arrived on 28th November of that year, to share with his Mauchline friend John Richmond, a humble room in the house of Mrs. Carfrae. Richmond was probably the person in Edinburgh he knew most intimately on his arrival, but in spite of statements to the contrary, he did know others, including Professor Dugald Stewart*. In this lodging he remained during the whole period of his first visit to the city, until 5th May of the following year, when he left with Robert Ainslie* on a tour of the Borders. BUCCLEUCH STREET Burns arrived on his second visit to the capital on 7th August 1787, and a letter written from the Lawnmarket to William Tytler of Woodhouselee* indicates that he had again sough lodgings with Richmond. The Mauchline law-apprentice, however, had taken in another fellow-lodger, and, according to Chambers, the poet went to Buccleuch Street to stay with William Nicol of the High School, who is said to have lived above the Buccleuch Pend, which gives access to St. Patrick Square. Whatever the exact location of Nicol’s house may have been, we have Burns’s own authority that it was in an attic storey. In his letter to Archibald Lawrie# of 14th August 1787, he says, “here I sit, in the attic storey, alias the garret”; and in another, to Ainslie of 23rd August, he refers to “Mr. Nicol on the opposite side of the table …. Gabbling Latin so loud that I cannot hear what my own soul is saying in my own scull.” On 25th August 1787 Burns left with Nicol on his tour of the Highlands. On his return to Edinburgh on 16th September he appears to have stayed again with Nicol until he left with Dr. James Adair on his excursion to Harvieston and the Ochertyres. It is clear 13
from his correspondence that he stayed here also during his fifth visit – from 11th to 22nd March 1788 – on which occasion his chief business was to come to final terms about the lease of Ellisland. ST. JAMES’S SQUARE On his return from the Ochertyres on 20th October 1787, Burns lodged with another High School teacher, William Cruickshank, at No. 2 (afterwards No. 30) St. James’s Square. It was during his stay here that the correspondence with “Clarinda” began. The tenement of which Cruickshank’s house formed part is in the south-west corner of the Square, and is now part of the Register House, which at the time was separated from it by a grass plot. Cruickshank had the top flat and attics, and the gable of the tenement faced down East Register Street. The gable window in the top flat has frequently been stated to have been the window of Burns’s room, from which he saw “Clarinda” when she visited the Square; but that was the window of Cruickshank’s dining-room, which had also another window looking into St. James’s Square. We know from his correspondence that the poet occupied the attic storey of Cruickshank’s house. The building was comparatively new, and this was probably the most comfortable of all his Edinburgh lodgings. He had two apartments. There was a large room at the back with a window facing St. Andrew Square. From this room a door led into a small front room, with a small sky-light window looking into St. James’s Square; and there is little doubt that this was the window to which Burns referred to in his letter to “Clarinda” of 8th January 1788: “I watched at out front window to-day, but was disappointed.” When “Clarinda” visited the Square two
days later to get a glimpse of Burns and did not see him, he wrote her: “I am certain I saw you, Clarinda; but you don’t look to the proper story for a poet’s lodging, ‘Where Speculation roosted near the sky.’ I could almost have thrown myself over, for very vexation. Why didn’t you look higher?” That same evening she replied: “I could not see you, Sylvander, though I had twice traversed the Square. I’m persuaded you saw me not either …. All the time my eye soared to poetic heights, alias garrets, but not a glimpse of you could I obtain! …. Perhaps I shall see you again next week: say how high you are.” Though the attics have been removed, the rest of the building remains, converted internally to meet the requirements of H.M. Sasine Office. In Harrison’s Memorable Edinburgh Houses there is an illustration of 30 St. James’s Square, in which the artists shows large attic windows instead of small sky-lights. He shows also a building of three storeys, whereas the tenement consisted of basement, four storeys, and attics. Laurence Hutton, in literary landmarks of Edinburgh, states on the authority of “an old resident of St. James Square to whom Clarinda had pointed it out herself,” that the poet’s window “was the topmost or attic window in the gable looking towards the General Post Office in Waterloo Place.” In matters connected with Burns the “old resident” has repeatedly been proved to be a person with a fertile imagination, and his testimony is to be accepted only with a considerable pinch of salt. No reliance can be put on this oftrepeated story, for there was no gable window in the attic, as the plans of the building in the possession of H.M. Office of Works clearly show; and Burns himself has stated that he watched at the front window, which looked into St. James’s Square.
WHITE HART INN In a letter to “Clarinda,” written from Dumfries on 22nd November 1791, Burns wrote “I shall be in Edinburgh on Tueday first …. At Mr. Mackay’s White Hart Inn, Grassmarket, where I shall be put up.” According to Chambers. He arrived on 29th November and left for Dumfries on 6th December. A bronze tablet, erected by the Edinburgh District Burns Clubs’ Association, records that’s “In the White Hart Inn Robert Burns stayed during his last visit to Edinburgh, 1791.” Sourced from The Burns Chronicle 1939 – pages 72/76 * Known to be Freemasons # Burns mention Freemasons in a letter to Lawrie
"Born within the lowly cottage To a destiny obscure, Doom'd through youth's exulting spring-time But to labour and endure— Yet Despair he elbow'd from him; Nature breath'd with holy joy, In the hues of morn and evening. On the eyelids of the boy; And his country's Genius bound him Laurels for his sunburnt brow, When inspired and proud she found him. Like Elisha, at the plough." D. M. Moir.
Lodge Burns Immortal No. 1730 The Concept and Birth of a True Burns Lodge - Where brithers’ be for a’ that
Members of The Lodge and served as Right Worshipful Masters in 1984 and 1982 respectively. The Distinctive Regalia (Shepherds Check) was chosen and the decision on the Ritual was introduced in a foreword written By Jimmy Haddow:
Foreword by Bro James B Baird PM 1730
In the mid 1970’s a number of brethren of the Burns Ilk came to the conclusion that the town of Hamilton and surrounding area needed a ‘Burns Lodge.’
The contents of this booklet are an attempt to take time by the forelock and avoid the unwanted confusion which would arise when working each of our degrees would almost be unrecognisably dissimilar dependant on who was ‘on the floor’.
The concept of a Burns Lodge within the Hamilton area was first conceived by Brother Frank Elliot Dobbie PM, PSGM and Brother James (Jimmy) Haddow PM. Their aim was to form a true Burns Lodge and the pair met, over a dram of course, to decide what form the Lodge should take and what the name of the Lodge should be. With dram in hand and thoughts of the Bard in mind the toast was to the Immortal Memory of Scotia’s Bard Robert Burns, the reply from, we believe, Elliot Dobbie was ‘aye to Burns Immortal’. They both looked at each other and the name of the new Lodge was apparent to both of them. A Petition was made for the Erection of a new Lodge within Lanarkshire Middle Ward and at a Convocation of the Provincial Grand Lodge it was the Provincial Grand Junior Warden Bro David GF Steel PM of Lodge Bothwell Brig 1229 who proposed that a warrant be requested for the new Lodge, this was seconded by Brother Alex Dick PM Lodge Hamilton Kilwinning No 7. Both David and Alex were Founder 15
Signs and steps would be different one meeting to another; instructions to Candidates and ‘cross patter’ between Office Bearers would leave one Brother with no idea of what was going to be asked or how he was expected to reply. The Lectures will give adequate scope for the Brother who may wish to express himself individually and provide a refreshing change from parrot presentation. For this reason, the lectures in this booklet are abbreviated, merely showing how each part of the degree dovetails into the whole. The signs etc are not modelled on the working of any one of the 40 Lodges from which our founders’ members list is made up, but no brother should feel that he has too far to depart from the usages of his Mother Lodge. This is a fair average form of ceremonial work, abbreviated in parts in order that we can stay awake and proceed smartly from the classroom of Masonry with its chequered floor to the laboratory of our craft in harmony where we ‘souther’ what
we have been taught in the Temple. It is expected of Founders and Affiliates that where their Mother Lodge usage and Burns Immortal drill are at a variance they will remember the adage. ’When in Rome………’
Sime performed the Ceremony assisted by Brother Reverend J Stanley Cook BD, Senior Provincial Grand Chaplain.
This is our Lodge – in no way a Burns flavoured off shoot of any particular Lodge, nor a neutral venue for splinter groups tae get inta wee huddles.
The Provincial Grand Master then installed Brother Alistair Armstrong as the first RWM of the Lodge and Brother Alexander MacGregor, Depute Provincial Grand Master (first Honorary Member of the Lodge) installed the subordinate Office Bearers.
The list of founding members and Office Bearers included many well known names within and outwith Freemasonry including;
The Ceremony and subsequent Harmony / Burns Supper which followed took place within the Hamilton Town Hall, Hamilton.
George Young, Captain of Scotland and Glasgow Rangers FC (who gifted the Tylers’ sword); John Paton the Glasgow Rangers Chairman (who donated the Altar Bible), Robert Shearer another Rangers Captain and Frank Elliot Dobie the Choir Master of Glasgow Cathedral.
The following are a sample of years that have been edited and are ready for inclusion
There were many other gifts from well wishers including Bro Martin Pretorius from South Africa who donated the Founder members plaque, W Warrington PGJD of Lanarkshire Upper Ward who donated the Office Bearers jewels; Bro Ferguson from Lodge Robert Burns in Durban, South Africa also donated the square and compasses and Bro David Middleton donated all the printing and stationary. The Consecration took place on Saturday 5th January 1980 and thus it all began… Ceremony of Consecration Charter was granted on the 1st November 1979 and the Erection and Consecration was called on Saturday 5th January 1980. The Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Middle Ward Brother Robert Thomson
2004 The last day of the first month was the date for the Installation on Saturday 31st January. The snow had fallen heavily the night before but that did not effect the attendance as 126 brethren signed the sederunt book to see David W McMorris installed as the 24th Master of the Lodge in the Lodges’ 25th Anniversary Year. Provincial Grand Lodge was headed by J Wood SPGM and David GF Steel PM and Thomas G Cooper PM carried out the Installation duties with their usual and now expected high degree of skill and experience. In the year 3 petitioners were received but no new initiates came into the Lodge, tragically Mr David Clark had cleared the ballot but passed away due to ill health before his initiation. The Meeting of the Burns Lodges was this year in Dundee with 1788 as the hosts. Due 16
to some discussion on the format of this meeting the hosts carried out the degree on their own with DW McMorris leading the deputation of Burns Lodge Masters and commenting on the ritual. This was the last year that Lodge Robert Burns 440 would take part in the Burns Lodges Meetings, with Burns Immortal due to host the meeting in 2005. The October Meeting saw a Rededication Ceremony of the Lodge and Dedication of our new regalia to mark the Lodges 25th Anniversary. The Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Middle Ward lead the deputation into the Lodge and carried out the Ceremony with Provincial Senior Grand Chaplain Bro. Reverend Peter Price and Provincial Junior Grand Chaplain Bro Tom Davidson. The Ceremony of dedication being completed, Provincial Grand Master Bro Kenneth D Kennedy was invited to receive Honorary Membership of the Lodge, which he gratefully acknowledged. The Provincial Grand Master was then obligated by Bro David GF Steel PM before retiring with the Lodges thanks. The harmony which followed was well attended and the brethren were entertained by Bro Gordon Mather SM 1730 (PM 557) and Bro. James Clark PM 557. 2008 The venue was again Uddingston as Bro. Gordon Mather became the 28th Master of the lodge at the start of its 29th Year. Bro Gordon is a Past Master of Lodge Blantyre Kilwinning No 557 where he also serves as Secretary. After years of entertaining the brethren at our Burns Suppers Bro. Gordon – who is steeped in the Burns’ tradition 17
affiliated to the lodge in 2002 and was Substitute Master for Bro D McMorris in 2004. He was SM again in 2006 before taking the office of Senior Warden in 2007. 145 Brethren gathered to see the Installation Ceremony including the Provincial Grand Master Bro James L Jack who supported the Provincial Grand Lodge deputation which was headed by Bro William Perry, SPGM. The Installing Masters were then introduced and Bro Gordon installed into the chair by RWIM Bro David W McMorris on his first outing as an Installing Master. Bro Thomas G Cooper installed the Office Bearers for the 4th time in Burns Immortal (where he has also installed 2 masters). It was a busy year for the Lodge, with 3 candidates who had been initiated in November 07 eligible for their FC, MM and MMM degrees in the Year. There were also 3 brethren who passed the ballot for affiliation in the year and 3 honorary members – the first of whom was Bro William Thomson of 557 in March. Sadly, it was also a year where a number of beloved brethren passed away. Alastair Armstrong the first Master and Jim McAlpine (2nd treasurer) had not been at the lodge for a few years but were well remembered by the brethren. Our second master Bro James Dickson also passed away in this his 80th year and a degree in his memory at Lodge Darvel 971 with Burns Immortal and The Duke of Hamilton 1636 was barely over when we learned of the death of Bro Robert Gordon - Substitute Master. The lodge made an official visitation to Blantyre Kilwinning in May to confer the MM Degree. This was reciprocated at the
August meeting was in many ways a highlight of the year, with RWM welcoming his Mother Lodge to confer the MM degree on 3 of our candidates.
Famous Freemasons Gutzon Borglum
On the same day Honorary Membership was bestowed on Brothers James L Jack PGM and Bro William Jackson PM of Lodge Livingstone Stonefield 599. Bro James L Jack was taken by surprise as he was at the lodge to celebrate a milestone as its first Distinguished Service Membership was bestowed on Bro Alasdair Mathieson PM of 1730 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and a member of Blantyre Kilwinning 557 naturally! 78 brethren were in attendance for that meeting, which reflected on the popularity of RWM Bro Gordon Mather and Past Master brother Alasdair. There is no doubt that most freemasons when hearing the name John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum described as a famous Freemason would say, who? But famous and a freemason he is indeed, for Gutzon Borglum sculpted the iconic figures of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore at Keystone, South Dakota, USA, which is one of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best known monuments throughout the world.
This History of Lodge Burns Immortal No. 1730 was sourced from their website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 1730 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History.
Gutzon Borglum was born on March 25, 1867, in the Idaho Territory, the son of Danish immigrants. He left home as a youth and travelled to San Francisco to enrol at the Hopkins Art Institute to study art. Borglum was not happy with painting and decided to go to Paris and study sculpture and in 1887 he moved to Paris and was taken under the wing of Auguste Rodin, the sculptor. He returned to the United States in 1901 and soon opened a studio in New York 18
and in 1904 won a gold medal for his bronze ‘The Mares of Diomedes.’ Over the next few years, Borglum was kept busy sculpting various subjects, and in 1908 he carved from a solid 6 ton block of marble ‘The Head of Abraham Lincoln’, now currently on display at the United States Capitol building in Washington. Soon his reputation to execute sculptures on a grand scale had become well known and his next major project was when he was commissioned to carve an enormous figure of General Robert E. Lee on the face of Stone Mountain, Georgia by a group of Southern women (The United Daughters of the Confederacy) in 1916. However, artistic differences between the group and Borglum soon appeared, the women had planned a solitary figure but Borglum envisaged an assembly covering the full length of the mountain. The project was fraught with problems between either side, so much so, that the conflict resulted in a court case. Refusing to budge, Borglum in a fit of rage destroyed his models and plans, and the State of Georgia filed a suit against him. Borglum won, but he was dismissed from the Stone Mountain project. However the experience had given Borglum a dream, he had a vision of carving gigantic figures in Mountain rock, and when he was commissioned to carve a National Monument at Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota, he knew he would fulfil his destiny. In 1927 work began, Borglum had chosen to carve Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt because he believed they represented the spirit and ideals of America, he believed these four Presidents had the most impact on American history for the first 130 years. George Washington was chosen as one of the busts for Mt. 19
Rushmore to represent “Founding” as the founding father of the country. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence and is responsible for the purchase of the Louisiana Territory which doubled the size of the country; he was chosen to represent “Growth” because of his part in the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. Abraham Lincoln was President during the Civil War. A time when brothers were fighting brothers and the United States was deeply divided. Lincoln was determined to abolish slavery and preserve the union. Lincoln was chosen to represent “Preservation” because of his efforts to preserve the union during the Civil War. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. His leadership inspired great economic growth in the United States. He was instrumental in negotiating the contract for the building of the Panama Canal. Roosevelt was chosen to represent “Development” because of the tremendous economic growth during his presidency. The Monument is nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, near the aptly names town of Keystone. The mountain has had a variety of names including Slaughterhouse Mountain, an attorney from New York, Charles Rushmore (Kane Lodge No. 454) frequently travelled to the Black Hills and asked what the mountain was called, on being told, he said in jest, that it should be named after him because he visited it so often. It soon became to be referred to as Rushmore Hill and in June 1930 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names officially changed the name to Mount Rushmore. The monument was constructed using dynamite, jackhammers and hand tools with a total of 400,000 tons of rock being removed from the mountainside. The carving was done by 400 men under the
guidance of Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln Borglum, the men had been gold miners in the Black Hills chosen because they knew how to work with dynamite and use jack hammers, surprisingly, no one was killed during the construction. After the blasting of the rock the fine carving was done to create a smooth surface, the finishers were lowered down the 500-foot face of the mountain in bosun chairs held by 3/8-inch-thick steel cables. The heads are 60 feet in height and 45 feet wide, although not all heads are the same in dimension, each eye is 11 feet wide, the mouth 18 feet wide and Washington’s nose is 21 feet tall. The project was not without its obstacles. Jefferson had to be redone because the granite where he was to be carved was too unstable. He was initially to be positioned on the right side of Washington. Additionally, Washington was designed to be craved from his head to his waist. However, they ran into problems with a lack of funding and Borglum was forced to make a design change. On July 4th 1930, the head of George Washington was unveiled. Jefferson was completed in 1936, Lincoln in 1937, and Theodore Roosevelt in 1939. John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum died on March 6, 1941, from an aneurysm and never saw the completion of the monument. His son, Lincoln, took over the project, but due to a lack of funding, construction was forced to end in late October 1941. It had taken 14 years to compete, although it was only a total of 6 and a half years work on the construction, the rest was due to bad weather. The dedication ceremony took place on October 31, 1941. Both Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln were freemasons, on June 10, 1904, Gutzon Borglum was raised to a Master Mason in
Howard Lodge #35, F&AM located in New York City. He would serve as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge from 19101911. Borglum was appointed in 1915, to serve as the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Demark. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite in New York. Lincoln Borglum was Gutzon’s oldest son and named after his father’s favorite President, Abraham Lincoln. He followed in his father’s footsteps because, like his father and other family members, Lincoln was a gifted sculptor. He was also a photographer, author, and an engineer. He took over as his father’s assistant when his father’s original assistant left the project after seven years of dedication to creating the monument. Lincoln is best known for overseeing the completion the monument following his father’s death. Lincoln Borglum was a member of Battle River Lodge #9, AF&AM in Hermosa, South Dakota. There are many other figures in the story of Mount Rushmore and the National Monument who have a connection with Freemasonry, of the sculpted heads, George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt were both well-known as freemasons, Thomas Jefferson has never been confirmed as a Mason, but many Masonic historians believe to have made a Mason during his many visits to London or Paris. Abraham Lincoln had petitioned the Springfield Masonic Lodge in Illinois but requested his petition be held until after he served as President. Many of the men on the site were Masons, and the last living worker Brother Nick Clifford has spoken of his time with Borglum. On September 8th 2016, Masons from across the United States came together at Mount Rushmore with the Grand Lodge of South Dakota to celebrate its 75th anniversary. 20
The keynote speaker was Sovereign Grand Commander Ronald A. Seale, 33°, who said that Masons today are woven into the American community. “When you find [Masons], you find the fabric of America,” he said. Mt. Rushmore itself was crafted through the work of many Freemasons, and is a symbol of “the freedom to hope, and to dream, and the freedom to be, and the freedom to accomplish.” This article has been assembled by the editor from various sources and is not an original work.
The 24 Inch Gauge
“The Twenty-four-inch Gauge is an instrument used by operative masons to measure and lay out their work; but we’ as Free and Accepted Masons are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. Being divided into twenty-four equal parts, it is emblematical of the twenty-four hours of the day, which we are taught to divide into three equal parts; whereby we have eight hours for the service of God and distressed worthy brethren, eight for our usual vocations, and eight for refreshment and sleep.” 21
The above is all we talk about the 24” gauge in the ritual. There is no further clarification on how to enforce this division in our own lives, or reflection on what each of those pieces means. We are left to wonder how our lives are to be forced into this mould. It is interesting to note that the 24” gauge is the only Working Tool that comes with even these instructions. For example, we are not told how to “…divest the hearts and consciences of all the vices and superfluities of this life…”, or even what exactly that means. Here, however, we receive direct instruction: 8 hours for service, 8 for work, and 8 for refreshment. Upon hearing this, the newly initiated Mason may be forgiven for thinking “how am I going to do that?” In today’s culture, it can seem impractical to expect people to only work 8 hours. The lives of many Brethren now are dominated by getting to and from work, and the hours at the workplace. Then the Mason may have days off, when our “usual vocation” may not even be an option. Should he show up at the factory and demand they open the doors to let him work? The guidelines given in the explanation of the 24” gauge cannot be literally followed. One must get to and from work, take time to eat and sleep, and other issues. When paired with the Gavel, however, there is a more coherent message. The gavel is to be used as suggested above, to divest us of our vices and superfluities. By the use of these two Tools together, we are encouraged to examine our lives, find where there is extraneous “material”, i.e. non-productive parts of our life, and remove them. In most Lodges, the 24 in gauge is hinged, clearly showing the literal division into three segments. When one thinks of time being divided into three pieces, there are
several ideas which come to the fore. For instance, there are past, present and future; or the three stages of the life of man: youth, manhood, and age. Both of these ideas show time passing every man and Mason. We each have the same number of hours and minutes in a day, and must use them carefully. Wasting that precious resource that makes up our life in the pursuit of base pleasures and vices is to be avoided. How is one to spend eight hours serving God and distressed worthy brethren? Should the Mason spend a third of his life either on his knees or at the side of another Mason, helping him in his daily toil? It is worth noting that the “service of God” does not mean necessarily praying or spending time in a holy building. All religions have the concept of good works being holy and serving God. In feeding the hungry and helping the sick we each serve God. Further, the ritual text does not specify a Mason. While many infer that any use of the word “brother” in the ritual refers specifically to Masons, there is no reason why in this instance we cannot use the word and think of all our brothers here on Earth, and do good unto all. Raising our children to be godly, doing good works in the community, and helping others no matter their creed or station is truly serving God and our brothers. We may never arrive at a perfect 8-8-8 division of our days, but in being industrious and striving for this ideal will help us to become more productive, more a help to society, and more a positive influence in our community. Let the 24” gauge represent an ideal for which we strive. Reprinted from the Research and Education Committee of the Grand Lodge of Washinton, with thanks. The Graphic was created by the Editor in PSP7.
Rays of Masonry “The Twenty-four inch Gauge” A distressed brother is not always a brother in need of material assistance. To understand this is to understand the lesson of the twenty-four inch gauge. The very simplicity of a statement will often hide the meaning, and a great teaching will thereby escape our serious consideration. So important is the study of the twenty-four inch gauge that from it a philosophy completes within itself is possible of attainment. Time cannot be saved, that is, you cannot save two hours from today and spend them tomorrow. Time can only be spent. Neither can we take four hours from one part of the gauge and use it advantageously by bringing it forward to an entirely different part and use. The happiness derived from the study of the twenty-four inch gauge depends upon the application of the total into its proper and equal parts. In taking away from God and our brothers it may appear that we are very busy in our affairs, yet the fact remains that we are working against the Rule. God and man stand together as one part because unselfish service to man is the only true path to the service of God. If the twenty-four inch gauge intended to teach that we must only administer to a brother's physical need, there would be an excess of hours to spend. The truth is that our brothers need us, not our material gifts, and we need our brothers. To give ourselves means to give "that" many hours daily. The Rule is for our happiness. Service to God and man is a Divine Privilege.
Dewey Wollstein 1953.
am always highly encouraged because so many do attend. "You see, my brother, Masons are picked from the general body of men by two processes, and neither one of them works out for the very best interests of the Order. The first process is a man's making up his mind he wants to be a Mason. If we could go to the best men and ask them, we would get a lot better men than we do, of course. Equally, of course, we would vastly injure the Order by making it seek the man instead of the man seek its gentle philosophy. I wouldn't change that unwritten law for anything, but the fact remains that as the first selection of Masons is made by the profane, it isn't always for the best interests of the Order.
Attendance "There are a lot of Masons in this old lodge tonight" began the Old Past Master. "See the new faces? Must be most two hundred. Pretty good attendance, what?" "But is it a good attendance?" asked the Very New Mason. "Why, there must be six hundred members on the rolls. Seems a pity they can't all get out to enjoy this kind of an evening, doesn't it? Seems to me Masonry fails when she has so many on the rolls who don't come regularly to lodge." "I don't agree with you!" answered the Old Past Master. "Masonry succeeds because she gets so many of her members to take an interest! True, she might...if she were a wizard... so interest every one of her devotees that all would crowd the lodge room every meeting might. Then, I think, there would be no use for Masonry, because the millennium would have come. But in place of being discouraged because only a third or a fourth of our members attend, I 23
"The second selective work is done by committee. Now in theory every one appointed on a committee to examine a member is a sort of cross between a criminal lawyer, an experienced detective, a minister of the gospel, a super-perfect man, a well read Mason and an Abraham Lincoln for judgement! "But as a matter of fact most committeemen are just average men like you and me, and we do our work on committees in just an average sort of way, with the result that many a self-selected candidate slips into our ranks who has no real reason for being there. The theory is that all men become Masons because of a veneration of our principles. The fact is that a lot become Masons because their brother is one, or their boss is one, or they want to wear a pin and be a secret society member, or they hope it will help them in business. "They get into the lodge and find it quite different from what they expect. They learn
that they can't pass out business cards, that it doesn't help them because the boss belongs, and that they don't have to come to lodge to wear a pin. If they are the kind of men to whom Masonry doesn't appeal because of her truth, her philosophy, her Light, her aid in living, they wander away. They become mere dues-payers, and often, stomach Masons, who come around for the feed or entertainment. "Don't let it distress you. It takes all sorts of people to make a world and it would be a very stupid place indeed if we were all alike. There is room in the world for the man who doesn't care for Masonry. He has his part to play in the world as well as the man to whom Masonry makes great appeal. Do not condemn him because he has become a member of the fraternity and found it not to his liking. At least there is something in his heart which was not there before. "And let me tell you something, my brother. There are many, many men who become Masons, in the sense that they join a lodge and pay dues, although they never attend, who do good Masonic work. There is Filby, for instance. Filby has been a member of this lodge twenty years and has never been in it, to my knowledge, since the day he was raised. I don't know why. I rather think he was frightened, and showed it, and has been afraid of being laughed at, now that he knows there was nothing to be frightened about. But there was never need for money that Filby didn't contribute; there was never a committee appointed to work on the Masonic Home that Filby didn't head. There was never any work to be done outside the lodge that Filby didn't try to help do it. He is a good Mason, even if he doesn't attend lodge.
"And there are lots of young men who join the fraternity and neglect their lodge in early years, who turn their hearts towards it in later years; boys who are too fond of girls and dances and good times to spend a moment in serious thought while they are just in the puppy age, who grow up finally to become thoughtful men, turning their hearts toward the noble teachings of this fraternity and becoming most ardent lodge members and attendees. "Oh, no, my brother, never weep because we have but a portion of our membership at a meeting. Be glad we have so many; be happy that those who come, come so regularly and enthusiastically, be proud that there is such a large number of men content to sit through the same degrees year after year to learn what they can, let sink deeper the hidden beauties of the story, absorb a little more of that secret doctrine which lies behind the words of the ritual. "Masonry is not for yesterday, for today, for tomorrow alone. She is for all the ages to come. The Temple Not Build With Hands cannot be built alone by you and me, nor in a day, nor yet a century. And remember that the stone rejected by the builder was finally found the most necessary of them all. Perhaps the man who doesn't come now to lodge may be the most earnest and powerful Mason of tomorrow. Only the Great Architect knows. Masonry is His work. Be content to let it be done His way." This is the second article in this our new regular feature, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Old Past Master,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Justice, Peace and Truth Many Jews are Masons, many Masons are Jews. The two loyalties go well together. Others may argue, largely on the basis of hearsay and misinformation, that Masonry is incompatible with religion or even a threat to it because it borrows Biblical terminology, cites Scriptural episodes and personages, requires a belief in God, and invokes Divine blessing upon its members and their proceedings. We find all this more than a little strange. Since when was it reprehensible to carry the Bible and its teachings into every avenue of life? Since when was it forbidden to think of God and call upon His Name wherever we might find ourselves? Jews find much point in a story about Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, who loved his fellow with a surpassing love. Once, Levi Yitzchak’s attention was drawn to a fellow Jew greasing the axles of his wagon whilst wearing his tallit, his prayer shawl. “What a disgrace that fellow is,” said the informant; “Fancy soiling your tallit and profaning the Name of God whilst putting grease on your axles!” Levi Yitzchak gently disagreed. “Lord of the Universe,” he said, “What a wonderful man of piety this is. Not even for a moment, not even when he is mending his wagon, will be forget You and turn his mind away from sacred thoughts!” Masonry is not a religion, though some of its rituals and routines are religious. It encourages every one of its members to be active in the religious denomination of their birth or affiliation. It stands for an overall belief in God, but directs its members to their own church, synagogue or other place 25
of worship to discover how God may be understood and worshipped in line with one’s own religious tradition. Religion, and Masonry, both confront a major array of challenges in the environment of to-day. It is hard for those who believe in old-time ethics to come to terms with the many sordid things that are part of today’s daily scene. Injustice, victimisation, exploitation, dishonesty, corruption, arrogance, selfseeking, callousness – the list is endless. For details, see your daily newspaper. Alas for a world in which people are afraid or unwilling to try the decent way, the way of humility, honesty and helpfulness! An allegory in Midrash tells that before creating man, God was in two minds. He called the angels together and asked their opinion: “Should I create man, or should I not?” “Create him not!” said the Angel of Justice. “He will be unjust towards his brother man; he will injure the weak and exploit the vulnerable!” “Create him not!” said the Angel of Peace. “He will stain the earth with the blood of his brother; he will spread mischief and discord everywhere!” “Create him not!” said the Angel of Truth. “Though You create Him in Your image and impress the stamp of truth on his brow, yet will he desecrate Your creation with falsehood and dishonesty!” They would have said more, but Mercy, the youngest and dearest angel-child of the Eternal Father, stepped up to the Divine Throne and said, “Father, create him! Make him in Your image, as the crowning glory of creation. When others doubt or forsake him, I will be with him still. I will touch his heart
with pity and make him kind to others weaker than himself. When he goes astray, turning from the ways of justice, peace and truth, I will gently direct him back to the right path again, and turn his errors to his own good!” The Father of Mercy, says the Midrash, listened to Mercy’s voice, and with Mercy’s support He created man. Not that He was not tempted a million times to regret His decision. Not that Mercy was not tempted a million times to rue her optimistic view of human nature and its potential for good. But those who have eyes to see what miracles of the human mind have enriched the Divine creation, not least the scientific, technological and cultural wonders of the twentieth century, must never lose faith in man’s capacity to achieve miracles of morality and mercy with his heart, spirit and conscience; miracles at least as impressive as the miracles of man’s mind. Three miracles in particular, represented by the angels who opposed our creation: Justice, Peace and Truth. The first is justice. In the expressive Australian phrase, a fair go: The courage to be fair and just despite the pressures of blackmail and bribery and expediency: The capacity to give everyone his due without distinction as to race, colour, creed or sex. The second is peace. Someone said that it is not peace which is the dream; hatred and war are the nightmares from which mankind will one day awake. Peace is not just the absence of war. It is concern for each other, rejoicing in each other, generosity of thought and word and deed.
The third miracle is truth. The world is full of broken promises, ambiguous half-truths, hypocritical double-talk. Says the Midrash: “The truth is heavy; therefore its bearers are few”. The miracle is to be able to persist till you are reasonably sure of the truth, and to keep your mouth shut tight rather than peddle a falsehood or a misleading halftruth. The Angel of Mercy recognised a fundamental decency in human beings which would at last rouse itself. The task of religion, of Masonry, of all movements that stand for an ethical approach to life, is to build up a climate of opinion in which it is good to be good, and doing the right thing will become second nature. Forty-five years after the end of the Holocaust, it is pertinent to recall Leo Baeck, a leader of German Jewry, who was imprisoned in Theresienstadt. He refused to abandon his dignity or his morale. He said on his release: “Some of us were determined to demonstrate that the goodness in man can be victorious over brutality and bestiality.” As we look back on the twentieth century, we see what brutality and bestiality can do. Because man can be worse than a beast, how can anyone believe in man? But if you look you can also find wondrous deeds of love, loyalty and compassion. Because man can be almost an angel, how can anyone not believe in man? Let this service unite us in the prayer that man can be truly man, and earn the approbation of God, the Great Architect of the Universe. By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Is the second degree a spin-off from the first? When did it start; when is the first reference to it? Answer: The question is much more complicated than it appears to be. In England the Old Charges, beginning in c. 1390, are the earliest documents giving brief outline of the admission ceremony into a lodge. Until c. 1650, all of them indicate the existence of only one ceremony, one degree. In the 1400s we have many legal decisions showing that in those days and apprentice was chattel of his master, and his services could be bought and sold in the same way as the master might buy and sell a horse or a cow. Because of these lawsuit decisions, I am convinced that in the days when there was only one degree, it cannot have been for the apprentice; it must have been for the fully trained mason, the ‗fellow of the craft‘. Please note that there is no evidence of secret modes of recognition until c. 1650 (though they probably existed in the mid1500s) and we have no details of the actual contents of any ceremonies until 1696. In the early 1500s, a series of Statutes of Labourers begin to recognize the status of apprentices in the mason trade. We have no English Lodge minutes in the 1500s, but in 1598 and 1599 we have the beginnings of two sets of Scottish Lodge minutes (the Lodge at Aitchison‘s Haven and the Lodge of Edinburgh, respectively) showing the existence of two degrees, ‘entered apprentice’ and ‘fellow of craft’. 27
The Lodge and Town records of Edinburgh are specially valuable, when they are examined together, they reveal that there were four stages in the trade career of a mason in those days: Being ‘booked’ in the Town records at the beginning of apprenticeship. This was not a ceremony, only a registration. Admission into the Lodge as ‘entered’ apprentice, about 2-3 years later. Admission as ‘fellow of craft’ in the Lodge, about 7 years later still, in the presence of the ‘masters’ of the Lodge. Becoming a Freeman Burgess of Edinburgh which, on payment of certain fees to the Town, entitled the F.C. to set up as a Master. The Freedom was usually acquired by apprenticeship, or heirship as the son of a Freeman, or by marriage to the daughter of a Freeman, with graded fees for each method. Thus the ‘fellow crafts’ in the Lodge acquired the status of Master. They did not take a third degree; the third degree system arose much later. The Edinburgh Burgess Rolls show that masons usually acquired the status of Freeman-Burgess, i.e. Master, within a year or two after they had been passed F.C. in the Lodge, so that the majority of them achieved all four stages, from Booking to Master in eleven or twelve years. The minutes show that the Lodge‘s membership was composed of E.A.‘s, F.C.‘s, and Masters, but the Lodge only conferred two degrees, E.A. and F.C. Within the Lodge Masters and Fellow-crafts were more-or-less equal, both fully-trained men. Outside the Lodge, the masters were
employers and the F.C.‘s were employees; this was perhaps the main reason for the later evolution of the three degree system. So much for the background. When our earliest ritual documents begin to appear, in 1696, they describe the operative masons‘ system of two degrees, still in use at that time, the first for the E.A., and the second for the ‘master mason or fellow craft’. The E.A. ceremony of those days was a brief affair. After a certain amount of horseplay ‘to frighten him’, the candidate recited the obligation. Then he was taken out of the Lodge by ‘the youngest mason’ (i.e. the last previous candidate). Outside, he was taught the sign, posture, and ‘words of his entry’, a kind of greeting to the Brethren which ended with the sign. Then the ‘youngest mason’ whispered ‘the word’ into the ear of his neighbour, and so on all around the Lodge, until it reached the Master, who gave it to the new E.A. The ceremony ended with a catechism of fifteen or sixteen questions and answers, and there was kind of a biblical footnote indicating that the E.A. degree of those days was concerned with two pillars of King Solomon‘s Temple. The second degree, for ‘master or fellow craft’ followed a similar pattern, but there was no horseplay. After the Obligation, the candidate went out of the Lodge with the ‘youngest master’ and learned the sign, posture and ‘words of entry’. He came back, made the ‘master sign’ (not described), gave the greeting and was entrusted with the ‘word’, which is not mentioned in the text. Two test questions and that was all. Without going into details, it may be helpful to add that one of the characteristics of the second degree of those days was a procedure which
is described in texts as ‘five points of fellowship’. We do not know the precise date when the three-degree system came into use; documentary evidence suggests that it may have been some time between 1711 and 1725. That system was achieved by a splitting of the original E.A. ceremony into two separate degrees, thus promoting the original ‘points of fellowship’ ceremony into 3rd place. Now, in answer to the questions: (1) Yes, you might call the second degree a ‘spin-off’, but it is actually a part of the original E.A. degree. After the split it required much new material, i.e. the letter G, the Winding Stairs and the Middle Chamber. (2) The two-degree system ‘probably’ began in the early 1500s. The earliest record of the E.A. degree in the two-degree system in actual Lodge Minutes (at Atchison‘s Haven, Scotland) was on 9, January 1598, when: …Alexander Cubie was enterit prenteis to George Aytone… The first recorded conferment of the F.C. degree in the twodegree system was in the same lodge on the same day: …Robert Widderspone was made fellow of Craft in yet presens of (Eight names) all fellowis of Craft…and also ye said Robert hes payit his XXsh (illings) and his gluffis (gloves) to everie Maister. (3) The earliest record of a third degree is in the minutes of a London Musical society (in which all the members were Masons) on 12 May 1725; but this was not a lodge and therefore highly irregular. The earliest date of a wholly regular third degree is in the minutes of Lodge Dumbarton Kilwinning, 28
now No. 18 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Gabriel Porterfield who appeared in the January meeting as a Fellow Craft, was unanimously admitted and received a master of the Fraternity and renewed his oath and gave his entry money. At the foundation meeting of this Lodge in January 1726, Porterfield was recorded as a Fellowcraft. Two months later he ‘renewed his oath’, i.e. took another ceremony, ‘and gave his entry money’, i.e. he paid for it, and there is no doubt that this was his third degree. The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
MASONIC “OLD 100” All Brethren that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice; The Light proclaim. His Love forth tell Come! Worthy Masons! and rejoice. In Strength, the mountains and the seas, He set the foot-stool of His Throne; And His Eternal Compasses, Direct the Light around the zone. The East with splendour fills the sky; His truth, the earth with righteousness; Full-Noon, the rising Orient high, Pours glory on the Edifice! Dark night unfolds the mystic scroll Of stars, in glittering pageantry. Unerring Time! The seasons roll, In all-harmonious majesty! Wisdom and Strength and Beauty reign; And sceptred Mercy, ever sure! In Brotherhood, oh! praise His name, Which shall from age to age endure. 29
The Tenets The Principal Tenets of Freemasonry are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. It is necessary not to overlook the word “Principal,” for it signifies that, while our Fraternity lays the greatest emphasis on these three teachings, yet there are others which must not be overlooked. By a “tenet” of Freemasonry is meant some teaching, so obviously true, so universally accepted, that we believe it without question. Freemasonry considers Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth to be teachings of this kind, true in the sense that no man can question them: they are obvious, selfproving, and axiomatic. It is not uncommon for men to consider Brotherly Love, while highly desirable, as not practicable, and therefore but a vision, to be dreamed of but never possessed. It is challenging for Freemasonry to call these “tenets,” thus stating that they are both obviously and necessarily true. Unless you grasp this, and see that the principles of Freemasonry are self-evident realities, not visionary ideals, you will never understand Masonic teachings. For Freemasonry does not tell us that the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth ought to be true, that it would be better for us all if they were true — she tells us that they are true. They are tremendous realities in human life, and it is as impossible to question their validity as to question the ground under our feet, or the sun over our heads. Our problem is not whether to believe them, but what are we going to do with them? What, then, is Brotherly Love? Manifestly, it means that we place on another man the
highest possible valuation as a friend, a companion, an associate, a neighbour. By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family. We do not ask that from our relationship we shall achieve any selfish game. Our relationship with a Brother is its own justification, its own reward. Brotherly Love is one of the supreme values without which life is lonely, unhappy, ugly. This is not a hope or a dream, but a fact. Freemasonry builds on that fact, provides opportunities for us to have such fellowship, encourages us to understand and to practise it, and to make it one of the laws of our existence; one of our Principal Tenets. Relief is one of the forms of charity. We often think of charity as relief from poverty. To care for the helpless or unemployed is deemed usually a responsibility resting on the public. As a rule the public discharges that responsibility through some form of organised charity, financed by general subscriptions or out of public funds. Our conception of relief is broader and deeper than this. We fully recognize the emergency demands made by physical and economic distress; but we likewise understand that the cashing of a cheque is not necessarily a complete solution of the difficulty. There sometimes enters the problem of readjustment, of rehabilitation, of keeping the family together, of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education, and various other matters vital to the welfare of those concerned. Through the whole process there is the need for spiritual comfort, for the assurance of a sincere and continuing interest and friendship, which is the real translation of our first Principal Tenet: Brotherly Love. Masonic Relief takes it for granted that any man, no matter how industrious and frugal
he may be, through sudden misfortune or other conditions over which he has no control, may be in temporary need of a helping hand. To extend it is not what is generally described as charity, but is one of the natural and inevitable acts of Brotherhood. Any conception of Brotherhood must include this willingness to give necessary aid. Therefore Relief, Masonically understood, is a tenet. By Truth, the last of the Principal Tenets, is meant something more than the search for truths in the intellectual sense, though that is included. Truth is a divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. In any permanent brotherhood, members must be truthful in character and habits, dependable, men of honour, on whom we can rely to be faithful fellows and loyal friends. Truth is a vital requirement if a brotherhood is to endure, and we therefore accept it as such. Thus Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are the Principal Tenets of Masonry. There are other tenets, also; teachings so obvious that argument is never necessary to sustain them. With this in mind we urge you to ponder the teachings of the Craft as you progress from degree to degree. You may not find them novel, but novelty is unimportant in the light of the knowledge that the truths upon which Freemasonry is founded are eternal. The freshness of immortality is on them because they never die; in them is a ceaseless inspiration and an inexhaustible appeal. They are tenets of Freemasonry because always and everywhere they have been tenets of successful human life. Excerpt of The Entered Apprentice, prepared for the Lodges by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, taken from the 1997 Transactions of the Georgia Lodge of Research.
THE BACK PAGE THE WORKING TOOLS OF A CANADIAN MASON The Working Tools of a Canadian Mason are the snow brush, the common shovel, and the hockey stick. The snowbrush is the first implement put into the hands of the Canadian, in order to brush the snow off his vehicle and to scrape the ice off his windshield. The shovel is used to move snow off the driveway and sidewalk and throw it into heaping piles on the lawn so you can drive your vehicle in and out of the garage; the hockey stick is to play hockey with friends and family on your nicely shaved driveway, or on the street in your neighbourhood in the cold snowy weather. Your choice, really. But as we are not American, but rather freezing and freaking cold Canadian Masons, we apply these tools to our morals, eh? In this sense, from the snow brush we learn a daily lesson of accumulation and instruction, for as it is divided into two parts, it recalls our minds the division of the year into two seasons â&#x20AC;&#x201C; construction and winter â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and directs us to apportion them to their proper objects, namely golfing and skiing. From the common shovel we learn that bad backs are more prominent than we thought; for the heart may stop and the head-cold throb with pain if the hand be not prompt to lift the snow. From the hockey stick we learn that perspiration is necessary to establish hypothermia, that the icy material receives its slippery finish from repeated melting and freezing alone. That nothing short of inflatable exertion can induce the habit of puck handling, enlighten your behind, and render the goals pure. From the snow we deduce this moral; that igloos, grounded on accuracy, aided by seal skin and prevented by collapse will finally overcome all wind chill factors, raise the body temperature from despair and establish happiness in the paths of clear, sunny skies. By W. Bro. Michael Bayrak who became a Freemason in 1997 in Ivanhoe Lodge No. 142, Edmonton, Alberta, where he served as Master in 2006. Reprinted from the Autumn 2011, Issue 14 of THE JOURNAL of the Masonic Society. The Editor of the SRA76 magazine in sourcing has slightly adapted the article and included the graphics. (If anyone has any working tools parodies like this, please let me know!)
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor