Volume 15 Issue 3 No. 117 March 2019
Cover Story, The Mark Degree Hiding the Reality Did You Know? Masonry and Morality Lodge St. John Whiteinch No.683. Famous Freemasons – Joey Dunlop The Origin of the Twenty Four Inch Gauge Rays of Masonry The Old Past Master Freemasonry in the Future Is There Any Time for Masonry? Did You Know? The Dove Ecclesiastes – 12:1-7 (explanation)
Main Website – The Origin of our Institution and Mediaeval Masonry
In this issue: Cover Story ‘The Mark Degree’ An excellent article from 1954 which traces the history of the Mark Degree from its earliest days and its adoption into Craft and Royal Arch Masonry in England, Scotland and Ireland.
Page 6, ‘Hiding the Reality’ The Musings of Julian Rees Page 7, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 9, ‘Masonry and Morality.’ A Brother’s view on these Principles. Page 10, ‘Lodge St. John Whiteinch No. 683. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 15, ‘Joey Dunlop’ Famous Freemasons. Page 18, ‘The Origin of the Twenty Four Inch Gauge.’ How did this become part of our Ritual? Page 20, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “The Union of Hearts” Page 20, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “In My Heart”, fourth in the series. Page 22, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 25, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 27, ‘Is There Any Time for Masory?’ Page 28, ‘The Dove.’ Page 29, ‘The Tale of the Merry Masons’ Page 30, ‘Ecclesiastes – 12:1-7 (an explanation).’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Origin of our Institution and Mediaeval Masonry’ [link] 1 Front cover – Mark Master’s Jewel, stock picture.
The Mark Degree The Mark Degree forms one of the closest links in the chain which connects the speculative Craft Lodges of today with the old operative system of freemasonry. The present ritual has been founded upon ancient Craft legends of this operative system which give it the stamp of earlier Biblical history more than any of the other degrees. The ideas throughout are based upon incidents before or at the building of King Solomon's Temple. At that period of history it was found necessary to ensure completeness and perfect accuracy in all departments of the work, and to establish a system of grades amongst the immense number of workmen employed, under which each member of each grade marked his work with some peculiar mark or symbol, thereby enabling the overseers to know the hands from which each particular piece of work came. In the old Guilds the ceremony of selecting and registering a Mark by a newly-admitted craftsman was second in importance only to that of his first admission into the Society. The Masons' Marks on Ecclesiastical buildings are of great antiquity. We are told that the Cathedral Church of Aberdeen, founded in 1357, has upon it Masons' Marks from the foundation upwards. This is, however, a distinct branch of study and altogether separate from Mark masonry as we now practise it. The antiquity of Mark masonry operatively considered cannot be doubted, and even
speculatively it has enjoyed special prominence for centuries. In very ancient records referring to operative masonry mention is made of Masons' Marks and apparently of the Mark Degree. The records of Scottish brethren cover more than three centuries, and those of Lodge St. Mary's Chapel contain the Statutes of December, 1598, signed by William Schaw, the King's Master of Work, who died in 1602. The 13th item of these Statutes provides that no Master or Fellow Craft is to be received or admitted except in the presence of six Masters and two Entered Apprentices, the date thereof being duly recorded and his name and Mark inserted in the said book. From other old Scottish records it is clear that speculative masons selected their Marks just as the operatives did in the seventeenth century. One of the most noteworthy instances is the Mark Book of the Lodge of Aberdeenâ€”now No. 1ter'â€”which was started in 1670, and is signed by 49 members and of whom all but two have their Marks inserted opposite their names Many such examples can be quoted from Scottish records. The use of a Mark by every brother of a Scottish Lodge was essential. The Register of Marks was kept with the greatest regularity, probably because Scottish Lodges retained their operative character long after English Lodges had become wholly speculative. Speculative masons, however, selected a Mark in exactly the same way, as for example, in the Lodge of Aberdeen previously mentioned. Although the degree was regularly worked in England under the authority of the Grand Lodge of the "Ancients", it is to Scotland I think we must look for the birthplace of the Mark Degree as a speculative working. 2
There are now Lodges north of the border practising speculative Masonry whose records show them to be direct descendants of operative Lodges existing from ancient times. In 1865 a report prepared by a special committee was presented to the Grand Chapter of Scotland which stated:â€” "In this country from time immemorial and long before the institution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (1736) what is now known as the Mark Masters' Degree was wrought by the operative Lodges of St. John's masonry." So far as England is concerned, the earliest known reference to the Mark Degree is recorded in the minute book of the Royal Arch Chanter of Friendship at Portsmouth (now attached to the Phoenix Lodge, No. 257), under date 1st September, 1769, which reads; " The ' Pro G.M.' Thomas Dunckerley bro't the Warrant of the Chapter and having lately rec'd the ' Mark ' he made the bre'n 'Mark Masons' and `Mark Masters ', and each chuse their ' Mark ' viz. . . . [six names] . . . He also told us of this mann'r of writing which is to be used in the degree w'ch we may give to others so they be FC for Mark Masons and Master M for Mark Masters." (Hist. of Phcenix Lodge C- Chapter of Friendship, No. 257, by Alexander Howell, pp. 211/2.)
The importance of this short passage cannot be exaggerated. It is of interest to note that Bro. Thomas Dunckerley was a staunch supporter of the "Moderns" Grand Lodge and had been appointed Provincial Grand Master of several provinces of that Body at the same period. This Grand Lodge was rigorously opposed to Royal Arch and Mark Masonry, while the rival Grand Lodge, the "Antients", regarded these degrees as 3
essential orders of freemasonry. They were conferred in "Antient" Lodges under the authority of Craft warrants. It is a singular fact that, in spite of the hostility of the "Moderns" to these degrees. Bro. Dunckerley conferred them in the many provinces of that Grand Lodge over which he presided as Provincial Grand Master. It has been suggested that he received the Mark Degree in the north of England and introduced it into Lodges in the south. From the early Portsmouth minute mentioned it is dear that Bro. Dunckerley, having communicated the Mark Degree to the brethren assembled under their new Royal Arch warrant (No.3 dated 11th August, 1769, of the Grand Chapter constituted three years earlier by Lord Blayney Grand Master of the "Moderns"), considered they might properly work the Mark Degree under their Craft warrants. This is dearly what he meant by telling them they could confer it on Fellow Crafts and Master Masons. There is little or nothing heard of the working of the Degree in England from 1813 (when the United Grand Lodge of England was formed) to 1851, when the Bon Accord Lodge came into existence. This Mark Lodge was founded as an offshoot from the Bon Accord Royal Arch Chapter, No.70 Aberdeen from which body it received its Charter. This aroused the displeasure of the Scottish Royal Arch authorities. They maintained that the action of the Bon Accord Chapter was illegal, and suspended the Chapter and its office bearers, never to meet again, but the Bon Accord Lodge, London, continued. (It received a Warrant of Confirmation from the English Mark Grand Lodge dated 10th December, 1856) Other Lodges formed at about that period saw the irregularity of the
Chapter at Aberdeen granting a Charter, and requested the Grand Chapter of Scotland to give them a legitimate Warrant authorizing them to work the Degree in England. Warrants were, in consequence of this, continued to be issued to English Mark Masons by the Grand Chapter of Scotland for the next few years. The second of the Articles of Union, ratified and confirmed at the Festival of Union of the two English Grand Lodges held on 27th December, 1813, reads :â€” "It is declared and pronounced, that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more; viz' those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch. But this Article is not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding a meeting in any of the degrees of the Orders of Chivalry, according to the constitutions of the said Orders." The second sentence does not now appear in the Book of Constitutions. At the end of 1855 the Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge deemed it advisable to appoint a committee to consider the subject in Conjunction with a committee of the Grand Chapter, with a view to communicating to the M.W. Grand Master their opinion as to " whether the said Mark Masons' Degree may be deemed part of Ancient Freemasonry". They reported: "That after obtaining all the information in its power, this committee is of opinion that the Mark Masons' Degree, so called, does not form a portion of the Royal Arch Degree, and that it is not essential to Craft Masonry; but they are of opinion that there is nothing objectionable in such Degree, nor anything which militates against the
universality of Masonry, and that it might be considered as forming a graceful addition to the Fellow Craft degree". On 5th March, 1856, this report was presented to the Grand Lodge and it was resolved unanimously: " That the Degree of Mark Mason or Mark Master is not at variance with the ancient landmarks of the Order, and that the Degree be an addition to and form part of Craft masonry; and consequently may be conferred by all regular Warranted Lodges, under such regulations as shall be prepared by the Board of General Purposes, approved and sanctioned by the Grand Master ". In accordance with this resolution the Board of General Purposes drew up regulations for working the Degree. These, if adopted, would have left it optional for brethren to take it or not, an additional certificate being issued to those who did so. At the next Quarterly Communication, Bro. John Henderson, Past President of the Board of General Purposes, moved the nonconfirmation of that part of the minutes which referred to the Mark degree. He denied that Grand Lodge had the power to make so great a constitutional change as that of adding a new degree to the Order. The Masters and Past Masters were urged to remember the declaration they had made at their installation, that no man, or body of men, could make innovations in the body of Masonry. As very few of those present knew what the Mark degree really was, the non-confirmation of that part of the minutes was carried by a large majority. This refusal of Grand Lodge to acknowledge the degree led the Mark Masters seriously to consider their position. The members of the London Bon Accord 4
Lodge, and three other Lodges the Northumberland and Berwick, the Royal Cumberland, Bath, and the Old Kent, London met in June, 1856, when a general desire was expressed for a union of all Mark Master Masons under one head, and a resolution was passed in favour of a general Union of all Mark Lodges upon equal terms in a Mark Grand Lodge. It was arranged that representatives of all Mark Lodges in England should be asked to meet, and in the meantime a committee was formed to consider details of the scheme, and Lord Leigh, W.M. of the Bon Accord Lodge, was elected the first Grand Master. More Time Immemorial Lodges joined the movement and most of the lodges holding warrants from the Grand Chapter of Scotland gave their allegiance. So the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and the Dominions and Dependencies of the British Crown became an established fact. The last of the Mark Lodges warranted by the Grand Chapter of Scotland to become affiliated to the Mark Grand Lodge was the Ashton District Time Immemorial Lodge at Dukinfield, which came into the fold in 1899. To summarize the present position in Scotland and Ireland:— In Scotland the Royal Arch degree is conferred only on Mark Masons, but all Craft Lodges and all Chapters can confer the Mark degree. There is no Mark Grand Lodge in Scotland but there is dual control exercised by the Grand Lodge and the Grand Chapter, who work in amity. The Mark degree was taken under the protection of the Grand Chapter of Ireland in 1845, but it was not until about 30 years later that the Mark became a necessary step to the Royal Arch. Nowadays, when a Companion is elected to the chair of King (or First Principal), the Chapter first of all holds a meeting in the 5
Mark Degree and installs him as Master of a Mark Lodge. An indispensable preliminary. These regulations now in force in Scotland and Ireland were adopted from early English Mark masonry, where it is clear that the Mark Degree and the Royal Arch were closely allied. In one of our early ceremonies going by the name of Mark Master no mention is made of the stone that was rejected, but the ceremony hinges on the Ineffable Name. An authoritative writer has said that although the Mark Degree is not now recognized as part of the English Craft system of freemasonry it should be supported and practised for its antiquity, as well as for the beauty and teaching of its ritual. The Grand Secretary has felt it appropriate to clarify the position of Scottish and Irish Masons in relation to the English Mark. In Scotland it is possible for a Master Mason to be advanced to the Mark either in a Craft Lodge or in a Royal Arch Chapter. A Brother advanced in a Scottish Lodge is equivalent to our Mark Master Mason, but has no means of achieving the status of an Installed Mark Mason in the Scottish Lodge. In the Scottish Chapter a series of degrees is worked, of which the Mark is the first. A Scottish Royal Arch Mason can, therefore, be accepted as a Mark Master Mason. In the Chapter, the First Principal, if a Past Master in the Craft, is automatically given the Secrets of the Mark Chair, so a Scottish First Principal can 'be admitted to a Board of Installed Masters if he is proved to be qualified. In Ireland, the general position is similar to Scotland, except than any First Principal (or King) can be accepted in a Board of Installed Masters. Newton, Edward: ‘The Mark Degree’, from Ars Quatuor Coronatum, London, 1954.
HIDING THE REALITY Travelling around as much as I do, I am constantly being told ‘Mind the gap between the platform and the train’. The phrase recently became mutated in my brain into ‘Mind the gap between the pretence and the reality’, reminding me how much and how often we substitute the semblance for the real thing. The playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht said that reality is not about the way things really are; it is about the way real things are. There’s an important difference. If we try to represent the way a thing ‘really’ is, we are bound to invest it with our own interpretation. If, instead, we stand back and consider what is real, what is true, what is beyond controversy and beyond debate, we have the chance to arrive at something of real value. The famous painting The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein depicts two men standing nonchalantly, surrounded by emblems of wealth, prestige, substance and power. If we had not been told the title of the painting, we would merely see two men of the Elizabethan era, vaunting their own selfimportance, eager to show their best side to the world, keen for the painter to show them in the grandest possible light. Once we know the title, we see them as specific personages, representatives of their monarchs or their states. Their power and significance is inescapable, and seems permanent. But Holbein is more clever than we at first realise. He has introduced a third level of meaning. Painted at the feet of these men is a dark smudge which seems incongruous,
until we turn the picture to one side and view it from an angle: the smudge becomes a skull beneath their feet, and is a reminder of the transitory nature of human existence, of what the first degree lecture means when it says: A time will come, and the wisest of us knows not how soon, when all distinctions, save those of goodness and virtue, shall cease, and death, the grand leveller of all human greatness, reduce us to the same state. Holbein thus gives us a real, bleak reminder, of how unimportant worldly pomp and glory are; it is a real memento mori. ‘Sic transit gloria mundi’ it seems to say: thus passes the glory of the world. How often in life we seek to promote a selfchosen image of ourselves. For some people, a great deal of time and energy is expended in forming a construct of the person they would like to be seen as, when the real person underneath may be far more estimable, far more lovable than the image projected. At the end, this construct remains just that: an image without substance, without essence, a bit of stage scenery like the woods in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, behind which the real characters can hide, showing only that side of themselves they choose to. This applies as much to Freemasonry as it does to us as individuals. We are constantly being told that Freemasonry is not a religion. What interests me is, not so much what that phrase says, as what it hides. We feel the need to continually repeat that mantra, as though somehow we need the security of being reminded. Freemasonry is indeed not a religion, but by repeating that to ourselves, we obscure the reality, that genuine spiritual benefits flow from self6
knowledge, from enlightenment within. The readers’ letters in this magazine, claiming that Freemasonry is not a spiritual pursuit, seem to be an attempt to clothe our Craft in unsuitable attire, in clothes that don’t quite fit. A friend once described the danger, in Masonic practice, of what he called ‘displacement activity’, that is, engaging in activities that divert us from the true aim. Concentrating on the appearance of Masonic practice – rank, precedence, minor detail, hierarchy and structure – may cause us to lose sight of what real Freemasonry is, what Freemasonry can do, what it surely must do in each one of us, in order to be effective. Some will say that this is too serious, that it takes the fun out of Freemasonry, but I promise you, the rewards are immense, and they ensure that we will never again need any constructs in our lives. It can ensure that, in amongst the wood, we will begin to see real trees, and chart our progress by the way we interpret each one of them. We should not be fooled. We should mind the gap, stop it becoming wider, try to bridge it, to give our Craft a greater sense of its true aim, and through that to find our own path to Truth. 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/
DID YOU KNOW? Question: What are the Landmarks of Masonry? How many are there? Answer. The best definitions of the term as applying to the Craft are: [a] A landmark must have existed from "the time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary." [b] A Landmark is an element in the form or essence of the Society of such importance that Freemasonry would no longer be Freemasonry if it were removed. With such strict definitions it would be difficult to compile a list that genuinely conforms to those standards. The U.G.L. of England does not have a list, though many lists have been compiled [ranging from five to fifty items] and adopted by various Grand Lodges. The best known list in the Western Hemisphere was prepared by Albert Mackey who actually used the two definitions quoted above. His list of 25 items was adopted by several USA jurisdictions, even though the majority of them could not possibly pass the strict test which he had himself prescribed. To illustrate the difficulty, I quote two of Mackey's Landmarks which cannot be Landmarks because we can actually date the period of their first appearance in Masonry. From the "Freemason at Work" p. 264, Mackey's No. 1 ... and Mackey's No. 2 ...]. To avoid a lengthy discussion of the kind of rules, customs and privileges that could never qualify as Landmarks, the following is a Code of Landmarks adopted by the newly formed Grand Lodge of Iran in 1970, which I compiled for them at their request:
a] Belief in God, the G.A.O.T.U.
with evidence that they had been in use for some time.
b] Belief in the immortality of the soul. c] The V.S.L. which is an indispensable part of the Lodge, No Lodge may be opened without it and it must remain open and in full view while the Lodge is at labour. d] Every Mason must be male, free-born and of mature age. e] Every Mason, by his tenure, expresses his allegiance to the Sovereign or Ruler of his native land. f] The Landmarks of the Order can never be changed or repealed.
Question: Is there any documented account of the date or year when Masonry, as we know it today, was first practiced? Answer. The essences of this question lies in the words "Masonry, as we know it today." Our present system was virtually standardized in England around 1813-1816, from materials that had been in existence since the 16th century, materials which had been gradually amplified, and later overlaid with speculative interpretation, especially during the second half of the 1700's. I believe it would be impossible to prove the existence of more that one single ceremony of admission during the 1400's. A two degree system came into use during the early 1500's and in 1598-1599 we have actual Lodge minutes [in tow Scottish Lodges] of the existence of two degrees, the first for the "Entered Apprentice," and the second for the "Master of Fellow Craft"
Outside the Lodge, the Master was an employer and the Fellow Craft was an employee; but inside the Lodge they shared the same ceremony, which was conferred only upon fully-trained masons. This point is very important when we come to consider the inevitable appearance of a system of three degrees. The earliest minute recording of a third degree was in a London Musical Society in May 1725, and highly irregular. The earliest record of a regular third decree in a Masonic Lodge is dated March 25, 1726 at the second meeting of Lodge DumbartonKilwinning, [now No. 18 on the register of the Grand Lodge of Scotland]. Question: Is there a distinction between Masonic oath and Masonic obligation? Answer. The "oath" is the "So help me, God" at the end of any solemn promise made with hand upon the Book of the Law. The "obligation" is the substance of the preceding promises. "Oath" is thus symbolical of man's fear of God; "obligation" signifies the promises and agreements made preceding the oath. Question: Why is a candidate received on the point of a sharp instrument? Answer. This symbolizes the one real penalty for violation of his obligations--the destructive consequences to a man's own character of an act or word which is unworthy of his obligations to his Lodge or to society. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ 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.
Masonry and Morality The broad principles of morality and virtue taught in Masonry must not change. Neither must our secret work, nor our landmarks, nor the foundations upon which Masonry has been built be subject to meaningless or weakening alterations. Though it is not true of the community at large, the Craft has been steadfast in the maintenance of its ideals, principles and standards. Masonry is well equipped to provide the basis for solving many of the problems of the world to-day. It propagates a compassionate love for mankind and recognition of the individual as a being of sovereign worth. If Masonry contributes well to the needs of the present day it will also help us to hand on a Craft whose splendour has not been diminished. Freemasonry can stimulate thought and teach that behind the superficial surface there are deeper truths. But the greater contribution of Masonry lies in the moral sphere because of its foundation principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Society to-day seems to have cast aside the moral and religious restraints of our forebears, but it has not succeeded in producing a happier condition. It is a strange fact of human nature that it yearns for freedom and yet requires at the same time some shackles to bind it, some guidelines to prevent full freedom. It is apparent that human nature cannot handle full and complete freedom, so the advocacy of the Craft for moral restraints falls upon fertile ground. Masonry can claim and hold the allegiance of men who seek a better way of life and a better world. We may produce all the material goods that we desire, we 9
may receive all the education that we can use, we may expand the borders of science and knowledge, but without morality to temper these things we become selfish, acquisitive, insensitive to the needs of others and ruthless in the pursuit of our own interests. To a society that is in danger of forgetting how to live as a family, bound by common, interests and common responsibilities, we offer to men a fraternity where the harshness of competition and the pressures of our daily lives can be forgotten; a fraternity where all the members are equally valued, that inculcates the duty of helping a brother in need and of shedding a tear of sympathy over the failings of a brother. With these great gifts in its hands Freemasonry need not fear the future provided it is true to its high ideals and provided that its members carry into their daily lives the great truths they have learnt in our Temples. By the quality of our lives, by our readiness to serve, and by the infectious happiness of our brotherhood we shall be true to the past and an inspiration to the future. Masonry must not withdraw into the "retreat of friendship and brotherly love", it must thrust out into the community and the world with benevolence, with charity, with unselfish creative activity, so that the rich values of our fraternity may be carried into the fabric of world society. There should be an intolerance of social and political imperfection. We must utilise the continuing energy of men of vision and we must think and act creatively, not obediently. The strong bring momentous issues to the fore, it is the weak who are forced to decide between alternatives not of their own choosing. Article was sourced from the Committee on Masonic Education - Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario.- October 1983 VOL. 3 NO. 2
Lodge St. John Whiteinch No. 683
north bank opposite Linthouse. Its chairman was Sir Andrew McLean of whom we shall hear more later. In 1883, the number of new vessels launched on the Clyde was 379, whose total tonnage was 404,383. Thus many craftsmen were attracted to this area by the possibility of better and more secure employment. They probably owed no loyalty to their adopted home. Living not in Partick but in Whiteinch and finding their friends among 'immigrant' workers, they felt a desire to form a lodge of their own. Many were members of Lodges which contained Saint John in the titles. This may provide an explanation of our name.
In 1883, Glasgow was in terms of population, area and industrial enterprise one of the leading cities of a vast Empire. The 1881 Census recorded a population of 511,415 and in particular the Burgh of Partick, with which we are concerned, had a population of 39,028. Industrially, the city was almost unique in the United Kingdom because of its broad industrial base. It did not rely like many cities on a single industry for its prosperity. Shipbuilding, heavy engineering, textiles and printing all contributed to the common wealth. It is clear that the desire to erect a new Lodge in Whiteinch was the product of one main factor. As a trading nation, Britain required merchant vessels and as a major international power her navy needed to be strengthened. In 1871, the Fairfield Company opened and by 1875 claimed to be the greatest shipyard in the world. In the same period Alexander Stephen and Sons moved to the Clyde from the North East of Scotland. Perhaps most significantly for us in 1876, Barclay Curle Ltd. moved to the
It is appropriate at this early stage in the History to consider the attitude of Partick St. Mary's toward the erection of a new Lodge. In the newspaper, the Weekly Gazette, on 22nd February, 1908 which described the Consecration of the new Burgh Hall, it was stated that 'two Brethren of 117 had travelled to Edinburgh to oppose the granting of a Charter.' There is no record either at Grand Lodge or in Partick St. Mary's minutes of such opposition. There were however among our Founder Members Brethren of 117. One of these, attended 'a meeting which was held in Whiteinch on Thursday 21st December, 1882 for the purpose of supporting a resolution to erect a new Lodge in Whiteinch.' He was reprimanded in his own Lodge for having made 'use of some very offensive and insulting remarks derogatory to and repugnant to the fair name of St. Mary's Lodge.' It is interesting to note that our Sponsor Lodges were the Lodge of Glasgow St. Mungo No.27 and Lodge St. Andrew No. 465. Perhaps this does indicate an initial coolness on the part of St. Mary's towards a new Lodge. The years thereafter reveal that any animosity could not have been deep10
rooted or extensive. Very close fraternal relations were soon established. In Provincial Grand Lodge, there was concern that in setting up a new Lodge no harm should be done to St. Mary's. The Acting Provincial Grand Master recorded his concern on the Petition praying for a Charter in these terms: 'Whiteinch is a growing place having there a few shipbuilding yards. It is one mile west from Partick where there is handsome Masonic Hall in which Lodge 117 meets and I would be sorry if the establishment of a Lodge at Whiteinch should in any way injure that in Partick. The information I have received has led me to think that it will not.' Grand Lodge in its wisdom granted a Charter in the name of Saint John Whiteinch with the number 683 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. There were 23 founder members.The Charter Master was Bro. John F. Imrie, a Past Master of Lodge Troon Navigation No. 86. The first meeting place of the Lodge was in a room and kitchen in a George Street tenement. To provide more suitable accommodation, another two apartments were added. Members carried out work on the flat in their own time. A lease of the premises was taken for five years. One of the conditions of the contract was that, on removal, the house would be restored to its original state. In its first few years of existence, the Lodge experienced serious difficulties. The Minute Books show that often a sufficient number of well-qualified Brethren were not present in order to open the Lodge. The dull state of trade in the district was blamed. The 11
economic situation was also used as a reason for not having a harmony at meetings. It is proper now to return to the relationship between St. John Whiteinch and Partick St. Mary's. Brethren of St. Mary's from May 1883 made very frequent visits to Whiteinch and I am sure that the reverse is also correct. There is evidence of still closer friendships. In September 1885, the RWM of St. Maryâ€™s was made an Honorary Member of 683. A Dramatic Performance of Rob Roy was held later in the same decade in the Partick Burgh Hall in aid of the funds of both Lodges. About the same time, local Member of Parliament A. Craig Sellar, whose Mother Lodge was the Lodge of Holyrood House (St. Luke), was awarded Honorary Membership. Perhaps the most popular Brother to receive a similar honour was Sir Andrew McLean, a prominent member of St. Mary's. Sir Andrew, who lived at Viewfield House, Balshagray, was highly regarded in the locality. Indeed his entry on one occasion into St. John Whiteinch was greeted with tumultuous applause from the Brethren. The Lodge continued to meet in 87 George Street until 1888, when the lease of these premises expired. The financial state of the Lodge was insecure, and this appears to have placed the Lodge's future in jeopardy. During 1888, there was only one intrant. However, the new Master, along with Secretary and Treasurer were able to stem this state of affairs. The Lodge now moved to Allan's Hall, Smith Street where it met from 1888 to 1894. By 1894, the Lodge was once again looking for a new meeting place. It must have been felt that better premises would have a beneficial effect on attendances. In March
1894, the Secretary was instructed to approach the Commissioners of Partick for a let of the Lesser Hall, Burgh Building. A favourable reply was received from the Town Clerk of Partick, indicating that the rental would be ÂŁ12 per annum. Without hesitation, the Lodge decided to move. The proceedings of the first meeting held in the new hall on Thursday 20th December, 1894 are worth describing. The Brethren assembled at the old Lodge room, and after being marshalled, proceeded to the new hall, headed by the Whiteinch Brass Band and accompanied by torchbearers. After collecting the Master, they passed the first Lodge room. A halt was called and the Band played 'Auld Lang Syne'. The procession then moved on to the new hall where the Ceremony of Installation was carried out. Deputations were received from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow and a number of the Sister Lodges. At the Harmony, the usual toasts were proposed. The Toast to the Burgh of Partick was replied to by Baillie Tyre. He remarked that the influence of such a society i.e. Freemasonry must be potent for good in the district and he wished them every happiness and success in the occupancy of their new Lodge Room. The Honorary Chaplain, in proposing the Toast to the Visiting Brethren said "he understood Lodge St. John was given much to hospitality. Although he neither smoked, drank, or 'gae'd with the lasses', he had enjoyed the evenings harmony, and although some might think it inconsistent for a clergyman, he meant to sit the meeting out." By the beginning of the new century, Freemasonry had been firmly established in the district. In 1900, a total of 1,268 Brethren attended 21 Regular and 8 Special
Meetings. There were 28 Initiates and 1 Affiliate. Within less than twenty years, the Lodge's achievements had been considerable. Very fine premises had been obtained, candidates were in good supply, attendance at meetings was high and Past Masters had occupied important positions in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow. In 1908, perhaps the most significant event in the Lodge's history took place. On 20th February of that year, the new Burgh Hall was consecrated. This event was very fully covered by the Whiteinch Weekly Gazette. Traffic in and around the Hall was totally congested and the commencement of the meeting was delayed. The largest number of Brethren at a Masonic meeting in the West of Scotland of this period attended - around 800. The Lodge suffered the loss of many Brethren during the Great War. Almost every minute of the War years records the death of a Brother as a result of enemy action. Those returning on leave and visiting the Lodge were awarded Roll of Honour Certificates. These members were remembered at Christmas and gifts were sent to them. When victory was in sight, an In Memoriam Lodge was held on Sunday 5th May, 1918. During the service, the Roll of Honour was called by the Secretary. The Last Post was sounded. The Brethren stood in silent tribute while the Dead March in Saul was played. A magnificent oration was delivered by the Chaplain. Even before the War ended, interest in the Craft seemed to be reviving. On 23rd May, 1918, 34 Entered Apprentices were passed to the Second Degree. The Craft cannot escape the economic circumstances of the outside world. It is 12
interesting that the Secretary's report of 1932 makes reference to the 'great depression of trade'. Indeed in its 50th year, there were only 5 intrants. An important landmark in the Lodge's history was celebrated on Saturday 6th May, 1933. A Special Meeting was called to commemorate its 50th Anniversary. On that occasion, two of the Founder Members were present, numbering 4 and 9 on the Lodge Roll respectively had the great satisfaction of seeing an ambition realised. By its 50th year, the Lodge had long established itself in the Province. Its financial affairs were on a sound basis. Meetings were well attended - a marked contrast from the early days. Sporadically, the Lodge was affected as was everyone and everything by the poor state of the economy in the 1930's. It is interesting that in this period Grand Lodge had not yet placed any limit upon the number of candidates receiving a degree at any one time. The minutes indicate that sometimes 30 or more were initiated, passed or raised in one evening. More than one degree might be conferred at one meeting. The War Years 1939-1945 saw meetings moved to a Saturday afternoon. Two degrees were conferred in an afternoon putting a strain on candidates, OfficeBearers and Brethren. The Post-War years saw Freemasonry flourish throughout the Province and the country as a whole. It was not uncommon for 300 to 400 to attend Installations and an average of over 100 to attend regular meetings. Some of the older P.Ms recall that it was often impossible for them to find a seat in the East because so many P.Ms were active members. An important and enjoyable feature of the period 1946-1953 was the annual Christmas 13
party held for the children of the Brethren. The parties were attended by 150-200 children. In 1956, the 6 (now 7) Lodges whose charters had been granted in the West of the Province established closer links. For many years, the Brethren had looked forward to possessing a Temple of their own. The realisation of this was hastened by the closure of the Burgh Hall in 1964. The Scotstoun Institute, Fore Street, Scotstoun was purchased and for many months Brethren work hard at making it suitable for the mystic craft. It was consecrated on 22nd August, 1964 by the Provincial Grand Master. However inflation and rapidly rising costs made it increasingly difficult to support and maintain. In May 1980, it was sadly vacated by the Lodge which then moved to Lodge Western's Temple. It is perhaps unfair to select an outstanding Right Worshipful Master during this period, or even Past Master. The Lodge was very well served over many years by Bros. John Stewart Henderson, P.M. as Secretary. His predecessor Bro. John French also had served in this office faithfully. Bro. Walter Collins was Treasurer for over 30 years and likewise Bro. John S. Williamson was Benevolent Fund Treasurer for 25 years. The debt owed by the Lodge to these Brethren is immeasurable. As Master, Bro. John B. Rankine might be considered to have been outstanding. He was Junior Warden in 1952-1953 but ill health prevented him from progressing further at this time. A temporary recovery in the 1960s allowed him to occupy this high office. His ceremonial work was of the highest standard and was regarded as such throughout the Province. His qualities as a man and a Mason were undoubted.
Unfortunately he passed to the Grand Lodge above before we could all learn from his example. During these years, the Lodge has had the privilege of having sponsored the following Lodges:Lodge Kelvin Partick No. 1207 Lodge Western No. 1346 Lodge Knightswood No. 1445 Lodge Tower No. 1523 It is our hope that by such sponsorship we have helped in some small way to spread the cement of brotherly love. This History of Lodge St. John Whiteinch No. 683 was sourced from their website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 683 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History. The Lodge History was adapted and condensed by the editor for inclusion in the SRA76 Magazine.
LIGHT If you were asked to sum up the meaning of Masonry in one word, the only word equal to the task is, Light. From its first lesson to its last lecture, in every degree and every symbol, the mission of Masonry is to bring the light of God into the life of man. It has no other aim, knowing that when the light shines. the truth will be revealed. Symbolically a lodge of Masons has no roof but the sky. As the sun rises in the east to open and enliven the day, so the Master rises in the East to open and guide the lodge in its labour. All the work of the lodge is done under the eye and in the name of God, obeying him who made great lights, whose
mercy endureth forever. At the centre of the lodge, upon the altar, the Great Lights shine upon us. Without them no lodge is open in due form, and no business is valid. To the door of the lodge comes the seeker after light, groping his way, asking to be led out of shadows into realities; out of darkness into light. All initiation is 'bringing men to light', teaching them to see the moral order of the world in which they must learn their duty and find their true destiny. So through all its degrees, its slowly unfolding symbols, Masonry makes men of insight and understanding, who know their way and can be of help to others who stumble in the dark. Ruskin was right: 'to see clearly is life, art, philosophy, and religion, all in one.' To find the real origin of Masonry we must go far back into the past, back beyond history. All the world over, at a certain stage of culture, men bowed down in the worship of the sun, the moon and the stars. In prehistoric graves the body was buried in a sitting posture, and always with the face towards the east, that the sleeper might be ready to spring up early to face the new and brighter day. Such was the wonder of light and its power over man, and it is not strange that he rejoiced in its beauty, lifting up hands of praise. The dawn was the first altar in the old light religion of the race. Sunrise was an hour of prayer, and sunset was the hour of sacrifice. The mission of Masonry is to open the window of the mind of marl, letting the dim spark within us meet and blend with the light of God, in whom there is no darkness. Once we take it to heart, it will help us to see God in the face of our fellows.
Author unknown. 14
Famous Freemasons William Joseph 'Joey' Dunlop, OBE.
William Joseph Dunlop (he was said to have disliked all his sobriquets except "Joey") was born in Unshinagh, a townland near Dunloy, in North Antrim, second of seven children of a motor mechanic, and educated at Ballymoney High School. Initially he thought of a military career, but when, at the age of sixteen, he bought his first motorcycle, he became impassioned by motorcycle racing and his employment patterns came to be dictated by the need to finance this interest: his jobs included at various times diesel fitter, lorry driver, steel erector, roofer, and pub-owner. Motorcycle racing competitions in Ireland are often run on ordinary public roads, miles-long stretches of which are closed off to provide racing routes, all over the countryside. These contrast with purposebuilt racetracks, known as short circuits, whose safety features are continually updated and improved. The latter are more common in England, whereas Irish and especially Northern Irish racing are often (though not exclusively) run on the former, which by their very nature are far more dangerous.
Motor Cycle Legend, Humanitarian Aid Worker and Freemason, [The following biographical detail is by Richard Froggatt (with an acknowledgement to Wesley McCann) and is reproduced from the Ulster History Circle 'The Dictionary of Ulster Biography'] courtesy of The Irish Masonic History and the Jewels of Irish Freemasonry website, to whom our acknowledgment and thanks go. Ed. 15
Joey Dunlop competed in both arenas - his first ever race was on a short circuit organised by the Motor Cycle Road Racing Club of Ireland at the Maghaberry airfield circuit near Moira, Co. Armagh, in 1969 but preferred and was even more successful at road racing, which, given the nature and terrain of the courses, raced over at speeds well in excess of 100 mph, could be highly dangerous and there were many accidents involving serious injury and fatalities. Dunlop first competed at a closed-road race in the 1970 Temple 100, held on the Saintfield circuit in County Down. An influence on him was the local racer Mervyn Robinson, who also happened to be
the brother of Dunlop's childhood girlfriend, Linda; she and Dunlop were married in 1972. Dunlop, Mervyn Robinson, and another North Antrim racer, Frank Kennedy, came to be known as the "Armoy Armada" (Armoy being another town in North Antrim). Dunlop took several years to become a regular winner, but when he did, he was prolific. At the world-famous Isle of Man TT, whose internationally-renowned Snaefell Mountain Course is notoriously dangerous, run as it is at three-figure speeds over 37 miles of narrow, winding streets, roads and rural lanes flanked by stone walls and buildings, he won a total of 26 races over his career; the next-most regular winner, though still racing (2010), has won a "mere" 16. The two most prestigious Irish road races are the North-West 200 (that is, north-west County Londonderry), in which Dunlop won thirteen races, and the Ulster Grand Prix, at which he won twenty-four times: in the Formula One TT World Championship his record was 3rd place in 1981, 1st place every year between 1982 and 1986, and 2nd place 1987-1989; he competed also at events in England, France, Germany and Hungary. All-in-all he had over 160 wins in the course of his career. He raced a wide range of motorcycles, both makers and models, which he normally serviced and maintained himself. These included the Aermacchi 350; the Yamsel: 250, 350 and 500; the Sparton 50; the Yamaha 250, 350, 500 and 750; the Suzuki 200, 500, 1000; the Benelli 550; the Devimead Honda 812; the Honda 125, 250, 400, 500, 600, 750, 858, 900, 920, 1000 and 1023. Within the motorcycle racing world Dunlop received numerous awards and honours. He
was seven times Enkalon Rider of the Year, five times Road Racing Ireland Rider of the Year, in 2000 was honoured by Manx leaders with a replica Sword of State inscribed "King of the Mountain", and in October was awarded the prestigious Médaille de Bronze of the Fédération Internationale Motocycliste, the world governing body of motorcycle sport, at their October 1993 congress in Dublin, as "Champion de Courses sur Route" or road racing champion. He had been appointed MBE in 1985 for his services to motorcycling, was awarded the Freedom of Ballymoney in 1993 and appointed OBE in 1995, partly for his record breaking TT success but also in recognition of his humanitarian activities. Joey stated that his proudest award was his OBE for charity rather than any achievement in his very successful racing career. A close friend described how Dunlop reacted to hearing stories of impoverishment in Balkan countries, especially what became highly disturbing accounts of conditions in such institutions as the notorious Romanian orphanages, about which he had heard from the father of a nurse who was working in Romania; he simply packed his large van with all sorts of commodities desperately needed, whether food, clothes, toys, nappies, baby wipes, or wheelchairs, and drove off to eastern Europe on his own. It was said that he rarely told people he was going - he hardly even told his wife. These trips were not without risk, in the Balkans of the 1990s - he also made humanitarian trips to Albania and, perhaps most dangerous of all, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was well-known as being totally uninterested in any trappings of success or fame, eschewing first class flights and five 16
star hotels, a shy man who often preferred his own company and never sought any limelight. Even when travelling to racing tournaments, he would live on beans and cold soup and sleep in the back of his van beside his motorcycles. A hotel owner in Tallinn, Estonia had a room permanently reserved for him (and even named it after him), but he usually kept to his van. One fellow-racer described how Dunlop would collect his winnings on the trips, then just see someone with children and give them money and tell them to buy something for what he referred to as the "wains" (children). Motorcycle racing, most especially road racing, has always been a dangerous sport. Dunlop survived two serious accidents. On Good Friday, 24 March 1989, he was competing in the Eurolantic Motor Cycle Challenge meeting at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent when he was involved in a crash with a Belgian rider, Stephane Mertens. Dunlop suffered multiple injuries, which included a broken leg, fractured ribs, and a broken wrist. He needed several months to recuperate enough to race again. His second serious crash occurred at the 1998 Tandragee 100 meeting, in County Armagh. In a high-speed crash, he lost the tip of a finger of his left hand, and sustained a cracked pelvis, a broken collarbone, and a broken bone in his right hand. His brother Robert, also a champion motorcycle racer, was seriously injured in an accident in 1994. But far worse, of the original "Armoy Armada", their dangerous sport claimed the lives of Frank Kennedy in 1979 and of Mervyn Robinson in 1980, both in accidents at the North West 200 (the same day as Kennedy, 26 May 1979, the North West 200 claimed another outstanding racer, Tommy Herron, of whom Dunlop was a great fan). 17
Tragically, Dunlop was to suffer the same fate. At a competition in Estonia on 2 July 2000, he had won two races and was leading a third when, in wet conditions, his motorcycle left the track and crashed, killing him instantly. His funeral took place on 7 July at Garryduff Presbyterian, his local Church. Thousands of mourners attended and the service was carried live on television. Government ministers from London, Belfast, and Dublin were present. A joint statement was issued by the Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble and the deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon, which summed him up thus: "Joey was a brilliant sportsman, a true man of the people, and a wonderful ambassador for Northern Ireland." He was voted the fifth greatest motorcycling icon ever by Motorcycle News in 2005, and the most successful overall rider at the Isle of Man TT races each year is awarded the Joey Dunlop Cup. Dunlop, was survived by his wife, their three daughters and their two sons. On 15 May 2008, his younger brother Robert, the champion motorcycle racer, was killed in an accident during practice for the North West 200. He was also given a funeral at Garryduff and was laid to rest beside his elder brother. In 2006 the brothers had each been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University by the University of Ulster at Coleraine, part of whose campus abuts the North West 200 course (at what is known as "University Corner"). Joey Dunlop's posthumous degree was accepted by his elder son, Gary. Statues were raised to him at Murray's Motorcycle Museum on the Isle of Man, and in Ballymoney: at the unveiling in the Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden, the Mayor summed up Dunlop's character and impact thus: "The sculpture is a fitting lasting
tribute to Joey, who, unaffected by the world success which his motorcycling career brought him, remained the quiet, cheerful, family man from Ballymoney, a characteristic which endeared him to all." Masonic Career and the Consecration of the Joey Dunlop Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1881 (England). Brother Joey Dunlop was a member of Vow Ferry Masonic Lodge No. 17, which meets at Freemasons, Hall, Ballymoney, County Antrim. He was initiated into Freemasonry on the 3rd February, 1989 when he received his Entered Apprentice Degree. He was passed to his Fellow Craft Degree one month later on the 3rd March, 1989 and was raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason on the 17th November, 1989. Joey Dunlop was also a Royal Arch Companion, joining Vow Ferry Royal Arch Chapter No. 17, on the 2nd January, 2000. As some Brethren are probably aware many of our members have a keen interest in Motor Bikes, with many 'Widows Sons' Masonic Motor Cycle Associations having been formed around the world. We have our own, the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association Ireland, established in 2012, which meets at the Mount Masonic Centre, 45 Park Ave, Belfast. However a group of Brethren in the Mark Province of Leicestershire & Rutland went a step further and constituted a Mark Master Masons Lodge dedicated to the memory of Joey Dunlop. The 'Joey Dunlop Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1881' was Consecrated on the 7th June, 2007 at London Road, Leicester.. Bro. Joey Dunlop 'Yer Maun' (25th February, 1952 – 2nd July, 2000)
The Origin of the Twenty-Four Inch Gauge This article resulted in a correspondence I received from one of our readers, who asked; “At the meeting of my Mother Lodge last night we were discussing the 1st degree working tools and the 24 inch gauge was discussed at length, ancient measurement was the cubit, but why the 24 inch gauge in our ritual?”. This might be the answer.
The 24-inch-gauge or cubit is the hieroglyphic and has the phonetic value of Maat and indicated, primarily, “that which is straight,” and was the name which was given to the instrument by which the work of the handicraftsman of every kind was kept straight and measured: metaphorically, a rule or law or canon by which the lives of men and their actions were kept straight and governed, belonged to the Egyptian word Maat. The Egyptians thus used the word in a physical and moral sense as we do in all our ceremonies connected with this instrument, as their naming it Maat clearly proves, therefore, it is a very important instrument used by our Brotherhood; much more so than the majority would at first conceive. The British inch was the unit of linear measurement used at the building of the Great Pyramid, or at least it is the nearest standard in existence, as it has lost 1 one-thousandth part of itself, after being carried from land to land through all these thousands of years. There is, therefore, more in it than being an instrument to “measure our work” and being “symbolical of time.” One inch is the link representation of the Great Year 18
prophetically. Five hundred millions of the Pyramid inch is the length of the earth's Polar diameter. Twenty-five inches give the length of the Sacred Cubit (5 x 5 = 25 Angles of the Pyramid). The absolute length of the Sacred Cubit is the same used by the Israelites and spoken of in the volume of the Sacred Law as the one ordained by God, and was brought out of Egypt by Moses, who, being one of the High Priests of On, no doubt knew and understood all the mysteries and secrets of the Great Pyramid and sacred doctrines. It was different in length to that of the Greek, Roman, and later-day Egyptian cubit. Freemasons, perhaps unknown to themselves, have been the custodians of the secrets connected with it from the original, through ages of time, bringing on from its origin how much of the original secrets connected with it. ??? Thus we see that the standard and unit of linear measurement, used it the building of the Great pyramid, from which the British inch was derived in primeval days of purity and Eschatological worship, before the people fell away from their true doctrines, has been handed down by us pure and unsullied. The measurements of the Mayas were the same as the Egyptians in all particulars, reckoning by 5 and 20. The great attempt of the French people to abolish alike the Christian religion and hereditary weights and measures of all nations, to replace the former by a worship of philosophy, and the latter by the Metre — French metre scheme depending, in a certain manner of their own, upon the magnitude of the earth, as well as the substitution of a week of seven days by in artificial period of ten days — is not very old nor yet an improvement upon the 19
exactness in measurement of these ancient people; because, by assuming, as their unit and standard of length, the one ten-millionth of a “quadrant of the earth's surface” that took a curved line drawn on the earth's surface in the place of the straight axis of rotation it could not be so exact, and in fact is far inferior in measurement. The British hereditary inch, therefore, is much nearer and more exact to an integral earth measure. As long as one retains a power of geometry, so long will the diameter be thought of greater primary importance than the circumference of a circle, and when we come to a sphere in motion, the axis of its dynamical labour shall hold a vastly superior importance, especially when the earth's equator is not a true circle. Yet all this was taken into account and provided for by the builders of the Great Pyramid and the references for the grand unit — the tensevenths or ten-millionth part of the earths Polar semi-axis — then adopted, is now shown to be the only sound and scientific one which the earth possesses. Through all these years the British inch has only lost 1 one-thousandth part of its length — and that we are aware of. Who shall say that this has not been caused by a Divine will? — you ask why because, as years go on the interior of the earth cools down, earthquakes take place and the outer crust falls in and the circumference would lessen, and in time so would the earth's Polar semi-axis. If the Pyramid was built by Divine Inspiration, we may be sure that the Great Architect of the Universe has provided in some way — His way — to keep all correct, even to the smallest detail. For those who believe in the Divine Inspiration, there is something for them to think about and ponder over before any change is made in our standard. Sourced from “The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man” by Albert Churchward, 1910.
Rays of Masonry â€œThe Union of Heartsâ€? He who seeks Masonry as an avenue for financial gain will be forever disappointed. Masonry promises no monetary reward and religiously keeps its promise. But those who knock at the door of Masonry seeking the path of self-improvement, and yearning for the association of kindred minds and hearts, should never be disappointed. The culmination of all Masonic teaching is Universal Brotherhood, and each lodge must justify its existence by presenting a pattern of Brotherhood. There is no halfway mark in Masonry! We must increase our privileges and our responsibilities, or else we are not progressive. Masonry that we derive from books and study is only of value in its relation to our association with our fellowmen. We are told many times today how close we are to all parts of the world. Men are no closer to each other than their ideals, their hopes, their aspirations and their desires. Men thousands of miles apart may be closer than men who live in the same block. Transportation will never be stronger than the cable-tow that unites the hearts of men. We who are Masons, who are joined together by the lasting materials of which true Brotherhood is formed, should appreciate the privileges that our membership offers. Our Masonic teachings, our tenets and principles lead to the joy of Masonic association. All vestige of "stranger" has been removed. There is an unobstructed path from heart to heart.
Dewey Wollstein 1953.
The Ideal Mason "So you think Brother Parkes is an ideal Mason, do you?" asked the Old Past Master of the Young Brother. "I like Brother Parkes, but before I gave assent to your adjective of 'ideal' I'd like to have you define it." "What I meant" answered the Younger Brother "was that he is so well rounded a Mason. He is Brotherly, charitable, loves a good speech and a good time, and does his Masonic duty as he sees it." "Oh! Well, if that's being an ideal Mason, Parkes is surely one. But I can't follow your definition of ideal. For there are so many ideals in Freemasonry, and it has been given to few...I doubt, really, if it has been given to any...man to realize them all. Certainly I never knew one. "There are so many kinds of Masons! I do not refer now to the various bodies a brother 20
may join; Chapter, Council, Commandery, Scottish Rite Lodge, Chapter, Council, Consistory, Shrine, Grotto, Tall Cedars, Eastern Star; a man may belong to them all and still be just one kind of Mason. "When I speak of 'kinds' of Masons I mean 'kinds of ideals'. "There is the man whose ideal of Masonry is ritual. He believes in the ritual as the backbone of the fraternity. Not to be letter perfect in a degree is an actual pain to him; he cares more for the absolute accuracy of the lessons than the meaning in them. His ideal is a necessary one, and to him we are indebted for our Schools of Instruction, for our accuracy in handing down to those who come after us, the secret work, and to a large extent, for what small difficulties we put in the way of a candidate, by which he conceives a regard for the Order. What is too easily obtained is of small value. Making a new Mason learn by rote some difficult ritual not only teaches him the essential lessons, but makes him respect that which he gets by making it difficult. "There is a brother with the social ideal of Masonry. To him the Order is first a benevolent institution, one which dispenses charity, supports homes, looks after the sick, buries the dead, and, occasionally, stages a 'ladies night' or a 'free feed' or an 'entertainment'. He is a man who thinks more of the lessons of brotherly love than the language in which they are taught; as a ritualist, he uses synonyms all the time, to the great distress of the ritually-minded Mason. To the social ideal of Masonry and those to whom it makes its greatest appeal we are indebted for much of the public approbation of our Order, since in its social contacts it is seen of the world. 21
"There are brethren to whom the historical, perhaps I should say the archeological ideal, is the one of greatest appeal. They are the learned men; the men who dig in libraries, read the books, who write the papers on history and antiquity. To them we are indebted for the real, though not yet fully told story of the Craft. They have taken from us the old apocryphal tales of the origin of the Order and set Truth in their places; they have uncovered a far more wonderful story than those ancient ones which romanticists told. They have given us the right to venerate our age and vitality; before they came we had only fables to live by. To them we owe Lodges of Research, histories, commentaries, the great books of Masonry and much of the interpretation of our mysteries. "Then there is the symbolist. His ideal is found in the esoteric teachings of Freemasonry. He is not content with the bare outline of the meaning of our symbols found in our lectures-he has dug and delved and learned, until he has uncovered so great a wealth of philosophical, religious and fraternal lessons in our symbols as would amaze the Masons who lived before the symbolist began his work. "To him we are indebted for such a wealth of beauty as has made the Craft lovely in the eyes of men who otherwise would find in it only 'another organization.' To him we are indebted for the greatest reasons for its life, its vitality. For the symbolist has pointed the way to the inner, spiritual truths of Freemasonry and made it blossoms like the rose in the hearts of men who seek, they know not what, and find, that which is too great for them to comprehend. "These are but other ideals of Freemasonry, my son, but these are enough to illustrate
my point. Brother Parkes follows the social ideal of Freemasonry, and follows it well. He is a good man, a good Mason, in every sense of the word. But he is not an 'ideal' Mason. An 'ideal' Mason would have to live up to, to love, to understand, to practice, all the ideals of Freemasonry. And I submit, it cannot be done. "What's your ideal of Freemasonry?" asked the Younger Mason curiously, as the Old Past Master paused. "The one from which all the things spring", was the smiling answer. "I am not possessed of a good enough memory to be a fine ritualist; I don't have time enough to spare for many of the social activities of Masonry, I am not learned enough to be historian or antiquary, nor with enough vision to be an interpreter of symbols for any man but myself. My ideal is the simple one we try to teach to all, and which, if we live up to it, encompasses all the rest; the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man." . This is the fourth article in this our new regular feature, â€˜The Old Past Master,â€™ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Masonic labour is purely a labour of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are in the dealings with one another; sympathy begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason. Benjamin Franklin
Freemasonry in the Future The problem with attempts to delineate the future is that events may prove you horribly wrong. No wonder the rabbinic tradition said that since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, prophecy had ceased in Israel and the only ones who purport to be prophets are infants and idiots. I certainly am not an infant and I would not like to be thought an idiot, so I shall not pretend to prophesy but simply to indicate some of the trends of today that might well be decisive in fashioning the future. Once upon a time, a very solid segment of Australian society belonged to the Craft, something like one in every nine males. In modern terms that would give us almost a million members. The reality, however, is more sobering: in NSW alone, we are losing over three thousand Masons every year. We are not a dying breed, because the faithful, active, enthusiastic nucleus is so solid and stable. But if we are to attract new members and fully mobilise the potential of the members we have, we need to think carefully, plan wisely, and work energetically. Freemasonry has suffered in recent years from two sets of circumstances; the one internal, and the other external. Within the Craft, we have tended to become frozen in the mind-set and ways of two generations ago. Many of our meeting places, like Rip Van Winkle, have slumbered for decades and are today hopelessly outmoded and unattractive. Our schedule of meetings presumes that our members have all the time in the world and 22
nothing else to do with it. Our ritual, its language in itself archaic, has tended to go on and on without drama or finesse. Our fellowship has become a closed shop, our social gatherings unsophisticated, our suppers primitive in content and poor in presentation. As a result, a proportion of our members are bored with the Lodge and find in it neither excitement nor challenge. Externally, the world has moved away from the set of circumstances in which Freemasonry used to be so relatively comfortable. The changes in society have been massive. The rapidation of change has left nothing as it once was. In the June 1989 transactions of the Research Lodge of NSW, Wor Bro E J Buckman did a remarkable job in expounding them, and without following his analysis slavishly or agreeing with him on every point, his paper is the stimulus for the following brief survey which shares his conclusion that “an unchanging organisation has little chance of long-term survival in the modern world”. 1. Leisure Activities: In an exciting, expanding leisure market, the array of relatively inexpensive options is dazzling. Freemasonry cannot compete. 2. Work Patterns: Getting a job is harder and job success is more nerve-wrecking and demanding. Going to Lodge regularly is asking too much. 3. Education: More people are better educated and qualified and many have to work to keep up with new developments in their field. Freemasonry does not appear to be intellectually challenging. 4. Women’s Liberation: Husband-and-wife shared activities are the norm. Male-only bastions that relegate women to the kitchen have no appeal. 23
5. Family Pressures: Increased divorce and one-parent families bring new pressures on one’s time and nerves. It is harder to go to Lodge and rely on everything being in order on the home front. 6. The Generation Gap: The young and the old live in the same world but are attracted by different ideas and activities. Tensions will increase with greater life expectation. The old may see Freemasonry as a comfortable retreat; the young may at best be amused by it but keep away. 7. Australian Society: Multiculturalism has changed the nature of our population, and organisations that are still largely AngloCeltic or European are no longer normative. At the same time, Australianism is growing and organisations such as ours are perceived as having no specific Australian flavour. 8. The Communications Explosion: The world becomes more and more of a global village. We are involved in all that happens anywhere, sometimes even before it occurs. By comparison, Freemasonry seems to remain in a dream world of its own. 9. Secularism: Society has less time and patience for conventional religion or for quasi-religious movements such as ours. Paradoxically, people feel the need for a spiritual basis for existence but tend to turn to fundamentalist, revivalist religion, compared to which Freemasonry is too vague and genteel and lacking in commitment. To the changes in society, add the constant criticism that is directed at Freemasonry. We are accused of being a secret society, exclusivist and elitist, withdrawn from the environment, and a rival religion. All these and other accusations – whether based on knowledge of the facts or not – discredit us
in the eyes of the public and make it harder for a Mason to explain and defend himself to family and friends who simply cannot understand how he can take the Craft seriously. So, what do we do? Taking it for granted that the philosophy of Freemasonry is as great, as noble, as inspiring as it ever was, we need to work much more intensively on packaging and presentation. The future is in our own hands; society is indifferent to whether we succeed or fail, yet at the same time almost every one of the changes in society offers its own special opportunity for us to regroup our forces, strengthen our ranks, and move dynamically into the future. How do I see Freemasonry in the years ahead? As I emphasised at the outset, I am not a prophet nor have I any prophetic gifts but, if our movement is to be alive and well, I believe this is the picture we need to construct: • Our meeting-places will be fewer, smaller, and more pleasant. • The days and times of our meetings will be more flexible. • Masonic dress will be tidy without the stuffy formality of today. • Our programmes will have more variety and a greater range with the emphasis taken off degree work. We will alternate private and open meetings. We will run regular sporting, social and cultural events for the whole family. • Our ritual will be recast and more varied, for instance with an alternation of dialogue and drama; and not everything will need to be done by heart. • Every Lodge will become fully involved in the local community with projects shared with other groups and organisations.
• Our educational activity will be intensified, not just by more dull lectures. Notice papers will become newsletters, Masonic videos will portray the Craft for either private or open exhibition, there will be a College of Masonic Studies and no-one will assume the chair of a Lodge or any higher rank without an appropriate course of study. • Our membership will change. There will be a role of women. Certain activities will be for older members and others for the younger Mason. Membership will reflect the multi-ethnic character of modern Australia. We will do more pastoral work and show members that we care about them. • Public relations will assume much greater importance on every level. News of Masonic projects and personalities will figure in the media. Effective material will explain what the Craft is about and counter the ignorance and prejudice that came about largely because of our over-secrecy. Any public display of Masonic ritual, such as a funeral, will be carried out with style and become a Masonic shop-window. Above all, Freemasonry will not only preach its message of ethics, but every Mason will live such an upright, socially responsible life that he will be a walking advertisement for the Craft. Masons who daily advance in Masonic commitment and who live lives appropriate for members of the Craft will thus do the Craft the greatest possible service. They will also do what Masonry always believed was possible – lay the building bricks for a qualify society in which every man is a brother and the principles that rule are justice, peace and truth. 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: How was it determined the Officers in the Lodge? Answer: The evolution of the modern list of Officers in our Lodges was a very slow process. Our oldest records relating to operative lodges, suggest that there were only two Officers, the Master (by various titles) and one Warden. Many versions of the Old Charges indicate that 'one of the Elders' performed the duty of holding 'the Book' (Bible or Gospel) while the 'Charges' were read to the candidate and until he had finished taking his obligation upon it; but the 'Elder' was not an officer. Later operative documents, e.g. the minutes of the Aitchison's Haven Lodge, which begin in 1598, show the Warden in the highest Office, with a Deacon as next in rank, and a 'clerk' as secretary. This was a Scottish Lodge, and in Scotland the titles of Warden and Deacon were sometimes interchangeable, so that the Deacon held the highest Office. In this Lodge the title 'Master', for the senior Officer, did not come into use unti11825. (AC 24, p.31). In the 1600s, it was customary for the newly-entered apprentices and the newly made 'fellows of Craft' to choose two 'intenders' or 'instructors' of their own rank, but the 'intenders' were not Officers of the Lodge, only temporary tutors. Later still, in the Edinburgh Register House MS, 1696, the two sister texts, the new E.A. had 'the youngest Mason', i.e. the last previous candidate, as his 'intender', and the newly-made FC was similarly instructed by 25
the 'youngest Master'. There were only two degrees in those days, 'Entered Apprentice' and 'Master or Fellow-Craft'. The intender's duty was to instruct the candidate during the course of the ceremony but outside the Lodge, in the proper sign and 'words of entry' which were the candidate's greeting when he returned to the Lodge. The intender's services, on these occasions, might correspond remotely, to those of the Deacon of today. In Lodge Mother Kilwinning No. 0, of Scotland, with surviving minutes from 1642, the Deacon served the highest Office unti11735, when he was first recorded as Master. A Deputy-Master was appointed annually from 1736 onwards. QuarterMasters were appointed in 1643 and regularly thereafter, their duty being to collect the Quarterly dues, under penalty of 'doubling' if they were not paid. There was a strict system of fines for non- attendance, and for operative misdemeanours such as employing cowans; and a 'Fiscal' was appointed from 1717 onwards to collect those fines. The Lodge appointed a Standard-bearer in 1757; Tylers in 1764; a Treasurer in 1771; a Chaplain in 1801, although many Ministers of religion were members long before that date. Senior and Junior Deacons were not appointed unti11850. All the Officers were required to pay Fees of Honour, when they were appointed and lesser sums when they relinquished Office. A fine was imposed if they refused to take Office! The earliest records of the Lodge of Edinburgh Mary's Chapel, (No. 1) begin in 1599 and show the Deacon (later Preces and finally Master) in the highest Office. There was only one Warden as second in command, with a 'Clark' or secretary .The
Warden often served as 'Box-Master' or Treasurer. Senior and Junior Wardens were first appointed in 1737; Master of Ceremonies in 1771; Chaplain in 1798, and there is no record of Deacons until 1809. These Scottish records of three of the oldest Lodges in the world are quoted only to show how slow was the evolution of the modern list of Officers. Returning now to England, our first Book of Constitutions, 1723, prescribed its list of Officers as follows: Master, S.W. and J.W.: Treasurer and Secretary each assisted by a Clerk. Note: Deacons and Inner Guard were not mentioned. The Grand Lodge itself appointed Stewards for the Annual Feast, and a Fellow craft to look after the door of Grand Lodge; and later appointments of Stewards and Tylers for the private Lodges. In 1730, Samuel Prichard published his Masonry Dissected, the first exposure of a system of three degrees. He named only five Officers in all, the Master, two Wardens, the Senior E.A. 'in the South ...to hear and receive Instructions and welcome strange Brothers' and the Junior E.A. in the North, 'To keep off all Cowans and Eves-droppers'. When William Preston in the 1775 edition of his Illustrations of Masonry gave a detailed description of the investiture of Officers, he listed: The Master; S.W. and J.W.; Treasurer; Secretary; Stewards and Tyler. In 1815, two years after the union of the rival Grand Lodges, the first Book of Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge specified 'The Masonic officers of a lodge' as: 'The Master and his two Wardens, with their assistants, the two Deacons, Inner
Guard, and Tyler; to which ...may be added other officers, such as Chaplain, Treasurer, Secretary, etc.! Nowadays, the English Book of Constitutions. lists the Officers of private Lodges in two categories i.e. regular Officers, who must be elected or appointed, and additional Officers, who may be appointed, as follows: Regular: -Master, two Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, two Deacons, Inner Guard and Tyler, (total nine). Additional: -Chaplain, Director of Ceremonies, Charity Steward, Almoner, Asst. D. of C., Organist, Asst. Sec., a Steward or Stewards. Finally, all the dates in this article belong to documents that will prove my statements, but when I say that there were two Wardens in 1730, they may have been earlier than that, and 1730 is simply the date when they were so recorded. The main problem is the first appointment of Deacons. There is a record of them at Durham in 1732 and of regular appointments from 1743-1758 at Chester: (See The Freemasonry at Work, pp. 91-3). In their History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, p. 97, the authors, Lepper & Crossle, state that Deacons have been regularly appointed in Irish Lodges 'since 1726 at least', but they give no precise details. The earliest date of the appointment of Inner Guards, by that title, is also uncertain, but we know that juniors were acting in that capacity in 1730 and probably before that time.
The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ 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.
IS THERE ANY TIME FOR MASONRY? Brethren, in this busy hectic life we live, is there any time for Masonry? Not the time spent in Lodge. Not the time for study or practice, but time for Masonry itself. Time to relish the lessons taught. To contemplate the morals conveyed, to dwell upon its many excellences, to keep all these mentioned qualities alive. Alive to weather the test of time. Alive to last, pure and unsullied. Alive to teach future generations. The only way this can happen is through your determination and dedication. Your determination not to let our Values and Morals be compromised. Not to allow, the Principals of Freemasonry to be undermined. Not to allow, what defines us from the rest of society, to be destroyed. Masonry flourishes in time. It needs time like flowers need sun. It needs time for its Values to sink in, like water through soil, there to nourish the roots of mankind. Masonry needs time for its lessons to be transferred, from generation to generation, like seeds in the wind. It needs time to mend the ways of those who have gone off course, like the waters of a rushing river. You cannot “rush” Masonry. Time is its foundation. It‘s the tool it uses to teach its lessons. Time is what Masonry uses to cleanse itself of detractors. Time is what it 27
teaches us, when problems need resolving, when wounds need healing, and when problems confront us, it‘s time that provides its aid. Time moves at its own pace. You cannot rush it, or slow it down. The sun rises and sets at its own pace. You cannot change it; you have to learn to live with it. Masonry teaches the same lesson: not to push situations, but to allow time its opportunity to allow things to happen – to allow them to happen, not make them happen. Men become Masons. It doesn‘t happen overnight; it takes time. It took time to make application to Masonry; you weren‘t born with this desire, the desire came over time. You weren‘t made a Master Mason because you participated in a Ceremony or Degree; it happens over time. You cannot demand patience right away; it takes time. You cannot become intelligent right away; it takes time. You don‘t excel at a task the first time; to become proficient takes time. Now if I ask you, how you are going to become a better man because of Masonry, I would suggest the answer would be, in time. So how are you going to use this thing called time? What purpose do you have in store for your time? Is it something you‘re going to waste or respect? Are you going to spend it wisely or squander it foolishly? One thing for sure, it‘s in short supply. There‘s only so much, but we don‘t know how much there is. We never know when something will start, or when it will end. Masonry however teaches us how to deal with time between those periods. How much do we know about spending our time?
We know, or should know, that it‘s more valuable than any currency in existence. Some of us have money. Some have more than others but what we all have in short supply is time. You can count your money, but you can‘t count time, because one never knows how much one has. My suggestion is not to count time as a currency, but rather to spend it as wisely as possible, for we know not when it will run out. The best thing we can do is teach others how to live a meaningful life within the confines of their time. The lessons of Masonry do just that. It tells us to die regretted, for we all have so much to accomplish in such a short time that we may never accomplish all our goals. The key is to leave the world a better place than when you found it. Masonry teaches us to act upon the Square, be upright in intentions and, like the Compass, maintain a Circle of Harmony with all mankind. Let prudence direct you, temperance chasten you, and justice be the guide of all your actions. When it comes to your time, dedicate yourselves to such pursuits as may enable you to become respectful in your rank of life, useful to mankind, and an ornament to our society. Use your time to better yourself socially, for the betterment of society as a whole. Be respectful, dignified and true. Use your time so as to leave a positive lasting impression that time itself can not erase. This is your time to leave your lasting impression upon others, by which they will forever remember and speak of you. If anything, this is the only thing in life which may be entirely within your control.
THE DOVE EMBLEM OF THE DEACONS In Great Britain, prior to the Union of the two Grand Lodges in 1813, the 'Emblem’ of the Deacon was the figure of 'Mercury'. True, Mercury was emblematic of a messenger, however, in Roman mythology, Mercury was the God of merchandise and protector of traders and thieves. After the Union, the emblem changed from the figure of 'Mercury’ to 'The Dove'. It is suggested that the change of emblem took place to eliminate possible future controversy. Certainly there is no record of controversy with The Dove. The Dove in ancient symbolism represented purity, innocence and peace, and has in many ways been regarded as a messenger. The first Dove sent forth by Noah, from the Ark, returned with its message that the waters had not subsided. The second Dove's message was that the waters were receding and the trees were showing. The third Dove did not return which revealed to Noah the implied message that the flood was ending enabling the bird to return to its natural habitat. The Dove was an agent at the creation and hovered over the retreating waters. It became the harbinger of peace to Noah. The Dove with an olive branch in its mouth, and encircled by a rainbow, formed the striking and expressive symbol of peace. Since that time Doves have been used to carry messages in war and peace and the rainbow is still symbolic of the flood that God created to punish the wicked of that generation. 28
The Deacons both wear the Jewel of The Dove bearing an olive branch in its beak. Their duties are clearly defined in the ritual, and are primarily to attend the WM, and assist the Wardens in the active duties of the Lodge. The JD is situated at the right hand of the SW and his duty is to carry the messages and commands of the WM from the S to the JW, and to see that the same are punctually obeyed. The SD is situated at or near the right hand of the WM and his duty is to carry the messages and commands of the WM to the SW and await the return of the JD. The Deacons, like the Doves are the messengers of the lodge. The Deacons always square the lodge and move about with confidence and authority, carrying their wands, the badges of their office, at an angle of forty- five degrees, grasping it about one third from the top and ensuring 'The Dove' at the top of the wand is right side up (as in flight).
THE TALE OF THE MERRY MASONS By Saunders Denovan*
Ten Merry Masons went one night to dine; One fought John Barleycorn, and then there were nine. Nine Merry Masons driving hame gey late; One tumbled aff the car, and then there were eight. Eight Merry Masons - kytes wi’ haggis riven; One bocked himsel' awa' and then there were seven. Seven Merry Masons up to merry tricks, Cloured the Maister wi' the mell; then there were six. Six Merry Masons then begood to strive; A plumb-rule met a Warden - then there were five. Five Merry Masons - relics o’ the splore – Slew the Junior Warden, and then there were four. Four Merry Masons played the Third Degree Killed the one ca’d Hiram, and then there were three. Three Merry Masons a' still geyly fou ; One took owre big a dram, and then there were two.
Twa Merry Masons thocht they saw the sun, Ane threiped 'twas but a lamp and then there was one. That Merry Mason sought his Lodge in vain, He fell i' the midden-hole and then there were nane! And when the news came hame at length the Mother Lodge begood To mourn for a' her errin' sons, and grat baith lang and loud; Till ane got up, and said, “I move we send out scouts in threes, And if we hae a bit o' luck we'll get them by degree's.” So East, and West, and South they gaed wi' een for something droll, And fegs! They fand a Mason sleepin' i' the midden-hole! They pu'd him out; he rubbed his even, an' pointed to a wa', An' there a lad was sleepin' sound - an' he was number twa. An' owre the hill the pairty gaed and sune - 'twee'n you and me They saw ane wi' a toom pint - stoup, an' he was number three. He joined the party; they gaed on till halted by a snore, And sleepin' sound ahint a dyke they there fand number four. And as they waukened him, ane cried, “Guidsakes! as I'm alive !
Here’re drunken Tam the' Tyler lad” - and he was number five. Quo Tam, “I've been a Tyler lang, but never saw sic tricks, If you come yont the road wi’ me, I’ll show number six '' Thus, gatherin' up the jewels - turnin' deid men into livin The party gaed, as Tam had said, and sune fand number seven. I’ll wat, to gie them a' a word, the searchers werena blate, But guided still by faithfu' Tam, they sune fand number eight. Quo he, “'Twas just ayont the moor, the Deacon bocked the wine;” As sure's he said it, sleepen ' sound they there got number nine. “Wae’s me!” he cried, “Oh lads, I am the silliest o’ men!” An’ just wi’ that cam’ mairchin’ in the Master – number ten! “Good lads!” quo he, “we’re merry boys, we’ve had a glorious time; I saw twa munes up i’ the lift, am’ God! They looked sublime But faith! My heid’s a sorrs heid, it’s like to split in twa, I’ve lain ahint the feal – dyke there sin’ e’er ye gaed awa.” We leuch, an’telled him a’ the tale. Quo he, “The morrow’s morn, I’ll tak’ the pledge to say ‘Good-bye’ to auld John Barleycorn.” Saunders Denovan* was the pen name for Brother William Harvey.
THE BACK PAGE Ecclesiastes â€“ 12:1-7 (explanation) 1.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, Many young and middle aged people overlook there surroundings and God, but as old age comes to them they start to become concerned with how they have arrived at where they are and now try to play caught up.
While the evil days come not, When your body and mind don't work the way they did in youth.
Nor the years draw nigh, Your time and years are drawing to a close.
When thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them, When you can't do that which took no effort in youth to do, and now all you can do is sit and watch, or have someone else do it for you.
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, When death finally prevails and you are no longer part of the wonders of life and nature.
Nor the clouds return, after the rain, Rains created new growth and life, a fresh start. And the sun or the stars once again appear.
In the day when the keepers or the house shall tremble, The keepers or the house are the hands, the arms, and legs, the trembling comes with the feebleness of old age.
And the strong men shall bow themselves, When they become stooped over, or bow legged, no longer able to stand erect.
And the grinders cease because they are few, The grinders are the teeth, which were usually very few, (in old age), if you were fortunate enough to have any.
10. And those that look out of the windows be darkened, The windows are the eyes. Failing sight is a trait common to old age. 11. And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, The doors are the lips, the streets are the mouth by which nourishment enters, and the sound of the grinding is the human voice. In old age when the teeth are lost, mumbling is a very common attribute. 31
12. And he shall rise up at the voice of the birds, The birds is the crowing cock. In old age mankind is more restless in his slumbers, and early rising is a habit with many. 13. And all the daughters of music shall be brought low, The daughters of music is the ears. The voice loses its strength and hearing becomes less acute in the aged. 14. Also, when they shall be afraid of that which is high, In the declining years, men fear to scale the heights which in their prime they ascended with ease. 15. And fears shall be in the way, Timidity is a common fault of older people. They are filled with apprehension at the first sign of danger. 16. And the almond tree shall flourish, It refers to the white flower of that tree and the allegorical significance is to old age, when the hair of the head shall become white or gray. 17. And the grasshopper shall be a burden, To the weakness of old age, even the weight of so small a thing as a grasshopper, is a burden, or a pest. 18. And desire shall fail, The appetites and desires of youth cease in the declining years. 19. Because man Goeth to his long home, Literally to his grave. Or to that undiscovered country from whose borne no traveller returns. 20. And the mourners go about the streets, This refers to the original custom of having official mourners, who make public lamentations for the dead. 21. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, The silver cord is that spiritual cord which connects man to his God the same way an umbilical cord connects the baby to its mother. 22. Or the golden bowl be broken, The skull is called the golden bowl, from it's yellow colour. 23. Or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, The pitcher is the great vein which carries the blood to the ventricle of the heart, here called the fountain. 24. Or the wheel broken at the cistern, The wheel represents the aorta or great artery which receives the blood from the ventricle of the heart or the cistern and distributes it through the body. 25. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Upon decomposition the body will return to mother earth from where it first originated, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor
The Monthly Masonic Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.