Volume 15 Issue 5 No. 119 September 2019
Cover Story, The Sign and Symbols of the Original Australians A Master’s Wages A Divinity that Shapes Us Did You Know? Lodge St. Barchan No. 156. Famous Freemasons – Brian Donlevy The Three Lesser Lights Rays of Masonry The Old Past Master Freemasonry – the unknown secret Did You Know? Refreshment Free Will and Accord The Working Tools of a Cowan
Main Website – Why Joppa?
In this issue: Cover Story ‘The signs and symbols of the Original Australians’ A look at the sacred objects, signs and perambulations used by the natives in their ceremonies and there comparisons with those used by Freemasons. Page 7, ‘A Master’s Wages.’ What a Master’s Wages really are. Page 10, ‘A Divinity That Shapes Us’ The Musings of Julian Rees Page 11, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 13, ‘Lodge St. Barchan No. 156. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 17, ‘Brian Donlevy’ Famous Freemasons. Page 19, ‘The Three Lesser Lights.’ An explanation of the three lesser lights. Page 22, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “We are Dreamers” Page 22, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “That Atheist”, sixth in the series. Page 25, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 26, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 28, ‘Refreshment’ Page 30, ‘Free Will and Accord’ Page 31, ‘The Working Tools of a Cowan.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Why Joppa?’ [link] Front cover – Aboriginal Cave Drawings.
THE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE ORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS This extract is from a paper submitted to the Lodge of Research No. 218 in Victoria by Wor. Bro. F.C. McDonough and he commenced by quoting a portion of the start of a book by Alan Moorhead entitled “Coopers Creek". The quote is as follows: "The land was absolutely untouched and unknown, and except for the blacks, the more retarded people on earth, there was no sign of any previous civilization whatever, not a scrap of pottery, not a Chinese coin not even the vestige of a Portuguese fort. Nothing in this strange country seemed to bear the slightest resemblance to the outside world. As for the naked Aborigines, they were caught in a timeless apathy in which nothing ever changed or progressed, they built no villages, they planted no crops, and except for a few flea-bitten dogs, possessed no domestic animals of any kind. The major portion of the continent they lived in has been often referred to as the "ghastly blank” These primitive blacks as Alan Moorhead described them were indeed a truly nomadic people - but they did possess one of the strictest codes of moral behaviour of any race or people and a series of traditional legends, laws and taboos passed on from generation to generation in the various tribes which enabled them to survive for many thousands of years in this hostile land.
Archaeologists are now talking in terms of 20 to 100,000 years of native occupation of Australia. Any infraction of these tribal laws was punished by death and “ritual killings”, which even though the advent of the white man has made a great impression, still happen, so strict is their code of behaviour, as needs be for their very survival. The book by Ion Idris on "Lassiter's Last Ride" tells how the fattest of the piccaninnies are sometimes eaten if the tribe is in danger of starving - this was also mentioned by Daisy Bates in an article in the Melbourne 'Sun’ in October l974. Now you may very well say, how can cannibalism be a code of moral behaviour well, not so long ago according to an account in the “Reader's Digest”, a plane crash in the Andes Mountains in South America marooned many people who resorted to cannibalism of their frozen friends in order to survive, and the survivors were excused of their behaviour when rescued as it was considered that their lives were of primary importance. As the natives made use of a series of signs and a set of moral codes to ensure their survival, so in a similar way do we as Freemasons make use of signs and a code of moral behaviour for our survival. The Laws governing the behaviour of all the Tribes are passed on to them at their various Initiation Ceremonies. These ceremonies are the initiatory rites of a boy into manhood, and as we in the craft are taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees - Birth, Life and Death, so are they. The general content of the teachings of different tribes near Broome, North Central Area (Arunta peoples), Central Area (Mt. 2
Olga), North East Coast, and further south near Mootwingee are as follows: They teach: • Whence he came. • How to be a useful member of His Society. • Finally, He must die but death does not end it all. • What will happen after death when he passes to the land of his Ancestors? • Something at least of what is meant by God or Their Great Spirit, whence He came and to whom He must ultimately return Research also discovers three degrees in their ceremonies. 1. A society with secrets consisting of 3 degrees which does not allow the admission of females; a society with privileges - the right to marry into a tribe arid to partake of tribal life associated with the secrets and signs of each degree. 2. Ritual practised seems to be a peculiar system of morality. 3. Finally teaches how to die. In all their ceremonies, there is no going back once the candidate has entered their Lodge. By Lodge I mean: • A clearing in the bush • A Lagoon area • A cave or series of caves. Such places as are set aside as their sacred initiatory areas. To disclose the secrets of any of their degrees is certain death to the initiate, and a like fate awaited the unwary woman who is discovered by the outer-guard whilst endeavouring to act the part of a Cowan. 3
The number 7 seems to play an important part in the life of a native from birth to death, especially in the Broome area. Up to the age of seven, he is in the charge of his Mother who rears him and instructs him in something akin to the “Book of Genesis”. He is told the legend of how the Great Spirit or their God made man but out of clay and blew into his nostrils to bring him to life and then made woman from parts of the man. The East Coast natives believe that their Great Spirit appeared, accompanied by great flashes of lightning and bursts of thunder, on a Great white stone of such brilliance that the eyes had to be shaded from the glare, and that He gave forth the laws to be followed for all time. From 7 to 14, he is in the charge of his Father who teaches him the bushcraft, how to hunt and fight and relates to him all the many legends, known as “Djugurba” or tales from the Spirit Time. These tales explained all that the eyes could see; for to the Aborigines everything that walked, crawled or flew and all the manner of growing things and all the elements had an explanation in the form of a story or legend. From 14 to 21, he is then in the charge of the Tribal Elders who have been and will be responsible for his various initiations. They teach him the laws of the tribe, the old legends of the origins of his particular tribe, the sign language and heliography markings of their Kadaicha sticks and cave drawings. For the natives near Broome and on the North East Coast, at 14, the lad comes of his own free will and accord to a clearing in the bush with three fires burning - one in the East, South and West. He is brought in by his two nearest male relatives (excepting his Father) and laid on his back in the southeast corner mid-way between two fires with
his feet to the East. The Master of Ceremonies wears a necklace of 7 little sticks round his neck, and carries another stick about 2 feet long, a Kadaicha, which he places upright in the sand at the east end of the clearing near the fire. In some tribes, all the onlookers then form a circle and slowly move round stepping over his prone body. The lad is given various signs and secrets by the M.C. One sign is that of standing upright with his right foot on his left knee, right arm across the left breast, clasping a spear upright at his left side. He is shown how to shade his eyes from glare with his left hand, not unlike the reverential sign. He is also given a “Tchuringa” or his sacred object, of which, more will be said later. At the age of 18-21 years, he takes his final or 3rd degree. He is led into their Lodge and held in a kneeling position by his conductors, facing the East, and the Master of Ceremonies confronts him with the 2 ft. 'Kadaicha' stick. Gives him a light tap on the left temple. Then brings it down with a terrific whack in the centre of his forehead – laying him out cold. While he is unconscious the final painful tribal markings are done, and on his recovery, he is shown the sign of grief and distress, as we know it with his right hand, as he is indeed in distress. A veil is sometimes used at the latter part of the ceremony. In a ceremony of the Arunta natives at the initiation of a boy into manhood, their lodge is laid out with two pillars, usually limbs of trees, one in the north known as “nutrunga', and one in the south known as “Warringa”. There is a possibility now that Archaeologists have had a rethink on the age of Aboriginal culture, and, with the finding of fossils related to the old
campfires of the aborigines, that their civilisation is indeed very, very old. Some venture 20,000 years, others up to 100,000 years. This could mean that the Arunta people, and possibly all the blacks in Australia in the dim past, emanated from the Equatorial regions and entered Australia long ago and there ceased to develop. In the Equatorial regions, both pole stars are visible, and this could explain the north pillar in their ceremonies as they can now only see the South Pole star. The Egyptians in their very old ceremonies practised the same circumcision rites as the Australian Aborigines, and they had two pillars, one in the north and one in the south, known as TAT and TATTU, and they worshipped both these pole stars they could see. This possible migration of the Aboriginals from the Northern regions of the earth in the long dim past could also explain the origin of the dingo, or the mammal carnivore which now inhabits Australia, as the only fossil remains of what could be vaguely like a dog found so far are that of a marsupial carnivore or pouched animal like the Kangaroo. The Reverential sign of the Holy Royal Arch is still given by the Arunta of Australia when he returns from his final degree through which he has passed in the mysteries of his initiation. Another ceremony or 'Bora' degree seems to combine the 3rd craft degree with that of a certain Christian degree in Freemasonry in the use of a cross. The layout of their lodge in this case is that of a human figure of sand in the form of a St. Andrews Cross, feet to the East and head to the West. On either side of this figure are standing a row of natives forming an arch of boomerangs or palm fronds. The Conductor 4
leads the candidate through this arch and a word is demanded of him. He is threatened and challenged. He is given and receives passwords, and finally emerges into safety after having been conducted through dangers and difficulties to a new and enlightened existence. This could be likened to him passing through dangers and difficulties before he reaches the end of his journey through the valley of the shadow of death, with the symbol of crucified mortality beneath him in the sand, in the form of a St. Andrews Cross; in this case horizontal instead of vertical in the Christian Degree. In all the tribes there were a whole series of rites from boy to manhood, and by the time he has taken the last, he could be an old man. In the “Arunta” highest degree, or the “Intichivma” ceremony, usually reserved for their M.C. or witchdoctors, the ancient art of bone pointing is learnt. In this ceremony the candidates are often blindfolded, have to fast, their nerves are tested by the terrible din from the bull-roarers, they suffer solitary confinement and are left to meditate, as in some of the Christian orders and learn that ancient writings of their tracing boards mentioned later by 'Lassiter'. The two pillars North and South “Nurtunga” and “Warringa” are in evidence in the same positions. The sign of grief and distress is given, also those of ascension and descension and the sign of fire and the burning bush - shading of the eyes - on return to the camp after the ceremony. The use of the veil is evident in the Engura ceremony, which comes much later than the Bora ceremony. In most primitive tribes of Australia, each man has a peculiar and sacred object which is given to him at his initiation - it is known as his, and once he receives it, it is known as his 5
“Tchuringa” - and he guards it with the utmost care. They are mostly made of wood, some of stone. It represents what he is - his station etc. On his “Tchuringa” is a mark or a series of marks, or a new name engraved which no man knows save he whose “Tchuringa” it is. If he hands it to another native, the latter when restoring it must make him a present. It appears that a native will give it as a bond or pledge to another. It is regarded as a very sacred thing and is often deposited in some sacred spot for greater safety. When the native dies, it is buried with him and without exception all the tribes place their dead with their feet facing the East, whether they be buried or hung up on trees or poles horizontally, wrapped in bark. The East coast natives had reverence for a white stone circle, some of which have been found at old sacred spots, and are said to originate as a result of the legend of their Great Spirit appearing on a white stone of such brilliance that no man could look upon it without shielding his eyes - not unlike the burning bush. In the Ion Idriess book “Lassiter’s Last Ride”, on the track to Ilbilba, they found that 'Kadaicha' was a Centralian word for terror or stark fear, represented by a sacred emblem or an isolated piece of weird topography, a deformed single tree on a lonely rock outcrop, or Mount Olga and its weird rock formations. It represents to the natives, a power capable of operating from another world, a spirit power, a power which influences them from birth to death, and they firmly believe in a life after death also. Near Lassiter’s cave in the Peterman Ranges, north west of Alice Springs is weirdly strange Mount Olga with its
canyons and holes as described in Lassiter's writings, Katatuta, or home of the Spirit people or those ancestors who are to be reborn, or a dwelling place of souls who seek life in this vale of woe. A man named Taylor on one of Lassiter’s journeys into the interior, tells of a strange tribe who presented them with a large 'Kadaicha' in the shape of a flat hardwood plank about 12 ft. long, 6 inches wide, and about ½" thick, carved from end to end and tapered like a two-edged sword. It was covered with a series of squares and circles, and had the outline of a large serpent or snake. Lassiter and Taylor were amazed with the awe and reverence with which these hardy people regarded it. It was very, very ancient, and Taylor described it as “being like a breath from the Tomb”. This emblem was the actual history of that particular tribe, going right back into the dim dark past, and for a woman to look upon it was death. You could almost call it the tribes’ tracing board. This tribe also referred to their spirit people or ancestors who came from the star especially the pole star. They also mentioned 'Kadaicha Shoes', those strange shoes made from Emu feathers and held together by clotted blood. The man who the stars favoured only was entitled to wear them. The wearer of these shoes had the power of a witch-doctor supreme, and was feared by all. Alan Moorhead's book “Coopers Creek", mentioned Sturts' first encounter with the blacks at Coopers Creek in 1844, where he described them as being an embarrassingly friendly lot. Burke and Wills, and Wright in 1860, crossed Sturts' old tracks and made mention of these tribes. Wright mentions a place called “Mootwingee”, 100 miles north of
Menindie - situated on the Darling River on their way to Coopers Creek. Wills’ survey book describes the place as a series of eerie ravines and dark silent pools, with overhanging caves with drawings and rock carvings of animals, serpents and phallic symbols. A very sacred place to the blacks. Wills stated that in spite of abundant water they did not stop at this eerie place, so if hardened explorers were averse to staying around, just imagine how the natives must have felt during their ceremonies. To them it was the dwelling place of the Spirit people in the howling winds of the caves. In general - the sacred objects, signs and perambulations used by the natives in their ceremonies have many comparisons with those used by Freemasons. Of course all the things mentioned tonight may well be considered as a series of coincidences, but as most objects of worship and reference come from the dim Past, who is to say that the Aborigines did not get some of them from the same place as the other various civilisations of the World?
This excellent article was sent to me last year by Iain Taylor in Australia. I’m glad I let it see the light of day, as it really is good. I hope you enjoyed it, Thanks Iain. Sourced from WBro. Iain Taylor PGStdB Education officer Baxter Lodge No. 934.Editors, those of you who want to reproduce this article, please get in touch with Bro. Iain, I’m sure he will get you the necessary permission, but good manners asks that you do, please.
A Masterâ€™s Wages ". . . travel in foreign countries and receive Master's Wages." Our Operative brethren received their Master's Wages in coin of the realm. Speculatives content themselves with intangible wages - and occasionally some are hard pressed to explain to the wondering initiate just what, in this practical age, a Master's Wages really are. The wages of a Master may be classified under two heads; first, those inalienable rights which every Freemason enjoys as a result of fees, initiation and the payment of annual dues to his Lodge; second, those more precious privileges which are his if he will but stretch out his hand to take. The first right of which any initiate is conscious is that of passing the Tiler and attending his Lodge, instead of being conducted through the West gate as a preliminary step to initiation. For a time this right of mingling with his new brethren is so engrossing that he looks no further for his Master's Wages. Later he learns that he also has the right of visitation in other Lodges, even though it is a "right" hedged about with restrictions. He must be in good standing to exercise it. It will be denied him should any brother object to his visit. If he is unaffiliated, in most Jurisdictions, he can exercise it but once in any one Lodge. If private business (such as election of officers or a lodge trial, etc.) is scheduled, the Master of the Lodge he would visit may refuse him entrance. But in general this right of visiting other Lodges is a very real 7
part of what may be termed his concrete Master's Wages, and many are the Freemasons who find in it a sure cure for loneliness in strange places; who think of the opportunity to find welcome and friends where otherwise they would be alone, as wages of substantial character. The opportunities to see and hear the beautiful ceremonies of Freemasonry, to take from them again an again a new thought, are wages not to be lightly received. For him with the open ears and the inquiring mind, the degrees lead to a new world, since familiarity with ritual provides the key by which he may read an endless stream of books about Freemasonry. The Craft has a glorious history; a symbolism the study of which is endless; a curious legal structure of which law-minded men never tire' is so interwoven with the story of the nation as to make the thoughtful thrill; joins hands with religion in the secret places of the heart in a manner both tender and touching. These "foreign countries" have neither gate nor guard at the frontier . . . the Master Mason may cross and enter at his will, sure of wages wherever he wanders within their borders. Master's Wages are paid in acquaintances. Unless a newly-made Master Mason is so shy and retiring that he seeks the farthest corner of his Lodge Room, there to sit and shrink into himself, inevitably he will become acquainted with many men of many minds, always an interesting addition to the joy of life. What he does with his acquaintances is another story, but at least the wages are there, waiting for him. No honest man insures his house thinking it will burn, but the insurance policy in the safe is a great comfort, well worth all that it costs. It speaks of help should fire destroy his home; it assures that all its owner has saved in material wealth will not be lost should
carelessness or accident start a conflagration. No honest man becomes a Freemason thinking to ask the Craft for relief. Yet the consciousness that poor is the Lodge and sodden the hearts of the brethren thereof from which relief will not be forthcoming if the need is bitter, is wages from which comfort may be taken. Freemasonry is not, "re se," a relief organization. It does not exist merely for the purpose of dispensing charity. Nor has it great funds with which to work its gentle ministrations to the poor. Fees are modest; dues are often too small rather than too large. Yet, for the brother down and out, who has no coal for the fire, no food for his hungry child, whom sudden disaster threatens, the strong arm of the Fraternity stretches forth to push back the danger. The cold are warmed, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the jobless given work, the discouraged heartened. Master's Wages, surely far greater than the effort put forth to earn them. Relief is not limited to a brother's own Lodge. In most Jurisdictions there is a Masonic Home, in which, at long last, a brothers weary body may rest, his tired feet cease their wandering. No Freemason who has visited any Masonic Home and there seen old brethren and their widows eased down the last long hill in peace and comfort; the children of Masons under friendly influences which insure safe launching of little ships on the sea of life; comes away thankful that there is such a haven for him, should he need it, even if he hopes never to ask for its aid. Stranded in a strange place, no Freemason worries about getting aid. In all large centres is a Board of Masonic Relief to hear his story, investigate his credentials and start the machinery by which his Lodge may help him. In smaller places is almost
invariably a Lodge with brethren glad to give a sympathetic hearing to his troubles. To the brother in difficulty in what to him is a "foreign country," ability to prove himself a Freemason is Master's Wages, indeed. Freemasonry is strong in defence of the helpless. The Widow and the orphan need ask but once to receive bounty. All brethren hope to support their own, provide for their loved ones, but misfortune comes to the just and unjust alike. To be one of a world wide brotherhood on which widow and child may call is of untold comfort, Master's Wages more precious than the coin of gold. Finally is the right of Masonic burial. At home or abroad no Freemason, know to desire it, but is followed to his last home by sorrowing brethren who lay him away under the apron of the Craft and the Sprig of Acacia of immortal hope. This, too, is Wages of a Master. "Pay the Craft their Wages, if any be due.â€? To some the practical wages briefly mentioned above are the important payments for a Freemason's work. To others, the more intangible but none the less beloved opportunities to give, rather than get, are the Master's Wages which count them. Great among these is the Craft's opportunity for service. The world is full of chances to do for others, and no man need apply to a Masonic Lodge only because he wants a chance to "do unto others as he would others do unto him." But Freemasonry offer peculiar opportunities to unusual talents which are not always easily found in the profane world. There is always something to do in a Lodge. There are always committees to be served and committee work is usually thankless work. He who cannot find his payment in his satisfaction of a task well done will 8
receive no Master's Wages for his labours on Lodge committees. There are brethren to be taught. Learning all the "work" is a man's task, not to be accomplished in a hurry. Yet it is worth the doing, and in instructing officers and candidates many a Mason has found a quiet joy which is Master's Wages pressed down and running over. Service leads to the possibility of appointment or election to the line of officers. There is little to speak of the Master's Wages this opportunity pays, because only those who have occupied the Oriental Chair know what they are. The outer evidence of the experience may be told, but the inner spiritual experience is untellable because the words have not been invented. But Past Masters know! To them is issued a special coinage of Master's Wages which only a Worshipful Master may earn. Ask any of them if they do not pay well for the labour. If practical Master's Wages are acquaintances in Lodge, the enjoyment of fellowship, merged into friendship, is the same payment in larger form. Difficult to describe, the sense of being one of a group, the solidarity of the circle which is the Lodge, provides a satisfaction and pleasure impossible to describe as it is clearly to be felt. It is interesting to meet many men of many walks of life; it is heart-warming continually to meet the same group, always with the same feeling of equality. High and low, rich and poor, merchant and moneychanger, banker and broom-maker, doctor and ditch-digger all meet on the level, and find it happy - Master's Wages, value untranslatable into money. Ethereal as a flower scent, dainty as a butterfly's wing, yet to some as strong as any strand of the Mystic Tie all Freemasons know and none describe, is that feeling of being a part of the historic past. To have 9
knelt at the same Altar before which George Washington prayed; to have taken the same obligation which bound our brethren of the Mother Grand Lodge of 1717; to be spiritually kin with Elias Ashmole; to feel friendly with Oliver, Preston, Krause, Goethe, Sir Christopher Wren, Marshall, Anthony Sayer to mention only a few; to be a brother of Craftsmen who formed the Boston Tea Party; to stand at Bunker Hill with Warren and ride with brother Paul Revere; to be an apprentice at the building of St. Paul's; to learn the Knot from a Comacine Master; to follow the Magister in a Roman "Collegium," aye, even to stand awed before those mysteries of ancient peoples, and perhaps see a priest raise the dead body of Osiris from a dead level to a living perpendicular - these are mental experiences not to be forgotten when counting up Master's Wages. Finally - and best - is the making of many friends. Thousands of brethren count their nearest and their dearest friends on the rolls of the Lodge they love and serve. The Mystic Tie makes for friendship. It attracts man to man and often draws together "those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance." The teachings of brotherly love, relief and truth; of temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice; the inculcation of patriotism and love of country, are everyday experiences in a Masonic Lodge. When men speak freely those thoughts which, in the world without, they keep silent, friendships are formed. Count gain for work well done in what coin seems most valuable; the dearest of the intangibles which come to any Master Mason are those Masonic friendships than which there "are" no greater Master's Wages. Sourced from The Short Talk Bulletinn â€“ Vol XI, February 1933, No. 2. â€“ Author Unknown.
A Divinity That Shapes Us A Divinity That Shapes Us A creed is a rod And a crown is of night But this thing is God To be man with thy might To grow straight in the strength of thy spirit And live out thy life as the light. Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1837-1909
A candidate came to be interviewed by the lodge committee recently, a man who was already well-known to many of the lodge members. One of the questions he was asked was ‘Do you believe in the Supreme Being?’ There followed a long and expectant silence, at the end of which the candidate said: ‘It depends on what you mean by believe’. In my view, he was right to hesitate. The question might have been taken to mean ‘do you believe there is a Supreme Being who orders all our lives and without whom we would be powerless?’ I know a lot of people for whom the statement implicit in that question is not tenable. To that question, for example, the candidate might have answered ‘No. But I do have a concept of a Supreme Being, which does not match that at all.’ For an organisation which is not a religion, we certainly talk a great deal about the Deity. Do we believe in a Creator-Spirit ‘from whom all blessings flow’? If so, what
is His nature? Is it perhaps our own nature? How is He manifest? Do we accept, as many religions do, that God is manifest first and foremost in us individually? Do we say, with St Paul, ‘not I, but God in me’? This statement is certainly true for many Christians, and for many Freemasons. We are going very close here to that region where, as Freemasons, we are supposed not to trespass, namely religion. This candidate was in effect saying: ‘By which religious definition do you ask me whether I believe? I must ask you first to let me define the nature of my belief’. In the event, a fudge was invented which satisfied the candidate and the committee and he duly used the words the committee wanted to hear – I believe in the Supreme Being. After he got home that evening, he emailed a friend who had been on the committee and told him: ‘As usual, I thought of the answer too late. I should have said “I know He exists!”’ (and if the committee had put the question ‘do you believe that a Supreme Being exists?’ there would have been no problem). There you have it. I know He exists. This candidate is a man who thinks deeply, who is already a Freemason in his heart. When he says ‘I know He exists’ he is expressing the nature, the essence of self-knowledge, since divinity can serve us nothing unless we own it, take it to ourselves and be with it, ascending, if only for a moment, ‘to those blessed mansions whence all goodness emanates’. Proceeding out of that is our whole approach to the Deity, and our sometimes perfunctory addresses to Him in our masonic ritual. Take for instance that part of the closing of the lodge which is supposed to be a prayer. ‘Brethren, before 10
we close the lodge, let us with all reverence and humility express our gratitude to the Great Architect of the Universe for favours already received. May He continue to preserve the Order by cementing and adorning it with every moral and social virtue.â€™ With the greatest respect, it is not a prayer. It may be an exhortation to the brethren (to whom after all the words are addressed) to go away and say such a prayer. That prayer might then be rendered in the following words, with eyes closed, head bowed and the sign of reverence: Almighty Architect, we give thanks to You in reverence and humility for the favours You bestow on us. We beseech You to preserve our Order by cementing and adorning it with every moral, social and spiritual virtue. So, while we do refer frequently to the Deity, and since divinity is a central part of ourselves, we ought to take care that we do so purposefully, meditatively, with a sense of wonder. Will you allow me another bit of paraphrasing? Divine Creator, may we always remember that wherever we are, and whatever we do, You are with us, and Your all-seeing eye observes us. May we continue to act according to the principles of masonry, and may we always give You praise, with fervency and zeal. Let me know what you think. And let us come closer to a realisation of the divinity we talk about, and to allow it to take its right place in our lives and in our being. And let this be celebrated in our rituals. 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 "beasts of the field?" Answer. Superstition in the middle ages maintained that a man's body must be buried while perfect, if his soul was to go to heaven. Hence, the destroyed (eaten) flesh of a body prevented resurrection. "Beasts of the field" are not the familiar horses and cows, but the wild beasts of Leviticus XXVI: 22, "I will also send wild beasts among you," etc. These are bears, wild bulls, hyenas, jackals, leopards and wolves, all Old Testament animals
Question: Masonic dates are written "A L." before figures, which never correspond with the number of the year in which we live: why? Answer. Freemasonry's practice has followed the ancient belief that the world was created four thousand years before Christ; that when God said, "Let there be light", the world began. Therefore Masons date their doings four thousand years plus the current year, "Anno Lucis,â€? or "In the year of Light." It is but another of Freemasonry's many ties with a day so old no man may name it.
Question: Why do Brethren not pass between the altar and the East when the Lodge is at labour? Answer. Brethren do not pass between the altar and the East in a Masonic Lodge at labour (except during a degree) because the
Master is supposed to have the Great Lights constantly in view. In theory, at least, he draws inspiration from the altar to preside over the Lodge and must not, therefore, be prevented from seeing it at any time.
Entered Apprentice stopped for cause, the one-time member in good standing who is now dropped for one cause or another-these not infrequently try to pass the Tyler.
The custom is but a pretty courtesy, but it is rooted in a fundamental conception of the Craft--that the altar is the centre of Masonry, and that from it and from the Great Lights it bears, flow all that there is of Masonic inspiration and truth and light.
Question: Why cannot a maimed man be made a Mason?
English Lodges do not have this problem, since in them a pedestal near the Master is the altar on which lies the Holy Book.
Question: What is a Cowan? What is an eavesdropper? Answer. "Cowan" is an old Scotch word, meaning an ignorant mason who puts stones together without mortar, or piles rough stones from the field into a wall without working them square and true. He is a Mason without the Word, the Apprentice who tries to masquerade as a Master. The eavesdropper in ancient times was that would be thief of secrets who listened under the eaves of houses (there was often a space between wall and roof, for the purpose of ventilation). Because to hear he had to get close to the wall under the eaves, he received the drippings, or droppings, from the roof if it rained--hence. Eavesdropper In modern times the eavesdropper is that old man who forges a good standing card, or finds one and masquerades as its owner; the man who has read a so-called "expose" of Masonry and tries to get into a Lodge, in order to ask for charity or help. He is very rare, and few tylers have ever met him! The Cowan, however--the Fellow Craft or
Answer. He can. Half the Grand Lodges in the World now admit men with various degrees of physical disability. Anciently it was forbidden because the fourth of the Old Charges sets forth that "No Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Employment for him, and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his Body, that may render him incapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master's Lord, and of being made a Brother. And then a Fellow Craft in due time..." The "doctrine of the perfect youth" has plagued American Freemasonry for many years; originally all Grand Lodges were very strict; in later years more and more have found an "out" from the Old Charge in the words "that may render him incapable of learning the art," it being obvious that the lack of a finger, or even a hand or a foot, if corrected artificially, does not render a man "incapable of learning the art" of being a Speculative Mason. [Some sources also say that the prohibition stemmed from a desire to avoid the situation of a newly made Mason immediately becoming a charge upon the Lodge's charity, his handicap preventing him from earning a living.] 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, and is for information only..
Lodge St. Barchan No. 156 This marvellous potted history gives a wonderful insight into the early days of an old Scottish Lodge and captures a picture of what life was like for our early Brethren back then.
This extract is taken from the first Minute Book of the Lodge. This entry was made on the 29th of November 1784 by the Lodge Secretary.
Masons and weavers in Kilbarchan were admitted as worthy members of this lodge, John Laing, Ian Erskine, Crawford Robert Young, James Nolones and Peter Ramsay." The minute from the 2nd of June 1786 documents the change in the Lodge's number to 156. The number 208 is now allocated to Lodge Stranraer Kilwinning. "The number of Lodge St. Barchan is changed to 156. It is unanimously agreed by ballot that all members of this Lodge who were entered preceding the oath of the warrant granted by the Grand Lodge, shall be exempted from all quarterly accounts."
"We the members of the St Barchan Lodge No.208 upon receiving our Charter of Constitution and Erection from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, having met in the house of John Laing, (Innkeeper) to deliberate upon further measures to be taken concerning the Lodge, we hereby unanimously agree to postpone this meeting until the 30th of November when we shall meet again and have our by laws made out and signed by the first promoters of the same lodge."
One tradition that has been lost in more recent years is that of laying foundation stones. The first record of Lodge St. Barchan of taking part in such a ceremony is noted in the minute of March 27th 1787: "The Master and Brethren march in procession to lay the Foundation Stone of a new relief church accompanied by the Largs Kilwinning Lodge. Under the foundation stone is placed an engraved plate by Robert Beath of Johnstone."
The following short entry was made on the 30th of November 1784: "Having met agreeable to our past adjournment we proceed accordingly to the making of our by-laws and sign them immediately."
Two years later, it is recorded that the Lodge raised sufficient funds to purchase a banner and jewels. Brother John Gibb is given monies to purchase ribbons for the jewels. Unfortunately he was later expelled when it is discovered that he appropriated part of the money.
The first meeting of Lodge St. Barchan took place on the 1st of December 1784. The following extract from the minute references first Master Masons being admitted as members of the Lodge. "By order of the Master a meeting being called and having met, the Master being in the chair. The following brethren all Master 13
The minute of 1st September 1791 records the first meeting of the Lodge to be held outside Kilbarchan, with the Master calls a meeting in Johnstone. The first mention of the Lodge acquiring property occurs on 7th March 1800 when it is minuted that the Lodge makes a purchase
on the south side of the Cross in Kilbarchan. The cost was £125 and was paid in full. The Lodge decided not to enter the property straight away but to rent it out at a cost of £12 per year. During the year 1800, the Lodge deposited some of its funds with The Union Bank. Brethren who had not paid their loans were threatened with prosecution. On the theme of laying foundation stones previously mentioned, it was minuted on 20th March 1807 that Lodge St. John Beith invited Lodge St. Barchan to assist in the laying of a foundation stone of the new Church. This is a re-occurring theme, and on 17th October 1809 it is minuted that the Lodge forms outside the Lodge Room at 8am whereupon they all walk in procession to Inchinnan where they lay the foundation stone of the new bridge to be erected there. While the finances seem to be on a firm footing with the purchase of property it is also noted on 30th November 1807 that both Archibald Wilson and John Stewart Snr offered the office of Treasurer. Both are fined after refusing. It may simply be coincidence, but on the same date it was minuted that a letter was received from The Grand Lodge of Scotland requesting assistance in the building of a new Lodge. This was refused. What appears to be the favourite pastime of the Lodge again turns up in the minutes of 2nd May 1817 when the Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire requests Lodge St. Barchan to assist in the laying of a foundation stone at the new Custom and Excise building. The brethren assemble at 6am, and march to Greenock where they spend the day and night in harmony.
On March 29th 1828 a large deputation from St. Barchan travel to nearby Johnstone where a foundation stone is laid for the new Relief House. The stone was laid by the Master of Houstoun St Johnstone No. 242, assisted by the other Masters present. On July 29th 1829, a large deputation from the Lodge travels to Glasgow to witness the laying of a foundation stone at Hutchisons bridge. The first official visit from Lodge Houstoun St. Johnstone to Lodge St Barchan took place on March 5th 1830. This must be one of the longest associations between lodges with inter visits continuing into the 21st century. The brethren of Lodge St. Barchan still look forward to their 'first foots' coming up from Johnstone for the first meeting in January. We tend to think that economic hardships are a recent trend, but it was minuted on 4th June 1841 that it was decided to give a 10/(50p) rebate on Lodge property. In addition it was the decision of the brethren to reduce the rent from £19 to £16 due to a depreciation in trade. Due to the high levels of unemployment, the Festival of St. John was curtailed. The Master on his day of installation was conveyed from his home to the Lodge without music. On 18th January 1842 the Lodge travelled to Greenock to lay the foundation stone of a monument to Highland Mary. This was followed some eight years later by a return visit on 17th October 1850 to lay the foundation stone of the new tidal harbour to be named Victoria harbour after the Queen. One of the earliest recorded gifts to a brother of the Lodge occurred on Aril 14th 1854 when Past Master Robert Young was presented with a silver watch as a mark of esteem. 14
Later in the same year a Brother is refused admittance on casting vote of the RWM. This causes a furore in the Lodge and the Secretary was instructed to send a communication to Grand Lodge to seek clarification. Grand Lodge replies and instructs the Lodge to purchase 50 black and 50 white balls. On 8th October 1858, the Lodge Tyler dies, and true to his request made in 1849, he is buried by the Lodge with full Masonic Honours. Having no living relatives, a plot was purchased by the Lodge and 2 gallons of spirits were distributed amongst the brethren. On 6th February 1863 the brethren of the Lodge headed by the RWM travelled to Bridge of Weir to christen the house of Peter Alexandra, "The Masonic Arms". This was carried out with due pomp and ceremony with the band leading the brethren three times around the house. On the third circuit, the Master came to the threshold and poured wine and oil over the Masonic symbols above the door while the Band played The Old Hundred. Afterwards, the Master and Brethren entered and opened their Lodge whereupon they conferred the E.A. degree. The RWM ordered a special meeting of Brethren on 6th December 1863 in accordance with instructions received from the Provincial Grand Master intimating his desire to inspect the books and working of the Lodge generally.There was a good muster of brethren. The RWM having opened the Lodge, the Deacons then introduced the visitor for the evening, Bro. Col. Campbell of Blythswood who was received with honours. A strict investigation of the books having taken place, the Bro. Campbell gave his unqualified approbation 15
of the working of the Lodge and exhorted the new Office Bearers to do all in their power to keep up the honour and dignity of the Craft and in particular of this time honoured Lodge. The installation of Office Bearers appointed at the recent election thereafter took place. Each Brother came before the PGM and on receipt of his jewel received impressive advice relative to his duties. The PGM having similar duties to perform in an neighbouring Lodge then left amid Masonic Honours. Lodge St. Barchan's Centenary celebrations began shortly before 6pm on 6th November 1884. Our old Master, Bro. Matthew Houston took the chair and requested Bro. John Hodgart to open the Lodge. This having been done Matt rose to his feet and told the assembled brethren that it was 100 years since his father was made the 1st Master of the Lodge. Bro William Brodie, Grand Master Mason of New York affiliated to Lodge St Barchan on 20th July 1888. When old Matt Houston died, intimation was placed in the Paisley Daily Express, a copy of which somehow found its way to New York. Brother Brodie who had been born in Kilbarchan in 1841 saw this. Bro. Brodie's parents had emigrated to America in 1843 taking their infant son with them. After reading the intimation Bro. Brodie wrote to the Lodge conveying his sympathies and telling them something of himself. By this time Bro. Brodie was the head of 70,000 Masons and he looked forward to visiting the village of his birth. The Lodge Secretary wrote to Brother Brodie expressing him good wishes and a warm welcome should he ever return. On July 20th 1888 Bro. Brodie fulfilled his promise and became an affiliate member of Lodge St Barchan. Bro. Brodie will probably be best
remembered as the man who laid the foundation stone of The Statue Of Liberty. Bro. Brodie moved to Genesco in 1863 and was employed by General James A. Wadsworth for most of his life. He was active in the community and an avid church and public office holder. He was the founder of The Genesco Normal and Training School now known as The State University of New York where the University of Fine Arts is dedicated to his honour. We in Lodge St Barchan are proud to have this good and honourable Brother affiliated to our Lodge.
Bro. McCrorrie was a schoolmaster by profession and a Mason extraordinaire by repute. From the minutes it seems he was in great demand throughout the province especially in the art of the laying of a Foundation stone.
During the period 1860 to 1880 there was, it appears from the minutes, an unusually large number of sailors of the Royal Navy becoming members of St. Barchan. The names of the ships H.M.S. Flirt, H.M.S. Harpy, and H.M.S. Black Prince appear quite frequently in the minutes of the Lodge.
To the East of where Lodge St. Barchan now stands, Park View was the local school where Bro. McCrorrie taught. This school has long since gone but the housing development, which subsequently replaced it, is aptly named McCrorrie Place.
In addition Bro. McCrorrie gave lectures on the Craft and its beginnings. On January 2nd 1888 Bro. McCrorrie laid the Foundation stone of the new houses being built at Park View, after which he was presented with a silver trowel which is still displayed within the lodge room.
H.M.S. Flirt was sunk during World War I with numerous casualties, H.M.S. Harpy served in the Dardanelles campaign during the same period, and H.M.S. Pembroke was a barracks in England. H.M.S. Black Prince was a Glasgow built ironclad frigate. Once in service, Black Prince was assigned to the Channel Fleet until 1866, then spent a year as flagship on the Irish coast.
Lodge St. Barchan is proud to have been involved in the opening of the Public Park in Kilbarchan on 1st September 1888. The Lodge marched into the Town Foot where a horse market was held. The Park Committee arranged a procession with various bands and association marching in order to the entrance of the new park, when it was declared open. The Public Park was put to good use by the Lodge - on September 2nd 1899 St John's Operative Lodge visit St. Barchan on their bi-annual outing. Some arrive by motor vehicle and the remainder by foot. Sports are held in the public park and races between the Past Masters result in the PM's of 156 winning. All leave at 8.33pm to catch the tram from nearby Milliken Park.
On 7th October 1879 Thomas McCrorrie affiliated to Lodge St. Barchan from Lodge Mother Kilwinning No. 0, and was elected Master of St. Barchan during December of the same year.
Who could better carry Lodge St. Barchan from the Nineteenth into the Twentieth century than Oliver Goldsmith McGregor PM. He gave the Lodge loyal service as Master 6 times, Secretary on 25 occasions
From further inspection of the minute books, these brethren who were initiated eventually found themselves scattered to the four corners of the Globe. The correspondence however shows that they never forgot their Mother Lodge.
and served as a trustee of the Lodge from 1855 until 1919. He was first elected Master on 30th November 1855. Bro. McGregor was initiated into Lodge St. Barchan on July 31st 1854 and from the very start of his Masonic career he served the Lodge with love and devotion that will be difficult to surpass. On March 2nd 1855, only nine months after his initiation, he proposed a revision of the Lodge bye-laws in an effort to bring them in line with Grand Lodge.
Famous Freemasons Brian Donlevy
Bro. McGregor was present at the laying of the memorial stone to Grand Lodge in 1855 and again in 1911. On the latter he was congratulated by the Marquis of Tullibane, later the Duke of Atholl and was awarded an annuity from Grand Lodge for nigh on ten years. He thought deeply about both the craft and his fellow man, as the following extract from the minutes of 1st March 1878 shows: It is laudable to give succour and assistance to all that deserve sympathy and aid in these evil days. But assistance is thrown away on the unworthy who would take all they can get and look for it more simply as a means to avoid exertion on their own behalf and with the perfect disregard for the future, want of brains, want of prudence, want of thrift, wastefulness, dissipated habits and an inability or disinclination to work. Do not blame society or the State of things, or the land Laws or anything beyond the man himself, or the family itself. This History of Lodge St. Barchan No. 156 was sourced from their website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 156 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.
The Good Bad Guy Waldo Brian Donlevy (February 9, 1901 â€“ April 5, 1972), later known as Brian Donlevy, was an Irish-American actor, noted for playing dangerous tough guys from the 1930's to the 1960's. He usually appeared in supporting roles. Among his best-known films are Beau Geste (1939) and The Great McGinty (1940). For his role as Sergeant Markoff in Beau Geste he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Donlevy starred as US special agent Steve Mitchell in 40 episodes of the 1952 TV
series Dangerous Assignment. Mitchell received assignments to exotic locales involving international intrigue from 'The Commissioner' played by Hubert Butterfield. His obituary in The Times newspaper in the United Kingdom stated that "any consideration of the American 'film noir' of the 1940's would be incomplete without him". Donlevy was born in 1901 in Portadown, County Armagh, Ireland, to Rebecca (nĂŠe Parks) and Thomas Donlevy. Sometime between 1910 and 1912 the family moved to Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, where Donlevy's father worked as a supervisor at the Brickner Woolen Mills. When the local Army National Guard Company was called into service for the Panch Villa Expedition in 1916, Donlevy lied about his age (he was actually 14) so he could join the mobilization. Donlevy served during the expedition as a bugler. When the United States entered World War I, Donlevy went to France with Company C, 127th Infantry Regiment, a part of the 32nd Infantry Division. Donlevy began his career in New York City in the early 1920s, appearing in many theater productions and also winning an increasing number of silent film parts. Previously, he had modeled for the illustrator, J.C. Leyendecker, who produced illustrations for the famous Arrow Collar advertisements. His Broadway credits included Hit the Deck and Life Begins at 8:40. Donlevy's break came in 1935, when he was cast in the Edward G. Robinson film Barbary Coast. A large amount of film work followed, with several important parts. In 1939, he played the lead villain in Destry Rides Again and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
for his memorable role as the ruthless Sergeant Markoff in Beau Geste, although the Oscar went to Thomas Mitchell for Stagecoach. The following year, he played the role for which he is perhaps best remembered, that of McGinty in The Great McGinty, a role he reprised four years later in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. In 1942, Donlevy starred in Wake Island with William Bendix and Robert Preston and played street-tough borough politician Paul Madvig in Dashiell Hammet's classic The Glass Key. In 1955, he played the lead in the British science-fiction horror film, The Quatermass Xperiment (called The Creeping Unknown in the US) for the Hammer Films Company, playing the lead role of Professor Bernard Quatermass. The film was based on a 1953 BBC Television serial of the same name. The character had been British, but Hammer cast Donlevy in an attempt to help sell the film to North American audiences. Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale disliked Donlevy's portrayal, referring to Donlevy as "a former Hollywood heavy gone to seed". Nonetheless, the film version was a success and Donlevy returned for the sequel, Quatermass 2 (Enemy from Space in the US), in 1957, also based on a BBC television serial. This made Donlevy the only man ever to play the famous scientist on screen twice, although Scottish actor Andrew Keir would later play him both on film and on radio. Throughout his film career, Donlevy also did several radio shows, including a reprise of The Great McGinty. He played the lead character in Dangerous Assignment between 1949 and 1954, taking the series to TV in 1952. He featured in a number of films over the following years until his death. He also appeared in a variety of 18
television series from the late 1940's until the mid -1960's. In 1966 in one of the final episodes of Perry Mason, "The Case of the Positive Negative," Donlevy played defendant General Roger Brandon. He also guest starred on such popular programs as Crossroads, Wagon Train and Rawhide. In 1957, he appeared in a CBS production of A. J. Cronin's,
The Three Lesser Lights
Beyond This Place. In 1960, he appeared as John Ridges in the episode "Escape" of The DuPont Show with June Allyson. His last film role was in Pit Stop, released in 1969. Donlevy died from throat cancer on April 5, 1972 at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. He was survived by his wife and a daughter, Judy Donlevy, by his second wife. His ashes were scattered over Santa Monica Bay. Brother Brian Donlevy was a member of Mount Olive Lodge No. 506, Los Angeles, California. Donlevy Trivia! When he was working on â€˜I Wanted Wingsâ€™ (1941) with Ray Milland they filmed on an actual military base and he played Capt. Mercer. He got so uncomfortable with soldiers thinking he was a real captain and saluting him that he wore a sign around his neck that said, "Actor". On January 11, 1950, he crashed the plane he was flying into a hillside near Solvang, CA, but miraculously walked away unhurt. The two overriding interests in his life were gold mining and writing poetry. The Bio of Donlevy was collated from a variety of sources, Dwight W. Seals being the main one
In the lecture of the First degree we are told that a Lodge has three symbolic lesser lights; one of these is in the East, one in the West, and one in the South. There is no light in the North, because King Solomon's Temple, of which every lodge is a representative, was placed so far North of the eclipse that the sun and moon, at their meridian height, could dart no rays into the northern part thereof. The North we therefore masonically call a place of darkness. This symbolic use of the three lesser lights is very old, being found in the earliest lectures of the last century. The three lights, like the three principal officers and the three principal supporters, refer, undoubtedly, to the three stations of the sun; its rising in the East, its meridian in the South, and its setting in the West; and thus the symbolism of the lodge, as typical of the world, continues to be preserved.
The use of the lights in all religious ceremonies is an ancient custom. There was a seven branched candle stick in the Tabernacle, and in the Temple were the golden candle sticks, five on the right hand and five on the left. They are always typical of moral, spiritual, or intellectual light. The custom prevalent in some localities, of placing the burning tapers, or three symbolic lesser lights, East, West, and South, near the altar, is sometimes changed so that these respective lights are burning on or beside the pedestals of the Master and his two Wardens at their respective places. In the Old Teutonic mythology, and in accordance with medieval court usage, flaming lights or fires burned before each column, similarly situated, on which rested the images of Odin, Thor, and Frey. These columns are further represented as Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, sustaining the 'Starry -decked heavens', roof or ceiling coloured blue, with stars.
The lesser lights are situated about the altar; they are not those at the chairs of the principal officers. They are called lesser lights because by them we are enabled to see the great lights which lie on the altar whenever the lodge is open. They are also symbols of authority. The sun, the source of material light, opens and closes the day with regularity and provides light and heat for the earth. It may be termed the ruler of the day. Since it reaches its maximum strength at midday, when it is high in the Southern sky it is represented by the lesser lights during the night, after the sun has gone down in the West, at the North-West corner of the altar. Just as these two heavenly bodies provide light and energy for the physical world, so in the lodge room the W.M. provides nourishment for our spiritual natures. As the sun rises in the East, and as learning originated in the East, so is the W .M.
placed in the East to enlighten and instruct the brethren in the moral truths revealed by the great lights at the altar. Thus the third of the lesser lights, which is placed toward the East, at the North-East corner of the altar represents the W .M. of the lodge. There is no light in the North because in the Northern hemisphere the sun never enters the' northern half of the sky, as stated previously. Masonry is an art equally useful and extensive. In every form of art there is a mystery, which requires a gradual progression of knowledge to arrive at any degree of perfection in it. Without much instruction, and more exercise, no man can be skilful in any art; in like manner, without an assiduous application to the various subjects treated in the different lectures of Masonry, no person can be sufficiently acquainted with its true value. It must not, however, be inferred from my remarks, that persons who labour under the disadvantages of a confined education, or whose sphere of life requires a more intense application to business or study, are to be discouraged in their endeavours to gain a knowledge of Masonry. To qualify an individual to enjoy the benefits of the society at large, or to partake of its privileges, it is not absolutely necessary that he should be acquainted with all the intricate parts of the science. These are only intended for the diligent and studious Mason, who may have leisure time and the opportunity to indulge in such pursuits. Though some brethren are more able than others, some are more eminent, some are more useful, yet all, in their different ways, prove advantageous to the community and 20
to the Craft. As the nature of every man's profession will not admit of that leisure which is necessary to qualify him to become an expert Mason, it is highly proper that the official duties of a lodge should be executed by persons whose education and situation in life enables them to become adept; as it must be allowed that all who accept offices, and exercise authority, should be properly qualified to discharge the task assigned them, with honour to themselves and credit to the lodge. All men are not blessed with the same powers and talents; all men therefore, are not capable to govern. He who wishes to teach must submit to learn, and no one is qualified to support the higher offices of the lodge who has not previously discharged the duties of those which are subordinate. Experience is the best teacher; all men rise by graduation, and merit and industry are the first steps to preferment. I mentioned the three columns within a lodge, Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. There should be Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings. The universe is the temple of the deity whom we serve; Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty are about his throne as pillars of his works, for His wisdom is infinite, His strength is omnipotent, and His beauty shines forth through all His creation and creatures in symmetry and order. Wisdom is represented by the Ionic column and the W.M. because the Ionic column wisely combines the strength without the massiveness of the Doric; with the peace, without the exuberance of ornament of the Corinthian; and because it is the duty of the W.M. to superintend, instruct and enlighten the Craft by his superior wisdom. Solomon, 21
King of Israel, is also considered as the column of wisdom that supported the temple. Strength is represented by the Doric column and the S.W.; because the Doric is the strongest and most massive of the orders, and because it is the duty of the s. W .by an attentive superintendence of the Craft to aid the W .M. in the performance of his duties, and to strengthen and support his authority. Hiram, King of Tyre, is also considered as the representative of the column of strength which supported the temple. Beauty is represented by the Corinthian column and the J.W., because the Corinthian is the most beautiful and highly finished of the orders, and because the situation of the J.W. in the South, enables him the better to observe that bright luminary which, at its meridian height, is the beauty and glory of the day. Hiram Abiff, is also considered a representative of beauty which supported the temple. This form or phase of which I have endeavoured to enlighten is only one small segment of the subject, there are various ways of discussing this subject. I chose this format, you should choose another, for in all respects it may be as interesting as my choice. However, I trust that I have in some way increased your knowledge of Masonry.
*In Scotland the position of the three candles or lamps varies from Lodge to Lodge. In some Lodges they are placed in tall candlesticks situated at three of the comers of the square pavement; in others on a candelabra of three lights on the Masterâ€™s dais whilst a third method is to see them displayed on the pedestals of the Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden. In some Constitutions quite a feature is made of the lighting of the candles when the Lodge is being opened and indeed the act of lighting may be accompanied by the words Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Sourced from â€œThe Newsletter of the Committee on Masonic Education â€“ Vol 6 No.4.
Rays of Masonry â€œWe Are Dreamersâ€? Nothing great has been achieved unless the pattern has first been conceived in the mind and heart. Call it what you will- Vision, Dream, or Designs upon the Trestle Board, it is the same. In that sense, we Masons are Dreamers.
spiritual training, and the opportunity for intellectual development. We dream of a time when man will live in the positive knowledge of the unerring accuracy of Moral and Spiritual Laws. As we dream we work, and as surely as we work, hope and pray, the Great Dream will come true. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
Long ago Masons set forth the outline of a noble dream, and every Mason has had his part in bringing about the reality. There is the dream of Universal Brotherhood, not the superficial condition in which men glibly use the words with insincere piety and say: "If you do as I do, we will be brothers; If you believe as I do we will be brothers." Masonry's dream of Universal Brotherhood will become a reality through study, through patience, through Unfaltering Trust, and through the knowledge that Brotherhood is a Fact in Nature. Such a condition will result when we gain the ultimate wisdom that religion, science, and philosophy, form the trinity which will unite men. Do we not refer to Masonry as the Science of Morality? We do not say that Masonry is a religion, but who will say that Masonry is not an expression of the best in all religious teachings? We are Dreamers. The dream in the minds and hearts of Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington, became the United States of America. They visioned a condition wherein man would no longer be a puppet, but would walk forth in the Light of Freedom. Yes, we are Dreamers. We dream of a time when our hospitals for the mentally ill will be emptied. We dream of a time when no child will be born into a world of hate, prejudice, of war. We dream of a time when no child will be denied love, shelter,
That Atheist! "I am much troubled. A very good friend of mine asked me for a petition to this lodge, but when I took him one to sign he refused to do so, on the ground that he couldn't answer the question as to his belief in God." "Well, I don't see that that's anything to be troubled about," answered the Old Past Master. "What he believes is his business, isn't it?" "Yes, but-" 22
"But you want him in the Order," smiled the Old Past Master. "Well, it's not hopeless, my son. A lot of men say they don't believe in God, and mean something else entirely." "How can a man say he doesn't believe in God and mean something else?" asked the Young Mason. "What they usually mean is that they don't believe in the particular kind of God some one else believes in!" chuckled the Old Past Master. "I sometimes think such men are born just to give the angels something to smile about. Personally, I never found any necessity of defining God. But there are people who think they must measure Him with an idea, and fix a definite concept of Him in their mind before they dare say they believe in Him." "But my friend," interrupted the Young Mason, "says he doesn't believe in any God, or Great First Cause, or Cosmic Urge, or Life Principle, or anything. He discusses it very well and seems unalterably fixed in his ideas. Yet he is a good man." "Oh, yes, that's very possible," answered the Old Past Master. "Lot's of very good men are very egotistical and conceited and-" "But he isn't egotistical- why, he is very modest." "There I differ with you. Any man who attempts to argue God out of the universe is certainly an egotist." "But he doesn't argue Him out of existence; he just denies He exists." "My friend," said the Old Past Master, "my little grandson tries to argue with me that the end of the rainbow is over on Park Avenue, and won't understand why daddy 23
don't let him go and find it. He often explains to me how near the moon is, and I dare say he'd laugh if I told him the earth was round. He'd be perfectly sure we'd fall off the underside. He is only five, you know. Well, your friend is mentally only five. "Have you ever read any thoughts of the great men on atheism? They are rather hard to controvert, some of them. Coleridge said 'How did the atheist get his idea of that God whom he denies?' A clever Frenchman said, 'The very impossibility in which I find myself to prove that God is not, discloses to me His existence.' Bacon said, 'They that deny God destroy a man's nobility; for certainly man is like the beasts in his body, and if he not like God in his spirit, he is an ignoble creature.' "No, my friend I very much doubt that your friend's atheism is real. It is a pose. He doesn't know it; doubtless he thinks to himself as very courageous, standing up and denying Him out loud. The very fact that it takes courage shows that the 'brave man' believes his statement outrages Something, Somewhere, Which may call him to account. What your friend probably means is that he doesn't believe in a God who sits on a cloud surrounded by a lot of angels playing harps, or that he doesn't believe in a God with a book in front of Him, saying to souls as they arrive, 'You go over there with the angels, but you get out of here and go to hell.' "Yet both of these are perfectly good ideas of Deity, which satisfy a lot of people. There are millions and millions of people alive today who believe that God is called Allah. There are others who worship their Deity under the name of Buddha. To some God is a God of wrath, a stern God, a just
God, but a God who may be appeased by sacrifice, pleased by song, distressed by sin. Man sees God in his mind according to his lights. The God one man believes in does not fit in with another man's ideas. And when he hears too many other ideas and likes none of them, he often says 'I do not believe in God.' What he really means is 'I cannot think clearly enough to visualize any conception of God which will do with what I know. I can't stand for the visions others have; therefore, I can't believe in any God,' never realizing that the very fact that he reasons about God, thinks about God, denies God, is very good proof of what he, nor no other man can get away from- the existence of God. Voltaire says, "If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent Him." Man can no more get along without God in his mind and heart than he can without air." "Well, you don't think I should persuade my friend, do you?" "Oh, certainly not. Masonry wants only those who know their belief well enough to state their faith in a Supreme Architect. Those other unfortunates who haven't struggled up through their own conceit and ignorance enough to understand their own belief in Some One, Somewhere- call Him what Name you will- must wait for the blessings of Masonry, even as my little grandson must wait until he is older before he can chase and capture the end of the rainbow. "I do not argue that you should persuade your friend. I only tell you not to be distressed." "But I am distressed as to what will happen to him. Won't God punish him for his atheism?"
"It is not for me to say what He will do," was the reverent answer. "But I do not think I should want to punish my little grandson for not believing me when I told him the end of the rainbow was not on earth, or for believing that the moon is near and can be reached with a ladder. I know he is but a little child and will learn better as his eyes grow clearer and his brain develops. Perhaps He thinks of us as just little children, and understands even when some deny Him." "Where did you learn all this? Is there a book?" asked the Young Mason. "I learned it from Masonry, my friend; what I have said is Masonry. Yes, there is a book." "Can I get it?" asked the Young Mason eagerly. "You can find a copy on the Altar," was the smiling reply. . This is the sixith 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.
THE STRENGTH OF FREEMASONRY IS IN ITS LOYALTY TO EACH OTHER. 24
Freemasonry – The Unknown Secret
Freemasonry is not a religion; its members must believe in God, though all are free to follow their own theology and practices. Its meetings honour a range of sacred scriptures. It is not “jobs for the boys”: it cares for Masons and their families in time of need, but it does not grant special favours to members or denigrate non-members. It believes in good citizenship and patriotism: every Mason must be a loyal, dependable member of society. It weaves Biblical figures like King Solomon into its rituals and uses Biblical readings and legends which often derive from the Jewish Midrash.
Freemasonry is not a secret society hiding from the world. Its emblems are known; its meeting places are identified; its history, ethics and rituals are known from books and videos; its charitable works are reported in the media; its records are open to inspection. It neither works beneath the surface of society nor aims to control the world. The negative urban legends about it are quite unwarranted by the facts. Freemasonry is – • A worldwide brotherhood movement with emblematical rituals. • A fraternal society for male members, paralleled by separate women’s groups. • A network of Lodges with a sense of fellowship. • A charitable and service organisation that helps people in need. • An ethical movement which aims to build human character and a good world. 25
It probably began with “operative” masons who built medieval castles and cathedrals out of freestone (hence the name “Freemasonry”). It accepted honorary (“speculative”) members in the 17th/18th centuries when Europe had many movements for social reform. Its history was (inexpertly) researched in the 1700s by a Protestant clergyman, Rev. James Anderson, who also worked out and published Masonic ritual. Many great people have been Freemasons, working together despite their differences. Freemasonry is a stable force in society and was once the centre of many men’s lives, though its numbers have declined with the pace and pressures of modern living. 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: (a) While this could pertain to all degrees, what evidence is there on the use of five steps in approaching the altar in the F.C. degree? (b)Why does the Candidate approach counter-clockwise? (c)Why does his approach begin in such a peculiar manner? Answer: (a): Our earliest ritual documents, 1696-c. 1714, show that the Craft‘s first interest in numbers began with the problem of how many brethren would form “a true and perfect lodge”. There was also some attention to”three lights”, but no mention of steps at all. In 1724 and c. 1725, we have the first two texts that mention steps in a question: Q. How many Steps belong to a Right Mason? A. Three. This apparently referred to the E.A., but no details are given and there is no mention of steps for any other grade. In 1730 we have two documents that show definitely that three steps were taken by the Candidate in approaching the Master prior to the Obligation. Still no steps relating to the F.C. or M.M. In 1742 there are three steps for the E.A. in France and another text, ‘Le Catechisme des Francs-Macons’ in 1744, which contained a fascinating description of the third degree, showed three zig-zag steps for the approach in the third degree; there are still no details for the second.
In 1760 and 1762, two English texts give only three steps to the F.C., i.e. the first single-step of an E.A., plus two more for the F.C. These brief notes can only be taken as examples of the numerous variations that must have existed throughout the 18th, century, when there was no official rule or standard procedure on the subject of the steps. The first official step towards standardization was taken by the premier Grand Lodge (the 'Moderns") in October 1809, when 'The Special Lodge of Promulgation' was warranted. Its duty was to instruct the Craft 'in all such matters and forms as may be necessary to be known to them…' as a preliminary to the hoped-for union with the rival Grand Lodge, the 'Ancients'. The minutes of this short-lived Lodge began on 21 November 1809 and ended on 5 March 1811, and they are necessarily curt. On 12 January 1810. 'The modes of advancing to the Master in the first and second degrees…according to the Ancient Forms…were finally resolved on' (AQC 23, p. 40). Although this minute is certainly the final Promulgation record on the subject of the steps, there is one later minute which indicates the possibility of subsequent modifications. On 28 December 1810, after a rehearsal of the work in the three degrees, the R.W.M. announced to the brethren that '…he should afterwards summon them to go thro' the (three) degrees…taking only the parts which would be understood better by action than expectation'. Allowing that three steps for the E.A. degree had been established practice for about 120 years, we may feel sure that 26
action implied rehearsal of the physical movements in the 2º and 3º, including the steps. The Union of the Grand Lodges took place on 27 December 1813. On 7 December 1813, The Lodge of Reconciliation was warranted 'to promulgate and enjoin the pure and unsullied system, that perfect reconciliation, unity of obligation, law, working, language and dress may be happily restored to the English Craft'. They worked for some 2 ½ years, and on 20 May 1816 'the Ceremonies and Practices recommended by the Lodge of Reconciliation were exhibited and explained; and, alterations on two points in the Third Degree, having been resolved upon, the several Ceremonies, & c., recommended were approved and confirmed'. No details were given of the 'two points', but this was the final confirmation of the Craft ceremonies and procedures as we have them today. Answer (b): Why does the Candidate approach counter-clockwise? Probably because the most popular illustrations of the second degree Tracing Board since 1800, and those in use today, show the 'winding stairs' rising from left to right, i.e. counterclockwise. The candidate is supposed to be copying our ancient brethren who, according to Masonic legend, ascended the winding stairs to approach the 'middle chamber'. But the difficulty with this question is that the Bible does not indicate whether the winding stair rose clockwise or anticlockwise and nobody knows the answer. The most popular T.B.s show counterclockwise, but that does not make them correct. There are indeed a number of 27
designs going back to c. 1800, which have the stairs rising clockwise. On this point I will only add that in the U.S.A. and other jurisdictions that have their Altar in the middle of the floor, many of the workings begin the Candidate's approach at a point in front of the S.W., and his approach to the Altar is clockwise, a half-circle. Answer (c): Why do the steps towards the altar begin in such a peculiar manner? Frankly, I do not know. It may have arisen because the authorities, in 1809-1816, had approved that starting posture for some practical reason, e.g. the L.F. Pointing in the right direction, but I must admit that the posture seems downright absurd to me. I must add, however, that the most popular English 'workings' prescribe that position although their Lectures, which are supposed to explain all such procedures, make no mention of this point. Personally, I see it as one of those trivial aberrations which have survived in our ritual and which add nothing at all to the beauty of the ceremonies or to their teachings. Question : Is there any significance in the R.A. laid bare etc? If not, why bother? Answer: Certainly there is. It would be fair to say that there is significance in every item of clothing, equipment and procedure, sometimes very important, sometimes almost trifling. But what is trifling to you, may be important to me. In matters of symbolism and interpretation, the significance that you work out for yourself is what really matters. Try it sometime; you will find it an interesting exercise. The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world.
Refreshment ".... to call the brethren from labour to refreshment and refreshment to labour, that profit and pleasure may be the result." When in 'labour', the lodge is at work ie, engaged in masonic business, except when called off. At other times, it is in theory, resting. The 18th century version of this was "The better to observe the sun at high meridian, to call the men off work to refreshment and to see they come on in due time, that the master may have pleasure and profit thereby". There is a variation on this duty in another masonic order, where the responsibility of one of the officers is - ".... and also, to proclaim the hour for refreshment and rest, after the fatigues and labours of the day". In the early years of the speculative lodges, we believe that brethren refreshed fairly frequently, during the course of an evening's work - wine flowed and tobacco smoke filled the air. In our now wholly speculative lodges, we of course only refresh at the festive board. What follows is based on what was delivered as a preamble to the toast to the visitors. I stood behind the JW, because as the 'ostensible steward of the lodge', he is traditionally responsible, not only for the examination of visitors, but also to supervise the refreshment of the brethren. We might offer three distinct aspects of the term 'refresh' - The first, as already stated the idea of refreshing the body after work, to top up the batteries for the next day. The
possibility, that attending a lodge meeting, is an opportunity to refresh one's moral principles, and knowledge of the craft and its practices. A much older meaning of the word. The first aspect, you are all familiar with. I dare say you recollect, that our work in the lodge is an illusion to the work at one time carried out, by the medieval stonemasons, who at the end of the day, probably consumed the 13/14th century equivalent of a few pints of lager followed by a Tikka masala. The second aspect is one often referred to, in the toast to the visitors, and/or the reply. There is nearly always some mention, of how nice it is, to see differing approaches to parts of the ritual, the ceremonial and activities at the festive board, all of which help to refresh our masonic knowledge. But, more important - at every meeting, we get a chance to listen to the ritual, to think about it, and refresh our thoughts on how we might apply its guidance to our daily life, and our behaviour. This third aspect is perhaps the most interesting, because it goes right back to the likely origins of the craft, some 700 or 800 years ago. There is almost no real evidence to support various theories, but the situation may have been as follows. An immense number of FCs and EAs, and other craftsmen and labourers were employed in the building of Gothic cathedrals, castles, abbeys etc, often lasting many decades and usually sited in the country, a long away from any town centre. This meant that the men worked and lived together in isolation from the outside world, and being human, were likely to 'get up to naughties', given half a chance. 28
Now, invariably associated with the prince, duke or other wealthy person, who commissioned the building, would be a cleric, to offer spiritual guidance, and interpret the teachings of the Church when necessary as well as documenting what was going on with the building. Any cleric worth his salt, might take the opportunity, to look after the spiritual welfare of the men and try to establish Christian principles, both on the building site, and when they were at rest - a big problem when we consider their total lack of any education and the general roughness of these 'common labourers'. This just possibly, could be part of the origin of some of our ritual, notably the working tools. Pure guesswork! but how better to explain good behaviour and moral principles, than by relating them to what was familiar to the men, as part of their daily work. Even today, we talk about 'moralising on the working tools' and '... apply these tools to our morals'. Essential to the operation any large building site would be a set of rules and regulations, for efficiency, cost-saving and particularly safety. (Quite by the way, an opinion has been offered, that the FPOF originated, not with Noah and his sons, but quite simply, as a form of 'kiss of life', after a fall or accident on site - early versions of the FPOF, included 'mouth to mouth'.) Over the years (by about 1380) both the trade, and spiritual and moral ‘regulations’, became formulated into what we now refer to as the 'Old Charges'. (The introduction to the BofC contains an equivalent of them, updated for more modern times). 29
Among many of the guidelines, the Old Charges specified what work could be done by an EA, and what only by a FC. They also laid down the master's responsibilities. One safety rule was, that if the master of a site, ever allowed a fall from scaffolding, he would never again be allowed to do the job of master. The Charges reminded the mason to respect a colleague's wife or daughter, to maintain his good name etc etc. (You may recall the modern equivalent of this, in a particular obligation.) A further part of the Old Charges, related to providing work for the FC - '... and also that every Mason, shall receive and cherish strange Fellows, when they come over the country, and set them to work .... and if he have no stones for him, he shall refresh him with money to the next lodge'. If a FC newly arrived on a building site and could prove that he was qualified as a fellow of the craft (very likely, part of the origin of our signs, tokens and words!), he would be given work. If none was available, he must then be topped up, with food and money to enable him to get to the next site, where work might be found. It is here, that we probably have the real meaning of our word and perhaps an early indication of the phrase 'help to a brother' (the 1756 title of the Antients’ BofC, or ‘Ahiman Rezon’). Even to this day, traditionally, a barrister is not paid fees, but is often refreshed on a daily basis, and we say that a VDU screen is refreshed at regular intervals. So, refresh! - top up the body, the mind and the soul (and originally, the pocket). M Gandoff Old Strodians Lodge 7803 (Surrey) Montgomerie Lodge 1741 (Norfolk)
Free Will and Accord There is one peculiar feature in the Masonic institution that must commend it to the respect of every generous mind. In other associations, it is considered meritorious in a member to exert his influence in obtaining applications for admission. But it is wholly uncongenial with the spirit of our Order to persuade anyone to become a Mason. Whosoever seeks knowledge of our rites must first be prepared for the ordeal in his heart; he must not only he endowed with the necessary moral qualifications which would fit him for admission into our ranks, but he must come, too, uninfluenced by friends, and unbiased by unworthy motives. This is a settled landmark of the` Order; and, therefore, nothing can be more painful to a true Mason than to see this landmark violated by young and heedless brethren. For it cannot be denied that it is sometimes violated; and this habit of violation is one of those unhappy influences sometimes almost insensibly exerted upon Masonry by the existence of the many secret societies to which the present age has given birth, and which resemble Masonry in nothing except in having some sort of a secret ceremony of initiation. These societies are introducing into some areas such phraseology as a "card" for a "demit", or "worthy" for "worshipful", or "brothers" for "brethren". And there are some men who, coming among us imbued with the principles and accustomed to the usages of these modern societies, in which the persevering solicitation of candidates is considered as a legitimate and even laudable practice, bring with them these preconceived notions, and consider it their duty to exert all their
influence in persuading their friends to become members of the Craft. Men who thus misunderstand the true policy of our Institution, should be instructed by their older and more experienced brethren, that it is wholly in opposition to all our laws and principles to ask any man to become a Mason, or to exercise any kind of influence upon the minds of others, except that of a truly Masonic life and a practical exemplification of its tenets, by which they may be induced to obtain admission into our Lodges. â€œWe must not seek - we are to be sought.â€? And if this were not an ancient law, embedded in the very cement that upholds our system, policy alone would dictate an adherence to the voluntary usage. We need not now fear that our Institution will suffer from a deficiency of members. Our greater dread should be that, in its rapid extension, less care may be given to the selection of candidates than the interests and welfare of the Order demand. There can, therefore, be no excuse for the practice of persuading candidates, and every hope of safety in avoiding such a practice. It should be borne in mind that the candidate who comes to us not of his own "free will and accord", but instead induced by the persuasions of his friends, no matter how worthy he otherwise may be, violates, by so coming, the requirements of our Institution on the very threshold of its Temple, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, fails to become imbued with that zealous attachment to the Order which is absolutely essential to the formation of a true Masonic character. Article sourced from The Grand Lodge of Alaska 2001.
THE BACK PAGE The Working Tools of a Cowan I now present to you the working tools of a Cowan to masonry.
The Angle is to come up with a new one to damage the Craft.
The Spanner is to throw into the works to destroy all that the Craft holds dear.
The Screws are to tighten, to make life harder for the Craft.
The Dividers have obvious use (in former days associated with the Rule!).
But as we are not â€˜anyone else in the worldâ€™, we apply these tools to our morals, in this opposite sense: The Angle being right, points out to us, that although aware of our own truths, we need to be charitable to those who are not able to accept our masonic precepts and principles. The Spanner teaches us to tighten the bonds that exist between ourselves and our Creator. The Screws will help us to fix our gratitude for the bounty of the GAOTU. The Dividers remind us that even when separated by the seven seas from the country whence we derived our birth, we will always find comfort in the brotherhood and the first landmark - a belief in the Supreme Being. Thus the working tools of a cowan teach us ever to bear in mind that non-Masonic tools, if skilfully employed by qualified craftsman, will assist in working towards that innocence and friendship and peace and harmony which at all times characterise a Mason. My Thanks go to the author of this piece; M Gandoff Old Strodians Lodge 7803 Author: Over 300 years of Masonic Ritual, Lewis Masonic 2017 (If anyone has any working tools parodies like this, please let me know!)
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor
The Monthly Masonic Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.