Volume 16 Issue 6 No. 128 October 2020
Cover Story, That’s Not How We Did It In My Year! The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences Bring the Line up to Standard Did You Know? Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg No. 720 Famous Freemasons – Sir Harry Lauder The Line and the Skirret Attendance The Old Past Master Reflections – A Better World Did You Know? What Profit? The Masonic Snooker Table
Main Website – How to Kick a Sacred Cow
In this issue: Cover Story ‘That’s not how we did it in my year!’ “The Author of this excellent article, says, “many things in our lodges, not only may change, but also should change, in order to improve the Lodge.” Page 5, ‘The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences.’ An explanation of what they are.. Page 6, ‘Bring the Line up to Standard’ Promoting Masonic Pride. Page 8, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 10, ‘Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg No. 720. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 13, ‘Sir Harry Lauder’ Famous Freemasons. Page 18, ‘The Line and the Skirret’ A study of this working tool. Page 19, ‘Attendance.’ “Addressing the problem” Page 21, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “The Better Way”, eleventh in the series. Page 23, ‘Reflections.’ “A Better World” Page 25, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 27, ‘What Profit?’ Page 29, ‘The Masonic Snooker Table’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘How to Kick a Sacred Cow?’ 2
Front cover – Stock picture adapted by the Editor.
That’s Not How We Did It in My Year!!
words “That’s not how we did it in MY year!”? I propose that there are three major reasons that Past Masters say those words: insecurity, ignorance, and impotence.
The story is told of a bishop who was touring a newly constructed church building. The church’s pastor took the bishop into the sanctuary. Above the door was painted a verse of Scripture that said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” Next, the pastor took the bishop into the kitchen where the following scripture from the Gospel of Matthew was painted above the door “I was hungry, and you fed me.” As they went into the SundaySchool room, the bishop saw above the door the words from II Timothy “Study to show thyself approved.” The bishop was impressed by this congregation’s commitment to the Scriptures. Then, as he entered the nursery he saw these words from the New Testament, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”
Insecurity: It has been said that the only person who likes change is a baby with a dirty nappy. And, frankly I have seen some of them who didn’t much care for it either. One of the principal reasons that humans are uncomfortable with change is because, by definition, it is insecure. We are comfortable with what we know. The familiar seldom surprises us. It is important that we realize that one of the aims of Freemasonry is to provide stability. Indeed, there are few human creations more stable than the great cathedrals constructed by our operative relatives. So then, how do we foster security while at the same time maintain needed change? The answer requires us to have a firm grasp of what Freemasonry truly is, and what it is not. Freemasonry is a course of moral instruction. Freemasons are good men who seek to become better men through the application of Masonic principles in their lives. Therefore, some things about Freemasonry must never change or Freemasonry will cease to exist. A few examples of these unchangeable things are: solid character investigations of our proposed members, the Masonic tradition of initiating, passing and raising men in our ancient ritualistic tradition, the moral teachings of the fraternity and the expectation of high moral conduct from all Freemasons. However, many things in our lodges, not only may change, but also should change. For instance, a lodge’s meeting time, the attire expected of its members, the food eaten by the lodge, or the lack thereof, the
Indeed, we shall all be changed. In fact, the art of Freemasonry is the practice of intentional change. Freemasonry changes a man from profane, to Apprentice, to Fellow, to Master, over time, through a course of allegorical moral instruction. Freemasonry teaches that life is ABOUT change. We learn in our Craft that men advance through life in three principle stages of change, namely youth, manhood and age. Additionally, Masons are taught that we are always undergoing the process of change via the use of our working tools as we seek to change ourselves from rough to perfect ashlars, better fit for the Builder’s use. If Freemasonry is such a progressive order, why then, is the new master of a lodge who seeks to bring about some change that he views as positive, so often met with the
day that the lodge schedules its degrees, whether the lodge reads its minutes aloud or prints them for the members to silently read, are all things that are open to change to meet the cultural expectations and needs of the membership. Once an understanding of what things are changeable and what things are not changeable has been arrived at, then one may safely go about the business of making needed changes. When the changes are being announced and implemented, it is important to emphasize first the things that will be staying the same. Often times, a new master is so excited about his idea that he forgets to present them with tact and humility.
The second example does not negate the work of past generations. Yet, it effectively brings about the needed change. By emphasizing the fact that the truly important goal of lodge minutes will be maintained, the Past Master’s sense of security is less threatened by the new change. Hence, the new man in the East is less likely to hear “That’s not the way we did it in MY year!” Ignorance: Brother Samuel Clemens [Mark Twain] once said that travel is the natural enemy of ignorance. Indeed, Masons who have travelled to lodges other than their own quickly learn that there are many good and equally Masonic ways for a lodge to function.
Consider these two differing examples: Example One: “Wardens and Brothers. We waste a lot of time in this lodge reading the minutes of previous meetings aloud each month. It is boring and stupid. From now on they will be typed out and handed to you as you come in. Read them silently then we will approve them and get down to the good stuff.”
Unfortunately, many of our lodge members are only familiar with the traditions and practices of their own individual lodge. Therefore, when a well-informed Master attempts to improve his lodge by borrowing ideas learned from others, he is met with opposition from less informed brothers in his lodge who consider his ideas foreign to Freemasonry. Ideally, the new Master could compel his members to visit other lodges and expand their personal understanding of our Craft. However, the next best thing is for him to educate his members about the practices of other lodges. By informing his lodge that some of his new ideas are not really new at all, but rather have a proven record of success in other lodges, he will likely meet with less opposition from ignorant members of his lodge than he otherwise would.
Example Two: “Wardens and Brothers. It is important to make sure that our lodge’s business is accurately recorded, and that all of the brothers are aware of what happens in our Meetings. Our secretary and Past Masters have all done a good job of doing that by reading the minutes out loud each month. From now on, however, we will accomplish that same goal differently. The minutes will be in printed form and personally given to each of you as you enter the lodge room. The same attention to accuracy and detail will be preserved. But, it is hoped that this change will allow our meetings to be slightly more efficient.” Or forwarded by email to all Brethren in advance of the Lodge meeting.
Impotence: In his play “Death of a Salesman“, Arthur Miller tells the story of Mr. Willy Loman. During his prime, Willie had been the best salesman around. He knew everyone, and
everyone loved him. Over time however, Willie’s friends retired or died. Willy found himself surrounded by people who did not know him. Instead of being viewed with great respect and awe by those he worked with, his new co-workers viewed him with impatience and disrespect. They wished that he would get out of their way and stop talking about the good old days. They had a business to run. Willy just wanted to be treated with the respect and admiration that he had grown accustomed to in his prime. At the same time, he was frustrated with his own decreasing ability to perform. Our lodges are filled with Willy Lomans’
less likely to oppose the new Master’s plans with the words “We didn’t do it like that in my year!” because they will feel that they still have a sense of belonging, purpose and power in their lodge. Finally, while the new Worshipful Master will do well to recognize the points made in this paper, he must always remember that it is HE who is Master of his lodge. While he rules his lodge with brotherly love and concern for his members’ personal well being, he must also govern with the good of his lodge in mind. And, while he will inevitably hear the words “We didn’t do it like that in MY year!” at some point, he can take solace by silently thinking to himself the response “and that is exactly why we are doing it like this now!”
Many elderly lodge members are having a difficult personal struggle dealing with their loss of status and power. They have retired from jobs where they were once respected leaders. The children who respected and obeyed them have now grown and moved away. As they look around society, they see people young enough to be their grandchildren in positions of power and prominence. They feel impotent and used up. Therefore, in lodge, the last place where they still feel a sense of power, they often go too far in their attempt to have influence and control.
This excellent article by Bro. Carl W. Davis was sourced from the Masonic Dictionary website. The Editor would like to thank both the author and the website.
THE SEVEN LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES
As frustrating as this reality may be to the new Master, he would do well to recognize the base cause of these brothers’ behaviour. The wise Master will do all in his scope of influence to show the elder members of his lodge true respect. He will appoint them to work that they are capable of excelling in, and frequently praise and thank them for their efforts. When these brothers are busy with tasks such as organizing the lodge’s Past Master’s guild, overseeing the mentoring committee, working on character investigation committees, on the social night organization team, etc., they will be
During the Fellowcraft Degree, the candidate is symbolically led up a winding stairway that consists of three, five, and seven steps. In doing so, he is introduced to the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. It is interesting to note that there is little explanation of this portion of the Fellowcraft Degree and no attempt to bring meaning to these subjects for the candidate. If every part of the Masonic ritual has meaning for the candidate, then one must examine this brief portion of the Fellowcraft Degree to determine its value for the Mason.
The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences were the curriculum known to ancient Greece and Rome and to Western Europe of medieval times. During their cultural ascent, the Greeks came to see learning as being composed of seven arts: grammar, logic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy. This curriculum was adopted by the Romans and divided into two parts called the trivium and the quadrivium. The word trivium simply means three ways and quadrivium, four ways. Thus the trivium was composed of what the Romans considered the basic of the seven arts: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The quadrivium was composed of the other four arts.
With this emergence came a renewal of the spirit of learning, which was nurtured for nearly four hundred years until it would burst forth during the Renaissance. Education during these centuries consisted of grammar, logic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy: the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. With this background, one now turns to the seven liberal arts to gain an insight into their nature. Grammar: One must remember that instruction was in Latin during this early period; hence the grammar referred to was Latin grammar. Grammar was not the tedious business of determining the parts of speech, but instead was the art of writing. Cassiodorus defined grammar as the study of great poetry and oratory that would enable one to write with correctness and elegance. Grammar is correct writing and skillful speaking.
Aristotle believed the liberal arts were those subjects that were suitable for learning by a freeman. He contended that a freeman should not seek practical skills but should strive for moral and intellectual excellence, the goal being theoretical and philosophical knowledge. He further believed if a man was capable of pure thought, he was capable of leadership of those who merely possessed the practical skills.
Logic: Logic in general is the science and art of right thinking. Unlike physical or social science or philosophy, it is not concerned with the reality about which we are thinking, but only with the operations of thinking itself. Great value was placed upon the ability to carry on a conversation or argue in a wholly rational manner with the thoughts carefully linked together.
The educational concepts of these cultures withstood the “dark ages” which enveloped Europe from roughly the Sixth Century until the Eleventh Century. During this period, Western European culture was virtually blotted out and what little education that remained was confined to the church. The reign of Charlemange during the Ninth Century began to see an increase in education, which was extended to the palaces and cathedrals. While still ecclesiastical in organization, the system of education fanned the flame of intellectual curiosity. By the Eleventh Century, Europe had begun to emerge from its darkness into a degree of political and social stability.
Rhetoric: Rhetoric is defined as the art of using language in such a way as to make the desired impression upon the hearer or reader. Generally speaking, rhetoric covered the whole subject of composition, both oral and written. In rhetoric we see the interplay of both grammar and logic.
Arithmetic: Arithmetic was originally the science or theory of numbers. Someone has said that the teaching of arithmetic during medieval times consisted of simple calculations and complex superstitions. This seems too simple a view, although perhaps not a wholly unreasonable one. It seems likely that the arithmetic of the quadrivium probably consisted of four elements. These would have been numeration, the naming of numbers; notation, the writing and reading of numbers; counting, the act of numbering; and computation, the manipulation of numbers. For all this simplicity, years later the mathematician Karl Gauss was able to refer to arithmetic as the “queen of mathematics.”
divested itself of the metaphysics and mysticism which once characterized its studies. In the minds of all peoples, astronomy is the science of the heavens and has been closely connected with religious tradition. It was long thought that in the heavens would be found the supernatural causes of observed phenomena as well as the answers to the future. Masonry has idealized astronomy as it has geometry. The monitorial lecture tells us that, “Astronomy is that divine art, by which we are taught to read the wisdom, strength, and beauty of the Almighty Creator in those sacred pages, the celestial hemisphere.” For Masonry, the value of astronomy is metaphysical rather than physical as indicated by the final sentence of the lecture. “While we are employed in the study of this science, we must perceive unparalleled instances of wisdom and goodness, and through the whole creation, trace the glorious Author by His works.”
Geometry: In this day of calculators and computers, mathematics holds little of mystery or romance for any except the most dedicated mathematician. As a result it is difficult for one to relate to Plato’s statement “geometry will draw the soul towards truth, and create the spirit of philosophy.” To understand this, one must remember that the Greeks pursued all mathematics out of intellectual curiosity and a zest for pure thought. They were concerned with teaching men to reason abstractly and preparing them to contemplate the ideal and the beautiful.
Music: Somewhere back in time, man discovered that the sounds from his stringed instrument depended upon their lengths. He further found that putting multiple strings together allowed him to produce a pleasing harmony. His inquiring mind led him to discover that the ratio of the lengths of the strings were simple whole numbers.
Their complete absorption with geometry led them to convert mathematical ideas into geometrical ones. Their preference for idealizations and abstractions expressed itself in a mathematical spirit whose ultimate end was philosophy. It is essentially this Greek idealization of geometry that has carried over into Masonry.
So from the time of Pythagoras the study of music was regarded as mathematical in nature. It seems strange to think of music as mathematical until one considers the words of the philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Liebniz, “Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting.” It was this essentially mathematical character of music that leads to its being included in the quadrivium.
Astronomy: Astronomy today is one of the exact sciences and it has long since
Bring the Line up to Standard
The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, represented by the seven steps in the Fellowcraft Degree, symbolize for the Mason an idealization of education, that intellectual and cultural discipline necessary for man in his quest to obtain perfection and understand his Maker. From a symbolic standpoint, these seven subjects must be considered a single symbol composed of seven parts of equal dignity. While geometry is exalted by Masonry, it is dealt with separately within the Fellowcraft Degree in another context and should not be provided additional significance in the context of the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences.
An old legend which comes from the Napoleonic Wars tells of a youth who was permitted to carry the regimental banner. During one bitter engagement, his unit was advancing only inch by inch, under heavy enemy fire. In his youthful zeal, the boy went too far ahead of the regiment and was almost out of contact. The commanding officer sent a runner bearing the message, ―Bring the Standard back to the line.‖ With heroic recklessness, the lad sent back the stinging reply, ―Bring the line up to the Standard.
This seven-part symbol represents education and all its attendant values, not the precise content of education. When one examines each of the parts of this symbol, one discerns not only the nature and content of each part, but also an idealized purpose of education as well. The view provided by the symbol coincides with Plato’s view of education, that education tends to lift the mind above the mundane and routine considerations and enables it to comprehend the final aim of philosophy, an understanding of the Supreme Architect of the Universe, God. This is the ultimate essence of Freemasonry that man should continually strive to develop his understanding of his own spiritual being and the essence of God. So Masonry’s Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences together symbolize the conscious effort to control the mind and spirit so that reason prevails and man will always strive to obtain a perfect relationship with God.
When we cease to set a lofty mark, when we accept the setting of the bar a little lower, when we permit a downward adjustment to conform to practices and manners that are casual and crude, we are witness to the sad spectacle of compromise and we are dealing our beloved fraternity a double blow. First, we cannot expect to retain the prestige the Craft has enjoyed in the past if we cannot lift our sights above a common or base denominator. Secondly, men will lose respect for the Brotherhood if the requirements for protocol and etiquette, such as behaviour, attire, speech and decorum, are neglected. What am I talking about? I am thinking of these three examples: One – Appearance and Behaviour in Public Ceremonies: On rare occasions we are permitted to perform our ritualistic work outside the
This article was sourced from The Masonic Trowel website to whom our thanks go
Lodge Room, such as at Masonic Memorial Services, Divine Services, the laying of a cornerstone, the dedication of a Lodge Hall, processions and parades. Not always do we create a favourable impression. It requires no great degree of imagination to see what damage can be done to the Fraternity when the public observes sloppiness, undignified behaviour, careless actions. For example, smoking in parade ranks, off-colour jokes or observations, crumpled and stained aprons. We should not go out of our way to make ourselves the objects of derision. Two – Coarse Performances: We have all witnessed, with sadness, Degree Work that loses its noble and inspiring message when some members forfeit their opportunity to convey a neverto-be-forgotten lesson and choose instead to show-off or to cover up their lack of practice with immature actions. The dignity and purity of the Ritual is one aspect of Masonry that sets us apart from other organizations. Three – Lack of Respect for Proper Attire: I admit that this is a touchy subject, but appropriate attire at Lodge Meetings is really not a debatable issue. If a Lodge Room is dedicated in the name of God, the Great Architect of the Universe, then why should there be any question about proper and respectful attire.
him worthy. The issue is one of respect for the dignity of our ancient Fraternity. A man need not wear a Harry Rosen suit to show proper respect for his Lodge but surely there is a standard of attire well above the level of laziness and neglect. These practices serve to cheapen Freemasonry in the eyes of the public and, indeed, in the eyes of the Brethren themselves. It seems fitting that Masons, of all people, should have a fine sense of respect for proper behaviour, protocol, etiquette and appearance, that we are all expected to observe. Will some members complain if the Lodge insists on dignity, decorum, purity of Ritual and proper attire? Perhaps, but when men are summoned to offer the highest and best within themselves, they usually respond with their highest and best efforts in order to maintain and promote Masonic pride and to bring the line up to the standard where it belongs!
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Are the V.S.L. (Volume of Sacred Law) and the Book of the Law the same as the Bible? Answer: In Christian lands the holy book of the prevailing faith is the Great Light. In American and English Lodges that book is the Holy Bible. A Masonic Lodge cannot exist without the V.S.L., the Book of the Law. But in lands where there are other religions, the sacred book of those religions becomes their Great Light. What is important is that some volume containing divine revelation be a part of the furniture of
In a pamphlet entitled ―If Freemasonry is Good – Let‟s Talk About It‖, one paragraph deserves repetition: ―The Mason who creates a bad impression, in whatever field of activity, brings discredit to the Craft.‖ We make an impression at all times. We should want it to be a good one. Let‘s not cloud the issue about how Masonry regards the internal and not the external qualifications of a man that render
the Lodge. Inasmuch as Freemasonry is not concerned with doctrine or dogma or sect or denomination, but only with "that natural religion in which all men agree" (Old Charges), it is only necessary that the V.S.L. be sacred to the members of the Lodge, the Bible on American altars is not to be considered only as a Christian or a Jewish sacred book; it is a symbol of the revealed will and teachings of the Great Architect of the Universe--a name under which any Freemason can worship that Deity in whom he puts his faith and trust..
Question: What is the symbolism of the Square? Answer: The Square, the second of the 'Three Great Lights', symbolises Morality, defined in Masonic Ritual as the duties we owe to our neighbour. In adopting this standard or morality, Freemasonry, like Christianity, is following the criterion of moral virtue set up by the Israelites. So great was the importance attached by the Israelites to duty to one's neighbour that it became the supreme test of the practice of morality. In the days of King Herod there lived a famous Hebrew sage named Hillell, said to have been one of Herod's Wardens during the rebuilding of the Temple in the time of Zerubbabel. Hillel was once asked by a heathen to teach him THE WHOLE OF THE SACRED LAW while he could stand on one foot! Hillel's answer was: 'What is hateful to thyself do not unto thy neighbour. This is the whole Law; the rest is mere commentary.'
Question: Although my question is probably not of any practical importance, I should like to know at exactly what stage of the ceremony an Initiate becomes a member of the lodge? Answer: At first, my instinctive reply to your question was that an Initiate is a member of the Craft from the moment that he has sealed his obligation, but your question, though a hypothetical one, was so interesting that I felt it necessary to seek other opinions. I consulted several brethren whom I regard as experts on ritual matters but, as might have been expected, there was no unanimity. However, the majority opinion seems to be that if the ceremony were terminated for some reason before the obligation had been sealed, it would be necessary to start again, but that if it had been sealed, it would not be necessary for the obligation to be taken a second time and the ceremony could be continued from where it was broken off so that the Initiate should be regarded as a member of the lodge as from this point in the ceremony.
In symbolising in the Square the great moral law first laid down by the Israelites, and afterwards adopted by Christianity, Freemasonry has but adopted an Hebraic standard. Question: Can a Candidate participate in the F.P.O.F. with only one arm, right or left? Answer: The wording of this question implies that the candidate has already taken his first two degrees. In that case, the answer is certainly 'Yes'. The Master, at that point of the ceremony would probably demonstrate on another Brother how the Points are normally shared, and then he would go through them again with the Candidate, who would do all that he can do, despite the absence of one limb.
You must understand that this is not an official ruling and if such a case arose, Grand Lodge would have to give a decision.
Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg No. 720
This question raises the age old problem in the Ancient Charges, which described that 'no master should take an apprentice..., unless he be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art..." Originally an operative rule, this was designed to ensure that the apprentice would eventually be able to give a fair days work for his pay. Clearly that strict rule could not be held to apply to prospective members of speculative Lodges. There is evidence that the subject was considered by English Masonic authorities in 1875, apparently without any specific result. During the first World War, 1914-1918, it became obvious that the 'doctrine of perfect youth' would have to be amended for the benefit of those men who had been maimed or disabled while on active service. In July 1918, a circular letter was issued to all Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England to remedy the situation. It ruled that: '...when the defect does not render a candidate incapable of learning our art there is no reason why he should not be initiated, provided he is able to understand our secrets and mysteries and to explain or exemplify them when properly called upon'.
Constituted 5th November 1885 November the 5th is a date which figures prominently in the history of our country. On that date in 1605 Guy Fawkes attempted to clear away King James and the English Parliament with the Gunpowder Plot. November 5th 1688 saw Prince William of Orange land at Brixton to secure the Protestant succession. Then on the same date in 1885 came an even more important date as it was then - due to the prompting of Brother Dr John Falconer of St.Annes, Lasswade -that The Grand Lodge of Scotland granted a charter to Lodge Dalhousie No. 720.
Safeguards were added for proper investigation, and approval by the Master of the Lodge who was held responsible for ensuring that the candidate's condition complied with the new rule and, after full details had been submitted, for the final approval of the Provincial or District Grand Master, or the Grand Master himself.
It had not been an easy birth. The 20 brethren who lived locally and wished to see a Lodge established in Bonnyrigg had approached Nos.10, 429, 580 and 606 for their assistance in having the Lodge chartered, but all were unable to help. However, Dr Falconer was not to be put off.
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.
A Past Master of the Celtic Lodge and an active member of Grand Lodge, he secured the necessary support and the petition was granted following a debate on the floor of Grand Lodge. The Brethren of the new Lodge had shown confidence in their petition being granted as in September of 1885 they had received permission from the Earl of Dalhousie to use the colours of his coat-of-arms for the Lodge regalia.
these and the Lodge's only reason to vacate their own premises was the Second World War when once again the Military requisitioned the hall. Meetings were held in the Tennis Courts Pavilion.
The Lodge met for the first time officially on February 22nd 1886 in the Coffee House, Leyden Place (temperance premises!!!) The early days of the Lodge saw the usual problems of accommodation and finance but the early members kept working away and by the start of the Great War were the lookout for their own premises. The Coffee House was offered but rejected. Eventually, Bonnyrigg Public Hall was acquired for ÂŁ1500 with condition that Picture Shows be held 12 times per year for 10 years.
In 1967 the bombshell burst when it was discovered that the front of the building was in a dangerous condition. The members and several neighbouring Lodges Nos. 429 and 580 rallied round and the repairs were put in hand and paid for, during this time the hall and the temple were completely refurbished and the Harris Lounge was built in place of the old boardroom and cloakroom.
The hall was once again extensively altered and improved during the 1950's and 1960's and the new Temple upstairs came into use for the 75th Anniversary celebrations.
The next chapter in the history of Lodge Dalhousie was reaching the grand old age 100 years.In 1985 that milestone was reached. The brethren began making plans to celebrate the centenary many months beforehand. A Centenary Committee was formed with Bros. Billy Grant, John Peden, Robert McCutcheon, Ben Placido, Willie Moonie, Eddie Anderson, Billy Brownlee, John Roy, R.B. Watson, Gus Sinclair and Nat Fisher having the responsibility of organising the events to take place.
The Lodge took possession of the hall in May 1920 due in no small part to ExProvost Brother Archibald Gilchrist who gave a loan of ÂŁ1000. Less than a year later the hall was taken over by the Military as quarters for troops billeted in Bonnyrigg during the Miners' Strike. The Coffee House was demolished in the 1950's and the site is now occupied by a block of flats built by the Town Council.
The Lodge Centenary celebrations commenced on Sunday 21st April 1985 with a Service of Thanksgiving in Bonnyrigg Church. Bro. Bill Armitage, Provincial Grand Chaplin of Midlothian officiated, assisted by Bro. John McKinnon PM, Junior Provincial Grand Chaplin. Bro. Robert Hooker, Provincial Grand Organist, acted as accompanist and Bro. Robert Ross, MM 112 and HM 720,sang the solo "The Old Rugged Cross". RWM Angus Sinclair
The hall and the debts associated with it now became the Lodge's biggest concern. Various improvement plans were implemented and different schemes mooted to pay for them, but it was not until 1945 that the debt was finally cleared. In the intervening years, several schemes were put forward with a view to selling the hall or building a new one-luckily nothing came of
headed a parade of 207 Brethren from the lodge by way of High St, the Toll, Polton St, Dobbies Rd, Park Rd to the church.
Ceremonial of Re-Dedication assisted by the Senior Grand Chaplin Bro. Rev. F. Routledge Bell. After the close of the lodge the brethren adjourned downstairs for the Centenary Dinner. The RWM, the Grand Master Mason and the Provincial Grand Master were piped to the table by Bro. Tom Harvey and thereafter all present enjoyed an excellent meal.
The parade was preceded by Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Brass Band and was under the control of Bro. Duncan McKay PM, Director of Ceremonies, assisted by Bro. Robert Burnett , Marshall. For the first time the lodge's new standard was displayed being proudly carried by Bro. Eric Brownle , Standard Bearer. A collection of £241 was uplifted and donated to St Joseph’s Hospital, Rosewell.
Lodge Dalhousie has now moved with the times as we moved into the millennium with Brother David Pringle being in the chair of King Solomon at the turn of the century. The lodge premises have been completely refurbished with the function hall in particular taking on a new lease of life.
The social highlight of the celebrations took place at Peebles Hydro Hotel on Friday 24th May 1985, when 253 Brethren and ladies enjoyed the aptly named "Centenary Banquet". The culmination of the lodge centenary celebrations took place on Friday 21st November 1985 when a Ceremony of Re-Dedication and Centenary Dinner was held in the lodge premises.
The Lodge meets at 7pm on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month, from September to April at Dalhousie Masonic Lodge, 75 High St, Bonnyrigg EH19 2DB This History of Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg No. 720 was sourced from their excellent website which can be viewed by clicking here. The Complete History can be read. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 720 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History and the Lodge seal.
The lodge tyled at 6.30pm and the RWM welcomed a large number of 720 brethren and visitors. Each lodge in the province was represented by their respectful RWM's. A special guest was Bro. A. Bain, RWM of the Lodge Caledonia Uganda. Following the welcome the RWM passed then raised the lodge before admitting a deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian headed by the RWPGM Bro. Robin D.H. Jackson. After the Provincial deputation had been welcomed and seated, a deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland entered the temple under the direction of Bro. Gordon Agnew, Grand Director of Ceremonies.
"What is the most important thing we as Freemasons do? Is it reciting the ritual and conferring degrees? Many lodges must think so, because that's all they ever do; they make the Craft into some sort of primitive life-form, whose sole function is to propagate itself." –
The MWGM Mason of Scotland Bro. J.M. Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet took the chair of King Solomon and proceeded to work the
-- Wallace McLeod, in Seekers of Truth, April 1988 13
the family by working in the evening after school in a local flax mill. Two years later mother and family moved to Hamilton in Lanarkshire and Harry began working down the coal mines. Despite working 12 hours a day in terrible conditions, and not seeing sunlight for 6 months of the year for almost 10 years, Harry would later say, “that’s where I learned to be a comic.”
Sir Harry Lauder
The young Harry Lauder had regularly been singing and entertaining his fellow workers, he entered ‘talent’ competitions in the local towns and villages and proved to be very popular, and Harry had ambitions to become a professional singer. In June 1891 aged 21 he married Ann, the daughter of a local colliery manager, and the following year 1892 saw him get his big break when he was offered the chance to tour Scotland with a concert party, and his first professional engagement as an entertainer. A few short years later he would be appearing top of the bill in packed theatres up and down the country. His popularity and fame were spreading an in 1898 he formed his own touring company, which was a huge success. That year saw his company have its first hit when he starred as an Irish comedian in Birkenhead, and then in 1900 he played his first Music Hall theatre in London. Success followed success and soon this led to tours overseas, and in 1907, Harry Lauder took the first of what was to be 22 tours of the United States, This tour saw him perform twice a day each day for five weeks before returning to Scotland. He also toured Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere, always to packed houses, where his charismatic persona and his easy going Scots brogue was loved by all his audiences.
‘The First Superstar’
Harry McLennan Lauder was born at his grandfather’s house in Portobello near Edinburgh in 1870. At the age of twelve the family moved to Chesterfield in Derbyshire where their father a skilled potter had secured work in the ceramics industry to design china. Shortly afterwards, the father contracted pneumonia and died. The mother Isabella and her seven children moved back to Scotland to live with her family in Arbroath, and young Harry helped support
His tours would routinely see him complete a circuit of British theatres before departing by liner from Liverpool or Southampton on the trans-Atlantic trip before tackling North America from East to West.
spectacular rise in popularity coincided with the arrival of the gramophone record, and in 1902 he recorded his first record for the Gramophone and Typewriter Company, and would later record some of the most popular songs of the day, such as ‘I Love a Lassie’ and ‘Roamin in the Gloamin.’
In a typical 24-hour period travelling by custom designed train, his entourage (Lauder often travelled with an entire supporting orchestra, pipe band, dancers and novelty acts) would hit town in the morning to a tumultuous platform-side welcome, make directly for a lunchtime performance at the local venue, return to the waiting train, travel on to the next town for the evening show, head back to the train, sleep during the overnight journey to the next stop and arrive the following morning ready to perform again, thus playing three towns a day several hundred miles apart and practising his own credo to “Get in, get all, get out”.
Lauder was the first British artist to sell one million records and soon commanded fees of £12,000 a night. He would become the highest paid performer in the world during his time! In 1905 Lauder had an outstanding triumph leading the pantomime at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, for which he had wrote the song, ‘I Love a Lassie,’ this performance made him a national star, and contracts to star in shows flooded in. After his first tour of America, he performed a private show before King Edward VII, and in 1911 he again toured the United States where he commanded $1000 a night.
Ending the North American leg of the tour in Vancouver or San Francisco, the odyssey would continue dates in New Zealand and Australia (stopping off for a week of shows in Hawaii), before heading back east, to repeat the entire process in reverse.
In 1912 he topped the bill of the first ever Royal Command performance in front of King George V. In 1913 he was paid £1125 for a show at the Glasgow Pavilion Theatre and in 1914 he again toured United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. By the outbreak of World War One, Harry was an international star.
(Taken from an Article - Instant Newspaper - The First Superstar - Nov Dec 1999)
His persona would be his trademark, entertaining music hall audiences throughout the English speaking world with his range of heartfelt songs and comedy performances. Always dressed in full highland dress and walking stick, Lauder’s appearance, dry-wit, charm and always comic references to the legendary Scottish tight-fistedness, and often portraying a Scot who had too much too drink went down well wherever he appeared, and was always met with universal laughter. Lauder’s
The First World War broke out while Lauder was visiting Australia. During the war Lauder promoted recruitment into the services and starred in many concerts for troops at home and abroad. During the war he worked tirelessly for the national interest, undertaking tours intended to raise recruits for the war effort: he was said to have helped recruit 12,000 men for the armed forces.
In December 1916 his one and only son, John Lauder, was killed in action on the Western Front, and inspired him to write: 'Keep Right On to the End of The Road'. In the wake of this personal tragedy, Lauder established the Harry Lauder Million Pound Fund to help the war wounded and help the servicemen return to health and civilian life.
the BBC. Lauder's last stage appearance was at a concert in the Gorbals at Glasgow to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the local Rover Scout Group in 1947. During the Second World War he organised shows and played in Scottish towns got the benefit of churches, schools, hospitals, clubs and community projects. He wanted to keep on entertaining even after he had his first heart attack. When the doctors told him to give up active work, he sadly remarked: “I suppose a man can’t go on forever – though I’d be perfectly willing to.” His condition became so bad that he was unconscious for weeks and was expected to die at any moment. However, a few months before his death, he improved to be almost well. Then his fatal relapse occurred.
Harry Lauder led successful charity fundraising efforts, organised a recruitment tour of music halls and entertained troops in France with a piano. He travelled to Canada in 1917 on a fundraising exercise for the war, where, on 17 November he was guestof-honour and speaker at the Rotary Club of Toronto Luncheon, when he raised nearly three-quarters of a million dollars worth of bonds for Canada's Victory Loan. Harry Lauder played a hugely significant role during World War One and for these services to the war effort; he was knighted in May 1919.
Sir Harry Lauder died on 26th February 1950 at his Strathaven home Lauder Hall at the age of 79 and one of the chief mourners at his funeral was the 14th Duke of Hamilton., a close family friend. His funeral was held at Cadzow church in Hamilton on 2 March. It was widely reported, and filmed by Pathé newsreels. The Duke led the funeral procession through Hamilton, and read The Lesson. Wreaths were sent from Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and Winston Churchill. Lauder was interred with his brother George and their mother in the family plot at Bent Cemetery in Hamilton.
After the war ended, Sir Harry Lauder continued to be in great demand, he went on to become one of the most popular and best paid entertainers in the world. He continued to tour the variety theatre circuits, in January 1918 he visited Charlie Chaplain at his studios in Hollywood and they acted in a short film together. Sir Harry’s beloved wife died in 1927, and in 1929 he began to make plans to retire. His final tour was to North America in 1932, he built a new house at Strathaven and called in Lauder Hall and by the mid 30’s Harry was semi-retired, until he officially announced his retirement in 1935, although he continued to make sporadic public appearances for many years after. World War II began and Sir Harry came out of retirement to entertain the troops during the war and make wireless broadcasts with
Sir Harry Lauder, arguably Scotland’s greatest ever entertainer, was initiated into Freemasonry on 28th January 1897 aged 26 in Lodge Dramatic No. 571 (Glasgow). His occupation is recorded as comedian, 2 weeks later he was passed and then on the 25th February he was raised. This Lodge was formed in 1875 to cater for ‘theatricals’ such as singers, actors and entertainers etc,
and an excellent history of the Lodge can be found in the January 2012 issue of the SRA76 magazine, which I commend for your reading.
wi' ma lassie by ma side, When the sun has gone to rest, that's the time that I like best, O, it's lovely roamin' in the gloamin'!
The next mention of Harry Lauder in the Lodge Minute Books is the record of the 1899 Installation on 23rd November when he is installed as the Lodge Bible Bearer; it also notes that he took part in the Lodge Harmony that same evening!
Finally, let us leave the story of Sir Harry Lauder, famous Freemason with two of his own quotes:'Aye, I'm tellin' ye, happiness is one of the few things in this world that doubles every time you share it with someone else'.
Brother Harry Lauder remained an active Freemason throughout his life, he is remembered as a prolific Masonic visitor and many Scottish Lodges recall him entertaining at their Lodge Harmonies. He visited Lodge Fortrose in Stornoway in July 1922.
And this one, which shows Sir Harry Lauder sharing his masonic sentiments and principles:“Ever since the great war, I have been preaching Brotherly love in my songs…. I will never stop preaching it…. For if one can touch the hearts of people with a song, and cheer them with it’s uplifting music, it is a step towards the remedy that can cure even sick nations.” Nov 1922,
He also became a member of the Bohemian Lodge No. 3294, English Constitution, which met in Birkenhead, a well-known Lodge for Brethren in the acting and stage profession.
This article on Sir Harry Lauder by the editor of the SRA76 magazine has been compiled from a Variety of sources freely available on the internet. These sources include;
In Scotland, Harry Lauder’s memory lives on, he is still regarded as Scotland’s finest Music Hall artiste who wrote and performed some of the best loved popular and traditional songs about Scotland.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland Facebook site. SRA76 Masonic Magazine Undiscovered Scotland Wikipedia The Website of Lodge Dramatic No. 571 Website sirharrylauder.com and others.
I Love a Lassie I love a lassie, a bonnie bonnie lassie, She's as pure as a lily in the dell, She's sweet as the heather, the bonnie bloomin' heather, Mary, my Scots bluebell. Roamin’ in the Glamin’ Roamin' in the gloamin' on the bonnie banks o' Clyde, Roamin' in the gloamin'
Sir Harry Lauder Road in Portobello.
The Line and the Skirret
century. We find no reference in print to the word 'skirret' until after the United Grand Lodge, 1813, and then as a masonic word only, and not as a word in general literature. The skirret familiar to every freemason is a spool, or cord-holder rotating freely on a centre-pin. The loose end of the cord is attached to a second pin-a short stakewhich, in use, is driven into the ground at one end of the intended line. Next, the workman walks towards the other end of the proposed line, the rotating holder giving off the cord as he moves, and he then drives the centre-pin into the ground where required, taking care to stretch the cord tightly. In this way he produces a straight line for his guidance " in marking out the ground for the foundation of an intended structure."
The symbol of the line-the stretched line and the measuring line occurs frequently in the books of the Old Testament. We read of "a man with a measuring line in his hand" (Zechariah ii, 1); that "the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it" (Jeremiah xxxi 39), that "he marketh it out with a line" (Isaiah xliv, 13); and so forth. To the freemason the stretched line connotes the skirret, or skirrit, one of the working tools of the Third Degree; it emblematically represents the straight and undeviating line of conduct laid down for our guidance in the V.S.L., and further teaches the criterion of moral rectitude, that we should avoid dissimulation in conversation and action, and seek the path that leads to immortality.
Some rituals speak of the skirret as being an implement from which the line "is drawn, chalked and struck"-that is, the stretched and chalked cord is 'plucked,' so as to print a white line on the surface below it. We may well believe that the use of the chalk-line has been known for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks said that the chalk-line produced a line "more exact than rectitude itself" - symbolically it was the boundary line of human life.. But for use on an earth surface, the only purpose of the skirret, the chalked line would not often be suitable.
The skirret, or some implement like it, must have been in use for thousands of years. Paintings at Thebes, Egypt, dating back to, say, 3000 B.c., show masons holding a stretched cord by means of which a line is being drawn. A limestone 'stela' ('slab' or 'tablet') set up in the capital Ur of the Chaldees more than two thousand years before. A simple Form of the Skirret. The Everyday Skirret
We know the implement well enough, but we know nothing of its name. General dictionaries appear to have drawn their information on the subject from masonic sources, and therefore do not help us. (It is fairly certain, by the way, that freemasonry gave this word 'skirret' to the technical vocabulary or, at any rate, rescued it from oblivion.) Some erudite and elaborate interpretations giving the word a symbolic meaning have been attempted, but can be ignored. One writer has said that the word is
A line-holder, rotating on a centre-pin. The gardener's line-reel and stake. Christ shows a measuring rod and line in use by a deity acting as architect. But, while this is so, we have no evidence of the actual existence of the implement itself earlier than a painting, The Backgammon Players, by the Flemish painter David Teniers the younger, who may be assumed to have produced his picture in the middle of the seventeenth
"genuine English although almost obsolete." Yes, genuine English for certain things botanical, but not for a rotating line holder! Dictionaries of the present century give the word 'skirreh' as meaning a cord, but it is doubtful whether this has genuine antiquity. A few years ago an author occupied much space to explain that the word .skirret' meant 'pure,' but this looks very much like a case of taking the masonic meaning of a word, and seeking to derive it accordingly. 'Purity' is an extremely unlikely association with the name for an operative's line spool.
Much has been said in recent years about lack of attendance at Lodge Meetings and many reasons have been given for this apparent lack of interest in the craft. Have we given serious consideration to the newest of our individual members? Have we been more interested in the number of applications than we have been in our duties to the new members? Has Quantity taken precedence over Quality? We should ask ourselves are the applicants being informed of our requirements and are they favourably disposed towards these requirements?
The word 'skirret' was not known, it is believed, until about 1825, and appears to have no literary history; we must conclude that if the word itself was not an invention, then it must have been derived from some fact or circumstance relating to the implement itself.
Every applicant has his own personal reason for seeking admission and it is the duty of the sponsor to be satisfied that that the applicant will be making a worthwhile addition to his lodge. If he is then accepted, he must be prepared to devote time towards his instruction and education? He should be given information when discussing his application with the sponsor so that he is fully aware of his duties and responsibilities.
There is a bare possibility that the familiar word 'skewer'-the butcher's skewer-is allied with the word 'skirret.' One old-fashioned meaning of 'skewer' is that of a spindle fixed to a cloth-spinner's creel, and carrying a rotating bobbin from which the yarn was unwound; here we get both the sound' of the word and the meaning closely allied to those of 'skirret.'
The next responsibility rests with the Investigating (enquiry) Committee. The members of this committee also carry a great responsibility as it is to a great extent their report that that governs the applicantâ€™s acceptance and must be done at all times in a proper manner. On being accepted and during the course of the ceremonies that the candidate takes part in, he should be informed of his requirements to the Lodge and whenever possible the sponsor will to accompany him to Lodge or other lodges when it would be permissible for him as a new member to attend.
The Scots word 'skirr, meaning 'scurry or rush,' conveys the exact mental impression caused by the sudden rotation of the cordholder when the pull comes upon it. Then, in eighteenth century slang, to 'skirry' was to 'run quickly' or to 'scurry.' We may suspect that 'skirret' was originally a colloquial word which owed its origin either to the 'scurry' of the line-holder or to the 'skirl,' or shrill sound, which it makes when in action.
Next consideration should be what are the requirements of the Lodge to him? He has been accepted, has paid the necessary fee,
The Line and the Skirret by Bernard E. Jones, from The Freemasons's Guide and Compendium
and passed the three degrees and now is a Master Mason. What then? Will we leave him to his own resources or shall we devote our efforts to his Education in the fundamentals of Freemasonry?
Regular meetings are also important as they not only allow for business to be dealt with but also give our newest members an idea of how the Lodge works. The sponsor or another member should make sure all new members are present in lodge for these meetings. He needs someone to sit with him, often in the North East to answer his questions and explain what is going on.
If the candidate has met the aforementioned requirements, he wants, needs and deserves some explanation on what has transpired. He needs to receive guidance and encouragement to think and ask about the lessons he has received and to be encouraged to maintain an interest in the craft? While we are willing to accept men who will conform to our ideals let us also devote our time and effort to all the membership so that they come to an understanding of what Freemasonry means and what they are expected of, as a Mason.
Education is a major part of this meeting and talks should be planned before hand with the Master and maybe a guest speaker can be introduced occasionally to vary the format or maybe introduce a concordant body to talk. All officer positions should not be a one man job but a team effort of the officers to make our meetings enjoyable and worth visiting. In assuming office, the Worshipful Master should have a program prepared for the regular meetings that would be of interest to the membership. Remembering the charge you received when assuming office “It will be your province to communicate light and instruction to the Brethren of your Lodge.”
We now come to the responsibility of the officers of the Lodge. Each officer of the Lodge has the responsibility to carry out his duties as the best he can. He should be willing to be present at all meetings, within reason, that he can. There is nothing worse than to have a mad scramble to have to fill in stand in members at the last moment. At an emergent meeting a good ritual is a pleasure to all who are present. When a degree is being acted it is essential not only for the members who are present but more so for the candidate who will pass this way only once. For him it is his introduction into our craft and it is the duty of everyone to help him to enjoy it. Another problem is the inability of those members present to hear the spoken word. Nothing is more discouraging to those in Lodge to sit and hear little or nothing of the speaker during the ceremonies. I know we cannot all be Shakespearian Actors and if the lodge is short of good ritualist speakers maybe the time has come to form a Ritual Team from members of the Lodge.
The festive Board is also part of the lodge meeting and it is a time when we meet visitors in a social environment. At the same time it should be structured with a top table and the toasts should be given by members who have been advised beforehand not surprised at the last minute. And lastly do not forget the Tyler’s Toast “To absent brethren” and maybe we should remember that the term absent brethren includes all those members of the Lodge that did not bother to take the time to come to the meeting that night. The Overy Papers Number 35 - Attendance Bro. Bill Overy Member of the Education Committee of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon.
"But it's all fixed now. Red head is calmed down. There will be no preferring of charges just yet! "Glad of it! I should say I am glad of it. Don't get the idea in your head that preferring charges and holding a Masonic trial are matters to be joyful about! At times... sad times they are... it is necessary to do it. But there are many more times when it could be done, but it is far, far wiser not to do it. "I had to agree with him, of course, that our erring brother was no ornament to the lodge, if what was said of him was true. I admitted freely that a man like that should never have been permitted to be a Mason. But I couldn't see that throwing him out would do the fraternity any good and it would certainly not do him any good. And it would do us a great deal of harm, both as a lodge and individually.
The Better Way "See that young chap over there? Yes, with the red hair and the glasses! Had quite a time with him this evening! He is redheaded inside as well as out, and he loves Masonry so much he wants to fight for her all the time!
"You don't see why? Well, let me tell you. Ever since Cain wanted to know whether he was his brother's keeper, men have felt that they were their brother's keepers. And so, indeed, we should be. But 'keeper' doesn't mean prosecutor. When you 'keep' your brother, you keep him from harm, you keep him from evil, you keep him from danger. You do not throw him under the wheels, push him out into the cold, do him an injury. When you 'keep' your brother, it is the man, not his conscience, you keep.
"What was his trouble? Oh, he wanted to prefer charges against a brother and have a Masonic trial and purge the fraternity of a rascal and be a sort of combination Sir Galahad, Joan of Arc and Carrie Nation to this lodge. "It seems he has some inside information about some brother of this lodge who has done several things a Mason ought not to do. Sold some goods by misrepresentation, worked his women employees longer than the law allow and threatened to fire them if they told, kited a check or two and was warned by the bank.... I really don't know all his high crimes and misdemeanours!
"The Jesuits showed the world what keeping as man's conscience for him might do; it resulted in the inquisition. Masonry has no business following in such footsteps. We do not, and should not, try to keep our brother's conscience. We should, indeed, aid him, help him; we should try to show him the right if he is wrong, we should, indeed, 'in
the most friendly manner, remind him of his faults.' But it is a far cry from this to holding a trial and kicking him out.
without some fire.' So we don't want to prefer charges and have a trial unless we are pretty sure of what we know and equally sure of what we want to do. It is much better for any lodge to have one bad egg in its omelette, than to spoil the whole omelette. One bad egg in a ten egg omelette will spoil it, but in a five hundred egg omelette it isn't so noticeable. It is much better for us to go quietly after this brother and try to get him to do better, to appeal to his manliness, his Masonry, his friendship, than it is to insist on a Masonic trial.
"When is a Masonic trial right? Well, to my mind, only when a man has done something which, un-regarded and unpunished by his lodge, will hurt Masonry more than the scandal of getting rid of him will hurt it. Now this brother has not as yet been disgraced in society. He has not been arrested, tried or convicted. He may, or may not be guilty of those things with which the red head charges him. It is good American doctrine to believe a man innocent until he is proved otherwise, and Masons are good Americans. For the lodge to take the initiative in a trial for offence against a civil law would be both un-Masonic and unwise.
"No, my brother, there are better ways. The charges preferred, the Masonic trial, the disgrace, the scandal, the hard feelings are very bad for a lodge, very hard on those who take part, very severe on the one who is either acquitted or held guilty. Never, until all other means have been tried and found unsuccessful, should they be used; never then, until several wise heads have been consulted. When the time comes, when there is no other course open, then may charges be preferred and a trial held, and the lodge purged of that evil element which is harming it. But we must be very sure that the remedy isn't worse than the disease, and that in scotching the snake we are not also fatally injuring the hand which scotches.
"Leave him alone? Certainly not. He won't be left alone. This man has friends in this lodge. Red head is getting them together and laying his 'facts' if they are facts, before them. Those friends can be trusted to see that the man is told of the talk which is going on, and given a chance to explain, to deny, to affirm, to mend his ways if they need mending. Obviously, we don't want as a brother in the lodge a man who continuously violates the common tenets of all humanity, but equally as obviously, we don't want to accuse and stigmatize a man as doing so, unless we know we are right.
"Red head listened to reason; his friends and those of a brother who may be at fault will do the rest and the good old lodge will never be hurt. And under all, and over all, we will have the happy knowledge that we are practising that toleration and charity of thought which makes us our brother's keeper in the best, not the worst sense of the word."
"Every man knows that a man unjustly accused before the law and acquitted is never wholly cleared from the taint. There are always some who say 'yes he was accused and got off. But they took him to court,' as if it was a disgrace. The man who is tried by Masonry for an offense, and acquitted must always be, to his brethren a man about whom scandal was whispered. There are always those who say 'no smoke
This is the eleventh article in this our 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.
A Better World
Although the fundamental principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth sound deceptively simple, they form the root of Masonry and represent a code of ethics. Brotherly Love is much more than friendship, because it includes teamwork, unity of purpose, loyalty, harmony and tolerance. Teamwork unites individual contributions into a collective effort, while harmony joins these efforts together in sincere affection, but does not mean unquestioning approval, unqualified agreement or unconditional acceptance against oneâ€™s own judgment and conscience. Loyalty is devotion but, more importantly, it is intelligence. Tolerance is simply a belief in permitting others to express their own opinions and to be whatever they wish to be within the guidelines of law and order.
Would it not be a great world to live in if everyone embraced the teachings of Freemasonry? Think of the world we would have if everyone truly embraced brotherly love, relief and truth. Actually loved their fellowman respected their opinion and had compassion and understanding toward how they honoured God. Freemasonry deals exclusively with ethics; right and wrong conduct in todayâ€™s world. In short, it teaches us how to live as human beings, who nourish life and seek the sacred in the ordinary leading to a journey into self-understanding. The fundamentals of a good and moral society are justice, freedom, mercy, law, order, responsibility and respect for others. The ritual reinforces the natural order of a good and humane society by encouraging its members to follow the will of the Great Architect of the Universe laid out in the V.O.T.S.L. Our ceremonies provide the elementary base to understanding Masonic philosophy and it is up to each Mason to unlock its secrets and discover the spiritual nature contained therein. The future of Freemasonry as a moral force in society depends upon the view we as Masons take. If we do not spiritualize it, we will increasingly materialize it. If we fail to interpret its veiled significance, to enter into the understanding of its underlying philosophy, and to translate its symbolism into what is signified we will mistake shadow for substance and diminish what was designed as a means of spiritual instruction and grace. The message of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth is needed more today in our troubled times than it has even been needed before.
Brotherly Love is neither an abstraction nor a bundle of magic words, but is contained in little acts of kindness, expressions of comfort and appreciation of the joy of friendship. It is the strange beauty and magic of Brotherly Love that binds members together in unity. It touches the togetherness to enter and permit two hearts to bond together with a fresh and vigorous harmony. Can one explain the force that draws a Bedouin to the desert or a sailor to the sea? All these are in the heart and it is difficult to explain the working of a friendly, tolerant heart. Relief is greater than charity. It is personal attention, sympathetic understanding and a caring attitude to others. Throughout masonic history, benevolence has been one of the central themes of Masonry. The word indicates the anxiety of being alone when illness strikes, of knowing that someone cares, of acting towards others with thoughtfulness, kindness and a gracious generosity of spirit that requires no reward.
Truth does not simply imply remaining true to masonic principles. It is honesty in business and integrity in all dealings. Members are urged to be good and true. Sincerity and plain dealing are thus advocated, so as to promote the general welfare of others. It is an attempt to develop excellence in everything a Mason does, whether it be in personal, social or business activity. Masons strive for truth by calling for high moral standards, striving to attain them in their own lives and thereby influencing others in the same way. It means that a Mason continually searches for the Truth, the light of knowledge to transform himself into a better person of sincerity, honesty and straight dealing. The Mason also seeks the knowledge to understand the values necessary for real survival as a human being. Thus tranquility, peace, dignity and decorum are the words that usually rise into the mind in Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth require courage, determination, strength of mind and soul and independence of judgement.
care to and those who do not listen carefully or perform them properly will never find the lessons taught in Masonry. The candidateâ€™s method of entry into the lodge denotes a release from worldly distractions and a clearing of his mind as he enters upon a different experience. He enters in a state of unknowing and as a petitioner for what he feels is new knowledge, but suddenly realizes, that he has always had this knowledge in the recesses of his mind. The ceremonies may appear strange, even incomprehensible. They may have also appeared aweinspiring, but taken gradually, it will be similar to unrolling a parchment a little at a time until the total grandeur and majesty of Masonry is understood. The candidate assumes an obligation, his eyes are opened to the ideals of Masonry, his feet are placed on a path to knowledge and he is told of manâ€™s journey through life. There are two aspects of the ritual: first, admittance according to certain administrative requirements, second, the presentation of ethical matters by means of lectures. Upon the completion of the ceremony, the candidate is seated in the North. In symbolical language, the North always signifies the place of imperfection and undevelopment. Seating, the candidate in the North is intended for him to see, that on one side of him is the path that leads to the perpetual light of the East, into which he is encouraged to proceed and that on the other is that of spiritual obscurity and ignorance into which it is possible for him to remain or relapse. It is a parable of the dual paths of life open to each one of us; on the one hand the path of selfishness, material desires and physical indulgences, of intellectual blindness and moral stagnation; on the other the path of moral and spiritual progress, in pursuing which
Have you ever thought Ritual Work was not that important, simple language from a simple time that does not have to be done that well? We feel that just need to have more Masons for our Lodges. But if we fail to share the teachings properly, who do you think looses? Think back to your first night, a night that each of us has shared. When you were asked to learn the Degree and Obligations, you shared something that no one else can understand. The task of learning Ritual that we choose to accept and accomplish teaches us what we can accomplish with hard work. Each lecture reveals to me manâ€™s labour in life and how he will benefit from his faith in God and dedication to himself and love for mankind. The hidden meanings in the lectures await the curious mind. The Mason who does not
one may decorate and adorn the Lodge within him with the ornaments and jewels of grace and with the invaluable furniture of true knowledge, and which he may dedicate, in all his actions, to the service of God and his fellow men.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Where did the ‗Five Points of Fellowship ‘originate? How did they become a part of the ritual?
To conclude, the philosophy of Freemasonry is closely connected with the past. It has preserved, fortunately, the wisdom it took centuries for man to acquire. The connection may be remote, but it is still there. Masonry, through its symbolism, has kept this wisdom alive. It allows men to interpret this symbolism as his mind and heart dictate. It leaves men free to speculate, to think, to create. (Roberts – The Craft and Its Symbols) While we have this freedom, we are also reminded to be ever “watchful and guarded in our words and actions.” This is advice that should be followed under any circumstances. Unfortunately, it is not the enemies of Freemasonry, who should necessarily be feared. The greater danger comes from the uninformed Mason. He has learned just enough to cause the Craft irreparable harm. Not always by saying too much, but often by saying too little. He knows so little about the Fraternity he believes everything is secret. Actually, there are few things that are secret. Too often good men never petition a lodge because the member they asked about Freemasonry could, or would, tell them nothing. What the member should have done was to contact a well-informed brother, one who could discuss the teachings and principles of Masonry circumspectly and discreetly. Serve the Craft well Brethren and consider the good you can do for it.
Answer: From the time that our ritual documents begin to appear in 1696, the Points of Fellowship may count as one of the oldest items in Craft ritual and procedure. Between 1696 and 1730 we have seventeen separate texts, from different parts of Britain, ten in manuscript and seven in print, and the Points of Fellowship appear in all except three of them. The earliest version appears in the Edinburgh Register House MS, 1696, i.e. before there is any evidence of 'Speculative' influence, and it appears in the second degree (Master of Fellow-Craft) at a time when only two degrees were known and roughly thirty years before the three-degree system came into use. In 1696, the Points were described as 'foot to foot, knee to knee, heart to heart, hand to hand and ear to ear'. Several of the later versions differed substantially and, for obvious reasons, we cannot discuss those, but their regular appearance in nearly all our ritual texts is ample evidence of their antiquity as well as their widespread usage. Indeed, I believe we may confidently date their introduction into Craft ritual in the early 1500s, at a time when the two-degree system was probably established. One more item must be noted and emphasized. In all fourteen of the early texts that contain the Points of Fellowship there is no mention or hint of the Hiramic legend except in the last version, dated 1730. To all
Article by Allan T. Burns. This is our Regular feature of articles under the title, “Reflections.” Articles from all around the world from a variety of Constitutions and authors and adapted to use in SRA76
intents and purposes, the Points of Fellowship were in use in the Craft for more than thirty years before the Hiramic legend made its first appearance.
to the Hiramic Legend. (See 'The Mason Word' by Douglas Knoop in The Collected Prestonian Lectures. pp 255-257. Publ. By the Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
As to the first question 'Where did the Points of Fellowship' originate? We are on less sure ground. Our late Bro, Douglas Knoop discussed this subject in his Prestonian Lecture on The Mason Word, quoting three 'Biblical instances of the miraculous restoration of life', in which 'the prophet or apostle lay full length upon the body and breathed into it's face'.
While I am in full agreement with the possibilities envisaged in Bro. Knoop's discussion, my own instinct is to look for a more practical explanation of the Points of Fellowship. If they ever had a practical purpose, we may, for the moment ignore the precise terms in which they appear in our ritual today and it seems possible that they were taught, originally, as a method of reviving someone who had been killed by a fall in the course of his work.
The first of these is in 1 Kings XIV, 17-23, in which Elijah raised the son of the widow in whose house he lived. The second, in 2 Kings IV 34-35 described in detail how Elisha revived the child of the Shunamite woman. The third case, in Acts XX, 9-12, tells how St. Paul resuscitated a young man who was taken up dead after a fall. All three are interesting, but the second case, of Elisha, is described in detail, and I quote verse 14: And he (Elisha) went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands, and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.
Accidents of this kind must have been fairly common in operative times, as we may judge from one of the earliest official rules mad on the subject of scaffolding. It was promulgated by William Schaw, Master of Works to the Crown of Scotland and Warden General of the Mason Trade. I produce it here in modern spelling: Item, that all masters, enterprisers of works, be very careful to see their scaffolds and walkways (futegangis) surely set and placed, to the effect that through their negligence and sloth no hurt or harm (skaith) come unto any persons that work at the said work, under the penalty of being forbidden (discharging of thaim) thereafter to work as masters having charge of any work but (they) shall be subject all the rest of their days to work under or with an other principal master having chare of the work. Hist. Of the Lodge of Edinburgh ... Tercent. Edn. By D. Murray Lyon, p. 11.
It seems very likely that the Points of Fellowship are more or less directly related to those Biblical versions of our modern 'Kiss of Life'. But Bro. Knoop carried the idea a stage further by suggesting that these examples of 'complete coincidence of living and dead ... would develop into necromantic practices ... in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries". Necromancy is defined (in OED) as the pretended art of revealing future events, etc., by means of communication with the dead, and this raises interesting aspects of the Pints of Fellowship in relation
The penalty for carelessness in scaffolding is an excellent example of the powers of the operative Lodges in those days. A master, virtually at the peak of his profession, who
was found guilty in such a case was doomed for the rest of his life to work as an underling. In the light of this regulation, the Points of Fellowship, viewed as a practical lesson, acquire a new importance, which might well explain their regular appearance in nearly all our earliest ritual texts.
Does Freemasonry pay? What advantage has a man who is a Mason over his neighbour who is not a member of the fraternity? These and other related questions are quite likely to be asked of one's self, even if they are not put into the form of words, and expressed in private or public speech.
In spite of the total absence of legend in connection with the earliest versions of the 'points', I have always believed that there must have been some sort of legend, or story, not necessarily Masonic that would have explained those details.
This is a practical age. It applied the test of profitableness to almost everything of human acquisition and use, and it raises the question of value in regard to man's present existence, asking whether life itself is worth having - whether it pays to maintain the moral being against the trials and troubles which must be encountered. There is a mighty army of disappointed and dejected people, quiet ready to declare that there is no value in life - no good in anything. Out of the ranks of such as these come the recruits for madness, and for suicide.
Question: Our ritual says that H. A. retired for prayers 'at the hour of high twelve'; do we mean noon or midnight? Answer: 'High Twelve' means 'high noon', i.e. 'when the sun is at the meridian'. The York Minster regulations for craftsmen, in 1352, show that there was a break for dinner at twelve noon and the York Ordinances for c. 1370 ordered that when a holiday was to begin at noon, they were to work "till itte be hegh none smytyn by ye clocke" (until the clock has struck twelve).
We pity the morbid ones, so sad and so reckless. We say to them that the gift of life is a precious boon - worth living through and through as God gives it and marks the way for its expression.
For operative masons, 'High twelve' or 'High noon' meant that work was ended for the time being, and that idea was carried over into our ritual documents. At the end of the 'Enter'd Prentice's Part' in Masonry Dissected, 1730, there is a question:
Happy are they who get life rightly focused, so as to estimate its true value. Then will they have respect for those faculties of mind, heart and soul, which constitute man's highest endowment, and by exercise of which he not only makes his life useful, but also derives for himself the utmost of strength, satisfaction and peace. Those who belong to this class are disposed to make the most and best of present being, while they are always looking for a brighter light to
Q. What Oâ€™clock? A. High Twelve. The same Q. & A. appears in the Wilkinson MS. c. 1730. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ were collected from various constitutions across the world.
shine upon their way, and a more exceeding glory to be disclosed. These, rightly numbered among the workers, the leaders, the helpers in our human world, will make willing declaration, out of their own experience, that it does pay to oppose evil, to struggle for the right, to cultivate the nobler attributes of being, and to recognize the claims of related life.
profit has been realized by a study of its principles, and by an effort to apply its truths to the formation of characters, and to the conduct of life. It has been an inspiration and a benefit in many ways, as the writer has sought a better acquaintance with the history of the institution and the evolution of its great system of moral ideas and fraternal purposes. It has augmented the rest of life, deepened faith in the eternal verities, and made more evident the truth of the solidarity of the human race.
When men of this stamp pass within the lines of Freemasonry they are not likely to be disappointed. They will find enough in the institution to justify the expenditure of thought, time, and money, requisite for active and intelligent membership in the fraternity. They will testify that Freemasonry does pay; that it has profit not to be reckoned in material values, but in benefits, which constitute an abiding property of life.
What profit has Freemasonry? Much profit, and in various ways, when rightly understood and applied, being judged by the tests, which determine the higher values. Freemasonry pays the thoughtful, faithful Craftsman, not in the wages of the world's current coin, but in what quickens the affections, exalts the aspirations, broadens and blesses the life, thus providing a social, intellectual and moral incitement for a strong and useful brotherhood.
Not long since a worthy Craftsman, who has held membership in lodge, chapter and Commandery for almost half a century, said to the present writer: "Freemasonry has blessed and enriched my life. I have made no money by my Masonic connections. I have never been obliged to ask for any aid on Masonic grounds, but I believe that I am both a better and happier man to-day because of my long and active identification with the Institution." Most heartily we endorse the words of our venerable friend.
The Canadian Craftsman — Jan. 1898
‘Freemasonry over all the World’ “Freemasonry is as extensive as the wide wide world. Our temple is the great Universe; its pillars are the green mountains; its vault the blue concave of heaven. It is lighted up most gorgeously with sun, moon, and stars. We listen to the teaching of the Great Architect in murmuring stream, gentle breeze, and rolling thunder. Music is provided for us from ten thousand throats — from lark and linnet merle and thrush and cooing cushat dove; and wherever we find a being, who bears the name of man, and in whose bosom there beats a human heart, we are willing to hail him brother.” I propose the toast, “Freemasonry over all the World”, may it prosper and help to make man to man over the world friends and brothers. Given at Lodge 111 on 29th March 1868
We have profit in Freemasonry. It has been of benefit to the writer by bringing him into pleasant relations with good men and true, giving him a place in a community of mutual interests, and opening the way for the establishment of enduring friendships. The observance of its rites and ceremonies has been suggestive and interesting; and to witness Masonic work well done is none the less pleasant now than it was years ago. Its
THE BACK PAGE The Masonic Snooker Table
What does the Snooker Table have in common with Masonry? It has to be on the Level! The Snooker cues remind me of the Deacons wands, as the cues are the first contact with the snooker balls, so are the Deacons the First contact with the Candidates. The White Ball reminds me of the Initiates Apron, with is White Lambskin the emblem of innocence and purity. The Red Ball with a score value of one reminds me of the candidate's first step in Freemasonry. The Yellow Ball reminds me of that great Luminary in the Sky, and with a value of two, it draws my attention to the two great pillars of a Lodge, in the persons of the Secretary and the Treasurer, who with their expertise and dedication firm the stability of the Lodge.
The Green Ball reminds me of the lush mantle that covers the earth, its value of three, draws my thoughts to the three ruffians that slew our Master H.A. The Brown Ball reminds me of Mother Earth which produces life's precious gifts, with a value of four takes me to the twenty-four inch gauge for the workings of Labour, Thanksgiving, Refreshment and Sleep nature's great restorer. The Blue Ball reminds me of the canopy of heaven, and with a value of five, the five noble orders of architecture, namely Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. The Pink Ball reminds me of the start of life, a new-born Baby, and with a value of six, the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, namely Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth, Morality, Humility and Secrecy. The Black Ball reminds me of the darkness of the Tomb, and with a value of seven, the seven office bearers required for the perfect Lodge, namely the RWM, WSW, WJW, SD, JD, IG and Tyler. The fifteen Red balls remind me that formed in an equilateral triangle, represent the fifteen trusty fellows of craft who went in search of our Master. The Triangle reminds me of the Masters Mark of Approval. The Block of Chalk reminds me that with the tip of the cue needs to be protected as it strikes the ball, and the dust falling from the rubbing of the cue reminds me that we all return to the Grand Lodge above. That my Brethren is my interpretation of a Masonic Snooker Table.
Article sourced from the Website of The Celtic Lodge, Edinburgh and Leith No. 291.
(William John Ross Boland PM) Snooker Ball graphic by SRA76 editor. Until next month, 30 Keep the faith! The Editor
The Monthly Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76.