SRA 76 Monthly Magazine
Cover Story, The Doorway of Freemasonry The Sound of the Gavel Tenets Did You Know? Salt, Wine and Oil Lodge of Edinburgh St. Andrew No. 48 Famous Freemasons – Ed Wynn Foreign Countries The Lesser Lights Our Ribband of Blue The Game of Life Did You Know? The Back Page – Your Obligation
Main Website – The Square
Volume 17 Issue 6 No. 136 October 2021
In this Issue: Cover Story The Doorway of Freemasonry. William Harvey’s excellent article about the office of the Tyler who guards the doorway, his origin and his duties from ‘olden’ times, along with the meaning of the word. Page 8, ‘The Sound of the Gavel’ The symbol of Labour and Power! Page 11, ‘Tenets’ Page 12, ‘Did You Know?’ Questions about the Craft. Page 13, ‘Salt, Wine and Oil.’ Page 16, ‘Lodge of Edinburgh St. Andrew No. 48. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 20, ‘Ed Wynn’ Famous Freemasons. Page 22, ‘Foreign Countries.’ “Language of the Heart”, First in the series. Page 24, ‘Reflections.’ The Lesser Lights Page 26, ‘Our Ribband of Blue.’ The Apron Page 28, ‘The Game of Life. Page 29, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 30, ‘The Back Page.’ Your Obligation. In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Square’ The Square and Compasses are the oldest, the simplest and the most universal symbols of Masonry [link] Front cover –The Doorway of Freemasonry. 2
THE DOORWAY OF FREEMASONRY
much. If we turn to Lloyd's "Encyclopedic Dictionary" we find that the main word is "tile," which is defined as "the door in Freemason and other lodges," and the compiler tells us that the etymology of the word is doubtful. The dictionary says that, used as a verb, the word in Freemasonry means "to guard against the entry of the uninitiated by placing a tiler at the door, and that the phrase "to tile a lodge" means, figuratively, to keep secret what is said or done. All this does not carry us very far. The author of "Kenning's Masonic Cyclopaedia," says that the word comes from "tegulator," the Latin term for a workman who lays tiles, and Albert Mackey in his "Lexicon" says:--
The Tyler is the last official who is invested with authority at the ceremony of installation, and the words which are addressed to him by the presiding officer may serve as a text upon which to hang a few remarks on the office, its history and its functions. Brother Tyler, says the Installing Master, I commit the Sword into your hands to enable you effectually to guard against the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers, by which we are reminded we ought to prevent the approach of every unworthy thought or deed, and to preserve a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man.
As in operative masonry, the tyler, when the edifice is erected, finishes and covers it with the roof, so, in Speculative Masonry, when the Lodge is duly organized, the Tyler closes the door, and covers the sacred precincts from all intrusion. I must confess that I have some difficulty in following the argument that the man who guards a door is connected with the man who covered a roof. To me there seems no natural connection between them and I think we must look elsewhere for the origin of the designation. In olden Scots the word "tile" had a wider meaning than that of merely referring to the roofing of a house. To tile a thing was to cover, or hide, or keep it secret, and in this sense – without any reference whatever to the covering of a roof – it quite appropriately applies to the intention of Freemasons to guard their mysteries from the uninitiated. If this be correct, the masons would find that the most direct way to secure secrecy was by keeping the lodge lockfast, and in process of time the man whose special duty it was to attend to the door – the man who tiled it – would come to be known as the tiler. But there are two other possible explanations both of which I
Now, the first question that is likely to suggest itself to the student of masonry is, "What is the meaning of the somewhat strange title that is applied to the doorkeeper of a lodge?" And he will find it rather difficult to get a convincing answer. Like many other things in masonry the title appears to be Scottish in its origin, and most authorities at vague in their explanations, If we consult "The Pocket Lexicon of Freemasonry," compiled by Bro. W. Morris we should be told that a Tyler is an officer of the Lodge whose duty it is to keep off all cowans and intruders from masonry, and to see the candidate for masonry comes properly prepared.. It seems a poor achievement for a man who has climbed so high in Masonry to have acquired a stock of Masonic lore so slender as that indicated by such a definition. Any Entered Apprentice could probably tell us as 3
submit with all deference, and rather as contributions to the discussion than as final pronouncements. One is that the word may be derived from the calling of the man who filled the position; and the other is that it may have originated from one of the important duties which he discharged.
was to warn brethren to attend the funerals of deceased craftsmen. Thus in a very practical sense he gave out or made known that a brother was dead. Like the bell he became a "teller," and it may be that in this way his office got its name. I have not discovered when the word was first used in Freemasonry, but its introduction is comparatively modern, for the Tyler of to-day is the descendent of the "officer" of bye-gone years. In all Scottish burghs there was the town's officer who carried out the instructions of the provost; there was the guildry officer who obeyed the behests of the Dean of the Guildry and his council who represented the merchants of the burgh; and each incorporated Trade, or association of Trades had its officer who attended upon the Convener and his Court. One of the trades of all the burghs was the masons – I mean the operative masons – and this trade, like the others, had its officer. When it shed its purely operative character, and assumed the complexion of modern Freemasonry, it retained its officer who has descended to our own time as the familiar tyler.
To begin with, we must bear in mind that the office is the humblest in the Lodge, and was invariably assigned to a poor brother who was recognized as in need of the salary attached to it. Now, in many of the old operative lodges, tilers were associated with masons because theirs was an allied trade; but I presume the tilers would always be few in number, and probably were very poorly paid. My theory is that the masons, none of whom may have been anxious to become the servant of the others, may have bestowed the salaried office upon one of the tilers partly because he followed a different occupation and partly because he needed the remuneration which went with it. If this theory should happen to be the correct one, the origin of the word "tiler" instantly appears. My other explanation is connected with the proverbial phrase, "It takes nine tailors to make a man." If we translate that into Scots it becomes "nine tilers to make a man," and it is worth while looking into the origin of the saying. It is believed to have nothing to do with the knight of the needle; but to refer to the tolling of a bell in the case of death. Formerly at the death of a man the tolling bell was rung thrice three tolls; while at the death of a woman it was rung only three times two tolls. Hence nine tolls indicated the death of a man. Halliwell gives telledtold, and a tolling-bell is a teller. In regard to "make," it is the French word "faire", as "On le faisait mort, that is some one gave out or made known that he was dead." One of the principal duties of the tyler in earlier days
But long after Speculative Freemasonry came into popularity, the door-keeper continued to be known as the "officer," and this, I think, proves that the designation "tyler" is of comparatively recent use. He was a picturesque character in the good old days just as, sometimes, his fellow-officers of the town, and guildry, and trades were and continue to be. At Stirling the town's officer is clad in scarlet coat and trousers, white stockings, shoes with silver buttons, and a cocked hat. The beautiful and picturesque raiment is said to be of French origin introduced by Mary of Guise about the middle of the sixteenth century. The burly officer is a gorgeous personage to look upon, and there is a tradition that when some 4
distinguished aristocrats visited the won they bowed most obsequiously to him under the impression that he was the provost of the burgh! The Guildry officer was clad in green coat and trousers with white stockings and black shoes with silver buckles. His attire was completed by a silk hat encircled with a gold lace band. The Trades' officer also was garbed in a striking fashion. What is true of Stirling is true of many other burghs, and most likely accounts for the fact that the Tyler of the Mason Lodge was often very grotesquely clad. For instance, we find from the records of "Mary's Chapel' No. 1, that in 1770 that Lodge decided the Tyler should “get a suite of Light Blew Cloathes suitable to the collour of Cloathes suitable to the collour of the Lodge Ribbons, with a silver Lace round the Neck and Cuffs; also a Hatt with Silver Lace, Button, and Loop.”
masterly" fashion. It consisted of white trousers – which were washed from time to time at a cost of sixpence – a royal blue velvet tunic with a light blue vest on which were embroidered in whiter the name and number of the Lodge. There was also a royal blue cloak trimmed with ermine, and the headgear was a feathered turban. To add to the ferocity of the Tyler's appearance a pair of moustaches were supplied, and at a later date a beard was added. Armed with a curved sword of ample dimensions, the functionary looked a very formidable person to be regarded with fear and awe. I have no doubt that many other Scottish lodges attired their tylers in distinctive dress. In examining the minute books of Lodge Ancient, Dundee, I found that an inventory taken on 2nd January, 1812, included a suit of Tyler's clothing which consisted of a coat, vest, kilt and bonnet. No particulars are given as to colour or style, but on 3rd January 1816, a bonnet was produced for the use of the Tyler. The Committee were highly pleased with it, and agreed to purchase at a cost of thirteen shillings sterling from which one may conclude that it was no ordinary piece of head-gear.
This raiment continued to adorn the Tyler for over forty years, and must have added a touch of colour to Masonic processions of the period. In 1813 the question of renewing the officer's dress came before the Lodge when it was agreed that a blue coat and a cocked hat, richly trimmed with gold lace, should be purchased for the tyler to be worn at the procession on St. Andrew's Day.
The duties of the officer of tyler in Jedburgh in the middle of the eighteenth century fell to the youngest apprentice, evidently on the same principle which provided that the youngest tailor should "carry the goose." But the youngest apprentice could compound by paying sixpence a year so long as he remained last entrant, and that he generally did so is seen in the fact that the Lodge had a regular officer who drew the amazingly important "sellary" of half-acrown per annum! Fifty years later in the same lodge, William Cook, an auctioneer by profession, bound himself to act as officer for three years in consideration of the gratis entry of his son. At Dundee the Tyler had
But this raiment appears commonplace beside the gorgeous uniform of the Tyler of Lodge Scoon and Perth. In 1745 the brethren of that lodge lamented that their officer, being "a poor man," frequently attended the meetings in torn clothes, and instructed the Treasurer to procure him a new coat. This doubtless made him respectable for the time being, but in the beginning of the nineteenth century – probably copying the example of Mary's Chapel – the brethren yearned for something distinctive. And nothing less than the style of a Grand Turk would satisfy them. The Treasurer and a committee were appointed "to get the dress done in a 5
more substantial emoluments. The brethren of St. David's Lodge, who were chiefly business and professional men, contributed one shilling each per annum to the officer, and in addition he had a recognised scale of perquisites from every new member. And he got a dram along with the others. The expenditure for 1776 includes "one shilling on eight different occasions for a bottle of punch to the tyler."
Lodge, set forth, every entered apprentice shall pay to the officer 6s 8d at his entry and when he is passed 13s 4d, and when he is admitted free master 13s 4d. These figures, of course, refer to money Scots which was only a twelfth of the value of money sterling. When we come down to Speculative Freemasonry we find the sums much reduced though here it is money sterling and not money Scots which regulates affairs. St. David's Lodge (No. 78) which was instituted in 1759 charged an initiation fee of £2 5s, of which sum the officer received 1s 6d. when a candidate was initiated and 1s when he was raised. The circumstance that he got nothing when the member was passed is probably explained by the fact that, as a rule, a member was passed and raised on the same evening.
At the present time the Tyler, practically speaking, is the only paid official of a lodge. The Secretary and Treasurer receive honoraria from time to time, and the Master has his labours recognised when he leaves the chair. But all these things are in the goodwill of the brethren. Not so with the Tyler. The nature of his work debars him almost wholly from mixing in the social life of the interior of the lodge and this, together with the fact that, in former times, he was more or less the personal servant of the R.W.M., of the deacon as the R.W.M. used to be called in operative masonry, led to his being paid for his services. To-day, as a general rule, the Tyler's remuneration takes the form of a fixed sum – usually a shilling – for every initiate. This is not always a fair way of payment for, if, in the course of a year, there are few candidates the Tyler's wages are reduced though his work may not be greatly lessened. But the system has all the authority of age – is, indeed, one fo the ancient landmarks of Masonic finance – and none but bold men would dare to suggest an alteration.
When Thistle Operative (No. 158) came into existence in 1785, it introduced a new feature into Masonry in Dundee, and added to the duties of the Tyler. It set up a benefit section, very similar to the work now discharged by Friendly Societies, and undertook to see deceased brethren properly and decently interred. One of the byelaws provided that the brethren in town and suburbs were to "attend the funeral in clean clothes," under the penalty of sixpence each if they could not give a proper excuse. The officer's duty was to summon them to attend, and for this he was "paid his day's wages off the Lodge." In one respect the Tyler is the equal of the master and in another he is, indeed, the Master's superior. Both are equal in respect that each receives a gratis invitation to any social function in connection with the Lodge. The reasons for this are very different. As a rule in Speculative Freemasonry in bye gone days, the duties of Tyler were undertaken by some brother who
I find that, in former times, while the system was the same, the sum paid was considerably larger. The ancient lodge or craft of operative masons in Dundee who received a charter of incorporation from the Town council in 1659 appointed six brethren to frame rules and regulations. These byelaws, which were duly approved by the 6
was not too well endowed with worldly goods, while the honour of Master was enjoyed by some lord or earl who looked in upon the lodge only at long intervals. Naturally this figure-head was expected to grace the annual festival, but the request for his attendance would be put forward with becoming humility and his presence regarded as a favour. Consequently no suggestion of payment for admission would be made; and on the other hand the Master would doubtless spend his money very freely during the night. The Tyler was at the other end of the social scale. The comfortable burgesses and county gentlemen who formed the lodges would never dream of asking their humble officer to be out of pocket, and so he got his place at the table without money and without price. The Tyler is the superior of the master in this respect that while no brother can be R.W.M. of more than one lodge at the same time without dispensation from Grand Lodge, the Tyler can be – and frequently is – officer of several lodges.
every way to keep the way of the Tree of Life. When one remembers how rich our institution is in symbolism one may be inclined to accept Bro. Lawrence's statement as correct. It gives a dignity and an importance to the Tyler and adds a grandeur to the Lodge of which he is the keeper. The Tyler is armed with the sword for defence. He is to guard against the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers. He is to remain firm and do his duty. It is never his place to take the offensive. He waits the assault of the enemy and repels. In this connection it is maintained that the Tyler should never relinquish hold of the sword so that he may always symbolise the need for every Mason to be perpetually on his guard against the approach of unworthy thoughts and deeds. It follows from all this that the Tyler should be a commanding figure at the door of the Lodge. Armed with his sword he should impress the postulant who seeks admission and when, later, that admission is gained, the candidate should learn just what the tyler's sword and office mean. They mark, as it were, the dividing line between the Lodge and the world. In a moral and spiritual sense they constitute the barrier between right and wrong. It is our common faith that the day will come when the light of truth shall gladden the whole earth, and our constant aim is towards the diffusion of that light. But so long as any territory remains under the power of darkness, so long as the Light of Masonry is not shed in the hearts of all men, so long will there be a barrier, so long will there be a dividing line, and so long will there be need for a Tyler with a drawn sword to guard the threshold of our faith.
So far I have dealt with the Tyler from what I may call the material point of view – as the very practical officer of a very matter-of-fact institution. But as a person stationed at the outside of the door of a Masonic Lodge he has another meaning which masons cannot afford to forget. A Lodge is regarded as a little centre of light amid the darkness of the world; a little haven of good in the wilderness of evil; a little oasis of sweetness and love in the desert of life. The Tyler with his drawn sword is a perpetual reminder to us that nothing that is unworthy should be permitted within the sanctuary of the Lodge. Bro. J.T. Lawrence says there was a time when the Tyler's sword was "wavy" in shape, and he adds that it was thus made in allusion to the flaming brand placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, which turned
This article written by William Harvey (Lodge 76) is by far, the best and most comprehensive description of the office of Tyler and it’s ancient meaning, the office undoubtedly of Scottish origin. The Editor.
rough and superfluous parts of stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of divesting our minds and consciences of all the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting ourselves as living stones for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
THE SOUND OF THE GAVEL
The words are simple; their meaning is plain - searching, too, when we think of the rough and superfluous things which need to be broken off and polished away from the best of us, before we are fit to be used by the Master of all good work. Alas, the words are so familiar that we, too, often forget how pointed and practical they are, teaching us the first necessity of the Craft - its need of clean and square men.
The long summer days are gone, Autumn is here and the world takes up its tasks. The judge returns to his bench, the preacher to his pulpit, the man of affairs to his desk and the teacher to his/her school - the boys and girls following with no quick step. To some it is a joy, to other a grind; but, all return to the work appointed them to do. Last, but not least, the lodge is opened, tiled and tested; and the sound of the Gavel in the East calls the Craft from refreshment to labour. Soon the noisy quarries will be busy, making ready the stone for a living Temple slowly rising without the sound of hammer or axe; built by the faith and labour of good and wise men as a shrine of fellowship and a shelter for the Holy things of life.
As we listen to those words for the first time, we did not realize how much meaning they held. No one can. There are so many delicate touches in Masonry, so many fine arts, that time is needed to see and appreciate them. Its business is to build men, taking the raw stuff of us and shaping it into forms of beauty and use. Before us it holds an ideal and plan of a Temple, into which it seeks to build our lives as stones. So it begins by using the Gavel, cutting away rough edges and breaking off ugly vices. Any man who knows himself at all knows how much it is needed, if he is to be a true man.
The Common Gavel, it is a symbol both of labour and of power. As the square is no doubt the oldest instrument of our science, so the Gavel is its oldest working tool some trace it back to the rude axe of the stone age. How simple it is - just a piece of metal with a beating surface at one end and a cutting edge at the other, with a handle for better effect in use. Every Mason knows by heart the explanation of its meaning, given him in the First Degree:
Nor did we notice, in the surprise of initiation, that the Gavel is also used by the Master of the Lodge. With it he opened and closed the Lodge; with it he ruled. It is the symbol of his power. It is wonderful, if we think of it, how the humblest tool is put into the hand of the highest officer. So rough an instrument, the commonest in the quarry,
"The Common Gavel is an instrument made us of by Operative Masons to break off the 8
hardly seems to typify a ruler. Yet in the three principal offices of the Lodge it is the symbol of authority. The Lodge is ruled not by a Square, still less by a Sceptre, but by the sound of a common Gavel - only Masonry could have thought of a thing so beautiful.
If wielded weakly, it means failure. If wielded wisely, and in the spirit of brotherly love, it is a wand of magic and a sceptre of good will. Man is tempted and tested by power as by nothing else. Few are the men able to use it and not abuse it. No man is a Master Mason, or fit to be the Master of a Lodge, until he has learned to use the Gavel with dignity, self-control and gentle skill.
Nor it is to wondered at, because no tool in the kit of the Craft is used so often, and in so many ways, as the gavel. Yet, as some one has observed, in all its variety of uses it remains the same. It is like a moral principle; it changes not. When the rough ashlar is first taken from the quarry, the first tool applied to it, in the process of making it fit for its place, is the gavel. Later, when the chisel must be used on the stone, the Gavel is employed to carry into effect the design of the worker. The Gavel is used in breaking large stones, or for chipping off tiny fragments; and it is equally effective for both ends.
Since the Gavel is a symbol of the power both of Masons and of Masonry, it behoves us to ask how it is being used. Is the Gavel only an emblem and nothing more, like many another? Do we actually use it to cut away the vices and superfluities of life which unfit us for the use and service of the Master Builder? Or, to put it otherwise, do we take our Masonry seriously, as a way of learning noble ways of thinking and living? Or is it a thing of rote, to be neglected when anything gets in its way - just another order to belong to? In short, is Masonry the power it should be in our lives and in the service of mankind?
While the Square, the Level and the Plumb has each one use and office, the Gavel is used in many ways, either by itself or with other tools all the time. Cutting, chipping, driving and setting it is always busy, always close to the hand of a Mason. Alike for suppression and for construction, its work never ends. It is the first tool of the Craftsman, and the last he uses as Master of the Lodge, if he is counted worthy of that honour by the merit of his labour and the trust of his Brethren. The Gavel is capable of doing great work, or of spoiling good material; it is at once the test and the triumph of a Mason.
As the Gavel sounds in the East, calling us to another year of Masonic Labour, each of us ought to ask himself such questions as these, and answer them honestly in his own soul. What kind of a Lodge would my Lodge be if all its members were like me? What value would Masonry be to the world, if every one of its sons made the same use of it as we do? Do we answer the signs and summons sent to us by the Lodge, as we vowed to do at its Altar? If not, what is a Masonic Obligation worth, and what does it mean - nothing? Such questions tell us where we are in Masonry, and why we do so little with it. Surely it only fair to ourselves, as well as to the Craft, to ask ourselves such questions point blank. The Lodge opens on a new year, and we need to take stock of our Masonic life and duty. What we lack more than anything else in America today, as
So, naturally, the Gavel is an emblem of power. It is an emblem of the power for good or ill in the hands of each man, being the commonest of tools; and also of the power of the Lodge in the hand of the Master. If wielded roughly, it means ruin. 9
citizens and as Masons, is a sense of personal responsibility for our laws and institutions, which enshrine the spirit and genius of our nation. If Masonry had a great place in the early days of the Republic, it was because Masons gave it a great place by serving the nation in its spirit. Truth wins if we are true to it and make it win.
who forget and fail of their duty. It is time for each of us to take up the common Gavel, the first tool of a Mason, and divest our own soul of its apathy, ignorance, lack of zest and zeal. What can we do to help the Master of our Lodge in the Masonic year now opening? At least we can go to Lodge and be a worker in the quarry; and our presence will increase, by so much, the influence of Masonry, and it will teach us to be helpers in the encouragement of brotherly love and fellowship. No man knows how far a simple act may go, gathering power as it goes. Our loyalty may be a tower of strength to fifty men who otherwise may lose heart and fall away. Our faithfulness will be an inspiration to the Master, who is human like ourselves, and pledged to bear many burdens in his heart. If each does his part, the sum of our labour will be very great, and the craft will increase in usefulness and power among men.
Just now cynical writers in Europe are saying that American Democracy must fail that it cannot win. Of course it has not failed, else there would be more kings and more slaves in the world. But American is still on trial, and it will win only in as so far as the village church, and the Lodge over the store, become real centres of brotherly love and neighbourly cooperation and good will. When this sort of friendly and practical fellowship is abandoned by more than half of us, then our American Democracy will fail and go to pieces, or else be only a shadow of itself. Hear now some amazing facts which ought to make us ponder. Less than half of our people ever attend, support or are in any way associated with any kind of church - a fact to make a man stop and think, if he is aware of what happens to society when the influence of religion fails or grows dim. Not less amazing is the fact that hardly fifteen per cent of the Craft ever attend Lodge, or pay any heed to the sound of the Gavel in the east. It is appalling, such sheer neglect, by indifference and carelessness, of matters so vital to the well-being of the nation.
At the end of the day, when the lodge of our life is closed, and the sound of the Gavel is heard no more, the one thing no man will ever regret is that he lived in the fellowship of our gentle Craft, and laboured in its service. Our life here amid sun and frost has meaning to ourselves, and worth to the Master of all Good Work, only as we invest such power as we have of light and leading to make the hard old world a little kinder for those who come after us. The New age stands as yet Half Built against the sky, Open to every threat Of storms that clamour by. Scaffolding veils the walls And dim dust floats and falls, As moving to and fro, their tasks The Masons ply.
The remedy, so far as Masonry is concerned, is not far to seek. It lies not far away, but nearby, asking each of us to take a new vow in his own soul to make his Masonry more real, more active, more in earnest both in his Lodge and in his life. Any other way there is none, and it must begin with you and me. It is not Masonry that is at fault, but Masons
Sourced from the Shirt Talk Bulletin – Vol 111 1925.
broader than this. While we fully recognize the emergency demands made by physical and economic distress, we likewise understand that the cashing of a cheque is not necessarily a complete solution of the difficulty. There sometimes enters the problem of readjustment, of rehabilitation, and various other matters vital to the welfare of those concerned. There is a need for spiritual comfort, for the assurance of a sincere and continuing friendship and interest, which is the real translation of our principal tenet Brotherly Love.
TENETS ‘The fundamental principles or tenets of Ancient Free Masonry are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth’. What is meant by this. In examining this phrase, it is necessary not to ignore the word PRINCIPLE, for it signifies that while our Craft puts the greatest emphasis on these three teachings, there are others which must not be overlooked.
Masonic Relief takes it for granted that any man, no matter how industrious and frugal he may be, through sudden misfortune or other conditions over which he has no control, may be in temporary need of a helping hand. To extend it is not what is generally described as charity, but it is one of the natural and inevitable acts of friendship. Any conception of Brotherhood must include this willingness to give necessary aid. Therefore RELIEF, Masonically speaking is a TENET.
A TENET is a teaching that is so obviously true and so universally accepted, that we believe it without question. Freemasonry considers Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth to be teachings of this kind, true in the sense that no man can question them. What then is Brotherly Love? It means that we place on another man the highest possible value as a friend and companion. We do not seek any selfish gain from our relationship and our bond with a Brother is its own justification, its own reward. Brotherly Love is one of the supreme values without which a life is solitary, and unfulfilled. This is not a fantasy, but a fact. Freemasonry builds on that fact, and provides opportunities for us to have such fellowship, encourages us to understand and to practice it, and to make it one of the laws of our existence; ONE OF OUR PRINCIPAL TENETS.
By Truth, the last of the principal tenets, is meant something more than the search for truth in the intellectual sense, though that is included. Truth is a divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. In any permanent brotherhood, members must be truthful in character and habits, dependable, men of honour, on whom we can rely to be faithful and loyal friends. Truth is a vital requirement if the Craft is to endure, and we accept it as such. Therefore, Truth, masonically speaking is a TENET.
Relief is one of the forms of charity. We often think of charity as relief from poverty. Our Masonic conception of relief is much
Thus, Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth are the principal tenets of Masonry. There are no other teachings or tenets so obviously 11
true, that no argument is needed to sustain them. You see Freemasonry does not tell us that the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, ought to be true, and that it would be better for us all if they were true ---she tells us that they are true. It is as impossible to question their validity as it is impossible to question the ground under our feet, or the sun over our heads. It is also challenging for Freemasonry to call these TENETS. In doing so Freemasonry states they are both obviously and necessarily true. UNLESS you grasp this, and see that the Dogmas of Freemasonry are self-evident realities, and not visionary ideals, you may never understand Masonic teachings.
Emulation Lodge of Improvement called for new designs of Tracing Boards, and a set designed by Harris won the prize and became the standard set for that body. The code, to which you refer, is probably the one which appears in that set, but Harris designed several other sets in which the code was used. But Harris did not invent the code. It was certainly in use a hundred years before 1846. The earliest versions I have been able to trace appear in the French exposures. In 1745 Le Sceau Rompu (The Broken Seal) was published, a tiny book of 68 pages, in eight chapters describing the Craft, its objects, ranks, meetings, ceremonies, signs, etc. Chapter VIII dealt with 'Masonic Characters, or Masonic Writing' with a diagram showing a system of angles each of which represented a letter. When a dot was inserted in that same angle it represented a different letter. Broadly, the system was similar to that used by Harris, but the letters were in unusual arrangement.
With this in mind I urge you to ponder the precepts of the Craft. You may not find the tenets novel, but novelty is unimportant in the light of the knowledge that the ideals upon which Freemasonry is founded are eternal. They are Immortal because they never change or die, in them is a ceaseless inspiration and inexhaustible appeal. They are the tenets of a flourishing life.
The same system was used by Louis Travenol in two later exposures of 1747 and 1749, but before those that appeared, a far superior arrangement had been published in France, in 1745, in L'Ordre des Francsmacons Trahi.
Prepared by Bro. Nelson King, Senior Deacon, for presentation at the official visit of the D.D.G.M. to Birch Cliff Lodge No.612.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: How did the Harris code, which is used in the third degree Tracing Board, become connected with Masonry?
Being French, the diagrams omitted the letters K and W, but the diagram on which it was based was identical with ours. Nowadays there are two main systems in use, depending on whether the chart, or diagram, is read from left to right as in English, or from right to left as in Hebrew.
Answer: John Harris, a miniature painter and architectural draughtsman, was initiated in 1818 and published his first set of designs for Tracing Boards in 1823. In 1846, the
The whole system may have been in use long before the dates mentioned here. (I have quoted only the earliest Masonic examples.) 12
Question: Our floor chart in Lodge shows the outline of a coffin with three numbers 5, 5 and 5, yet the work book says "3 feet east, 3 feet west, 3 feet between N and S, and 5 feet or more perpendicular"; do the three five’s mean something else?
in a Scottish text, The Edinburgh Register House MS, dated 1696. It indicated to the candidate, the brother who acted as a kind of Deacon whispered it in the ear of his neighbour and each neighbour in turn whispered it to the next, until it came to the Master who gave it to the Candidate. There are two later Scottish texts which confirm this practice. (Incidentally the E.A., received two words in those days).
Answer: The first set of figures '3 feet east, etc.' are the dimensions of the grave, and in most rituals you will find those measurements are preceded by the words "from the center, 3 feet east, etc." Thus the grave would have been 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 5 feet or more perpendicular.
There were only two degrees in those days. The second was concerned with a procedure described as the 'points of the fellowship', and for that the word also went round the Lodge in 'a rotational whisper' till it reached the Master who gave it to the Candidate.
The three five’s refer to the 'fifteen trusty fellow crafts' who were sent by King Solomon to search for the body of our Master. Your ritual probably says that they formed themselves into 'three Fellow craft Lodges' (i.e. five in each, because 'five hold a lodge').
In 1730 we have the earliest description of a three-degree system, achieved by a division of the original 1st degree into two parts, thereby promoting the original 2nd degree into third place. In 1730, in the 3rd degree, the word was still communicated in a whisper, a practice that has survived to this day.
In many of our English floor-cloths or Tracing Boards, we use the Hebrew letter (Hay) which is the Hebrew numeral 'five like the Latin V. It may be pure coincidence, but I mention it as a matter of interest, that the same Hebrew letter (English h) is a customary abbreviation for the Hebrew word Ha-Shem which means 'The Name', i.e. The Name of God.
Passwords appear first in France in 1745, and 1760 in England, but I have been unable to locate any English texts that demand whispers for the words or passwords, except as indicated for the 3rd degree, above. Your practice of whispering the word, or words, may be a relic of ancient practice. The only reason, if I have to suggest one, is simple caution.
Question: Why are the passwords given in a whisper to the Deacons while all Brethren are aware of them?
The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
Answer: The question suggests that your procedure differs from ours in England. With problems of this kind I like to go back to our early ritual documents, which may show when a particular practice existed even though it may not explain why it arose. Our earliest description of the E.A. ceremony is 13
hundreds of references to corn, wine, and oil as separate entities, and over a dozen times the three are grouped together within the same passage. (see end of article) They were seen as blessings from God, used as currency, and used as sacrificial offerings.
SALT, WINE and OIL
By the Victorian Era, from which much of the language of our ritual is derived, the word “corn” was often substituted for the word “salt.” The verb “to corn” meant “to salt” or “to preserve.” Corned beef, for example, contains no actual kernels of corn, but contains a very high amount of salt. In fact, if we examine the wording of our ritual, the word “salt” could be easily substituted for the word “corn.” “The corn of sustenance” simply becomes, “the salt of sustenance.” Our bodies need salt, in order to survive and the meaning still holds true.
It is common knowledge that the ancient wages of a Fellow Craft Mason consisted of corn, wine, and oil. Many however, object to this assertion. How can corn be associated with these ancient wages when clearly corn was first discovered in the New World? Corn was first brought back to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the late 1400’s. Since our ritual predates the age of exploration, must not any reference to corn be some sort of mistake? The word “corn” is actually Old English and refers to any type of granular matter. Oats, wheat, barley, rye, even spices, could all be referred to as corn. When used in its verb form “to corn” means to turn a substance into a grain, for example, “to corn gunpowder.” Our ritual therefore, is not actually referring to kernels of corn, but to some type of Old World grain.
Salt was quite valuable in the ancient world. It was the primary method of preserving food, mainly meat and fish and also served as a good antiseptic, hence the expression, “rubbing salt into the wound.” One of the busiest ancient Roman trade routes was the famous Via Salaria, a road connecting the capital city to the eastern coast of what is now modern-day Italy. Along this route salt merchants drove their oxcarts filled with cargo while Roman soldiers marched alongside protecting their wares. The Roman army quickly adopted the practice of paying these soldiers partly with salt, or with money to buy salt. The Latin word for salt is “sal,” and the modern word “salary” derives from the Latin “salarium” or “salt money.” This is probably where we get the expression “he’s not worth his salt.” However, the earliest reference to this phrase in printed form does not appear until 1805 when Philip Beaver printed his book The African Memoranda.
It has become a widespread practice among most Masonic jurisdictions to incorporate the use of corn, wine, and oil in the dedication ceremonies of lodges and other public buildings. The most famous of these ceremonies took place September 18, 1793 in Washington D.C., when President George Washington, dressed in full Masonic regalia, laid the cornerstone of our Nation’s capital building. However, the combination of these three symbolic offerings can be traced back even further. The principle grains of the Old Testament were barley and wheat. The Bible contains 14
On the other hand, the expression “not worth his salt,” could also have been associated with the ancient Greek practice of trading salt for slaves.
Spilling salt was often considered bad luck by the ancients. Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” depicts Judas knocking over a salt cellar while clutching a bag of silver coins.
The word “sal” also appears in the English word “salad.” Ancient Romans adopted the practice of salting their salads in order to balance out the natural bitterness of the greens.
Deuteronomy 11:14 “That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.”
Other references to salt used as money can be found in Marco Polo’s writings. While traveling in China in the late 13th century he noted that images of the Grand Khan were pressed onto tiny salt cakes and used as coins. Salt was so rare in the African Empire of Mali (1235-1600 A.D) that it was quite literally worth its weight in gold! Ounces of salt were traded for ounces of gold, and to this day the salt trade is still practiced in Mali. Other ancient civilizations such as the Phoenicians also traded salt, but this paper only examined a few.
Deuteronomy 12:17 “Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:” Deuteronomy 14:23 “And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.”
There is concrete historical evidence that salt was used by various ancient peoples as a form of currency. Furthermore, our ritual clearly states that a Fellow Craft Mason’s wages consisted of “corn, wine, and oil”, wages being the key word. Assuming, that the “corn” of our ritual was “salt,” the assumption that a Fellow Craft Mason was paid in salt would be both grammatically and historically correct. In all probability however, the before mentioned “corn” was probably some sort of cereal grain such as barley or wheat. It is interesting to consider though, that salt might have been part of a Fellow Craft’s wages, and even if this was not the case, it certainly adds seasoning to our Masonic understanding.
Deuteronomy 18:4 “The first fruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.” Deuteronomy 28:51 “And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he hath destroyed thee.” 2 Chronicles 31:5 “And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first fruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.”
The ancient Roman Army sometimes paid its soldiers in salt or with money to buy salt. 15
Lodge of Edinburgh St. Andrew No. 48
2 Chronicles 32:28 “Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks.” Nehemiah 10:39 “For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.” Nehemiah 13:5 “And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.”
Lodge of Edinburgh St. Andrew No.48 was originally formed as the Scots Lodge in the Canongate No.53 and received its Charter on the 2nd of April 1745. A very important year in the history of Scotland and the Jacobite rebellion. There is however a tradition that the Lodge met in 1717, but no records of that date have been found. The oldest minute book still extant begins in 1780. The Scots Lodge in the Canongate was changed to Lodge Edinburgh St. Andrew in 1759 No.53 and over the years due to the re-organisation of numbers by the Grand Lodge of Scotland eventually ended up with the now familiar No.48 in 1826.
Nehemiah 13:12 “Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.” Hosea 2:8 “For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Ba’al.” Hosea 2:22 “And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.” Joel 2:19 “Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:”
It is impossible to discover at this late date where the Lodge first held its meetings. The earliest record we have is in 1784, when the Brethren decided to leave their meeting room and hire a room from Mary's Chapel in Niddry's Wynd. At various other times the Lodge occupied premises in Blackfriars Street, the old Sheriff Clerk's Office in
Joel 2:24 “And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.” Sourced from The Rhode Island Freemason Magazine, Volume Forty-Four, Issue 1. By Matthew Leilich PM.
Brodie's Close, the Regent Hotel, the Freemasons' Hall, and in a place simply designated "Baxter's," possibly some old howff in the Canongate.
the same time, Brother Craven, who was formerly made in Latin, was again entered, passed and raised," this time, presumably; in English.
In a minute dated 1781 it states that "John Ross, son of Adjutant-Lieutenant John Ross, was entered apprentice gratis in honour of his father, who is an old and original member of this Lodge and who has been of infinite value in times past, and who has so remarkably distinguished himself in the service of his King and Country."
On the roll of the Lodge there some of the best-known names in Edinburgh. There are Lord Provosts of Edinburgh. There is Sir Alexander C. Mackenzie, the Grand Old Man of Music (for 37 years Principal of the London Royal College of Music). Shakespearean actors Philip Gordon and Osmund Tearle, the father of Godfrey Tearle. A Russian prince was entered in 1869, but the brother of whom we are most justifiably proud is, undoubtedly, George Meikle Kemp, the designer of the Scott Monument.
In 1785 a number of Brethren headed by the Bro. Senior Warden Dr. John Brown (a latin scholar) resigned their membership from St. Andrew and erected a new Lodge in Edinburgh called Lodge Roman Eagle CLX. John Brown is reported as being a man with that touch of genius which is akin to madness. He was born of peasant stock and, after a brilliant scholastic career, studied for the ministry. After passing, however, instead of taking a charge, he returned to the little school at Duns where he had been a pupil, and acted as usher. He then took up the study of medicine, and founded the Brunonian Medical School. It is said that the Chair of Medicine at Edinburgh University was his for the asking. Instead of pursuing a medical career, however, he opened a lodging-house for students. He was a profound Latin scholar, and was appointed genealogist to the Prince of Wales.
An article in "Chambers's Journal" for April 1838, announcing that Kemp had won the competition for the design for the proposed memorial. The writer discloses that one of the objectors to Kemp objected on the grounds that he was an obscure map. With biting sarcasm, the writer asks; "Do we read Shakespeare and Burns with less enjoyment because the first was a second rate actor and the second a ploughman?" George Meikle Kemp was not merely a great designer; he was a great man. That George Meikle Kemp, at the peak of his fame, should have become a member of this Lodge, is one of the highlights in the history of No. 48. The grit, tenacity of purpose and nobility of character of this peasant genius have given to succeeding generations of the Brethren of this Lodge an exalted ideal and a never-flagging source of inspiration. The centenary of Kemp's initiation was suitable in 1928.
It is clear from the minutes of 1783 that in the temporary absence of your Right Worshipful-Master Spotiswoode, Dr Brown officiated. Not only are all the minutes of his meetings recorded in Latin, but he actually worked the degrees in that language. I fancy that, in dissatisfaction over this fact, we have a clue to the rift which led to the erection of Roman Eagle, for in a minute of a meeting of November 1784, it states: "At
I have always been a little critical of the wisdom of working more than one degree in one night, but in those early days it was 17
quite usual to work a First, Second and Third Degree at one sitting. Between 27th October and 14th November 1789 – that is in fourteen working days - this Lodge worked no fewer than forty-five separate degrees. In one day the Lodge was opened and closed four times for four separate workings of the First Degree. A few days later the same thing occurred when four Third Degrees were worked. Freemasons must have taken the Craft very seriously in those days!
gentleman and a Mason, among other general toasts proposed 'Caledonia, and Caledonia's Bard, Bro. Burns,' which rung through the whole assembly, with multiplied honours and repeated acclamations: As I had no idea such a thing was going to happen, I was downright thunderstruck, and, trembling in every nerve, I made the best return in my power. Just as I had finished some of the Grand Officers said so loud that I could hear, with a most comforting accent, 'Very well, indeed' which set me something to rights again."
Possibly the greatest night in the history of this Lodge was the 12th January 1787. On that evening the Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Bro. the Hon. Francis Charteris, supported by every member of Grand Lodge, paid his annual visit to St. Andrew. Sitting in the body of the Lodge amongst the other Visiting Brethren, is one of the greatest men and Masons who ever lived. He is 28 years of age! He is plainly, but properly; dressed in a style midway between that of the holiday dress of a farmer .and that of the company with which he is now associated. His shoulders are bent in the characteristic stoop of the ploughman. His swarthy features are illumined by the most amazing eyes – Sir Walter Scott avers – he ever saw in a human head. His face is turned towards the dais! He is all attention, for is not the Grand Master Mason proposing the toast of his health? The toast is: "Caledonia, and Caledonia's Bard, Bro. Robert Burns."
The visit of Robert Bums to this Lodge, Brethren, is not a mere matter of tradition; it is a matter of history. The verifiable fact that the man who bears the most distinguished name in Scottish Freemasonry should have received encouragement and inspiration within this Lodge, strikes the highest and proudest note in the two hundred and seventy five years of its history. It is therefore peculiarly appropriate that, every January, the memory of this man, whose life was a constant summons to courage, and a perpetual challenge to despair, should be reverently honoured by the Brethren of No.48. At first sight it may seem strange that the name of Bums does not appear in the minute of the meeting he attended. It has to be remembered, however, that, although Bums was the lion of that particular Edinburgh social season, and had just published the Kilmarnock edition of his poems, he was not yet recognised as the Immortal Genius posterity was ultimately to acclaim him. He was simply known as the Ayrshire poet, and the 350 songs on which is reared his chief claim to immortality had yet to be written, as well as his magnum opus "Tam 0' Shanter," which only appeared in 1790.
In a letter-preserved in the Morgan Library, New York - Burns writes to his friend, John Ballantine: I went to a Mason Lodge yesternight where the Most Worshipful Grand Master Charteris and all the Grand Lodge of Scotland visited. The meeting was numerous and elegant. All the different Lodges about town were present in all their pomp. The Grand Master, who presided with great solemnity and honour to himself, as a
In the minute of a meeting two years earlier it is recorded, "The Lodge was Visited to18
night by the renowned Bro. Vincent Lunardi; the first aerial navigator, who is giving balloon ascents from Heriot's Hospital Green." It is a trifle ironical that the visit of Lunardi to your Lodge should be recorded in the minute of the meeting he attended, and that of Robert Burns omitted, when one reflects that Lunardi is best remembered today because his name is mentioned in one of the poems of Burns, ‘To a Louse.’
Fyffe! I sat near Will during an excellent working of the Third Degree. Never once during the whole of that ceremony was Will's attention diverted from the proceedings. Later, after making a most generous contribution to the harmony - and he was taking his departure - he said to me: "Man, I wish I could have stayed to the very end, but I'm leaving in seven hours for an unknown destination to entertain the men of the Merchant Navy, and, of course, that must come first." And then he said, "But man, this has been a graun' break!"
What a diversity of creatures have been enrolled in the membership of this historic Lodge! Apothecaries and actors, japanners, candle-makers, wig-makers, vintners, sealengravers, miniature-painters, city guardsmen, naval agents, artists and artisans, butchers and barristers, clerks, comedians and clergy- men and rabbis, a vast number. Of doctors, musicians and lawyers, princes, publicans and publishers; men who, in ordinary life, would have few if any contacts, and yet who, within the body of this Lodge, mutually experienced a moral and spiritual resurgence, and met, in sympathetic communion, on common ground. This fundamentally democratic spirit in Freemasonry, must forever remain the chief source of its strength, and its complete and final justification.
How many hundreds of the Brethren of this Lodge down the last 275 years, after many a similar night, could and would endorse that simple but sincere tribute of Will Fyffe, "Man, but this has been a graun' break!" The, Brethren of Lodge St Andrew, are the inheritors of a great history and a great tradition. Be worthy of them, Brethren, as you are proud of them! May this Grand Old Lady – God bless her! – who is your Mother Lodge, and who carries so gracefully the heavy burden of her age, continue to progress from strength unto strength, stead- fast in her Freemasonic faith, and rich in that righteousness which alone can exalt a people or a Lodge; may she, despite the ever., lengthening calendar of her years, still be fruitful to the bearing of many good and worthy sons, who shall, in their day and generation, as we do now in ours, arise and call their Mother blessed.
In the early days, it was quite a common thing to have the entire military band of the regiment, stationed either at the Castle or at Piershill Barracks, to be in attendance for the entertainment of the Brethren. One of the Brethren who affiliated to this Lodge from Lodge Roman Eagle in 1887, was James Lumsden, founder of the Lumsden Scottish Festival, Concerts, and, as is borne out in your minutes – he was a decided acquisition to the musical activities of the Lodge.
Toast to Lodge 48 on it’s 225th Anniversary by Bro. Herbert Down Lodge St David's Edinburgh, No. 36; Hon. Member of Lodges Leith and Canongate Canongate and Leith, No.5; the Lodge of Edinburgh St Andrew, No. 48; Lodge Trinity, No. 885; and Lodge St. Leonard's Newington, No. 1283. This History of Lodge St. Andrew No.48 was sourced from the Lodge Facebook page. (Please visit the website at this link) here.
Many present will recall that memorable night when, amongst our artistes, we had the great Scottish character comedian Will 19
away from home and started working in a variety of jobs, until he decided that a career on the stage was what he wanted most, and joined a vaudeville company. When he started performing he adapted his middle name for his stage name changing "Edwin" to Ed Wynn. He did this to spare his family the embarrassment of having a comedian in the family. By 1913 he was a headliner on Broadway and would work with the Ziegfeld Follies.
Ed Wynn ‘The Perfect Fool’
Wynn would eventually move into radio, like other vaudeville acts who mad the transition from stage to radio, he insisted on performing in front of a live audience, despite the fact the listener at home were unable to see him. He would later say that every word he spoke in those early days, he wrote himself, and didn’t rely on scriptwriters. During the next two decades he also appeared in a number of Broadway comedy reviews. In the 1930's Wynn hosted the popular radio show ‘The Fire Chief.’ He would enter the stage on a tiny fire truck, wearing a child size fire fighter’s helmet. Although he was comfortable appearing in live theatre, he panicked when performing live on radio and so insisted doing his shows in full dress with a studio audience.
Our featured ‘Famous Freemason’ for this issue has one of those instantly recognisable faces, a distinctive character voice and is well-known as being a star of stage and screen, but who amongst us can honestly say, we could put a name to that face, or voice? Very few, so let me introduce, Ed Wynn, American actor and comedian. “The Perfect Fool.”
In 1933, Wynn decided to set up his own network, called the Amalgamated Broadcasting System, into which he sank both his own and investors' savings. It went bust after four weeks, and he was left owing $300,000 to creditors. He resolved to pay the money back, but by the end of the process, his wife had left him, and he suffered a mental breakdown. That was in 1937 and for the next two years, Wynn did not perform publicly. In 1939, Wynn was offered the role of The Wizard of Oz in The
Ed Wynn was born, Isaiah Edwin Leopold on November 9th 1886 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a Jewish family, Joseph and Minnie. He attended Central High School in Philadelphia until the age of 15 when he ran 20
Wizard of Oz in the MGM film. He turned the role down because the role was, ‘too small.’
close to. He pleads with Death to take him instead, when death refuses he delays Death from going to the girl by giving the greatest pitch of his life to Death, knowingly fulfilling his deal with Death.
Starting in 1949 and going through the 1950's, Wynn appeared in a variety of television shows. Some were variety shows and others were situation comedies, and won an Emmy Award in 1949. Around 1956, Wynn's son, Keenan Wynn (who was a successful actor in his own right with over 200 films) convinced his father to try dramatic acting in television and movies. The first film the two did together was ‘Requiem for a Heavyweight.’ The play written by Rod Serling and starring Jack Palance about a washed up boxer who was making a comeback. During rehearsal Wynn continually fluffed his lines and became very frustrated by the dramatic acting. Producers wanted to fire Wynn when Palance stepped in and said that if they fired Wynn he would quit. Unknown to Wynn, an understudy was put in place in case of problems on the live broadcast of the play. To everyone’s surprise Wynn played the part brilliantly and was even able to ad lib in places where he fluffed lines.
In the last decade of his life, Ed Wynn starred in a number of Walt Disney movie’s, the most notable of which was, ‘Mary Poppins,’ in the year 1964, in which he played Uncle Albert, a character who, ‘loves to laugh,’ who is afflicted with a laughing fit that causes him to float around the room, sing, I love to laugh. When once offered the starring role in the popular Broadway comedy Harvey, Wynn turned it down, claiming, “If I had to deliver a legitimate line like, 'I don't know where Cora is,' I wouldn't know how to. I'm not an actor, I'm a clown.” Ed Wynn passed away on June 19th 1966, aged 79. Walt Disney was one of the casket bearers. Jack Palance gave the eulogy and Red Skelton, whom Wynn had discovered said of him, ‘His death is the first time he ever made me sad.’ Ed Wynn is credited in Masonic websites as being a Member of Lodge No.9 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1959, Wynn received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in the Diary of Anne Frank for his role as Mr. Dussell. That same year he appeared in The Twilight Zone in an episode written by Serling specifically for Wynn called "One for the Angels." In the episode Wynn plays a toy salesman beloved by the neighbourhood children. When Mr. Death visits Wynn's character he makes a deal with Death that until he makes the greatest pitch of his life "one for the angels" Death will let him stay. Initially he believes he has out smarted Death until he discovers that instead of Wynn's character Death is going to take a neighbour girl who Wynn's character is
The marker at Forest Lawn Memorial Park simply says;
Dear God. Thanks. Ed Wynn. This article by the editor of the SRA76 magazine has been compiled from a Variety of sources freely available on the internet. Thanks to them all.
which is allied to, rather than a part of, reason, and connected with the physical side of life only through its sensory contacts. This soul, or spirit, comprehends a language which the brain does not understand. The keenest of minds have striven without success to make this mystic language plain to reason. When you hear music which brings tears to your eyes and grief or joy to your heart, you respond to a language your brain does not understand and cannot explain. It is not with your brain that you love your mother, your child or your wife; it is with the Something Beyond; and the language with which that love is spoken is not the language of the tongue.
1. Language of the Heart
A symbol is a word in that language. Translate that symbol into words which appeal only to the mind, and the spirit of the meaning is lost. Words appeal to the mind; meanings not expressed in words appeal to the spirit.
FREEMASONRY teaches by symbols. Why? Why does she veil in allegory and conceal in object or picture a meaning quite different from its name? Why should Freemasonry express immortality with acacia, brotherly love with a trowel, the world by a lodge, right living by a Mason's tools?
All that there is in Freemasonry, which can be set down in words on a page, leaves out completely the spirit of the Order. If we depended on words or ideas alone, the fraternity would not make a universal appeal to all men, since no man has it given to him to appeal to the minds of all other men. But Freemasonry expresses truths which are universal; it expresses them in a universal language, universally understood by all men without words. That language is the language of the symbol, and the symbol is universally understood because it is the means of communication between spirits, souls, hearts.
That Freemasonry conceals in symbols in order to arouse curiosity to know their meaning is often considered the only explanation. But there are many more lofty ideas of why this great system of truth, philosophy and ethics is hidden in symbols. It is hardly a matter of argument that man has a triple nature; he has a body, and senses which bring him* into contact with, and translate the meanings of, the physical world, of earth, air, fire and water, which is about him. He has a brain and a mind, by which he reasons and understands about the matters physical with which he is surrounded. And he has a Something Beyond; call it Soul, or Heart, or Spirit, or Imagination, as you will; it is something
When we say of Masonry that it is universal we mean the word literally; it is of the universe, not merely of the world. If it were possible for an inhabitant of Mars to make and use a telescope which would enable him to see plainly a square mile of the surface of 22
the earth, and if we knew it and desired, by drawing upon that square mile a symbol, to communicate with the inhabitants of Mars, we would choose, undoubtedly, one with as many meanings as possible; one which had a material, a mental and a spiritual meaning. Such a symbol might be the triangle, the square or the circle. Our supposed Martian might respond with a complementary symbol; if we showed him a triangle, he might reply with the 47th Problem. If we showed him a circle, he might set down 3.141659 — the number by which a diameter multiplied becomes a circumference. We could find a language in symbols with which to begin communication, even with all the universe!
Ten men have ten different kinds of hearts. Not all have the same power of imagination. They do not all have the same ability to comprehend. So each gets from a symbol what he can. He uses his imagination. He translates to his soul as much of the truth as he is able to make a part of him. This the ten cannot do with truths expressed in words. "Twice two is equal to four" is a truth which must be accepted all at once, as a complete exposition, or not at all. He who can understand but the "twice" or the "equal" or the "four" has no conception of what is being said. But ten men can read ten progressive, different, correct and beautiful meanings into a trowel, and each be right as far as he goes. The man who sees it merely as an instrument which helps to bind has a part of its meaning. He who finds it a link with operative Masons has another part. The man who sees it as a symbol of man's relationship to Deity, because with it he (spiritually) does the Master's work, has another meaning. All these meanings are right; when all men know all the meanings the need for Freemasonry will have passed away. We use symbols because only by them can we speak the language of the spirit, each to each, and because they form an elastic language, which each man reads for himself according to his ability. Symbols form the only language which is thus elastic, and the only one by which spirit can be touched. To suggest that Freemasonry use any other would be as revolutionary as to remove her Altars, meet in the public square or elect by a majority vote. Freemasonry without symbols would not be Freemasonry; it would be but dogmatic and not very erudite philosophy, of which the world is full as it is, and none of which ever satisfies the heart.
Naturally, then, Freemasonry employs symbols for heart to speak to heart. Imagination is heart's collection of senses. So we must appeal to the imagination when speaking a truth which is neither mental nor physical, and the symbol is the means by which one imagination speaks to another. Nothing else will do; no words can be as effective (unless they are themselves symbols); no teachings expressed in language can be as easily learned by the heart as those which come via the symbol through the imagination. Take from Freemasonry its symbols and you have but the husk; the kernel is gone. He who hears but the words of Freemasonry misses their meaning entirely. Most symbols have many interpretations. These do not contradict but amplify each other. Thus, the square is a symbol of perfection, of rectitude of conduct, of honour and honesty, of good work. These are all different, and yet allied. The square is not a symbol of wrong, or evil, or meanness or disease! Ten different men may read ten different meanings into a square, and yet each meaning fits with, and belongs to, the other meanings.
This is the first article in our new regular feature, ‘Foreign Countries,’ each month we will publish in the magazine one of these pieces by Carl Claudy.
The Lesser Lights
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.
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.
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 i 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.
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
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 24
degree of perfection in it. Without much instruction, and more exercise, no man can be skillful 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, King of Israel, is also considered as the column of wisdom that supported the temple.
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 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.
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, This is from 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. This article was submitted By: W. Bro. Howard Warren Harmony Lodge No.370.
All men are not blessed with the same powers and talents; all men therefore, are 25
OUR RIBBAND OF BLUE
mind. One day, when he was going up for an examination, his mischievous companions cut off the button without his knowing it. He missed his familiar help, and in consequence got confused, and failed to remember most of the things he had learned by heart. Now, God took hold of this habit of using aids to memory, and used it to remind Israel, His people, of their duties. He bade them put on the fringe of the border of their garment a ribband of blue, to remind them every time they looked at it of the commandments of the Lord, and their duty towards them. The Jews had three of these visible reminders of their obligations under the law. These were the phylactery, the writing on the door-posts (Deut. vi. 9), and this ribband of blue.
Numbers XV. 37, 38, 39. – “And the Lord spake unto moses, saying. Speak unto the children of Israel and bid them that they make fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of their borders a ribband of blue; and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them.”
The phylactery was a small leather box in which was enclosed a strip of parchment on which some verses of scripture were written. It was worn by men during the time of prayer, on the forehead, between the eyebrows, or on the left arm near the region of the heart. Its purpose was to remind the worshipper that he must have the law in his head and in his heart. The writing on the door-posts was in accordance with the Divine decree: “These words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart….and thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house, and on thy gates."
PEOPLE often use outward aids to memory. For instance, some tie a knot in their handkerchief to remind them of something they have to do; others tie a piece of string round their finger, and others put a bit of paper on their watch face. Sir Walter Scott tells how, when he was at school, there was a boy in his class who, when he was asked a date in history, or a fact in geography or grammar, always touched a button on his vest. It was, somehow, a help to recollection, so that by its means the lesson he had learned at once came back to his
The third reminder – the ribband of blue – was one to which the greatest importance was attached. “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make fringes in the borders of their garments, and that they put upon the fringe of each border a ribband of blue." The word “border” is 26
more correctly rendered as “tassel." The Jews wore, as an outer garment, a large piece of cloth, and to the four corners of this garment a tassel was attached by a cord of blue. They held this bit of blue most sacred, for it was a continual reminder of the obligation resting on them to walk in God's law and keep His commandments. This visible reminder was very necessary for the Israelites. They had a habit of forgetting God's commands. The law was written for them on two tables of stone, but the law was very often neglected. For this neglect Divine punishment was time after time meted out to them, but even punishment did not brand the law on their remembrance. Therefore God ordained that they should wear this ribband of blue to aid their memory. There it was always in sight. Henceforth if a man broke the law he must do it wilfully, for this bit of blue was attached to a man's everyday dress. He could not get away from it.
His goodness, and turning to Him in time of need. Your Badge of blue ought to remind you of your obligation – of the fact that you are a member of a religious order. When we forget this we shall become no more than a social club. Our strength lies not in numbers but in faithful adherence to our pledges. And, as a last word, may I just remark that the colour of the ribband was probably chosen with a purpose. The sky is blue. Sometimes, however, the clouds gather, darkness comes on, and the blue is hidden – the sky looks leaden and grey. But, in time the clouds pass away, the darkness is dispelled, and the blue is visible again. It was there all the time, but we couldn't see it. The blue is the one enduring thing: the clouds are only for a time. So in life. Clouds come over us – clouds of sorrow, clouds of care, clouds of temptation, clouds of bereavement. But the clouds pass away, and the trusting soul sees again the blue, the clear blue of God's goodness and mercy.
To-day, my brethren, I feel a solemn responsibility in addressing you. Such a day seldom comes more than once in a man's life-time – this day when we vacate an office, and another takes up the work. And in passing out I would that I could burn this upon you – that you, too, have a ribband of blue. The predominant colour of your regalia is blue. May it be to you what the ribband of blue was to the Israelite – a continuous reminder of all the solemn obligations you took when you entered the Masonic Brotherhood.
"I've lost everything,” said a business man, as he sat with bowed head, and told his wife that bankruptcy stared him in the face. “Not everything Daddy," said a sweet wee child,” not everything; there's Mummy, and me, and God." Yes amidst all the losses of life there is always God. May we, on our dark days, turn to the badges of fellowship, and from our ribband of blue learn that we have a God who never changes-the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
You took a solemn oath to be true to yourself, true to your Brother, true to your God – true to yourself by carefully preserving your bodily and mental faculties; true to your Brother by rendering him every kindness in time of need, by giving him every support in time of weakness; true to your God by obeying His laws, trusting in
Article ‘Our Ribband of Blue’ by Rev. M.W. Lumsden, sourced from British Masonic Miscellany – Vol.2 – p.5-8.
respect: a granting to others the right to form their own views and opinions, a mutual respect for each other's rights, regard for their welfare and regret in time of misfortune. Let us act so that people can say, "When I met him I was looking down, when I left him I was looking up"; equality: membership is drawn from every rank and occupation. We become equal before the altar of Freemasonry. However, we are all different and often we are not aware in what respect, to what degree, or why we are different. Perhaps we should consider one fundamental question: "What would masonry be like if all masons were like me?": self-respect: a means of assessing our own worth as an individual and not allowing others to demean the human spirit; brotherhood: this reinforces self-respect for, if we wish to be respected, we must show that same courtesy to others, and encourage goodwill and friendship; friendship: an extension of brotherly love, a means of enjoying mutual silences without embarrassment. Life cannot be lived in an impersonal way. The poet, John Donne, said simply, "No man is an island". To live and work successfully with people, one must possess four virtues: sincerity, courtesy, friendliness and consistency.
THE GAME OF LIFE We often read in the newspapers that certain sports groups have held a meeting to consider changes in their rules and sometimes these deliberations are carried into action. The idea is to make the sport faster, more exciting for the spectator and, at the same time, protect the players from injury. In all sports there are those who watch and those who take part. There are professionals and amateurs; the former engage in the sport constantly, the amateur plays on occasion, but the vast majority of people are spectators. But there is a much larger game in which we are all participants; there are no spectators. It is a game in which most of us are amateurs. This is the Game of Life, in which the referee is Time. No doubt we are all amateurs, but is it possible that masons could be termed professionals in this game. It is a masonic duty to teach others and to assist in the moral growth of our fellow men. Although the proposed change in the rules may be slight, the philosophy of the game changes and with greater rule changes come changes in the execution of the game itself. As the rules change, so does the game. It could become better, it could become worse. And thus, it is a mason's task to ensure that the rules do not undergo radical change in the very import ant Game of Life, otherwise the quality of that life may be in danger.
What are all these values when united? Are they not encompassed by the Golden Rule? In one masonic ceremony there is a charge to the candidate in which, among other things, a suggestion is made in regard to a mason's dealings with his fellow-men "by doing to him as in similar cases you would wish he should do unto you". This Golden Rule you have all heard many times in the phrase, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Does this rule sum up the objects of freemasonry? If it does, then there is no doubt that we can practice outside the lodge those great lessons which
What is it that masons are protecting and attempting to teach? Perhaps a list of our ideas would begin with tolerance and mutual 28
we have learnt within it. We are teachers by example. The regularity of our behaviour will afford the best example for the conduct of others.
DID YOU KNOW?
The origin of the Golden Rule has been attributed to Confucius who, when asked to give in one word the principle for the conduct of life, replied "reciprocity". Do not do to others what you don't want them to do to you. In today's world this is reversed to express the positive attitude, "Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you".
Question: Do the terms “Apprentice” and “Entered Apprentice” mean the same thing? Answer: Strictly speaking after a candidate has received his E.A. degree he becomes an “Entered Apprentice”, and the term “Apprentice” can only be an abbreviation for the proper title. I am indebted to Bro. Harry Carr for pointing out the real difference between the two terms. He tells us, “Apprentices were usually indentured to their masters for seven years and in Scotland there is evidence that the masters undertook to „enter their apprentices‟ in the lodge during that period. In Edinburgh, it was the rule that all apprentices had to be booked in the town‟s „register of apprentices‟ at the beginning of their indentures. The „register‟ survives from 1583 and shows that the bookings recorded the names of the apprentices and their fathers amongst other details. These carefully recorded municipal records become valuable when, from 1599 onwards there are minutes from the lode of Edinburgh (Mary‟s Chapel) in which it is possible to identify more than 100 apprentices and to check the dates when they were admitted into the lodge as „entered apprentice‟. This usually happened some two to three years after the beginning of their indentures, and that marked the beginning of their career within the lodge.”
The Golden Rule does not preclude the idea that a mason looks after himself and his own interests. Do not neglect the spiritual temple that is within you. The ideas and feelings we allow to enter our minds and hearts constitute the material for our daily words and actions, which determine the nature of our own character. So that, when the referee informs us it is time to leave the game, we can present a good account of ourselves. The greatest challenge facing us today is for masons, no matter where they are, to influence all with whom they come in contact, to strive for the brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God, by basing our lives on the teachings contained in the three great emblematic lights in masonry. In these changing times, let us guard the rule book and maintain the quality in the Game of Life.
The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
THE BACK PAGE Your Obligation Requires You To Be A Mason More Than Twice A Month. When you petitioned your lodge and eventually met with the investigating committee, you received your first experience of what might be expected of you as a Freemason. Their sole purpose was to ascertain if you were indeed a true man, of good reputation and in good standing within the community and to report their findings to the members of the lodge. Since it was you who sought admission into the fraternity, your first duty was to convince this committee that you were indeed worthy of being recommended to receive the degrees of Freemasonry. Having passed that first test and eventually those that followed in the several degrees, you became a Master Mason. Your duties were carefully explained to you during the degrees, and perhaps counselling sessions with members of the lodge. From the beginning, it was hoped that you would contribute much to your lodge and Freemasonry. How often do you attend your lodge or participate in its activities or programs? We all know that relatively few Masons attend their lodge on a regular basis. Although your frequent attendance is earnestly solicited, yet it is not intended that Masonry should interfere with your necessary vocation. After a short time, many new Master Masons no longer attend their lodge on a regular basis. Nonetheless, their duties do not diminish. Keep in mind, that each of us is someone’s impression of Freemasonry. We are bound by our obligations to always act and live in a just and upright manner. Our obligations specifically spell out our duties to which we are bound to be faithful, and leave no room for interpretation on our part. Anything else is considered un-Masonic conduct and is subject to penalties and punishment by the fraternity. 30
Recently, Freemasonry has come under great scrutiny from various religious groups and other special interest groups who have tried to “expose” Freemasonry as a separate “religion” unto itself, or as some sort of “cult” with secret rituals and practising “ungodly” and sacrilegious acts. Well, those of us who deeply believe in Freemasonry and the lessons taught therein, know better. Hopefully, all Masons have learned enough within the several degrees to help them keep their faith and belief in what is right and true. Every day of your life, everywhere you go, every deed you do, leaves an impression of who you are and what you personally believe in. It is highly imperative that all Masons represent themselves at all times as true and upright men, remembering always to meet upon the Level, act upon the Plumb, and part upon the Square. Your duties as a Freemason do require you to be a Mason more than just the once or twice a month that you might attend lodge meetings. What we as Masons do today when nobody asks or makes us, will determine what Freemasonry becomes tomorrow, when we no longer have the freedom or the choice to make the difference. by Ronald J. Weldy
“Freemasonry is supposed to be fun if you are not enjoying yourself, the Lodge is doing something wrong” Bro. C Martin McGibbon Past Grand Secy. of the GLOS.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor 31