SRA 76 Monthly Magazine
Cover Story, When is a Gavel not a Gavel? Gavels in Freemasonry And Hold Me Lest I Fall Did You Know? Lodge Galen, Glasgow No. 1825. Famous Freemason – Charles Joseph Coward Joshua's Perambulation of Jericho Rays of Masonry The Old Past Master The Cable Did You Know? True Brother Mason What is Masonic Charity? The Tools of the Second Degree
Main Website – Relief
Volume 15 Issue 7 No. 121 November 2019
In this issue: Cover Story ‘When is a Gavel not a Gavel?’ When it’s a Maul! This short but excellent article about the Scottish Maul explains the difference between the Gavel and the Maul and how it came about.
Page 3, ‘Gavels in Freemasonry.’ The usage of Gavels in Freemasonry. Page 6, ‘And Hold Me Lest I Fall’ The Musings of Julian Rees Page 7, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 11, ‘Lodge Galen, GlasgowFalkirk No. 1825. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 14, ‘Charles Joseph Coward’ Famous Freemason. Page 16, ‘Joshua's Perambulation of Jericho.’ A look at the Perambulation around the Lodge. Page 19, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “What is Important?” Page 20, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “For Love or Money”, eighth in the series. Page 21, The Cable – A playlet. Page 24, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 27, ‘True Brother Mason’ Page 28, ‘What is Masonic Charity?’ Page 30, ‘The Tools of the Second Degree.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Relief’ [link] Front cover – The Maul and Altar of Hawick Lodge No.111.
When is a Gavel not a Gavel? (When itâ€™s a Maul!) Another distinct Scottish Masonic tradition.
We have previously discussed Lodges in Scotland prior to the existence of any Grand Lodge. The earliest Lodge record belonged to Lodge Aitcheson's Haven which is dated 9 January 1599. These pre-Grand Lodge, Lodges were of all variants: 1) Stonemasons' Lodges (that is the members were all stonemasons 2) Mixed (that is the membership was partly stonemasons and partly speculative Masons (in various percentages) and, 3) Several whose membership was made up of entirely speculative Masons. The problems this caused when some speculative Masons decided to form the Grand Lodge of Scotland has been previously discussed but here we wish to discuss one of the manifest consequences that show the connection between the pre1717 era and today.
used for practical as well as speculative purposes. We know this because Lodges have donated Mauls as used by working stonemasons. No doubt this was because as speculative Masons came to dominate such Lodges they did not wish to used large, heavy, mauls as used by stonemasons and so adapted the shape of the maul but made it smaller, lighter and more decorative. The small hammers used by judges in a court of law (as seen on TV) are known as gavels (although not in Scottish courts). (see image 2) They are 'ceremonially' used to keep order. In Scottish Lodges the Maul serves the same purpose.
In most Lodges in Scotland the Master and Wardens use a Maul. (See image 1) This was the main working tool of a stonemason. We know that stonemasons simply took their working tools from the building site to the Lodge. In short, the working tools were 2
However, some Lodges have now adopted the hammer, or gavel, instead of the Maul usually because they are unaware of the stonemasons' traditions or because someone has donated gavels to the Lodge and it would be rude not to use them! Just to confuse the issue further when the Master passed the Maul to another person (usually at the annual visitation) we have heard them say - 'I hereby present to you the Lodge gavel...' but of course it is actually a Maul! WHEN IS A GAVEL NOT A GAVEL? WHEN IT â€˜S A MAUL! This excellent article about the Scottish Maul is by Bro. Bob Cooper the Curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland museum.. It was sourced from the Grand Lodge of Scotland Facebook site; https://www.facebook.com/GrandLodgeScotland/ and SRA76 recognize that body and Bro. Cooper as the copyright holders of the article, and thanks Bro. Cooper for allowing SRA76 magazine to use it. The Photograph on the front cover of this issue was taking by the editor in the Lodge room of Hawick Lodge No,111 in the Scottish Borders.
Gavels in Freemasonry
and symbolic uses in speculative Freemasonry.
Keeping order and punctuating actions. The gavel has been generally adopted by Masonic bodies and many other groups as a means to call meetings to order, keep order, announce the results of votes, and otherwise punctuate actions of the group. However, it is a mistake for the presiding officer to try to stop noise and keep order by pounding with the gavel. The use of a hammer to keep order was common in medieval institutions such as an Elizabethan guild in Exeter where, "the governor having a small hammer in his hands made for the purpose, when he will have scilence to be hadd shall knocke the same upon the Borde, and who so ever do talke after the second stroke to paye without redempcion two pence." (AQC, XL) There is also a reference in a biography of the founder of the Cistercians to "the harsh strokes of the wooden mallet used for calling the brethren together." (AQC, XL)
Symbol of authority "Perhaps no lodge appliance or symbol is possessed of such deep and absorbing interest to the craft as the Master's mallet or gavel. Nothing in the entire range of Masonic paraphernalia and formulary can boast of an antiquity so unequivocally remote," according to Joseph F. Ford in Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry. Gavels, hammers, mallets, or mauls, have both practical and symbolic uses in lodges and other meetings, as well as both practical 3
In a larger sense, gavels symbolize the executive power, as this is the instrument which strikes blows, or it can be thought of as a symbol of authority without the use of force. The gavel is an emblem of the authority of the Master in governing the Lodge. At the installation of a Master he is informed, upon being tendered this implement, that it constitutes the essential element of his authority over the assembled brethren,
without which his efforts to preserve order and subordination would be ineffectual. It is the symbol that inducts him into the possession of the Masonic lodge. In the middle ages mallets were thrown and all ground over which they traversed were acknowledged to be possessed by the thrower. This practice gave rise to the symbolism of the mallet indicating the Master's possession of his lodge. A somewhat different use of a thrown hammer is shown in an English ordinance of 1462 which is said to have declared that lewd women should remain as far from the territory of Masonic lodges as a hammer could be hurled. The appropriate item for this purpose should be wooden with a flat surface at one end and a pointed surface at the other. French and Spanish Freemasons sometimes refer to it as the "president's hammer" and use an instrument that is flat at both ends, then slightly pinched, and larger again in the middle. The gavel should not resemble a setting maul. The gavel is sometimes confused with the setting maul which is a different instrument used for different purposes. The gavel is a implement of both the Master and his Wardens, and is an emblem of power, while the maul is a heavy wooden hammer with which the mason drives his chisel. The maul is also the weapon with which the Master was traditionally said to have been slain, so it is an emblem of violent death. It is incorrect to use a gavel instead of a heavy maul in the dramatization of the third degree. It is also inappropriate to use a little auctioneer's hammer in place of a gavel, as this may connote that the initiate is being sold.
The gavel of the Master of a Lodge is also called a "Hiram" because, like that architect, it governs the Craft and keeps order in the Lodge as Hiram did in the Temple, or because of the use made of the maul in the third degree. As early as 1739 both gavels and mauls were referred to by that name. A negative sense of this implement is found in the Bible, Proverbs XXV, 18, "A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow."
Use by Operative and Speculative Masons Mackey and Coil say the gavel used as a hammer has one flat face opposite the sharp end so that from the top it resembles a gabled roof on a house, and because of this, "gable" becomes the German word "gipfel" meaning summit or peak or "giebel" and then the English word "gavel," although in German lodges the gavel is called the "hammer." It is one of the oldest working tools used by man, as illustrated by stories of Scandinavian mythology where Thor, the principal god, was given a special hammer or mallet which always struck its targets with great force and then returned to the thrower without any injury to him. Symbolically, as the hammer of Thor destroyed his enemies, so it should continue to be used to destroy the enemies of that which is good and true. It is used on stone to make a rough shaping or dressing, with the finishing done with a chisel and mallet or maul. Gavel is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary (1901) as a mason's setting maul or a presiding officer's hammer, and it is said to be an American usage. (AQC, 101 and XL) The 4
name "gavel" was not known in England before the nineteenth century. Freemasons are taught that the common gavel is one of the working tools of an Entered Apprentice. It is used by operative masons to break off the corners of rough ashlars and thus fit them the better for the builder's use. It is not adapted to giving polish or ornamentation to the stone, and hence it should symbolize only that training of the new Freemason which is designed to give some limited skill and moral training, and to teach that labour is the lot of man and that "qualities of heart and head are of limited value 'if the hand be not prompt to execute the design' of the master." Its meaning has been extended to include the symbolism of the chisel, to show the enlightening and ennobling effects of training and education. The gavel is adopted in Speculative Freemasonry to admonish us of the duty, often painful, of divesting our minds and consciences of all the vices and impurities of life, thereby fitting our bodies or minds as living stones for the spiritual building, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The gavel represents the force of conscience. It is our will power, through which we govern our actions and free ourselves from debasing influences. It requires repeated exercise of our will power to subdue our passions. Will power is common to all and it is fittingly symbolized by the "common" gavel, but just as the gavel is of no worth unless it is used, so is our will power. The gavel is an instrument common to the lowest and the highest in the Lodge. The common gavel is shown to each Entered Apprentices to remind him that symbolically he should use it in 5
Freemasonry to divest himself of the vices and superfluities of life. Years later, even when one has attained the highest rank in the Lodge by becoming its Master, the same implement of a gavel is placed in his hand as a reminder that we all need to continue to strive for improvements in our manner and character. Albert Pike felt the mallet and chisel (and gavel) symbolized development of the intellect of each individual and of society. He wrote, "...a man's intellect is all his own, held direct from God, an inalienable fief. It is the most potent of weapons....Society hangs spiritually together....The free country, in which intellect and genius govern, will endure....To elevate the people by teaching loving-kindness and wisdom, with power to him who teaches best; and so to develop the free State from the rough ashlar; ---this is the great labour in which Masonry desires to lend a helping hand." Article by Paul M. Bessel to whom goes SRA76 thanks. Sourced from the Skirret
The Freemasonâ€™s Creed To look, in the light of reason, to the gracious Being above As the infinite source of wisdom, and the source of infinite love To follow in full submission wherever His will may lead. Such is the Mason's mission, and such is the Mason's Creed. To trust in His infinite justice, in the light of His word, which saith: "I am thy Father in heaven," such is the Mason's faith. That the spirit of love may guide him, wherever his feet may fare. Such is the Mason's wish and hope, and such is his constant prayer.
AND HOLD ME LEST I FALL And Hold Me Lest I Fall All nature is but art unknown to thee, All chance, direction which thou canst not see; All discord, harmony not understood; All partial evil, universal good; And, spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite, One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right. Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
I must be watching too much television. Recently I criticised television programmes such as Big Brother, The Weakest Link and Survivor and now, again on television, I have witnessed the perfect antidote to all this ritual humiliation. In April ITN’s Trevor MacDonald hosted a Survivor-type programme in which Protestants and Catholics from Northern Ireland were placed together in close proximity on the Isle of Man in an endurance test, physical endurance, endurance of cultural difference, endurance of reciprocal prejudice and mutual distrust. Half way through the programme it was truth time – a Protestant woman telling how close relatives, brothers and cousins, had been killed by Catholics, and breaking down as she told it; Catholics relating stories of equivalent indignities visited on them by those of the other side; scenes from the Belfast so-called ‘peace line’, likened to the Berlin Wall. But we saw too a group of people who, being billetted together in a strange environment, neither permitted nor tolerated physical violence against each other, drawing back even from verbal abuse. Catholics and Protestants had been deliberately teamed together to do the
cooking, to work together to sort out difficult situations, their cooperation made necessary by force of circumstances. Two women, one Protestant and one Catholic, had previously taken part on opposing sides in the Holy Cross School confrontation in Belfast, in which parents and children from one side of the divide hurled abuse at and threatened violence to children and parents from the other side. They had come on the programme in ignorance of each other’s part in that. In the unfolding programme they became aware of their previous confrontation, learning to accommodate it. They had begun better to understand the sterile ‘blame culture’, that barren landscape lying between and alienating them one from another. These two were teamed together towards the end of the programme in an abseiling exercise, the Protestant woman hanging over a scary-looking rock face, paralysed by fear, the Catholic woman, her former antagonist, paying out the rope from the top and, to encourage her, calling out the words we all long to hear from time to time when we feel abandoned or helpless, the words which resonate to us from the memories of our mother in our childhood – ‘Trust me’. At this point I must confess to having a problem with my spectacles misting up. ‘Trust me – I won’t let you fall’ are probably amongst the most evocative words one human being can speak to another, spoken here by someone to her former deadly foe. As Freemasons we have many instances of our unique organisation over-arching cultural, political, racial and denominational differences. I have myself sat in a lodge with Jews and Muslims and in another with Irish Catholics and Protestants. That is after all one of the main reasons we exist as an 6
Order. Did you know that in the list of lodges in our year book over forty lodges have names starting with the word ‘Harmony’ or ‘Harmonic’, and many more have the word ‘Harmony’ in their titles? It’s no accident. Harmony is as indispensable to our masonic profession as meditation is to our religion. Harmony, best rendered by music or painting, can also be rendered by a word, a gesture or a look. Harmony can be equated with peace, inner and outer, where no strife and no differences are present to upset the balance of our senses, the balance of our spirit. Disharmony and discord are similarly represented and have as their roots the ignorance, fear, distrust and active hatred which so easily cause them. When we talk of building I think we also mean building such harmony and brotherhood in a spirit of community. We too easily forget that, historically, Freemasonry has been a refuge for those fleeing disharmony, discrimination and persecution. It has been – and still is – a refuge for those seeking liberty of conscience and freedom on many levels, not least freedom of speech. We can promote that freedom, that liberty, and we can perhaps do so surrounded by our three lesser lights, Ionic, Doric and Corinthian, equated with Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Wisdom, closely allied to correct or upright judgement; Strength to carry out our chosen task as Masons against malevolence and obstruction; Beauty, the third member of that trinity, adorning the inward man, representative of that harmony which comes closest to our own spirit if we will let it. Trust harmony – it won’t let you fail. Article by W. Bro. Julian Rees whom SRA76 acknowledges to be the author. Our grateful thanks go to him. This article is copyright and should not be copied unless permission is given by the author. Julian's website can be accessed at this link. https://www.julianrees.com/
DID YOU KNOW? Question: How did the "Working Tools" come into our ceremonies? Were all our present-day "W.T.s" used and moralized from the earliest times, or were they introduced gradually?
Answer: Although there are, of course, ample records of the mason's tools as such, there are no really early records of the tools which were used in the course of the lodge ceremonies. In all the old MS. Constitutions until the 1650s the admission ceremony seems to have consisted of no more than a reading of the Charges and an oath of fidelity. A text of c. 1650 gives a form of the Obligation containing a reference to "secret words and signs", but the earliest mention of tools is in Randle Holme's Academy of Armorie, 1688. Holme was a Herald and a gentleman-Mason; and in a brief passage relating to the Free-Masons he says, "I have observed the use of these severall Tools amongst them"; he adds that some of them are borne in coats of Arms. He then explains a series of tools, e.g. shovel, hand hammer, chisel, pick and punch, all belonging to operative masonry. He does not state that any of these were used in the course of lodge ceremonies, and it is extremely doubtful that they were so used. The earliest evidence as to the tools in the masonic ceremonies comes, as might be expected, in the early catechisms and the later exposures. It so happens that the oldest texts that have survived are all in manuscript, which may be taken, generally, as having been laboriously written out to
serve as aide-memoires. The printed pieces which begin with a newspaper item in 1723, were generally published from motives of profit, curiosity, or spite. This distinction between the prints and the manuscripts is worth noting, therefore, because it implies that a greater degree of trust can be placed upon the latter, though all of them must be viewed with caution. The earliest evidence comes from the Edinburgh Register House MS., of 1696, with two later versions, almost identical, of c. 1700 and c. 1714. They contain only one passage which mentions tools. It occurs in the course of the candidate's greeting to the Brethren on his re-entering the lodge:â€œ... as I am sworn by God, St. John by the Square and compass, and common judge... " The "common judge" was a gauge or templet. A templet, described as a jadge, is pictured among the tools in the Mark Book of the Lodge of Aberdeen. None of the other texts furnishes any more information on tools until April, 1723, when a newspaper The Flying Post or Post-Master published a masonic catechism without a title, but now known as "A Mason's Examination". It contains the same three tools mentioned above, and elsewhere in the text the Astler and Diamond are mentioned with the Square or Common Square. There are several French exposures of a later period c. 1742-50 which suggest that the ashlar may have been used as a stone on which tools were sharpened, but it is unlikely that it was a tool in itself. So far as I am aware, the "Diamond" has never been satisfactorily explained. In the following year, 1724, The Grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discover'd, in
reply to a question on how the lodge is governed, has the answer "Of Square and Rule", possibly the first reference to what is now the "24 inch gauge". (It also repeats the Diamond, Asher [sic.] and Square). A later text of 1725 has the answer "Of Square Plumb and Rule". In a manuscript of the same year, 1724, The Whole Institution of Masonry, there is a question on the number of Lights in a Lodge, with the answer:â€” "Twelve . . . Father. Son. Holy Ghost. Sun. Moon. Master Mason. Square. Rule. Plum. Line. Mell and Chizzel". Here was a great advance, although it is of course not certain that all these tools were actually being used in the ceremonies. Another question in the same text brings the answer "with Square and Compass at my Breast", a detail that appears regularly in later texts. It is certain that those two were being used; but the others were at least being talked about. The Level, surprisingly, had not yet made its appearance! So, in 1725, we have a large collection of tools including several not previously mentioned, e.g. the Rule, which may now safely be construed as the forerunner of the 24 inch gauge; the Mell, i.e. the Maul or gavel and the "Chizzel". It should be noted that the Plum and Line are given here as two separate tools; it is possible that the "Line" is to be read as an early version of the skirret; but it may well be a reference to the cable-tow; the Candidate in the Dumfries No.4 MS., c. 1710, in reply to one of its questions, says that he was brought into the lodge "sham[e]fully w' a rope about my neck". 8
This set of "Twelve Lights" as they are called, appeared again in two other texts The Whole Institutions of Free-Masons Opened of 1725, a printed broadsheet, and in the far more interesting Graham MS. of 1726.
Prichard's text was probably the earliest of the whole series to explain at least some of the Tools in something approaching the modern manner. In reply to a question on the uses of the Square, Level and PlumbRule, he says:â€”
Another text of 1726, The Grand Mystery Laid Open, contains a disproportionate amount of nonsensical material, but one of its questions on the Tools requisite for a Free-Mason, brings the answer "The Hammer and Trowel ... " and later it appears that the Candidate holds the Trowel in his right hand and the Hammer in his left during the Ob. These details did not reappear in later versions.
"Square to lay down True and Right Lines, Level to try all Horizontals, and the PlumbRule to try all Uprights".
A Mason's Confessum of c. 1727, gives the square, level, plumb-rule, hand-rule, and the "gage" [sic.] and the latter still appeared in the Mystery of Freemasonry in 1730, but (so far as I can ascertain) it then disappeared. This was apparently the first appearance of the Level.
This is even nearer to our present-day style of explanation, but early explanations in regard to the other tools are non-existent.
And so we come to Prichard's Masonry Dissected, 1730, the most detailed exposure until that time. It mentioned the Candidate kneeling within the Square, the Compass at his N.L.B., and the "Moveable Jewels", i.e. Square, Level and Plumb-Rule which were also the Master's and Wardens' Emblems. In its description of the murder of H.A.B., the ruffians use "Setting Maul, Setting Tool and Setting Beadle", but we need not pursue them further. A Dialogue between Simon and Philip, of c. 1740, adds only one item to our list, i.e. a "Quadrant", a 90 degree segment of a circle in which the curved edge is marked to show degrees, but that likewise failed to reappear.
The Wilkinson MS., a parallel but fragmentary text of the same period, says: "the Square to see Y' Corner Stones are laid square; the Levell that they are laid Levell And ye Plumb to Raise Perpendiculars".
During the period 1730 to 1760, there is a gap in the publication of English Exposures and our best information during that period comes from a long series of French Exposures which began in 1737 and continued strongly throughout the 18th century. From our present point of view, the most interesting feature in the earlier versions of these texts is that they give narrative descriptions of the procedure of the ceremonies in addition to the Catechisms which were the main contents of the English documents; so that the French texts give us a very good idea of the actual details of the layout of the Lodge, floorwork etc., with several useful drawings of the tracing boards, i.e. the designs which were drawn on the floor of the Lodge. In 1742-4, the drawing for a "Lodge of Apprentice-Fellows" (i.e. First and Second Degrees combined), contained among other symbols the following tools:â€”
Square, Compasses, Level, Plumb-Rule, Trowel, and a Mason's Hammer (i.e. not a normal Gavel). Within the next few years 1745 to 1751, the texts usually contained a note describing the Orator's lectures. There were apparently two such lectures in the course of the ceremonies, one of a moral nature approximating to our present Charge; the other was an explanation of the Tracingboard and the note generally adds that the Orator was at liberty to enlarge on these explanations if he so desired. The explanations, therefore, must have been impromptu spontaneous talks which varied according to the competence of the Orator. This may explain the fact that although the narrative descriptions and the Catechisms are quite elaborate, there still appears to have been no set ritual-explanation of the working tools and we do not find any particular tools allocated symbolically to the Second and Third Degrees. In 1760 we have the first of a new English series of Exposures beginning with Three Distinct Knocks and now we begin to find several familiar explanations of some of the tools, but not all of them, because the explanations seem to have been confined to the E.A. ceremony, e.g.:â€” "The Bible, to rule and govern our Faith; the Square, to Square our Actions; the Compasses is to keep us within Bounds with all Men, particularly with a Brother". Later the working tools of an Entered Apprentice are explained as follows:â€” Master. What are their Uses? Answer. The Square to square my Work, the 24 Inch Gauge to measure my Work, the common Gavel to knock off all superfluous
Matters, whereby the Square may set easy and just. Master Brother, as we are not all working Masons, we apply them to our Morals, which we call spiritualizing; explain them? Answer The 24 Inch Gauge represents the 24 Hours of the Day. Master How do you spend them Brother? Answer Six Hours to work in, Six Hours to serve God, and Six to serve a Friend or a Brother, as far as lies in my Power, without being detrimental to myself or Family: and Six Hours to Sleep in". There are no explanations of tools for the F.C. or M.M. but in the legend of H.A.B., the ruffians now use the 24 Inch Gauge, the Square and the Gavel or Setting Maul. (In France they used three rolls of paper). It is not necessary to examine all the different Exposures of this period. They are useful as evidence of the developments which were beginning to take place but they show no great advance beyond the quotations from Three Distinct Knocks. The main period of the development in the elaboration of our ritual was in the last quarter of the 18th century, which was its most fruitful period and the modern explanations, which must have used the best of that material, were all brought into our ritual at the time of the Union of the Grand Lodges in 1813 and shortly afterwards. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum "Notes and Queries", p. 278-80. vol LXXVIII (1965), Harry Carr, ed..
Freemasonry does not fail men, men fail Freemasonry. 10
Lodge Galen, Glasgow, No. 1285
In 1921 it was generally recognised by many members of the craft who were engaged in the professional and semiprofessional pursuits, such as General Medical Practitioners, Dentists and Pharmacists, that because of their long hours of work and care of duty to the general public, it did not permit them to take an active part in the workings of Freemasonry so there was a call for a lodge meeting which could be held at a later starting time. On the 9th of September 1921, a meeting of a number of brethren who were interested in the formation of a new lodge was held in the pharmacy club rooms, 165 Hill Street, Garnethill, Glasgow. They were all convinced that it would be beneficial to proceed so it was unanimously agreed to petition the Grand lodge of Scotland with an application for a charter to be issued in the name of Lodge “Galen”, that the colour of the lodge clothing would be Royal Blue, and the starting time would be 8 o’clock. 11
A committee was appointed to carry out the necessary arrangements and they also appointed four of their number along with Bro George Mackay, P.M. of Lodge Langside No 955 as a sub-committee to consult with Bro Stevenson Cochran, the Provincial Grand Lodge secretary. The subcommittee set about obtaining the signatures of those who were desirous of becoming founder members, and an appeal was launched for voluntary contributions towards lodge furnishings. On the 10th of October 1921, Brothers Thomas MacKinnon and George Mackay made an official approach to Lodge Langside No 955. Two days later, on the 12th of October, they also paid a visit to Lodge St Vincent Sandyford No 553, with the request for each lodge to sponsor the petition to the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Both Lodges agreed unanimously. The petition for a charter to be granted in the name of Lodge Galen was submitted on the official form on Saturday 15th of October 1921 along with the a list of 62 founder members to the Provincial Grand Lodge secretary. At a meeting of the founder members on November 10th 1921 to report on the petitions progress, Bro George Mackay informed the brethren that at a meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow the petition had been approved, but not without some opposition. Lodge the Gael No 609 had raised their concerns that the name sounded too similar to their own and as both were going to meet in the same premises, it may cause some confusion to visiting brethren. However brother Mackay stated that he had written to the secretary of lodge the Gael promising to do all in the new lodge’s power to prevent any misunderstanding to visitors and avoid
causing friction with the members of the Gael. For the first few years the name of Galen was pronounced with a hard accent and sounded more like “Gallon”. A further meeting of the founder members was held on the 12th of January 1922 where Bro Thomas MacKinnon (master Nominate) reported that their had been a satisfactory response towards the appeal for voluntary contributions towards lodge furnishings, and that all of the Office bearers elect had given a donation to cover the cost of the regalia for their office. It was also noted that the appeal had been supported by the chemists “Wholesale and Sundries House”. There was also an agreement that a dinner should be held prior to the consecration of the lodge with a suitable venue being sought. The welcoming dinner took place at the hour of 5 o’clock in the evening, in the premises of Messrs Ferguson and Forrester restaurant, 77 Buchannan street Glasgow. In attendance there were a total of seventy seven brethren, including the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master along with the Provincial Grand Lodge office bearers who were all entertained by the Master, office bearers and brethren of the new lodge. Once all had been suitably fed and watered they made their way to the masonic chambers in West Regent Street where there was already a relatively large gathering of brethren from near and far. Lodge Galen was erected and consecrated at a meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow held on the 22nd march 1922, in the Masonic chambers 100 West Regent, Glasgow, G2 2QB, with the ceremony of consecration being performed by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow, Bro Alexander Archibald Hagart Speirs of Elderslie DL., J.P. ably assisted by
the Rev Bro Dr D.A. Cameron Reid the Provincial Grand Lodge chaplain who delivered the oration and Bro Stevenson Cochran, the Provincial Grand Lodge secretary who read out the charter in favour of Lodge Galen and after the proclamation the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow was closed and the first meeting of Lodge Galen was convened. The charter master of the lodge Bro Thomas McKinnon was presented by the Provincial Grand Lodge Director of Ceremonies for installation with the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow performing the installation duties. At a board of installed masters convened in the board room there were a total of 130 installed masters present, to witness Bro Thomas McKinnon being installed as the first master of the new lodge. During their absence the office bearers of the lodge were installed into their respective offices by the Substitute Provincial Grand Master Bro John Adam. On their return the usual proclamations and songs of praise the newly installed Right Worshipful Master thanked the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and his worthy deputation for their services and presented Brother A.A. Hagart Spiers of Elderslie with an antique silver mortar and pestle as a memento of the occasion. There were further presentations to the provincial deputation and the members of the lodge unanimously elected and conferred honorary membership on the Provincial Grand Master. At the close of the meeting a traditional harmony board was opened with supper and refreshments being served. This was followed by the usual Loyal, and Masonic toasts and a strong programme of entertainments, including vocal and instrumental music, traditional poetry and 12
readings which kept the brethren well amused way into the smaâ€™ hours.
medical symbol known as "The Rod of Asclepius".
Lodge Galen has a unique office in Scottish Freemasonry, which is believe to be the only one in existence. This was added to the list of office bearers in 1923, the year after the founding of the Lodge. The office is Physician. This honorary office is usually bestowed upon a member of the Lodge, normally a Past Master, who has contributed greatly to the Lodge or Freemasonry in general, over the previous year. The jewel of his office is the Caduceus, which is in the shape of a wand surmounted by two wings and entwined by two serpents.
The Lodge has a strong historical connection with the Medical profession. As mentioned in the previous section, the Lodge can trace its origins back to a collection of brethren who were all associated through different branches of medicine. The Lodge name "Galen" was chosen because of the major contribution this historical figure made to the development of medicine. It is due to this relationship that medical symbols and trappings have always had an important role in the workings of the Lodge. To this very day, while the Lodge is at work, a mortar and pestle is always on view on the dais. Also, if you happen to take a look at the Secretaryâ€™s desk, you will see a small set of Pharmaceutical scales. These were once used to measure out the quantities of ingredients for pills and treatments, but now they add a fine addition to the Secretary's and Treasurers table. Even the Lodge carpet reflects the medical connections, with a mortar & pestle woven into 2 of 4 corners. Another trait is in the preparation of the candidate. All candidates will always be dressed in a white lab coat while taking their degrees. This reflects again back to the Lodges founding fathers and their connection to the medical profession. The Lodges banner has the ancient symbol of the rod and serpent, which is a traditional 13
The Caduceus was originally a staff or mace carried by the Caduceator in time of war. The Caduceator signified peace and one of the duties of the Lodge Physician is to see the Brethren work together in peace and harmony.
This excellent History of Lodge Galen No. 1285 was sourced from their website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 1285 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History. The Lodge History was adapted by the editor for inclusion in the SRA76 Magazine.
Famous Freemasons Charles Coward The Count of Auschwitz
Charlie joined this Lodge, formed by the remnants of a pal’s battalion from the First World War, in January 1955 and remained a member until 1967. He was born in 1905 and joined the British Army in 1937 two years before the Second World War. In May 1940 the German Army captured him at Calais while serving as a Battery Sergeant with the Royal Artillery, as they swept through France towards Dunkirk. In retrospect, the Germans would have been better off if they had not captured him as he probably did more damage to the German cause than he could ever have done had he not been captured. As a Prisoner of War he launched a one-man war against the enemy and escaped nine times, including twice before he even arrived at a Prisoner of War camp!
If you visit most websites that list Military Masons it gives the impression that every one was of high rank. Masons such as: The Duke of Wellington; Field Marshal Lord Kitchener; Field Marshal Lord Haig; Field Marshal Earl Roberts VC; General Sir Reginald Wingate, Field Marshall Montgomery; and Lieutenant-Colonel ‘Paddy’ Maine DSO and three bars, and so on. This article will relate the story of a little known ordinary British Soldier. His name was Sergeant Major Charles Joseph Coward, who was a member of Camberwell Old Comrades Lodge No. 4077 of the United Grand Lodge of England.
During one escape he posed as a wounded German, soldier hiding in a German army field hospital and while there was awarded the Iron Cross. Between escapes, Coward managed to continuously thwart the German war effort, organizing numerous acts of sabotage while serving on work details. Once while working in a railway yard he managed to change the destination boards on various wagons ensuring those on the Russian Front got paint while those in North Africa received very much needed winter clothing. He organized his fellow Prisoners of War to do their best to deliberately slow down and sabotage production of numerous locations that included railway repair sheds and wood yards. In letters to his wife Florence he passed notes to his father, who just happened to be 14
dead, to be sent via a Mr. William Orange. She was at first confused by these letters and it took a few months before she spotted the ruse and redirected the mail to the War Office. So, throughout the war he passed coded messages on troop movements and even the location of the experimental V1 rockets. Later, he was able to pass information on the number of people arriving at a civilian camp at a place called Auschwitz. His exploits, as a disruptive force, everywhere he worked, eventually came to the attention of the Germans and in 1943 he was sent to a special labour camp known as Auschwitz 3 near the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Auschwitz 3 was a factory under the industrial company of IG Farben who were building a synthetic rubber and liquid fuel plant. The camp housed over 10,000 Jewish slave labourers, as well as prisoners of war and forced labourers from all over occupied Europe. Thanks to his command of the German language, he was appointed the Red Cross liaison officer for the 1,400 British prisoners and, in this trusted role he was allowed to move fairly freely throughout the camp and often to surrounding towns. In this position, he devised an elaborate scheme to "buy" corpses of dead Belgian and French forced labourers, from the SS Guards by bribing them with Red Cross supplies, particularly chocolate. To set this up he actually broke into the concentration camp for a night to explain what he was trying to do. So at night, when Jewish prisoners deemed unfit to work were being marched to the gas chambers, selected ones that had been added would quickly jump out of the line and conceal themselves in a ditch. Charles would arrange for some of the corpses he 15
had purchased to be spread along the road to make up the head count. The escapees would then be smuggled away to freedom, using the clothes and identities of the corpses. In this way, it is estimated he saved at least 400 Auschwitz inmates from death. He also used his Red Cross position to smuggle food and other supplies to Jewish prisoners, including dynamite, which was used to good effect to destroy some of the gas chambers. This earned him the nickname “The Count of Auschwitz.” In January 1945, their Camp was closed and he with other Prisoners of War were marched to Bavaria under Wehrmacht guard, where he was eventually liberated. Another story is told how he escaped once more with another prisoner and stole a fire engine from a small local town and drove it through the German lines at high speed with its bell ringing and the German army parted to let it through. In 1963 he was awarded the title of “One of the Righteous Among the Nations” and he had a tree planted in his honour in the Avenue of Righteous Gentiles in Israel. He was also awarded the Israeli Peace medal; one of only two British citizens to be so honoured, the other recipient being Bro. Winston Churchill. Ralph Finn commented in a Jewish newspaper that, “He ‘was not one of the world’s great conversationalists nor was he one of the world’s geniuses. In fact he was quite unremarkable, but, he was one hundred and one percent a real human being.” Bro. Charles Coward also testified at the Nuremberg trials against IG Farben for
using slave labour and during the trial the Judge commended him for his courage and remarked: "He did this for the mere reason he and the prisoners he helped were just fellow human beings.â€? In 2010, Coward was posthumously named a British Hero of the Holocaust by the British Government. An English Heritage blue plaque marks his former home at 133 Chichester Avenue, where he lived from 1945 until his death in 1976 of cancer, aged 71. A book about his exploits, The Password is Courage, was published in 1954, and a movie of the same name was produced in 1962 with Dirk Bogarde playing Charles Coward. (Brother Charles Coward on the set of The Password is Courage with Dirk Bogarde who played him in the film.)
This article was sourced for the famous freemasons section of the magazine from a variety of different sources, chief amongst which was the website of Hamilton Valley Scottish Rite from a talk given at, Abbottsford Lodge # 70 Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon by Bill Overy, District Educational Officer. Thanks to all.
Masonic Ring Symbolism - Joshua's Perambulation of Jericho THE PERAMBULATION "And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city." Jos. 6:16
As an indication that they are duly and truly prepared to be initiated, passed and raised in the first three Masonic degrees, candidates for Freemasonry are caused to circumambulate the lodge. Also referred to as a perambulation, the candidate's travels during the degree is one of the more important ritual tasks to be performed. Hymns and prayers are recited, drawn from passages in the Holy Writings. Depending upon whether he is being initiated as an Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, or raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, as candidate's perambulation becomes increasingly extensive. It is fair to ask both why this tradition is followed and what it symbolizes. The scripture cited above is from the book of Joshua and refers to the circumambulation by the priests prior to the collapsing of the walls of Jericho. Since it is not likely that mere trumpet blasts caused stone to crumble, either the trumpet symbolizes a much more powerful force, or 16
the entire episode is intended to convey a wiser and more serious truth. In his recent book, Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark, Laurence Gardner hypothesizes that the trumpet represented a powerful fusion force emanating from the Ark of the Covenant. While that may be true, there is presently no way of either confirming or denying that possibility. However, in that the Old Testament, as well as the entirety of the Holy Bible is littered with allegorical tales, it is equally likely that Freemasonry, which has been in existence longer than Mr. Gardner has been writing, adopted the allegorical meaning as the foundation for the present day perambulation by candidates in Masonic lodges. During ancient rites of the worship of Deity, designated holy men moved solemnly around sacred objects in a circular manner. Such movement was an integral part of the ritual used by the Hindus and Buddhists. In Islam, circumambulation is used during holy services at Mecca. In each, the movement was intended to represent the spiritual transition of man from daily life to spiritual perfection. That transition was to be accomplished in stages as each man moved more closely in his life and education to the spiritual energy of the Deity. This ancient custom is retained in Masonry, but its meaning has been generally forgotten. In some present-day Masonic organizations a tension exists between those brethren who wish to pursue the esoteric lessons taught by the Craft and those brethren who prefer a strict adherence to Masonic ritual, which has evolved over at least the past two centuries. Some in the esoteric camp say that the rigid adherence to ritual neglects the more important tenets of 17
sacred ancient philosophy. Certain adherents to the "ritual-only" camp believe that Masonry is practiced in its purest form by working to attain "word-perfect" ritualistic performance. In classic Hermetic tradition, both are equally correct and incorrect. It is perilous to work in Masonry under the belief that an adherence to Masonic ritual is not Masonry and, therefore, should be relegated to the junk-heap of past relics. It is no less perilous to ignore the fact that Masonic ritual enjoys a sacred connection with the religions and philosophies of the past. More often than not, if one looks carefully into the Masonic past, he will discover that there exists a holy union between the approved ritual and the esoteric knowledge it is intended to convey. Indeed, a Mason may actually discover new joys in attending ritual performances once he learns more about the rich sacred past. The candidate's travels, or perambulation of the lodge room, are intended to symbolize the state of spiritual attainment associated with the aid of each of the first three degrees of Masonry. As an Entered Apprentice, the newly initiated Mason learns to humbly submit himself to the fact that knows little, if anything, about what the Craft teaches. In his state of ignorance, the initiated candidate is introduced to the tools of learning that, when studied under the guidance of the more experienced brethren, will eventually enlighten his spirit. A Fellowcraft is presumed to have mastered the rudiments of Masonic symbolism and at least be knowledgeable about the fact that Masonry uses symbols to impart wise and serious truths. His spirit is in need of solid food and, thus, the candidate is led to the study of the liberal arts and sciences, which he is expected to read and understand through the
prism of spirituality instilled by Masonry. While continuing to require spiritual food, the Master Mason is expected to take the lessons he has learned and usefully offer them to the community in which he resides by living the spiritual life he has been taught. The perambulation not only symbolizes the candidate's spiritual state, but also the three stages of preparation necessary before the world may expect to benefit from that spirituality. In ancient religious practices, the perambulation was believed to a necessary precedent to calling forth the presence of Deity. This once pervasive practice survives today in several of the occult cultures and has fallen into general disfavour. Masonry does not employ the perambulation in hopes that it will magically cause God to appear, for the Craft understands and teaches that the Great Architect is always present. The purpose today is to provide the candidate and brethren with a ritual practice that focuses the mind upon that presence and instils a prayerful attitude throughout the entire ritualistic performance. Freemasons around the globe are keenly interested in discovering the roots and origins of the Craft. University professors throughout Europe, as well as elsewhere are researching historical archives inspecting new information and re-examining already existing material in hopes of one day being able to declare with certainty whence came Freemasonry. More likely than not, those roots and origins will not easily be discovered without first understanding that Masonry is about man's relationship to God.
who openly profess their faith in His existence. A man cannot become a Mason without a belief in the Supreme Being. Even though he already possesses faith in God before joining the Craft, a candidate may not have a very developed idea of what that means to himself, his family, his friends and his country. While Freemasonry does not teach such a man about the existence of God, it does teach him how God relates to His creations and how we who are created in His image may benefit those with whom we come into contact each and every day. What is stated here may be tested by you in the setting of your own lodge. The next time you are seated in a lodge room and observe the ritualistic perambulation, silence yourself and allow God to speak to your heart throughout the entire performance. There will be plenty of time to talk to the member sitting next to you after the performance is concluded. Consider the stages of your own spiritual development and try to identify your spiritual strengths and weaknesses. Later, work very hard to improve upon your strengths and to eliminate your weaknesses. If you try this exercise in lodge on a regular basis, more likely than not you will discover that you are practicing real Masonry and in the doing also discover the basis for the origins of the Craft to which you belong. The Author of this article is Bro. John Heisner who is an expert in Masonic Symbolism and has written numerous works on the subject. This article was sourced from: Ezine Articles. 4721186
From time immemorial, man has questioned himself about God's existence. The fraternity of Freemasons consists of men who have decided that He does exist and 18
Rays of Masonry â€œWhat is Important?â€?
In the work of Masonry there are many field of endeavour, all a part of our plan "to improve ourselves in the way of life." One brother may outline in appropriate words the duties that are ours as Masons. His words inspire us. Another brother may not have the same ability to put his ideas into words, but he knows with equal certainty about his duties as a man and a Mason. If he learns of a brother who is sick, or in distress, he understands, and it is more than an understanding of duty, it is the understanding of the principles of Love and Brotherhood, which quickens the desire into action, and sends him to the sick or the distressed.
"I'm afraid we are not going to have the pleasure of hearing Professor Filson," said the Yearling Mason to the Old Past Master, sitting beside him in the anteroom.
One brother may be a good ritualist, another a student of symbolism, and still another a good worker on any committee.
"That's too bad," was the prompt response. "I don't know him, but I understand he's worth hearing. What's the trouble?"
Each brother doing the special task for which he has the greatest ability results in the success of the lodge and Masonry.
"Oh, it's money, of course. Filson always gets a hundred dollars a lecture, and the lodge can't afford to pay it. And of course Filson can't afford to lower his price, and there you are."
There are no special degrees of importance. Doing what we can in the work assigned to us is the important thing. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
For Love or Money
"Why doesn't Filson give the Lodge the lecture then for nothing?" asked the Old Past Master. "Why, why should he? That isn't business. The electric light company doesn't give us light, the printer charges us for printed matter, the furniture store charges us for carpets; why should Filson present us with his ware?"
"Seems to me there is a difference," suggested the Old Past Master. "Brother Filson, I suppose, comes to the lodge to spend an evening at times. When he does, he spends as much time here without paying, sitting on the bench, as if he were standing up talking. The electric light company could not give us current without spending money to produce it, the printer must pay his printers, the furniture man must buy his spend would be a small part of what we have spent on him." "I don't think I understand that last part what we have spent on him?" "Thousands of years, millions of thoughts, untold effort, careful planning," was the prompt response. "Listen, my son," went on the Old Past Master; "have you ever stopped to think just what Masonry is and does? Masonry is the product of the most unselfish thinking, the most whole-hearted and selfless effort, the world has ever known. Through it a universal brotherhood of millions of men has been brought into being, to any one of which you and I and Brother Filson have the right to turn, sure of sympathy, understanding and some help in time of need. "Through Masonry, a system of philosophy has been evolved, and through its lodges that philosophy is taught to all brethren of the third degree, without money and without price. Through it we learn charity, toleration, courage, fortitude, justice, truth, brother love, relief. Through it we learn, decency, patriotism, high-thinking, honor, honesty and helpfulness. Through it, and all of these, we are made into better men, better citizens, better husbands, better fathers, better lovers, better legislators, better followers of our several vocations.
"Masonry may penetrate only a fraction of an inch beneath the skin of her followers, but by that fraction of an inch the man who takes even a little of her blessings to himself is a better man, and so the world is a better place for the rest of us. In some of us it strikes in deep, deep. We become soaked through and through with Masonic ideas, and strive, in our feeble, human way, to show forth to the world whatever measure we may accomplish of the perfection for which Masonry strives. Those of us who take it seriously and who love it much also make the world a better place for the rest of us. "The lodge provides a spiritual home for brethren who may have no other. If one has another in his church, the lodge gives him a second spiritual home to which he may go once in a while and feel even more strongly, perhaps, than in his church the close touch of his brother's hand, the sweet smile of a brother's love, the supporting arm of a brother's strength. To me, my lodge is a rest, a haven, a harbor for a tired mind. When I come to this lodge, whose destinies I guided so long ago, and which I have watched grow from a fledgling little body to a mature organization, I find myself uplifted, strengthened, made whole again. I may come tired, worn, weary with the day; I leave refreshed, invigorated, helped with the reviving of old truths, the remaking of old vows, the renewing of old ties. "Our ancient brethren had 'cities of refuge,' to which the fleeing man, criminal or oppressed, might run for safety. Masonry is our modern 'city of refuge,' to which we, criminal in intent if we are such, or oppressed with injustice and cruelty, may fly for spiritual comfort and safety, knowing that within the four walls of a lodge is rest and peace and comfort. 20
"All this has the lodge in particular and Masonry in general, offered since the beginning, to all upon whom Masonry lays her gentle hands. You are the recipient of her bounty, as am I. And so is Brother Filson. We three- and all within these wallstake generously and without stint from Masonry's store house of loveliness, of beauty, of rest, and comfort and love.
"Often I ask myself 'what have I done for Masonry, which does so much for me?' Never do I feel that I have done enough. And Brother Filson, whom I do not know, might well ask himself that, before he thinks of what he might do for the lodge in terms of dollars, and prices and business. If, indeed, he has done onetenth for Masonry and the lodge, what lodge and Masonry has done for him, he may hesitate. But if he is like the great, great majority of Masons, content to take much and to give little, willing to receive all and give nothing, careless of the structure which millions have raised in the past that he might benefit, unable to understand that to his hands, too, is committed the torch that those who come after may see clearly, he has need of open eyes, and an understanding heart, which alone may show him that for Masonry, which does so much for men, no man may do enough."
The Old Past Master ceased and sat silent. From a chair across the ante-room a brother rose and came slowly forward. "I do thank you, my brother," he said, "from the bottom of my heart. The Lodge will certainly hear that lecture as soon as the Master wishes it. My name is Filson." This is the eighth 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.
This Paper is a demonstration lecture of a cable and cable-tow that could be given on a Lodge night when there is no Candidate. You only need a couple of pieces of rope.
Considerable discussion has been generated on the difference between a cable and a cable tow, and on whether the burial in the rough sands of the sea (or is it coarse sands) is a cable's length or a cable-tow's length from shore. I propose to explain why such a burial is a cable's length from shore, and to further explore the analogy of the cable and cable tow in Masonic allegory. Our Freemasonry started in Britain, and I think it important to bear that in mind when we are researching questions such as this. What are the traditions there and at that time that would affect the development of the Craft. Clearly, the naval tradition which made Britain a major power from the time of Elizabeth I would have been paramount. In fact, the concepts of cable, cabletow and the burial in our first degree penalty come directly from that naval tradition. To explain, first what is a cable or rope? We start with fibres, which are just a jumbled mess of short pieces or oakum, without
direction or form. If we twist these fibres together, we can make them into a yarn. A yarn, however, is a long way from a rope or cane. In fact, we twist several yarns together to make a strand. A number of strands, usually three, are "laid-up" to form a rope. Three such ropes laid up together makes a cable. Why doesn't a rope simply unravel and leave you with a pile of fibres? It's all in the twist! And, with a couple of brothers to assist, I'll demonstrate. (Two Brothers are invited to take the ends of the rope and twist.) One of you take this end, and you take the other. Now both of you twist it clockwise while you keep some tension on it. (Lecturer continues while Brothers twist.) Rope is made in a similar manner, except that three or more strands are attached at one end to a mechanical device that winds each of them equally. The other end of all the ropes are attached to a free-wheeling bobbin so that they may spin around each other as the twist is applied. Although we aren't doing that here, we'll see the effect if you hold the rope up high and walk towards each other. (Pull centre down as the volunteers approach each other, and then release it to allow the rope to spin around itself. Take the rope from the volunteers. Thank the volunteers and have them take their seats.) Each part of the rope is trying to untwist, but the close contact with its neighbour counteracts the tendency to unravel and causes the strands to wind around each other. The fibres stay together, and this is what gives the cable its strength. Now, all the cables on board a ship are all the same length. That's because of the
length of the ropewalk where they are made. Some are 100 fathoms, some could be as long as 130 fathoms. In the British Navy, the standard length of a cable is one hundred fathoms, or six hundred feet. That was chosen because it is one-tenth of a nautical mile. Thus, the cable is also used as a measure of distance. Now we come to the burial. Life in the British Navy from the time of Elizabeth I to this century was governed by the Articles of War. Each Sunday these Articles were read to the men so that they were constantly reminded of their duty and of the penalties for shirking it. Included in these articles is the penalty for treason. A man found guilty of treason would be hanged from the yardarm and, after being left there for a suitable period of time, would be taken down and buried. To ensure there is no honour to the traitor, the Articles of War specified that burial will be a cable's length or 600 feet from shore. Burial on the tidal flats is neither an honourable burial at sea nor on land. This is where the garbage of both land and sea is thrown together to rot. So when burying a traitor, the navy looked for a large tidal flat and dumped the body a cable's length from shore. In fact, both main anchorages at the time of sail - Spithead and the Nore at the mouth of the Thames and at Portsmouth had such extensive tidal flats. They were also the only places where enough Captains could be brought together to hold a Court Martial. That covers the cable, and the burial. But what about the cable-tow? I mentioned that a cable was a rope of 600 feet. But when a tug is towing a ship, they are almost always more than six hundred 22
feet apart. That's because a cable and a cable-tow aren't the same thing. The cable is a rope of a specific length. When we make up a tow, we might tie or "bend" several cables together. The number of cables needed to make up a tow depend on several factors. First, how heavy is the tow? A light object isn't hard to move, but a heavy one is. A short rope has very little give in it, very little stretch. If you attach it to a light object, it will pull it. (Hold a short rope up between both hands and give a couple of light tugs.) But if you tie it to something heavy (give a sharp tug and let go of one end) it will break before it starts to move the tow through the water. (Give one end of a longer rope to a Brother sitting on the side and walk across the Lodge allowing the rope to loop down towards but not touching the floor. Give a couple of pulls on the rope to demonstrate the ability of the rope to absorb the force of the pull.) As you can see, a longer rope has more stretch and give in it. So, too, with the cable-tow. The tug's force is applied more slowly, giving enough time to overcome the inertia of the disabled ship and get it moving before the cable snaps. The burden of the ship is not the only factor that determines the length of the tow. The condition of the sea is also important. If the sea is calm, a shorter cable-tow is enough. Once you get the tow moving, it will follow smoothly. However, if the sea is rough, then a longer cable is needed. The tow may be trying to climb the back of one wave while the tug is surging down the front of another. If the tow is too short, then there 23
isn't enough give in it to allow the tug and the tow to spend apart. The rope will snap. So the heavier the burden, and/or the rougher the conditions, the longer the cabletow. The point is that the terms we use in Masonry today have their basis in real terms and in real penalties. That gives them both a strength and a sense of purpose to anyone who comes to understand their origins. Brethren, I have now explained the construction of a cable and how it may be used as both a unit of length and as a cabletow. But what, you might ask, has this to do with Freemasonry? The second thing to understand is the depth of meaning available to us in the use of a cable as a metaphor in Masonry. As the cable is made of many parts put together for a common purpose, so might we look at Freemasonry. The cable consists of individual fibres, worked together to form strands. These strands are laid together to make up ropes and the ropes to form a cable. As separate entities, the fibres have little strength. However, when organized into a cable, as we have shown, their strength is immense. So it is with Freemasonry. A Masonic Cable is made from individuals who form a Lodge. Lodges organize into Districts. Districts unite in a Grand Lodge. And as three ropes entwined produce the strong cable, so too does Virtue, Morality and Brotherly Love give strength to Masonry. Further, a cable gains its strength from three equal ropes, laid together. Each rope is as important to the whole as the other. So it is
with the three degrees of Freemasonry. One should not be tempted to forget the lessons of the Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft just because he has been rated to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. As a strong cable is made of three ropes entwined, the strength of a Lodge comes from the Three Great Lights, the Three Lesser Lights, the three principal officers and the three pillars denoting Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. A cable's great strength is only apparent when it is put to use. So it is with Freemasonry. The strength of our craft remains hidden until it is put to use. We can also think of the cable-tow as the bond connecting the individual Brother to his Lodge and to Grand Lodge, those venerable institutions that give direction to a Brother in his journey through life. Consider what we have just learned. The cable-tow, which connects the tug to the barge at sea, is not of a specific length. In fact, the amount of cable let out by the tug as it attempts to direct the course and speed of the barge depends on the condition of the sea and the burden of the tow. The heavier the burden and the rougher the sea, the longer the cable-tow that is necessary. Strange as it may seem, in stormy seas, a tug actually gives more secure guidance and direction with the longer cable-tow. So, too, with our Masonic cable-tow: that bond that binds a Brother to his Lodge and to the Craft. What about the Brother who finds himself encountering stormy seas or who finds the burdens of his responsibilities bear heavily on him? Undue pressure from the Lodge or from his Brothers to attend meetings, participate in degree work or to
"be a good Mason" may cause his cable-tow to snap and sever his bond to the craft. Finally, once the nautical cable-tow is severed, the state of the seas or the poor condition of the disabled ship may make recovery of the tow impossible. The ship is therefore lost while the tug stands by helpless. So might a brother be lost to the craft. And Masonry would be thus impoverished. The Cable: A Paper by Bro. Garth Cochran Calgary Lodge, #23 Alberta.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: What is the meaning of the word "Cable-tow?" What is meant by the reference to its length? Answer: The Oxford English Dictionary contains a number of cable combinations, e.g., "cable-rope, cable-range, cable-stock," etc., but does not give "cable-tow. The word tow has another significance, in addition to pulling or dragging, it also means the fibre of flax, or hemp, or jute. A cable might be made of plaited wire, or of metal links, or of manmade fibres, but the combination "cable-tow" which seems to be of purely Masonic usage, implies almost certainly the natural fibre from which the rope is to be made. The "cables length" is a unit of marine measurements, 1/10th of a sea mile, or 607.56 feet. We use the term "cables length" in two senses: 24
1. "A cables length from the shore," implying that anything buried at that distance out at sea, could never be recovered. 2. "If within the length of my cable-tow." In operative times, attendance at Lodge or assembly was obligatory and there were penalties for non-attendance. Early regulations on this point varied from 5 to 50 miles, except "in the peril of death." In effect, the length of the cable-tow implies that masons were obliged to attend, so long as it was humanly possible to do so.
Question: Why does the Candidate wear the cable-tow while taking his Obligation? He comes of his own free will, yet the cable-tow is a symbol of restraint. Answer: With us, the cable-tow serves the practical purpose of restraint. As a symbol it has several different meanings. I suggest: 1. The implicit duty of regular attendance, 'if within the length of my cable-tow, as noted in another question and in the Obligation of the 3rd degree. 2. Humility, it, the frame of mind in which one enters the order. 3. Submission, to the regulations, tenets and principles of the Craft. 4. The bondage of ignorance until one sees the light, later on.
Question: What is meant by the term "Symbolic Degrees" and "Symbolic Lodges?" 25
Answer: If we look at the whole panorama of Masonry as it has developed in the last 600 years, we find dozens of Rites and hundreds of Degrees with an infinite variety of headings under which they could be classified or grouped. Many of them have been rearranged; many have disappeared. If I try to answer the question as simply as possible, I would say that the term "Symbolic Degrees" is a synonym for the Craft Degrees, as distinct from the so-called "Capitular Degrees," e.g., those associated with Rose Croix and Knights Templar. Personally I greatly prefer the title "Craft Degrees," because they are the only Degrees which owe their origins directly to operative Masonry and which developed entirely out of the Mason Trade itself. All the others are either offshoots or appendages.
Question: Is there any documented account of the date or I year when Masonry, as we know it today, was first practised? Answer: The essence of this question lies in the words 'Masonry, as we know it today'. Our present system was virtually standardized in England around 1813-1816, from materials that had been in existence since the 16th century, materials which had been had been gradually amplified, and later overlaid with speculative interpretation, especially during the second half of the 1700s. I believe it would be impossible to prove the existence of more than one single ceremony of admission during the 1400s. A two degree system came into use during the early 1500s., and in 1598/9 we have actual Lodge minutes (in two Scottish Lodges) of the existence of two Degrees, the first for the 'Entered Apprentice', and the second for
the 'Master or Fellow Craft' with evidence that they had been in use for some considerable time. Outside the Lodge, the Master was an employer and the FC was an employee; but inside the Lodge they shared the same ceremony, which was conferred only upon fully-trained masons. This point is very important when we come to consider the inevitable appearance of a system of three degrees. The earliest minute recording a third degree was in a London Musical Society in May 1725, and highly irregular. The earliest record of a regular third degree in a Masonic Lodge is dated 25th. March 1726, at the second meeting of Lodge Dumbarton-Kilwinning.
Question: Can you explain why Tylers were chosen to serve as outer guards to the Lodge? They were not masons; why should men of an associated trade have been chosen when there must have been plenty of men in the mason trade who cold have served equally well? Answer: A simple question but a number of curious problems rise, and the reason why that particular officer should bear that title is by no means the first of them. The O.E.D. shows, beyond doubt, that the tiler's craft got its name from the actual work of making titles, or from the covering, or roofing of buildings with tiles. (Incidentally, this also applies to the corresponding title in French Freemasonry, le tuileur.) The spelling 'Tyler' appears to be a truly Masonic usage and 0.E.D. quotes from Hone's Every-day Book (1827), 'Two Tylers or Guarders ... are to guard the Lodge with a drawn Sword, from all Cowens and Eves-droppers' (in c. 1742). Early operative records are not very informative, but it is impossible to imagine that the masons on a large scale building job would continually have the services of a
tiler at their disposal to guard their lodge during meetings. The tillers only came on to the job at the end, when virtually all the structural work was finished; theirs was the final stage in the works. This purely practical consideration leads to the conclusion that 'Tyler' in speculative Masonry was simply the name of the office; it was not the trade of man who held the office. Moreover the name 'Tyler' was not universal. In the 1723 Book of Constitutions Anderson could not give a name to the office but ruled on the subject as follows: 'Another Brother (who must be a FellowCraft) should be appointed to look after the door of the Grand Lodge; but shall be no member of it'(Reg. lll, p.63). In the 1738 Constitutions he did use the title 'Tyler', but even in that year the celebrated portrait of the Grand Tyler, Montgomerie, calls him 'Garder of ye Grand Lodge'. Eventually the title 'Tyler' did come into general use for that office, which comprised a variety of duties in the 8th century, including the 'Drawing of the Floor Designs', delivering notice of meetings to members of the lodge, and the preparation of the candidates. The Tyler was virtually a handyman or odd-job man for the lodge; but I cannot trace the title being used in that sense, and the range of duties does not help at all in finding a reason why that officer was called Tyler. I feel that the title of the office had some more-or-less reasoned connection with the actual job of a tyler or tiler- to roof or cover - i.e. protection from the weather, or it may be simply that as the tiler was the last man to work on a building job, so the Tyler, in a speculative lodge, is the last man to leave the lodge, but this is pure speculation. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ were collected from various constitutions across the world.
True Brother Mason Our true Brother Masons are men who have entered this august order with the intellectual and moral conditions necessary to receive the light as we present it and, having been accepted into our Masonic Lodge, pledge to uphold the Masonic ideals which we as Free and Accepted Masons propound. Our true Brother Masons are men transformed into better persons in all aspects of their lives by having been tested in the many vicissitudes incidental to life, and by understanding that the teachings inherent in the Masonic philosophy are true, steadfast, and uplifting, and that by a careful study and practice thereof, may transform themselves into living stones polished and fit for that spiritual building, “eternal in the heavens.” Our true Brother Masons are Brothers who will daily read, study, and apprehend the Masonic ritual and many books incidental to the laborious working of polishing rough stones into perfect ashlars. With zeal, loyalty, sincerity, steadfastness, and perseverance in the study of the Royal art, coupled with spiritual edification, they may hope to finally become beautiful and brilliant cut stones symbolic of our inner transformation from profane man to true Brother of the ancient Craft. Our true Brother Masons are, as said: “always with us in good times and in bad,” and pursues the light of knowledge offered by our august Order to those who, without mental reservation or self evasion, may seek the true light which shines from a higher view and displays itself in all of our thoughts, words, and actions. They will 27
display the “Light of Intelligence,” as is given us so freely by the Grand Architect of the Universe and which they might obtain by a steadfast study of the history and purposes of our ancient and honourable fraternity. Our true Brother Masons are those men who will never give up regardless of adversity. Who offer support and help when another man stumbles; who erect columns where others decry change; who struggle to succeed despite problems that would confound a lesser man; who is always at your side when the lesser man has long departed; who never judges by mistakes but encourages in their correction; who never gives up despite the bloodiest of adversity; who uses their creativity and imagination to achieve the unimaginable; and who strives to deny support to all who would encourage extremism, innuendo, intolerance, or fanaticism. The true Brother Mason will stand forth unconditionally to render help, aid and assistance; to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and bind up the wounds of the afflicted. Our true Brother Mason is bold and brave; unafraid to ask the difficult question; unconcerned that his view may not be the popular view; unrelenting in his zeal for seeing that wrongs are righted, mercies extended, the desolate not forsaken, and that unjust accusations are repudiated. Our true Brother Mason arrives at the moment when his support is needed and departs when the task is accomplished. He is there to intervene when persecution is threatened, or want needs relief. It is his lot to offer protection when savage ideology, religious intolerance, or prejudiced extremism threatens the calm of the Craft. He is the one of whom Christ spoke when he said “no greater love hath a man than that he lay
down his life for his Brother.” That is our true Brother Mason. Our true Brother Mason may have been adorned with the jewels of many stations – or perhaps none. He may have worn upon his lapel the Square of the Master; the Breastplate of a High Priest; the Silver Trowel of a Thrice Illustrious; or the Passion Cross of the Templar Knight. He may have displayed the Jewish yod of the Lodge of Perfection, or the double headed eagle of a Sublime Prince; perhaps the scales of justice exemplifying the Prince of Jerusalem, or the red rose symbol of the Rose Croix. He may wear a banded ring of the 33rd. Degree, Knight of the York Cross of Honour, or the Order of the Purple Cross. He’s the man who shook your hand at the door of the Lodge; who helped an elderly Past Master to use the chair lift rather than struggle up the Lodge steps. He sat next to you in Lodge last night or will tonight. Look around my Brother, our true Brother Mason is everywhere, and he is setting an example for you! By Michael Gillard in Free Masons
WHAT IS MASONIC CHARITY? It is not the mere giving of alms to the distressed, although it is the duty of a Mason to relieve distress wherever he may find it; providing that in doing so he does not injure any one having a prior or natural claim upon his bounty. Masonic charity is as much in the thought and word as in the act.
There are many who give largely of their world’s goods, and yet have very little of that which should be understood by Masons as charity. Charity is Heaven-born, and teaches a Mason that he should regard another’s name and character as he would his own, and never be inclined to spread a scandal about him, without at least giving him an opportunity to be heard in his own defence. All men are prone to err; therefore a truly charitable man will seek to warn another of his errors, not to spread abroad the report that would be likely to crush him before he has actually fallen. And this, perhaps, without the unfortunate person knowing that he has been accused. Charity will cause a true Mason to visit the sick, bury the dead, and educate the orphan. These things may not require the expenditure of money on his part. Sympathy in distress and suffering often costs very little more than personal trouble and an expenditure of spare time. To watch by the bedside of the sick may be monotonous, but the truly charitable man will rarely hesitate to perform such a duty, even if he should not be on a ‘charity committee.’ The mantle of charity is expansive; in fact it has no limit. Its application should be as extensive as from earth to heaven, and it should be always at hand to cover the unfortunate. Then let Masons exercise true charity in all their thoughts, words and actions, and to love their neighbour as themselves.
Source - Alfred F. Chapman. The Liberal Freemason, April 1886 28
THE BACK PAGE The Tools of the Second Degree
As Fellow crafts we have witnessed the presentation of the working tools to the candidate. Also as Fellow crafts we have on former occasions witnessed the presentation of the tools to Entered Apprentices. We now know, or can assume, that each rank has its own set of tools pointing to the peculiar morals taught in the degree. There are many concepts of Freemasonry: what it is, what it does, what it teaches, all of them true in part at least. There is not time now to enter into a long discussion of this idea, but we can all pretty well agree that Masonry is a symbolic journey, either through life, or as a search for truth. As a matter of fact these two thoughts are closely related, for we cannot say that a life is well spent unless at the finish we have learned something of truth. However, a journey or a search it must be, for Masonry is a progressive science, travelling from stage to stage in an ascending scale of being or of doing. For instance, the first degree is symbolic of birth and the start of the journey. Here we are taught the fundamental lessons of life, to put our trust in God, to practice brotherly love and charity to all men. In the second degree we progress onward. During life, as we journey on, we are to improve ourselves by education, by studying the liberal arts and sciences, to build our characters and better fit ourselves for useful lives. 29
The same progression is marked by the tools. As Entered Apprentices we receive the primary working tools, the gauge, the common gavel and the chisel, tools required to do the first rough work, the tools of labour and perseverance. But in the second degree we are given finer tools for finer work, the square, the level and the plumb rule, the tools of the finisher, the tools of the master craftsman, the tools to finish, polish, try and prove the rough work of the apprentice. But remember this, we do not jump from stage to stage in leaps. In our degree system we must of necessity feature only the highlights of the journey, but in actual fact, the progress is slow and steady. Do not forget that while the tools of the Fellowcraft are used to try and prove the work, it still requires the gauge, the gavel and the chisel of the apprentice in the skilled hands of the craftsman to bring the work to its perfect finish. Let us therefore draw this moral, that we are called on to make a daily advancement, that by working diligently with the tools we have, by applying knowledge and understanding to our daily tasks, by learning new methods, we acquire in process of time, new and better and finer tools to do finer, more polished, more worth- while work. Author Unknown
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor 30
The Monthly Masonic Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.