Volume 16 Issue 7 No. 129 November 2020
Cover Story, Some Notes on the Masonic Pavement Truly Prepared More Light Did You Know? Letter Perfect Lodge Sir Michael No. 989 Famous Freemasons – Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne The Old Past Master The Perfect Ashlar Chaos and Harmony Initiation – A Poem Did You Know? The Back Page – The Working Tools of a Prison Officer
Main Website – The Seven Liberal Arts
In this Issue: Cover Story ‘Some Notes on the Masonic Pavement. “A look at the symbolism of the Masonic pavement, and its relationship with the other symbols in Craft Freemasonry.” Page 6, ‘Truly Prepared’ Are we doing enough? Page 9, ‘More Light’ Page 12, ‘Did You Know?’ Questions about the Craft. Page 14, ‘Letter Perfect’ Page 17, ‘Lodge Sir Michael No. 989. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 20, ‘Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne’ Famous Freemasons. Page 23, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “The Pledge”, Sixteenth in the series. Page 25, ‘Reflections.’ The Perfect Ashlar Page 28, ‘Chaos and Harmony.’ The Musings of Julian Rees Page 30, ‘Initiation’ – a poem. Page 31, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 33, ‘The Back Page.’ The Working Tools of a Prison Officer. In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Seven Liberal Arts: A duty to ourselves, our brothers and our gentle craft.’ [link] Front cover –A stock picture of pillars and a mosaic floor. 2
SOME NOTES ON THE MOSAIC PAVEMENT
To detail some of the examples given above let us first begin with the two Pillars of K.S.T. The Mosaic Pavement is composed mainly of Black and White parts generally diamond-shaped. Consider here the Pillars Symbology of the two opposites to be found everywhere in Nature; Male and Female, Negative and Positive, Day and Night, Gravity and Repulsion, the Magnetic North and South Poles, all representing the Duality in the great system of T.G.A.O.T.U. B and J are your Symbol as is also the Black and White of the Mosaic Pavement. Black may it be suggested Symbolises Strength while White means to Establish; one without the other cannot form Stability which is represented by the third point of the Triangle. The shape of the Black and White sections each when divided in half make two Triangles.
The usefulness of the Mosaic Pavement in notes of this description lies in the fact that many of its profound teachings are collateral to the meanings of almost all the other Symbols found in Freemasonry. Various examples are the V.S.L., the two Pillars of the K.S.T., the different variations of the Triangle and its three points, the Officers of the Lodge particularly when thought of numerically as well as individually. After you have considered the further remarks to be made here, you will doubtless find many other relationships that the Mosaic Pavement has with the rest of the Craft's Symbols.
An example, although not strictly correct, which will serve the purpose is the opposites of Gravity and Repulsion. Gravity is Strength and compels or attracts Repulsion to enter into the field to make the opposite necessary to create or establish the second point or condition, both to be stabilized by the appearance of the third point in this case Earth. As the Philosophy of Freemasonry is taught in the main by its Symbols, some of which can be given profound meanings let us consider the following ideas. Take Black as a colour - how is it possible to know that Black is Black unless there is something to compare it with. Obviously White is the answer, for it is the complete opposite to Black. Again the North and South Poles, without the South Pole it would be impossible to acknowledge the existence or presence of the North Pole, and if it were possible to know of the North Pole without
Further, may it be pointed out, the Mosaic Pavement refers to the Universal Laws, i.e., the Laws of T.G.A.O.T.U. in relation to the earthly life of Mankind, as the Centre of our Beings whilst the rest of the Lodge indicates our Outer Selves. Just as the Lodge has these two parts separate yet conjoined so are the Inner and Outer Selves complementary to each other.
knowledge of the South, how would it be possible to know with any certainty that the North Pole was in fact the North Pole? It may perhaps be the South Pole. Refer for consideration to the previous examples; Male and Female, Day and Night, Gravity and Repulsion.
the examples that have been given in these notes? The outer brain or senses are not able to advise correctly as proved in the preceding paragraph. The true explanation is given clearly by the Duality of T.G.A.O.T.U. who created both GOOD AND EVIL but the yardstick is created by the grosser intelligence subject to any deformities it may contain.
To come now to another angle of the opposites. Good and Evil with the variation of God and the Devil. The V.S.L. advises of these opposites, one way in a forthright manner as well as Symbolically giving a profound meaning. Mankind with its individual ideas and characteristics, gives each personality different interpretations of these two opposites which are the answer to the root causes of all our troubles today.
With some further thought on the part of the reader it can be seen that Good and Evil are one and the same thing and out of the combination or joining together of both opposites will be seen one of the greatest Truths in Freemasonry, elsewhere called the Divine Essence and Love. The Black and White sections are equally spread over the Mosaic Pavement, cemented together by the outer border to make one Whole.
Let us examine this matter allegorically. Supposing several people were looking at a particular object, for example, a tree. One who is colour-blind may say it is red. One with myopic eyes will see it distorted another says it is green-one looking through field glasses can see it a different distance to anyone else whilst the blind man is not able to see it at all. They are requested to describe it to someone who has never heard of or seen a tree. Who is he to believe? Each individual will give a totally varied description according to his own notions and as it is translated to his inner brain, and each one is correct in the point of view given.
Nature, may it be suggested, can provide us with a simple example of this combination of Good and Evil. In the Eucalypt forests of Australia there periodically occur the large fires that reduce these forests to a heap of ashes. Out of these ashes spring the new saplings, themselves to be the giants after a period of years. The new replacing the old. You will see in a moment why the Eucalypt Gums are used as an example. The cause of these fires of destruction is the result of the big trees growing so large and old, giving off Eucalyptus Oil vapour or gas especially when the hot sun beats directly down. The wind is prevented from dispersing these gases because the foliage, mainly at the top of the tall trees, acts as a wind-break. Spontaneous combustion occurs and so the fire starts.
Here are five aspects on the one subject all seemingly correct yet who is to judge. Referring to the opposites of God and the Devil or Good and Evil we will see that they are only relative as opposites and the degree of opposition will be determined by each individual according to his own lights.
The forces of Good or Evil have razed the old forest to give way to the new. Can you relate this to the Evil of War and the Good that comes out of it - the impelling Forces
Where is the yardstick that will measure correctly the true relative opposition of all
that direct Man's feet towards his Ultimate Goal.
The perambulations of the candidate around the Mosaic Pavement suggest the idea of Man's descent and ascent into and out of the gross forms of matter - his gross Self takes control over his Inner Self until such time as evolution and incarnation bring him back to T.G.A.O.T.U. The candidate first enters the Lodge in darkness - suddenly after being taught matters which give him a certain amount of light - is in darkness again only to be shown a greater light. In all there are seven perambulations which coincides with the multiples of seven rounds required of Man as incarnations before he again becomes as God - to a reunion with his former companions in toil.
The Eucalypt Gum destroys itself through the vaporizing of the Eucalyptus Oil as well as having the means for regeneration through its roots which give birth to the young saplings. The Mosaic Pavement also symbolises one of the fundamental Laws of T.G.A.O.T.U. bringing a third point to the Duality as is represented by the three points of the Triangle. This is called the Trinity where reference will be found in the New Testament. The Father and the Holy Ghost are the Duality and the third point is Christ. So that Good and Evil, Positive and Negative Male and Female, etc., cannot be manifested on this Earth until the third condition has been created or joined to the other two.
It may be as well to repeat what has been said elsewhere regarding the altered appearance of the Mosaic Pavement in the H.R.A. Degree. In the Craft Degrees the Mosaic Pavement represents Man living with his Outer or Grosser senses surrounding or dominating his Inner Self which is in the Centre, In the middle of the Mosaic Pavement we find the Symbol of a Light indicating that Man does not comprehend its meaning whilst the actual Living Light is suspended from above.
To explain in full detail the relationship of the three points or conditions when brought together in order to create or manifest as gross matter would take many hours of explanation, but the following illustration may give a pointer to further study and contemplation.
On entering the H.R.A. Degree we find the G. has disappeared and Living Light descended to the Centre of the Mosaic Pavement on the floor of the Lodge. This virtually means Man has developed his Spiritual Self sufficiently for it to overcome the Grosser Self and live in Harmony and Love with T.G.A.O.T.U.
In order to make a cake, a scone, a damper or a biscuit, etc., in their simplest form, flour and water are the only ingredients required, but the proportions of the flour and water vary in each case. The third point or condition is the application of heat to cook the mixture to solidify it. Theoretically, the transmutation of atomic elements is achieved in the same manner, but to attempt to revert the cake back to the basic ingredients of flour and water and then add a little of either the flour or water to alter it to a scone mixture would appear to be somewhat difficult.
The time has come, although only in its infancy, when the use and purpose of Symbolism is to be replaced by Mankind's knowledge - the actual living the precepts of the meanings so profoundly hidden in the Symbols of Freemasonry. It may be
incorrect to say that the meaning of the Symbols will entirely replace the Symbols themselves for the time being, as without their aid the teachings and laws of God could not be revealed to Man.
Freemasonry is one of the main lines of descent of the ancient Mysteries even back to the creators of the original System, who were instructed by God to keep inviolate those meanings and secrets until such time as they were to be revealed and to this day have done an excellent job in their preservation.
A slow unfoldment is necessary, but the signs of commencement are to hand. By the time Man has again become â€œAt Oneâ€? with God, Symbology will become a forgotten and needless Art.
Sourced from the Dormer Masonic Study Circle. by Bro. P.J. Gill, United Softgoods Lodge No. 632, Victoria, Australia
Symbols have been handed down from time immemorial, from the dawn of time when Symbols were the first form of Man's attempts at writing, and communication.
It is quite obvious that Symbols have been passed down through the ages by men who must have felt an inner compulsion to do so yet they had only a vague conception as to what the deeper meaning lying beneath was suggesting to them. The ancient legends seem to tell us that God instructed the First Men on this Earth to preserve the "Lost Word," i.e. the Word or Secrets that were to become lost in such manner that when the time arrived for it to be known again, would easily be rediscovered. In the meantime it was necessary to safeguard the hidden secrets from vulgar and unworthy eyes.
Why do so many Masons lose interest in Masonry and drift away from the Lodge? Why do the majority retain only a nominal relation to the Craft? Why is it that hardly 10 percent ever attend any meeting of the lodge, and a still smaller number take an active part in its affairs? What is the meaning of these facts, and how can the problem which they raise be solved? Such questions are much in the minds of the leaders of the Craft everywhere. It is a condition, and not a theory, that confronts us. The influx of members during the Great War, and in the years following it, has subsided. In some states the number of initiates has fallen below pre-war days. The vast mass of those who came in on the impulse of war-time are now numbered among the casual Masons. The feeling grows that something is wrong, and that we must seek to set it right, if we are to have an alert and active Masonry.
It may be supposed that as Man improved his system of writing he gradually forgot the meaning of the original writings which then came to be called Symbols, when at the same time his Grosser, Outer Self took control from the Inner Self and turned a deaf ear to what it had to say concerning those Symbols. In this manner God preserved His Secrets. All the Mystery Systems have their own sets of Symbols with little variation in the designs from one System to another.
Just now many jurisdictions are working on this problem with the leaders of the Grand
Lodges, and we beg to give here the findings arrived at, both as to the meaning of the fact and the method of dealing with it. Clearly we have failed "to set the Craft to work and give them proper instruction," or else they would not drop out of our membership, or regard Masonry as merely another Order to "belong to" and nothing more. To that end, we must begin at the beginning and lay the basis of a real Masonic life.
Such information or impression can be obtained by examining him as to his attitude toward Masonry. Why is he applying? What induced him to take this step? What is his opinion of Masonry and upon what does his opinion rest? It should be emphasized, in plain terms, that his privilege of membership in the Craft carries with it certain obligations that will rest upon him toward the Craft. It must be explained to the applicant that it is the business of Masonry to teach the virtues of the moral life - chastity, charity and service - and his known attitude in regard to these matters ought to determine whether he is a man fit for the fellowship of the Fraternity.
What is needed is extra-ritualistic preparation of the man applying for the Degrees before, during and after his reception into the Lodge. Of the three the first, if not the most vital, is surely profoundly important, and it has been almost entirely neglected. Let any man recall, if he can, his state of mind regarding the Craft when he knocked at its door, and he will realize that he had but the faintest idea of what Masonry is and of what it meant to be initiated into it.
Also, care must be taken to impress upon the applicant the fact that the moral life obtains its sanction and authority from Spiritual Faith. He ought to be asked, not obtrusively but candidly and earnestly, his ideas regarding God. If he has not clearly confronted his mind with the Supreme Reality, he ought to be asked to do so. No man who is uncertain about God, or who treats the idea of God as a piece of Lodge furniture, has any place in a Masonic Lodge.
The method now proposed takes account of that fact, and takes him in hand as soon as he has expressed a desire to join the Lodge, and even before he has made his application for the Degrees.
It is important that an applicant should know what duties devolve upon him as a member of a Lodge. Such as acquaintance with the ritual and other items of Masonic information.
In this way, by making strict inquiry of an aspirant for the Degrees to see if he has in him the stuff of which a Mason may be made, no end of embarrassment may be avoided, and the Craft Strengthened or protected accordingly. The first duty of the committee, as well as the last, is to see whether or not the man before them has the qualities of character which will enable him to add to the good name and integrity of the Craft, and also whether he will actually make such a contribution. In short, is he in his daily life and acts going to be a Mason, in fact, or in name only?
Attendance upon the Lodge as a duty, and whether or not he is in a position to attend. Whether he is willing to assist in the work of the Lodge, by serving on Committees or otherwise. As to his financial obligation can he afford what it will be necessary for him to spend? When his petition has been voted upon, along with his notice of election the applicant ought to receive a copy of the
pamphlet entitled "Preparation," with the request that he read it carefully. After he has received the entered Apprentice Degree he should be given a birds-eye view of Masonry, so to put it, showing geographical distribution in Grand Lodges, both at home and abroad. He will realize that Masonry encircles the earth. He ought to be told of the leading men in his country who are and have been Masons, if only to let him see what kind and quality of men the Craft attracts and develops.
fashion in which the oath was sealed and why. He ought to know the Due-Guard and Sign of the Degree, and when and how they are to be used in the Lodge. It is not enough to tell him these facts. He ought to be fully clothed, and asked to enter and retired from the Lodge in the proper manner. A candidate is in novel surroundings, and while he does not remember all that is told him, it is not easy for him to forget what he acts out. In a like manner, the Second degree is to be studied, showing in what ways it differs from the First, in the greater inclusiveness of the obligation, as well as in its emphasis upon the arts and sciences, with particular reference to Geometry and its meaning and use by the Craft. The initiate is asked to read the materials he has been given before taking the third degree. It is a pity that neither the ritual nor the lecture tells us the meaning of the Great Degree, which has in it the sublime secret of Masonry and of life itself. All effort must be made to get the initiate to grasp the truth with which it deals - the truth of the Eternal Life.
It is not an accident that Masonry lures strong men and makes them stronger. Its teachings are the basic principles of civilized society, the very ground-work of Church, State and Home. Every man needs to realize that the truths of Masonry are not secret, but only the method and symbols by which they are taught. The parts of our ceremonies which are secret ought to be pointed out, and the candidate cautioned about disclosing what he has received. Those who "Post" the candidate on the "Work" of the Degree ought to tell him something of what it means, after the manner of the "Intenders" in the old Lodges of Scotland. Such a book as "The Symbolism of the Three Degrees," by Street, is useful for this purpose, not that it should be read to the candidate, but its facts told him as he goes along.
Having received the Degrees of Masonry, an initiate needs to know something of the regulations of the Craft, its constitution, its Landmarks; and the nature and authority of the Grand Lodge under whose obedience he lives. It is only fair to tell him the relation of the Blue Lodge to other Masonic Bodies, both York Rite and Scottish Rite; and in a way to emphasize the supremacy of Craft Masonry. It will be useful for him to know and pf other organizations, while made up of Masons, are not Masonic any more than any club made up of Masons is Masonic. More important still is the etiquette of the Craft, in the Lodge and outside, and the discretion necessary in making himself known as a Mason, or in responding to the advances of others.
He should know the use of the Tools of the Craft, the meaning of the Great Lights especially the Great Light; its teachings about Brotherly Love, Relief, and Faith; its cardinal virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. As in the Scottish Lodges, the obligation should be explained, particularly the figurative character of its penalty, and the
Such simple things about Masonry and how to use it ought to be taught to every Mason in the Lodge; and such extra-ritualistic instruction that Grand Lodge proposes to give the men who enter its fellowship using the literature and other helps prepared by them. It is hoped that other Grand Lodges will take up the plan, or some other equally good, in simple fairness to men who are made Masons - that they may be duly and truly prepared for the better appreciation and service of the Craft. Some of us, looking back, wish very much that we had been thus set to work and taught the meaning and uses of our tools.
MORE LIGHT Now that which is that subtle essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self ; and thou, O Svetaketu, art it. (The Upanishads, Esoteric instructions to students.) For thus it is that in yourself you see other selves, In your family you see other families, In your district you see other districts, In your country you see other countries, In your society as a whole you see the great society of man. How otherwise am I to know that the Great Society is what it is? Only by means of the this." To know this harmony means to know the never-changing element in life, To know the never-changing means to have the Light. Tao Te Ching, The authoritative book concerning the Way of Distinctive Power. By Lao Tzu. I am that I am. (Hermes. Egyptian school at Heliopolis.) Know Thyself. (Temple of Delphi.) Love the ruler, the I am that I am, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is similar to it ; Love your fellow being as your Self. (Christian Gospels.) Cogito Ergo Sum: I think; therefore I am. (Rend Descartes, 1644.) Esse est percipi: To be is to be perceived. (George Berkeley, 1710.) Act so that the maxim on which you act would allow its being adopted as a law by all rational beings. (Immanuel Kant, 1787.) Existence precedes essence. (Jean-Paul Sartre, 1947.) The heaven and the earth are one in the man of enlightenment. The outer (yang) and the inner (yin), the that and the this are seen by the inner mind of man. The outer senses lead
The adoption of such a plan by an old and great Grand Lodge marks a long step in the right direction - a new epoch in Masonic education, of which we have heard so much and seen so little result. It is like a dream come true, the full meaning of which few can realize save those who have worked and planned for years to see it become a fact. Such things we can do together, each borrowing from the wisdom of the other. Those of us who had to wait long and work hard for information about Masonry which should have been taught us by our mother Lodge.
Sourced from the Dormer Masonic Study Circle by Bro. Rev. Rolf Gledhill, M.A., B.D.,
to illusion and ignorance; the inner sense of the mind leads to illumination. Thus each of us requests of his higher Self: More Light! The ignorance of man is his only sin under which he suffers. Sin is like a shadow in a darkened room. The shadow has no reality when the light shows. The shadow is an illusion which must be cast out if we want to see what is in the corners of the room. Guilt, sin, and sickness come because of ignorance of the laws of the universe. To cast out each of these shadowed illusions, man must learn the laws of the universe, live in harmony with them, and he will be freed from their shadow. If a man would be freed from physical destruction he should refrain from jumping from bridges like the Golden Gate, at San Francisco. Each man is free from the karmic law of the consequences from such a jump, if he knows the law and abides by it. Man is not a prisoner of the law of gravity if he lives in harmony with it. He is freed from the law of cause and effect if he does not set up the particular cause which will produce a particular effect. Guilt, sin, and sickness occur because of rebellion to, or disharmony with the laws of the universe. Guilt is a psychological disharmony produced by an act or actions performed against the rights of other people. Sin is a religious concept of this guilt. Sickness is a psychic or physical disturbance brought about by lack of harmony with laws of mental or physical health. Thus for man to remove sin, sickness, or guilt he should search for the light of knowledge about the laws of health. The laws of health are procured by a diligent study of physiology, psychology, philosophy, and perhaps a little astrophysics to "remove the corrupted courses of the mind." The heavens produce man, the earth on which he moves, and the laws by which ho operates. The laws of harmony exist for man
withal his mental comprehension of the environment - the greater world, and the universe in which he lives. Know the laws of your Self and you will know the law of harmony in the universe. Look outward, look inward, and harmonize the two. Therein lies your freedom and your happiness. The thinking of man makes possible the self-realization of his being. Thinking and being are reciprocal. The interaction of the two develops in the initiate a realization of the greater Self - the law which operates for all men. To be aware is to be. To sleep when you should be awake is to submit to the opiate of the shadows. This is illusory and will get you "nowhere fast." If you want self-mastery, increase awareness of all things animate or inanimate. This awareness is a paradox, cyclical, according to the laws of nature. To think is to exist; to exist is to think and to become aware. Perceive your lower Self, transmute its functions, let it function choose according to the Law - the higher Self will perceive all things. You are that higher Self inasmuch as you are. You can realize yourself as an atom, a stone, a lower animal desire, but none of these things can realize your Self. Only the ONE SELF can think, exist, be, perceive, or reason. You are that Self. This realization is the Cosmic Consciousness. This is illumination, or soteria, salvation from the wheel of the universe. It can be achieved at any timespace continuum. The ONE exists in the many in all time and space. You can gain this realization at any step along the way. Let us examine one of the historic statements and ascertain what is involved in this matter of "more light," or illumination. One instance of awareness is the I AM THAT I AM, the famous Hermetic tetragrammaton. It is symbolized in the
interlaced triangle, sometimes called the star of David. Here is an explanation of some of the above statements: I think, I am, and I act I AM THAT I AM the following: "I" am an animal with a body and senses and six to preserve the self here and hereafter. I assert that "I AM" begotten, not made from nothing, being of the same nature as that by which I am begotten. I am begotten of the universe. I think "I AM THAT" existence from which I am which includes the universe. I assert this because I am IT. I know that "I AM THAT I" by my own nature, coming from the mind of the one heaven which is good, sometimes called the one God. I love "I AM THAT I AM," my father, God, because I realize myself. Since this world is become, will is come, life is here for my food, I have no debt because I am that I am. In this I live and move, and have my being. If I choose not to live: this is evil ; for I am the love in the kingdom and the glory and the power from ages to ages. As is pointed out in the Bagavad-Gita, action is essential in order to possess Selfawareness. Each action produces a karmic condition under which you are bond or free, according to your attribution of determinism or freedom to others. If all the world is a prison, you are the prisoner - you have placed yourself in a prison. If you say that the stars compel, then you are compelled by your own thought. You are the prisoner. If all the world is free, then you are free. If you say the world is a prison and you act freely, your words are a lie to your actions. So the principle applies to all thought and actions. Thoughts and deeds are functions of your own being. If you attribute hypocrisy, incompetence, vileness, to the statements or actions of others - you are what you think. If you say yes to an accusation and act no, the action will prevail. If the answer is no and
the action is yes, the action will set up a law which will act for all men - the law will be a law of yes - agreement. What you act and what you think are what you are. The action prevails on three functions of man: (1) the One intelligence (nous) from which he gains his power; (2) the psychic (soul) action in self-consciousness or awareness; and (3) the actions performed in a physical world. All three of these realms are really one, but can be realized only when divided in function. Division does not take away from the Oneness of the Self. The lower self is realized in the greater Self. The animal ego of body, senses, atoms, and sex is realized by the thinking Self, which is One. When the harmony of the One pervades the lower self, this is illumination. The upper Self gives MORE LIGHT emotionally, intellectually, glandularly, physically, materially, psychically, theologically, any otherly. The pervading nature of the One asserts that "I" am an animal, begotten, projected (I am that), identified (I am that I), and assumed (I am that I am) in Self-conscious reality with the one God. It is said by the Christians, "You are Gods," Thus it is: you, personally, are a God - the One God if you realize it. Your Will is free, the universe is your body, ever-changing but paradoxically always the same; your harmony with the universe reveals to yon that because of your obedience to the law of Karma, you are free from destructive or illusive consequences. You are here because you choose to live under the GREAT LIGHT in harmony with the Oneness in your innermost being. You love because you choose to love, to let your LIGHT so shine MORE before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. The kingdom of Heaven is within YOU! Ask and you shall receive MORE LIGHT to enlighten, to live, and to be - GOD! "MORE LIGHT !"
became Bishop of Meath, and Archbishop of Armagh in 1625. He moved to England in 1640 and, after sojourns at Carlisle and Oxford, he reached London to become a preacher at Lincoln's Inn from 1647 to 1654. He died in 1656 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: The year on an Application Form is shown as A.L. Why? Answer: The A.L. - Annum Lucis (In a year of light) appears on many Craft Documents. Our system of Masonic chronology is based on a pre-Christian tradition that the Messiah (Christ) would be born 4000 years after the Creation of the Universe, so that the calendar, in early Christian times, counted the Creation (Annum Lucis) as 4000 B.C.
Question: We are told that the Fellowcrafts were paid there wages in specie. Could you provide some background as to what this entailed? Answer: Specie. The word has several meanings, but in the passage to which your question refers, it means ―Coin or money‖ in the actual form of minted pieces of metal‖ (O.E.D.) You will recall that our Lecture says;... The E.A.’s received a weekly allowance of corn, wine and oil; the F.C.’s were paid their wages in specie.... William Preston in his lecture on the Second Degree, Section 1, Clause 11 said, “The wages of a F.C. consisted of a certain allowance of corn, wine, and oil, to each lodge and a sum of money to each F.C.” ( A.Q.C. 83 p. 203)
In 1611, Bishop James Ussher published his famous Chronology with the computation of 4004 years up to the beginning of the Christian era, and many editions of the Authorized version of the Bible printed his dating in the margins. In the 18-19th centuries, the Craft adopted Ussher's system, though generally using the round figure of 4000, with consequent problems when we find documents by different hands using Ussher's 4004.
The earliest probable date for this text would be c. 1800, but I have been unable to trace the earliest appearance of this idea of the F.C.’s wages in cash. Pritchard, in his Fellowcraft’s Degree in Masonry Dissected, 1730 had a question on wages;
The various bodies representing additional Rites use different systems of dating, based usually on some notable event in their Ritual, but I dare not confuse you further. Editor's Note: Bishop James Ussher 15811656) mentioned in the answer was born in Dublin on January 4, 1581. Unfortunately he is remembered more for his claim that the earth was created in 4004 B.C., than for the numerous learned books he wrote. He was ordained in 1601, although under canonical age and was appointed Professor of Theological Controversies in 1607, holding that post until 1621, as well as that of ViceChancellor from 16141617. In 1621 he
Q; Where did you receive your wages? A. In the middle chamber. It seems likely that the word “Wages” may have been the source of the later emphasis on “Specie” The Bible says that King Solomon sent wheat, barley, wine and oil to Hiram King of Tyre for his servants who prepared the stone
and timber for the temple, There is no mention, however of E.A.’s or F.C.’s I can find no record, in the Old Testament story of K.S.T., of Solomon’s or Hiram’s workmen being paid in specie.
(1 Kings VII, 16; 2 Chron. 111,15). Later in the story, 1 Kings VII, 41 speaks of 'the two bowls of the chapiters that were on top of the two pillars', and 2 Chron. IV, 12 uses the word 'pommels' instead of bowls.
Those two grades E.A.’s and F.C.’s are a piece of typical embroidery added by later Masonic enthusiasts, to the original story. Our ritual has suffered considerably from these men, who, whenever they saw a gap believed that a detail had been omitted, hastened to fill it with pure invention, often with dreadful results.
My Barker Bible, printed in 1616, illustrates one of the pillars, with a capital surmounted by an ornamental sphere and a marginal note says 'The height of the chapiter or round ball upon the pillar of five cubits height'. We cannot be certain of the ornament at the top of the chapiter, because the orig;nal Hebrew word,'Gooloth', has many meanings, all relating to spheres to globes, bowls or basins.
P.S. In the story of the Temple of Zerubabel, built with the help of Cyrus, King of Persia, there is a record of the masons being paid in money:
In our English Lecture on the Second T.B., we say they were ...two spherical balls, on which were delineated maps of the celestral and terrestrial globes, pointing our Masonry universal.
They gave money also unto the masons and to the carpenters and meat and drink and oil unto them of Zidon and to them of Tyre (Ezra. 111, v. 7)
There is positively no Biblical authority for this statement. It is a piece of gratuitous Masonic embroidery, by no means convincing, since we know that it refers to a time when everyone believed that the world was flat!
Question: What is a 'Chapiter'? Answer: A chapiter is the capital of a column, i.e. the ornamental head, or crown at the top of a column; its upper surface being flat, to take the architrave or crossbeam.
Question: What is veiled allegory? Answer: There is an error in this question. It is not the allegory that is veiled. We use the allegory to veil our teachings. The best simple definition will explain my meaning: Allegory: to describe one subject in the guise of another,
I suspect however, that this question relates to the chapiters mentioned in our Lecture on the Second Tracing Board. In that case, the normal architectural definition would not suffice. The two pillars in that Lecture were free-standing columns; they did not support any part of the structure and their chapiters carried an additional ornament. The Biblical accounts in the Authorized Version of both Kings and Chronicles speak of 'the chapiters, each five cubits in height'.
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.
Why, then. this insistence upon an exact memorization of the “Words” of the Ritual? Why do we lay so much stress upon the successful employment of a mighty memory? Why do we insist that those who confer degrees should spend painful hours in long and arduous study in order that certain sentences, often of an involved and oldfashioned construction, may be uttered in a certain way only, and only in a certain way for the instruction of candidates?
“We put too much emphasis on Ritual, and not enough on the higher things in Masonry!” How often have we heard that said; how often some of us have said it! A statement which has the ring of authority often passes for fact. So accustomed are we to the voice of the boss, the law or the minister that we get out of the habit of questioning, “Is it True?” Yet it will be of use to us here to question closely and ascertain if too much emphasis “IS” put upon ritual.
Yet there are several reason why Ritual is important. Let us examine and see for ourselves that there really are explanations of the need for memorization. One of the great appeals of Freemasonry, both to the profane and the initiate, is its antiquity. The Order can trace an unbroken history of more than two hundred years in its present form (the first Grand Lodge was formed in 1717), and has irrefutable documentary evidence of a much longer existence in simpler forms. There is very complete circumstantial evidence that Freemasonry is the legitimate and only heir to guilds, societies, organizations and systems of teaching which run so far back into the past that they are lost in the mists which shroud antiquity.
It is easy enough to state what Ritual is certain words arranged in a certain way, which have come down to us, so we say, from time “Immemorial” and by means of which we confer degrees, and impart Masonic teachings to novices, and incidentally, to the brethren who attend lodge. But when we ask “Why is Ritual?” the answer is not so easy. We have before us constantly the example set by school, college, tutor and student; knowledge is knowledge whether given in a set form or otherwise. “Twice two is equal to four” is no more true than is “four is the product of two multiplied by two.” We can say two time two, or twice two, two by two; and express exactly the same truth. We learn no words by rote, when we study history.
Our present Rituals - the plural is used advisedly, as no two jurisdictions are exactly at one with another on what is correct in Ritual - are source books from which we prove just where we came from, and, to some extent, just when. For instance, the penalties are so obviously taken from some of the early English Laws, that no sensible student can believe that they were invented or fist used, let us say, in the time of King Solomon.
The medical student learns geography of the body, but not the heart. Everywhere it is shown to us that real knowledge does not depend upon a certain form of words, and that it is the fact, not the word, which is the important thing.
If we alter our Ritual, either intentionally or by poor memorization, we gradually lose the many references concealed in our words and sentences, which tell the story of where we came and when. It is a beautiful thing to do as all have done who have gone this way before us. To say the same words, take the same obligations, repeat the same ceremonies that Washington underwent, gives us feeling of kinship with the Father of this country which no non-Mason may have, But this we must lose if we change our Ritual, little by little, altering it by poor work; forgetting or leaving words out.
If then, in spite of us, alterations creep in by the slow process of time and human fallibility, how much faster will the Ritual change if we are careless, indifferent, or in open rebellion against established Masonic tradition? The further away we get from our original source, the more meticulously careful must trustworthy Masons be to pass on to posterity the work exactly as we received it. The Mason of olden time could go to his source for re-inspiration and re-instruction we cannot. Ritual is the thread which binds us to those who immediately preceded us, as their Ritual bound them to their fathers, our grandfathers. The Ritual we hand down to our sons, and their son’s sons, will be their bond with us, and through us, with the historic dead. To alter that bond intentionally is to wrong those who come after us, even as we have been wronged where those who preceded us were care-less or inefficient in their memorization and rendition of the Ritual.
Time is relative to the observer; what is very slow to the man may be very rapid to nature. Nature has all the time there is. To drop out a word here, put in a new one there, eliminate this sentence and add that one to our Ritual - a very few score of years - the old Ritual will be entirely altered and become something new. We have a confirmation of this. Certain parts of the Ritual are printed. The expressions in these printed paragraphs are, practically and universally the same in most of our jurisdictions. Occasionally there is a variation, showing where some Committee on Work and Lectures has not been afraid to change the work of the Fathers. But, as a whole, the printed portion of our work is substantially what it was when it was first composed and phrased, probably by Preston and Dermott. But the “Secret Work,” given between portions of the printed work, is very different in many of our jurisdictions. Some of these differences, of course, are accounted for by different original sources, yet even in two jurisdictions which had the same source of Freemasonry and originally had the same work, we found variations, showing that “Mouth To Ear” no matter how secret it may be, is not a wholly accurate way of transmitting words.
It is not for us to say “This Form of Words is Better Because They are Plainer,” any more than it is for us to say that we can build a “Better” Temple than Solomon erected, or write a “Better” document than the Constitution of the United States. “But we amend the Constitution!” some brother may argue. Aye, we amend it, but we do not alter it. We keep the old, just as it was written, and write our amendments separately, And we have been obliged to amend the Masonic procedure of our progenitors in many ways. Modern times require modern methods. But we can add to our procedure without changing our Ritual. Every Masonic Book on symbol-ism is an addition, but it is not a change. Every lecture delivered by a student of Masonry may open up a new vision, but it is not a change in the old. To amplify, explain, expound is but to
give that “Good and Wholesome Instruction” which a Master is sworn to do, but all that may be done without in any way altering the fundamentals of our methods of teaching.
degrees will depend not only the kind of Mason he becomes, but in some respects, the judgment the world will make of Masonry, since it can only judge of the institution from the individual.
But there is a great and more important reason than any of these. Freemasonry is not a thing, but a system of thought. It is not something that may be bought or sold – it can only be won. We may not wrap up Freemasonry in a package and give to an initiate. All we can do is to lead him to the gate, beyond which lies the field which he may till, the mine in which he may dig, the treasure house from which he may help himself. Our duty is to lead him so that the way is clear - to give him instructions in such a way that he cannot miss the path.
The impression make upon him will depend very largely on the character of the work we do - the care and attention we have given to its preparation - the ease with which the dear old words come from our hearts and lips. Any one, with time and attention, can memorize Ritual. But it is not enough merely to know it and deliver it so it sounds, as something learned by rote, parrot like, unimpressive. We may not speak as an orator speaks; we may not have his personality and the impressiveness of the actor, but we all can, if we only will, attain the perfection of letter-knowledge; we can learn our Ritual so that it becomes a part of us, and give it forth with ease and clarity, if not with fire and force. The vast majority of Ritualists are but indifferent elocutionists; Freemasonry neither expects nor extracts a very high standard of delivery from us, her servants. But to make up for that which nature has denied us, we owe to Freemasonry that willingness to study, that care in preparation, that interest in perfection which alone will enable us to pass on to these who are to be our Brothers, her teachings, her instructions, the Holy fire concealed in her old, old words. Be not discourage then, if Ritual “Comes Hard.” Fail not in the task, nor question that it is worth while, for on what we do, and on the way in which we do it depends in a large measure the Freemasonry of the future. As we do well or ill, so will those who come after us do ill or well.
This we do by our ceremonies, our Ritual. In our Ritual is contained the germ of all those philosophical and moral truths which Freemasonry teaches. In our Ritual is at least one explanation of our symbols. In the Ritual are the real secrets of Freemasonry made plain for those who have ears to hear. If we memorize our Ritual badly, we put the emphasis on the way we say it, not on what we say. If we omit or interpolate, we change the instructions which generations of Masons have found to be effective. If we do not pass on to others what we have received, just as we have received it we handicap those who profess to teach, and thus can have no right to complain if they do not become good Masons, but merely lodge members. A candidate comes among us, knowing nothing of the Fraternity beyond the fact that it is an association of men in an Order which has had the approbation of leaders of men for hundreds of years. Upon the impression we make upon him when he takes his
Sourced from the STB Vol. IV No. 11 — November 1926 . Author Unknown.
Lodge Sir Michael No. 989
thedeveloping community is, appropriately enough, in the minutes of a Masonic Lodge in 1776, some 129 years before Lodge Sir Michael applied for its Charter. The minutes of Lodge Greenock Mounstewart Kilwinning record that “on the 5th August 1776 the Lodge met in Kilmacolm to pay the compliment to the Brethren residing in that Parish. Many Loyal Toasts were drunk and songs sung before the Members departed. The sum of ten shillings was left in Bro. William McKenzies hand, to be distributed to the poor householders of Kilmacolm”. This is an early example of Masonic Charity within the community, which example Lodge Sir Michael has followed since its Consecration in 1905. With the expansion of industry and trade on Clydeside and the extension of rail links between Glasgow, Kilmacolm, Greenock and Gourock, Kilmacolm was becoming an area where industrialist were to build country homes and mansions. It was perhaps inevitable that amongst the incoming residents and workers to the expanding village, there would be a number of Freemasons. These Brethren, wishing to enjoy Masonic Fellowship, and play their part in developing the social and charitable fabric of the community, were determined to constitute a Lodge in Kilmacolm.
An early Christian settlement was created in the area around the 7th - 8th centuryA.D. The name Kilmacolm appears to confirm the local legend that St. Columba, on his missionary travels, actually visited the area bearing his name. Kilmacolm is derived from the Scottish Gaelic for “Church Of My Columba”. “Cill” = Church; “mo” = of my; “Colm” or “Coluim” = Columncille or Columbus. The spelling “Kilmacolme” was recorded in 1205. Other spellings have included “Kilmacolmbe” in 1695, and even Kilmalcolm, which led some to believe an erroneous connection to King Malcolm.
In January 1905, WM. Wills Wilson, Master Mason of Lodge Houston, St Johnston No 242, PM of Lodge Caledonia, No 490, Mumbai, India, Past Senior Grand Warden, District Grand Lodge of India, and other Master Masons “in good standing” of the Lodges mentioned against their respective names, being anxious to commence and carry on their Masonic Labours, petitioned the Grand Lodge for a
This early Christian settlement slowly developed into a hamlet and from thence to the status of a small Village. The first record of social and charitable activity in
Charter Constitution and Erection empowering them to meet a regular Lodge at Kilmacolm, by the name of Sir Michael.
Duncan, Thomas Lochead, John Lang, James Brown, John Hatrick, Jas. Noble, John McKee, John Shephard, Duncan C. McNaughton, Mathew Watson, Daniel Gibson, J.O. Leitke, Henry Wylie Walker, Wm. Webster, A Peder Fyfe, John Millar and others praying for the Charter of a Lodge at Kilmacolm.
This petition was submitted to all Lodges in the Province throughout January and February, meeting with unanimous approval in all. The Petition was then submitted to Provincial Grand Lodge on Tuesday 11th April, where it was unanimously agreed to recommend submittal to Grand Lodge. The petition was received in Grand Lodge on 15th April 1905.
The prayer of the Petition was granted and a Lodge erected under the title Sir Michael, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire West and to meet there.
The Petition stated that the Lodge was to be called Sir Michael. A better choice could not have been made. Sir Michael Robert Shaw-Stewart, 7th Baronet of Ardgowan, member of parliament and Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire was also a very active and enthusiastic Freemason. He was an initiate of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No 12, Provincial Grand Master of Scotland for nine years (1873-1882), a member of the Supreme Council Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite from 1875-1891 and Sovereign Grand Commander of that body from 18911893.
Composition on initiation of members to be ÂŁ3 - 3/- and not under that amount. The sum of 11/6 to be paid to Grand Lodge for each member initiated. Kilmacolm now had a Lodge. It is interesting today to consider the five Lodges who also received their Charters on May 4th 1905;
The Brethren of Kilmacolm did not have long to wait before the announcement was made that Charters for six new Lodges had been granted, one of which being for Lodge Sir Michael, No 989, Kilmacolm.
Lodge No. 985, St Modan, (at Taynuilt, Argyllshire) Lodge No. 986, Capetown Kilwinning Lodge No. 987, Thistle, (at Durban, Natal South Africa) Lodge No. 988, Dunedin, (at Cradock, The Cape, South Africa) Lodge No. 990 Weenan County, (at Estcourt, Natal, South Africa)
The entry in Grand Lodge Chartulary reads as follows:
The above summary of Lodges demonstrates the universality of Scottish Freemasonry.
Sir Michael No 989 Kilmacolm 4th May 1905 Renfrewshire West
On Wednesday 14th June 1905 Lodge Sir Michael was consecrated. The ceremony of Consecration was carried out by the RWPGM, Sir Hugh Shaw-Stewart, ably assisted by a large deputation of Provincial Grand Lodge Office Bearers. The prospect of a Masonic Lodge gripped the imagination
Petition presented to Grand Lodge on the fourth day of May 1905, in name of Wm. Wills Wilson, Wm A. Sloan, Thomas
of the population of Kilmacolm and district, and on the day of Consecration there were twenty one applicants awaiting Initiation.
anticipation. It was the day that their new Temple was Consecrated and Dedicated. It should come as no surprise to anyone following the fortunes of Lodge Sir Michael since its inception that the fortitude and enthusiasm of the Brethren over the years would culminate in one of the greatest and most memorable days in the Lodges history, the celebration of its Centenary.
The first meeting place of the Lodge was in the Old School Hall, where it continued to meet until 1963. THE LODGE IN DARKNESS Due to the war years, 1940 - 1945, Lodge Sir Michael ceased to work. This was due to a number of reasons, none more so than the youth of the time being conscripted, and also that the usual meeting places of Lodges were being requisitioned for use by local Military authorities.
Saturday 3th April 2005 proved to be a beautiful spring day, perfect for such an important occasion. By early afternoon the Temple was filled with around 150 Brethren from Lodges within and outwith the Province of Renfrewshire West. There was a magnificent Deputation of Office Bearers from the Provincial Grand Lodge, led by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. Alexander Galbraith.
THE LODGE RESUMES In 1945, the dark clouds of war gave way to the happy light of peace, and like many other Lodges, Lodge Sir Michael looked forward to resuming Masonic activity. Brethren of the Lodge would have been very much aware that time was against them and that they only had ten years to restore the Lodge to its former strength and place in the community, for in 1955 they would celebrate the Lodges Jubilee.
All information contained within our History section was taken from â€œA Historical Summaryâ€?, researched and published by Bro. J.D. Turpie PM, Lodge Firth Of Clyde, Gourock, No. 626. This History of Lodge Sir Michael No.989 was sourced from the Lodge Facebook page. (Please visit the website at this link; here.
A NEW TEMPLE AND A NEW BEGINNING In early 1960 the Brethren of Lodge Sir Michael purchased premises for their own Masonic Temple. The premises purchased, situated in Glebe Road, had previously been the Church Hall of the Original St. Columbas Church in the village. Saturday 14th December 1963 was the day that the Brethren of Lodge Sir Michael had been looking forward to with keen
were very successful businessmen within the town of Newtownards, County Down. Blair Mayne attended the local Regent House Grammar School and it was there that his talent for rugby union became evident. He played for the school 1 st XV as well as the local Ards Rugby Football Club from the young age of 16. Mayne also excelled in cricket and golf as well as becoming a marksman in the rifle club.
Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne
On leaving school he studied law at Queen's University of Belfast, studying to become a solicitor, and it’s during his time at University he took up boxing, and reached the final of the Irish Universities Heavyweight Championship in 1936, but beaten on a points decision. The following year he won the Scrabo Golf Club President’s Cup with a handicap of 8. Mayne’s ability at Rugby had not gone unnoticed and in 1937 he gained his first full Ireland cap when he played in a match against Wales. After he played five more times for Ireland as a lock forward, Mayne was selected for the 1938 British Lions tour to South Africa. A South African newspaper stated after his first Test match stated that Mayne was, “outstanding in a pack which gamely and untiringly stood up to the tremendous task”. He played in seventeen of the twenty provincial matches and in all three tests. South Africa won 2 to 1!
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Blair "Paddy" Mayne, DSO & Three Bars (11 January 1915 – 14 December 1955) was a British Army soldier from Newtownards, capped for Ireland and the British Lions at rugby union, lawyer, a champion amateur boxer and a founding member of the Special Air Service (SAS). During the course of the Second World War he became one of the British Army's most highly decorated soldiers and, by destroying 47 aircraft in a single action, he may well have destroyed more German aircraft than the RAF's highest scoring ace. He was controversially denied a Victoria Cross.
On returning from South Africa he joined Malone RFC in Belfast. In early 1939 he graduated from Queen's and joined George Maclaine & Co (Solicitors) in Belfast. In 1939, Mayne gained another three Ireland caps, and one report of the time states, “Mayne, whose quiet almost ruthless efficiency is in direct contrast to O'Loughlin's exuberance, appears on the
The Mayne’s originally came from Scotland and settled in Northern Ireland in the 18 th Century. The family were prosperous and
slow side, but he covers the ground at an extraordinary speed for a man of his build, as many a three quarter and full back have discovered.â€?
SAS with great distinction through the final campaigns of the war in France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Norway, often campaigning alongside local resistance fighters including the French Maquis.
In March 1939, with the threat of War, Mayne had joined the Territorial Army in Newtownards and then After training with the Queen's University Officer Training Corps, he received a commission in the 5th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Artillery. In April 1940 he transferred to the Royal Ulster Rifles. Following Churchill's call to form a "butcher and bolt" raiding force following Dunkirk, Mayne soon volunteered for the newly formed 11 (Scottish) Commando and first saw action in June 1941 as a lieutenant with 11 Commando, successfully leading his men during the Litani River operation in Lebanon against the Vichy French Forces.
In recognition of his leadership and personal disregard for danger while in France, in which he trained and worked closely with the French Resistance, Mayne received the second bar to his DSO. Additionally, the post-war French Government awarded him the Legion d'honneur and the Croix de Guerre, the first foreigner to receive such a dual honour. During the course of the war he became one of the British Army's most highly decorated soldiers and received the Distinguished Service Order with three bars, one of only seven British servicemen to receive that award four times during World War II. Mayne pioneered the use of military Jeeps to conduct surprise hit-and-run raids, particularly on enemy airfields. By the end of the war it was claimed that he had personally destroyed 130 aircraft.
Mayneâ€™s leadership during this raid had attracted the attention of Captain David Stirling who recruited him as one of the founder members of the Special Air Service (SAS), and from November 1941 through to the end of 1942, Mayne participated in many night raids deep behind enemy lines in the deserts of Egypt and Libya, where the SAS wrought havoc by destroying hundreds of German and Italian aircraft on the ground.
In 1945 Mayne was recommended for a VC after single-handedly rescuing a squadron of his troops, trapped by heavy gunfire near the town of Oldenberg in north-west Germany. After the squadron became pinned down and sustained casualties, Mayne rescued the wounded, lifting them one by one into his Jeep before destroying the enemy gunners in a nearby farmhouse. However, although the VC recommendation was signed by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, commander of the Allied 21st Army Group, Mayne instead received a fourth DSO.
In January 1943 Captain Stirling had been captured and the 1st SAS Regiment was reorganised into two separate parts, the Special Raiding Squadron and the Special Boat Section (the forerunner of the Special Boat Service). As a major, Mayne was appointed to command the Special Raiding Squadron and he led the unit with distinction in Italy until the end of 1943. In January 1944 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed commanding officer of 1st SAS Regiment. He subsequently led the
It has often been questioned why Mayne was not awarded a Victoria Cross, and even King George VI was to express surprise at
the omission. The answer almost certainly lies in Mayne's abrasive attitude to some of his superiors, combined with the Army hierarchy's askance view of the unconventional attitudes and tactics of the special forces.
stars in wartime, but herein also lay his Achilles heel: he loved to party, often excessively. It was during this time that he joined Freemasonry. His father William Mayne was a member of Century Lodge No. 284, Bangor, joining in 1904. He later joined Friendship Lodge 447 and was a founding member of Eklektikos Lodge No. 542 in 1922 and would become the Master of the Lodge.
(In June 2005 an Early Day Motion put before the House of Commons in June 2005 and supported by more than 100 MPs that the Victoria Cross be reinstated to Mayne for “exceptional personal courage and leadership of the highest order and to acknowledge that Mayne's actions on that day saved the lives of many men and greatly helped the allied advance on Berlin.” This was also refused.)
Paddy Mayne was initiated into Eklektikos Lodge No. 542 in Newtownards in 1945. He did not receive his 2nd or 3rd degree until 1946 after he returned from his time with the British Atlantic Survey. In 1954 he served as Worshipful Master of Eklektikos Lodge No. 542. He was a very enthusiastic mason and joined a second lodge in Newtownards, Friendship Lodge No. 447. His brother Douglas also joined joined Eklektikos Lodge No. 542 on 27th April, 1948. Douglas also served as Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1959.
After the war ended, Mayne served with the British Antarctic Survey in the Falkland Islands, which was cut short by a crippling back complaint that had begun during his army days. He returned to Newtownards to work first as a solicitor and then as Secretary to the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Suffering severe back pain, which even prevented him from watching his beloved rugby as a spectator, and ill at ease with the mundanity of post-war life among provincial lawyers, Mayne became reserved and isolated, and rarely talking about his wartime service.
On the night of Tuesday 13 December 1955, after attending a regular meeting of the Friendship Lodge, Mayne continued drinking with a masonic friend in the nearby town of Bangor, before finally making his way home in the small hours. However, he never reached his destination. At about 4am he was found dead in his wrecked red Riley Roadster in Mill Street, Newtownards, having reportedly collided with a farmer’s vehicle. News of his death reverberated across Northern Ireland and, at his funeral, hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects and to see him interred in a family plot in the town’s old Movilla cemetery.
With his war years now firmly behind him and the SAS officially disbanded, Mayne tried to settle back into the routine of domestic life but with some difficulty. Physically, he was not the man he once was, and he suffered terribly with his back. However, an intelligent and sensitive man, Mayne took up gardening, found solace in books and he greatly loved Irish culture. He regularly propped up the local bars to enjoy singing, storytelling and poetry recitals, just as he had done with his men under the desert
Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne never married.
Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne List of Gallantry / Campaign Medals & Awards
D.S.O. – Middle East – 1942 - Lieutenant 1st Bar – Sicily – 1943 - Captain 2nd Bar – Normandy – 1945 - Major 3rd Bar – Nor. West Europe – 1945 – Lt. Col 1939 - 45 Star. Africa Star with 8th Army Bar Italy Star France & Germany Star Defence Medal War Medal with MID Oak Leaf
"Haven't paid your pledge yet? Well, brother, it's not ethical for me to ask why. That's your business. What? Peeved at the Committee? Now, you do amaze me! How do you expect them to build the Temple if you, and twenty thousand like you, don't do what you promised to do? You think they shouldn't 'dun' you for the money? Well, they shouldn't have to! But human beings are prone to forget and put off, and the stone masons who build the Temple have to be paid, and their families have to be fed and they have to eat and they can't wait, I suppose, until you get over your peeve!
Mentioned in Dispatches Operation Exporter June/July 1941, Litani River 11 (Scottish Commando) Legion D'Honneur Croix De Guerre with Palm This article by the editor of the SRA76 magazine has been compiled from a Variety of sources freely available on the internet, some of which are;
Wikipedia Irish Masonic History and the Jewels of Irish Freemasonry Freemasonry Today – Dec 2011- Online. Website – Masonry Today.com And many others, thanks to all.
"There are a lot of brethren, you know, who make pledges to pay a certain amount towards the erection of a new Temple and then don't do it. You can't say they break
their promise, because they truly intend to pay 'some day.' But they break the spirit of the promise when they don't pay when they have promised to pay. And they... and you, my brother... have taken an obligation which should prevent you from withholding even the value of a penny, knowingly, from your brother to whom you promised it.
is now long. Put 17 pillars in it instead of seven, or 70, and I'll pay my hundred dollars' or whatever it is he has promised. "Nice, reasonable human being, Jones! But he is logic itself compared to Smith! Smith doesn't pay because he says he has so many other things to pay and 'they won't miss my little pledge.' Imagine Smith, when he makes a note to the bank for his pay roll. Comes around another month and the note falls due. But Smith won't pay... not he! He goes to the bank and say 'I'm sorry, but I have to pay a lot of other things this month. Just tear up the note and forget it, won't you? I have changed my mind about paying the note!'
"There are all sorts of reasons for not paying! There is your childish reason... being 'peeved!' Any one would think to look at you, that you were truly grown up. Yet you let a grievance against one brother, or one set of brethren on a committee, keep you from fulfilling your obligation to all your brethren in this jurisdiction. If you, as a parent, were peeved with the school board, would you keep your child from school? If you were peeved at the Mayor, would you refuse to allow the fire engines to put out a fire in your home? If you were cross with the boss of your ward would you refuse to let the policeman he had appointed, arrest the burglar trying to steal your goods and chattels? Probably not! Yet here you are, offended at the committee and saying to them, in effect 'because I don't like the way you act, I will refuse to put my stone in the Temple. For all of me, there can be a hole in the wall. Not that I have any grudge against my brethren, or any crossness with the fraternity or any ill-will to Masonry, but the only way I can get even with you, who offend me, is to make it difficult for you to serve my brethren!'
"What? Why yes, it is a parallel case, exactly. Smith gave his word to his brethren that he would pay a certain amount towards the new Temple. The Committee believed him, just as they believed the rest of the Masons who pledged their aid. And because they believed in a Mason's word, they obligated the fraternity to stone masons and electricians, to iron workers and plasterers, to builders and plumbers, to do the work. Just suppose every one of the pledgesâ€™ refuse because they have other obligations? Where will we find the money to pay our debts? Is Masonry to stand discredited before the world because one brother has a childish peeve, another doesn't like the design of the Temple, a third finds it inconvenient?
"Don't you think that's rather childish?
"My brother, a pledge to pay money, on which other men act, should be as sacred as a secured obligation to a bank.
"Now, Brother Jones over there, he has another reason for not paying. He isn't peeved or anything, but he doesn't like the design of the Temple! He says 'you tear it down and build it up over again, and build it long where it is now short and short where it
The Temple is being built by Masons, for Masons. It is to be a testimonial to all the world that here is a seat of truth, of light, of freedom of thought, of reverence for God, of
The Perfect Ashlar
brotherly love, of comforting philosophy... of Masonry. If what we teach sinks into our hearts, there will be no unpaid pledges. "Luckily for us all, the great, great majority of Masons do as they agree. They pay what they promise. They stand behind their word. That is how the Temple is built... how all Masonic Temples are built. That is how all temples of any kind are built, whether they be of stone, for Masons, or in the heart, for God. "Most Masons mean what they say when they kneel before the altar and pledge their lives to brotherhood. They do so without any evasion in their minds or hearts. Most Masons when they pledge their money to a Masonic cause, pledge it without evasions on their mind or heart. Most men, thank God, are honest, and a very large number of honest men are honest Masons and... what are you doing? Oh, I see you have your check book and your fountain pen. I trust, my brother, that nothing I have said has offended you! I wouldn't make you mad with yourself because you haven't paid, for anything. All I tried to do was to transfer that peeve from the Committee to the chap who didn't play fair, but who, I see, is now going to play fair! Yes, I see; the check is for double your pledge. I think, if you take it over and show it to Jones and then to Smith, and tell them all I said, you will feel better and they will feel worse... why, certainly, my brother, I am proud to shake the hand of any of my brethren, especially when I find them as real underneath as you. What? Oh, don't mention it!
The topic I would like to consider is one of great importance to many Masons, and that is the relevancy of our craft to our modern society. Our fraternity has its roots in antiquity, in the first millennium, and in light of declining membership and the challenges posed by our modern society some worry about whether it will survive, and if the message of Freemasonry will continue to be heard in the future. When you were made an Entered Apprentice you were introduced to the world of Freemasonry. One part of your initiation which may have especially impressed you was the Junior Warden's lecture, during which you were conducted around the lodge, and some of the symbols of masonry were explained to you. The shape of the lodge, its ornaments, and its furnishings all have special significance to Masons. During this lecture you were shown the immovable jewels, the Tracing Board, the Rough Ashlar, and the Perfect Ashlar: • The Tracing Board, for the worshipful master to lay lines and draw designs on.
This is the sixteenth article in this our regular feature, ‘The Old Past Master,’ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
â€˘ The Rough Ashlar, for the Entered Apprentice to work, mark, and indent on,
his work. He has a machine called an EDM which uses a special copper electrode, deionized water, and a lot of electricity to machine the steel. It is able to make the most fantastic moulds in considerably less time than conventional machining. He has huge metal lathes and milling machines with high tech computer controls; punch in the program, put some steel on the table, and let the machine work. He has super accurate gauges with digital readouts which allow him to work to tolerances of a ten thousandth of an inch. He is part machinist, and part computer programmer, skills required by the demands of modern society on his trade.
â€˘ and the Perfect Ashlar, for the more expert workman to try and adjust his jewels upon. To our ancient operative brethren the Perfect Ashlar had a simple but important purpose. When a new project (for example a church) was started, it would attract masons from a wide area. Each Fellowcraft or Master carried his own tools, and instruments or "jewels" for measurement such as squares, levels, and plumb rules. The perfect ashlar was used to try or test those jewels to make sure that they were accurate and correct; and to ensure uniformity amongst all the craftsmen working on a job. It was a point of reference from which they could all work. Out of necessity the perfect ashlar was made of igneous rock to be hard and durable, and dressed and finished with great skill and hard work to a high degree of perfection.
In the midst of his shop is a tool which he says is vital to his trade, one of the first tools he bought when he opened his shop. It is a table made of igneous rock to be hard and durable, dressed and finished with great skill and hard work to a high degree of perfection; a modern day perfect ashlar. My brother uses it to measure parts, test their squareness, and gauge the accuracy of his work. For all of his high tech equipment, computers, and gauges, when he needs a point of reference he comes back to and relies on a piece of equipment which has its roots in antiquity.
As you know modern operative stone masons are relatively rare. However many other trades have been developed, and many of the people who practice those trades do so with the same sense of pride and craftsmanship as those ancient brethren. I have a friend and brother who is a tool and die maker by trade, who is an excellent example of this. My brother served an apprenticeship in which he was taught how to use the tools of his trade. More importantly he was taught to be proud of his work, and the importance of craftsmanship in every job. Now he has his own shop, of which he is very proud. And what a shop it is!
How does this relate to us as Freemasons? Like so many different trades our society has undergone sweeping changes during the last millennium, the last century, indeed during the last decade. Our social and political systems have evolved, giving us ever greater freedom and autonomy. Technology has literally transformed our landscape. The automobile, airplanes, and improved transportation have opened up a whole new world. Television, computers and telecommunications have allowed us access to much more information than we
He specializes in robots for the automotive trade. His shop is very modern, filled with all sorts of fancy machines to help him do
ever dreamed possible. With the Internet we can communicate with our neighbours, or with a friend on the opposite side of the world. We have high tech machines which improve our standard of living and make our lives easier. We live in a world full of freedom, in a world with many choices.
are wavering and unsure, a man who is honest in all his dealings, a loving husband, a good father, a hard working employee, and a good Brother sets an excellent example. Your example to others speaks volumes about our fraternity to non-Masons. There are many good men out there who would make excellent Masons if they knew a bit more about our craft, and you are the key. Be proud of who you are, be proud of what you do, and you will serve as the beacon which will attract others to Masonry.
However, not all of those choices are beneficial to society. Many people express concern about violence on the street and in our homes. They are concerned about the environment, about drugs, racism, religious intolerance, and a myriad of other social ills. They are worried about their kids, and the world they will inherit. Moreover in many cases they feel helpless, almost drifting in the ever changing moral tide, without a point of reference.
My brother has seen many changes in the years since he opened his shop. He is constantly buying new machines and learning new techniques of manufacturing, and yet in all this rapid change he still needs that table of rock, his perfect ashlar, as his point of reference. It helps him to gauge his work and measure the progress he has made. And so it is with our society; we are experiencing rapid change, and now more than ever we need a firm foundation, a point of reference, to help guide our progress. Masonry can be that point of reference, the perfect ashlar to society. Our fraternity has its roots in antiquity, yet the lessons it teaches are just as relevant and important today. As Masons we should strive to lead by example. In doing so we will help to improve society, and as an additional benefit we will undoubtedly attract other men of good will to our fraternity. Like the hard and durable igneous rock of the perfect ashlar, Masonry will endure, and its message will continue to be heard in the future.
Freemasonry can be that point of reference the Perfect Ashlar. Our craft has its roots in antiquity, yet the lessons it teaches are just as relevant and important today: lessons of The Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, of the practice of moral virtue (doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do), of perseverance, and of charity. Like the hard igneous rock of the perfect ashlar these lessons have endured the test of time because they strike a common chord amongst men of good will, they are not easily eroded by the changing moral tide, nor chipped away by the latest fad. How do we let the world know about the lessons of Freemasonry? By living them - by applying the lessons as best we can to our everyday life; and by letting the world know we are Masons! Projects like the Help to Hear campaign, sponsoring teams, and our Masonic signs help to raise our collective profile in the community, but it is our actions individually which will have the greatest impact. In a world where so many
This is from our Regular feature of articles under the title, â€œReflections.â€? 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. Dave MacLeod Centennial Lodge #684
CHAOS AND HARMONY
unbelievable was it, that I watched it unfold on the television screen (the sound was off) and marvelled at the lifelike special effects of such a horror movie, or sci-fi, I wasn’t sure which, until I saw the caption ‘breaking news’, which had a doom-laden ring to it, and I realised to my absolute horror that this was real.
In an issue of Freemasonry Today I wrote an article Sanctifying with Grace in which, on the fifteenth anniversary of the disastrous explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, I turned the spotlight on what happens when we act purely on material and scientific data, ignoring our gut instinct, our inner conviction that ‘something isn’t right’. And we often find, don’t we, that faced with two options, with apparently no logical reason to choose between them, if we then pick one because our instinct tells us it is the right one, it turns out to be right.
To keep my own personal gyroscope upright in that nightmare situation, I had to talk myself through an analysis of tragedy. Immanuel Kant the eighteenth century philosopher proposed that tragedy comes in three different forms. There is the tragedy which can befall ordinary people leading ordinary lives engaged in ordinary pursuits, not committing any great evil act or a particularly good act come to that. ‘Man out walking dog killed by falling tree’ comes to mind. In that type of tragedy there are no human agents perpetrating anything. Then there is the tragedy we visit on ourselves, by recklessness, greed, hatred or fear. It is a bit oblique, because the main purpose of our action is not our own detriment or destruction, but nonetheless we cause ourselves harm by, for instance, trying to swindle the tax authorities for our own gain, and ending up in prison. High-profile examples would be Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer.
In the following issue, and prompted by the Concorde crash in Paris, in an article entitled Vision With the Song I gave the subject of disaster a slant, by comparing and contrasting the effects of chaos and complexity. I spoke in that article about disasters caused through the interreaction of complex forces – the Selby crash, in which, no matter who was blameworthy, a motorway system came into conflict with a railway system, two unrelated systems, which cannot coexist without stringent safeguards. The Concorde crash too appears to have been the result of ‘competing’ forces or elements. We surround ourselves with complexity. The disasters it provokes are something we do not need. Chaos, by contrast, is a product of unpredicted and largely unpredictable forces, such as earthquakes, storms and meteor strikes.
And the third category is the tragedy visited on us by others, again out of greed, hatred, fear, ignorance. Ignorance plays a large part in this. The Israelis and Palestinians are, they would both admit, largely ignorant of the other’s aspirations, so preoccupied are they with their own. They can’t look over the parapet unless it is to unleash more hatred and violence. In Northern Ireland, the situation regarding the Unionists and the Nationalists was the same. Looking over the parapet to assess the needs of your enemy is
When I wrote that second article, I could not, in my wildest dreams, have foreseen the events of 11 September 2001. Actually, so
not high on the agenda. But greed and insecurity play an equally large part. My son is a teacher who started in a new school in September, teaching ten-year olds. He described his sense of pain and unease seeing the children in his new class, faced with a pile of new pencils, each grabbing one for her or himself lest there should not be enough to go round. He devised a new pencil distribution system, in which each child first had to ensure that the classmate to her or his left and right had taken a pencil before taking one himself. This resulted in no pencils being taken at all, so busy were they making sure their classmates had one first – we all know, don’t we, that we can’t all be first! – until the children hit on the idea of picking up two, handing one to the classmate on her or his left and then keeping one herself. A silly example you may say, but it did wonders for the sin of greed. And, please God, may that small example go out into the world, and play some small part in stopping us always grabbing since, for sure, the events of 11 September were caused either by someone grabbing or being grabbed against, someone being in ignorance or fear from the person next to him.
and prayed to the Almighty to spare us. If he did then spare us, that was proof of his infinite mercy. If he did not, that was proof of his infinite wisdom. In our secular age, when we largely do not credit him with the power or the willingness to stay disasters, and where the proportion of the population who practise religion in any form is so small, we often have nowhere to turn. Therapists couches have never been so full. Sales of Kleenex tissues are booming, largely to these same therapists. The good news is that freemasonry offers a DIY alternative. Think first about these wellknown words, from the little square booklet issued by Grand Lodge Freemasonry – an Approach to Life, where we learn that ‘freemasonry teaches moral lessons and selfknowledge’. So, if someone will show me how, I need to get to know myself. Here’s a start:- ‘Endue him with a competency of Thy divine wisdom, that he may the better be enabled to unfold the beauties of true godliness’. Whose godliness? If we believe in the Second Degree lecture, regarding the Corinthian Column, then the answer must be that, since beauty adorns the inward man, I am in the business of unfolding the beauties of my own true godliness, the God-in-me principle, or what I referred to in my article as Grace. We do have one thing in common with the therapists – we believe that I need to be with myself, to own myself, with all my weaknesses first, and to get to esteem myself as a unique creation of God, without which it’s not easy to esteem others. Where did I get that from? Let me tell you. What is the place of a Master Mason? Answer – at the centre. The centre of what? The Centre. Just that. The Centre. Not the centre of England, or the centre of the lodge, or the centre of attraction, just – The Centre. It’s the nearest you can get to being with
So much for the lesson in morals, to illustrate the Chaos side of things. But I can hear you asking, what has all this to do with freemasonry? The answer to that question lies in one word – HARMONY. In the current Year Book there are no less than thirty-seven lodges whose names start with the word Harmony. And Harmony, on a personal level, is the surest and most masonic route back from the chaos and tragedy which inhabit the world. What do I mean? In previous ages, in times of tragedy, we would have got down on our knees in church
yourself, and therefore (back to the UGLE booklet) KNOWING yourself. Chaos, if I may quote my own article, doesn’t only reside outside us. We all have to contend with inner chaos – depression, self-doubt, despair, pain physical and mental, bereavement, anger and low self-esteem are all part of the same cosmic chaos. The good news is that, especially as freemasons, we can answer it with a corresponding cosmic awareness, growth and enlightenment and harmony. Look at the first degree tracing board :
complexities of everyday life, to discover himself and own himself, in his case to discover the song inside him, away from the chaos, whether inner or outer. Read that tracing board lecture again. And study also the principles of where YOU are in the teaching of the third degree. After Adam had sinned and went missing in the Garden of Eden, God called out to him, not ‘Where ARE you?’ but ‘Where are YOU?’. So cross that barrier. Be with yourself and find the song inside you, your true self.
In all regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges there is a point within a circle round which the Brethren cannot err; this circle is bounded between North and South by two grand parallel lines, one representing Moses and the other King Solomon; on the upper part of this circle rests the Volume of the Sacred Law, supporting Jacob’s ladder, [an allegory of our aspirations in life – who are we? where do we want to be?] the top of which reaches to the heavens …in going round this circle we must necessarily touch on both those parallel lines, likewise on the Volume of the Sacred Law; and while a Mason keeps himself thus circumscribed, he cannot err.
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/
INITIATION Long years ago, I climbed a stair And rapped at an ancient door. I passed within a temple fair And trod the checkered floor. I passed between the pillars two; I climbed the winding stair; The letter "G" then met my view; I earned my wages there.
To be with yourself consists of, first of all, being alone. I recently discovered the etymology of the word ‘alone’ – we are not talking about ‘lonely’. ‘Alone’ means ‘AllOne’, the state of relationship where your existence is all existence. You get to be with yourself, without which, as I have said, it’s sometimes hard to be with others.
I knelt beside the altar fair I counted not the cost. I searched afar with earnest care, But still the Word was lost.
There’s a rather nice fact about Edward Elgar which I want to share with you. When the music was slow to come to him, or would not come at all, he went out into the country to be with himself, away from the
Though some may think my search absurd, When time shall ebb and fail, I hope to learn the final Word Beyond life's mystic veil.
As to why nobody saw him during the attack, our legend says that he went there at 'high twelve', when the workmen would have gone to eat or to siesta. In any case, the attack is said to have taken place inside the building, and H.A. never came out; he only staggered from door to door inside the building. But please remember that we are dealing with a legend. The Bible tells us of his "parentage, of his remarkable skills in several Crafts and how Hiram, King of Tyre, sent him to Solomon with a remarkable recommendation; it also tells of his actual work on the Temple and its appurtenances. But that is all. Everything else that we say about him is pure legend designed to teach several lessons, but mainly (I believe) 'faithful unto death' and 'the hope of resurrection'.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Why is it that "the want on plans and designs were the first indication" that H. A. was missing? Were there no friends or work mates who would notice his absence? Answer: There must have been hundreds of workmen who might have noticed his absence, but I must emphasize that the story of his death is a legend, a lesson 'veiled in allegory'. The words you have quoted are mere 'padding', and the efforts of those wellmeaning later Brethren who insist on adding details at every opportunity. Our ritual has suffered greatly at their hands. The earliest version of the legend, in Masonry Dissected, 1730, says:
Question: How could the 'genuine secrets' be lost when they were known to three Grand Masters? Two G.M.s were left. Would it not be better to say that they were known to the two G.M.s, but that neither could divulge them because that could only be done in the presence of three? In the circumstances, could not some ruling have been made to divulge?
Ex. When was he missed? R. The same day Ex. When was he found? R. Fifteen days afterwards. Ex. Who found him? R. Fifteen loving brothers ...etc.
Answer: This part of our story is based on the (Masonic) tradition preserved in the R.A. ritual, that three Grand Masters presided at the building of Solomon's Temple and they were the sole repositories of the genuine secrets, which could only be conferred by the participation of all three. Thus, the death of one of them implied that the secrets were 'lost' in the sense that they could no longer be conferred.
Question: Why was H.A. in the Temple? He was not a priest. Did not someone see him stagger, 'faint and bleeding'? Answer: The Temple was not yet complete and not yet dedicated. Our legend says that he had gone there to pray, but as the chief architect, or Master mason in charge, he could have been there whenever he pleased.
You suggest that 'it would be better to say ...that neither (of the two survivors) could divulge them because that could only be done in the presence of three'. But we do, in fact, say almost exactly that. You will recall that at a certain moment in the ceremony, we have the words ' ...without the consent and cooperation of the other two, he neither could nor would divulge them'.
could not solve they invented - with disastrous results.: First, let it be clear that, according to the Bible neither the High Priest nor 'his Assistant' played any part in the dedication of the Temple and, indeed, they are not mentioned at all in that context. Solomon presided alone; he spoke and he prayed. (I Kings, viii, and 11 Chron., vi and vii).
This part of the ceremony is directly concerned with the R.A. and cannot be discussed here in detail. I hope it may suffice if I say that the earliest versions of the M.M. degree were complete in themselves. A certain amount of ritual 'tailoring' had to be done to create the linkage with the newly emerging R.A. ceremony so that the story was left more orless unfinished in the Craft degree, with its so called completion in the R.A. So, in answer to your third question, no ruling was made, only a modification of the original legend with provision for the sequel in the R.A. Several illogicalities remain, or, in tailoring language, the raw seams tend to show occasionally, but when you discover the defects it is advisable to remember that all this is Masonic legend or allegory.
The pillar J*****, appears in I Kings, vii, 21 and II Chron., iii, and it was named, according to custom in Bible lands, with an allusive or commemorative name which means 'He [God] will establish'. Neither the pillar nor its name had anything to do with J*****, the wrongly styled 'Assistant High Priest: That name appears at the head of the 21st division of Priests, among the twentyfour divisions listed in I Chron, xxiv. It must be emphasized, however, that no Priest is named in the accounts of the dedication of the Temple, either in Kings or Chronicles. Having established the facts of the Bible story, we may now turn to the offending phrases in the ritual, where, at the relevant point in the S.W.'s examination of the Candidate, we are told that the pillar, J*****, was: so named after J*****, a priest who assisted at its [the Temple's] dedication.
Question: Why did the High Priest entrust the dedication of King Solomon's Temple to his Assistant instead of doing it himself
There are numerous versions of this statement, all in the same vein. Some rituals say 'who officiated'; some call him the 'Assistant High Priest' and every one of these at-tempts to fill in the details of the story simply adds to the confusion!
Answer: There is a dreadful confusion in this question, largely caused by some of the compilers of our ritual who were never content to leave well enough alone. Determined to dot all the i's and cross all the t's, whenever they came to a problem they
The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution
THE BACK PAGE The Working Tools of a Prison Warden Brethren, I present to you the working tools of the Prison Officer. These are the Handcuffs, the Keys, the Whistle and the Journal.
The Handcuffs. These are constructed of metal, two in number, secure by design and visible when used. These exhibit the qualities we should strive for in our daily existence. Unbending in principle, like the metal they are made of. Two in number, one to represent you, and the other to represent the Deity you place your faith in. That they are as secure on the wrists of a wrongdoer, as you are secure in the presence of your Brethren. And when used properly, they are visible to show all their purpose. Much as we should show the real purpose of Freemasonry, Charity.
The Keys. As these keys allow access and egress, so your moral key should control and curtail the movement of the good and bad each of us is born with. Thereby, only releasing the good, and ensuring that the bad is locked away from you, your Brethren and the world. Keys are an accountable asset. So ensure you guard your Keys zealously, and allow no-one to use yours outside your control.
The Whistle. Small, yet loud when necessary, it is used to sound an alarm, or to call for assistance. Much as this small device can do this, so the call for assistance from your Brethren will be heard. It works on the same principle in a Prison as it does with Brotherly Love. When required, aid will come with haste, be freely given and be directed where required.
The Journal. In the Great Journal, all of our existence is recorded. From our tiniest mistake, to our greatest achievement. As the Journal is a permanent record of all movements, incidents, changes or actions on a Prison Landing, so the Great Journal records all happenings and occurrences in our life. Much as a Prison Journal may be inspected by a Governing Governor at any time, so the Great Governor of the Universe shall inspect our entries in the Great Journal at the end of our time on this mortal coil. One word of advice, beware the red entries, they are the ones that attract attention. So what have we learned? That you never stray from the qualities displayed by the Handcuffs. That the Keys of your life should be used to release the good, and contain the bad. That should your Whistle be used, help and support is on its way. Remember, also, that your entries in the Great Journal should be correct, unblemished, and ready for inspection at all times. Finally, that fine old Latin proverb,
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” [Who watches the watchers] Never forget that we are always open to public scrutiny. So only display us in a positive light. No matter whether that is in word, action, or deed.
This excellent article was submitted to the SRA76 Magazine from our reader, Wor. Bro. Edgar McClenaghan Union Masonic Lodge No 23, Newry, Province of Down, Irish Constitution. Bro. Edgar tells me that he has written a couple of “Working Tools” type monologues for use at Festive Boards etc. This is the first of these that we are delighted to share with our readers.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor