Volume 14 Issue 8 No. 114 December 2018
Cover Story, A Christmas Story The Volume of Sacred Law in Freemasonry Did You Know? Operative V’s Speculative Freemasonry Regular Steps Lodge St. John No. 35. Famous Freemasons – Scott of the Antarctic The Lodge Auditor Rays of Masonry The Old Past Master Working With Wisdom Did You Know? Making Good Men Better The Working Tools of a Travelling Mason
Main Website – Our Predecessors – Scottish Masons 1660
In this issue: Cover Story ‘A Christmas Story.’ The Joy of Giving at Christmas. We don’t know if the hero of this story was a Mason, but it doesn't really matter, the message is there for all of us!
Page 5, ‘The V.S.L in Freemasonry’ The Great Light in Masonry Page 6, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 8, ‘Operative V’s Speculative Freemasonry.’ Page 11, ‘Regular Steps.’ The Rectitude of our Actions. Page 12, ‘Lodge St. John No. 35’. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 15, ‘Robert Falcon Scott’ Famous Freemasons. Page 18, ‘The Lodge Auditor.’ The duties of this Office.. Page 21, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Today” Page 21, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “Brotherly Love”. The first in the new series. Page 23, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 27, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 29, ‘Making Good Men Better’ Page 31, ‘Apprentice Gloves’ Page 32, ‘The Working Tools of a Travelling Mason.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Our Predecessors Scottish Masons of About 1600’ [link] 1
Front cover – Stock Picture
A Christmas Story. Here's a heart-warming Christmas story that I thought you would might like to enjoy reading. It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my
boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what.. Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on. After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? Yeah," I said, "Why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile 2
trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without candy." We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbours than us; it shouldn't have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?" 3
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. "We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out. "We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people. I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling
when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us." In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it. Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes. Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa and I was glad that I still had mine. At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My
two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will." Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand." I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
Brethren, remember our Widows this Christmas. 4
The VSL in Freemasonry Masonic ritual represents, among other things, a pilgrimage begun in gloom and ended in glory. Man from infancy turns from darkness to seek the light, to seek more light, to seek further light. Light is a fundamental requirement for the health of his body, the well-being of his mind, the welfare of his soul. This inborn craving for light is a simple fact of human experience. Freemasonry has made of it a keystone for that vast arch of allegory, symbol and rite which supports the Fraternity's whole superstructure. The Volume of the Sacred Law has come to be the chief symbol of that light; there are others, but this is the most import 'ant of all. At a certain stage of the journey all Brethren and Fellows must make, the neophyte can no longer suppress his craving for light and upon receiving it, for the first time in his Masonic career, beholds the radiance coming from that Volume of Sacred Law which Freemasonry keeps forever open upon its altars. He then learns, for the first time, that Freemasonry has Three Great Lights, but that the greatest of these is the Holy Bible. The presence or absence in a Masonic Lodge of the Volume of Sacred Law is within itself a test of regularity. The Bible is not only a Great Light; it is part also of the indispensable Furniture of a Lodge. A regular Freemason may not lawfully sit, even as a guest, in a Lodge which does not open the Volume of the Sacred Law on its altar. Its presence there is as essential to lawful Masonic 'work' as is a charter or 5
dispensation from some Grand Body of competent jurisdiction. Until the Book has been opened in due form, a Lodge may not lawfully proceed to business; after the Book has been closed no transaction of the Lodge, as a Lodge, is binding upon its members. Although the Fraternity insists upon the open Volume of the Sacred Law in the Lodge, it does not attempt to interpret the scripture to its membership. To prevent discord and the jar of sect against sect, it forbids under the severest penalties all sectarian discussion in its Lodge rooms. The Fraternity addresses such words as these to its initiates: 'The Great Light of Masonry is the Volume of the Sacred Law. Howsoever men differ in creed or theology, all good men are agreed that within the covers of the Volume of the Sacred Law are found those principles of morality which lay the foundations upon which to build a righteous life. Freemasonry therefore opens this book upon its altars, with the command to each of its votaries that he diligently study therein to learn the way of everlasting life. Adopting no particular creed, forbidding sectarian discussion within her lodge rooms, encouraging each to be steadfast in the faith of his acceptance, Freemasonry takes all good men by the hand, and, leading them to her altars, points to the open Volume of the Sacred Law theron, and urges each that he faithfully direct his steps through life by the light he shall there find and as he there shall find it.' On this broad platform, Freemasonry promotes friendships among right-thinking men of every creed, sect and opinion. Each is assured of complete liberty of conscience.
All believers in the Ever Living and True God, however various their individual conceptions of Him may be, may join hands around the altar of the Fraternity. Modernist and Fundamentalist, Christian, Jew, and Moslem, meet there upon a common plane as Brothers all. Freemasonry is not concerned with what particular understanding any of them may venerate the Volume of Sacred Law providing it is venerated. It is only concerned that as each receives from it what he is capable of receiving that he does not try to obscure or distort the vision that may come to his Brother Mason. Knowledge of the Volume of the Sacred Law and its place in Masonic history, jurisprudence and ritual is indispensable for all who aspire to true insight into the deeper significance of Masonic thought. In a broader sense, it may be said that familiarity with the Scripture is, in fact, essential to a well-rounded, moral, intellectual, spiritual and cultivated life. For these reasons, many Lodges have long made a practice of presenting to each newly made Mason his own copy of the Great Light. By putting the Book of Books into a Brother's hand, Freemasonry seeks, in the strongest possible manner, to impress upon him the dignity and seriousness of the relationship he has assumed toward this time-honoured Fraternity. Good Brethren and Fellows innumerable, who have gone this way before him, have respected the Volume of the Sacred Law, have venerated it, have loved it, have found peace and comfort and hope and light and understanding within its blessed pages.
The above is extracted from the 1975 Grand Lodge of Scotland Year Book.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: In the Opening of the Lodge in the first degree—and in the Investiture of the Deacons—we are told that their duties are, inter alia, ‘to carry messages and communications’ to the J.W., or ‘to bear messages and commands to the S.W.’. In fact, they never discharge any such duties. Why did those words come into the Ritual? Answer. By long standing tradition, the Deacons are the ‘Messengers’ of the Lodge, and the earliest versions of the Deacon’s Jewel or Badge consisted of a ‘winged Mercury’, the messenger of the gods. (Incidentally there are some beautiful examples in the Grand Lodge Museum, and several of our old Lodges still use them, in place of the ‘dove’.) It is certain that from circa 1760 onwards the Deacons—in English practice—actually performed some of these duties, i.e., there were certain portions of the ceremonies in which the W.M. sent a whispered message by the S.D. to the S.W., and the latter passed it on by the J.D. to the J.W. We have a perfect example of this in Three Distinct Knocks, an exposure of 1760, where the practice was in use for ‘Calling On’ and ‘Calling Off’. (It was subsequently repeated in the popular J. & B.) The Master whispers to the senior Deacon at his Righthand, and says, ‘tis my Will and Pleasure that this Lodge is called off from Work to Refreshment during Pleasure’; then the senior Deacon carries it to the senior Warden, and whispers the same Words in his Ear, and he whispers it in the Ear of the junior Deacon at his Right-hand, and he carries it to the junior Warden, and whispers 6
the same to him, who declares it with a loud Voice,…. The words have survived in the ritual, though the practice has disappeared from the majority of our English workings. It is likely, however, that some relics of it have survived in Europe and in the U.S.A. The present New York opening in the third degree contains the same duties for S.D. and J.D., and when the W.M. asks the S.W. if all present are M.M.s, the S.W. answers: ‘I will ascertain through my proper officer and report.’ The S.W. then asks the J.D. the same question, a procedure which is clearly allied to the message-bearing duties. Question: What is a "Moon Lodge? Answer: In the early days in this country many Lodges met "on or after full moon," or "on or before full moon" Transportation was poor; roads were rough and difficult, getting from home to Lodge was often a problem. Having the light of the moon made such journeys safer and easier. Many old Lodges refused to change their dates of meeting even when the necessity for lunar meeting times had passed. But many Grand Lodges have legislated the "moon Lodge" out of existence by insisting that their Lodges meet upon definite dates, and others of the old moon Lodges are gradually giving up that distinction in favour of the more practical settled date. Less than five hundred moon Lodges still exist in this country.
The Entered Apprentice divides his time with the 24-inch gauge; both Apprentice and Fellow Craft wait a certain time before further advancement; geometry enables the astronomer to "fix the durations of time and seasons, years and cycles." Ecclesiastes XII begins with "days of thy youth." Job and the adaptation of his words form the Master's prayer in which is "Man that is born of woman is of few days." His "days are determined"; the "number of his months is with Thee"; "turn from him that he may rest till he shall accomplish his day"; the time of the construction of the Temple of Solomon is taught in the Master Mason degree; the Master's carpet has three steps, which, signifying youth, manhood and old age, are themselves symbols of time. The hourglass and scythe are instruments for the measure of time and the bringing of human life and its time to a close. As in all life, time in Masonry is important. Whether it is a symbol of life, of immortality! Or the unsolved puzzles of the universe let each brother decide for himself.
Question: Why does the Master wear a hat in America?
Question: What are "high twelve" and "low twelve"?
Answer: A contemporary relic of the ancient custom whereby the King remained covered under all circumstances, while his subjects were obliged to uncover in his presence. Apparently the custom, which began in English lodges, is now not there common, but in American Lodges a Master wears a hat as a sign and symbol of his authority.
Answer: Noon and midnight. These expressions are but two of Freemasonry's many emphases on time, which thus becomes an important symbol, though one seldom considered by ritualists.
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.
Operative Vâ€™s Speculative Freemasonry When we were presented with the working tools of the respective degrees we were instructed that these are the tools of an Operative Mason and by their proper use a structure of strength and beauty can be constructed. We were then instructed regarding the meaning of the tools and their application in Speculative Masonry. So whereas in operative masonry the tools were used in a practical manner in the construction of a physical building. In speculative Masonry (by comparison) we are required to use the tools to erect a spiritual building (ourselves) teaching us how we may "learn to subdue our passions, act upon the square. So when we take a closer look at the Operative versus the Speculative Mason we see one case a group of men makes use of a set of principles to erect a building, whilst the other another group uses the same principles to build character. The skill of Architecture is to construct according to a design and purpose, to organize in proportion and symmetry. It continues to be architecture whether it is a building or a human life that is being thus constructed. Operative Masonry is about physical architecture; Speculative Freemasonry is human architecture.
During the first centuries of its existence a Mason had to apply both of these systems of architecture. Every member was an Operative Mason, practiced the art as a trade and means of livelihood. At the same time, every member was in a real sense a Speculative Mason because he was equally concerned with the building of his own life or the construction of his own character. Only apprentices of good reputation, and recommended by Masons already members of the Craft were admitted The apprentice had to be of good habits, obedient, and willing to learn. The operative Apprentice was a young boy, usually from 10 to 15 years of age. It can be seen that he had to acquire certain skills, specific knowledge, and practical experience over a number of years before he could qualify for the title of a Master Mason. Coming back to modern times, the Speculative Apprentice, must likewise demonstrate in his own life the qualities and experiences which alone can make him a symbol of Freemasonry. We must not assume that because we today are Speculative Masons we have no use for Operative Masonry; on the contrary it remains necessary and very important to us. Let us suppose that a Brother joins our membership eager to become a True Mason in the real sense of that word. What do we tell him what he is to do? We tell him that he is to build an upright character, to be a good man and true, and to learn how to live a brotherly life. Imagine that he agrees to this and replies that it is what he is most eager to do, but that he doesn't know how to set about it. His difficulty is not with the "what" but with the "how." What is your reply to this? It is of course, that he is to observe how a building is constructed, not 8
in detail but in principle, and to employ the same principles. There is nothing fanciful or far-fetched about this, for construction is always construction, building is always building, it matters not what is being constructed or out of what it is being built; the laws and principles apply everywhere and always. The art of architecture is the pattern he is to go by. When he turns to study that pattern he will find it not at all difficult to understand or to follow. So let us examine this for ourselves: Before an architect begins his actual work he must have a clear understanding of what it is he is to build, whether a dwelling, a store, a factory, a church, a school, a hospital, a bridge, a wall, a monument or whatever; every step he is to take will be dictated by that purpose. If he is building a bridge for example we can say he has before him a goal he is to work toward, we call it his "ideal" then we may say that our ideal is the Masonic life. So is it with Speculative architecture. Our purpose is to create an "ideal" this we call a Masonic life, that is, a life of sound moral character, to be lived as a sound structure steady and upright, and to be devoted to Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. The operative architect's next step is to lay out a set of plans. Long ago the builder discovered that he could not work by hit or miss, by rule of thumb, because a building is too complex to be worked out as one goes along, and also such a method is extremely wasteful because it lacks foresight. We Speculative architects must also use a plan; we divide our time, we decide on the tasks we are to do, we know that it is dangerous to trust to luck. As orderly, disciplined, Speculative mason, we must lay out our 9
lives in orderliness and then we stick to our plan through thick and thin, not stopping every time we grow discouraged, or quitting every time we grow weary. If a man succeeds in building a sound character and a successful life it is not because he had good luck, but because he planned it. The Operative architect's third step is to select his materials. How important this is, there is no need to explain: unless the materials are what they should be the building may collapse, regardless of how well it was been planned or constructed. The Speculative architect finds his materials in his own nature; they are his facilities, his habits, his physical senses and organs, his feelings and emotions, his ideas, his knowledge and his experiences; from these he must select those that fit into his plan and discard all others. The fourth step taken by the Operative architect is to select and use the appropriate tools, which may be handtools, machines, or other devices. These are the practical means by which his materials may be given the desired structure, and each one is designed especially for the kind of materials it is to he used on, a hammer for nails, a saw for wood, a trowel for mortar, an engine for hoisting, a bit for drilling, etc. The Speculative architect also needs tools, as we are reminded in each of the Degrees when the Working Tools are presented to the candidate, and those tools, or methods, also must be adjusted to the materials they are to be used on; they are not often material tools, like a saw or hammer, but in principle they are the same kind of thing. What are the tools to be used by the Speculative architect? Certain kinds of habits, such as the habit of controlling one's temper; certain kinds of practices, such as work in a Lodge, by which one learns brotherliness in a practical way; certain principles, such as
justice, truthfulness, tolerance, charity; certain customs, such as prayer, visiting the sick, the practice of charity; certain kinds of work, such as study, assisting in the exemplification of the Ritual, serving on committees, etc. Suppose that a Mason is a victim of the habit of loss of temper; this makes for disharmony, loss of friendship, sacrifice of esteem, and therefore tends to defeat his effort to live the brotherly life; such a habit is like a knob or irregularity on a stone which prevents its use in a wall; to remove that excrescence the Mason must form a new habit, and that habit is a Working Tool. The last step in Operative architecture is dedication, which may be informal or may symbolised by ceremony. Up to this point the building has been under the control of the builder, beyond this point it is in control of those who will use it. The work of erecting the building is now completed; the work of employing the building for its intended purpose is now begun. This is what dedication means: setting a structure apart for its intended purpose. Our Speculative Fraternity makes much of this fact of dedication; the Fraternity as a whole is dedicated to the glory of God. The candidate, standing in the northeast corner, is dedicated to the Masonic life; its Lodge rooms, Centres, Halls and Temples are dedicated by solemn ceremonies to their use as a place of Masonic assemblies. When applied to the Speculative architect dedication takes the form of this question: Granted that a man has succeeded in building the kind of life he set out to build, what will this life now be used for? Freemasonry teaches that a man's life is not his own private and selfish possession, to be employed merely for himself, but that it belongs also to the Brotherhood and to all mankind, and if it is a right life it will be
used and enjoyed by many others as well as by the man himself. A garage is used by the man himself, and by him only; Solomon's Temple was used by all the people of a nation for the greatest purposes of their existence. Both are buildings, the garage and the Temple, but in value, how wide apart they are! The Mason's dedication is to be like the dedication of the Temple. His life has value exactly in proportion to its number of uses, to the importance of its uses, and to the number of others who find in it pleasure, joy and satisfaction. From all this you will see that the relationship between Operative Masonry and Speculative Masonry is very close. As a Speculative Mason succeeds in Speculative architecture it will be because he is also Operative. He has made a plan for his life, selected the materials with care, employed the tools with skill, and at the end dedicated himself to the greatest values and widest usefulness. Operative Vs Speculative Freemasonry Wor Bro. Clive Herron Marine Lodge 627 I.C. Sourced from Freemasonry Explained
Brotherhood Masons come from all walks of life, we are plumbers, professionals, salesmen and CEOâ€™s. We are fathers, uncles and sons. We are also brothers. When you become a mason, you become part of a brotherhood of men committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth, and providing care for others and families in need. While our backgrounds and interests may be diverse, what binds us together are shared values and a desire to have fun, do good and build bonds that last a lifetime. 10
Regular Steps The condemned man faced the hangman on the platform, feeling the weight of the noose about his neck. "Have you any last request?" asked the hooded figure. "You‘ve got to help me, friend!" blurted the convict. I didn‘t have a chance! The cops that arrested me, they were all masons. The crown attorney was a mason, the judge was a mason, even my own lawyer was a mason! You‘re my only hope!" The hood nodded slowly and the muffled voice from within it said "Yes, I understand." Then with a long sigh: "You will now take a short pace with your left foot."
initiates of Osiris in ancient Egypt used a peculiar step as a sign of recognition, at the same time telling us that our steps are not really such. Other than that, Mackey offers little enlightenment. Of our own observation, we may note that the starting position and the third regular step each form squares, while those between form perpendiculars. The instructions to the candidate tell him that his feet, in the form of a square as he begins his first step, are "...emblematic... of the rectitude of his actions." Milton had the same sort of thoughts when he wrote: "Yet some there be that by due steps aspire To lay their hands on that golden key That opes the palace of Eternity." To find an appropriate comment on steps I considered choreography, steps in instruction, and steps on staircases, but finally found the tone I was looking for in an obscure volume written in 1947 by J. J. Rowlands and entitled "Cache Lake Country: Life in the North Woods." Rowlands describes his life in the woods with his friends, Hank the artist, and old Chief Tibeash, a Wood Cree. Rowlands writes with good advice both at a surface level, and at one of analogy which every Freemason should be able to recognize:
The steps are perhaps the most subtle of our signs, and are little written of. There are in reality, two sets of steps for each degree: the regular steps in whose position the secrets of the degree are imparted, and the proper steps by which to approach the altar. Freemasons are not the only group to use secret steps. Mackey informs us that the 11
"An old friend of mine who lives in the city was up for a visit not long ago and we did some tramping about the woods. Now, I think nothing of walking over to Hank‘s cabin, which is only about two miles away, but the trip always tired my friend, and that worried him. What he didn‘t realise was that a fellow who walks in the city on pavement doesn‘t use the same muscles that a man
who walks in the woods does. Here the trails twist and turn, rising suddenly, now dropping away over a ridge, with ruts and rocks waiting to trip him if he doesn‘t watch out. On city pavements, which are smooth and mostly level, a man doesn‘t have to think very much about the ways of walking, but here in the forest, every step is a matter of balance, and you learn to feel the ground as your foot touches it whether you are walking in daylight or in the dark. The feet of a good woodsman tell him where the trail is no matter how dark it is, for even in heavy boots, they become very sensitise to the lay of the land. The constant change in the trail is what tires the muscles of a city man. The woodsman develops an easy, effortless rolling gait that takes him over rocks and windfalls without a lot of labour. He walks from the hips down, while the city man, as the Chief says, walks from head to foot. The feet of a woodsman move straight ahead and not at an angle as many city folk walk, and the body above his waist leans slightly forward." Certainly, the trails of life are much like those of the forest that "...twist and turn, rising suddenly, now dropping away over aq ridge, with roots and rocks waiting to trip us if we don‘t watch out." Brethren as you come to Lodge, many of you travel a distance to join your friends. Many of us travel through the year. I hope for each of you, that the regular steps of our ritual will grant you that rolling woodsman‘s gait that helps you to walk straight ahead. I am sure that that is the true symbolism of the rightness of our regular steps.
Sourced from Reflections, Vol 19 No.3 – 2004.
“Lodge St. John” No. 35
The history of our Lodge stretches back into time and immemorial the beginnings of our Lodge can only be approximately guessed at. Our first recorded minutes in our first minute book dated 8th August 1737 debated whether to send a delegation to Edinburgh to see if this ancient Lodge should join the newly formed Grand Lodge, as you can guess two Brothers were picked to petition Grand Lodge on the Falkland Brothers behalf. Senior Warden Bro. Robert Ross Surgeon of Falkland and Junior Warden Bro. James Carmichael of Balmlea set of for Edinburgh which was a 2 day round trip in the 18th century. Their petition was successful and Lodge St. John received a letter of authority dated 12th October 1737. St. John No.35 is one of the few Lodges in existence that does not have a charter or warrant from Grand Lodge but we chartered ourselves, our charter heading proudly states ‘The Magna Carta of the Masons of St. John Falkland’ The first recorded meeting of Masons in Falkland is dated 26th October 1536, at the time of the building of the main part of Falkland Palace under James V (as quoted in Lawries history of Scotland). This meeting was chaired by Sir James Scrymegour Captain of Myres Castle and 12
the Kings Master Mason. It is recorded that the Masters of St. Andrew and Dunfermline attended.
Brothers and a son. The younger Brother James seems to be the Village policeman or watchman.
There is a history of various meetings of Masons in the burgh in the 16th and 17th centuries but unfortunately no minutes exist of these meetings. Our first recorded Right Worshipful Master is Bro. James Lundin Gow of Drums Farm who chaired the meeting on 8th August 1737. After the date of the 27th December (Feast Day of St. John) 1739 the recorded pages in our first minute books has been cut out to the next recorded minute of 24th September 1774.
In the year 1810 we moved into the newly built Town Hall that was to become our home for the next 180 years. We have during that period many famous masons as members including a High Court Judge, Bro. Andrew Deas and Crimea War Hero Major William Wood as RWM of the Lodge.
The period missing covers some of the most turbulent times in Scotland history and the forming of Provincial Grand Lodge in Fife. The first Grand Master of Fife Province was a member of Lodge St. John, Bro. Alexander Melville of Balgarvie (a small estate consisting of two farms at Cupar) and also of Holms a farm steading at Monamail and Lathrisk estate and part of the Earl of Melvilles who was his uncles estates. He resided at Lathrisk House during this period. Between 1737 to 1810 the Lodge meetings took place in various places in Falkland including a weavers cottage in Balmblae and somewhere called the Byre or Barn or Steadings. The second minute in our oldest minute book is all about bye-laws and penalties of becoming a mason, you could not work with or employ a Cowan (old Scots term for a dry stane dyker) you could be find 2d in old money for turning up drunk at a meeting etc. In this period the Lodge was run and officiated by the Forsyth Family of two 13
It was during this time that the Lodge went through a period of difficulty with meetings being cancelled and poor attendances. It was at the annual Installation of Jan 3rd 1853 at the Commercial Covenanter Hotel Bro. John Robertson and Alex Johnson were fined 6d each for misbehaviour and there part in the melee, it must have been an interesting Installation Dinner. On the 1858 Feast of St. John night on Jan 2nd Bro. John Millar was fined 2/6 by the Lodge for his part in the affray at the celebration these must have been riotous occasions. The meeting on the 27th December 1867 was cancelled owing to only 5 Brethren turning up due to the weather (heavy snow). An interesting meeting took place on the 6th April 1893 where a Bro. Alexander Munro received all three Degrees on the same evening as he was leaving for America in a few days time. During the late Victorian age the Lodge took its charitable duties seriously donating to both the Blantyre Mine Disaster and the Tay Bridge Disaster. It was on the Installation night of 20th December 1890 that SD and JD were introduced to the Lodge so all rituals and
ceremonies must have changed from that date. An incident happened on the 7th April 1897 when the Lodges Provincial Visitation was headed on this occasion by Lord Rosslynn the Scottish Grand Master himself, this is the only time in recorded history from Sir James Scrymegour in 1536 that this Lodge has been visited by the Grand Master. In the early part of the 20th Century the Lodge went from strength to strength, and an outstanding Master of the Lodge at that time was Bro. Robert Sharp who was the last working mason (he was a monumental mason) Master of the Lodge from 1897 to 1905 if you want to see an example of his work there is a plaque on the SW of the Bank building on Cross Wynd Falkland of the Fallow Deer under the oak tree. The Lodge prospered right up to the outbreak of the first world war, the younger Brethren of the Lodge answering the call to arms and the Lodge lost 4 Brethren which takes us up to living history. Bro. William Anderson Sgt Scot Greys Battle of Loos 1915. Bro. James Donaldson Cpl Black Watch Battle of Loos 1915. Bro. David Hall Pte Black Watch Vimy Ridge 1916. Bro. Rodger Slacke Maj the Buffs Battle of Loos 1915. Also Bro. James Gibson died of war wounds 1920 from battle of Arrass in 1917.
Bro. William Anderson is the Great Uncle of Bro. William Anderson our present Inner Guard.
After the First World War membership boomed at the Lodge it was during this period that Bro. James Jackson was Depute Provincial Grand Master. We regularly 20 â€“ 21 Office-Bearers in the Lodge and had 60 plus paid up Brethren. On the night of the 22nd November 1919 6 candidates were initiated and it was not unusual for multiple Degrees to be worked at the period. On the 20th October 1920 it was motioned by Bro. John Drysdale to change our meeting times from 7.30pm to 7.00pm. On 31st October 1931 the Lodge was informed of the sad loss of Bro. Richard Sharp PM who was reputed to be the oldest Mason in Scotland at 102 years of age. On Saturday 20th November 1937 marked the Bi Centenary of our entry into Grand Lodge at the Bruce Hotel Falkland, Grand Lodge was represented by Bro. Lt Col Skene Grand Lodge Depute Master who toasted the King and Craft. Lodges represented St. Fothadâ€™s No.1059, St. Cyre No.121, Lindores No.106, Robert de Bruce No.304, Rothes No.532, Balgonie No.764, St. Clair of Balbeggie No.867 and the Provincial Grand Lodge. Also represented was Lodge Lommond Oak Falkland a Free Gardiners Lodge. During this period and then the Second World War the Lodge paid for the District Nurse for Falkland District and supported the wives and families of Lodge Brethren serving our nation. The Lodge boomed in membership after World War 2 on Thursday 16th February 1950 one William Anderson was petitioned at an enquiry meeting Bro. Anderson 14
Balloted 23rd February 1950, Initiated 9th March 1950, Passed FC 6th April 1950, Raised MM 21st April 1950 along with 2 other candidates and who after 66 years is our Inner Guard.
On 22nd September 1960 a cabinet was ordered from a local Cabinet Maker cost £6 and new regalia ordered from Gouldilock Glasgow 12 Aprons and Sashes including Gauntlets for Master, SW and JW.
‘Scott of the Antarctic’
Robert Falcon Scott
Lodge Church Parade that year Bro. Rev Graham Brotherton, the Lodges formed up outside the Town Hall Lodges present were Numbers 1549, 1441, 1332, 1276, 1260, 955, 911, 867, 781, 764, 532, 520, 400, 304, 273, 180, 121, 106, 77, 72, 19, 5 and 35. On the April 1963 15 Brethren received their Mark Degree by Bro. James Reekie and his Mark Degree Team. In 1984 we moved out of the Town Hall to the Liquorstane Building after 174 years in the Town Hall. After 32 years in the Liquorstane Building the Lodge is moving to Leslie to Rothes No.532 premises after 481 years of Lodge activity in Falkland. Lodge St. John No.35 is a Lodge of Freemason's in the Masonic Province of Fife and Kinross and has a history going back over 275 years. Our Lodge meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from September to April in the Masonic Hall 171 High Street Leslie KY6 3AF, when members and visitors are always very welcome. Compiled by Bro. Joseph Russell PM This History of Lodge St. John No. 35 was sourced from their website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 35 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History.
Robert Falcon Scott was born on 6th June 1868 in Devonport, Plymouth. Scott from an early age was destined to join the Royal Navy. He attended a school to prepare him to take the entrance exams to join the Navy, and at the age of 13 he began his naval career by becoming a cadet on the HMS Britannia, and then two year later became a midshipman serving on a variety of ships. In 1888 Scott was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant until 1891 when he applied to take a 2 year specialist course in torpedo training, the navy’s latest weapon. Scott proved to be very proficient in this type of work with the Navy, and was quickly promoted to torpedo lieutenant,
serving on a number of battleships. It was while serving on the HMS Majestic that he had a chance meeting with Clements Markham the then head of the Royal Geological Society in 1899, who told Scott of a proposed expedition to the Antarctic that was being put together. Two days after the meeting, Scott applied to command the expedition, and the ship would be the Discovery. The RSS Discovery was built in Dundee, Scotland and on the 6th August set sail from the Isle of Wight on its voyage to the Antarctic, under the command of Robert Falcon Scott RN. The expedition arrived 5 months later on 8th January 1902 which was the Antarctica summer, and for the next few months they charted the coast took various geographic observations. The mission of the expedition was purely scientific, and as the winter set it, Scott decided to anchor the Discovery at McMurdo Sound, where it would remain for the next two years. The Scientists onboard could carry out the objectives of study and Scott would try and make the first attempt to reach the South Pole. The attempt to reach the South Pole was to be made by Scott, along with the Doctor and Zoologist Edward Wilson and Scott’s third in Command Officer, one Ernest Shackleton. The three men along with their dogs, left the Discovery on 2nd November 1902, and from the very beginning they ran into problems. The food for the dogs turned bad, and as none of the party had any experience of working with sledge dogs, they were forced to turn back on the 31st December. However, they had travelled further south than anyone before them, by some 300 miles. Even of their return trip, problems beset them, Shackleton contracted scurvy and had to be supported by Wilson
and Scott, and through grit and determination, worn out by exhaustion, the party finally reached the Discovery on the 3rd February 1903, having travelled with sledges and dogs, 960 miles. Shackleton was sent home on the relief ship. The Discovery remained in the Antarctica for another year and arrived back in England on 10th September 1904, Scott was greeted to a hero’s welcome as the expedition had been considered a success. When Scott reported back to the Admiralty in London, he was promoted to Captain, and given leave in order to write the official expedition account. However, Scott wanted to return to the Antarctic as soon as possible and soon began a campaign to raise funds to put together another expedition, this time he planned on reaching the South Pole. So Scott left the Royal Navy and began planning the expedition that would see him being the first man to reach the South Pole. Scott had learned from his first attempt, he knew that trying to march to the South Pole would not work, and as there was no machines at this time that could travel on snow, he decided that he would make the attempt using horses and dogs, the expedition would be named, “Terra Nova Expedition,” after the ship that would take them to the Antarctic. Scott worked tirelessly to secure private funding for the trip, and began to make the preparations. He selected a crew of sixty-five men and on the 15th June 1910, the Terra Nova set off, arriving at Antarctica on 4th January 1911. But on the voyage the ship stopped off at Melbourne, Australia and Scott received a telegram stating that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was heading south in order to reach the South Pole. This news increased Scott’s efforts in planning the journey to the South Pole. 16
On arriving at Antarctica, work began on putting up the pre-fabricated hut, and on completion, a small team was ordered to explore the area and carry out scientific studies, and by early September 2011, Scott had finalized his plan. Fifteen men would accompany him on the journey, split into three groups, but only one of these groups would make the final push to the South Pole, the other two acting as the support groups. These support groups would lead, creating supply depots along the route to the pole, so in October Scott and his groups started out for the South Pole. The first team left on 24th October, the second and third teams left on the 1st November and met up with the first group three weeks later. The progress was slow caused by the bad weather, and then on the 4th of December a blizzard struck, which confined the men to their tents for five days, thus causing their rations to become smaller. In fact, and the blizzard subsided, horses were killed for their meat, and the party continued on with the journey. By the 23rd December, the original expedition team of 15 had been reduced to just 8 as the rest had been sent back to base with orders to bring the dogs to meet up with Scott and his team on the return journey from the Pole on March 1st 1912. These orders never got through as a breakdown in communications occurred somehow, for the dogs never arrived. On the 9th January Scott and his team had now reached the Antarctic plateau, and although weakening, they continued onwards and finally ‘sighted’ the South Pole on the 16th January. The ‘sighting’ was a Norwegian flag planted by Amundsen a moth earlier, Scott wrote of this; “The Pole. Yes, but under very different circumstances from those expected” 17
The next day, Scott and his group left the Pole to begin the 833 mile journey back to base. They made good time on the first part over the Plateau and the weather was kind to them, but this would change as soon as the team hit the Beardmore Glacier and before long the conditions took a turn for the worse. Scott and his men were suffering from starvation, exhaustion and frost bite, and Edgar Evan was the first to succumb to the elements, he collapsed and died on 17th February whilst descending the Glacier. Still the group continued onwards, and once they reached the Ross Ice Shelf, the weather turned worse, and for the next few weeks, the worst weather ever recorded in the area battered Scott and his group. By the 15th March, team member Lawrence Oates decided he could not carry on. He tried to persuade Scott to leave him in his sleeping bag and the rest of the team to carry on, Scott refused and they continued. That night the team set up camp, and in the morning noticed Oates awake and preparing to go outside. He had decided to sacrifice himself for the sake of the group, as rations were running perilously low. Scott describes this event in his diary: “He was a brave soul. This was the end… It was blowing a blizzard. He said, ‘I am just going outside and may be some time.’ He went out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since.” The three remaining members of the team were able to make it another 20 miles before the weather snowed them in. They were just 11 miles from their destination. The three died from exposure, it is believed because of the position of the bodies that Scott was the last to die. His last entry in diary dated 29th March 1912 was:
Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
Scott died shortly afterwards, along with Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers. Their frozen bodies were found on the 12th November by a search part from Base Camp. The three men were given a funeral and a cairn of snow was erected over their graves. To this day Scott, Wilson, Bowers, Oates and Evansâ€™ bodies still lie within the ice of Antarctica. Robert Falcon Scott was a member of several lodges including his home lodge of Drury Lane Lodge No. 2127, London, which he joined in 1901. He was also a member of St. Alban's Lodge No. 2597, Christ Church, New Zealand, and Navy Lodge No. 2613, of England. (Incidentally, Shackleton was also a member of the Navy Lodge No. 2613, but he is a story for another day, the Editor.) This article has been assembled by the editor from various sources the principle of which were, Scott of the Antarctic by Ben Johnson Historic UK Website, Masonrytoday.com website, Freemasons and the Antarctic, and Wikipedia, to who go my grateful thanks to all.
The Lodge Auditor
The duties of a lodge auditor may appear to be a simple procedure of checking entries in the cash book, but in reality there is much more to it than that if members are to feel satisfied that everything is ' above board' in the administration of their lodge finances. Many brethren find themselves elected to the office of auditor with very little experience to guide them. The following notes are intended to help. The function of an auditor is to see that the financial affairs of the lodge are in good order, that mistakes have not been made, and that there has been no misappropriation of funds. Masons are human beings and subject to error; they also get into trouble and succumb to temptation. This does not often happen, but the occasional suspension of a brother for unmasonic conduct shows that it is quite possible for a brother to fall by the wayside. The auditor's job, then, is to see that the finances of the lodge are kept straight and that opportunities for defalcation are kept to a minimum. No one likes to suspect a member of a lodge of deception or misappropriation, but we certainly have careless brethrenâ€”men who pocket monies quite innocently and forget to pay them into the lodge bank account, or who get subscriptions received in the street mixed with their own cash. No system, however watertight, is so good that someone will not find a loophole, and if it is believed that the auditing will be a perfunctory job then it is a temptation to a weak official to fake some entries. It has happened, but it will be less likely to happen if it is known that a competent auditor will be examining the records. 18
It is the first duty of the auditor to familiarise himself with the lodge system and see that it fits the requirements. It need be no elaborate set of double-entry books, but it will be well within the auditor's province to ensure that the system in use is one that will present no difficulties for him. Some secretaries and treasurers have ideas of their own and their methods may not correspond to any accepted pattern. This can lead to friction at auditing time.
checked. This is the only way of ensuring that no fiddling has taken place.
Lodges differ in their administrative ideas according to the taste and fancy of the current officers. Some secretaries keep the books of account and restrict their treasurers to signing cheques. Others hand over the whole of the financial affairs to the treasurer and refuse even to issue a receipt. Generally, however, the work is shared between them and runs along smoothly. The auditor is often elected just before the financial year ends and has very little say on the way the books are to be kept. He then becomes a figure-checker, but in his report to the lodge he can make any comments he likes if he feels that what he has found indicates inefficiency. He must be tactful of course, and not step on the corns of faithful but unreliable officers. When the auditor is elected and he finds things that could be improved, it is up to him to make recommendations to the lodge.
All monies should be recorded in the receipt book. Where receipts are made out 'for collections ' and other odd amounts the receipt should not be torn out but left in the book for the auditor to cancel. Care should be taken to ensure that a used receipt cannot be altered and re-issued and that if a receipt has been made out in error it should be cancelled but left in the book, pinned to its duplicate.
The auditor's first duty is to check the receipt books. This means not only the books in use but the reserve stock so as to ensure that no one has been issued a receipt from a book not yet in use. The practice that some lodges have, in the interests of economy, of buying their receipts book from a chain store or a stationer can lead to difficulty because no one has any check on them. If they are printed for a lodge by a printer, each receipt is numbered and can be 19
He will then proceed to check the entries in the cash book with the carbon copies in the receipt books, so as to ensure that they agree. He will then check the totals in the cash book. If it is a columnar cash book his task is confined to ticking the entries with a coloured pencil. (Professional auditors use green ink.)
The advantages of the columnar cash book will also be obvious because it simplifies checking and the construction of the Receipts and Payments Account. Payments by the lodge should always be made by cheque and these will be entered in the other side of the Cash Book. All payments should first be checked with the Minute Book to show that they have been authorised by the lodge. Some lodges adopt the vague custom of passing accounts ' subject to being found correct'. The auditor will then look for the signature of the certifying officer on the statement. If he does not find it then he should mention the matter in his report because it indicates laxity. Every payment should be covered by a receipt from the person receiving the cheque. These receipts should be scrutinised and cancelled so that they cannot be used
again. Tylers and organists are paid by cheque and there should be receipts from them as well. The recording of members' subscriptions and other debits is done in various ways but the auditor will mainly check to see that credits have not been inserted without going through the cash book. He will check off the members' accounts with the Members' Register to see that all have been correctly debited and that there has been proper differentiation between Full and Country members. His job here is to see that the lodge is getting the money that it is entitled to and that no one has been missed. A frequent source of fraud is to credit a customer's account with money that has not passed through the cash book. In most cases where this occurs it is because the member pays the officer in the street or the anteroom; the officer pockets it, converts it to his own use and, to delay discovery, inserts a credit in the ledger. To guard against this all ledger credits should be checked back through the cash book. Generally speaking most lodge accounts are so small that it is not worth anyone's while to tamper with them, added to which is that the discovery can be a shock to all concerned. Still, the auditor has to watch for these things. The writing off of bad debts (i.e., unpaid subscriptions) can only be done with the authority of the lodge. This should always be checked with the Minute Book. If the lodge accounts are down compared with a previous year then it is a sign that something has gone wrong and the auditor should find out. One of the puzzling features of the present day is that despite unparalleled prosperity there are more dues owing to lodges than ever before. As a result lodges are troubled to balance their books.
Small items of expense such as postage and duty stamps are paid from Petty Cash recorded in a Petty Cash Book which is refreshed by the drawing of a Petty Cash cheque either for a fixed amount each time or for the total of the expended items. The auditor cannot be expected to vouch these pettier and all he need do is to compare the petty cash total with that of the previous year. Any increase should be investigated. Provided the records are properly kept the audit of the average lodge can be done in two to three hours but if the vouchers are missing, if the Secretary has forgotten to obtain the Bank Statement, if receipts have been issued from several books and there are errors, erasures and untidiness, the business of auditing can become a horror stretch for the auditor. He may not like to report to the lodge that the Secretary (or Treasurer) is inefficient but he should certainly have a word with the Senior Warden so that the unsatisfactory officer is replaced in the following year. His report, which should be attached to the Annual Statement of Receipts and Payments, should be fully informative. If there are irregularities he is failing in his duty if he does not take some action. He should also draw the lodge's attention to trends which can affect the future, such as rising costs, falling membership, etc. He should not hesitate to suggest improvements to the keeping of the books if, in his opinion, they can be bettered. The auditor is not a rubber stamp, to approve the work of the regular officers, but is the watchdog or guardian of the lodge finances. He is entitled, nay, expected, to make such recommendations as he thinks fit. Reprinted from the South African Masonic Journal and sourced from the 1973 GLOS year book, with thanks.
Rays of Masonry â€œTodayâ€?
Today I will meet life with a renewed courage. Today I will put to work the philosophy that I have adopted, the religion that I claim. Today I will think more of my blessings and less of my troubles. Today I will speak a good word of another, the word that I failed to speak yesterday. Today I will stop long enough to speak to a child. Today I will ask God to give something to somebody else. The other fellow is struggling too. Today I will place a sentinel over my mouth and guard my words. Today I will try to be the man that I am capable of being. Today I will elevate myself morally and spiritually by acts of love, by expressions of friendships, by thoughts of man's possibilities. Today I will try to be a creature fashioned in the image of the Creator. Today I will give something back to life for the privilege of life.
Dewey Wollstein 1953.
Brotherly Love "Brotherly love?" commented the Old Past Master. "Oh, yes, the lodge is full of it. It is curious the way it manifests itself, sometimes, but when you dig down deep enough into men's hearts, you find a lot of it. "A lot of them never show it, then," said the Very New Mason. "Oh, no, certainly not! Men don't go around demonstrating their affection like a lot of girls, you know," answered the Old Past Master. "But you don't have to see a demonstration to know the feeling is there. The trouble with so many young Masons is their misunderstanding of the term 'brotherly love,' though high heaven knows the words are sufficiently easy to understand. "'Brotherly,' now, means 'like a brother.' I know a lot of brothers hate each other, but
they don't act like brothers. There have been cowardly soldiers, and forsworn ministers, and corrupt judges, but when you say a man is 'like a soldier,' you mean 'brave and true'; when you say he is 'good as a minister' you mean one who 'truly does his honest best.' When you say 'upright as a judge' you mean 'as straight as the best of judges.' And when I say 'brotherly' means 'like a brother,' I mean like a brother who is acting as a good brother likes to act. "As for 'love' there are more definitions than there are words in my mouth (which are several). But in connection with the 'brotherly' the word means that true affection which first considers the good of the person loved. "Masonry teaches brotherly love. Many of its scholars are a long way from 100 per cent perfect in their lessons. But a lot could get an 'E' on their report card if the Lodge gave out evidence of scholastic standing! "For instance, there was B'Jones. That is not his name, but it will serve. B'Jones undertook to do a piece of work for a hospital. It took him a year. At the end of the year his business was in shreds and tatters. He had one of those businesses that needs a man's personal attention. "His attention had gone to his hospital, which, by the way, was built and flourishes, to the everlasting credit of his city. It ought to be called the B'Jones hospital, but it isn't. "A lot of his brethren in his lodge got to know about B'Jones. They called a meeting, called it the B'Jones meeting, issued stock in the B'Jones association, bought the stock, started B'Jones off all over again, and let him pay them back as he could. All this, without B'Jones ever asking for help.
Brotherly love, my son, in the best meaning of the word. "There was poor old Smith. Smith, during his lifetime, came to the lodge every night. He wasn't very bright, was Smith. He could't learn the work and had no presence. Couldn't make a speech to save his life, so he never was called on at banquets. He never did anything audible, but he was always on committees and he always passed around refreshments and he attended every funeral, and he was always down ahead of the meeting to see if the room was clean, and if it wasn't, he'd sweep it out. "He gave the best he had in service. Well, Smith died. Men do, you know; and awful lot have, already. At the funeral, we found out Smith left an invalid wife and two half grown children and no assets. It's the lodge's business to take care of such, and we did it. But three men in the lodge with more money than ability to keep it to themselves, subscribed enough cash to put the boy through a good business school and the girl through a normal school, so they could earn their own living. Charity? Nonsense! The lodge attended to the 'relief.' The three attended to brotherly love. They just remembered what old Smith was and how he gave, and so they turned to and gave. Actually, Smith did most of the loving. The three just acted in reflex to Smith's loving heart, that so cared for his brethren and his Lodge he was always engaged in brotherly work. "Do you know Brown? Brown runs a garage. Also, Brown ran a temperature until the doctors took him off to the hospital to cut out his something-or -other. Well, the garage was about to cash in. Garages don't run themselves, and there wasn't any one we could hire to run it. So six brothers of this lodge spent two hours a day each at the place, looking after it. We didn't do a very 22
good job, I'm afraid: Brown says we are the worst garage keepers in the world, but we saved the shop from being wrecked and looted, and Brown thinks Masonry means something. One reason we did it was because of brotherly love in spirit of the fact that sitting around a cold garage selling gasoline is about the uneasiest apology for loafing I know! "I could talk all night about it. But what's the use? Those to whom 'brotherly love' is just words won't listen to what I say and those who know what they really mean don't need to hear it." "Well, I am glad I heard it!" answered the Very New Mason. "Then," went the Old Past Master, "get it firmly fixed in your mind, young man, more than one man has gone into a lodge and curled his lip when he learned that he was supposed to be a brotherly lover, and turned around and wept when he found that he was being loved like a brother by men he didn't know cared what became of him. "Masonry works miracles all the time, and the commonest of them and the one she works oftenest is teaching hard-hearted citizens to be soft-hearted Masons; teaching men the real meaning of the words 'brotherly' and 'love' until they, too, become teachers." This is the first article in this our new regular feature, ‘The Old Past Master,’ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Working with Wisdom As the priest of ancient Israel used to say as pilgrims entered the Temple in Jerusalem, Achenu, batem leshalom: “Brethren, we bid you welcome!” What a wonderful privilege you have given me, to preside and preach in this historic sanctuary which for a hundred years has been part of the townscape and tradition of Brisbane, at a historic service which is the first of its kind ever held in this State. In Queensland, as everywhere, Jews have felt consistently comfortable in the Masonic movement. For many, Masonry has become an almost addictive lifelong passion. For some, exemplary service to the Craft has been crowned with high Masonic honours. For every one of them membership of Masonry has never presented any problem of religious conscience. It is a point which I think needs to be made. For we still hear suggestions from time to time that Masonry and religion are incompatible: some even accuse it of posing as a rival religion. Because there are those who misunderstand the truth, I believe a word of explanation is appropriate. Masonry is not, nor does it claim to be a religion. Adherents of many religions are among its members, and there is hardly a religious group that raises objections to its believers being Masons. Even some who once opposed the movement have taken up an increasingly positive position towards it. A Mason must profess a belief in a Supreme Being, but the movement has neither
theological tenets nor denominational rituals. It is religious, but it is not a religion. Its ceremonies celebrate ethical principles with allegories and symbols deriving from Biblical characters and events which are part of the cultural heritage of western civilisation, but it completely avoids drawing any theological conclusions from the Biblical material it utilises. Masonry and religion are not rivals or adversaries, but systems which have much in common and congenially reinforce one another. The name Masonry hints at a historic connection with the medieval stonemason’s trade. Masonry today, however, is not usually involved in stoneworking and building in a physical sense, but philosophically, metaphorically. Drawing its terminology and symbolism from the builder’s craft, it ponders on the principles upon which man can build, not a building but a Utopia. Because so many Biblical stories are familiar to Masons – they are certainly second nature to Jews – let me recall that there is a Biblical episode on the theme of building which was part of the childhood upbringing of all of us, namely the story of the builders of the Tower of Babel: “And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that… they said one to another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly…’ And they said, ‘Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name…’ And the Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is what they begin to do: and now nothing will be withholden from
them, which they propose to do. Come, let us go down and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth, and they left off to build the city.” What a strange, puzzling story. What did they do wrong? Wanting to build, to be united, to share a common language, to leave a monument behind – surely fine, noble, worthy objectives! What would we not give to have a world today, or tomorrow, where there was such unity of purpose and understanding! And yet the Bible disapproves in terms that nobody can possibly misconstrue. Swiftly, dramatically, God comes down and frustrates the plan and sends the builders packing. One of the explanations proffered by the ancient Jewish sages says their set of priorities was all awry. In their haste to build a building, they lost sight of humanity and human values. Whilst the work was in progress, members of the building team sometimes took ill or even dropped dead. Nobody took any notice. It was just a passing nuisance. But if one of the bricks dropped and broke, that was a different matter, a full-scale catastrophe. “Where will we get another brick from?” they all agonised. That’s what was wrong with the builders of Babel, says the Midrash, the ancient anthology of Jewish commentary: men didn’t matter, lives were dispensable, concern and compassion went by the board. In the Biblical view, every man is precious in the sight of God. To Masonry too, 24
nobody is a nobody. A Masonic meeting begins with the Master of the Lodge checking that every member of the team is in position, even the lowliest and most junior. And the meeting is likely to end with news of brethren who are ill or in difficulties, so that the Lodge can discreetly express its concern and be of assistance. The preciousness of every man is beautifully summed up by Abraham Joshua Heschel, who says: “Our way of seeing a person is different from our way of seeing a thing. A thing we perceive, a person we meet. To meet means not only to come upon, to come within the perception of, but also to come into the presence of, or association with, a person. To meet means not only to confront but also to agree, to join, to concur.” And yet people so often make gods out of things, serving, slaving for possessions and status symbols – and at the same time, they hardly ever see their families, they miss seeing their children grow up, they have no time for friendship, they don’t know what it is to be human. To those who so feverishly worship results, achievements, possessions, or bricks and mortar, nobody is anybody. No wonder God disapproved of the builders of Babel, for to God, everybody is somebody. A second interpretation of the Babel story: The builders all spoke the same language. Where’s the sin in that? you ask – until you start thinking the thing through, and then it dawns upon you that it’s too good to be true, to have everybody, absolutely everybody, in such unanimous agreement that no-one, apparently, has any doubts, there is no dissension, there is not even a hint of opposition or a breath of criticism. 25
The Jewish sages were not slow to notice this strange phenomenon. They read into the text, not devarim achadim – “the same words” – but devarim achudim, “chosen words, imposed words”. The ring-leaders had an idea in their minds; they were determined that their idea would rule, and they brooked no opposition. And what sort of human society is it when Big Brother regulates your thoughts and your words and you become a golem, an automaton, with no choice but to do what it is programmed to do? Tragically, there are people who are more comfortable and secure when they don’t have to work things out and decide for themselves, when everything is mapped out and ordained for them. Yet Biblical thinking, inspiration of every form of democracy and of democratic movements such as Masonry, insists that no-one has the right to impose his views upon others, and no-one may abdicate his own decision-making, however hard it may be, or to surrender his mind to someone else and say, “Tell me what to think, it’s easier that way!” In this rabbinic interpretation of the story of Babel, you see an almighty protest against thoughts and words ordained by others who move others around as pawns on a chessboard. When people cease to have the right or desire to be people, to be individuals with minds and mouths of their own, there you have the beginning of the breakdown of human civilisation. There are right and wrong moments, places and ways in which to express individuality; but individuality is the glory of being human. And now, a third approach to the ancient story. Read the words again, and you see that the builders of the Tower of Babel were
quite open and frank about their aim and purpose. Was the idea to provide a city where people could live contented lives, with a tower that would be a rallying point and source of security? Was the aim to erect something tangible that would be useful to humanity and history? No: The whole thing was an ego trip: “Let us build us a city, and a tower… and let us make us a name!”
sport is archaeology. Israelis of all walks of life are addicted to the fascinating task of finding and restoring ancient monuments. Near one Kibbutz they found the site of an old synagogue from possibly two thousand years ago. One kibbutznik, after a long day in the fields, went off to the dig and helped to sift the earth by hand to uncover the mosaics on the synagogue floor.
Alright, it’s human nature to want to be noticed, to dream of being famous, to fantasise about having one’s name on everyone’s lips. And in its way, being known, appreciated and engraved upon the record of history, is by no means a bad thing. But to do a thing for the sake of the kudos is hardly the highest motive, nor is there any guarantee that one will not be disappointed, disillusioned and discarded.
A tourist was watching. He could not contain himself. “Tell me,” he asked, “What do you need this for after a long day in the fields when you must be absolutely exhausted?” And this was the reply he got from the kibbutznik: “Well, Mister, I am tired, and at the end of the day I haven’t all that energy. But what I do, I can’t help doing, because it makes me part of something beautiful.”
Masonry, like every human activity, offers its rewards and confers its honours. We all have a streak of vanity in us, and we do get pleasure when our efforts are noticed. But the Biblical story rejects the notion that a task should be undertaken other than for its own sake. Indeed, if your overriding thought is your own honour and glory, who knows how unfair, selfish and irresponsible you may be and how much you risk ruining because of an overdose of ego!
When you carefully, ethically, responsibly, generously, selflessly give yourself to any worthwhile task, and especially to the crucial endeavour to build human society on earth into the Utopia of God’s kingdom come true, the votes of thanks may never materialise, but you become part of something beautiful, and the righteousness is its own reward.
There is so much to do in life, so many spots on earth to make greener and more beautiful, so many lives to make brighter and more optimistic, so many creative thoughts to think and articulate and turn into realities. If they’re good deeds they’re worth doing, even for mixed motives – but the best way is to do what has to be done even if noone notices and there is no vote of thanks: let righteousness be its own reward. In modern Israel, with its pulsating drama, its kaleidoscope of culture, a great national
The Mason who, tired though he is likely to be at the end of the day, and tempted to stay home and not bother with his Lodge meeting, rarely fails to listen to his better self and go to Lodge, and mentally to sift through the symbols and ceremonies that all deal with building a better society. He too would be likely to say, “What I do in Masonry I can’t help doing, because it makes me part of something beautiful.” May this service inspire and encourage members of Masonry in this State to continue to support their Order and let its 26
teachings support them in their every endeavour. May the Most Worshipful Grand Master and all who hold office in the Craft continue to find that their efforts for a worthy objective are their own reward. And may God bless and uphold all who strive for the advancement of humanity, decency, morality and faith; may the pleasantness of the Lord on High be upon them, and establish for ever the work of their hands. By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Is it expected that I do business only with a Mason? Answer:
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about freemasonry and is perfectly answered here. Ed.
A problem which confronts a newly made Mason is his supposed obligation to give his business to fellow Masons rather than the profane. Masonry is most emphatically not a back scratching organization, a Board of Trade, a Chamber of Commerce or a mutual admiration society. There is no obligation, actual or implied, which demands that, because you have become a Mason, you must forsake all those with whom you have been doing business who are not? And give your orders to brethren who may? Or may not, be equally satisfactory as tradesmen. 27
Other things being equal, it is brotherly to give your business where it will help a fellow Mason. But other things must be equal. If the twin born with you sold poor shoes at fancy prices, while your neighbourâ€™s son sold good shoes for reasonable prices, you would not buy off your own blood brother. To do so would be to injure yourself and your family, since you would be wasting your money. Exactly the same idea applies to your fraternal brother. The man who says: "Buy of me because I am a Mason! Is not anxious to serve you but to serve himself. If he is a good businessman, he does not need to depend on mutual membership in any organization, whether Lodge, church or club, for his business. If he is not a good businessman-that is, if he sells poor goods--he has no moral right to attempt to offset poor quality by whining that you both belong to the same Lodge. Similarly he who comes to you and says, "I have come to you because I know you are a Mason; now I expect a discount because we both belong," is also using his Masonry to promote selfish interests and should be discouraged.
Question: Why is a Lodge meeting called a "communication?" Answer: In old English "communication" was "to common"--to share with others. In the church "communion" is the common partaking of a sacrament. In a Masonic Lodge "Communion," "to common," is to gather in a "communication," signifying not just a meeting of men to legislate, but a gathering of men with a common purpose, governed by a common idea, believing in a common ideal. It is one of the precious and delightful ways in which Masonry keeps
alive an old, old idea in the words of long ago.
Question: If the penalties are not intended to be carried out, what is their purpose?
Question: What is the Regius Poem?
Answer: They are traditional, based on 15th century Admiralty penalties for treason. Nobody has ever suffered those penalties and their contents have been a source of worry to Masons and Grand Lodges in many parts of the world. In 1964, The English Grand Lodge resolved to approve "permissive changes" in the Obligations [plural] and in the relevant passages in the ritual relating to the Obligations by which the Candidate undertakes now to "bear in mind" the "traditional penalty, that of having the..." Note, the Candidate does not undertake to suffer the penalty, or to inflict it, he only promises to bear it in mind. The permissive changes were "permissive" in so far that no Lodges were ordered to adopt them; they could only adopt them by a majority vote in the Lodge. A large number of Lodges adopted the changes; many still adhere to the earlier forms. [see Carr's, "The
Answer: Sometimes called the Halliwell Document, it is, loosely speaking, the oldest of the "Manuscript Constitutions" of Freemasonry. Dated approximately A.D. 1390, it is in old Chaucerian English [Middle English], and is difficult to read without a translation. It is preserved in the British Museum. It is not, accurately speaking, a "Constitution," although it has within it much that is found in manuscripts. It is more a document about Masonry than for Masons. It is discursive, rambling, wordy, and parts of it are copies of contemporary documents, notably "Urbanitatis" and "Instructions to a Parish Priest." Within the Regius, thirty-eight lines are devoted to "The Four Crowned Martyrs," who are not referred to in any of the manuscript Constitutions. The book is approximately four by five and one-half inches, the pages fine vellum, the letters in red and what was probably once black but is now a rather drab greenish brown color.
Freemason at Work", pages 38-45] 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.
Its most curious feature is that it is written in verse, which is why it is often called the Regius Poem, although it is much more doggerel than poetry. It is important to Masonic students for many reasons; to the average Mason its most salient feature may be that it ends with what are, so far as is known, the oldest words in the Masonic ritual "So mote it be." (Mote is old English for "may").
Peace on Earth, and goodwill towards all men “God Bless Us, Every One! 28
Making Good Men Better
and freedom for others and ourselves through enlightenment, obedience to the laws of the land under whose protection we live, honesty with our fellowman, and integrity in all aspects of human behaviour, and charity to the best of our abilities.
If anyone asks you about becoming a Freemason, you would do well to print this article, and give it to him.
Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization, an educational and charitable Order of Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, dedicating ourselves to moral conduct, mutual respect, relief, and leadership; benevolence and altruism; promoting the welfare and happiness for mankind as our duty. We find clues of Freemasonry’s existence in ancient times; but we can’t document definite proof of its age as a fraternity. But it’s evident that much likeness was in those ancient organizations of men to modern Freemasonry; men enjoying the sharing of fellowship with each other, learning together how to practice the virtues of honesty, tolerance, and integrity in their daily lives.
FREEMASONRY focuses on making good men better through its teachings. Freemasons are men who profess a belief and place their trust in the Supreme Deity, regardless of the name they associate with that Supreme Deity (i.e., God, Jehovah, Allah, Great Spirit, or any other name used in his religious affiliation). Freemasons apply the image of working tools used in the builders trades as well as the Holy Writings (of their chosen faith) to remind them of the moral and ethical truths. Living these truths serves for the betterment of life and good for mankind. Freemasonry isn’t a religious but it has a creed and I here quote from Masonic Scholar Albert Pike, “It teaches what it deems to be truth in respect to the nature and attributes of God.” We Freemasons bind ourselves together with good and like minded men; in a worldwide fraternal organization of brotherhood that transcends all origin, ethnic, cultural, social, religious, economic, political, or educational differences. We actively seek out ways in which to serve God, our family, our fellowman, and our country, all in fellowship with our brethren in this Honourable Order of Freemasonry. We dedicate ourselves to experiencing truth 29
Freemasons realize that it’s a blessing to our minds and our souls to perform acts of kindness and good deeds for others, without feeling it necessary to receive anything in return. Therefore we try to contribute, not always monetarily, but sometimes of time and ourselves. We therefore live our lives in such a manner as to make this world a better place because of the virtuous life we live while on God’s earth. Freemasons know that their choices and means of worship will be respected by their fellows in the brotherhood and we mutually agree to never impose our individually chosen faith on one another. We are expected to have a belief in the Supreme Deity, by whatever our concept or name we have for Him. Freemasonry is not intended to be a religion, a substitute for religion, or a
replacement of our devotion to the means and places of worship of our chosen faith. We offer no sacraments, religious doctrines, nor do we make claims to saving of souls. However, we do actively encourage each individual’s study of the Sacred Writings pertinent to our individual choice of religious faith. To become a Freemason you should ask one that is a Mason in good standing (a current fee paying member of a Masonic Lodge) to guide you in petitioning a local Masonic Lodge for the degrees of Freemasonry. Or, you may contact the Grand Lodge of your Country of residence for referral to a Lodge close to where you live. Don’t wait to be asked to join the Freemasons, as that may never happen. Until very recent years, members were forbidden to solicit new members. This policy was based on the old and honoured concept that one must come to Freemasonry of his own free and unsolicited will. Many members, especially those with longevity in the fraternity, still believe this policy should be upheld and will never ask you to become a Mason, even though he may believe that you would be an excellent candidate. There is more to becoming a Freemason than just to pay a few pounds (or dollars) and be a “club member.” Freemasonry isn’t just a social club; it is truly a way of life. If you think this way of life is what you want for your life, take the time to seek out a current member of this ancient worldwide fraternity of brotherhood and express your interest. Keep asking until you have a petition and it submitted to a Lodge for consideration. Your request for consideration for membership will probably be put on hold for a period of time so the members of the lodge can become acquainted with you and
you with them. After a period of time your petition will be read before the lodge, and you will be asked to appear before an enquiry committee of Lodge members to ask you about your self. Your petition will then be read before the lodge again and a ballot cast by the Lodge members. You will then be notified by the lodge secretary of the ballot results, and if elected, when to appear for the first of three serious degrees. After each degree the candidate must learn the catechism of that degree with the aid of an appointed coach. When you are properly prepared, you will be required to prove your proficiency to the Lodge and subsequently you will be scheduled for the next degree. The elapsed time between your degrees will depend on how fast you learn and the Lodge’s schedules. However there are time restrictions established by Grand Lodge on how long you can take in learning the catechisms. The three degrees of Freemasonry are often referred to as the Blue (or Symbolic) Lodge. When you’ve been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason (third degree) you will become a full member of the Lodge and you will be free to join other Masonic Organizations if you wish. However, you should always remember that the Craft Lodge in which you were made a Mason is the foundation of all of Masonry and your allegiance should always be to Craft Freemasonry, as you will have obligated yourself to do so under oath (or affirmation). Good men of all walks of life, from common labourer to Kings, Presidents, and Potentates, have petitioned for the honour of being a Freemason. In Lodge, all Brothers are considered to be equal regardless of their status in the outside world. Article by Paul Weathers- sourced from the Oasis Lodge 52 website.
Apprentice Gloves A presentation to the newly Entered Apprentice of his white gloves. This should ideally be given sometime after the investiture of his apron by the Senior Warden, before retiring… Otherwise the explanation can be given if he has his gloves onwith varied words.
Brother ……. You have now been invested as a member of our Ancient and Noble Order of Freemasonry, and nobody can take that away from you. You wear the apron of the degree which Brother Senior Warden has briefly explained, which symbolises a pure heart. As part of your Masonic dress in this country we wear white gloves as a badge of cleanliness-clean hands. When Bishops are invested, they are given white gloves which should not be soiled by contact with impure things. There was a time when an Assize Judge was given a pair of white gloves to signify that no cases were before him…times have changed, but not our Ritual, and we hold dear the symbolism of Freemasonry. Many years ago, a Mason could be buried with his regalia to keep them together, and in Ireland the Master Masons Grand Lodge certificate was burned when he died, which makes old certificates quite rare. In freemasonry we use symbols and allegories to impart the story of our history, and use texts from the Bible and illustrate them with the tools of our former brethren, the Stonemasons, the apron and gloves were used by them for protection whilst working with the masonry during building. Truth is always within your heart, and should be open like the Volume of The Sacred Law as you see it now. Copyright 2018. John Cane, PPJGW, (Surrey), PPSGW. (Middx). N.B. Even today there are some Constitutions that forbid markings on Masonic gloves, whereas in others, such gloves may be confiscated. In the Netherlands, the Candidates hands are washed in the ceremony, which helps to makes lodge visits interesting.
We'll twine some holly on the chandelier, We'll hang a "Merry Christmas!" on the wall; Remember, brothers, Christmas time is near, Go get some tissue, decorate the hall. But, oh, my brothers, let that not be all! — Twine something more than holly-berries here, Yes, Christ as well as Christmas time recall In all our cheer. Twine something more than holly, — twine an arm Around an erring brother, 'round the weak. Not all the berries from the field or farm So well of Christ and Christmas time will speak. Fare forth beyond the Lodge-room — let us seek Some sadness out, and with the magic charm Of Christmas drive the tear-drop from the cheek, From hearts alarm. Around the world the songs of Christmas roll. O Christ, men feel Your hand within their own. What, after all, the great Masonic goal, Of all the brotherhoods that earth has known? Not only wealth, not only walls of stone, But lives made glad, and human hearts made whole, Men hand-in-hand, and Christ upon His throne, His throne the Soul. Poem by Douglas Malloch
THE BACK PAGE THE WORKING TOOLS OF A TRAVELLING MASON I now present to you the working tools of a travelling mason; they are the Tyre Jack, AA Membership Card and the Cell Phone.
The Tyre Jack is the first tool placed in the hands of the travelling brother, to enable him to lift his car and change the tyre, while swearing and soiling his clothes.
The AA Card is a small piece of plastic; meaningless by itself, but powerful when the first tool proves unsatisfactory. Though recognized by various drivers under different class licenses, it yet admitted by them all that no towing can be done without it.
The Cell Phone is an annoying tool, expensive in its use and yet â€œan evil necessityâ€?. It is calculated to have its battery die just when it is about to be engaged with the second tool, and the mightiest curses have been created by its aid.
But as we are not travelling masons, but more social and local or visiting brethren, we apply these tools to our social graces. In that sense from the Jack we learn that it is more important to lift our brethren up than worry about a soiled trouser or a bit of inconvenience.
From the AA Card we learn that help, support and back up are of vital importance. It is more important to help one another than to try to go it alone. That teamwork is the way to grow. Although the lodge may be strong and the members may be dedicated it is all in vain if we do not support one another. From the Cell Phone we learn communication is necessary to achieve camaraderie, that devotion is achieved through repeated and caring conversations alone and nothing short of familiarity and support is necessary to induce the virtue of brotherly love, encourage the lodge and raise membership from obscurity. On the whole we deduce the following moral, that visiting, meant as support, aided by team work and prompted by brotherly love will finally overcome all our hurdles, raise attendance through association and promote contentment in the Lodge of Free Masonry. This lecture was created as a toast to the visitors in January of 2004 for installation of officers for Lebanon Lodge No. 139. The creator was: W. Bro. Scott McQuillin, P. M., Lebanon Lodge. The Editor of the SRA76 magazine in sourcing has slightly adapted the article and included the graphics.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor
A Merry Christmas to our readers throughout the World. Brethren, as we are approaching the end of yet another year, the editorial staff would like to thank everyone reading this for their continued support over the last year, it really is appreciated. Have a very happy Christmas where ever you are,
â€œTo Masons wives and Masons bairns, and them that lie in Masons arms.â€? All the best from SRA76. 33
The Monthly Masonic Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.