Volume 16 Issue 8 No. 130 December 2020
Cover Story, The Acacia or Evergreen and The Christmas Tree Free Born Masonry and the Armed Forces Did You Know? Brotherhood Roof of the World Lodge No. 1094 Famous Freemasons – Bert Williams The Old Past Master The Perfect Ashlar The Cradle and the Lodge Ritual – Effective Delivery Did You Know? The Back Page – The Working Tools of the Irish Guards
Main Website – Secrecy in Symbolism
In this Issue: Cover Story ‘The Acacia or evergreen and Christmas Tree.’ “The Acacia is an important symbol in Freemasonry and the evergreen tree has become one of the symbols of the Christian celebration of Christmas – why?” Page 5, ‘Free Born’ What does this mean? Page 6, ‘Masonry and the Armed Forces’ Page 9, ‘Did You Know?’ Questions about the Craft. Page 11, ‘Brotherhood’ Page 14, ‘Roof of the World No. 1094. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 17, ‘Bert Williams’ Famous Freemasons. Page 21, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “Those Symbols”, Seventeenth in the series. Page 23, ‘Reflections.’ Attitude in Masonry Page 25, ‘The Cradle and the Lodge’ Page 28, ‘Ritual’ - Effective Delivery Page 30, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 32, ‘The Back Page.’ The Working Tools of the Irish Guards. In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Secrecy in Symbolism’ [link] Front cover –A stock picture of a Christmas Tree sourced from Pintrest. 2
The Acacia or Evergreen and Christmas Tree
Intimately connected with the legend of the third degree is the mythical history of the Sprig of Acacia, which we are now to consider. Mackey continues… There is no symbol more interesting to the masonic student than the Sprig of Acacia, not only on account of its own peculiar import, but also because it introduces us to an extensive and delightful field of research; that, namely, which embraces the symbolism of sacred plants. In all the ancient systems of religion, and Mysteries of initiation, there was always some one plant consecrated, in the minds of the worshippers and participants, by a peculiar symbolism, and therefore held in extraordinary veneration as a sacred emblem. Thus the ivy was used in the Mysteries of Dionysus, the myrtle in those of Ceres, the erica in the Osirian, and the lettuce in the Adonisian.
As many have surmised Masonic symbolism is an elusive thing. Just when you think you understand a symbol, it disappears in a mist, only faint glimpses possible. Such is the case with the sprig of acacia or evergreen. The Masonic explanation is adequate enough but for the more inquiring minds, there may be something more. THE PLANT OR TREE In the Symbolism of Freemasonry, Albert Mackey tells us:
It is a very great error to designate the symbolic plant of Masonry by the name of “Cassia”–an error which undoubtedly arose, originally, from the very common habit among illiterate people of sinking the sound of the letter ‘a’ in the pronunciation of any word of which it constitutes the initial syllable. Just, for instance, as we constantly hear, in the conversation of the uneducated, the words pothecary and prentice for apothecary and apprentice, shall we also find cassia used for acacia. Unfortunately, however, this corruption of acacia into cassia has not always been confined to the illiterate: but the long employment of the corrupted form has at length introduced it, in some instances, among a few of our writers. Even the venerable Oliver, although well acquainted with the symbolism of the acacia, and having written most learnedly upon it, has, at times, allowed himself to use the objectionable corruption, unwittingly influenced, in all probability, by the too
The acacia, in the mythic system of Freemasonry, is pre-eminently the symbol of the IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL–that important doctrine which it is the great design of the institution to teach. As the evanescent nature of the flower which “cometh forth and is cut down” reminds us of the transitory nature of human life, so the perpetual renovation of the evergreen plant, which uninterruptedly presents the appearance of youth and vigour, is aptly compared to that spiritual life in which the soul, freed from the corruptible companionship of the body, shall enjoy an eternal spring and an immortal youth. Hence, in the impressive funeral service of our order, it is said, “This evergreen is an emblem of our faith in the immortality of the soul. By this we are reminded that we have an immortal part within us, which shall survive the grave, and which shall never, never, never die.”
frequent adoption of the latter word in the English lodges. In America, but few Masons fall into the error of speaking of the Cassia. The proper teaching of the Acacia is here well understood.
Century, the Premier Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of Ireland favoured the day of John the Baptist, while the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Antient Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of All England at York installed their Grand Masters on the feast day of John the Evangelist. Its interesting to note that The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) was formed on December 27th 1813.
So having delved into the origins and textual meaning of the acacia let us examine some other meanings and some myths and legends concerning the evergreen. I sometimes think up here in the Northern climes, when in the grips of a cold and snowy winter, the evergreens symbolic meaning rings truer than in warmer climes because of its stark contrast with the rest of the environment, but like in the picture above of the famous Tree of Ténéré, an evergreens tenacity for life is evident even in the hottest environment.
ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST But why John the Evangelist, and what about him represents the counterbalance of John the Baptist, the opposite pillar of the point within the circle? For those who forget, the point within the circle is the Masonic symbol that all men are said to endeavour to emulate in their physical and spiritual being. It essentially is the balancing one’s desires and passions in the pursuit of knowledge.
That is why the Acacia is an important symbol in Freemasonry and the evergreen tree has become one of the symbols of the Christian celebration of Christmas. But how did the evergreen tree end up in a Christian festival of Christ's birth?
THE SOLSTICE The celebration of the Winter Solstice is one of mankind’s oldest traditions. It marks the shortest day of the year. After days and months of growing darkness, light begins its gradual return to our planet with a promise of new life and longer days. Mankind has revered this day in one form or another and throughout all of history gathered together to rejoice. The early Christian Church was very good at integrating festivals from all sources, and although the actual date of Christ's birth varies according to scholars, December 25 was chosen by Pope Julius in the 4th century bringing the day of Christ's birth in harmony with the most cherished celebration in the ancient world.
There are many myths and stories from all over the globe claiming paternity to the Christmas tree. But we must first discuss the day which Christmas is celebrated around, the Winter Solstice. It is of significance also that as Masons we also dedicate our Lodges to the Holy St's. John. St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist. The Winter Solstice is also tied to this observance on December 27th as St. John the Evangelist Day. Freemasons historically celebrate two feasts of Saint John. The feast of John the Baptist falls on 24 June, and that of John the Evangelist on 27 December, roughly marking mid-summer and mid-winter. During the Eighteenth
NOW TO THE TREE There are many stories from all over the world about the first Christmas tree. There is an old Scandinavian myth of a fir tree,
which sprang from blood drenched soil where two lovers met a violent death, that lit with mysterious lights (like candles) on a certain night during the Christmas season.
Another myth is about a chivalrous knight travelling deep in the woods coming upon a gigantic pine tree whose branches were covered with candles. Some were standing straight and some bent in weird crooked shapes and at the top of this tree was a vision of a child with a halo around its head. This represented the tree of life decorated with the deeds of mankind watched over by the Saviour.
One of the common requirements of joining Freemasonry is being "Free Born." What does that really mean? To understand the idea of being "Free Born" as a requirement of joining Freemasonry you have to look back into the guild lodges. For many people, particularly in the United States, it is seen as relating to slavery in preCivil War America. Often even Freemasons believe this is the case, it isn't, at least not directly.
One of my favourites is of Martin Luther, who, while travelling one Christmas Eve in snow covered country, looked up through the trees and was struck with the beauty of the stars peeking through the dark green boughs above him. He returned home to his family and wanted to share his feelings of the beauty and peace of the scene he just experienced. So he went out side and cut a small fir tree from his garden and placed candles on its branches and lit them for his family to experience. During Christmas we adopt one or all of these myths and bring an evergreen and decorate it with lights to be shared by all.
Someone who is Free Born is a person who is born unencumbered by the debts of their family. In the not so distant past, it was not uncommon for families to have multigenerational debt. For the right to work a piece of land, a farmer would have to agree to a large debt that could never be paid in a single lifetime. The farmer and his family would then live and work on the land giving a portion of the crop each year to the land owner. To pay the debt it may go on for generations with no chance for the family to escape from the debt, and each new generation assuming the debt. There were also situations where, for various reasons, an unborn child would be apprenticed to a local tradesman, generally to pay off a debt.
Christmas is a time to surround yourself with the people you love and share in the light of promise of the new year ahead.
Regardless what the reason may be, the concept of being Free Born, simply put, meant that you had no master that you were obligated to by contract, debt, and yes by slavery. This goes to the common expression, "No man can serve two masters." If you were already indebted somewhere else, you could not perform the tasks needed to fulfil your apprenticeship
No matter what celebration of Winter Solstice you practice, may yours be filled with light and love. Article by William Arnold and sourced from Suffolk Mason District website, many thanks.
with a tradesman. In terms of Speculative Freemasonry, this also meant that your vote in a lodge room was potentially not your own.
Masonry and the ARMED FORCES
In theory, an unscrupulous man could fill an Operative Lodge with individuals dedicated only to him because of debt or other reasons, allowing that person to control the contracts the lodge might accept and alter Freemasonry for their own purposes. In Speculative terms, we have seen this happen in modern times with Italian Lodge Propaganda Due. Where an individual converted the purposes of Freemasonry by controlling the individuals in the lodge.
There is evidence to suggest that the first senior military figures to become a mason were General Sir Alexander Hamilton and the Quarter Master General - General Sir Robert Moray. They were received into the Edinburgh lodge No 1 Scottish Constitution in 1641 and although being Scottish soldiers this took place on English soil at Newcastle upon Tyne. This was some 5 years before Elias Ashmole was initiated in Warrington.
For the most part in the western world, the idea that someone is Free Born is a given. To the point that some have called for it's removal from the ritual work and as a requirement for joining the fraternity. Sometimes hoping to wash away the false premise of it's direct relation to slavery and racism. It is an important reminder though for the individual who is first knocking on the door of the lodge. It should remind all, and be stressed to all that Free Will, which is really what we are talking about when we say Free Born, is critical to Freemasonry as a philosophy. Without Free Will we are left with blind obedience, we are left with a select few making decisions for the larger body of Freemasonry. That smaller group may or may not be working in the best interest of all involved.
There is little information on developments in masonry in England between this time and the formation of Premier Grand Lodge. Equally, regarding military masonry there is little to note until 1732. Following the formation of the English Grand lodge, the Irish Grand Lodge was inaugurated in 1725 and the Grand Lodge of Scotland came into existence in 1736. Given the turmoil that existed in England, and that it was relatively easy to get a warrant under the Irish constitution, it is hardly surprising that Dublin was the first port of call for Army regiments that were on the move and wished to open a lodge. Most Military Lodges were ones holding 'travelling' or 'ambulatory' warrants that permitted meetings to be held (under proper conditions) wherever the Regiment or Unit happened to be stationed, whether temporary or not. The 1st of Foot (Royal Scots) petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1732 and became the first regiment to gain warrant No 11 which was dated the 7th of November of that year. This opened the floodgates and over the next 10 years Irish Warrants were granted to the following regiments of foot: 17th (Leicestershire), 18th
Article Sourced from the website, Today in Masonic History, and adapted by the editor of SRA76.
(Royal Irish), 19th (Green Howards), 20th Lancashire Fusiliers, 27th (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers), 28th (Gloucestershire), 30th (East Lancashire), 32nd (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry), 33rd (West Riding (Duke of Wellington’s), 38th (South Staffords), and the 39th (Dorset).
Constitution and Kilwinning Lodge.
During the 18th and 19th centuries Regiments came and went as their nation stood them down after war only to resurrect them when in need. Consequently, warrants also came and went, and in some cases there were more than one lodge in Regiments. Regiments that settled for a long period on garrison duty often surrendered their warrants as travelling lodges and set up an immovable lodge, mostly under the overseas province in which they were garrisoned. If one wishes to explore the spread of Masonry overseas one only has to trace the movements of some British regiments. Minden Lodge was warranted in 1748 to the 20th regiment of Foot and although it remained in England for 8 years, it then spent the next 100 years moving around Germany, America, West Indies, Holland, Ireland, France, Egypt, Malta, Naples, Sicily, Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal and India (25 years).
In 1743 the Grand Lodge of Scotland issued warrants to the 12th (Suffolk), 55th (2nd Border) and, interestingly, a Cavalry Regiment - 2nd (Scots Greys). The first English (Antients) Warrant was issued in 1755 to the 57th of Foot (Middlesex Regiment). Thereafter all 3 Grand Lodges issued hundreds of Warrants to the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Militia although it is interesting to note that the Artillery was almost exclusively Antient. In all some 581 Warrants, at the last count, have been issued to the Armed Forces, the majority to the Army but some 4 warrants were issue to ship’s companies and the Royal Marines have lodges but are all immovable in garrisons. It is worth mentioning that there have been about 10 Royal Air Force warrants and about the same number to Combined Service Lodges.
The 46th Regiment of Foot was sent, with its Lodge (Social and Virtue No. 227), to Sydney, Australia, in 1813. Under its auspices, a new lodge was formed in 1816 and was warranted four years later by the GL of Ireland under the name Australian Social Lodge No. 260 (now known as Lodge of Antiquity). This became the first lodge to be warranted in Australia and when the GL of New South Wales was formed it became No. 1 on its register. The 20th Regiment of Foot (Sphinx Lodge No. 263) was posted to Yokohama, Japan, in 1864 and their meetings stimulated the local community to form their own lodge that was warranted in 1866. Life for regimental lodges was dictated by the fortunes of war not least of which was lodge members failing to return from the battles in which engaged. The
The 4 shipboard lodges as they operated under the Modern’s due to a strange mandate to Thomas Dunkerly, a commissioned gunner. Dunkerly had the authority to grant warrants from the Premier Grand Lodge and was responsible for establishing lodges on board HMS Vanguard in 1760. In the same year, under this mandate, he installed the first Provincial Grand Master of Canada at Quebec. He also granted warrants to HMS Canceaux and HMS Guadaloupe in 1762. There is only one other ship know to have had a warrant which was HMS Ardent that gained a warrant in 1810 under the Scottish
lodge chest or warrant could also become a casualty of war. The lodge box of the 25th of Foot (KOSB) was lost in transit to Germany in the Austrian Succession War and a new one was consecrated at Berwick in 1763.
of Foot (DCLI) that lost its box in the American War of Independence, after 95 years of travelling settled in Canada and later became No 1 of the Grand Lodge of Quebec. It had also been instrumental some years earlier in the establishment in Sydney of another Irish Lodge that survives today as Australian Social Lodge No 1 of New South Wales.
The Lodge of Social and Military Virtues (46th of Foot (DCLI)) had its lodge box captured by the enemy in the American War of Independence and luckily, it was returned by its commander - 'Brother' General George Washington. The 22nd of Foot (Cheshireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s) lost its warrant in a skirmish with an Indian tribe in 1764. War was clearly no impediment to brotherly love. During the American War of Independence, General Parsons authorised the return of a lodge chest belonging to the 17th British Foot Regiment and that of the Dragoon Guards also had theirs sent back under a flag of truce with a guard of honour. At Gibraltar in the same year, the Spaniards captured the warrant of the 59th Foot (East Lancs).
Many Colonial Regiments that had British Officers and NCOs similarly established lodges under the Irish and Scottish Constitutions. After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 military lodges began to die out and while most have long since disappeared, their history survives as in the West Indies with the Bermuda Garrison Lodge No 580 of Ireland. Examples exist in India, Pakistan, Zambia, Kenya and South Africa. The first truly US military 'moveable' lodge was warranted in 1776 in the Connecticut Line of the Continental Army. The ' American Union Lodge' was given authority to meet anywhere within Continental America, provided no Grand Master had been appointed to that area. Unfortunately, the unit immediately moved to New York where the GM would not confirm the warrant. In April of that year he gave them a new warrant as Military Union Lodge No. 1, without recalling the original warrant. Thus the lodge held two warrants from, and yielding to, two Grand bodies in different jurisdictions; a rather unique situation though they only used the one name.
In the Flanders campaign in 1794 to 95 the 6th Dragoon Guards and 38th Foot (South Staffords) lost theirs to the French. Two Scottish Lodges lost their charters in action in the Seven Years War: the Scots Greys Killwinning and Masons Lodge and the 23rd of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers). In 1812 the 2nd Battalion of the 59th of Foot (East Lancs) were in 2 troopships that were wrecked in a storm after which both the Battalion and its lodge chest ceased to exist. As the empire expanded so did the requirement to secure the appropriated lands through establishing garrisons. This encouraged many travelling lodges to settle and there are many temples today that can trace their history back to regiments. The artillery established lodges in Canada, India and Gibraltar. There is evidence that 46th
Perhaps the greatest example of this is the story of New York when 3 Antient Lodges were joined by several travelling lodges â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3 Antient, one Irish, one Scottish and another working under dispensation. The Antient Grand Lodge of England therefore warranted a Provincial Grand Lodge of New York No 219 in 1781 and in 1784 it became
the Grand Lodge of America about 9 months after independence.
237, Lodge of Remembrance No. 318 and United Forces No. 245). Service Lodge closed in 1988 when its remaining members amalgamated into the United Lodge of Otago No. 448.
No Military Lodges as such are listed on the register of the Grand Lodge of England today. In 1947 the Social Friendship lodge No. 497 of the 89th Royal Irish Fusiliers Regiment surrendered their travelling warrant replacing it with a new warrant authorising it to meet as a stationary lodge. In 1949 similar action was taken by the Lodge of Unity, Peace and Concord No. 316 of the Royal Scots Regiment. Both of these lodges still meet in London.
I received this article from Bro. Ian Taylor in Australia who is a regular contributor to the newsletter. The source of which came from the Circuit of Service Lodges website; http://www.militarymasons.org.uk/ © Circuit Of Service Lodges.. Many Thanks.
DID YOU KNOW?
As far as military masonry is today there are about 40 lodges in Britain that could still be regarded as military lodges – 30 English, 2 Irish and 9 or so Scottish. Military means that they retain an ethos and culture of the Armed Forces of the Crown, which in practical terms means that around 60% of the membership, should be servicemen or veterans. The two Irish military lodges today are also the last remaining travelling lodges: - Lodge Glittering Star No. 322 warranted in the 29th of Foot (Worcestershire Regiment) on 3rd May 1759 travels across the land during its Masonic year.
Question: Is it normal, in other jurisdictions, for the Master alone to give the floor-work with the assistance of the J.W. and S.W., or do they pass this part on for another member to do? Answer: On this question, as on most procedural matters in Masonry, customs differ, not only in different jurisdictions, but even between Lodges meeting in the same building. The question sounds as though it relates only to the third degree, but I shall try to answer it as though it applies broadly to all three degrees.
St Patrick’s Lodge No. 295 is the last truly regimental lodge of the Royal Dragoons (formerly the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards) currently based in Münster, Germany. During a recent operational tour in IRAQ they held 3 meetings in Basra. The GL of Scotland lists 4 lodges with military titles but these are no longer truly military lodges. The GL of France lists 20 military lodges (13 in France and 7 outside - in Spain and the Netherlands). Israel lists one and New Zealand three, two of which restrict membership to military personnel only and the third to military personnel and members of the Merchant Marine (Service Lodge No.
As a general rule, I believe that there is a real advantage in giving encouragement to a Junior Officer, by inviting him to do some part of the work that lies within his ability. I must emphasize, however, that the procedures under discussion may be subject to special rules in your jurisdiction, and you should check with the authorities if there is any doubt what-may or may-not be done. In my experience, it is widely agreed that a change of voice is always useful in the
course of degree work, because it helps to avoid tedium. The Master is usually expected to conduct the ceremony up to the end of the 'Entrusting'. Apart from that, we often hear the 'Apron Charge' (in lodges where it is an established part of the work) given by a P.M., and the ' Working Tools' will often be presented by another.
him as the giver of all blessings, life, light and health. Wallis Budge, in his work on the 'Rosetta Stone', quotes the 'eye' symbol as representing the Sun-god Ra. The term 'All-Seeing Eye' as we use it in Masonry, is probably derived from Proverbs 15, v. 3: The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
The Master will probably want to give the Charge to the Initiate at least once during his year of Office, but it is often given by a P.M., or by one of the Officers. In many English Lodges, a relative or friend or the proposer of the Candidate, may be invited to give the 'Charge to the Initiate' but some Lodges would insist that it can only be given the W.M. or a P.M.
In Hebrew and Christian symbolism, as in Masonry, it denotes the Omniscient, Omnipresent God, the G.A.O.T.U. There is a tendency, occasionally, to interpret it as a symbol of reward to the righteous and of retribution to evil-doers, but there is no limit to the range of explanations that the symbol may evoke. I prefer to see it as the everwatchful Eye of the Divine Creator, whom we worship as our Father in Heaven.
In the second degree, the 'long explanation' of the 'Working Tools' and the Lecture on the Tracing Board are often done by Past Masters.
Anyone of these brief hints may appeal to you, but the meaning that really matters is the one that you will work out for yourself. Masonic symbolism opens up a whole world of study and the answers that you find by your own efforts will always be the most rewarding and satisfying.
The third degree, more that the other two, lends itself to the distribution of the work among a number of participants. About once a year, in my Mother Lodge, we hold a 'Past Master's Night', when the whole of the work (including the Chair-work) for the third degree, is carefully split up and con-ducted by seven or eight of the Past Masters. After suitable preparation, including the arrangements to have each man in his proper place to avoid unnecessary movements in the course of the work, the results are excellent. If I have understood your question right, this last paragraph should provide the answer.
Question: What is a Rite? Answer: usually to provide instruction and convey rights to a petitioner or initiate. In Freemasonry the "Rite of Ancient Craft Masonry" consists of the three symbolic degrees. The York Rite of Freemasonry adds to these the degrees of Royal Arch Masonry, and the Order of the Temple, with the Rite of Cryptic Masonry, Royal and Select Masters, as permissible but not mandatory for the completion of the York Rite. The Ancient
Question: What is the explanation of the symbol 'The AII-Seeing Eye'? Answer: The 'eye' was a symbol for Osiris among the ancient Egyptians, who revered
and Accepted Scottish Rite, according to Mackey, dates from 1758 in Paris, and from 1801 in the United States. It consists of thirty-three degrees (of which the first three are the Symbolic Degrees and not conferred in the bodies of the Rite), which are informative, philosophical, ethical in content and carry the Masonic story further than is possible in a Symbolic Lodge. In the United States there are two Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite, the Southern (Mother Council of the world) with headquarters in the beautiful "House of the Temple" in Washington, D.C., and the Northern, with headquarters in [near] Boston, Massachusetts. The Southern Supreme Council includes thirty-three [thirty-five plus overseas territories] States and the District of Columbia; the Northern Supreme Council, fifteen States. Question: What parallelepipedon?
BROTHERHOOD "My Brother, for by that sacred appellation I now address you." This salutation is sometimes used in the ritual of the first degree when the initiate is greeted for the first time as Brother. It is not found in every version of Masonic ritual. Regrettably, it has disappeared from some which formerly contained it. Perhaps it has become a victim of the desire of modernists who want to "shorten the work" or to make it "more relevant to our times". In most versions of the ritual the candidate is addressed as "Mister Blank," or "My friend," until that moment when he may be properly saluted as "My Brother". Then the Worshipful Master merely changes the mode of address from "Mister" or "Friend" to "Brother," without any special emphasis or observation.
Answer: The description that would be more fitting would be an inverted pyramid, with its point at the centre of the earth. The definition of a parallelepipedon (the Greek form of the word parallelepiped) is a sixsided solid object, with each of its opposite side being a parallelogram. The weird and wonderful shapes that are possible under this definition boggle the mind! Why the Brother (or Brethren) responsible for the selection of this word to describe the shape of our Lodge would choose such an erudite yet inaccurate word is unknown: perhaps they did not like the loose, but accurate, oblong square.
If the language of Masonic ritual is one of the most important elements which help initiates to become impressed with the meaning and philosophy of the Fraternity, that salutation needs to be made significant and impressive. That sacred appellation is a key for revealing the fundamental spiritual quality of the institution. Merely to slip in the words, "My Brother," as a variation in a form of address, is to risk the initiate's failure to discern the mystic quality of Masonic brotherhood. Archaic as the word appellation may sound to the ear of a twentieth century initiate, it does suggest to his surprised mind that Freemasonry is a society of cultivated men, that it is rooted in intellectual aspirations,
The Questions and answers from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Did you Knowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
and that he is being addressed as a man who will strive for mental attainments.
Dr. Joseph Fort Newton once wrote, "The secret of Masonry, like the secret of life, can be known only by those who seek it, serve it, live it. It cannot be uttered; it can only be felt and acted. It is, in fact, an open secret, and each man knows it according to his quest and capacity. Like all things most worth knowing, no one can know it for another and no one can know it alone. It is known only in fellowship, by the touch of life upon life, spirit upon spirit, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand in hand."
The word sacred is even more stimulating to the attentive initiate because of its connotations. Not only does he realize that he is now accepted as a member of the Fraternity, that he is now a Brother among Brethren; but also, even if only vaguely, he becomes aware that this new relationship of brotherhood is to be something special, something spiritual, something related to the ideas he has acquired from sacred writings, something scriptural perhaps, something related to the purposes of the Great Creator.
Such is the thinking-feeling which is stirred in every receptive Mason when he hears the words, "My Brother," as a sacred appellation. Such are the elements of reverence which should characterize his understanding of the Mystic Tie.
We Masons like to describe the special quality of our fraternalism as the Mystic Tie, a phrase which acknowledges the spiritual quality of our associating and working together. Mystic, of course, is derived from a Greek word which designated "an initiate into the ancient mysteries," and further suggests a sense of awe or wonder in contemplating or communing with God.
He is not merely an associate or ally; he is not merely a well-wisher or a sympathizer; he is not merely a comrade or supporter; he is not merely a confidant or friend. A Mason is a Brother, in the oldest, finest and truest sense of that word. He is a brother human being, for the sake of humanity. No dogma binds the brotherhood together; no narrow political or social goal, no intolerance of class or nationality provides the brotherhood with a common platform.
Any expression in the ritual which helps the initiate to relate his Masonic experience to such a spiritual understanding is worth preserving, be it ancient or modern, archaic or new, "My Brother, for by that sacred appellation I now address you."
Masons are Brothers, in the universal meaning of the word, men who are united by complete freedom of conscience under the banner of pure tolerance, of an affectionate regard and respect for every other human being. A Mason is a man without prejudice. (So mote it be.)
To qualify the title of Brother as sacred, the first time it is used to salute a new member, is to prepare him to understand "the great secret" of Freemasonry, a secret which is no real secret at all, for it has been told again and again by the lives of dedicated Craftsmen. It is a secret and a mystery only to those who have never been made Masons, for it is the meaning of brotherhood as experienced only by Masons, and even by them, only imperfectly.
He is a Brother when he estimates the worth of a fellow human being, not by his profession or vocation, not by his special interests as a fellow citizen, not by his
sectarian religious beliefs, not by the colour of his skin, and not by his age, or nationality, or economic status.
members of the lodge. No demand for rank, or money, or social status was made. Only the ancient phrases and forms to prove the Brother's Masonic experience were required.
A Mason is a Brother because, of his own free will and accord, he has chosen to seek the light of truth which will set humanity free, because he has been accepted by the Brotherhood to work for the welfare of the whole human family, and because he earnestly desires the Brotherhood of Man, of all men, under the Fatherhood of God.
And once he had demonstrated his knowledge of the common Masonic experience, whether it were in Europe, or Asia, or the North American continent, he found himself welcomed with joy into a group of men who were concerned only with the work of making brotherhood real; and the special joy of that common aspiration brightened every activity of the lodge, whether at labour or around the festive board.
If that Masonic hope and ideal were the real secret of Freemasonry, it is obviously no secret at all. It is an ideal shared by many men in many places, in many religious and benevolent associations. The secrecy associated with Masonry's mission and purpose lies not in its universal hopes and aspirations; it lies in its methods of instruction, in its ritual and ceremonies, in its fraternal activities and labors.
Only a Mason can understand the more solemn expression of brotherhood which may come to him as he visits at the bedside of a dying Brother, who in his feeble speechless condition, responds to his sympathetic ministrations with a certain pressure on the hand, as if he were trying to say, "Thank you, my Brother; with that sacred appellation I'm about to say farewell."
That secrecy is really symbolic, for its purpose is not to exclude the "profane", but to benefit the individual initiate, by making his initiatory experiences, in which he must actively participate, sacred, i.e., a mystic consecration. It is the nature of man to seek that which is hidden and, like Prometheus, to acquire "the knowledge of the gods".
Unfortunately, there are Brethren to whom the mystic Masonic experience is a dimly remembered verbal exercise only. The words of the Masonic ritual were impressive, and they acknowledge the noble and lofty ideas which they inspired. But to ponder them as challenges to the self, as testing tools to measure their own Masonic effort "to improve myself in Masonry," this is disquieting enough to "turn them off," and to regard themselves merely as members of a comfortable club or social organization.
The real secret of Masonry, therefore, is an experience which only the members of the Fraternity have voluntarily undergone. The Mystic Tie is their expression for this experience of Masonic brotherhood. They have lived the Mystic Tie when they have visited another lodge in an unfamiliar city, where no one knew them even by name. But having established their claim to genuine Masonic brotherhood, they found themselves accepted and drawn affectionately into the mystic circle of the
They have heard the Masonic instruction: "By the exercise of brotherly love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the high and the low, the rich and the poor, who, as created by one
Roof of the World Lodge No. 1094
Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect one another. On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect, and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance."
The Lodge is situated atop the Peruvian Andes. In this region are found prosperous mining communities, and Quechua Indians, who struggle for existence on their small farm plots or as camp labourers. Here too is found the meek and patient llama, the native beast of burden. And here newcomers are sometimes felled by the debilitating and nauseous effects of "soroche" the mountain sickness caused by thin air and lack of oxygen in the upper altitudes. There are in Peru three Lodges under Scottish jurisdiction one each at Callao, Lima and La Oroya. "Roof of the World" Lodge, No. 1094, A. F. & A. M., was chartered from the Grand Lodge of Scotland on 2nd November 1911 the present membership is 121. Meetings are held at Oroya. "Roof of the World" Lodge had its beginnings at Cerro de Pasco. The first steps towards organisation were taken on 26th May
My Brother, for by that sacred appellation I now address you, in what ways do you exercise brotherly love? Do you really regard the whole human species as one family, in which every man is just as much of a brother as you are? What do you actually do to unite men of every country, sect, and opinion? How can a Mason help to aid, support, and protect our human brothers of that generation with which communication seems so difficult? How do you conciliate true friendship, even in the narrow arena of your own lodge? On your working answers to such questions, my Brother, depends not only the strengthening of the Mystic Tie, but in a world of tumultuous changes and disturbance, the future influence and usefulness of our gentle Craft. Sourced from the STB Vol. L No. 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; July 1972 Author unknown.
1911, when a group of English-speaking Masons in that town met to consider the advisability of making petition for a Charter. Prominent at this first meeting were Brother P. G. Newman, Past Master of Peace and Concord Lodge, No. 445, of Callao, and Brother Arthur E. Bazett-Jones, who was chosen to occupy the Chair. Twenty-three signatures were at length affixed to the formal petition. The name " Roof of the World" is both appropriate and significant. The selection was made, after discussion and consideration at the preliminary meeting of 26th May. Located at Cerro de Pasco, at an elevation of 14,220 feet, the Lodge had the distinction of being the highest Englishspeaking Masonic body in the world. Of the twenty-three charter members, eleven are still on the Lodge roll. One of these deserves further and special mention. He is Brother Arthur E. BazettJones, the first Master, who was noticeably instrumental in helping to form the Lodge and who now lives in retirement at Sidney, British Columbia. In 1910, during a postvacation voyage to South America, he entered into discussions with a fellow passenger concerning the absence of a Lodge on the "Hill." It was learned that the number necessary for an application could be obtained from the combined staffs of the mines, smelter and railroad. And since it was easier to get a charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland than from the few States in the United States which carry foreign Lodges, it was decided at an informal meeting to apply to them. The first Entered Apprentices were John T. Glidden and Joseph A. Irving, who were duly initiated at the regular Communication of 19th January 1912. At this meeting, too, the first Affiliate was accepted. He was Victor V. Morris, who
came by transfer from St John's Lodge, No. 616, Chile. The meetings in those early days were prolonged and full, for the task of organisation was understandably heavy. During the first half year there were regular Communications twice a month, and on almost every occasion there were applications to be read, committees of enquiry to report, degrees to be conferred, and sundry business matters to by decided. Bye-Laws must be adopted, dues collected and the halls equipped. The regular Lodge Room at Cerro de Pasco was located in a frame building about two blocks from the present Corporation offices, in the direction of the hospital. An event of more than ordinary interest took place on the afternoon of 29th August 1914, when, by dispensation from the Grand Lodge, a special meeting was held on the summit of Mount Meiggs, at an elevation of 17,575 feet (3.33 miles high!) It may safely be said that this was the highest meeting ever held in Masonic history. The event received widespread attention. One newspaper account, published on 30th October 1914, gives full and graphic details. Though limitations of space prohibit a reproduction of the article in full, two or three excerpts follows "The day was perfect; the sky being clear and the air crisp and cold despite the tropical sunshine. All were clad in heavy boots, sweaters and overcoats. Nearly all suffered more or less from soroche, or mountain sickness. Several had severe headaches, nausea, nose bleed, dizziness and violent ringing of the ears. But all reached the summit safely by 3 p.m., except one Brother who was so ill that he was compelled to turn back. Upon assembling at the summit, a small level place was cleared away and in the centre an altar of stone was erected and stations for the Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior
Wardens were likewise constructed of stone.” “Tylers were stationed, and in addition to the sword, they were also armed with field glasses with which they were enabled to scan the horizon for miles in every direction, but no cowans or eavesdroppers were seen to approach, and the ceremonies were uninterrupted. Lodge was regularly opened and closed in due and ancient form in the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason's Degree. And at 5.00 pm the return journey was begun..." Because of its geographical location "Roof of the World "Lodge has always contained a membership of diverse nationalities. During the First World War this led to frequent embarrassment in the matter of attendance. For instance, the following notation is included in the minutes of 5th January 1918:— "The Secretary read a letter from the Grand Lodge concerning the admission of Brethren of alien birth to meetings: also a certificate on behalf of Grand Committee giving power to this Lodge to admit to meetings..." certain named Brethren. Almost from the beginning there has been repeated agitation for a transfer of jurisdiction. To this end Communications were addressed to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and the subject was discussed at regular Communications time and again over a period of years. Finally on 6th September 1919, it was "unanimously voted to petition the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Massachusetts to take such necessary steps whereby our present charter under the Grand Lodge of Scotland may be cancelled and a new charter be granted to us under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the State of Massachusetts." The petition was prepared accordingly. In the end, however, the project was dismissed in view
of the considerable expense which would have been involved in the purchase of new apron, jewels, rituals and other necessary regalia. In 1929 the Lodge was moved from Cerro de Pasco to La Oroya, where a suitable hall for the purpose had been built in the Inca Club. The last meeting in Cerro de Pasco and the first in La Oroya were both held on 6th April. The meetings have since been held in La Oroya, at an altitude of 12,270 feet. The widespread depression of the early 30's was felt in Peru. There came repeated calls to the Lodge for financial aid to needy Brethren and their families. At the meeting of 17th May 1932, during prolonged discussion consideration was given to the matter of back dues; many members were in arrears for two Years and some four years, five years and longer. Several months later, because of the fluctuating value of the Peruvian Sol was stipulated that henceforth annual dues must be paid in United States currency, except for those who could not obtain such. It may be mentioned in passing that in harmony with the rules of Scottish jurisdiction, "Roof of the World Lodge does not drop members for non-payment of dues. Though nothing is heard from a member for years, and though his whereabouts may be unknown, his name continues on the roll. Should he then wish to be restored to active participation, this he may secure by the payment of dues for the three years just past. It may be stated, too, that life membership may be granted, upon the payment of a specified fee, to those who no longer live in Peru. Of these Presently On roll fifty-two are life members, most of whom are scattered far and wide over the globe. The Mark Degree was conferred from time to time and the minutes speak of
at least one meeting when the Degree was conferred upon four Brethren, two of them members of" Roof of the World" Lodge. On that occasion there were present certain Visiting Officers and Brethren from the Sister Lodges on the coast, Unity, and Peace and Concord, with whom there has always been close Masonic intercourse. The financial outlook was by now much brighter and the minutes report: "The Right Worshipful Master suggested that having a Scotchman as Treasurer might well be one of the principal reasons for the success financially." A special Communication was held on 17th December 1937, for the purpose of assisting a number of Peruvian Masons in forming a new Lodge in La Oroya. This was Andina, No. 27, holden under the Grand Lodge of Peru. For the occasion the Grand Master of Peru was in attendance; he was Diez Canseco, who later became President of the Senate. The new Andina meeting hall was dedicated in 1939 and since that time the two groups have co-operated closely in various fraternal and social activities. Remarkable enthusiasm and activity became evident in 1947, with frequent meetings and a constant reception of new members. Social events, which had suffered neglect during the Second World War, took on a revived interest. A picnic and "pachamanca " were held on Sunday, May 18. A special train was run to Malpaso for the occasion and some two hundred persons were present. Stated meetings were held on the third Tuesday of each month and special meetings as occasion may require. (Note: Roof of the World Lodge became dormant in the year 1993)
On 9th March 1922 the newspaper, “The Sacramento Union” published this obituary;
Bert Williams Buried With Masonic Ritual NEW YORK. March 8. —A throng which filled the Masonic Temple of St. Cecile Lodge and overflowed into the street today attended funeral services for Egbert Austin (Bert) Williams, famous American negro comedian, who died here last Saturday. Scores of his former associates, officers of the lodge and prominent members of William’s own race, who had come from southern and western states, accompanied the body to Woodlawn cemetery. This was the first time that a negro had been buried
This History of Roof of the World Lodge No.1094 was written by J. Walter Wayland and was sourced from the Grand Lodge of Scotland 1954 year book where it first appeared. Our thanks go to the GLOS .
with the Masonic ritual in this state, according to officers of the order. Williams was a member of Waverley Lodge, No. 597, of Scotland, and it was at the cabled request of the Grand Lodge of Scotland that the services were held at St. Cecileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, known as the theatrical lodge of the city. Williams' Masonic sheepskin apron, received from the lodge in Scotland, was placed in the coffin. An orchestra from the Broadway musical show played the funeral march. Soloists from some of New York's most exclusive churches chanted the Lordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Prayer. Among the prominent Negroes present were Charles W. Anderson. supervisory agent of the Department of Agriculture, and Henry T. Burleigh, baritone at St. Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Protestant Episcopal church, whom the late J. Pierpont Morgan designated to sing his favourite hymn at his funeral.
with indifference but singing enthusiastically in the choir. Once, when he was called on to recite from a book the class had been reading, he entertained his classmates with jokes he had been absorbing from a second book concealed on his lap. "I was always doing something funny, and my teachers didn't know what to do with me," he recalled in an interview quoted by Eric Ledell Smith in Bert Williams: A Biography of the Pioneer Black Comedian. "They couldn't spank me for being funny, and I wasn't a mischievous boy." Tall like both his parents, agile, and obviously talented, Williams ran away from home at age 16 to join a medicine show but then returned home to his family. He thought of attending Stanford University but could not afford the tuition. In order to earn the money, he joined a minstrel show that travelled among the lumber camps of northern California. Things went from bad to worse when the company floundered and Williams arrived in San Francisco, as he recalled in an interview quoted by biographer Smith, "without a stitch of clothing, literally without a stitch, as the few rags I wore to spare the hostility of the police had to be burned for reasons that everyone will understand who has read of the experiences of the soldiers in the trenches." But he bounced back with another job with a Hawaiian troupe (impersonating a Pacific islander) and then, in 1893, signed on with Martin and Selig's Minstrels.
Egbert Austin Williams was born in Nassau, in the Bahamas, on November 12, 1874. His background was mixed: his mother was from Antigua, and among his ancestors on his father's side was a Danish diplomat. When Williams was born, his father was working as a waiter at Nassau's Royal Victoria Hotel. The family thought of immigrating to the United States and made a temporary trip to New York when Williams was two, but then returned to the Bahamas, Williams's home until he was 11. His natural accent was lightly Caribbean, and the stylized black dialect of the American minstrel show, he was quoted as saying by Charters, "to me was just as much a foreign dialect as that of the Italian."
In that company he met George Walker, a fellow aspiring comedian who would be his stage partner for the next 16 years. The pair sang and performed comic routines, often with Walker in the role of a sharp-dressed straight man and Williams as his down-atthe-heels counterpart, bumbling but quickwitted. The two made their way across the
In 1885 the Williams family came to the United States for good, following a Bahamian migration to Florida and then moving on to southern California and its growing fruit farms. Williams attended Riverside Boys High School, treating classes
country, performing minstrel shows and billing themselves as The Two Real Coons. The trip was a difficult one; in Colorado they were robbed of their clothes by a white gang who thought they were too welldressed and forced them to wear burlap bags. They were not the first African Americans associated with minstrel shows, which for many decades after the Civil War represented the only performing opportunities of any kind open to blacks.
white audiences—fit their comic style perfectly. They gained publicity by visiting the mansion of tycoon William Vanderbilt, who had been seen doing the cakewalk at a dance, and leaving a letter with his butler, suggesting a cakewalk contest. In 1900 Williams married Charlotte Thompson. The career of Williams and Walker gained some momentum, and they were able to put their resources behind a growing attempt to mount shows with all-black casts. In 1902 they performed in a musical by composer Will Marion Cook, with texts by poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, with an African theme, called ‘In Dahomey’. Although still dealing in racial comedy to an extent that would make modern audiences uncomfortable, ‘In Dahomey’ was a landmark in AfricanAmerican theatre history. Williams and Walker toured widely with the show, which reached England in 1903 and brought the duo to the chambers of King Edward VII for a private performance.
Used Burnt Cork Makeup Williams and Walker downplayed the minstrel show's racist aspects and turned its humour to their own ends. At an 1895 Detroit performance, Williams adopted the minstrel show's strongest visual symbol—he put on burnt cork makeup to darken his face and went on stage to perform a song of his own composition, called "Oh, I Don't Know, You're Not So Warm." "Nobody was more surprised than I was when it went like a house on fire," he said. "Then I began to find myself. It was not until I was able to see myself as another person that my sense of humour developed." The financially precarious Williams and Walker barnstorming tour arrived in New York in 1896, where the two landed roles in the Victor Herbert operetta The Gold Bug.
In 1904 during the tour of Britain, the show arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, and it was here that Bert Williams became a Freemason. Bert Williams and George Walker, together with eight other members of their vaudeville troupe were Initiated into Scottish Freemasonry on 2 May, Passed on 16 May and Raised on 1 June 1904 in Lodge Waverley No. 597. Their occupations were recorded as ‘Theatrical Performers.’ Lodge Waverley continues to meet in Edinburgh to this day.
That and the duo's other initial forays into New York theatre were unsuccessful, partly because classically trained New York pit musicians could not handle the ragtime rhythms of the songs they interpolated into vaudeville programs. But ragtime in the late 1890s was rapidly on the rise, and Williams and Walker were in the right place at the right time. They landed an engagement at Koster and Bial's, one of the city's top music halls, and the craze for the cakewalk dance —a comic black imitation of white society dances that in turn became popular among
A photograph exists in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Scotland of some of the members of the troupe who joined the Lodge along with the Master of the Lodge and other members, this can be accessed freely at the Grand Lodge of Scotland Facebook site.
The show â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;In Dahomeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; spawned all-black musical successors, these shows, like those mounted by white performers in New York's theatres and music halls, produced hit songs and new dance steps that spread around the country. Williams became a star, but his life was never free of the tragic sting of racism. In an essay later published in The American Magazine he related how some white actors treated him as an equal associate but that their "brainless and envious" rivals took the opportunity to use racial restrictions to humiliate him. Williams often responded to discrimination with the mild but firm observation that "in truth, I have never been able to discover that there was anything disgraceful in being a coloured man."
to Williams that appeared in American Magazine in 1910. Washington, declared that Williams "puts into this form [vaudeville] some of the quality and philosophy of the Negro race." In 1910, despite resistance from some of the company's white performers, Williams joined the cast of the Ziegfeld Follies and become the first black star of a leading white Broadway revue. Appearing in the Follies between 1910 and 1912 and intermittently thereafter, Williams became a major national star. At one point his annual salary reportedly exceeded that of the President of the United States, but money could not buy him freedom from segregation restrictions. After having to ride the freight elevator of a hotel to reach his room, he remarked to singer Eddie Cantor, "It wouldn't be so bad, Eddie, if I didn't still hear the applause ringing in my ears." Williams made a series of popular 78 rpm recordings for the Columbia label in the 1910s, featuring comic routines and songs.
Developed Solo Act Walker's ill health and his death in 1911 put an end to his partnership with Williams, but by that time Williams had taken on a new stage persona that did not reject minstrel comedy but transcended it. He premiered several new songs that established him as a hard-luck figure who was funny, but who had a deep undercurrent of melancholy. Among these were "I'm a Jonah Man," written by frequent Williams collaborator Alex Rogers (who also joined Lodge Waverley), and the most famous Williams number of all: "Nobody," with words by Rogers and music by Williams himself. The song was first introduced in Abyssinia. For many years afterwards, Williams was obliged to sing "Nobody" in personal appearances.
Williams became a naturalized American citizen in 1918, and he appeared with Cantor in the 1920 show Broadway Brevities . He lived to see younger black performers benefit from the opportunities he had done so much to create. Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones became the first major drama by a white playwright to feature a black lead character, and spawned a new generation of African-American stars. Williams mounted a new production of his own called Under the Bamboo Tree, but he fell ill during a performance in Detroit while the show toured nationally.
Increasingly the musical revues in which Williams appeared drew white as well as black audiences (often segregated, depending on where in the country they were presented). One of his admirers was the pioneer African-American educator Booker T. Washington, who wrote a tribute
Suffering from pneumonia brought on by heart problems, he died in New York on March 4, 1922. Tributes flowed in from both black and white performers.
In the website of the famous American Lodge, The Lodge of the Arts - St. Cecile Lodge #568 New York, it states; “Though he was never a member of our lodge, upon his dying wish, Brother Williams wrote a letter requesting that he may have his Masonic funeral service conducted by St. Cecile, which was wellknown as the lodge for theatrical entertainers in New York City. Thus, it was our lodge which became the first in the state of New York to conduct a Masonic funeral service for a black man. On March 8, 1922, the solemn & beautiful Masonic ritual was fulfilled. The auditorium at Masonic temple was filled & even more overflowed the streets to pay their respects to the late comedian. He was raised in Waverley Lodge of Scotland.”
Bahamian-born African-American comedian and singer Bert Williams (1874–1922) was a phenomenally figure in the field of American theatrical entertainment during his heyday in the first two decades of the twentieth century, and I’m delighted to include him in our series of Famous Freemasons.
"I think I shall have to take an evening off and read a book about symbols!" said the Very New Master Mason to the Old Past Master at refreshment. "I find I don't know all about them."
Williams was described by film comedian W. C. Fields as "the funniest man I ever saw, and the saddest man I ever knew."
"Why, I'm sure there must be such a book," answered the Very Mew Master Mason, surprised. "And I know you know all about symbols, anyway."
"When you find the book which teaches you all about them, lend it to me, won't you?" asked the Old Past Master.
This article has been sourced and put together from a Variety of sources freely available on the internet, chief of which was;
"I have never read a book which even attempted to tell 'all about symbols'" answered the Old Past Master. "I never knew the Mason who was willing to admit he knew all about them. And I never thought I knew very much about them, although I have studied them for forty years!"
Wikipedia Encyclopaedia of world biography. Grand Lodge of Scotland St. Cecile’s’s Lodge website. And many others, thanks to all. There are certain descriptive words in this article that I would not use, these have been direct quotes for quoted sources. If this has offended any brother, I apologise, sincerely.
"Why, you amaze me! There are only half a dozen symbols in the lodge; surely they
cannot have so many meanings. The tools, the apron, I suppose the pillars on the porch; that's about all, isn't it?
"But the Book of the Law when used in Masonry is more than a repository of Divine Will and Knowledge. It is a symbol of the fountain head of all learning, and a symbol of a Mason's belief in Deity. It is also a symbol of many other things, of which you will find in the books you will read, but in none of them will you find it all.
The Old Past Master turned and looked curiously at his questioner. Satisfied that he was serious, the Old Past Master explained, gently, as to a child. "I doubt very much that any one has ever had the temerity even to count the Masonic symbols," he began. "Certainly I have not. But there are enough to keep a great many Masonic scholars and antiquarians busy for a great many years to come, as they have in past, trying to dig out of literature, history, archaeology, sacred writings, religion, philosophy, and kindred branches of study, a few of the more important meanings of our symbols. Your innocent little catalogue of lodge symbols would be pathetic if it wasn't funny, and humorous if it wasn't sad!
"Did you ever stop to ask yourself why Masons circumambulate in the lodge? Or why they perform this rite at various times and in various ways? Or why that rite in a Blue Lodge is always done in one direction? That is a symbol, my brother, and a very beautiful one. It is a connection, tenuous, but very direct, with those far progenitors of Masonry who lived thousands of years ago and worshipped the Sun as the only god they knew. "It is human to be like those we strive to admire. The small boy plays at being a soldier or a fireman, and struts with a small cane to be like his father. Imitating, we feel that we are like that which we imitate. Our savage forefathers had this same bit of humanness. They believed that when they imitated that which was powerful, they in turn received power. They worshipped the Sun. The Sun, to them, travelled always from the East to the West, swinging north in the summer and south in the winter. Therefore they believed that if they, in their simple prayers and rites, imitated the course of the sun, they, too, would become godlike and have power. Many religions, rites and ceremonies of a spiritual significance have followed in the footsteps of these early men, and thought to find in circumambulation a power which comes from the Divine Something they worship.
"Certainly you could not have meant to overlook the Great Light as a symbol, and...." "Oh, but I don't understand that as a symbol," interrupted the Very New Master Mason. "That's the Bible, the Book. I thought a symbol was something that meant something else!" "It is true that in our American and in British Lodges the Great Light is the Holy Scriptures," agreed the Old Past Master. "But in another lodge, in another country, some other sacred Book may lie on the altar. The important thing is not what book there lies open, but that it be the book which the Masons who kneel before it, venerate as the earthly repository of spiritual knowledge. Thus, to our Jewish brethren, the New Testament in our Great Light is not a Sacred writing as is their Old Testament. Yet our Book contains both.â&#x20AC;?
"Of course there are other meanings of circumambulation; these, too, you will discover in the books you will read.
Attitude in Masonry
"Not all our symbols are so ancient, although some are even further back in time. You are familiar, of course, with the 'certain point within a circle.' That is a symbol and a great one. It has many meanings; meanings not attributed to it haphazard, but meanings born in it, as you might say. A Mason may not materially err if he circumscribe his passions within that circle, not because the ritual says so, but because our ancient brethren, who actually built Temples and Cathedrals, found that the point, or centre in the circle, and another dot or two, were their easiest means of making their squares perfect, and absolutely at right angles. This is a little problem in geometry with which you are doubtless familiar; if not, the books you will read will explain it to you.
Our attitudes are like our shadows, they follow every thinking individual in his total activities. They are impelling forces in action, they shape our purposes, they largely determine our policies and practices. They are the very foundation of our many decisions, decisions which affect us personally, our families, our relations to others in society and our actions as citizens. They are to human conduct what gunpowder is to shot, yet how many times do we given them much thought?
"Get out of your mind, my brother, the idea that any symbols in Masonry are arbitrary; that some man said, for instance 'here is an oblong square; I will make it into a symbol which means the lodge, just because I like the shape!'
Hardly if ever do we bother to ascertain what our attitudes are, how we acquire them, or where they are leading us. That we acquire them is a certainty. We acquire many of them unconsciously them from the four corners of our existence and are not aware of them unless we are confronted with a problem or a decision. They crystallized in our minds on the basis of what we hear, see, feel and learn by contact with our fellow man. They result from our studies and our search for knowledge. Many of our attitudes are by necessity, transitory, temporary, and fleeting. Many are inherited form friends, parents and associates. Others are created by our environment, some are fundamental and permanent, permeating our entire existence. They stay with us for life, and shape our acts, our thoughts and react upon our personality for good or bad. They may constitute our philosophy whether we realize it or not, and their existence is a part of our approach to every problem or activity we confront. They are of vital importance of immeasurable importance to us. We cannot
"The 'oblong square' my brother, was the shape which our ancient brethren conceived the world to be. We use it as the 'shape of the lodge' because the lodge itself is a symbol of the world, and thus of our life in it. "My brother, symbolism in general, and Masonic symbolism in particular, is a lifetime study. It is ever new, never ending. The more you read and study, the more you understand and enjoy this Masonry of ours. But you will learn it not in one evening or two; not even in many shall you learn it all." "Unless I spend them talking to you," smiled the Very New Master Mason. This is the seventeenth article in this our regular feature, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Old Past Master,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
conceive the influence they have upon us and those surrounding us. While we cannot trace their source we can and should at lease to some extent attempt to analyse our attitudes toward life and direct them in paths that will be most productive of good.
to a greater degree than is good for us to eliminate struggle from life. There is a continued notion now apparently gaining ground that it is the business of Government to provide prosperity for all. While the attitude of average individuals may not change the course of great events, they are greatly important. A great many examples could be cited to show that the attitude of one man or woman has changed not only the course of that individual's life, but the course of life for his fellow-men for his or her state or nation.
Do we ever stop to ask if our attitudes are proper and wholesome? If they are influenced by our prejudices or if they are tempered by intolerance? Are they based upon unwarranted conclusions and insufficient knowledge of the facts. It is of course impossible to catalogue all the ingredients of a proper wholesome attitude, but we can point to a few positive qualities that should be a part thereof. They should be the result of careful thought, they should be tempered by moderation and tolerant understanding; they should be composed of the benevolence that readily concedes that practically every human problem has two sides and consequently at least two viewpoints. They should be permeated by morality and seasoned by the spiritual teachings of our religion.
Attitudes defy description, they are as varied as the thoughts of men; yet they are ever present and determinative of our actions. The assertion or expression of an attitude no matter how worthy of attainment sometimes is delayed for years while it takes roots in the hearts of men. But an individual attitude if pervaded by conviction, born of truth, based on morality and right will ultimately prevail.. History points to hundreds of examples. We are most fortunate in this country that the great leaders who laid our foundations, were men whose attitudes were sound and founded on great truths, moral principles and cognizance of the worthiness of the humblest of men. Their attitudes were founded first in the grace of God, and second in the inevitability of human progress. The early leaders of this fortunate land assumed that a part of God's divinity actually resulted in man and that he and he alone was fit to govern itself. We gained early the idea of Government by contract and consent, and that is still the basic premise upon which we proceed in all our Governmental actions. Eventually these attitudes implied and expressed under the democratic way of life, have become an integral part of freedom and we enjoy Government by the consent of the governed.
On the other hand our attitudes are often a matter of indifference and complacency. They are steeped in the notion of luck as a substitute for industry of chance rather than planning. They often are influenced by the growing desire among us to cultivate the idea of getting something for nothing. They are influenced by the prevalent notion that it is necessary to eliminate the struggle from life to acquire happiness. When we reflected that, as exercise is necessary to the muscles to acquire physical strength, struggle or degrees of it are strengthening influences in the development of personality and character. Strength and struggle go together physically and spiritually. In that connection it has occurred to me that we are attempting
THE CRADLE AND THE LODGE
How many peoples of the world yearn for that today? Who can say in this country that the attitude of equality is not progressing? Wealth is no longer an indication of undue prominence. The wealthy and the average individual may wear identical clothes, the wealthy man drives the same type of automobile as the ordinary citizen. There is a tendency among our people, observable all around us that distinctions of wealth and class are fast disappearing. People in our land treat each others on the basis of equality whatever their station in life. It is the result of a continuing attitude which we inherited and are carrying on. We should thank God for its presence and do our utmost to preserve and further it. We have come as close as any people have ever come to a classless society.
Once again the march of the days has brought us near to the day of all the year that is the best – Christmas Day, with its gentleness, its joy and its good will. We have National Holidays of deep historic meaning and beauty; but Christmas is a day in the calendar of humanity – a day dedicated to childhood and the home. Only one other day can compete with Christmas in our regard, and that is Easter, with its “Song Of Those Who Answer Not, However We May Call;” and being days of Faith, they are both days of hope and forward-looking thoughts. If Easter teaches us hope in the life to come, Christmas asks us to hope for the life that now is. How fitting it is that we have a festival of the dawn of life linked in our faith with the Easter hope at sunset.
I know of no more important job in our lives than developing attitudes. The moral and spiritual aspects of these attitudes not only influence us individually but they affect our marriage, our business successes, our ability to rear families and influence our friends and our neighbours. Let's look at our attitudes, they are much more important than we think. The attitudes we develop as we proceed through life can either become stumbling blocks or great building materials. Which shall they be? With God's help we can make them wonderful building materials.
The hope of the world is the child. Here the everlasting enterprise of education finds its reason and sanction. The child holds in his chubby hand the future of the race, our hope of social beauty and human welfare. He is the custodian of whatever of truth and worth we may bequeath to the times to come; the window in which, at sunset, we see the morning light of a new day. In him we live again, if in now other way – save in the memory of God, who does not forget. He is our earthly immortality.
This is from our Regular feature of articles under the title, “Reflections.” Articles from all around the world from a variety of Constitutions and authors and adapted to use in SRA76. This article was written By Bro. Carl Brigg and sourced from the masonic trowel.
No man does more to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth than he who takes care that child is born in purity and honour. A child nobly and sweetly born will not need to be born again, unless some killing sin slay him by the way. No wonder the greatest religion
in the world makes a cradle its shrine, and finds in the heart of a little child its revelation of God and its hope for man.
that God is not off up in the sky, but near by, even in our hearts if we are wise enough to make room for him.
What unaccountable blessings came to the world with the birth of one little child, born of poor parents in an obscure nook in a small country long ago, and who, without sword or pen, divided the history of man into before and after. What strange power of influence lay sleeping in that MangerCradle, to be set free in a short life, which has changed the moral and spiritual climate of the earth. There shone a light that can never fail, revealing the Spirit of God and the meaning of life, making mother and child forever sacred, and softening the hard heart of the world. It is a scene to sanctify the world, so heavenly yet so homey, and it has done more than any other one influence to purify the life of man.
If we open the Book of the Holy Law we learn in the Old Testament that man lives in God, who is the home of the soul from generation to generation. It is a profound truth. It makes the world homelike.
No man of us – whatever his religion – but is touched to tenderness by that picture of a Child, a Mother hovering near, a Father in the background, and a Star standing sentinel in the sky. Before that day the order was Father, Mother, Child – now it is Child, Mother, Father. Such power one Child had to alter the old order of the world. They are indeed wise men who follow such a starry truth and bow at such a shrine, linking a faroff wandering star with the Cradle of a little Child.
It unites us as a family under the shelter of a Divine Love. In the New Testament we learn that God lives in man, and that is the greatest discovery man has ever made. For unless there is something of God in man - in every man – we can not find God, much less know him. The revelation of God in humanity is the basis of all democracy worthy of the name, and the only hope of brotherhood among men. No wonder Christmas is a day of music and joy. It brings heaven and earth together, and teaches us that no hope of the human heart is to high, no faith too holy to be fulfilled by the love that moves the sun and the stars. God in man – here is the secret of all our hope for the better day to be when men will no longer make war, but will live in fraternity and good will. Unless the Divine dwells in man there is no strand strong enough to hold against the dark forces which fight against peace. God in man – here is the mystic tie by which man is bound to man in bonds of mutual need and service and hope.
For Christmas is both a fact and a symbol. It is the greatest fact of history and the symbol of the deepest truth man can know on earth. It tells of a time when the idea of God was born anew in the mind of man. Think how you will about the Babe in the Manger, debate as you like about the facts of his life, it is a fact that since Jesus lived God has been nearer to the life of man, more real and more lovable. The Christmas scene shows us
So we begin to see what the cradle has to do with the Lodge. Indeed, as all the wise teachers of the Craft agree, the Lodge is a Cradle and initiation is birth, by which man makes his advent into a new world. The Cable-Tow, by which we may be detained or removed should we be unworthy or unwilling to advance, is like the cord which joins a child to its mother at birth. Nor it is removed until, by a voluntary act, we
assume the obligations of a man, a new unseen tie is woven in our hearts. Henceforth we are united by an invisible bond to the service of the race.
as we are made of the same dust, and know the same dogs of passion at our heals – it behoves us to love one another, to seek to know, to understand and to help our fellow man. For here, in truth, is the basis and prophecy of brotherhood.
In the First Degree we are symbolically born out of darkness into the light of moral truth and duty, out of a merely physical into a spiritual world. Symbolically we enter into a new environment, as the child does at birth, with a new body of motive and law, taking vows to live by the highest standard of values. In other words, an Entered Apprentice discovers his own Divinity – learns who he is, why he is here, and what he is here to do. No secret that science can uncover is half so thrilling. Finding a new star out on the edge of the sky is nothing alongside the discovery of God in the soul.
God be thanked for a Truth so Divine that it lends dignity to our fleeting days – for a day of poetry in the midst of gray days of prose. On that day we work and plan that the child may have his toy, and the friend his token of our love; and, forgetting ourselves, we learn that our life on other days is but a muddled memory of what it ought to be. On one day, at least, we seek out the poor, the sick, the weary and the world-broken; and find in service a joy we know not in selfishness. Blessed Christmas Day – symbol of the eternal Child and the “Cradle Endlessly Rocking.” It takes us down from our towering pride and teaches us humility and sweet charity. It brings us simplicity of faith in which we find peace. It rebukes our bitter wisdom because it is unholy and un-hopeful. It brings across the years, a memory of days when life was stainless, and gives us hope that some time, somewhere, we shall find again the secret we have lost.
In the same way, in the Third Degree, we are symbolically initiated into an eternal life in time. Actually we pass through death and beyond it while yet walking upon the earth! God is here within us, eternity is now, and death is only the shadow of life – such is the secret of Masonry. Once a man really discovers it, and governs himself accordingly, he is a free man – erect, unafraid, happy. Thus Masonry, in its own way, teaches the truth of Christmas and Easter Day; and deeper truth, it is not given us to know or imagine. It lights up the world with joy, and changes even dull death into a last enchantment.
O Great heart of God, Once vague and lost to me, Why do you throb with my throb tonight, Is this land Eternity? O little heart of God, Sweet intruding stranger, You are laughing in my human breast, A Christ Child in a manger. Heart, dear heart of God, Beside you now I kneel, Strong heart of faith, O heart of mine, Where God has set His seal. Wild, thundering heart of God, Out of my doubt I come, And my foolish feet with the prophet’s feet, March with the prophet’s drum.
God in man, the soul of man a Cradle of the Eternal Love – what higher truth has man ever dreamed! By the same token, the hope of the world, and of each of us, lies in the birth and growth of the Divine in man – in your life and mine – refining lust into love, and greed into goodness. Also, since we have the same spark of Divinity within us, and the same starry ideals above us – even
Article sourced from SHORT TALK BULLETIN - Vol.III December, 1925 No.12.
speech can distant the information and, at times, make it almost unintelligible. Articulation – what is it? It is a term that refers to the movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, and soft palate to form speech sounds. Good articulation involves production of sounds that are clear and distinct, without being overly precise. Don’t confuse pronunciation with articulation. Pronunciation is combining speech sounds into recognizable words. A speaker might survive pronunciation that is unacceptable to an audience; poor articulation however, makes a speaker much more difficult to understand, affecting both the attention and comprehension of his listeners. Poor articulation leaves out sounds, distorts sounds (most often by running them together), substitutes one sound for another, and occasionally adds strange sounds. Remember, in a conversation, if poor articulation makes you difficult to understand, the listener can stop you and ask, “What did you say? I didn’t understand that.” But, when you’re delivering a lecture, charge, or verse of scripture, that isn’t possible. If you aren’t understood, the idea is lost because there are no instant replays for the lecturer.
Effective Delivery Freemasonry is seriously indebted to those dedicated members of our Fraternity who labour for months and years in learning the various elements of ritual. I have often observed however, that the effort and valuable time spent in memorizing and perfecting these magnificent moral lessons is not always fully exploited; surprisingly, this is not the result of faulty or halting memory, but rather ineffective delivery. How do we measure the effectiveness of delivery? Quite simply. Effective delivery is achieved whenever the candidate (audience?) has been able to hear clearly and to reasonably understand the information presented by the speaker. There are five elements of delivery or speech (the terms are literally synonymous) - they are: knowledge of the subject, the speaker’s conviction of his message, audibility, pronunciation, and articulation. This might sound like some complex literary exercise, but it really isn’t. Surely, every speaker should know instinctively if he is prepared, if he has adequately memorized and perfected his presentation, and that he himself is committed to the principles of his message; he must also know if he is speaking loud enough, and pronouncing his words correctly. When then, contributes most to poor speech or delivery? It is articulation. The mechanics of articulation, except perhaps for professionals, is rarely, if ever, obvious to most casual speakers. But, lack of attention to this vital element of
One note of caution – don’t make the mistake of thinking that you should precisely form every sound. Overarticulation is also poor articulation. Good speech or delivery doesn’t call attention to itself. If you said “I went to the movie last night.” and tried to precisely articulate every “t” in the sentence, your delivery would be unnatural, and call attention to itself. In addition, “the” should be the sound of “thu.” To say “the” with the long “e” would overstress the word and would not be natural. By overstressing these sounds, the speaker looses the natural rhythms of
speech, and creates the perception of insincerity – that he might be more concerned with his image than his message.
DID YOU KNOW?
I suppose that some ritualists privately applaud themselves at the completion of a lecture, charge, prayer or scripture; there was nothing omitted and they managed to survive the ordeal. But, were they effective? Did the candidate and others who were listening hear clearly; did they reasonably understand the message? If not, it was probably due to poor articulation – speaking too rapidly, distorting words by running sounds together, overstressing sounds, omitting sounds. It is difficult to understand a speaker under these conditions – especially during the period when a candidate is hoodwinked – he doesn’t even have the opportunity to read the lips of the person speaking.
Question: How was it determined that there would be ten active Officers in the Lodge? Answer: The evolution of the modern list of Officers in our Lodges was a very slow process. Our oldest records relating to operative lodges, suggest that there were only two Officers, the Master (by various titles) and one Warden. Many versions of the Old Charges indicate that 'one of the Elders' performed the duty of holding 'the Book' (Bible or Gospel) while the 'Charges' were read to the candidate and until he had finished taking his obligation upon it; but the 'Elder' was not an officer.
All of us are veteran Masons, and have been exposed to this “ritual stuff” many many times. We’ve sat through the ceremonies of opening and closing lodges conferring the three degrees, installations, funeral services – much of this rendered almost unintelligible by sloppy speech – poor articulation. But this doesn’t bother us because we’ve heard it so often that we can mentally fill in the gaps left void by careless speakers. But Brethren, can’t you just imagine how some of this might sound to new candidates or Masons hearing it for the first time. Remember, if you are not understood, you’ve wasted your time in delivering the message, you’ve failed to take advantage of the time and effort in learning the work, and even worse, you’ve left thoroughly confused listeners.
Later operative documents, e.g. the minutes of the Aitchison's Haven Lodge, which begin in 1598, show the Warden in the highest Office, with a Deacon as next in rank, and a 'clerk' as secretary. This was a Scottish Lodge, and in Scotland the titles of Warden and Deacon were sometimes interchangeable, so that the Deacon held the highest Office. In this Lodge the title 'Master', for the senior Officer, did not come into use unti11825. (AC 24, p.31). In the 1600s, it was customary for the newly-entered apprentices and the newly made 'fellows of Craft' to choose two 'intenders' or 'instructors' of their own rank, but the 'intenders' were not Officers of the Lodge, only temporary tutors.
Ritual – Effective Delivery By John P. Riddell
Later still, in the Edinburgh Register House MS, 1696, the two sister texts, the new E.A. had 'the youngest Mason', i.e. the last
previous candidate, as his 'intender', and the newly-made FC was similarly instructed by the 'youngest Master'. There were only two degrees in those days, 'Entered Apprentice' and 'Master or Fellow-Craft'. The intender's duty was to instruct the candidate during the course of the ceremony but outside the Lodge, in the proper sign and 'words of entry' which were the candidate's greeting when he returned to the Lodge. The intender's services, on these occasions, might correspond remotely, to those of the Deacon of today.
was only one Warden as second in command, with a 'Clark' or secretary .The Warden often served as 'Box-Master' or Treasurer. Senior and Junior Wardens were first appointed in 1737; Master of Ceremonies in 1771; Chaplain in 1798, and there is no record of Deacons until 1809. These Scottish records of three of the oldest Lodges in the world are quoted only to show how slow was the evolution of the modern list of Officers. Returning now to England, our first Book of Constitutions, 1723, prescribed its list of Officers as follows: Master, S.W. and J.W.: Treasurer and Secretary each assisted by a Clerk.
In Lodge Mother Kilwinning No.0, of Scotland, with surviving minutes from 1642, the Deacon served the highest Office unti11735, when he was first recorded as Master. A Deputy-Master was appointed annually from 1736 onwards. QuarterMasters were appointed in 1643 and regularly thereafter, their duty being to collect the Quarterly dues, under penalty of 'doubling' if they were not paid. There was a strict system of fines for non-attendance, and for operative misdemeanors such as employing cowans; and a 'Fiscal' was appointed from 1717 onwards to collect those fines.
Note: Deacons and Inner Guard were not mentioned. The Grand Lodge itself appointed Stewards for the Annual Feast, and a Fellow craft to look after the door of Grand Lodge; and later appointments of Stewards and Tylers for the private Lodges. In 1730, Samuel Prichard published his Masonry Dissected, the first exposure of a system of three degrees. He named only five Officers in all, the Master, two Wardens, the Senior E.A. 'in the South ...to hear and receive Instructions and welcome strange Brothers' and the Junior E.A. in the North, 'To keep off all Cowans and Eves-droppers'.
The Lodge appointed a Standard-bearer in 1757; Tylers in 1764; a Treasurer in 1771; a Chaplain in 1801, although many Ministers of religion were members long before that date. Senior and Junior Deacons were not appointed unti11850. All the Officers were required to pay Fees of Honour, when they were appointed and lesser sums when they relinquished Office. A fine was imposed if they refused to take Office!
When William Preston. in the 1775 edition of his Illustrations of Masonry gave a detailed description of the investiture of Officers, he listed: The Master; S.W. and J.W.; Treasurer; Secretary; Stewards and Tyler. In 1815, two years after the union of the rival Grand Lodges, the first Book of Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge specified 'The Masonic officers of a lodge' as: 'The Master and his two Wardens, with
The earliest records of the Lodge of Edinburgh Mary's Chapel, (No. #1) begin in 1599 and show the Deacon (later Preces and finally Master) in the highest Office. There
their assistants, the two Deacons, Inner Guard, and Tyler; to which ...may be added other officers, such as Chaplain, Treasurer, Secretary, etc.!
capacity in 1730 and probably before that time. Question: We are told that there are five noble orders of architecture. Why are the representatives of only three placed about the Altar?
Nowadays, the English B. of C. lists the Officers of private Lodges in two categories i.e. regular Officers, who must be elected or appointed, and additional Officers, who may be appointed, as follows: Regular: -Master, two Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, two Deacons, Inner Guard and Tyler, (total nine). Additional: -Chaplain, Director of Ceremonies, Charity Steward, Almoner, Asst. D. of C., Organist, Asst. Sec., a Steward or Stewards.
Answer: The five 'Orders of Architecture' were developed out of two separate cultures. First - in this question on the Orders- were the Greeks, in the Hellenic period, B.C. 700 to B.C. 146. They developed the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders, essentially for a style of architecture based on columns and beams.
I do not know how you arrived at the 'ten active Officers' mentioned in your question, but customs vary in the different jurisdictions, and I hope that the information I have given may help to answer your question precisely.
Later, the Romans, B.C.146 to A.D. 365, developed the Tuscan, which is an influted and simplified version of the Doric. Later still, they produced the Composite, a florid combination of the lonic and Corinthian, much used in triumphal arches to give an ornate character.
Finally, all the dates in this article, belong to documents that will prove my statements, but when I say that there were two Wardens in 1730, they may have been earlier than that, and 1730 is simply the date when they were so recorded. The main problem is the first appointment of Deacons. There is a record of them at Durham in 1732, and of regular appointments from 1743-1758 at Chester: (See The Freemasonry at Work, pp. 91-3). In their History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, p. 97, the authors, Lepper & Crossle, state that Deacons have been regularly appointed in Irish Lodges 'since 1726 at least', but they give no precise details.
In our Masonic ritual and symbolism, developed at a time when an Englishman's education demanded a useful knowledge of architecture, we use the three pillars to represent the three principal Officers, and the choice of the three purest classical styles was inevitable. 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.
Peace on Earth, and goodwill towards all men “God Bless Us, Every One!
The earliest date of the appointment of Inner Guards, by that title, is also uncertain, but we know that juniors were acting in that
THE BACK PAGE The Working Tools of the Irish Guards.
Brethren, I present to you the working tools of the Irish Guards. These are Ceremonial duties, our motto, Quis Separabit, the 4 buttons on our famous red tunics, and a tin of polish.
Ceremonial Duties. These remind us of the ritual we should all strive to master. Drill is only mastered with constant practice and attention to detail. No one can guarantee to be conversant with all Masonic ritual. Be that spoken ritual, signed ritual or demonstration ritual. However, we should all know enough to carry out the basic duties of the Lodge. Constant practice and attendance will ensure that should your input be required, you can assist with that duty, and act as an example to the more junior Brethren.
Our Motto, Quis Separabit. “Who will separate us”? If ever there was a phrase more suited for Freemasonry, I have yet to hear it.
4 Buttons. The four buttons on our tunics reflect the fact that we are the 4th most senior Guard’s Regiment. They also remind us of four of the great tenets of Freemasonry. Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth and Respect. •Brotherly Love means we care about our Brethren. We are there to assist, to aid, to help. We do not need a prompt to make us take action, if required, in our Brothers best interest.
•Relief. If Freemasonry had a middle name, it would be charity. We are there to support not only our own, but those who need and require assistance and support. The poor, the disadvantaged, the needy and those lacking something we can give, all these people will find it forthcoming from the hands of a Mason. • Truth. It is a reminder that our words, actions & character should be one of integrity. They should embody the highest standards of morality. •Respect. There are two sets of people we should respect. Ourselves, and everyone else. When we show respect, we gain respect. There are obviously times when we must work to show respect, but without the attempt to show it, we have no hope of it being returned. As the old Masonic saying states, “Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up”.
A Tin of Polish. Just as we commence our Masonic careers as rough ashlars, so the polish starts off as something with no lustre or shine. With work and time, the polish becomes a mirror finish on our drill boots. Just as the polish requires a large amount of work to reach a state of perfection, so we must endeavour to acquire a position where the world sees us a shining example of what a Mason should be. The “Bulling of boots”, a time honoured visible illustration of a member of The Brigade of Guards, requires constant practice. The goal of being a shining example should not just be a public exercise in the presence of your friends and the general public, but also a private, unseen lifestyle choice. To conclude: - With Ceremonial Duties, practice makes perfect. Whether it is the intricate drill of a parade in the presence of Her Majesty, or the general working of the Lodge, both are Ceremonial in nature. Remember, practice, practice, practice. Our motto, Quis Separabit. None finer in all the land. The 4 Buttons, these reflect those four essential tenets. Brotherly love, relief, truth and respect. You should try to be like the end product derived from a Can of Polish. A shining example to all those both within, and outside, the Brotherhood. This excellent article was submitted to the SRA76 Magazine from our reader, Wor. Bro. Edgar McClenaghan Union Masonic Lodge No 23, Newry, Province of Down, Irish Constitution. This is the second “working tools” parody that Bro. Edgar has sent SRA76. Thank you Edgar.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor