SRA76 MARCH 2014 MASONIC MAGAZINE

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SRA 76

Volume 10 Issue 3 No.77 March 2014

Monthly Newsletter

Contents Cover Story, The Forgotten President Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual? – The Response Famous Freemason – Bud Abbott The Galashiels Lodge No. 262. Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Ancient and Illustrious Star of Bethlehem The Last Stated The Lodge Historian Solomon’s Seal The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – The Mystic Tie


In this issue: Page 2, ‘The Forgotten President’ Arthur St. Clair, the Scotsman who was the President of the United States. Page 6, ‘Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual?’ The negative response. Page 10, ‘Bud Abbott.’ “A Famous Freemason.” Page 11, ‘The Galashiels Lodge No. 262.’ Another History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 14, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “The Ghost of Oppression”, our Regular monthly feature. Page 15, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’. “Learning the Work”, the thirty fourth in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 17, ‘Ancient and Illustrious Star of Bethlehem’ Secret Societies throughout the World. Page 19, ‘The Last Stated’ A Masonic Story! Page 21, ‘The Lodge Historian’ Every Lodge should have a Historian, here’s the reason why!. Page 24, ‘Solomon’s Seal’. The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 25, ‘The Masonic Dictionary’ Key

In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Mystic Tie’ Burns spoke of it, but what is it? This article looks at what binds us Masons together. [link] The front cover artwork is a stock picture of Arthur St. Clair.

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The Forgotten President Arthur St. Clair (1736-1818) Born and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland

during the tumultuous days of the final Jacobite Rising and the Tartan Suppression, St. Clair was the only president of the United States born and bred on foreign soil. Arthur St. Clair was born in the town of Thurso, in Caithness, Scotland, in 1736. After finishing his formal education at Edinburgh University, he was indentured to Dr. William Hunter, of London, but not liking the study of medicine, he purchased his time and obtained an ensign’s commission and came to America with Baron Jeffery Amherst in 1758, who was sent to America as a Major General to lead the Louisbourg Campaign in the last of the French and Indian Wars. He was then assigned to the command of Brigadier General James Wolfe, who had been selected to capture Quebec. He shared in all the labours and privations of the campaign which resulted in the defeat of the French and the passage of Canada under British rule. At the close of the war he retired to Boston, Massachutes, where he married Miss Phoebe Bayard, half sister of Governor James Bowdin. In marrying Miss Bayard, he received the sum of 14,000 Pounds, this being a legacy to his wife from her grandfather, James Bowdin. In April 1762, he resigned his commission and moved to what is now Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, where many of his kin had established themselves When

Indian hostilities broke out, he took and active part against the savages. In 1764 he, along with his wife Phoebe, moved to Ligonier Valley, where he acquired a large tract of land, partly by purchase and partly by grant by the King for his services in the French war. In 1769, while in command of Fort Ligonier, he actively engaged in improving his land, building a fine home and a mill, the future looked very good for the St. Clair’s. In April, 1770, he was appointed surveyor for the District of Cumberland. A month later the offices of Justice of the Court of Quarter Sessions and Common Pleas, and Member of Proprietary, or Governor’s Council, for Cumberland County, were conferred on him. When Bedford County was created in 1771, Governor Penn made him a Justice of the Court, Recorder of Deeds, Clerk of the Orphan’s Court, and notary of the Court of Common Pleas for that County. When the Revolutionary War broke out he was commissioned a colonel, having supported the cause of the Colonies and was asked to go at once to Philadelphia. Although it was a great personal sacrifice, he abandoned his 700 acres of beautiful land and as it was afterwards proved, his fortune. In July, 1776, he was made a Brigadier General and on the 19th of February was promoted to the rank of Major General. General St. Clair participated in the campaign of the Jerseys, a series of engagements in the American Revolutionary War between British forces under General Sir William Howe and an 2


American army under General George Washington, and shared in the horrors of Valley Forge. When Benedict Arnold’s treason was discovered, General Washington directed St. Clair to take command of West Point, “and” remarks his biographer, “where it became his sad duty, as a member of the court, to try Major Andre, the victim of Arnold’s treason, to declare that meritorious and virtuous officer had incurred the penalty of death.” When the revolt of the Pennsylvania Line occurred at Morristown on January 1, 1781, St. Clair, who was at Philadelphia, hastened to the scene with Lafayette, and, by good advice, did much to quell the spirit of insubordination. Afterward he was sent to the army of the South, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. From there he was sent to the aid of General Greene in South Carolina with six regiments and ten pieces of artillery. The war over, St. Clair returned to his family in Pennsylvania. In 1783 he was elected a member of the Council of Censors, a body provided for in the Constitution of 1776, and charged with the duty of inquiring whether the Constitution had been preserved inviolate, and he became a very active member of the council. He was also elected to the office of Vendue Master of Philadelphia, an honourable and lucrative position, through which the public revenues were received at that time. In the meantime, he was chosen a delegate to Congress from Pennsylvania. On February 20, 1786 he attended that body and on Friday, February 2, 1787, he was elected its president. During this session the famous Ordinance of 1787, erecting the Northwest Territory, was passed. On the 3

day the final vote was taken St. Clair was absent from the chair, but had always taken a deep interest in the measure. On October 5, 1787, Congress proceeded to elect officers for the new government. Arthur St. Clair was chosen governor. He did not want the office but his friends insisted that, aside from his capability, the salary might, in part, assist in reimbursing him for his financial sacrifices during the Revolution. In July of 1789, a bill, which had been drafted by St. Clair for the government of the Northwest Territory, was introduced and passed both houses without opposition. This gave the sanction of Congress to all of the important provisions of the Ordinance of 1787. While he was in New York, attending to these preliminary duties, and consulting with General Knox, Secretary of War, regarding some plan for the settlement of the Indian troubles, St. Clair had the extreme pleasure of assisting at the inauguration of his old friend, General George Washington, as the first President of the United States. His name at one time was freely canvassed in connection with the position of Vice-President and in July of 1789, while he was waiting for the new government, he was asked to stand for the governorship of Pennsylvania. The greatest misfortune to befall this grand old soldier and governor, though a committee of Congress afterward absolved him from all blame, was his overwhelming defeat by the Indians on November 4, 1791, which cast a cloud over his name and fame during the balance of his life. Needless to say that it caused him to resign his commission of Major General and Commander-In-Chief, which honour had been conferred on him.


While engaged in the service of his country during the Revolution, his private affairs were entirely neglected. In the darkest hours, when the Pennsylvania line revolted, General Washington appealed to St. Clair for aid, and he contributed liberally of his own means to feed and clothe the starving soldiers. When the war was over and he endeavored to get this refunded in a settlement of his accounts, but was refused payment because of some irregularity. However, the justness of the claim was admitted. He then appealed to the committee on claims in Congress, who reported that the money had been received and expended for the benefit of the United States, but payment was barred by the statute. On another occasion, while acting as superintendent of Indian affairs, it became necessary, in order to carry out the instructions of the Secretary of War, to become responsible for supplies which exceeded the $9,000 amount of the warrants furnished by the government. When St. Clair sent his accounts to the Treasury department they were disallowed, because the accompanying vouchers were not receipted. When this occurred, the contractor required St. Clair to give his personal bond for the payment of the vouchers. When he presented the vouchers to the Treasury for payment, the vouchers could not be paid because there was no appropriation for debts contracted under the confederation. St. Clair again applied to Congress, where again, payment was refused because of the statute of limitations! St. Clair was forced to sell his property and a most valuable tract of land, on which there was a good mill, a large and well finished dwelling, and all of the necessary

outhouses for a farm, besides a furnace for smelting iron ore, on which St. Clair had laid out about $10,000 and which was rented at the time for $2,400 per year, all of which was worth fully $30,000, a large sum in those days, which would have made him and his family comfortable for the remaining years of his life, was sacrificed to pay a debt which was in no proper sense personal, but was due to the United States. All of this went under the hammer for $1,000! All of his other property went in the same way and St. Clair, his wife and daughters and orphan grandchildren were reduced to poverty. This home, from which they were now driven, was built while St. Clair was governor of the Northwest Territory in about 1799 and was named by him “The Hermitage,” in fond anticipation of the time when he should be relieved of the cares of state. In referring, afterward, to the executions which swept away this beautiful home and all his personal property, St.Clair said: “They left me a few books of my classical library and the bust of Paul Jones, which he sent me from Europe, for which I was very grateful.” Strenuous efforts were still made by eloquent friends to obtain justice for him at the hands of the government but a rancorous party feeling stood as a barrier, because he was a Federalist. That debt was never paid. Finally, there was wrung from Congress a pension of $60.00 per month but not a dollar of it ever reached St. Clair, for a remorseless creditor seized upon it at the very door of the Treasury. The loss of his home drove Arthur St. Clair, the one time soldier, surveyor, and Territorial Governor to a rude log house on the barren lands of Chestnut Ridge, about five miles from Ligonier, where the few remaining years of his life were spent in 4


poverty. His favourite daughter, Mrs. Louisa Robb, shared his fortunes and cheered him in his closing days of gloom. During the last four years of his life the family were frequently in great want. Pennsylvania, his adopted State, finding that he was in such reduced circumstances, settled an annuity of $300.00 on him, and in 1817, increased it to $600.00. In 1857, thirty-nine years after his death, Congress appropriated a considerable sum for his surviving heirs. How much more graceful, as well as appreciative, it would have been, had the money been appropriated when he was living. The lapse of years could hardly condone the shameful treatment he received at the hand of the Republic he helped to create. On one of the closing days of August 1818,the venerable patriot undertook to go to Youngstown, three miles distant, for flour and other necessaries. He bade goodbye to his Louisa and started off with his pony and wagon, in good spirits. The authorities had changed the State road so that it passed along the Loyalhanna creek, several miles north of the St. Clair residence, and the route to Youngstown was rough and dangerous. Pony and wagon moved along safely until within a mile of the village when, a wheel falling into a rut, the wagon was upset and the aged general was thrown with great force upon the rocky road. In the course of the day, he was discovered lying where he had fallen, insensible, and the pony standing quietly at a short distance, awaiting the command of his old master, faithful to the last. He was carried tenderly back to the house but neither medical skill nor the tender care of loved ones could restore him and on the 31st of August 1818, death relieved him 5

from his suffering in the eighty-third year of his age. Thus passed away, after a long and eventful career, one of the heroes of the Revolution, the first Governor of the Northwest Territory, and the man who established Hamilton County and changed the name of “L’Osantiville,” to Cincinnati (The General Society of the Cincinnati is a historic association in the United States and France with limited and strict membership requirements). The Cincinnati were integral in establishing many of America's first and largest cities to the west of the Appalachians, most notably Cincinnati, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first governor of the Northwest Territory, Arthur St. Clair, was a member of the Society. He renamed a small settlement "Cincinnati" to honour the Society and to encourage Society members to settle there. On a plain sandstone monument, in the old cemetery at Greensburg is this inscription: “The earthly remains of Major-General Arthur St. Clair are deposited beneath this humble monument, which is erected to supply the place of a nobler one due from his country.” This was the tribute of the Masonic Order, to which he belonged and is the only one ever raised to perpetuate his name and memory. Arthur St. Clair was a petitioner for the charter of Nova Caesarea Lodge #10 in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1791.

Researched and Compiled by Grover W. Brunton, 330, PSM, Millennium Council #382 November 15, 2007


Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual? The Negative Response!

Brother J. Fairbairn Smith is one of the most distinguished names in American Freemasonry, and one who would enter the lists of Masonic scholarship with him does so at his own risk. However, Brother Smith raises the question. "Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual?" While he seems never to answer his own question categorically in the affirmative, he offers a number of quotations from Shakespeare's plays by which to sustain an affirmative answer. Unfortunately, his quotations are offered out of context, some incomplete in their texts, and some incorrectly quoted. His arguments are not persuasive, therefore, and he fails to prove his thesis. It is the purpose of this paper to answer Brother Smith's question in the negative, and to show that the quotations offered do not mean what he supposes them to mean. First of all, Brother Smith refers to Shakespeare as "Sir William." No record exists of William Shakespeare's having been knighted. The First Folio, to which Brother Smith makes reference, has on its second page a large picture of the playwright and the caption "Mr. William Shakespeare, Comedies, Histories & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies." This is dated in London, in 1623. Shakespeare died in 1616. Had the publishers of the First Folio been aware of a knighthood, it is reasonable to suppose that they would have accorded him his proper title. Brother Smith says, "Reading his plays and noting the Masonic allusions and passages

that almost seem to stand out of the ritual and lectures, one can only conclude that Shakespeare was either a Mason or that Masons drew upon him for their material." This author would not presume to argue whether there were or were nor speculative lodges in being during Shakespeare's lifetime. Some very good English scholars seem to have done extensive work in this field, and any Mason may draw his own conclusions on the basis of their studies. If there were such lodges in existence, and if Shakespeare was a member of any one of them, it is not unreasonable to suppose that so creative a mind would have turned itself to the ritual. However, the only valid basis for comparing the lines of his plays myth Masonic ritual for evidence of his authorship of the latter is to compare the lines of the plays with the lines from such ritual as can be proved to have existed contemporaneously with Shakespeare's creative period. Then too, there seems to be very general agreement among Masonic historians that the Third Degree was formulated at some time after the beginning of the era of modern Masonry, in 1717. This fact should be borne in mind, for it has relevance to the further consideration of Brother Smith's arguments. Brother Smith's first quotation is that from "The Life of King Henry the Eighth." Shakespeare puts this speech in the mouth of Cardinal Wolsey, and the relevant portion, quoted from The First Folio is this: "This is the state of Man; today he puts forth The tender Leaves of hopes, tomorrow Blossoms, And bears his blushing Honors thick upon him: The third day, comes a Frost; a killing Frost, And 6


when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His Greatness is a ripening, nips his root, And then he falls as I do." (III, 2, 22522258) As Brother Smith suggests, these lines do echo in the Mason's memory, for they are the substance of a portion of the Lecture of the Master Mason Degree. But, it must be noted that the words are not identical, and that the object of the metaphor is quite different. In the play, Wolsey meditates upon his fall from temporal power. In Masonry, the words have much the same meaning as the phrase, "the dust shall return to the earth as it was;" it is a meditation on the frailty of man and the uncertainty of human life. One need only read the monitorial lecture to see that, while the words fall on the ear with some familiarity, the meaning which Masonry gives to its speech is quite unlike that which Shakespeare gives to his. Reference is made to "The Tempest," and Brother Smith quotes Colin Sill as sating that "a non-Mason can never see the real significance which lies locked in its speeches." This play is one of those works which has a certain appeal to those disposed toward mysticism, and for those people there is a delightfully disturbing suspicion that the play holds depths of esoteric meaning under its surface. Generations of such searchers have claimed to find allegory, symbol and myth in the play's text. Since the study of Shakespeare's "true" meanings is as inexact a science as the study of Masonry, no one may say that Masonic meanings are not detectable in the lines of the "The Tempest." It can be said, however, that one who finds Masonic significance "locked in its speeches" is 7

possessed either of greater Masonic erudition or a far more vivid imagination than this author. To examine every one of the quotations offered would make this paper unacceptably long. We shall, therefore, select only three. Brother Smith offers the same quotation twice, each with a slight difference in wording. First, he has, "And Lamb-skins, too, that signify that Craft;" then he has, "Lamb-skins to signify that the Craft being richer than innocence." The line is from "Measure for Measure," as he says. Pompey, the servant of Mistress Overdone, "a Bawd," is the speaker: "Twas never merry world since' of two usuries, the merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by order of Law, a furr'd gown to keep him warm; and furr'd with Fox and Lamb-skins too, to signify, that craft being richer than Innocency, stands for the facing." (III, 1, 1495-1499) In the contemporary but now archaic sense, "merry" meant favorable, and "usury" meant any interest or compensation for the use of money, not alone unlawful interest, Pompey says the world is not a "favorable" place; given a choice, the Law will sanction the more oppressive measure, and such sanction becomes a kind of warming gown, lined with lamb-skins and faced with far richer fox fur. Craft, meaning cunning or guile, is more rewarding than innocency, and so the lamb-skin (the badge of innocence, if you like) is hidden while the valuable fur of the wily fox is on the facing for all to see. In its context, this quotation has absolutely no bearing on lamb-skin aprons, and only


possible Masonic relevance, and the word "craft" refers not to art or skill but to cunning or guile. He offers another line from "Measure for Measure:" "I am a Brother of a Gracious Order late come from the sea ..." This is a phrase from a speech uttered by Vincentio, the Duke, in his disguise as a friar. If considered only on the basis of the words "Brother" and "Order," this line does indeed sound "Masonic." Once again, however, it must be placed in context to understand its meaning. In answer to the question, "Of whence are you?" the Duke, pretending to be a friar, replies: "Not of this Country, though my chance is now To use it for my time: I am a brother Of gracious Order, late come from the sea, In special business from his Holiness". (III, 1, 1703-1706) It can be seen that the "Order" referred to is a religious order, and "Brother" is the proper title of a member of such an order. Further, one must suppose that "his Holinesst' is no other than the Pope at Rome. Read in context, it seems self-evident that the familiar words have no applicability to Masonry, and offer no proof in themselves that the same words, when used in Masonry, are of Shakespearean origin. Brother Smith cites the line, 'What! My old Worshipful Master!", from "The Taming of the Shrew." This is not the language of the play, and one can scarcely see how this could have been so quoted. The line is spoken by Biondello, a servant to Lucentio, and one of the instruments of

the low comedy essential to all of Shakespeare's comedies. In a short dialogue between Biondello and Vincentio, Lucentio's father, the following is heard: Vincentio: What, you notorious villain, didst thou never see thy master's father, Vincentio? Biondello: What, my old worshipful old master? Yes, marry, sir: see where he looks out of the window. (IV, 1, 24302433) "My old worshipful, old master" is a kind of double-talk, the sort of thing a slowwitted comic character might say to his master's father, whom he seemingly does not recognize. "Worshipful" meant only "honorable" or "esteemed", and "master" is used in the then prevailing concept of master and servant. That is all it means, and it cannot be made to have Masonic connotations. The other quotations offered to support some supposed authorship by Shakespeare are of like kind. When each is examined in strict context, and when the words are analyzed on the basis of their use in that context, it will be found that, like apples and oranges related only in being fruit, words used by Shakespeare and the same words used in Masonic ritual are related only in being words. George H. McKnight, in his The Evolution of the English Language, says: "The language of Shakespeare reflects the tendencies current in his time." He found the principal source of his language in the manner of speech current in his day. This is not to say that everyone spoke like Shakespeare there were just as many, if not 8


more, people who spoke from limited vocabularies in his day as in ours. It is to say that Shakespeare spoke like everyone else, both the most refined and the crudest. He was a craftsman practicing his craft for a profit. One scholar reminds us that playwrights in Shakespeare's day were considerably less interested in saving their plays published than they were in having them produced. Shakespeare was not alone in the practice of his craft. Christopher Marlowe and perhaps a half-dozen others were his contemporaries, and they all vied for the public's acceptance. Shakespeare seemed to have learned the public's tastes and to have catered to them. There is no reason, then, to suppose that he consciously wrote "The Tempest," or any of the other plays, for the purpose of conveying special truths to the limited few. He wrote for the masses, and the chances are good that if he had written what they did not understand he would have had no paying audience "The Tempest" has been called be: one scholar a "myth of immortality." So is Masonry; certainly in its Third Degree, and if by reading "The Tempest" some Mason is able to find hidden truth, by that much has he profited. We should not, however, on the basis of words and phrases lifted out of context jump to the conclusion that the play has meaning which only Masons can comprehend. We have quoted Wolsey's speech from "The Life of King Henry the Eighth." Concerning the similar sounding passage from the lecture of the Master Mason Degree, Brother Smith has asked the question: "Did Shakespeare borrow it from Freemasonry, or did Preston, or Oliver, or some other Mason borrow it from 9

Shakespeare to make the lecture more poetic and impressive?" Did Shakespeare borrow from Masonry? It strains the credulity all too much to suppose that the playwright could have plucked from the craft the polished lines of a lecture which would accompany a degree not even originated, so we are told, until more than a century after his death. Shakespeare, like the other playwrights of his day, unabashedly borrowed from every possible source, but not likely from this source. Other points are raised by Brother Smith to which answer might be made, but the purpose of this paper is to rebut any argument or implication that the passages quoted tend to support the thesis of the Shakespearean origin of Masonic ritual. He says in part, "...one can only come to the conclusion that Shakespeare was either a Mason or that Masons drew on him for their material." A Mason he may have been, but the proof of it will not be found in the ritual, nor will the proof of his authorship of the ritual be found in his plays. Brother Smith asks, "Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual?" If proof rests solely on words and phrases from his plays, then the answer must be a categorical "No." by L.L. Walker, Jr. MPS This article by L.L. Walker was sourced from the 1982 Philalethes magazine. This was the response about the article published last month in the newsletter by Fairbairn Smith,, “Did Shakespeare create the Masonic Ritual?� (editor)


Famous Freemasons Bud Abbott

they received national exposure by appearing on a radio show and in 1940 Universal Studios signed for their first film. Despite having minor roles, Abbott and Costello stole the film with their comedy routines including a version of their now famous “Who’s On First?” LOU: BUD: LOU: BUD: LOU: BUD: LOU: BUD: LOU:

The best straight man in history! William ‘Bud’ Abbott was born in 1895 in New Jersey. Both his parents were in show business working for the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus, his mother as a bareback rider and his father an advance man. With the smell of the greasepaint in his blood Bud soon dropped out of school and embarked on a career in the theatre, firstly by arranging burlesque shows and then performing his own act. It was during this time that he met Betty Smith a burlesque dancer and comedienne whom he married in 1918, and a few years later they created a comedy act, Bud playing the straight man to Betty’s comedy routines. In the early 1930’s Abbott met Lou Costello a rising comic who was performing in Minsky’s Burlesque shows, and when Costello’s became ill, Bud stepped in and soon the they teamed up and performed together as a duo, Abbott the straight man to Costello’s clown. In 1938

BUD: LOU: BUD: LOU: BUD:

Well, then, who's playin' first? Yes. I mean the fellow's name on first base. Who. The fellow playin' first base. Who. The guy on first base. Who is on first. Well what are you askin' me for? I'm not asking you---I'm telling you: Who is on first. I'm asking you---who's on first? That's the man's name! That's who's name? Yes.

During World War II Abbott and Costello were one of the highest paid stars in the World and between 1940 and 1956 they made 36 films, had their own radio show and then had a live television show, The Abbott and Costello show. Bud Abbott was an extremely kind-hearted and generous man, after his twin sister’s husband left her, he took over responsibility for her children. He changed their name to Abbott and raised them as his own children. He and his wife also adopted two more children. Although Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were successful on stage and screen, the relationship between the pair had been tense for years. When they became movie 10


stars Costello wanted their salaries which had been 50%-50% to be spilt 60%-40% in his favour and the act’s name changed to Costello and Abbott. Bud Abbott was happy to go along with the changes but Universal Studios rejected the name change. The spilt in salaries in Costello’s favour remained for the rest of their careers but the rejection to the name change caused permanent friction between the partners, which was the beginning of the end between the two. The end came in the 1950’s, their popularity with the public was on the decrease with new stars coming onto the screen, they were hit by huge back tax demands which forced Abbott to sell off most his assets, and then they were dropped by Universal in 1955. The comic partnership was dissolved in 1957, Lou Costello died in 1959. In 1960 Abbott began performing with a new partner reprising the old routines, but Bud decided to give up, saying, “No one could ever live up to Lou.” He only made rare appearances on the TV, then mainly for fund raising, but he took on an energetic role in the Shriners raising money for their children’s hospitals. He was also an active freemason, appearing whenever asked at charity functions and other fund raising events. Bud was made a mason in the Daylight Lodge No. 525 Michigan and was a member of the famous Al Malaikah Shriners in Los Angeles. In the late 1960’s Bud’s health began to fade, and any money he had was eaten up, in 1970 he was living off $180 dollars a month social security, his wife worked part-time to support him and in that year he took the first of a series of strokes. In 1973 he was given 6 months to live and when the public heard of his plight, he was 11

bombarded with letters, cards, and prayers for his health. His wife Betty gave an interview to a magazine at this time, “We couldn’t possibly answer all the letters, but I want to thank everybody. And please tell them that Bud is not alone.” Bud and Betty had been together for 55 years when Bud Abbott died in 1974 aged 78 poor and penniless. This Famous Freemason bio of Bro. Bud Abbott was created by the Editor of the newsletter using different sources widely available on the Internet.

IN FELLOWSHIP My foot to thy foot, however thy foot may stray; Thy path for my path, however dark the way. My knee to thy knee, whatever be thy prayer; Thy plea my plea, in every need and care. My breast to thy breast, in every doubt or hope; Thy silence mine too, whatever thy secret's scope. My strength is thy strength, whenever thou shalt call; Strong arms stretch love's length, through darkness, toward thy fall! My words shall follow thee, kindly warning, fond, Through life, through drear death and all that lies beyond! C.M. Boutelle


The Galashiels Lodge No. 262

Although the constitutional formation of The Galashiels Lodge, No. 262, did not take place until its Charter of confirmation was granted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1816, this by no means presents the introduction of Freemasonry into Galashiels, or even the establishment of this Lodge. It is doubtless the lineal descendant of the old lodge at Haughfoot, the records of which date from 1702. The genesis of that lodge and the reason of its being instituted in such a remote hamlet as Haughfoot, (lying in the parish of Stow and just below the junction of the Lugate and Gala Waters) where now there is not a single stone upon another, is a mystery that will remain unsolved. The Masonic enthusiasm animating our ancient breth-ren and founders in seeking inspiration at Haughfoot is finely shown by the long distances they travelled to attend the duties of their lodge, often in the depth of winter, and at a period when there were scarcely proper roads: they came from Stockbridge (Edinburgh) – 26 miles; Philiphaugh and Selkirk – 12 miles; Hoppringle, Falahill, and Galashiels, each about 7 miles. We brethren of today, as the successors of so faithful masons and to so great and valuable privileges are deeply

indebted to the ancestral Haughfoot lodge, founded and maintained despite such obstacles. The carefully inscribed minutes of the Haughfoot lodge show the first meeting to have been held on 22nd of December 1702, when Sir James Scott of Gala, and Thomas Scott his brother, David Murray of Philiphaugh, James Pringle of Haughfoot, Robert Lowrie of Stow, and John Pringle, were admitted into the “Society”, which was placed under the protection of St. John the Evangelist, so resembling other lodges in the district, to meet an-nually on the 27th of December (St. John’s Day). Andrew Thomson of Galashiels, was Register-keeper (clerk or secretary), and also Box-master (treasurer), which was an office he held continuously for twenty years. In January, 1711, five members were commissioned to enter an Apprentice and Fellowcraft in Edinburgh. On St. John’s Day, 1728, ten commissioned members in Galashiels (Hugh Scott of Gala preses) admitted an entrant, and similar committee meetings followed for the next few years. In the minutes of 1736 there is no mention that they were invited for the formation of The Grand Lodge of Scotland. Fostered by the Pringle family the Society functioned until 27th of December 1738. That year saw the last meeting of the lodge at Haughfoot; at that meeting it was arranged to hold “comitie of all Masons willing to attend” at Galashiels on the 3rd day of January 1739, and in accordance, twenty members met in Galashiels. The advisability of changing the place of meeting was discussed “and being voted whether next meeting on St. John’s Day should be at Haughfoot or Galashiels, it was carried by the plurality to be 12


Galashiels, at John Donaldson’s, present clerk.” On St. John’s Day, 1740, the severity of the weather prevented the intended journey to Stow, but fifteen brethren constituted the meeting, chose the office-bearers, and ordered friendly correspond-ence with the Stow contingent. On 20th of January, 1742, a separate Lodge was set up, and minuted thus: “Galashiels, Jan. 20, 1742. The masons of Galashiels separate from the brethren of Stow being met day forsd and rols made and marked as follows.” Here follow the names of the fifteen members present. The lodge met regularly at Galashiels annually for the next ten years until St. John’s Day, 1752. At the meeting dated Galashiels 8th of January, 1753, we find: “The day it is proposed among the masons of the Lodge of Galashiels to have our meeting next St. John’s Day at Selkirk, where the brethren pleases to put us up, and in all time coming one year at Galashiels, another at Selkirk.” These alternate St. John’s meetings continued at least until 1763. These are all the records, but as the book was full, another may have followed as the lodge at this time showed considerable vitality, and there is evidence of meetings held before application was made for a Charter. Indeed, it is recorded by the Peebles Kilwinning Lodge, dated 10th of January, 1794, that “A Society of Free and Accepted Masons of Galashiels, an honourable fraternity beyond all memory,” petitioned to be admitted “to the honour of being a branch of their very ancient Lodge, chiefly from want of funds to procure a charter.” As the Peebles lodge could not comply with that petition, mat-ters continued in this vein until the early part of the next century. On St. John’s Day, 1815, nine Galashiels Freemasons, led by Dr. Robert Weir, a 13

local surgeon, met and resolved to petition Grand Lodge for a Charter. They took care to add to their number, worked hard for months in preparing a foundation for THE GALASHIELS LODGE, then, having remitted the fee of twenty guineas, along with a list of office-bearers, Charter was granted on 4th November, 1816. By the end of the year a membership of fifty was attained. Towards the close of 1817, Mr Scott of Gala offered ground near the Cross for a “Mason Lodge,” along with all the wood required, – but “the treasury was stint” – (lodge funds were scarce) and the scheme could not go on. Again on 19th of September, 1826, the brethren deliberated on the propriety of building a “Mason Lodge in Galashiels” and a large committee was actually appointed to look for and obtain a site and even to contract with tradesmen, so that the desire of the lodge could be attained. Alas, this project also came to nothing. In 1829, on St. John’s Day, the Lodge held a public procession, with music. The same year the foundation stone of Ladhope Parish Church was laid with full Masonic ceremony. In August, 1846, Grand Lodge invited three office-bearers to attend the inauguration of Sir Walter Scott’s Monu-ment in Edinburgh. For several years interest in the Lodge gradually fell off and the resources were used up, then, upon the death in 1851 of the keeper of the Masonic pro-perty, no meetings were called for the next seven years. In the winter of 1858, Dr. Tweedie, who held the current appointment of R. W. M., gathered together thirty-six worthy Brethren, and in February, 1859, obtained the certificate of Grand Lodge to resuscitate the Lodge, and good progress followed thereafter. The following year


saw the foundation stones of the Town Hall and the Corn Ex-change laid, thus giving the Craft further impetus. Bro. Peter Sanderson, R. W. M., assisted by Depute Grand Master John White Melville and Prov. Grand Master Forbes Mackenzie, M. P., along with deputations from seventeen sister Lodges carried out the ceremonies most satisfactorily. The town of Galashiels celebrated a holiday on 12th of September, 1860, to witness the proceedings. For some years lectures on Freemasonry and kindred subjects quickened enthusiasm and raised the tone of the meetings. The Lodge received great accessions to its numbers, flourished and prospered, deputized and was visited. Bro. Adam Thomson, a man of much energy and zeal, was in the chair in 1863-4-5, and also in 1874-5-6-7. The question of lodge accommodation again came up, this time it had to be faced, and the brethren, by resolute efforts, secured the sum of £300. The movement resulted in the purchase of ground in St. John Street and Galapark Road, early in 1876, for the erection of a Masonic Hall, with the consequent formation of The Galashiels Masonic Hall Company Limited. The foundation stone of the building was laid on 12th of May, 1876, with due Masonic ceremony by Bro. Henry Inglis, Depute Grand Master of Scotland. Bro. Turnbull, last of the Charter members, presented the coins for the foundation stone, and wished the work success. In eighteen months the large Hall was ready and consecrated. To those who constituted the Hall Company the brethren of The Galashiels Lodge, No. 262, are very grateful. This History and photo were sourced from the Website of Lodge No. 262. whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright holder. Click here to go to their site.

Rays of Masonry “The Ghost of Oppression” The Ghost of Oppression comes back to test its powers. Throughout the centuries Freemasonry has stood adamant and unafraid while this hideous monster has walked about in various ghastly shapes. To the Ghost of Oppression success means the death of men by bombs or through enslavement. Success means hunger, stealing the rosy cheeks of little children and leaving the vacant states of crazed minds. But always it returns to its spectral haunt with only a hallow victory. And always it reflects: There is an institution that has never shown signs of fear; an institution that has some 'mysterious force' which carries it on and on through the ages. It is difficult to understand. While I wreak destruction this institution goes about repairing, rebuilding. While I snatch food from children this institution restores health and offers shelter. While I rave about the superman, this institution speaks of the ordinary man who is the Son of Light. While I preach dogma, this institution teaches the simple doctrine- The Fatherhood of God. If I could only understand the mysterious power. I may come back by any name, at any time, in any form, but with the centuries I grow less hopeful. Faith repels all Fear.

Dewey Wollstein 1953.

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one-third a Mason, and not likely to get any farther." "You sure think of a lot of things Masonic to find fault with!" countered the Old Tiler. "But we would get along faster if you didn't mix your questions." "How do you mean, mix them?"

Learning the Work. "It seems to me," began the New Brother, offering a cigar to the Old Tiler, "that we make unnecessary demands on a candidate." "Thanks," answered the Old Tiler. "Such as what, for instance?" "A candidate who has received the Entered Apprentice degree must perfect himself in it before he gets his Fellowcraft. After he is a Fellowcraft he must learn that ritual before he can become a Master Mason. I can see the reason why all brethren must understand them and be able to tell about degrees, but I don't see why we must learn word for word and letter for letter. Last meeting we turned back a young fellow because he had not learned his Entered Apprentice degree. If he didn't learn it because he didn't want to he wasn't worth having, but it seems he just couldn't. Refusing him was an injustice. He's only 15

"In one breath you want to know why Masonry requires learning degrees by heart, and don't I think it was an injustice to a certain young fellow because we wouldn't admit him to full membership when he couldn't or didn't, only you don't think it an injustice but a righteousness if he could and didn't. You agree that one of the safeguards of Masonry which keep it pure is what we call the ancient landmarks?" "I agree." "And you know one of the landmarks is that Masonry is secret?" "Of course." "If we printed the work would it be secret?" "Certainly not. But you don't have to print it." "No? But if we can't print it and won't learn it, how are we to give it to our sons?" "Oh!" The New Brother saw a great light. "We all learn the work and so know when mistakes are made and correct them in the workers, and our sons hear the same work we did and learn it and transmit it. But wouldn't it be enough if only a few men learned the work- those well qualified and


with good memories? How would that do?" "It is good Masonry and good Americanism that the majority rules. Masonry is not a despotism but a democracy. If a favoured few were the custodians of the work would not the favoured few soon become the rulers of Masonry, just as the favoured few have always ruled the lazy, the ignorant, and the stupid?" "If that happened we'd just put them out of office." "And put in men who didn't know the work? Then what becomes of your landmark?" "You are too many for me," laughed the New Brother. "I guess there is a reason why we have to learn the work. But I still think we might make an occasional exception when a man just can't memorize." "If you read the Bible, you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. One bad egg will spoil an omelette. The man who won't learn is not fit to be a Mason, since he is not willing to tread the path all his brethren have trod. The man who can't learn the work hasn't control enough of his brain to enable him to appreciate Masonic blessings. This is no question of education. A brother of this lodge has had so little education that he barely reads and write. His grammar is fearful and his knowledge of science so full of things that are not so that it is funny when it isn't pathetic. But he is a good Mason for all that, and bright as a dollar at learning the work. It's only the stupid, the lazy, the indifferent and dull-witted, the selfish and foolish man

who can't learn or won't learn Masonry. They add nothing to it; it is better they are kept out. To make an exception merely would be to leaven our lump with sour leaven." "But, Old Tiler, many who learned it once have forgotten it now." "Of course they have! You can't do a quadratic equation or tell me the principle cities in Greenland, or bound Poland, or do a Latin declination. You learned it and forgot it. But you had the mental training. If I told you a quadratic was worked with an adding machine, that Poland was in china, or that hocus-pocus meant Caesar's lives, you'd know I was wrong. Same way with ritual; leaning it is Masonic training, and though we often forget it we never lose it entirely, and through the whole of us it is preserved to posterity." "Oh, all right! I learned mine, any way. Have another cigar, won't you?" "Thanks," answered the Old Tiler. "You have learned rather well, I'll admit, that I like your cigars!" This is the thirty fourth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.

Those that say Freemasonry is a Secret Society, obviously don’t know how to Google! 16


Fraternal & Secret Societies of the World ‘Ancient and Illustrious Star of Bethlehem ’ This order, once known as the Knights of the Star of Bethlehem, was introduced in the United States from England in 1691 by Giles Corey of London. Colonial authorities suppressed it. Over 200 years later it was again brought to the city of New York in 1849 or 1850 by John Bell, who established several commanderies in 1851. Permanent establishment of the order did not really occur until 1869, when the society organized on the state level in Pennsylvania and New York. Between 1878 and 1884 the order completely reorganized with new titles, officers, and organizational name: Ancient and Illustrious Star of Bethlehem. The AISB was a fraternal benefit order that provided death, sickness, and disability benefits. The society also helped its members find employment in the event they became unemployed. Another objective of the AISB was to perpetuate its traditions. In terms of its history, the society traced its origin to the first century of the Christian era. More specifically, however, the AISB drew upon the thirteenth century for its tradition. According to the society, the thirteenth century had a monastic order 17

known as the Bethlehemites, whose members wore a five-pointed star on the left breast, in commemoration of the star that appeared over Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s birth. In the four-teenth century the order apparently became a semimilitary organization known as the Knights of the Star of Bethlehem. The order spread to various parts of Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In 1571 the order became a benevolent and scientific society in England. In 1813 the order suffered a schism, apparently because some members objected to women being admitted to membership. The schism apparently led to the formation of the Royal Foresters in England. The ritual of the American order accented the practical teachings on truth, fraternity, and moral law. These elements were reportedly all drawn from the society’s ancient past. Membership in the AISB was open to men, women, and children. The latter formed the order’s juvenile department. By the early 1920s the society had about 17,000 members in 250 lodges in the United States and the Canal Zone. The ladies’ auxiliary group was known as Eastern Star Benevolent Fund of America. As far as can be determined, the AISB no longer exists today. The government of the AISB consisted of subordinate lodges, uniformed conclaves, and grand councils. Headquarters were maintained in Detroit, Michigan.

First Degree Ritual The Noble Conductor shall examine each sir and lady, and see if they are in possession of all signs and passwords, and


grips of the lodge; and if not they shall be instructed fully therein.

satisfied, remove your outer garment, and let me clothe, you in this robe of blue.

Opening with Commander.

Candidates will then be blindfolded. They are led to the inner door. Conductor gives three distinct raps.

prayer

by

Noble

Prayer Almighty Father, who art in heaven, we invoke Thy benediction upon the purpose of our present assembly. Grant this lodge, established to Thy honour, peace and happiness. Let its officers be endowed with wisdom. Let its members be ever mindful of their duty they owe to their God; the obedience they owe to their officers; the love they owe to their associate members, and the good will they owe to mankind. Amen. Conductor prepares the lodge for initiation by lighting candles on the altar, small banner, star in the centre, cross of gold, skull, burning of incense, on the altar. After all scenery has been arranged, the Degree Master will say: Degree Master: Noble Conductor, retire and see if anyone awaits admission into this lodge, for the purpose of further advancement in the secret works of the order. Noble Conductor reports names and number of candidates. Conductor and Marshal retire to the Ante Room, examine candidates in the Initiatory Degree, and if found correct, will say: Conductor: Sirs and Ladies, you have expressed the wish to advance further in the sacred mysteries of our order. I would advise you to stop and reflect that you are about to assume new duties, also to renew your sacred obligations, if you are

Tyler: Who comes there? Conductor: Pilgrims in search of wisdom. Tyler: Have you the password? Conductor: I have. Tyler: Then give it. Conductor: Love. Candidates are admitted one by one, turning them backwards, and walking five steps back. Then after all the candidates enter, Conductor will line up candidates, march around the hall, singing, and stopping at chair of the Noble Commander. Conductor: Noble Vice-Commander, the candidates have been admitted, in order to become more acquainted with the mysteries of our order. Vice-Commander: Are they willing to enter in a solemn convent of knighthood? Conductor: They are. Noble Vice-Commander: Let them kneel at the altar and say after me: In the presence of God, and of the members of this lodge, and in the presence of the Almighty God, the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I promise that I will keep all the secrets that may be entrusted to me. I further promise, and swear, that I will not wrong a sir or lady, nor see them wronged., if in my power to prevent it. I 18


furthermore promise and swear that I will not make the secrets of this degree known to any person who is not a member of the order. I furthermore promise and swear that I will not write, nor indite, nor carve, without a dispensation to do so. I furthermore promise and swear that I will apprise a member when I see him about to fall in danger. To all of which I pledge myself. So help me God. Vice-Commander: You will now kiss the Holy Bible. Then Noble Aids will give candidates light. The Chaplain will read the lesson from 1 Peter 2. After the reading, Conductor will lead candidates to the Noble Commander’s chair. Noble Commander: Sirs and lady pilgrims, the beautiful and instructive legend which forms the foundation of this degree has been so elaborately wrought out in the ceremonies that any further instruction upon this subject is superfluous. I can assure you that any intelligent Sir or Lady who will urge their claims persistently and properly, as the Queen of Sheba did, may ask, to receive, seek and find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you. I will now instruct you in the signs of this degree, which is ‘By stretching right hand at arm’s length, with fingers open pointing upwards.’ Sign thus, means Astonishment. The Answering sign is: ‘Place elbow of left hand at side, holding hand upward.’ The Password is: ‘Peace, Goodwill to men.’ These societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World, and you can see from the ritual they were mostly all based on Freemasonry.

19

The Last Stated A Masonic Story. It was Friday night and the wind was blowing and there was a chill in the air, uncommonly cool for June. The street where the old Temple was located was desolate and dark. The aging Tiler took out his keys and opened the large door to the old Temple. He turned on the Square and Compass over the door and it shone brilliantly in the darkness. He slowly climbed the twentyseven stairs as he had done for the past fifty years. "It is a Stated tonight" he said to himself, "all the brethren will be here and everything must be in its proper place and station." He opened the door to the paraphernalia room. There was a mustiness which he no longer seemed to notice. The rods of the Deacons and Stewards hung on the right, the jewels of the officers on hooks on the wall, and the aprons were stored in the old wooden box. Ever so gently, he took them and arranged the Lodge with loving care. He then opened the altar, took out the Holy Bible, Square and Compass and laid them so reverently on the altar. He checked the lesser lights, and all three were working. "The Master always wanted them checked before he opened the Lodge" he remembered. He then turned the letter "G" on and observed that it shone particularly bright tonight. He then turned all the lights off except the "G" because he always enjoyed looking at it that way. He also turned on the light over the altar even though he knew Grand Lodge didn't


approve, but "It looks so right", he thought, and smiled to himself. He opened the ledger and entered the date, A.L. 5985 The Year of Light, and 24 June 1985. "It was St. John's Day", he remarked to himself. "The Order doesn't celebrate it as they used to do." He clothed himself in his apron and jewel, the cloth was old and faded, and the jewel was dull. He took his sword and sat down by the door to the Lodge Hall, so he could see the bright letter "G" and the Three Great Lights, and there he waited as he had for all these years, waiting for the Brethren. He must have dozed for he noticed the door to the Lodge Hall was closed, but he was tired, very tired. It had not gone well for Ancient Landmark Lodge for many years, but he was sure the Brethren would come tonight, "Wasn't it a Stated and St. John's Day?", he said to himself. Then he heard from inside the Lodge a voice. It was the Master saying, "The Officers will assume their Stations and Places. The Brethren will come to Order and take their seats". The Tiler thought out loud, "I'm here, Worshipful Master and Brethren, as I have been for all these years." The next day they found the old Tiler. He must have passed away in his sleep. They looked into the Lodge Hall and saw the bright letter "G" and the light above the altar burning brightly. "I don't understand what happened here", the investigator said.

An old Mason who was there to inventory the property remarked "Yes, I know, but this would have been the first time that a Stated would have fallen on St. John's Day in 50 years, it would have been a grand evening. There's something awful strange about this". ''What do you investigator .

mean?",

asked

the

"Well, this old Ledger, it's dated the 24th of June 1985 and it's full of names of Brethren I haven't seen or heard of for years", remarked the old Mason. "Strange, very strange" said the investigator. "Well, my job is over so let's leave. Anyway, the new owners want to get started on their building construction", he added. The old Mason turned off the main switch, but observed something was wrong. "Look" he said, "the letter "G" and the light over the altar didn't go out". "Well, maybe we should just leave them", said the investigator. As they shut the door to the Lodge Hall and turned to leave, they both thought they heard a voice from within saying "The Officers will assume their Stations and Places. The Brethren will come to Order and take their seats". They looked at each other without comment and locked up the old Temple and left. The Square and Compass above the large door of the Temple shone brilliantly in the darkness. So Mote It Be!

"This old Lodge has been closed for some time".

Sourced from; Short Talk Bulletin, written by Bro. William W. Price of Vacaville Lodge No. 134 in Vacaville, California

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The Lodge Historian

will lead him down every path of inquiry until his search has been completed.

There are several ingredients that must be present in the person that would be Lodge Historian, if his efforts are to bear any real fruit. These are: patience, determination, enthusiasm, and, above all curiosity. Thoroughness to detail is another necessary requisite if a Lodge History is to be successfully completed.

The sources of information available to the Lodge Historian are almost limitless - if he will avail himself of them. He should begin his search by "rounding up" all past minute books of the Lodge that are still in existence. Old minute books, if properly done, are usually a goldmine of information. They should give a factual record of, not only who received what degrees and when, but should show any record of visitors - why they were there and what they said. They should reflect all of the truly important events in which the Lodge has been involved - not only events in the tiled recesses of the Lodge, but also all public functions - such as cornerstones, dedications, funerals, Ladies Nights, visitations to and from other Lodges, Grand Lodge attendance - in short, all activities in which the Lodge has had a part.

The patience that is needed is that patience which will enable the historian to search, study, evaluate and bring together the information that can make a Lodge History a reality. He must be determined that no amount of frustrating dead-ends will cause him to give up his search for useful information. He must have that unflagging enthusiasm that overcomes disappointments, and enables him to spend hours in finding a few nuggets of worthwhile knowledge. Probably, the greatest single requirement of a successful Lodge Historian is an unbounded curiosity coupled with a dedicated thoroughness. A curiosity based on a sincere desire to unearth useful, inspiring, enlightening and entertaining information. A curiosity and thoroughness that will lead him to seek small items with big meanings and that 21

Some minute books are so skimpy in information that the heart of the would-be historian is nearly broken in the frustrating effort of trying to recreate some important event given almost no notice at all. Certainly, the Lodge Historian who encounters such omissions in the minutes and records of his Lodge should caution the secretary to make full and complete minutes, showing who, when, what and where, just as completely as Masonic Law permits. In this way, future historians will be able to reconstruct exactly what went on in our Lodge during our time. Just as the great tenets of Masonry have passed unimpaired down through the ages, so should the records of Lodges be kept, in order that future generations may


reconstruct, unimpaired, total information about the activities of the Lodge. The visitor's Register of past years is a fine source of special information as to who visited the Lodge and when the visit took place. Old newspapers, county, state, and city histories often contain valuable references to Lodges, their past officers, members and activities. Records of adjoining Lodges often contain references valuable to the Lodge Historian by their inclusion of information referring to his Lodge. Grand lodge proceedings, the Grand Lodge Library and the Grand Secretary's factual record of Annual Reports can also furnish valuable information. We should make a special effort to talk to the "old timers" in our Lodge, with reference to things remembered, anecdotes, special events and other items of interest that may have gone unrecorded. The Lodge Historian should seek out the names and titles of the distinguished guests who have attended his Lodge. He should endeavour to determine if any Brother had attained high rank or special recognition in city, county or national circles. He should strive to discover what they said or did while there. He should search for old Masonic photographs of any kind, such as individuals, groups, old buildings, comer stone laying, dedications, special days and the lodge record supporting the photographs, if any. He should make special note of any record of aid to a distressed worthy Brother, his widow or orphans. Quite often we will find references to house raisings, crop plantings

and harvestings, as well as reference to aid freely given to those in need, both inside and outside the fraternity. We can find countless records of the brethren willingly and happily taking care of "their own". He should make note of the loving resolutions passed and spread on the minute books of our lodges as a memorial to departed brethren. These, usually well written, resolutions express to future generations true Masonic love for our brethren. Membership growth or loss should be studied and recorded as to how these changes reflect the times or economic conditions of the country. Also, has membership been affected by internal condition within the Lodge? The successful Lodge Historian will make special note of any amusing or poignant incidents of record. Again, in the case of my own Lodge, one older brother, completely convinced that the Third Degree, second section, should be more physical than spiritual complained that to change from his way was a violation of the Landmarks of Masonry. Interspersing these titbits can help to "spice up" the pleasure of reading or hearing the Lodge History particularly for those who are not captivated by dry records with no light moments. Before beginning to write, it is necessary to organize our material. It is up to the writer to determine whether his material should be presented in a chronological account or under several different headings of interest. For example: have a Foreword, an Index, divide the book into chapter headings such as "The Founding Years", "The First 22


Decade or Twenty-five Years", "Special Members of Note (Masonic and otherwise)" and then endeavour to use as many photographs as possible. You might also like to have a Chapter listing in chronological order, the officers of the Lodge with as much biographical information as can be obtained. Consider a chapter on special events, anecdotes or, even an entire Chapter on a brother who may have been Grand Master, Provincial Grand Master or some other high official. Many Lodges have records of men of great military renown. These brothers should be noted and a biographical sketch should be included. As to the writing: categorize all information according to subject matter. This will enable the Historian to complete one section before moving on to the next. Make every effort to avoid statistical dryness. Lists of figures or numbers should be interspersed with interesting incidents. Remember, strategically placed pictures or the reproduction of some short document can help to overcome the dryness that history can impose on some readers. We must, at all costs, avoid flights of fancy or conjecture. We must have the facts. Do not include any material based on guesswork! An example of a story that might be of interest as a means of making our Lodge History a little less dry is the one about the Lodge, not mine, that found itself in short financial condition at Annual Report Time. The old Treasurer moved that the Lodge not pay its Grand Lodge fees that year, in order to stay in sound financial condition. There are a number of ways that we can prepare our history so that it will be available to any who might be interested, 23

as well as to preserve it for the future. If sufficient funds are available our history may be done in pamphlet form or even by the printing of a hardback or soft back book, done by a professional printer. It may also be done in photocopy or offset print. While the more expensive forms of print may be desired, the most important consideration is that the result of the long hours spent in compiling a Lodge History be made available to the brethren and preserved for posterity. We must also pay particular attention to the distribution of the Lodge History so painstakingly prepared. In addition to getting a copy into the hands of the brethren, we should endeavour to place copies in locations that will make it available to others who might have an interest in such a document. It should be placed in School Libraries and in the Public Libraries of the community, and sent to newspapers and historical societies. Time is a wasting, my brethren! Many of our past records have been lost, destroyed or improperly kept. We must endeavour to establish as complete a set of records as we can and, at the same time, resolve that all future records will be complete, factual, and accurate. Masonry has played a great part in the development of our country. Let us see from the records just how great a part we, in our Lodge, have played. I have the honour of being the Historian of Lodge 76, it’s an office that I love doing, and I firmly believe that every Lodge should have a Brother in this position. This excellent article explains all the reasons why your Lodge should have one, and If I were to give advice to anyone who thinks they would like to take on this task, first of all copy out the old Minute Books of the Lodge and get them bound for the generations of Mason who come after, and if your Lodge does not have a written History, then write it! Sourced – STB Nov 1995


Solomon’s Seal The five and six-pointed stars found amongst the geometric designs in Freemasonry are attributed respectively to Solomon and David. The inter-laced six-pointed Shield of David or hexagram has become a symbol of Jews and Judaism despite its earlier history as a mystical symbol in many cultures, including Christianity. The six-pointed star is sometimes also called the Seal of Solomon, though correctly speaking that is the fivepointed pentalpha. The name Seal of Solomon probably derives from Islam. In Hebrew it is Magen David, the Shield (not Star) of David, a name with ancient lineage. Magen David, it has been pointed out, has six Hebrew letters, like the six points of the star. The six-pointed star was known as early as the Bronze Age. There was hardly a human group that did not use it, ranging from Mesopotamia, China, Tibet, India and Peru to the 6th-century Christians (for them it seems to have been a symbol of the Virgin Mary) and the medieval lawyers, clerics and alchemists in Europe. It was thought to have magical power. For followers of Pythagoras and the Rosicrucians it was a badge of recognition. Churches used it on windows, tombs and traceries. In Islam it was a popular geometrical design. Though it was eventually a Jewish symbol, it is not mentioned in the Bible or Talmud, though the Seal of Solomon is. In those days the Jewish symbol was the menorah, the seven-branched oil-light, which reminded Jews of the Temple. The earliest Jewish literary reference is by a 12th century Karaite, one of a literalist movement which rejected the rabbinic tradition; he mentions it alongside the names of the angels. The star appears on a 3rd century Jewish tomb in southern Italy and on

a Jewish seal from the 7th century, but without specifically Jewish significance. The star may have become a Jewish logo when Charles IV in 1354 commanded the Jews of Prague to use a red flag with the 6and 5-pointed stars. 15th century Hungarian Jews had a similar flag. The symbol spread through European Jewry as a counterpoint to the Christian cross; now it is on the Israeli flag. Some say the star was David’s monogram in ancient script. We do not know if the five-pointed Seal of Solomon (though found in medieval Jewish texts) was actually known to Solomon, though there is a legend that the king had a star on his ring which he used to enlist the genies in constructing the Temple. The terms Shield of David and Seal of Solomon seem to have been used almost indiscriminately in talismans, apparently referring to the hexagram. Many peoples were attracted by the duality of the two triangles. To Christians it represented two natures intertwined in the person of Jesus. They even called it the Star of the Son of David to denote Jesus as Messiah. Jewish thinkers, on the other hand, develop the idea of man reaching up to God and God looking down on earth (cf. Ex. 19:20). Others see the star as a symbol of man’s good inclinations raising him upward and his evil inclinations drawing him down, or of the twin human task of duties to God and duties to fellow man. The alchemists used it to denote harmony between fire and water. The more superstitious believed that the symbol had protective powers. They even put it on their houses in the Middle Ages in order to safeguard the building from fire. By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website

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THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Key

"The Key," says Doctor Oliver, "is one of the most important symbols of Freemasonry. It bears the appearance of a common metal instrument, confined to the performance of one simple act. But the well-instructed brother beholds in it the symbol which teaches him to keep a tongue of good report, and to abstain from the debasing vices of slander and defamation." Among the ancients the key was a symbol of silence and circumspection; and thus Sophocles alludes where he makes the chorus speak of "the golden key which had come upon the tongue of the ministering Hierophant in the mysteries of Eleusis—Callimachus says that the Priestess of Ceres bore a key as the ensign of her mystic office. The key was in the Mysteries of Isis a hieroglyphic of the opening or disclosing of the heart and conscience, in the kingdom of death, for trial and Judgment. In the old instructions of Freemasonry the key was an important symbol, and Doctor Oliver regrets that it has been abandoned in the modern system. In the ceremonies of the First Degree, in the eighteenth century allusion is made to a key by whose help the secrets of Freemasonry are to be obtained, which key "is said to hang and not to lie, because it is always to hang in a brother's defence and not to lie to his prejudge." It was said, too, to hang "by the thread of life at the entrance, " and was closely connected with the heart, because the tongue "ought to utter nothing but what the heart dictates." And, finally, this key is described as being "composed of no metal, but a tongue of good report." In the ceremonies of the Masters Degree in the Adonhiramite Rite, we find this catechism; 25


What do you conceal? All the secrets which have been entrusted to me. Where do you conceal them? In the heart. Have you a key to gain entrance there? Yes, Right Worshipful. Where do you keep it? In a box of coral which opens and shuts only with ivory teeth. Of what metal is it composed? Of none. It is a tongue obedient to reason, which knows only how to speak well of those of whom it speaks in their absence as in their presence. All of this shows that the key as a symbol was formerly equivalent to the modern symbol of the "instructive tongue," which, however, with almost the same interpretation, has now been transferred to the Second or Fellow-Craft's Degree. The key, however, is still preserved as a symbol of secrecy in the Royal Arch Degree; and it is also presented to us in the same sense in the ivory key of the Secret Master, or Fourth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In many of the German Lodges an ivory key is made a part of the Masonic clothing of each Brother, to remind him that he should lock up or conceal the secrets of Freemasonry in his heart. But among the ancients the key was also a symbol of power; and thus among the Greeks the title of Kxeiaouxos ~ or key-bearer, was bestowed upon one holding high office; and with the Romans, the keys are given to the bride on the day of marriage, as a token that the authority of the house was bestowed upon her; and if afterward divorced, they were taken from her, as a symbol of the deprivation of her office, Among the Hebrews the key was used in the same sense. "As the robe and the baldric," says Lowth, "were the ensigns of power and authority, so likewise was the key the mark of office, either sacred or civil." Thus in Isaiah (xxii, 22), it is said: "The key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulders; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open" Our Saviour expressed a similar idea when he said to Saint Peter, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." It is in reference to this interpretation of the symbol, and not that of secrecy, that the key has been adopted as the official jewel of the Treasurer of a Lodge, because he has the purse, the source of power, under his command.

Source – Mackays Masonic Encyclopaedia

Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.

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A Special Event!

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