Volume 10 Issue 4 No.78 April 2014
Contents Cover Story, Colour Symbolism in Freemasonry The Blue Lodge Famous Freemasons – The Ringling Brothers Lodge Robert King Stewart No. 919. Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks No.35 Order of the Golden Chain The Old Square and Compass It Proves a Slip The Tools of a Free Man The Little Dutch Boy The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – Solomon, The Founder of the Temple
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Colour Symbolism in Freemasonry’ This paper looks at the meaning of colours used in Masonic Symbolism. Page 6, ‘The Blue Lodge’ Why are Craft Lodges referred to as blue? Page 9, ‘The Ringling Brothers.’ “A Famous Freemason.” Page 12, ‘Lodge Robert King Stewart No. 919.’ Another History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 15, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “The Habit of Kindness”, our Regular monthly feature. Page 15, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’. “Geometric Bull”, the thirty fifth in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 17, ‘Order of the Golden Chain’ Secret and Fraternal Societies throughout the World. Page 20, ‘The Old Square and Compass’ A Masonic Story! Page 21, ‘It Proves a Slip’ An article tracing the history of these Masonic words. Page 23, ‘The Tools of a Free Man’. The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 24, ‘What’s in a name’. How Lodge Dolphin got it’s name. Page 25, ‘The Little Dutch Boy.’ A Masonic Parable Page 27, ‘The Masonic Dictionary’ Lost Word
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Solomon, the Founder of the Temple. [link] 1
The front cover artwork was created by the editor using PSP7.
Colour Symbolism in Freemasonry
wrote extensively on colour (over 2,000 pages! ).
Colour is a fundamental element of Masonic symbolism. It appears in the descriptions of aprons, sashes and other items of regalia, in the furnishings and wall-hangings of the lodge room for each degree or ceremony, in the robes worn in certain degrees, and in many other Masonic accoutrements. The colours specified in each case appear to have no rational justification. As A.E. Waite wrote: "There is no recognized scheme or science of colours in Masonry. Here and there in our rituals we find an 'explanation' for the use of a certain colour, but this usually turns out to be merely a peg on which to hang a homiletic lecture about it, having little if any connection with the origins of its use." This paper seeks to find some rationale behind the selection of colours as Masonic symbols, restricting our examination to the Craft degrees, and those of the Ancient and Accepted (Scottish) Rite, with occasional reference to the Royal Arch. It was early recognized that colours have a strong influence on the mind and therefore can be employed for certain moral or aesthetic ends, through symbolical, allegorical and mystical allusions. Newton wrote of 'the sensual and moral effects of colour,' where sensual must be understood as 'transmitted by the senses.' Goethe, too,
Blue, then, is the Craft colour par excellence, used in aprons, collars, and elsewhere. Let us quote Bro. Chetwode Crawley. "The ordinary prosaic enquirer will see in the selection of blue as the distinctive colour of Freemasonry only the natural sequence of the legend of King Solomon's Temple. For the Jews had been Divinely commanded to wear...a 'riband of blue' (Numbers 15:38).' A modern translation of that verse in Numbers is: 'You are to take tassels on the comers of your garments with a blue cord on each tassel.' The biblical text, then, refers to blue cords to be incorporated in the tassels worn by pious Jews, while Bro. Chetwode Crawley is speaking of blue ribbons which somehow became the embellishments of aprons, sashes and collars. Another suggested source of the colour mentioned by Bro. Chetwode Crawley could be its association with St. Mary, mother of Jesus, 'so prominent a figure in the pre-Reformation invocations of the Old Charges, drawing in her train the red ensign of St. George of Cappadocia, her steward and our Patron Saint.' Blue and red, the heraldic azure and gules are sometimes associated with the chevron of the Arms of the Masons' Company. The Masonic Symbolism of Colours
a) White White, the original colour of the Masonic apron, was always considered an emblem of purity and innocence, exemplified in 2
images such as the white lily or fallen snow. Plato asserts that white is par excellence the colour of the gods. In the Bible, Daniel sees God as a very old man, dressed in robes white as snow (Daniel 7:9). In the New Testament Jesus is transfigured on Mount Tabor before Peter, James and John, when his clothes became 'dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them' (Mark 9:3). Officiating priests of many religions wore and still wear white garments. In ancient Jerusalem both the priests and the Levites who performed the Temple rites assumed white clothing. Among Romans, the unblemished character of a person aspiring to public office was indicated by a toga whitened with chalk. This is the origin of the word 'candidate,' from candidatus 'dressed in white.' Verdicts at trials were decided by small stones (calculi) thrown into an urn: white to absolve, black to condemn. White signifies beginnings, virtualities, the white page facing the writer, 'the space where the possible may become reality.' White is therefore understandably the colour of initiation. It is a symbol of perfection, as represented by the swan in the legend of Lohengrin. In this aspect it is related to light or sky blue, which in Hebrew is tchelet and may be connected semantically with tichla (perfection, completeness) and tachlit (completeness, purpose). (See also the observations on the symbolism of blue.) Among the Celts the sacred colours of white, blue and green were understood to stand for light, truth and hope. Druids were robed in white. White is also connected with the idea of death and resurrection. Shrouds are white; 3
spirits are represented as wearing white veils. White, rather than black, is sometimes the colour of mourning, among the ancient kings of France, for instance, and in Japan. White, finally, can signify joy. Leukos (Greek) means both white and cheerful; as does candidus in Latin. The Romans marked festive days with lime and unlucky days with charcoal.
b) Blue Blue is the colour of the canopy of heaven: azure, cerulean or sky blue. 'Universally, it denotes immortality, eternity, chastity, fidelity; pale blue, in particular, represents prudence and goodness.' In the Royal Arch, the Third Principal is told that it is an emblem of beneficence and charity. In biblical times, blue was closely related to purple. Generations of scholars have puzzled over the correct meaning of tchelet (light blue) and argaman (purple), usually mentioned together, without reaching satisfactory conclusions. Only recently has the problem been final-ly solved in the course of far-reaching research into the dyestuffs and dyeing methods used by the ancient Phoenicians and Hebrews. Both colours, it turns out, were produced with dyeing materials extracted from murex, a shellfish abundant on the coast of Lebanon. The tchelet was obtained from a shortvariety (murex trunculus); the argaman came from two kinds: the single-spined murex brandaris and, to a lesser extent, the Red-mouth (thais haemastoma). Some historians have concluded that, in the Middle Ages in Europe, blue was low in popular esteem. The favourite colour was then red because the dyers could achieve strong shades of it which brought to mind the prestigious purple of the ancient world.
Towards the end of that period, blue gradually became recognized as a princely colour, the 'Royal Blue' which displaced red at court, red then being used by the lower classes and so regarded as vulgar. Blue and gold (or yellow) then became the colours of choice for shields, banners and livery. It may not be by chance, therefore, that the Master was said to be clothed in 'yellow jacket and blue breeches,' in the famous metaphor first used in an exposure, 'The Mystery of Free-Masonry,' which appeared in The Daily Journal in 1730. The traditional explanations of the phrase relate it to the compasses, the arms of gold, gilt or brass and the points of steel or iron. (Steel can certainly appear blue; iron can not!) Blue was used royally in France noticeably as the background to the fleur-de-lys. It became associated with terms of prestige such as blue blood, cordon bleu (originally the sash of the Order of the Holy Spirit), blue riband (of the Atlantic) and blue chip.
c) Purple Purple is a symbol of imperial royalty and richness but can also relate to penitence and the solemnity of Lent and Advent in the seasons of the Christian church. Although described (in the Royal Arch, for instance) as 'an emblem of union, being composed of blue and crimson,' I believe this to be a somewhat contrived explanation. But an interesting fact, which appears to have escaped most writers on this subject, is that in the Cabbala, the Hebrew word for purple, argaman, is a mnemonic, representing the initials of the
names of the five principal angels in Jewish esoterism.
d) Red Red or crimson, the colour of fire and heat, is traditionally associated with war and the military. In Rome the paludamentum, the robe worn by generals, was red. The colour of blood is naturally connected with the idea of sacrifice, struggle and heroism. It also signifies charity, devotion, abnegation--perhaps recalling the pelican that feeds its progeny with its own blood. In Hebrew, the name of the first man, Adam, is akin to red, blood and earth. This connection with earth may explain, perhaps, the connection of red with the passions, carnal love, the cosmetics used by women to attract their lovers. It is the colour of youth. Generally, it represents expansive force and vitality. It is the emblem of faith and fortitude and, in the Royal Arch, of fervency and zeal. It has also a darker side, connected with the flames of hell, the appearance of demons, the apoplectic face of rage. Scarlet was the distinctive colour of the Order of the Golden Fleece, established in 1429 by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1419-67). Not only was the mantle scarlet, but also the robe and a special hat--the chaperon--with hanging streamers.
e) Green Green has been directly associated with the ideas of resurrection and immortality...The acacia (the Masonic evergreen) has been suggested as a symbol of a moral life or rebirth, and also of immortality. To the 4
ancient Egyptians, green was the symbol of hope. The Grand Lodge of Scotland has adopted green as its emblematic colour, and, in varying shades, it is incorporated in the dress and furnishings of degrees and Orders beyond the Craft in English, Irish and Scottish Freemasonry.
f) Yellow Yellow is rarely seen in lodge, except perhaps on the Continent. It is an ambivalent colour, rep-resenting both the best and the worst, the colour of brass and honey, but also the colour of sulphur and cowardice. Yellow is the perfection of the Golden Age, the priceless quality of the Golden Fleece and the golden apples of the Hesperides. It is also the colour of the patch imposed on the Jews as a badge of infamy. In the sixteenth century, the door of a traitor's home was painted yellow. A 'jaundiced view' expresses hostility, but the most memorable symbolism of yellow is that it reminds us of the sun and of gold.
g) Black The three fundamental colours found in all civilizations, down to the Middle Ages in Europe, are white, red and black. These, too, may be regarded as the principal colours of Freemasonry: the white of the Craft degrees, the red of the Royal Arch and of certain of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted (Scottish) Rite, and the black of some of its others, and of the Knights of Malta. The other colours of the rainbow find limited uses; they serve only to frame or line the white lambskin upon which so many aprons are based, or for sashes and other items of regalia.
Traditionally, black is the colour of darkness, death, the underworld although it was not introduced for mourning until about the middle of the fourteenth century, such use becoming habitual only in the sixteenth. The 'black humour' of melancholy (atara hilis) the black crow of ill omen, the black mass, black market, 'black days': all refer to negative aspects. The Black Stone at Mecca is believed by Muslims to have been at one time white; the sins of man caused the transformation. Black has also a positive aspect, that of gravity and sobriety; the Reformation in Europe frowned upon colourful clothing. Formal dress for day and evening wear continues to be black. It is associated with the outlaw and the banners of pirates and anarchists, but also with rebirth and transformation. In the French and Scottish Rites, the lodge in the third degree is decorated in black and is strewn with white or silver tears, representing the sorrow caused by the death of Hiram Abif.
Conclusion A review of the traditional explanations for the choice of certain colours in Masonic symbolism reveals their weaknesses. In considering the use of blue in the English regalia of a Master Mason, it has been possible to find a connection between one of the Hebrew words for that colour and the Holy Bible. By: Bro. Leon Zeldis Bro. Leon Zeldis is the editor of "The Israel Freemason." This STB is part of a paper printed in the 1992 Vol. lO5, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum Transactions.
The Blue Lodge
THE COLOUR BLUE has gradually become the name for the Symbolic Lodge in Freemasonry. This is particularly true in the United States where the term is used extensively. The term is used sparingly in England, lightly in Ireland and casually in other countries. The proper name in most of the world is Craft Lodge, and by that term Lodges are so designated by the Grand Lodge A.F. &A.M. of New Zealand. It is true that we teach all of the three degrees by symbols, and in all due propriety and nomenclature 'Symbolic Lodge' is and will remain the correct term. The Australians are known to call a Craft Lodge The Blue Lodge, and to address the Royal Arch Chapter as the Red Lodge, and this appears to be in the way of respect. This also holds true from observation in this country, that when mentioning the Blue Lodge, it is with reverence and respect, though there have been a few brethren and very few that have used the term as a form of derision.
Most of the best Masonic authorities hold that all colours of the rainbow are fit and proper for Freemasonry, and that is, perhaps, why Lodges under the Scottish Constitution are permitted to have their own distinct aprons, and it is quite common in Scotland to see the Tartan of the different clans grace the habiliments of the Craft. The official colour of the Grand Lodge of Scotland that adorns its aprons is thistle green. The Grand Lodge of the Netherlands uses white, but its constituent Lodges may have their own individual aprons with no restrictions as to colour or size. Cardinal, crimson, scarlet and just plain red, is the dominant colour of most of the Central and South American Lodges. It is used a great deal in Mexico by those Lodges that follow the Ancient and Accepted Rite in the first three degrees. The two Grand Lodges in France not recognized by the majority of the Masonic world use red as the proper colour of the symbolic Lodge aprons. One of the reasons being known to every Royal Arch Mason, as to why this colour is used. There are a few Craft Lodges in England to this day, whose aprons are edged in red and are known as Red Apron Lodges, and in the USA New York has a few Red Apron Lodges. Why is a Masonic Lodge called the 'BLUE LODGE' and why are the three degrees of Freemasonry called the Blue Degrees? These are questions that are often asked by many Craftsmen and the newly initiated in search of light. Perhaps they have heard the name applied so generally, and so often that it has been accepted as a matter of course or practice. Then again Craftsmen have been galvanized into a state of shock by hearing some reputed authority state 6
there is no such a thing as the 'Blue' Lodge or the 'Blue' degrees. In those lands named in the opening paragraph, Freemasons there are justly entitled to call their craft Masonry 'Blue', for reasons that are both ancient and traditional.
The Toltecs, then the Aztecs of Mexico coloured their animals with blue in sacrificing them to their supreme god, and when humans replaced the lower forms of life, they too were dyed blue prior to this ritual.
The colour of old Freemasonry was blue, and interpreted to be sky blue. Dark blue became the official colour of the United Grand Lodge of England long after the lighter shade had been used for years. The use of this colour is of long standing as in 1759 the "Blue Lodge of St. John" No. 198, A.F.&A.M., of Dublin, Ireland, issued a certificate to a member, the ribbon thereon being sky blue. The Grand Lodge of Ireland which obtained its official forms from England, has always used the light blue, as the proper colour of the ribbons of seals on original warrants running back to 1730 as the records indicate.
Blue was the principal colour of the war chiefs of the Aucanian Indians, a fierce and proud people who lived in that part of South America now the Republic of Chile. These Indians, and praise be to them, were never conquered by the various bands of organized gangsters disguised in army uniforms and military accoutrement, under the sanction of a greedy and avaricious foreign monarch, carrying a Christian religious banner, and better known as Spanish Conquistadors who tried for years to subdue them.
The Holy Scriptures mention this colour in many places. In Exodus 25:4 and 35:6 it states: - "The colours offered to God were blue and purple and scarlet." Again in Exodus 26:1 - "The curtains of the Tabernacle were to be blue," and we find in Exodus 26: 31 that the veil on the pillars was also blue. Blue was the colour on the screen for the door of the tabernacle, Exodus 26:31 and also 2 Chronicles 3:14. The screen for the gate of the court was to be blue, Exodus 27:16 and 28:18, and it further states that many other things in and about the tabernacle were to be blue, purple and scarlet. It is to be noted that these three colours are always mentioned in that order. The book of Numbers 4:5-6, states that the Ark of the Covenant was to be covered with a "cloth of blue" on all journeys. Blue was the colour of the first veil and is fittingly applied to the first degrees in Freemasonry. 7
The Egyptians esteemed blue as a sacred colour. The Chinese in their mythical philosophy represented blue as the symbol of Deity. The Hindus assert their god Vishnu - was represented by celestial or sky blue. The prophet Jeremiah tells us (Jeremiah 10:9), the ancient Babylonians clothed their idols in blue. Your writer has been informed that the Moslem reserved the colour blue for certain designated holy men, and the honour of wearing it had to be earned. The Teutonic races used a blue banner as an emblem of fidelity and fortitude, and in their processions to signify faithfulness and friendship. Our earth is covered with water to the extent of seven tenths of its surface, and the colour ranges from the cold steel looking blue of the polar regions to the warm inviting friendly darker blues of the tropical and semi-tropical waters. Those frigid waters in the far north and south can mean death in a matter of seconds to the
individual who may by chance fall into those waters. These perilous waters are inhabited by the vicious and crafty Killer Whale whose blue-black coloured back becomes a perfect camouflage for his home and raiding grounds in the briny deep. This villain is also the ancient arch enemy of the full dress suited Penguin of the Antarctic, whose blue-black back glistens with a sheen seldom seen by the human eye when the sun catches him on the ice. The warmer waters of the earth are the home of the blue-grey backed Porpoise, one of the most intelligent of creatures and belongs to the class of mammals, the same as homo sapiens. He is one inhabitant of the salty deep that the marauding and voracious shark fears. Nature offers the colour blue such as the oceans which is a mantle of mystery and with it is enveloped symbolizing the unostentation of our ministry. The sea is nature's hieroglyph of Mystery. No eye can sweep its farthest bounds. No fathom line can sound its utmost depths. No heart can fully interpret the weird message which its waves are ceaselessly sounding. Its mighty work of purifying and refreshing the world is wrought in silence. Its beneficent vapors steal along the viewless highways of the air and descend in gracious rains to feed spring and fountains upon far off mountain sides. They pour their gracious waters o'er the earth and cause it to bud and bloom so that flower and leaf, tree and plant are only sea foam wondrously and secretly. How akin is this to Freemasonry? Blue is the colour of the sky, which surrounds this terrestrial globe. Its majestic dome, over-arching all nature, pictures the universality of our Masonry. The sky knows no geography, no chronology, no
binding lines in society. Its starry arch is raised over every meridian. The lustre of its azure beauty gleams with as bright a radiance upon this soiled and age worn world as it did upon the groves of Eden in the golden morning hour of time. Its splendours are unrolled with impartial hand before the gaze of prince and pauper. It sheds its dews upon the evil and the good. It rains its sunbeams upon the just and the unjust. So universal and so impartial is the spirit of our ministry for the well being of man. Have you ever closely observed a Bunsen Burner when it is functioning in all its grandeur, or watched the flames from an ordinary gas stove? How blue those flames are as they spread and extend their fingers of heat upward generating the warmth that is energy. During my college days with my laboratory partner, Doctor Jim, the sobriquet so handed him by his fraternity brothers, and he later became an M.D., thus earning the title. No, we did not belong to the same fraternity in case you are interested, but we used to observe the Bunsen burner in the tower laboratory of the science building, and with schoolboy levity we would place it in one of the north windows, and try to centre it in the middle of the lake in the background, its blue flame standing out sharp and clear. We would try it in one of the south windows using the background of another lake, and though we never achieved centring it due to the contour of the boundary of those lakes we were still fascinated by its glow. Our main game was to try and line it on the top of the white dome of the state capitol to the east, which we could see across the library and the lower campus, and in the business centre of the city.
The texture of that flame is best explained by the following from the Zohar: Quote:In the Zohar (i 51), for a scientific reason it is written: "Who so wishes to have an insight into Sacred unity let him consider a flame rising from a burning lamp. He will see a two fold light, a bright white and a black or dark blue light; the white light is above, and ascends in a direct line, whilst the blue or dark light is below, and seems to be the Chair of the former, yet both are so intimately connected together that they constitute only one flame. The seat however, formed by the blue or dark light is again connected with the burning matter which is underneath. The white light never changes its colour, it always remains white; but in the lower light various shades are observed, while the lowest light moreover takes two directions - above, it is connected with the white light, and below with the burning matter." Blue is the colour of the sapphire. The costliness of the jewel betokens the spirit of sacrifice involved in our mystery. All good things cost. The civilization which we enjoy is the fruit of toil and tears. The way of ministry is oft times to be trodden with bleeding brow and aching feet. Its crowns are thorny. Its cup is oft times bitter and its cross heavy to bear, but its spirit is the sapphire which bespeaks man's true nobility. In Freemasonry Blue is the emblem of universal brotherhood and friendship and "instructs every one of us that in the mind of every Freemason those virtues should be as extensive as the blue canopy of Heaven itself. " by Bro. Norman C. Dutt This article by was sourced from the 1965 Philalethes magazine. The photograph at the head of this article is of a Masonic Cigar Label.(ed)
Famous Freemasons The Ringling Brothers
Kings of the Circus World! The Ringling Brothers circus began in the USA in 1884 by five of the seven Ringling brothers; Albert, Otto, Alfred T, Charles, and John. The two other brothers, August and Henry would join the circus business later. In 1907 the brothers acquired the famous Barnum and Bailey eventually merging the two circus together in 1918 and naming it The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, advertising it as, “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The Ringling family hailed from Baraboo, Wisconsin, the father August Frederick Rungeling a harness-maker was a German immigrant. At an early age, the five brothers watched a Circus unload from a steamboat at the MacGregor docks and were spellbound by the colours, sights and sounds of the acts and animals as they disembarked. The five young boys thought that they too would like to be part of a circus and decided to put on a show of their own on a lot of vacant property next to the family home. From this humble
beginnings grew the biggest name in the Circus world. That first circus in 1882 comprised of a Billy goat and some dogs as the menagerie, Al as the Ringmaster, two brothers dancing, the rest playing instruments and singing. There was also a strongman act, balancing as well as a clown, all performed by the bothers. The tent was some sheets strung over a clothesline and the tickets sold to residents in the neighbourhood. This venture was more a theatrical act than circus and took the name the Ringling Bros., Classic Comedy Company, and soon the five brothers began to get a reputation as a up and coming theatre group, and in 1884 they opened their first circus and put their show under a ‘proper’ tent. Two years later they had a Shetland pony and a donkey performing in the ring, and by this time the two remaining brothers joined the troupe, and in 1887 the circus’s name was, "Ringling Bros. United Monster Shows, Great Double Circus, Royal European Menagerie, Museum, Caravan, and Congress of Trained Animals." Still the circus continued to grow, and each brother had his own speciality, Alf did publicity, Gus arranged advertising, Al picked the acts, Charles produced the show, Henry attended each performance, Otto managed money and John supervised transportation. The circus had become a huge success. However, there was another successful circus in America at this time, “The Barnum and Bailey Circus,” which was a serious competitor in the circus business. John the ‘brains’ behind the business struck a deal with their rival, that neither would intrude into the others territory, and effectively divided the United States between the two companies.
By 1890, the Ringling Brothers travelling show was fast becoming the largest of its kind, and continuing to grow, they bought out smaller circuses, until eventually in 1906 they bought out their biggest competitor, Barnum and Bailey. The Brothers kept both the circuses as separate shows, each had more than 1000 employees, 335 horses, numerous elephants, camels, giraffes and other assorted animals, that travelled on 92 railway cars from venue to venue. Then with the advent of WW1, many of the circus personnel left to join the armed forces, customers fell sharply, so the Brothers decided to combine both Circuses in 1919 and named it, "Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows, The Greatest Show on Earth". By 1926 six of the seven brothers had died, and in 1929 John Ringling the sole survivor purchased the American Circus Corporation for $1.7 million. Ringling had taken over five major shows and owned every travelling show in the USA. In the process, John Ringling became one of the richest men in the World. In 1936 John died, the circus continued to remain in the Ringling family until 1967 when it was sold, the end of an era! That then is the story of the Ringling Brothers and their phenomenal rise in the world of circuses, but what is not so wellknown is the story of their involvement with Freemasonry. On the night of January 21st 1891 in the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin within the Masonic Lodge of Baraboo No. 34, something remarkable took place involving six of the famous Ringling Brothers, all members of the Lodge. John, also a member of the Lodge was the only Brother 10
not in town that night, their father August joined the Lodge later that same year. But that night, six of the seven brothers happened to be in town, attended the Lodge meeting and were presented with special aprons to commemorate the historic evening. After the meeting was opened, the officers of the Lodge vacated their chairs, and in their place sat; Alfred – Worshipful Master. August – Senior Warden. Al – Junior Warden. Charles – Senior Steward. Henry – Junior Steward. Otto – Tyler. Then all six of the Ringling Brothers were presented with their special gifts. The aprons were made with blue velvet instead of the usual white linen and embroidered with silver thread and tassels. In the centre was white lambskin with the symbol of the office taken by the Brother embroidered on it. On the back of each apron is the name of the Ringling brother and the chair he occupied. For years it has been thought that
the aprons were designed and produced by the Ringling Brothers Circus wardrobe Department, but this has never been proved conclusively. What became of the aprons after that night is not clear and it maybe 11
that was the last time the aprons were seen in the Lodge, for they disappeared soon after that. It’s known that Henry’s wife Ida gave the aprons away some 60 years later to a friend of the family, but since then their whereabouts have not been identified. Then 111 years after the night the brothers wore the aprons, by a stroke of luck, a Brother of the Baraboo Lodge noticed on E-bay one of the aprons listed for sale. Investigations into the apron followed, and it was discovered that not only was this an authentic Ringling Apron, but that all six were available! And thanks to some caring people during the last 111 years, the aprons were in mint condition and were still kept in the original boxes. In some cases the original protective tissue paper was still present. The Brethren of the Lodge by financial donations made it possible to buy all aprons and return them to the Baraboo Lodge, where they are now held. These six aprons of the Ringling Brothers are of immense American Masonic historical importance, and the Brethren of Baraboo are to be applauded for saving these unique artefacts and displaying them. The Ringling Brothers. Alfred 1861-1919 r. Jan 22, 1890 John 1866-1936 r. Mar 1, 1890 Albert 1852-1916 r. Mar 29, 1890 Charles 1866-1926 r. Apr 9, 1890 Otto 1858-1911 r. Apr 9, 1890 August 1854-1907 r. Feb 4, 1891 Henry 1868-1918 r. Mar 18, 1891 This Famous Freemason bio of the Ringling Brothers was created by the Editor of the newsletter using different sources widely available on the Internet. The apron shown is the Apron of Alfred T. Ringling.
Lodge Robert King Stewart No. 919
"Days and moments quickly fly". As brochures of the lodge, produced in 1951 to mark our Jubilee and in 1976 to mark our 75th Anniversary, began in this fashion, there can be no more apt way to begin the brochure to mark the Centenary celebrations of this our Mother Lodge. No such record could ever be considered complete if it did not pay homage to the following brethren: Archibald Russell Robert Smellie William Galbraith David Watt John Kirk Alex Anderson John Lauder John Reid Jeremiah Taylor Robert Grieve William Livingstone who met in Robb's Hall, New Stevenston on 9th June 1901. At that meeting the brethren present were unanimous in their desire to extend the influence of Freemasonry to the village and agreed to petition Grand Lodge to grant a charter for the formation of a new lodge. The permission of the then Provincial Grand Master was sought, and obtained to name the lodge "Robert King Stewart". With the support of both "Woodhall St Johns" No 305 and Lodge "Livingstone St Andrew" No 573, Grand Lodge granted the charter on 7th November 1901. The lodge was consecrated on the 25th of February
1902 by Provincial Grand Master Bro. Robert King Stewart who was accompanied on this occasion by Bro. James Hozier, M.P. Grand Master Mason of Scotland. Not satisfied with what they had achieved, the brethren had in their minds, from the inception of the Lodge, the necessity of acquiring or building a Temple, and to this end, a building Committee was formed and met for the first time on 2nd March 1904. A Bazaar, in aid of the Building Fund, was held on 3rd July 1904 and some indication of the work and effort put in by our early brethren can be gauged from the fact that it raised ÂŁ405, a considerable amount at that time. It is with some wonder and admiration that previous souvenir brochures of the Lodge have highlighted the fact February 8th,1909 was indeed a red letter day in the history of the Lodge, for on that day the present hall was opened and dedicated, only eight years after the institution of "the Lodge". The Brethren assembled in Robb's Hall, where the Architect for the Contractors presented a golden key to Bro. Robert King Stewart. The Dedication Ceremony was performed by the Provincial Grand Master, assisted by his office bearers and with the customary sprinkling of corn, wine and oil. Presentations and speeches followed with the brethren of the Lodge being heartily congratulated on this consummation of their efforts since the granting of the Charter. 1914 and War! the Roll of Honour shows that 26 members of the Lodge answered the Call to service and that four Brethren made the Supreme Sacrifice. During the war years the Lodge continued to operate and despite the stress and strain of these 12
difficult times, continued to wield an influence for good in the community. It is typical of the universality of our Order that many brethren, upon their return, spoke of visits made to lodges in foreign parts during their term of service and recalled, with much pleasure, the real Mason's welcome that always awaited them. Up to 7th January 1920 it had been the custom of the Lodge to hold weekly meetings but on that date it was agreed "that two regular meetings be held per month". It is also interesting to note that the hour of the meeting was changed from 7.30p.m. to 7.00p.m. as a result of a Motion put before the Brethren at the Annual Business Meeting of the Lodge on 7th December, 1921. The Lodge attained its majority on 9th December 1922 when the Provincial Grand Master, who had opened and consecrated our halls in 1909, was present at a luncheon held to celebrate the occasion. He expressed his deep interest in the Lodge and was pleased that it bore his name. He voiced his good wishes for the future prosperity of the lodge and said he was confident that it would always be one of the best in the Province, words of wisdom which are still being echoed throughout the Middle Ward of Lanarkshire. Sir Robert King Stewart's death in January 1931 was a great loss to the Craft in general and to the Lodge, which bears his name, in particular. the Lodge marked his passing by a period of mourning, which lasted six months. September 1939 saw the world again involved in the conflict of war and once again many brethren answered the call. A comforts Fund was instituted in the Lodge 13
and, in this way, the serving brethren were reminded of those Masonic Ties, which stretch over the four quarters of the globe. With the return of peace on 14 August, 1945 a United Thanksgiving Service was held in the Masonic Hall, Motherwell. The service was held under the auspices of Lodge Nos.: 31, 305, 406, 427, 573, 919, 1096 and 1228 and it is reported that this most impressive service lived long in the memories of those who were present. A most important event took place ion 21st April, 1948 when Bro. Smellie, son of the first Master of the Lodge, presented his father's Past Master's Jewel to the Lodge. Since that time each succeeding Master has worn the gift, which was suitably acknowledged, all being fully conscious of the great servant of the Lodge whose term of office it represents. In 1951 the Lodge celebrated its Jubilee, and in November of that year, many functions were held which enabled the Brethren, and their families, to take part in the celebrations. The brochure produced to mark the 75th anniversary of the Lodge records that" during the last 25 years the Lodge has passed through a period of consolidation with nothing of great significance having taken place". This statement could equally be applied to the to the twenty five years that have followed. One important exception is the restoration of the Instruction Class, an informal meeting of Office Bearers and Brethren, in 1958. The Instruction Class has continued to meet with Brethren, from all parts, having cited and spoken on many topics. Much benefit has been derived from these meetings and it is hoped that they will continue and help maintain the high standard of degree work
and brotherly love which has become the hallmark of 919.
formation and working of the Instruction Class.
In 1975 a relationship was established with Lodge Cadder Freestone No 1584, which has survived to this day. Visitations to each other's Lodge have become an annual event, as has the bowls match, which is considered by many to be one of the social highlights of the year.
In 1975, Bro James Maxwell passed through the office of Provincial Grand Senior Warden after fifteen years of service to the Province.
In November 1915 the Lodge decided that all "Harmonies" should run on the lines of temperance. However, 56 years later in November 1971 the decision was reversed and a license obtained. While not wanting to become embroiled in the correctness of such a decision, the writer would point out that 100 years on we are the proud members of one of the most successful Lodges in the Province, both financially and masonically. Without this financial stability the Lodge could not afford to be a generous as it has been in its charitable donations to both Masonic and nonMasonic deserving causes. Around this time the "Purple Tie" was introduced, a feature, which has served to get the Brethren of the Lodge, observed and noted wherever they might go. Indeed such was the general interest in it by Brethren of Sister Lodges around the world that it can be said to have travelled further than many, if not all, of the Brethren. Throughout the 100 years of our existence many Brethren have been better examples of freemasonry than others have and many have proved themselves to be pillars of the Lodge. No history would be complete without some mention of the following Brethren: In 1971, Bro. Robert Copeland received the Honorary Grand Rank of Bible Bearer for his services in the
In 1991, Bro Kenneth D Kennedy passed through the office of Provincial Grand Senior Warden and was further honoured in 1996 by being appointed Depute Provincial Grand Master. In 2000 he received a presentation from the Brethren to mark the fact that he conferred the Mark Master Mason degree for twenty five years. Some few months later he was further honoured when he was appointed Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master ( elect) of Lanarkshire Middle Ward, a decision which was ratified by the Grand Lodge of Scotland at their Quarterly Communication in February 2001. A high honour for both Bro Kennedy in particular and the Lodge in general. These names are but a few of the great Brethren the Lodge has produced and it is, therefore, our privilege to pay tribute to all Brethren, past and present, who, throughout the years, have given of their time and talents to keep alive the Spirit of Freemasonry in the New Stevenston area. May their selflessness and service act as a spur to all of us, in the years that lie ahead, to continue in the good work started by those eleven brethren 100 years ago so that, in time, the Brethren of tomorrow may say of us "Well Done Good and Faithful Servant". This History and photo were sourced from the Website of Lodge No. 919. whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright holder. Click here to go to their site.
Rays of Masonry â€œThe Habit of Kindnessâ€? Allied with Morality is the art of Kindness. It may be described as "Morality" in action. Since Morality is the contribution of self to society, Kindness is the key that unlocks the inner door and makes it possible for a person to enter the lives of others. In all of life's contacts, our activities in the social, business, or fraternal world, there is no commodity of greater value than the simple art of Kindness. Our busy, advanced era cannot blot out its importance, nor can it relegate an act of kindness to an insignificant corner. The brutally frank person is just that. In our judgement of other, brutality can never be accepted as even a fair substitute for Kindness. We want for ourselves the good things in life. They escape us if we do not contribute the same gifts to others in the form of Courtesy and Kindness. Kindness may be directly associated with the intellect, but not necessarily with college degrees. The person who has caught the true spirit of religion, whose religion extends active participation in the lives of others, will express that spirit though he remains silent as to the details of his church affiliation. We do not claim that Kindness is an exclusively Masonic virtue, but among men trained in the study of self in relation to others, there is every reason to expect the highest expression of all good that stems forth from the study and application of the teachings of Freemasonry. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
Geometric Bull. "There are a lot of things in Masonry," began the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "Bravo!" cried the Old Tiler, sarcastically. "Who told you all that?" "And some of them," continued the New Brother, "are more or less bull. I yield to no one in my love for the order, but I see its faults. And when I am expected to learn the science of geometry as a part of Masonry I know I am being bulled. There is no more sense to including geometry in the second degree than there would be including paleontology or..." "I love to hear a man say he can see the faults of Masonry," interrupted the Old Tiler, "because then I am in the presence of a master mind. Generations of philosophers have made Masonry what it is. When a new brother can plainly see its faults he is greater than all of these."
"Of course I did not mean it that way. I just meant that I, er, you know..." "Do I? Well, then I suppose I'd better not mince words about it. To say there is no sense to geometry in the second degree is to advertise the fact that you know nothing and care less for the symbolism of the order. Take from Masonry its symbolism and all you have left is a central thought with no means of expression. Imagine a great musician, deaf, blind, and paralyzed, his heart ringing with wonderful melodies and harmonies, yet unable to give them expression, and you have a mental picture of Masonry without symbolism. Symbolism is Masonry's means of expressing thought, and geometry, in the second degree, is not an arithmetical study, but a symbol. "Geometry was an outgrowth of the first science. The first glimpse brute man had there was aught in nature but haphazard chance or the capricious doing of a superior overlord was when he learned the stupendous fact that two and two always make four. "From that humble beginning and recognition of the master law of the universe-which is, that law is universal, unchanging, and invariable-grew the study of things; their surfaces, their areas, their angles, their motions, their positions. Modern methods have gone farther than Euclid, but his work was perfectly done and Euclid's geometry stands today as a perfect thing, as far as he took it. "Geometry is the science of order. Reaching back to the first recognition that there was order in the world, it may stand for anyone who has eyes to see, as it does stand in Masonry, for man's recognition of
God in the universe. It is a symbol of universality. By geometry we know that natural law on earth is nature's law for the stars. There have been few atheists in the world, but I venture to say that none of them have been geometricians or astronomers. They know too much to deny the existence of the Great Geometer when seeing His work. "Geometry is everywhere. It is in the snowflake's measured lines of crystallization. There is geometry of the honeycomb and a geometry of the cone of a fir tree. Mountains stand or fall as they obey or disobey the laws of geometry and the spider in her web and the planets in their orbits alike work according to the universal laws of geometry. "'I think God's thoughts after Him,' said the great astronomer Kepler, looking through his telescope and thinking of the geometry of the skies. "If we know two angles and one dimension, we can find the other dimension. Man has angles and dimensions; and if we know enough of them we can find the rest. One of a man's angles is his love of Masonry. Given a real love of Masonry as one angle, a willingness to live her precepts as the other and we can tell what sort of a man he is now, used to be, and will be in the future. "It is a real geometry the second degree commends to you, my brother, because it is a symbol of law and order, of Deity, of universality. But it is spiritual geometry which you should study rather than the propositions of Euclid, bearing in mind that they are symbols of that which Masonry most venerates, most wisely teaches, and most greatly loves. 16
"Our ancient brother Pythagoras discovered the wonderful demonstration of the Great Architect which is the fortyseventh problem of Euclid. And so when I hear a young squirt of a Mason, with his eyes barely opened to the long path which is Masonry winding through the stars to God, say that the geometry in the second degree is bull, I wish I were young enough to take him out in the back lot and treat him as I would a small boy who found humour in church and fun in sacred things, and..."
Fraternal & Secret Societies of the World ‘Order of the Golden Chain ’
"Oh, stop!" cried the New Brother. "I was wrong. I didn't understand. Say, where can I get a geometry book? I want to know more about that forty-seventh problem." "In the reading room," growled the Old tiler. "And, say, son, when you get it in your head, come back here and explain it all over again to me, will you?" This is the thirty fifth 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.
Smile! Smiling is infectious, You can catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. As I passed around the, Altar and a Brother saw my grin, When he smiled, I realised that I'd passed it on to him. I thought about that little smile, Then realised its true worth, A single smile just like mine, Could travel around the earth. 17
In 1929 a group of Master Masons and their immediate families met in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to form an organization that was to be solely dedicated to fraternalism. The OGC is one of the orders that belongs to what is commonly called Adoptive Masonry. One of the order's publicity brochures says: "Like Masonry, we strive for a better way of life, irrespective of race, colour or creed. Our members are dedicated as one family in upholding the torch of understanding and promoting the finer ideals of life and living." Although the order was founded solely for fraternal purposes, it has now become quite involved in extra-fraternal matters, namely, various forms of philanthropy. In 1950 the OGC dedicated a 138-acre summer camp in Blairstown, New Jersey. Here underprivileged and handicapped children
may enjoy wholesome activities. The camp, which has a ten-acre lake, is also used by groups such as the Boy Scouts, De Molay, Girls of the Golden Court (a group sponsored by the OGC), and others. Each year, one Sunday in June is set aside as "Golden Chain Day" at the camp. This day allows the members of OGC to mix work with pleasure by inspecting the camp and also relaxing in its peaceful environment. The order is also engaged in sponsoring a pragmatic educational camp with Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C. This program has grown into a project embracing the National Association for the Deaf and other handicapped youths. Scholarships are also given to students at Gallaudet College. As a Masonically related organization, the OGC has a secret ritual that it says "could be used at any interdenominational service as a shining symbol." The language and symbolism of the ritual has a Masonic ring. For instance, it speaks of its six officers as "jewels," as does Masonry. Each officer ("jewel") exalts some ideal of womanhood. Like most traditional fraternal groups, the OGC has a standing ritual committee. The insignia of the order has six oblong chain links forming a hexagon. Inside of the hexagonal chain-link border are six shields, each portraying a separate symbol. At the hub or center of the insignia are the letters OGC. The OGC has "Links" (chapters) in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Michigan. The national organization is known as the "Grand Link." It meets in convention annually. In 1967 the order had about 10,000 members in thirty-nine links, but in 1978 it had only 5,000 members and
twenty-five links. In 1994 there were 2,000 members. National headquarters are in West Caldwell, New Jersey. The Order of the Golden Chain has left tangible evidence of love for mankind in every state where its members serve, in every home wherever they gather. The members of the Order of the Golden Chain and the Charity Foundation believe that all children are exceptional and that the quality of their lives can be enhanced by providing opportunities for each to achieve his or her potential. The Order of the Golden Chain originated in June, 1929 in Asbury Park, NJ when a group of Master Masons and their female relatives met to fulfil a need for a nonsectarian fraternal organization that would be related to Masonry. Two months later, the Grand Link Order of the Golden Chain was given official status in New Jersey. Constituent Links began to form up and down the eastern coastline and continue to function in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. It wasn't long after the Order of the Golden Chain was created that the country was in the thrust of the Great Depression. There was a strong need to belong to a fraternal organization such as the Golden Chain with members dedicated to helping others less fortunate than themselves. During that period, hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent by Constituent Links, from supplying food, coal and medical supplies to endowing much needed equipment for hospitals and convalescent homes for the sick, aged and orphaned. During World War II, the Order of the Golden Chain sold more than four million dollars of War Bonds, donated 18
ambulances, mobile kitchens, and an airplane named "The Spirit of the Golden Chain." The United States government accorded the Order of the Golden Chain the honour of christening a liberty ship, the Louis L. Bamberger, in recognition of their good deeds. The Order incorporated its Charity Foundation and in 1945 in Blairstown, NJ, that Foundation established Camp Golden Chain for underprivileged children of all races, creeds and colours. Members of the Golden Chain believe that the encampments have left a marked influence on the children and in some way enriched their lives and enabled them to go on to a brighter future, learning the true meaning of brotherhood and sisterhood. In the 1970's, the Charity Foundation created a scholarship for the hearing impaired. Each year, a student who meets the qualifications and standards of Gallaudet University, Washington, DC, or Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, is selected for the four-year scholarship. In 1978, the Charity Foundation adopted two major charitable projects: Cancer and leukaemia research in children, and children with learning disabilities and minimal brain damage. Also, through the generosity of the members, along with their families and friends, four forests of more than forty trees have been planted in Israel. For its many benevolent acts, the Order was accorded the honor of having the Sunday of Brotherhood Week in February designated as "Golden Chain Day" by the non-sectarian Chapel of the Four Chaplains at Temple University, Philadelphia. 19
The Order proudly portrays its ideals and principles in a solemn ceremony. Six officers, known as Jewels, exalt the ideals of womanhood in tribute to their accomplishments in the home, in history, and their countless contributions to posterity. Were it not for the fraternal confidentiality, the ritual of the Order of the Golden Chain could be used at an interdenominational services as a shining symbol. 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.
The Level We love to hear the Gavel, to see the silver Square, But the moral of the Level is best beyond compare, — Is best beyond compare for it guides us to the West, Where the shades of evening cover the islands of the blest. When the weary day has parted and starry lights appear, We miss the faithfulhearted, the brotherforms so dear, — The brotherforms so dear, of all the world the best, But the Level points their mansions in the islands of the blest. And we again shall meet them within the sunset band, And face to face shall greet them, the Unforgotten Band, — The Unforgotten Band, whose emblem is the best, The Level, for it points us to the islands of the blest.
The Old Square and Compass. A Masonic Story.
The membership of the Lodge was comprised of Brethren from all the surrounding Towns and Villages, and from different Provinces, but they had all one thing in common, they were Freemasons. The Landlord of the Pub one of the founding members, made available the back room, and the Brethren set to work in painting and furnishing the small Lodge room. As a new Lodge, they needed everything, a Volume of the Sacred Law, pillars, altar, chairs, rods, office-bearers jewels, aprons and of course, the square and compass. And here begins our story.
It was in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen. The place: Cambuswallace, a little village in the Northeast corner of Scotland. It was just after the War to end all Wars, known now as the First World War, also the Great War, although there wasnâ€™t much great about it, good men from Cambuswallace and all over Scotland left to go and serve their Country on those killing fields of France and Belgium and many of them still remain there, lying in unmarked graves under a plain white stone. Life had gradually got back to normal in the village, and about 1920 a group of Brother Masons gathered together in the back room of the pub to discuss forming their own Lodge in the village. Everybody agreed it was a good idea, a committee was formed and soon the plans to raise the new Lodge were put in place. The two Lodges from nearby towns agreed to sponsor the new Lodge and a request was sent to the Grand Lodge of Scotland for permission to form a new Lodge under the name, Lodge Cambuswallace Hope, which was garnted.
We were fashioned out of brass by Auld Jock the local Blacksmith, he painstakingly formed and polished us then we were placed in a beautiful blue velvet box and presented at the first meeting to the Right Worshipful Master, Willie Harvey. It was a grand evening in the wee back room on that first night at Lodge Cambuswallace Hope when we were taken from the box and placed lovingly on the Volume of the Sacred Law. The light from the candles made us glisten and shine and it was wonderful to see the smiles and warmth of the faces of the assembled Brethren. That night was filled with Friendship and Brotherly Love which only a true Mason can understand and it made us sparkle even more, for we would forever be part of the Lodge. The Grand Chaplain gave a speech in dedication to us and said, "These instruments, the Square and Compass, are ancient to our Fraternity, as are all our beautiful furnishings. They are significant in that they represent the working tools of 20
our profession. The square is dedicated to the Master for it is the proper working tool of his office; it teaches us to work together on the square of virtue. The compass is dedicated to the craft, for by due attention to its use we are taught to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions in due bounds toward all mankind." So from that night on at each and every Degree, we were part of the ceremony when the new Mason swore to be a good man and true. Lodge Cambuswallace Hope continued to grow and thrive for many years until……. The War to end all wars was a myth, the Second World War began and many Lodge Brethren again responded to the call to arms, and again we lost a few good Brethren. The end of the War saw many families of the village move to the nearby towns, even to new countries to seek out new lives. The culture and population of our small community took many different directions and for Lodge Cambuswallace Hope, they were the wrong way. The final blow came on New Year’s Eve, 31st December 1959. The year before the Lodge celebrated our 40th anniversary. The fire in the main bar of the pub dropped a cinder on the carpet and quickly a fire spread throughout the premises and destroyed our beautiful wee Lodge room. The Altar, chairs, pillars, jewels and aprons were gone, but we were saved, God knows why. Tam Harvey, our Senior Warden, found us in the rubble blackened with soot and took us home. That fire was the death knell for Lodge Cambuswallace Hope, the members of the Lodge could not raise the money to build a new Lodge and replace everything that was 21
lost, and after a year of struggling to hold meetings, the Lodge went dormant. All the property that remained was turned over to the Grand Lodge, everything, except us! Tam Harvey never became Master, his heart was never the same again, he died some years later, a widower and all his belongings along with us were sold to a local antique shop in the nearby town. We have lain there for many years, waiting to return to serve in a Lodge, waiting to see those warm and friendly smiles. Waiting to once again take our rightful place on the Volume of the Sacred Law. Under that dull coat we wear, our brilliance still remains, waiting to serve the Fraternity who brought us into existence. We hope, someday, someone will find us. Will it be you, Our Brother? Editor’s note – I came across the story of the old Square and Compass written by Bro. William W. Price in a short talk bulletin. I have adapted it as a Scottish Lodge it to use in the newsletter. I can take no credit for the original story. The picture to go with the story was designed by the editor.
It Proves a Slip Those words are the last relic of something that was a distinct feature of all early versions of the third degree. If one were challenged today to describe the lessons of the third degree in three words, most Brethren would say 'Death and Resurrection', and they would be right; but originally there were three themes, not two, and all our early versions of the third degree confirm three themes, 'Death,
Decay and Resurrection'. Any Brother who has a compost heap in his garden will see the significance of this 'life-cycle'. Eventually, the decay theme was polished out of our English ritual, but 'the slip' which is directly related to that theme remains as a reminder of the degree in its early days. The first appearance of 'the slip' in a Masonic context was in Samuel Prichard's Masonry Dissected, of 1730. That was the first exposure claiming to describe a system of three degrees and it contained the earliest known version of a Hiramic legend. Prichard's exposure was framed entirely in the form of Question and Answer and the main body of his legend appears in the replies to only two questions. Many other and better versions have appeared since 1730, but Masonry Dissected (though it gives no hint of a long time-lag which might have caused decay) was the first to mention 'the slip' and to indicate that the cause was decay. The words occur in a footnote to the so-called 'Five Points of Fellowship'. N. B. When Hiram was taken up, they took him by the Fore-fingers, and the Skin came off, which is called the Slip. The next oldest version of the third degree was published in Le Cat6chisme des Francs-Macons, in 1744, by a celebrated French journlist, Louis Travenol. It was much more detailed than Prichard's piece, and full of interesting items that had never appeared before. In the course of the story we learn that nine days had passed when Solomon ordered a search, which also
occupied a 'considerable time'. Then, following the discovery of the corpse, “One of them took hold of it by one finger, and the finger came away in his hand: he took him at once by another (finger), with the same result, and when, taking him by the wrist it came away from his arm ... he called out Macbenac, which signifies among the Free-Masons, the flesh falls from the bones ...” In 1745, Travenol's version was pirated in 'L'Ordre des Francs-Macons Trahi', but there were a few improvements: …the flesh falls from the bones or the corpse is rotten (or decayed). The English exposure Three Distinct Knocks, of 1760 used the words 'almost rotten to the bone', but before the end of the 18th century the decay theme seems to have gone out of use in England, so that 'the slip', in word and action, remains as the last hint of the story as it ran in its original form. But the decay theme is not completely lost; several ritual workings, in French, German, and other jurisdictions, still retain it as part of their legend. One more document must be quoted here, because it has particularly important implications. The Graham MS., of 1726, is a unique version of catechism plus religious interpretation, followed by a collection of legends relating to various biblical characters, in which each story has a kind of Masonic twist. One of the legends tells how three sons went to their father's grave: ‘for to try if they could find anything about him ffor to Lead them to the vertuable secret which this famieous preacher had ... Now these 3 men had already agreed that 22
if they did not ffind the very thing it self that the first thing that they found was to be to them a secret . . . so came to the Grave finding nothing save the dead body all most consumed away takeing a greip at a ffinger it came away so from Joynt to Joynt so to the wrest so to the Elbow so they Reared up to the dead body and suported itsetting ffoot to ffoot knee to knee Breast to breast Cheeck to cheeck and hand to back and cryed out help o ffather ... so one said here is yet marowin this bone and the second said but a dry bone and the third said it stinketh so they agreed for to give it a name as is known to free masonry to this day ... (E. M.C., pp. 923).’
The Tools of a Free Man Middle-aged and elderly adults all remember how important their set-square and compasses were as geometrical instruments in their school days; masons value these two working tools not only for their prosaic but for their poetical significance. The general explanation that comes across from the ritual is that the square teaches us to be just and upright, to square our actions. The compasses tell us to keep our passions and desires within bounds.
The decay theme again, but the important point about this version is that the 'famieous preacher' in the grave was not H.A., but Noah, and the three sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The appearance of this legend in 1726, full tour years before the earliest H.A. version by Prichard, implies, beyond doubt, that the Hiramic legend did not come down from Heaven all ready-made as we know it today; it was one of at least two (and possibly three) streams of legend which were adapted and tailored to form the main theme of the third degree of those days.
Whatever the precise terminology which the ritual employs, the message is the same – the square and compasses remind us how to think, act and live as fair and decent human beings.
This article came from the Masonic Education Newsletter Vol. 7 – No 1, 1987, of the Grand Lodge of Canada. In was originally in the form of a series of Questions and Answers, Q2. “It proves a slip, How did those words arise?” And answered by Bro. Harry Carr of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 E.R.
“In the Middle Ages”, Beresniak writes, “the teaching of geometry cleared the way for objective thought. Until that time, all knowledge had been handed down from an authority which meant to put a stop to any debate and eliminate doubt or the need for proof. Only one kind of knowledge could not be taught in this way – geometry. A theory about the properties of a shape can
The moralistic explanations are however not the end of the story. Daniel Beresniak, in his 1997 Symbols of Freemasonry, gives the two instruments a still broader significance. Pointing out that they are crucial to geometry, which in its turn represents man’s concern to understand his world by measuring things, he argues that the square and compasses are symbols of man’s capacity for objective thinking.
only be accepted when it has been verified using reason, and a square and compasses. “The teaching of geometry implies, therefore, the recognition of students as people who are able to think rationally and find meaning of their own. The geometrician-builder measures words with the yardstick of meaning and not according to the social status of the speaker. “The square and compasses, therefore, are the tools of a free man. They are the tools of a way of thinking which recognises the possibility of making statements about reality, understanding its laws and modifying it to better the human condition.” The Enlightenment thinking of the period when Freemasonry moves from an operative to an intellectual-ethical movement was made possible only because human beings were thinking for themselves, measuring, analysing, reasoning and debating. In other words, the square and compasses that had once done duty simply as utilitarian instruments of a craft or trade now assumed a higher significance as symbols of a movement which changed everything in the history of human society and civilisation.
What’s in a Name? Lodge Dolphin. In the small town of Bonnybridge in Central Scotland, the local Masonic Lodge has a strange and unusual name, it is called “The Dolphin Lodge.” So how did this Lodge which has no tangible link to the sea or any aquatic life, come to be named after a playful and friendly sea mammal the Dolphin? When the Lodge was formed it required a name, and on being approached Bro. William McAdam Smith, who was actively identified with the village and took the deepest interest in the affairs of all Institutions in it, was graciously pleased to name it ‘The Dolphin Lodge’. The name “DOLPHIN” was believed to have originated from the family crest of the Smith family. There is however a tale which links it’s origin to the occasion when Mr. James Smith was shipwrecked off Newfoundland on 27 September 1854. Mr. Smith found himself on a small raft and basket for many days with only friendly dolphins for company until he was eventually rescued. This version appears to be more of a romantic fantasy rather than fact.
Descartes said: “I think, therefore I am.” In Freemasonry, it is summed up by the logo of the square and compasses.
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
Sourced from the website of Lodge Dolphin No. 911. click here to go to their site.
A Masonic Parable The Little Dutch Boy
Once there was a young Master Mason who discovered a problem in the Lodge. What should he do? From a single problem, a terrible result might grow. The whole Lodge could suffer, and all of his Brothers might be affected. So he did the only thing he could think of. He took up the task, and the problem stopped. Of course, now he was stuck. He couldn’t rest, because as soon as he did, the problem would start again. So he did the task for quite some time. He was rather tired, and he felt a bit numb from the effort of doing the task without help, but he knew he was doing his duty. At last a Past Master happened to pass by. “My Brother,” he said with a certain amount of sternness, “why are you doing what you are doing?” “I am addressing a problem,” the Brother explained. “I saw the issue, so I did something about it.” 25
“Heroic!” the Past Master exclaimed. “You shall be rewarded! Meanwhile, keep doing it while I call the other Past Masters together.” So the Past Master called a meeting of the all the Past Masters and they agreed that the Brother had heroically saved the Lodge. “And now,” the Past Master asked, “what shall we do about the problem?” “It seems to me,” one of the other Past Masters replied, “that private enterprise has already found an admirable solution to the problem. The Brother has undertaken the task, and the problem has stopped. You might describe it as voluntary selfregulation. There is no need for expensive action.” So the Past Masters voted to award the Brother a Certificate of Appreciation, which the Past Master was delighted to be able to present to him the next day. “Thank you,” the Brother said politely, “but I still have to keep doing this to keep the problem under control.” “And we appreciate that,” the Past Master replied. “I may confidently speak for the whole group of Past Masters in saying that your heroic action is universally admired.” So the Brother continued labouring for a few more days. It was not long, however, before another problem appeared in the Lodge, connected to the first. “What shall we do?” the Past Master asked the other Past Masters. “There is another problem.” “As private enterprise has so admirably solved the previous problem,” one of the Past Masters responded, “the solution to this new issue is obvious. We need only persuade another heroic Brother to deal with it.”
So they went into the Lodge meeting and found another Brother who, after much persuasion, was willing to deal with the problem. It was, however, only a few days later that two more issues surfaced. This time it was much harder to persuade Brothers to step forward and help; and when, a week later, half a dozen more problems appeared, no volunteers were to be found. “What shall we do?” the Past Master asked the other Past Masters. “Private enterprise seems no longer to be adequate. We may have to fix the problem itself this time.” “Nonsense,” said one of the Past Masters. “The solution that worked before will work again. We must simply force private enterprise into action.” So the Past Masters visited the Lodge and guilted a number of young Master Masons into dealing with the problem.
“That would be moderately inconvenient,” said one of the Past Masters. So the Past Masters decided to address the problem by ignoring it – for if they ignored it, it would go away. Several years have passed and the young Master Masons have moved away. The old Past Masters can still be found, in their crumbling Lodge, still ignoring the problem. And if you go by the Lodge right now, and look into the Lodge room, you will see a number of old Past Masters very busy complaining but not doing anything about their problem. It is lucky for them most people have mistaken them for a group of crotchety old men talking about past glory, which has allowed them to continue their labour uninterrupted. Ring any Bells? This excellent article was sourced from ‘The Work on the Trestleboard blog.’ I came across it and was going to include it in the September issue, but it’s that good, I decided to include it this month, please enjoy it and feel free to share!
Our Visitors. But the Lodge, which was old and poorly maintained, continued to spring new problems here and there, so that it was all the Past Masters could do to find more young Master Masons to deal with the issues. At last the Past Masters compelled every young Master Mason in the Lodge to deal with an issue – without addressing the larger problem. All Lodge activity came to a halt, as it is well known that young Master Masons are very willing to participate, which the Lodge depended upon at that time. “What shall we do?” the Past Master asked the other Past Masters. “We have run out of heroic young Master Masons. At this rate, we may have to deal with the problems ourselves.”
Tonight I have the pleasure To all I must confess To Give to you this toast To Our Visitors and Our Guest The fellowship that you bring tonight Is something that can’t compare You know we like to see you And glad that your always there The Harmony, the chat and jokes we have… With our old and new found friends We wish it could last for hours And somehow never end. But, all good things must come to an end And we go our separate way We hope you enjoyed yourself tonight And return again someday And now I ask the members To raise a glass in cheer To toast to all our visitors Who Supported us this year
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Lost Word
The mythical history of Freemasonry informs us that there once existed a Word of surpassing value, and claiming a profound veneration; that this Word was known to but few; that it was at length lost; and that a temporary substitute for it was adopted. But as the very philosophy of Freemasonry teaches us that there can be no death without a resurrection-no decay without a subsequent restoration-on the same principle it follows that the loss of the Word must suppose its eventual recovery. Now, this it is, precisely, that constitutes the myth of the Lost Word and the search for it. No matter what was the Word, no matter how it was lost, nor why a substitute was provided, nor when nor where it was recovered. These are all points of subsidiary importance, necessary, it is true, for knowing the legendary history, but not necessary for understanding the symbolism. The only term of the myth that is to be regarded in the study of its interpretation, is the abstract idea of a word lost and afterward recovered. The Word, therefore, may be conceived to be the symbol of Dianne Truth; and all its modifications- the loss, the substitution, and the recovery-are but component parts of the mythical symbol which represents a search after truth. In a general sense, the Word itself being then the symbol of Divine Truth, the narrative of its loss and the search for its recovery becomes a mythical symbol of the decay and 1088 of the true religion among the ancient nations, at and after the dispersion on the Plains of Shinar, and of the attempts of the wise men, the philosophers, and priests, to find and retain it in their secret mysteries and initiations, which have hence been designated as the Spurious Freemasonry of Antiquity. But there is a special or individual, as well as a general interpretation, and in this special or individual interpretation the Word, with its accompanying myth of a loss, a substitute, and a recovery, becomes a symbol of the personal progress of a candidate from his first initiation to the completion of his course, when he receives a full development of the mysteries.
Source â€“ Mackays Masonic Encyclopaedia
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.
Published on Mar 28, 2014