SRA 76 Monthly Newsletter
Contents Cover Story, Freemasonry and Christmas The Spirit of Freemasonry Did You Know? Famous Freemason – Giuseppe Garibaldi The Benevolent Order of Santa Claus Lodge Prince of Wales No. 426 Rays of Masonry Song of the Newly Made Brother Old Tiler Talks Freemasonry and the Wise Men The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – The Bible and the Craft
Volume 11 Issue 8 No. 90 December 2015
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Freemasonry and Christmas.’ A thought for Christmas!
Page 3, ‘The Spirit of Freemasonry’ The author of this excellent article examines what the Spirit of Freemasonry really is!.
Page 8, ‘Did You Know?.’ What is meant by Hele? and, is Symbolism a Landmark of Freemasonry?
Page 9, ‘Giuseppe Garibaldi.’ A Famous Freemason.
Page 13, ‘The Benevolent Order of Santa Claus.’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World.
Page 15, ‘Lodge Prince of Wales No. 426.’ A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges.
Page 20, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Mason of Many Years”, our Regular feature.
Page 20, ‘Song of the Newly-made Brother’ A Poem
Page 21, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Wages”, the forty-seventh in the series from Carl Claudy.
Page 23, ‘Freemasonry and The Wise Men.’ An excellent Christmas.
Page 25 ‘Freemasonry&Judaism are compatible The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple.
Page 28‘ The Masonic Dictionary.’ XICROPHAGISTS, YEAR of LIGHT, ZEAL.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Bible and The Craft.’[link]
The front cover artwork is a stock photo of a Christmas tree and adapted by the Editor with the S&C.
Freemasonry and Christmas The observance of Christmas doesn’t seem to bring satisfaction to some people. On one hand, many say it’s too religious, and thus don’t want Christmas trees in public buildings and nativity scenes within a shepherd’s-crook length of government lawns. On the other hand, many say it’s not religious enough; it’s too commercial. They’ve been saying it for years - it’s the central theme behind the charming animated cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas which was made some 40 years ago. Setting that aside, what does Christmas mean to the Freemason? Certainly Freemasonry is not a religion, Christian or otherwise. It leaves the determination on spiritual matters to each individual Mason, so long as he believes in the Almighty Creator. But there are certain messages from the story of Christmas that are applicable to all Masons, not just those who celebrate a certain birth on December 25th. Many Christians feel God gave his greatest gift to mankind, and that Gift’s birth is marked on Christmas Day. And the spirit of giving is also outlined in our Masonic ceremonies. The new Entered Apprentice is reminded in the northeast corner of charity, and to practice it whenever possible. There’s the monetary charity of that portion of our
ceremony. And there’s another kind. The one referred to in the Charge in the same degree which admonishes “to relieve his necessities, soothe his afflictions, and do to him as you would that he, under similar circumstances, should do until you.” In other words, the Golden Rule, from the Sermon on the Mount. Christmas is a time of faith for our Christian brethren. But all Masons are reminded in the different degrees of the principle of faith. In the explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board, we hear “How ready and willing ought we to be to adore the Almighty Creator.” Therefore, let this time of year serve as a reminder to all Masons to practice their faith, whatever it may be. Faith and Charity are names of principal staves or rounds on the Ladder you see every meeting on that Tracing Board. But there is another round, and that is Hope in Salvation. While Salvation has a particular connotation to those who believe in the story of the virgin birth, the concept of some kind of reward for following Masonic principles during our lives winds its way through the various degrees, as those of you familiar with the working tools explanations of the Second and Third Degrees well know. So let this season of the year remind all Masons, no matter what their religious beliefs, to follow those universal tenets of the Craft - faith, hope and charity. Doing so should bring satisfaction to you at Christmas-time. Jim Bennie, PDDGM Southern Cross No. 44, Vancouver B.C. – Sourced from The Educator.
The Spirit of Freemasonry The Spirit of Freemasonry is not found only in what we see and hear – it lies in what we sense or feel. It does not belong in our tools and ritual alone but in something much less obvious and definable. Perhaps too often we depend upon our eyes and ears and lose the power of our other senses through disuse. But our eyes may not necessarily tell us the truth and our ears could be equally misleading. So it seems that we never catch the real “Spirit of Freemasonry” because the most important part of it is neither seen nor heard but is intangible, indefinable and indescribable. Yet it unifies us all, gives us a sense of belonging and pervades all life. The “Spirit of Freemasonry” is the cornerstone of your life my brother, as it is the cornerstone of mine. It is the ‘take-off” point from which we view the social, political and economic environment of our world yet it is an integral and essential part of that environment. It is the ashlar on which masons build their edifice of personal experience and knowledge, and, whether the cowan knows it or not, it contains the seeds of Universal Truth and a part of his world as well. Look at these current quotations and see how closely the writers echo the spirit of our great Order:“I would not judge a man by the presupposition of his life but by the Fruits of his life. And the fruits – the relevant 3
fruits – are, I would say, a sense of charity, a sense of proportion, a sense of justice. Whether the man is an atheist or a Christian, I judge him by his fruits, and I therefore have many agnostic friends. ” – Reinhold Niebuhr, theologian. “The persistence in just being human could unite us all, intellectuals., nonintellectuals, people of every nation, race, ideology, religion, all who believe that mankind has no right to liquidate itself.“ – Arnold Toynbee, historian. But to understand this spirit, to understand any spirit or motivating force, it seems that we must constantly have before our eyes some practical evidence of its existence. We need a happy blend of the concrete and the abstract, for anything too abstract for us leads to gaps in our understanding and to strain our credulity, and anything that is too concrete, precise or scientific, makes us suspicious because we do not trust science as we used to. It doesn’t seem to be so popular – it is too inhuman, too uncontrollable, too full of danger for us, – too full of fear. The spirit of Freemasonry arises from that perfect fusion of the abstract and the practical. Its morality and allegory represent the abstract, its landmarks are founded upon geometry, (the purest science of all), and on the instruments of technology, the tools of mason and architect. The result is perfect because it gives rise to no dogma or doctrinaire attitude to life, yet it contains all dogma. It is practical, and reasonable, because it asks of us the possible, To “guide our reflections to that most important of all human studies, the knowledge of yourself”
It does not expect us, you see, to actually know ourselves or even to become the ideal of a Freemason but it does expect us to make an effort or strive to that end. It is practical also, because, knowing the difficulties involved in this search for knowledge, it offers us the conditions necessary for doing what it advocates and protects them by its secrets and landmarks. So the spirit found in Freemasonry is one of universal unity. It fuses science and art; it unites technology and humanity. It is a total spirit common to all but it doesn’t reduce everyone to some common denominator. As in the perfection of Geometry, which finds itself perfect in every other symmetrical creation as well as in the theorem of Pythagoras, it implies that perfection can be seen in countless ways. It exemplifies this in a great brotherhood of many different individuals, united in a common search for Truth, and bound by a common and sympathetic understanding. Let us try to catch a glimpse of this spirit. Let us pause for a moment so that we can try to see what it means. As we look around, before our eyes, our Lodge ceases to be a room or building made of plaster, metals, wood and wire. It is made of people and by people, – made by many hands and yet by no hand. We begin to realize that whatever Lodge we enter we can feel at home because we can conjure up identical imagery and we can feel the same things. The altar is not a piece of furniture, or a block of wood, it is a living dynamic thing
and part of each one of us. It is the focus of every meeting we have ever attended in any lodge. (It may not be in the same place every time but it is still there!) So it is with the chair of King Solomon, the apron, the ashlar, the Tracing Board. When we look at the floor it is never bare and empty, it comes alive with people, and it sparkles with movement and ritual. Therein lies the “Spirit of Freemasonry”, the things which it conjures up in our minds are pleasant things, human things, irreplaceable memories of the past, understandings of the present, and hopes for the future all bound together by the abstraction of and the discipline of ritual. Therein lies the reason why our ritual must be carefully adhered to and our landmarks carefully guarded. Common ground must lead to common effort so that peace and harmony may reign and man in brotherhood may find personal purpose. Our rituals and our tools symbolize Freemasonry’s means of sensitizing each one of us, they reinforce the spirit of every lodge and are the means to a common end, but they are not ends in themselves. Let us think about this for a moment because we spend a great deal of time during sessions of Masonic education in examining and dissecting our words and other symbols. Though it is a fascinating, interesting and necessary pastime because it heightens the spiritual drama of our order and sustains its underlying purpose, we should always remember that the examination, definition 4
and contemplation of these things should be stated in such a way that we are constantly aware of their purpose and their place in the whole “Spirit of Freemasonry”. This seems to me to be the responsibility we assume when we undertake the duty of Masonic Education. For if we make these things or the history of our Craft ends in themselves, we are discrediting the important place of Freemasonry in modern society, we are binding ourselves to the past, we are emphasizing the archaic, and we are internalizing the Masonic experience to such an extent that we forget that the spirit of our order does not belong to freemasons alone but it is a spirit which is common to all mankind. We love the past because there is a mystery about it that seems to sustain and attract much of our reverence. We delight in contemplating pyramids, temples, operative masonry, craft guilds and so on, but we should be careful not to shut our eyes to the future by closing out the present. We remember the great historical associations of Freemasonry and the work of famous individual freemasons like Ben Franklin, Voltaire, Michael Ramsay, Garibaldi and George Washington, but we must not forget that the ancient craft guild was formed in consideration of the individual, the common man seeking craft perfection, and looking for some way to reconcile his personal place in the society of his day. When we remember this we will remember that one of Freemasonry’s main tasks is still to help fit each of its brethren into that 5
increasingly complicated society which continues to grow up all around him. As I came to this point I realized how close I had come to paralleling Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”. Perhaps you remember that miserly, old Scrooge is visited in his dreams by the three Spirits of Christmas, the Spirit of Christmas Past, The Spirit of Christmas Present and the Spirit of Christmas Future. The Spirit of Christmas Past shows Scrooge the happiness of the Christmases he has had in the past; the Spirit of Christmas present shows him Bob Cratchit and his family getting ready for Christmas, poor as it is for them; and the Spirit of Christmas Future shows him what is to happen to poor, little Tiny Tim – an empty stool and a friendless hearth. It was in the offering of the Spirit of Christmas Present that Scrooge recognized the error of his ways for he had a great empathy for Tiny Tim and saw that it was in the present that lay most of the answer to the future. So it must be in Freemasonry!! Problems may not be solved – Tiny Tim will still die, and the hearth may grow cold and friendless, but the important thing to us is the idea of the future in the present. “Let the emblems of mortality which lie before you lead you to contemplate your inevitable destiny, and guide your reflections to that most important of all human studies, the knowledge of yourself.” All of Freemasonry contains this present spirit which is going to be the essence of future man. All of Freemasonry offers
hope, and makes no promise, asks for continuous present effort, and guarantees no reward. All the comfort we have is that we must still hunt for our own reward. We remember that the Word has been lost but glean only the hope that it will return, – never the promise of its return. We do know that in Speculative Freemasonry it is never found. We also recall the Ideal of a Freemason found in the charge to the Brethren: – “… let me endeavour to portray to you the ideal of a Freemason. If you see a man who quietly and modestly moves in the sphere of his life; — you will have found the ideal of a Freemason.” No one has yet found such a brother, but the “Spirit of Freemasonry” lies in the search and not in the attainment. It stretches on and on into future infinity just as it roots dwell far back in the past. You and I are its present and thus at the same time we are its future. It is nothing if it does not suffuse the whole being of the individual, sight, sound and feeling; similarly it is nothing it we look at it in isolation and as belonging only to Freemasons. Our spirit is shared with all men. It is as relevant in the outside world as it is in this hallowed sanctuary. Many have found those eternal truths that Freemasonry teaches but they have found them in different ways. None are led to them so easily and so directly as we who are guided and protected by our land marks. None can find them so easily as those who set out purposefully and actively to look for them in the true Masonic spirit. It
seems obvious, however, that what we do here must be related and applied in our experience of the world outside, for without this relevance Freemasonry would remain an anachronism in the midst of an advanced technological society and it would have a future without a present. We may talk platitudinously and selfrighteously about truth and honesty in a world of Credibility Gaps, ‘Buyer-beware’, Accident-chasing lawyers, and political double-talk, but by this we are not getting very far. There is nothing platitudinous or selfrighteous in the “Spirit of Freemasonry”. It is a spirit which unifies the old and the new but in it we find challenge without platitude. It is practical and not just theoretical. By it we are motivated to carry ourselves out into modern society to do fearlessly those things we feel ought to be done, and to face with equanimity the complications and perplexities that there exist. As Freemasons we should be secure in the knowledge that so long as we carry with us the eternal spirit and basic tenets of our order we cannot be wrong. As Shakespeare put it:“This above all, – to thine own self by true; And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” But this does not mean that we should rush off as a Masonic body and involve ourselves in rehabilitation of criminals, or drug users, the resettlement of refugees, or the protection of Native Indian rights, for in so doing we could easily destroy the 6
dominant spirit Freemasonry.
For that spirit is great because it inspires us with the primacy of the individual -the uncommitted individual, – the independence and personalness of his effort, and the freedom of his associations. The central “Spirit of Freemasonry” is found in brotherhood to all, yet to none but a brother committed; love for all, and yet to no faction bound; faith in all things and in all men, yet with bias towards none. For this is the necessary spirit which cultivates the individual self and restrains personal choice by no bonds save those of moral rectitude What you and I may do of our own freewill, or who we may support, is our personal responsibility. But any support we may offer, or any personal stand we may take on current social problems, must not, while we are in the free spirit of lodge brotherhood, compromise any other Masonic brother. It must not inhibit or restrict his freedom of decision or his freedom of association in any way. For the “Spirit of Freemasonry” is that, we search and work towards understanding ourselves and our place in society, and that we share our personal experiences with our brother recognizing his fundamental right of personal association and freedom of choice in every sense. It reminds us to impose no clandestine experience upon him but by using the all embracing spirit of lodge brotherhood, its allegory, its landmarks and its security, to help cradle his own effort to seek his own answers. 7
Just as each brother must want to join freemasonry he must want to strive, to search and to know. So let us make sure of one thing. Let us exert our Lodge efforts in education towards making the landmarks and principles of Freemasonry relevant to our brethren, for in lodges where there are few candidates today, the latent “Spirit of Freemasonry” can so easily get lost and be replaced by the artificial and materialistic trappings of the service organization. (And in this statement I mean no disrespect at all). We must be careful that the lasting and all embracing spirit found in Masonic brotherhood is not replaced by the more transient and expedient principles found in temporary friendships and companionships. We must think positively about the present and not be overwhelmed by the negativism of declining membership and failing attendance. For the “Spirit of Freemasonry” has taught us the important aim “…to please each other and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.” Other problems will fall into place, brethren. The “Spirit of Freemasonry” is practical, perfect, and positive. Let us steep ourselves in its truths and realize that when it is around to inspire us, the most oppressive and despairing problems of life, including membership and attendance, fade into insignificance. Written by Gordon W. Sutherland P.M. Evergreen Lodge No. 148 Grand Lodge of British Columbia. (1972)
Did You Know? Why do we use the word 'hele' and what is the true meaning of the word? Answer: Hele, Heal; also Heyle, heele, and Scottish heile, heill: 1. To hide, conceal; to keep secret (c.975). Also, to practise concealment, keep a secret, keep silence. (c. 1 300) The O.E.D. adds a note that in these meanings, the word is now obsolete, except in dialect. 2. To cover, cover in. Still in local use, especially in senses (a) to cover (roots, seeds, etc.) with earth. (c. 1 200) (b) to cover with slates or tiles, to roof. Although there are several examples which suggest a 'hayl' pronunciation, O.E.D. now makes it rhyme with 'kneel'. The vowel sound has always been a problem and a check of the seventeen oldest ritual documents that have survived to this day, dated 1696-1762 shows: Seven texts give 'heal and conceal' in various spelling but with the 'heel' pronunciation. Four of the latest, 1726 -1 762, give 'hale and conceal', in various spellings but rhyming with 'fail'. Four give 'hear and conceal'. One gives 'hide and conceal'; another gives 'hold and conceal'. Why do we use the word? Because it is a key word in our obligation of secrecy. It means, (in No. 1 above) exactly what we are trying to say, and that is the word that appeared in our oldest text, The Edinburgh Register House MS., 1696: The first (point) is heill and conceall.
As I understand it, `Landmarks' are those fundamental principles which characterize Masonry; and Freemasonry is defined as `a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols'. Since `illustrating by symbols' constitutes an integral part of the `peculiar system' would I be right in saying that symbolism is a Landmark of Freemasonry? Answer: The definition you have quoted is a widely accepted one, but I would suggest that it is the system of morality which is the essential characteristic of the Craft, while the manner in which we illustrate it, i.e., by symbols, is incidental. Indeed, I think it would be fair to say that the major part of our teaching is by precept, example and exhortation. It is true that we use symbols throughout our ceremonies, etc. in the preparation of Candidates, steps, signs, working tools, clothing and furnishings, right down to the chequered flooring of the Lodge. Practically all of them are `moralized' in a few words of the ritual, designed to teach their immediate symbolism. But that is only the foundation; the experts in that field could add a chapter where we use only a few words, and they could find meanings for those same symbols vastly different from those that we accept. In short, symbolism is not precise; it is an art, not an exact science, and it has no boundaries. For all these reasons, I believe that it cannot properly be described as a Landmark. The above answers were given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Famous Freemasons Giuseppe Garibaldi
Freemasonry was certainly not a chance, ephemeral episode but a pondered and binding choice made half-way through his life and consciously kept until his death. Once stripped of esoteric and ritual trimmings, which Garibaldi openly depreciated, Freemasonry was for him, especially after 1860, a meeting place and a means of organisation which he more than once tried to make use of to carry out his own political and cultural plans.
It was the thirteenth of March, 1848 when Garibaldi left Latin America where for fifteen years he had been a leader in the fight for freedom. On that occasion his last words were for the brothers of "Les Amis de la Patrie" Lodge of Montevideo. "My dear brother," he wrote to Adolphe Vaillant, "as my engagements prevent me from carrying out my desire to take leave in person of my dear brothers of the lodge, I beg you to be good enough as to pass on, at their respectable meeting, my goodbyes, my wishes for their happiness and my hope that, wherever I may be in the world, I will remain their devoted brother, always ready to dedicate myself to the Sacred Rite to which I have the honour of belonging." Never could words be more revealing and prophetic, for Garibaldi, joining 9
"The masonic organisation," wrote Mola, "was thought of by Garibaldi as a network able to unite the otherwise dispersed forces of the Italian renewal: from the inside, by forming new leaders able to look to the boundless horizons opened up by progress in the sciences (medicine, chemistry, physics, anthropology etc.) rather than become small minded through the petty struggles for power, and from the outside by placing those leaders in an intellectual circuit whose Pillars of Hercules, once Italy was unified, were a European federation, the formation of great ethniclinguistic systems (Anglo Saxon, Latin, Slav etc.) and finally "worldwide"' unity of humanity kept together in a brotherly way by constructive ideals". It is worth underlining that Freemasonry, in its turn, used Garibaldi both before and after his death as an exceptional testimonial and promotion of their ideals. Garibaldi, as Fulvio Conti recounts in an article published in "Hiram in 2002 on the occasion of the one hundred and twentieth anniversary of his death, was initiated into Freemasonry in 1844, at the age of thirtyseven, in the "L'Asil de la Vertud" Lodge of Montevideo. This was an irregular lodge under a Brazilian Freemasonry which was
not recognised by the main international masonic obediences, such as the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Orient of France. Later, in 1844 he regularised his position, joining the lodge "Les Amis de la Patrie" of Montevideo under the Grand Orient of France. Garibaldi entered Freemasonry during his exile, taking advantage of the asylum which was offered by the lodges to political refugees of European countries governed by despotic regimes hostile to democratic or nationalistic movements. Garibaldi then attended the masonic lodges of New York in 1850 and London in 185354, where he met several supporters of democratic internationalism, whose minds were open to making socialist thoughts their own and give Freemasonry a strong anti-papal stand. Only in June 1860, in the newly conquered Palermo, was Garibaldi raised to the degree of Master Mason and then in 1862 the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, a meeting place for Italian freemasons of republican and radical ideals, gave him the title of Grand Master. The Italian Grand Orient, reconstituted in Turin in 1859 and initially dominated by members close to Cavour, gave, on the other hand, the role of Grand Master to Costantino Nigra and only the honorary title of "First Italian Freemason" to Garibaldi. Accepting the title of Grand Master of the Sicilian authority, Garibaldi wrote, "I willingly take on the supreme office of head of the Italian Masonry constituted according to the Reformed and Accepted Scottish Rite. I take it on because it was conferred on me by the free votes of free men, to whom I owe my gratitude not only for the trust shown me in elevating me
to such a high position but also for the help they gave me from Marsala to Volturno, in the great task of freeing the southern provinces. My nomination as Grand Master is the most solemn interpretation of the tendencies of my very soul, of my votes, of the aims towards which I have worked all my life. I assure you that with your mercy and with the cooperation of all our brothers, the Italian flag, which is that of humanity, will be the beacon from which the light of true progress will be shed all over the world." In the second half of 1862 the expedition for the liberation of Rome was being prepared. But it was to be interrupted on the twenty-ninth of August, when he was wounded in the thigh in a shooting exchange in Aspromonte. Garibaldi, accepting the role offered to him by the Sicilian Scottish obedience, demonstrated that, in that phase, he identified Freemasonry with the national programme and intended to use it as a means of organisation and meeting point of the various democratic movements. It was not by chance that, once arrived in Sicily, he attended the initiation of his son Menotti (the first of July) and he, in person signed (the third of July) the proposal of affiliation of the whole of his general staff (Pietro Ripari, Giacinto Bruzzesi, Francesco Nullo, Giuseppe Guerzoni, Enrico Guastalla and others). In the long term, once the fight for national independence was completed, the political plan of Freemasonry was to identify itself with a wider and more ambitious aim, that of liberation and the emancipation of the whole of humanity. "It was the failure of the venture of August 1862," observed Aldo Alessandro Mola, 10
"that led Garibaldi to take up an intransigent anticlerical stand." Basically from that moment on it could be seen that the General was more and more convinced of his identification with the position of Freemasonry, which was the main supporter in the peninsula of an inflexible secularism and of war to the death against the Catholic Church. The political objective of the liberation of Rome from ponteficial dominion was obviously at one with the objective to give birth to a secular and democratic state, in which the temporal power of the Popes was only a memory. At the same time â€” as Fulvio Conti writes "even inside the Grand Orient of Italy the democratic component stemming from Garibaldi started to consolidate its presence and impose its own political and ideological choices. It is not surprising therefore that the first real Italian Masonic Constituent Assembly, which was held in Florence in May 1864, with the participation of seventy-two delegates, finally managed to elect Garibaldi, with a large majority, as the new Grand Master." As is known, Garibaldi held this position for only a few months. The active clashes between the various Italian left-wing groups were too lively to permit them to come together under the unifying leadership of Garibaldi as had happened in the recent past. The future Grand Master, Ludovico Frapolli, saw the nomination of Garibaldi as a backward step back in respect to his heartfelt plan â€” to depoliticise Freemasonry â€” a plan that aimed at also setting up in Italy an Anglo Saxon model of Freemasonry which was not subject to political party problems. "It is already a fatality," Frapolli wrote to Mordini, commenting on the election of Garibaldi, "that circumstances have forced 11
us to choose for Italy a politician as Grand Master. An inconvenience that cannot be tolerated without admitting the function of Garibaldi as the banner of the people, the incarnate myth of humanitarianism, while in other respects if his name is accepted by all, it is because everyone presumes that the General is happy with this important role and he does not concern himself otherwise." Actually, Garibaldi, as has already been said, did not believe that national political events should be separate from Freemasonry, at least while Rome remained under the dominion of the Popes. So in May 1867, on the eve of the Masonic Constituent Assembly in Naples, he made a famous appeal to all the brothers of the peninsular. "As we do not yet have a country because we do not have Rome, so we do not have a masonry because it is divided [...]. I am of the opinion that masonic unity will lead to the political unity of Italy. Let, in Freemasonry, that Roman fasces be made that notwithstanding great effort has not yet been be obtained in politics. I believe the freemasons to be an elect part of the Italian people. Let them put aside their profane passions and with the awareness of the high mission that the noble masonic institution has entrusted to them create the moral unity of the country. We still do not have moral unity; let Freemasonry achieve this and the other (unity of the nation) will immediately be achieved [...]. Abstention is inertness, it is death. I urge understanding, and in the unity of understanding we will have unity of action." The Naples Constituent Assembly of 1867 elected Garibaldi Honorary Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, obedience by now acquired by the members of the
democratic left-wing. The tie with the institution of Freemasonry therefore became very strong, and just as strong was the identification with the ideals and cultural values of which it was spokesperson. The relationship was not even ruined after the slight disagreements which occurred on the occasion of the Anticouncil of Naples in 1869 which Garibaldi joined with great enthusiasm and from which Freemasonry, through the will of Frapolli, had practically nothing to do with. In 1872 Garibaldi relaunched with absolute clarity what was to become the main political plan of the last years of his life and the ideal lagacy that he would leave to the post-Risorgimento Italian left wing: the idea, as pointed out by Conti: "to gather together into one communal fasces all the democratic currents, all the forces working towards spreading the values of secular culture, of freedom, of progress, of reform within existing institutional frameworks without abandoning the prospects of more radical change in the distant future." Freemasonry was to promote this plan and supply the ideological and organising cohesive which it needed to be crowned with success. "Why do not all the Italian associations inclined to good," he asked himself in 1873, "join together and place themselves, for the love of indispensable discipline, under the democratic banner of the Pact of Rome? [...]. Why does not the most ancient and the most revered of democratic societies, Freemasonry, set an example of conciliation under the Italian fasces? Why do not societies — working class, international, artisan etc. incorporate universal Brotherhood into their emblems like Freemasonry. Constitute the fasces,
therefore, growling republicans; together around the Pact of Rome".
In the latter part of his life his position and that of Freemasonry practically overlapped. It is enough to remember his zeal in the ranks of the pacifist movement and the battle, that everywhere saw fremasons in the front line promoting the formation of international arbitration panels promoting the prevention of war; or else his battle for universal suffrage, for women’s emancipation, for the diffusion of compulsary free education — all themes that constituted the common patrimony of the democratic Italian left-wing founded on the Risorgimento; and that Freemasonry included in their own programme and decided to support in many different ways. As far as women’s emancipation is concerned he gave an extremely concrete and open-minded interpretation, even for the masonic world: in the historical archives of the Grand Orient of Italy, documents dating back to 1867, are kept in which he conferred masonic degrees on women. A theme, then as now, which is an object of heated debate and contrasting views within Freemasonry. To confirm the strong resemblance of perspective that also existed on the side of positivistic rationalism and the anticlerical militancy, just consider the support Garibaldi gave to the movement to spread, in Italy, the idea and the practice of cremation: a movement that was directly promoted by the masonic lodges and that had many prominent figures of Freemasonry among its most important leaders. After the death of Garibaldi, the failure to carry out his last wishes, which were to have his body returned to ashes, was much talked about. When Garibaldi died, Freemasonry was, out of the political 12
and social Italian forces, the one, that more than any other, took it upon itself to keep his memory alive and nourish the myth. Especially in Crispi’s time there was an attempt to build a civil religion around the figure of Garibaldi centred on the secular myth of the Risorgimento. Freemasonry, under the guide of Adriano Lemmi at the time, played an extremely noteworthy role in contributing to the success of the operation. Garibaldi was by far the most popular name out of those given to both the lodges of the peninsula and to those Italian ones overseas (in Latin America, in North Africa etc.): other names, like Caprera, Luce di Caprera, Leone di Caprera were inspired by the same desire to pay homage to the Nice hero: Freemasonry, besides, promised innumerable ceremonies, commemorations, inaugurations of memorial tablets and monuments in the name of Garibaldi. The most important of these initiatives was the inauguration of the monument on the Gianicolo hill in Rome, which was held symbolically on the twentieth of September 1895, the twentyfifth anniversary of Porta Pia. It was the first time that memorable date was celebrated as a civil holiday of the Italian nation. A recurrence that only the villainous pact between Fascism and the Catholic Church, in 1929, would remove from the calendar of national holidays: the symbol of a country finally built in the name of democracy and secularism, to which both Garibaldi and Freemasonry had given a determining contribution. Translated from Giuseppe Garibaldi Massone. Incontro delle Logge "Giuseppe Garibaldi" e convegno di studi. Relazione del Gran Maestro Gustavo Raffi. Grande Oriente d'Italia di Palazzo Giustiniani, Via di San Pancrazio, 8 - 00152 Roma. Trieste - 26 Ottobre 2002. Sourced from freemasonry.bcy.ca
Fraternal Societies Of the World
The Benevolent Order of Santa Claus The world's first Santa Claus group was founded on December 18, 1937. The Benevolent Order of Santa Claus was organized in New York to promote a positive image of Santa through out department stores in the United States. The group grew from a handful of men, including Charles W. Howard, to more than forty members by 1939. In 1939 the Order held the World’s first Santa Claus Convention at the Hotel St. George, New York when 14 Santa’s attended and a code of conduct regarding the behaviour of Santa was drafted. It was reminded that Santa’s should not kiss their wives whilst in costume, as, “you might get a kick in the skins from a youngster if you do, and the kids would consider the kiss an imprudence even if you are Santa Claus!” It was also agreed that Santa could receive gifts from children and the convention formally approved that two types of whiskers could be used, the old-fashioned full flowing beard and the modern Van Dyke type. However it should not be too long as to get tangled in the gears of electric trains, and neither should it be too short as not to convince any young cynics. Santa delegates also permitted the use of padding for thin members of the
Benevolent Order as a method of putting on weight for those who were unable to use the eat and grow fat method. Over the years there have been many groups formed that embrace the Benevolent Order of Santa Claus, groups from all over the planet, whose only mission is to keep the spirit of Santa Claus and Christmas alive. Today there is conventions held all around the World and still remain true to the legacy of the Original Benevolent Order of Santa Claus created in 1937 by Charles Howard. There is also a school for Santaâ€™s called the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, which is a non-profit organization, established in 1937. It is the longest continuously running Santa Claus School in the world. Thomas Valent is the present Dean of the internationally recognized Santa School. The mission of the school is to uphold the traditions and preserve the history of Santa Claus; to provide our students with the necessary resources that allow them to further define and improve their individual presentations of Santa Claus. It sets the standards that all Santaâ€™s should strive to.
first played Santa as a boy in a classroom play. As an adult he found himself asked to help a friend out and play Santa in a store front window in downtown Albion. This experience helped Howard's urge to perfect the role of Santa Claus as much as he could. In his early career Howard caught the train next to his farm in Albion and commuted to Rochester, New York and then Buffalo, New York to be Santa in department stores. It was about this time he started to develop the idea for a "school" for Santas. Howard's first school was in the fall of 1937. Howard also appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1948 through 1965. Oddly, he never worked as Santa in the New York City flagship store. From 1948-1964, Howard flew from New York City to Kansas City, Missouri to be the Santa at the Macy's store there. In 1965, his last Christmas season, Howard worked at Nieman Marcus in Dallas, Texas.
Charles W. Howard was truly an American Original. The legacy and inspiration that he left behind in the "Santa World" may not be in a class by itself, but it does not take long to take role call.
In the late 1940's, Howard started to convert the three barns behind his house in to what became "Christmas Park." This small amusement park became known all over the Northeastern United States. The park included the classroom and dressing rooms for the Santa Claus School. Before using this facility, Howard taught his school in his living room of his house. (With some exceptions, Howard's three session school held in Santa Claus, Indiana in 1938 and the schools held at the St. George Hotel in NYC after WWII.)
Howard's professional career is that of legend. He was born in the house that he would live in his entire life. The small town boy never left Albion, New York, except to venture out to be Santa. Howard
Student from all over came to Albion. Stores like J.L. Hudson's in Detroit, Gimble's in Philadelphia, Foley's in Houston, and Dillard's in Little Rock all sent students and executives to the school.
Charles W. Howard.
Howard was even asked to go to Australia in 1965 to teach a special school there. The contributions of Howard's work are imbedded in the Santa Claus world today. One of Howard's most memorable quotes sums it up... "To say there is no Santa Claus is the most erroneous statement in the world. Santa Claus is a thought that is passed from generation to generation. After time this thought takes on a human form. Maybe if all children and adults understand the symbolism of this thought we can actually attain Peace on Earth and good will to men everywhere."
Lodge Prince of Wales Renfrew No. 426 An abridged History
Charles W. Howard (picture below) passed away on May 1, 1966 at the age of 69.
Was Charles W. Howard a Mason? Iâ€™ve been unable to find out one way or another, but with that quote above he summed up the sentiments of our craft perfectly. This article was taken from a variety of different sources, http://www.santaclausschool.com/ and the http://santaclausoath.webs.com/ sites, check them out.
If the saying that the nation which has no history is happy be applicable to Masonic Lodges, the first Lodge of Renfrew must be accounted happy indeed, for it has left little record behind it. It was founded on November 17, 1777. Its name, which is also that of its successor, was due, of course, to the fact that one of the many titles of the heir to the British throne is Baron Renfrew, and the princely title in its turn is explained by the circumstance that Renfrew was the home of the pro- genitors of the Stewart line of kings. "Castlehill" still reminds us of their place of residence. Who were its members, where it met, what it did, or indeed anything more about it, the present writer has been uhable to ascertain. Perhaps its health was never very robust it was the day of small things for Freemasonry - and the feeble spark was extinguished after it had flickered for sixty years. The Lodge lapsed on November 13, 1837, the year of the accession of Queen Victoria. In 1905 rummagers among the property of the present Lodge came upon
the old Charter in a cupboard, and from that time it has occupied a principal place of honour on the walls of the Lodge Room. Almost a generation passed before a new Charter was obtained on November 2, 1863. Of the sixteen Founder Members of the resuscitated Lodge nine were Master Masons of Lodge Paisley St. Mirrins, and one belonged to Largs St. John. At the head of the list stands the name of the Duke of Athole, then Grand Master Mason of Scotland. The name of Archibald Douglas Campbell, afterwards the first Lord Blythswood, is the sixty-second on the Roll. He, a youth of twenty-two years, was initiated on December 13, 1864. The first Master was a shipbuilder in the town, and Provost of Renfrew during his term of office. To begin with, the brethren met in the Wheatsheaf Inn Hall in Fulbar Street, but, about the time of the last-mentioned date, negotiations were opened with the Town Council of Renfrew for the tenancy of the Athenaeum, as our old Lodge Room was magnificently called. The rent agreed upon was ÂŁ23 a year. In these days fees are levied before anything is done, but they seem to have been more confiding in the past, and the fees exacted were such as to make the mouths of present-day members water. They were: for the First Degree ÂŁl & ls. ; for the Second Degree, 12s. ; for the Third Degree, 7s. The further they advanced and the rougher the road, the less they had to pay ! There are echoes of, those old days. The ritual work, we imagine, was not up to the modern standard, and the business was conducted in a more go-as-you-please manner. The Master was often unaccompanied on the dais; there was none
of that goodly array of past but still interested Masters which is nowadays to be seen. The attendance of Wardens and other Office-bearers, as the minute books reveal, was not so regular as we at present expect it to be. This may have been due in part, but only in part, to the number of seafaring men connected with the Lodge. Here today, they were gone tomorrow. At one period a number of Danish sea-captains were admitted, visiting the Clyde in connection with boats built at Renfrew, and here we may find one of the reasons why all the degrees were sometimes conferred in a single night. But the whole procedure was less formal and more casual. As one of our veteran members has expressed it, it takes us almost as long to open the Lodge as it took them to open and close it and work a degree. The time came when the Lodge felt it to be expedient to set her house in order. A committee was appointed about the beginning of the present century (1900), to revise the opening and closing ritual. With the sanction of Provincial Grand Lodge and other expert advice it drew up a form which, speaking broadly, has been in use ever since. But whatever the case with ritual, the claims of harmony would not be forgotten, and one may hazard the statement that it was conducted in the old days on more hilarious lines. The Festival of St. John was then, as now, a great occasion, and the brethren would meet in the Ferry Inn, the Bunch of Grapes in Clyde Street, or Lizzie Adam's in Canal Street. For long a torchlight procession was the order of the night, and there are still living those who have the happy recollection of earning a sixpence as boys for the delightful but grimy task of carrying a torch to the place of festival. The numbers attending seem 16
very small to us. On one occasion the Minutes tell how five good men and true met to celebrate St. John's "in the house of Mr. Booth." The five probably made more speeches than the hundreds make to-day! And then there was the procession on the occasion of the Church service. The first Chaplain of the Lodge was minister of Renfrew Parish, and copies are still treasured of a notable sermon of his, afterwards published with the title "Brothers of Christ," This was the occasion of an incident very unusual at such services. A baby was baptized. In honour of the event the brethren subscribed a penny apiece to provide the little maiden with a memento in the shape of a golden slipper. The processions to Inchinnan continued for many years. Year after year Jupiter Pluvius proved to be on his very best behaviour, and a tradition grew up in the Lodge of a sunny Church parade. But life, alas! consists of ups and downs, and good fortune does not last for ever. The Lodge has had since her experience of wet Sundays, like any ordinary Lodge. The Craft in Scotland, during the last decade or two, has made remarkable progress in more than one direction. In ritual there are more dignity, efficiency, and variety. An excellent feature of our Lodge in recent days is the number of young Office-bearers participating in the working of degrees. There are quaint tales of the solitary worker in the old days suddenly and completely forgetting his cue, struggling to fetch the words out of the dark abyss of memory, turning round to the members with a look of reproachful hopelessness, and exclaiming "Can nane 0' yez mind it ?" That is of the past. The proficiency of these young brethren is often very admirable. In popular favour 17
also the Craft has greatly progressed, and in this advance our Lodge has fully shared. The desire for admission, indeed, was so pronounced in the boom years during the War as almost to be an embarrassment. Evidence of this increasing popularity was seen on November 2, 1923, when the Diamond Jubilee of the Lodge came round. The event was celebrated in Renfrew Town Hall. Distinguished Masons were present from all parts of the country, at the head of them the Grand Master Mason himself, Bro. The Earl of Elgin, who graciously accepted honorary membership. This is an honour, it may be said in passing, which the Lodge has bestowed with a very laudable economy. The attendance that evening was four hundred and eighty-five, the largest in the history of No.426. A change indeed from the time when the five goodmen and true sat down to keep St. John's "in the house of Mr.Booth." This growing prosperity, welcome as it was, brought with it its own problems. The main one was the increasing inadequacy of the Lodge Room to meet the activities of the Lodge. The Social Club, for instance, had been compelled to seek elsewhere accommodation for its meetings. There was a feeling that "the auld house" had served its day, and that new and larger premises must be found. The first proposal was a Grand Bazaar, to be held in Paisley in 1914 and most of the arrangements for it were actually completed. Then, like a bolt from the blue, came War - the War which broke far more precious things than plans. The Bazaar was never held. In its place there was a wonderful Fete at Blythswood on Saturday, June 28, 1919, the very day on which Peace was signed. It was, as it deserved to be, a great success. How vividly one recalls the long and laborious preliminary organisation, the planning of
ways and means of extracting money from the pockets of the long-suffering British public, the battalion of happy workers toiling as though their livelihood depended on the issue, the beating of metaphorical big drums, at length the dawning of the great day itself, a day of brilliant sunshine, the animated scene amid the beautiful surroundings, the large and distinguished gathering, the famous band of the Coldstream Guards last but not least, the counting up of the spoils when all was over! They made the heart of the weary worker - and many were very forfochen to rejoice. The sum realised was over £3,000. That was good, it was more than good, but for the kind of building aimed at it was not enough. For a time the project hung fire. Meanwhile, the interest on the funds was steadily mounting up. Finally, at a joint meeting of the Lodge and Building Committees, held early in 1930, it was decided to advise the Lodge to proceed with the work of building. No.426 had always had good friends, and none better than Bro. A. A. Hagart Speirs, our present Grand Master Mason. As far back as 1872, when he was only a small boy, with the throne of Scottish Masonry far away from his dreams, he had presented the Working Tools used in the Lodge and at the laying of Foundation and Memorial Stones - tools greatly enhanced both in interest and value by the fact that they had been made from the wood of the Wallace oak at Elderslie. In 1911, when a new Temple was first mooted, he had offered a valuable site on the east side of the Mill Vennel at the nominal feu duty of a shilling a year. Succeeding events, however, in particular, the construction of the new boulevard from Glasgow,
appeared to render the site less suitable than it had been. At length, and at a cost of £600, the Lodge purchased three houses, with considerable gardens attached to them, in that quaint old thoroughfare, Queen Street, the "Coo Loan" of days gone by. For many years the largest of the houses had been the office-home of the Registrar of Renfrew Parish. With great kindness Bro. Speirs substituted for his site - offer a gift of £300. So splendid a contribution gave the brethren good heart to proceed. The three houses were taken down, and room was made for the new Temple, towards the end of 1930. And here, in ampler surroundings, no longer "cabined, cribbed, confined," the Lodge will continue the good work she has done. For no one will deny that there has been much good work accomplished, work that has grown better with the years. The spirit of brotherhood has been strengthened within her walls. A vision of manly living, of character regulated by the Level, Square, and Plumb, has been set before the members, and it has been seen by those who have had eyes to see it. Nor has it been forgotten that "the greatest of these is Charity." It is impossible, in this brief narrative, to describe the activities of the Lodge in full detail ; let a few illustrations suffice to establish the claim just made. When the War broke out and, at the call of King and Country, many of the brethren went abroad on active service, the Lodge displayed a fine solicitude for their welfare. Gifts in kind were regularly sent to them, their wives and bairns were remembered at Christmas, and since the War their widows and orphans have not been forgotten. In a true Masonic spirit the Diamond Jubilee of the Lodge was marked by setting aside a sum of £300 for the benefit of brethren suffering from 18
unemployment. The help which it has been the privilege of the Lodge to render to the Renfrew Nursing Association, is it not known through all the countryside? To this good cause, in the last twelve years, no fewer than ÂŁ1,200 have been contributed. How has it been done, this rather wonderful thing? The chief instrument has been the head of the Entertainments Committee, who organised and carried out a series of annual concerts of a quality worthy of the Albert Hall in London. By what lure Bro. Brown has drawn to the Royal and Ancient Burgh the many distinguished artistes who have appeared from time to time - that is his secret. But we are betraying no secret when we say that hardly anything has commended the Lodge in the eyes of the outside world more than this admirable bit of work. These are illustrations of what the Lodge has done. In short, she has a record of which any Lodge might be proud. With that record behind her she will enter her new domain. She will do so with high expectations of the future, yet not without regret for the old haunt she is leaving. Around the plain and unpretentious place, which the citizens had christened with such a classic name, a legion of associations gathers. We think of the many who have passed there to Masonic light. From the date of our Charter to the present day the names of 2,407 members, if affiliates are included, have been inscribed in the books of the Lodge. We think of the pleasant evenings, the happy fellowship, the camaraderie, the old familiar faces. Some have passed to the Grand Lodge above may Light supernal shine upon them ! some are with us still. Finally, and connected with the old place in the High Street, the Lodge has her proud 19
memories. We have supplied the Province of Renfrewshire East with three Grand Masters - the first Lord Blythswood who ruled for over a quarter of a century; Bro. George Glen, ten times elected to the chief seat on our dais; and one recently lost who was greatly beloved of all, Archibald, the fourth Lord Blythswood, O dulcis memoria! From our original or affiliated or honorary members we have given three occupants to the throne of Scottish Masonry - the two Lords of Blythswood aforesaid and Bro. Hagart Speirs. Nay, at certain red-letter hours, we have basked in the sunshine of the Royal favour. The Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII, signed the Sederunt Book in 1876, and an autographed portrait of His Royal Highness hangs upon our walls. The page of the Book was duly detached and framed, and all who will may read the signature, "Albert Edward,M.W.G.M.M.O.E." Of his grandson, the present Prince, there are three mementos - a photograph of the Prince signed and presented by him to the Lodge, his signature in the Sederunt Book, and a facsimile of the proposal form for his initiation into the Household Brigade Lodge, with the signature of the late Lord Blythswood as his seconder. Of these tokens of Royal interest the Lodge is very proud. We shall carry these memories with us to our new abode, we shall do what we can to be worthy of them, and we shall add to them, please God, as the years go by, others not less honourable. This History of Lodge 426 was sourced from the Lodgeâ€™s Website This can be viewed at http://www.lodgeprinceofwales.co.uk/ Our thanks go to the Lodge No .426 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owners. This History was presented to the Lodge in 1931.
Rays of Masonry “Mason of Many Years” He is not really old. In fact he is eternally young and very wise. If you count age in terms of years then you can say, he is old, and if you count years in service to Masonry, then again you can say he is old, but still you feel that this very service to Masonry has kept him young. He is present at the meetings and his talks are brief, always filled with good thoughts. He loves Masonry, and for him it means love for all men. In every discussion he shows the wisdom of experience, of years filled with the knowledge and practice of the tenets and principles of Masonry. He is interested in the degree work, the financial structure of the lodge. He is conservative in that he wants Masonry to ever be a thing of beauty and dignity, and he is progressive where progress doe not destroy such beauty and dignity. He encourages the young Mason and has a kind word to say to the candidates. He praises the unselfish efforts of the instructor and the members of the degree team. Whenever the lodge is about to do something that is not Masonry he calmly says: "Brothers, let's not be too hasty." He has a way of knowing about brothers who are sick and in distress, and he always reports these matters to the lodge. When you pass him on the streets he smiles and asks: "Are you coming up tonight?" And, even if you had not intended to be present, perhaps his words make you change your mind. The Mason of Many Years will think about the things that we are prone to forget, the little thoughtful acts that are a vital part of Masonry, which we are too busy to look after. Dewey Wollstein 1953
Song of the Newly-made Brother I'm only a newly-made brother, And I’ll tell you how I was born, T’was the hour Masons know one another, When the sun rises high in the morn, The sun rises high in the morn! The night it was lonely and dark When knocked at that queer little door, On a journey they made me embark, To the work on the old tesseled floor, The work on the old tesseled floor! I climbed by the steps to the Light, Oh, happy and wonderful morn Then I passed to a Chamber so bright, And saw by the river the corn, Saw by the river the corn! I journeyed again East and West, To a point of mysterious strength; For it bears on it’s centre the rest. With every part equal in length They raised m in Beauty and Strength! I'm only a newly-made Brother. Oh! the way they taught me those tools: To cherish and love one another, And suffer no cowans or fools, Suffer no cowans or fools! Then, here's to the newly-made Brother, And that handy old Cabletow, With a bumper for jolly old Mother, Who taught to walk, heel and toe, The secrets no babblers know! This poem was extracted from the book, “The Tyler of 651 – Tales and songs of the Tracing Board – A Book of Masonic Verse by Bro. John Cargill Rae. – Pub., 1935.
"If you have been a member of the Craft for six months and haven't received any Masonic wages, you must be among those the fathers of Masonry had in mind when they wrote 'pay the Craft their wages if any be due.' Evidently no wages are due you, or you would have received them. "I have been a Mason so long I forget what it's like not to be one. I receive my Masonic wages regularly, and always have. Most members of the Craft get their wages regularly. It's a shame you don't work so that some are due you.
"Masonic wages are paid in many coins. Last week my son-in-law lost his job through a misunderstanding. He is not a member of the Craft. He asked me what I could do. I told his one-time boss the story as my son-in-law told it to me. The boss asked me, 'Is this on the square?' I told him it was.
We ought to revise the ritual. It has so much in it that doesn't apply nowadays."
"’I know you for a true four-square man,' he answered. 'Tell the boy to come back.'
"I have heard that said about the Bible, too," the Old Tiler interrupted the New Brother. ''What particular part of the ritual do you want changed?"
"Last year Brother Michby, President of the First National, was in the hospital. I went to see him two or three times. Michby never had much of an idea about Masonry before he was so ill; he seldom came to lodge. Now he never misses a meeting. And he never fails to chat with me going and coming, or when I meet him on the street. He is one of my wages; a small act of brotherhood brought Michby to appreciate that the lodge wasn’t just words. I don't know how much good he has done since he has been really interested, but I do know that he lays it all to my visiting him.
"Well, for instance, 'and pay the Craft their wages, if any be due.' That doesn't mean a thing today. We pay ‘wages’ or dues to the lodge – the lodge doesn't pay us wages of any kind." "Haven't you been present at a Craft payday yet? You sure are out of luck," answered the Old Tiler. "Why, what do you mean? Have I missed something?" 21
"Over my bed is an electric light. I can read before I go to sleep and reach up and turn it off when I am tired. Both it and the
books I read came from Brother Tome, librarian at the big temple. Tome heard me trying to explain the meaning of a symbol and asked me if I had ever read Mackey. It sounds foolish now, but then I hadn’t and I said I had never heard of him. The light and the books were the answer. Now I am never without a book of some kind, and it's astonishing, what even in Old Tiler can read if he reads long enough. Masonic wages, my boy, are worth much fine gold. ''Two years ago my little granddaughter, was all smashed up in a street car accident. After I got over the first shock I began to wonder what could be done. It looked like a long illness and a hospital, and nurses and doctors and expenses beyond her father's and my means. "But I didn't trust the lodge enough. We have seven doctors on the rolls. One of the seven was at the hospital every day. Jim, the florist, kept her room a bower. Maxie, the preacher, brought a different young girl to see her every other day, until she had a wonderful circle of friends. Boys I only knew by sight stopped me on the street or came to the house or hospital, and when she was strong again she always said it was as much because of the loving care everybody took of her grandfather's girl as because of the surgeons. Masonic wages beyond my deserts, boy, but Masonic wages nevertheless. "I never learned much in the way of a trade or business. I'll never be much of a financial success. But is there a man in this town who can call more big business men by their front names than I? I once thought it was just because I was Tiler. Now I know it isn't. Michby and Lawyer Repsold and Doctor Cutter, and Harrison of the big department store have asked me to their
homes to chat Masonry. I've gone as gladly as to the bricklayer arid the crossing policeman and the elevator man. When men like these tell me I've meant something in their lives that money can't buy, I don't care so much that I never earned much cash. "Don't revise the ritual. Masonic wages are those which are paid in love and brotherhood and mutual help and information and inspiration and charity and assistance and being pals. They are worth much more than money. Take the Masonic wages out of a lodge and you would need to revise the whole fraternity. The payment Masons make to Masons is the most valuable which a man can receive. And you want to revise it out of existence!" "No, I don't," answered the New Brother. "Now I'll tell you something. Brother Maxie, the preacher, told me to say that to you. He started by telling me how grateful some brother was because I had helped him out of a hole. Maxie asked me if I'd received any Masonic wages yet. When I said I hadn't, he said you were paying off and that the way to get mine was to talk to you about the ritual and – I’ve been paid." ''You are a pair of rascals!" growled the Old Tiler, but his eyes looked as if he smiled inside. This is the Forty-seventh 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.
Peace on Earth, and goodwill towards all men “God Bless Us, Every One!” 22
Freemasonry and the Wise Men Over the past sixty plus years, I have heard the Christmas story many, many times, just as you have, I’m sure. Within its beautiful narrative there is of course one key player, and numerous supporting roles. But, there are also three performers that play what I consider a rather significant, although somewhat brief, role. I decided it was time to learn more about the “Wise Men”; and thus began my research. This interesting subject quickly took on all of the uniqueness of many of my studies and searches into Masonic history. After several weeks of somewhat fruitless searching, my quest eventually lead to the discovery of an excellent article presented by C. Fred Kleinknecht, Past Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction….I’ve adapted a segment from his presentation into this ‘nugget’. We begin with a bit of Biblical history: The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which by the way still stands today, was erected in the year 329 AD by Queen Helena, and is believed to be the place where Jesus was born. There’s a 14 point Nativity Star located inside that church which, according to tradition, marks the actual birth place of Jesus. About 300 years later, in 614 AD, the Church was right in the path of destruction by the Persian rampage, but it was spared. Why? Because the Persian attackers discovered a mosaic pattern depicting the 23
Magi, dressed in Persian garb, in the tiles of the floor of that Christian Church. Was the discovery just coincidence, or perhaps Divine Providence. Brethren, those Wise Men of the Christmas story have had an effect on all people - of all faiths –in all times, so let’s take a closer look. Almost everything we ‘think’ we know about them --their names, the fact that they were kings, that they rode camels, that they were accompanied by attendants, even the notation that there were three of them—all of this detail comes not from Biblical sources but from later written and verbal traditions. The ancient Greeks and Hebrews knew them as Astrologers, Interpreters of Dreams, and givers of Omens. By all accounts we know that they were indeed wise, that they had personally observed some unusual astronomical event in the heavens, and had interpreted this as the heralding of a major event in the history of the Jewish faith. We know that they consulted with Herod, that they ultimately visited the Holy Family and presented gifts - of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Perhaps that’s how the generic term ‘Magi’, came to mean ‘the three wise men’. They all brought their own gift…three gifts…and thus, three wise men. Perhaps! We also know that they were warned not to return to Herod and share the news of this historic event. These Magi became three very powerful figures and played a major part in the Christmas story and a part that relates to people of all faiths. If, as many scholars believe, they literally were Magi (Magi is the plural of Magus) then almost certainly they were from Persia, for a Magus was a semi-official figure in Persian cultural and
was held in very high esteem in their Court life. I look at these Magi as walking/talking University professors of the day, whose sole task was to learn, to know, and to teach. They were concerned with knowledge of the spiritual as well as the physical world. If they observed a sign in the heavens, it would most certainly have been their responsibility to discover what it meant, even if it required traveling to a great distance to a foreign country. They represent a blending of faith and reason -- of the ability to believe, and the ability to question. And that state of mind is essential to a healthy faith. They also represent a broadening of the message of this special season we celebrate, for they were of a faith very different from that of the Jews, or what would become Christianity, or even from Islam. The Magi would have been followers of Zoroaster, the great religious reformer who had lived 500 years before Christ. He is said to have been a rather unusual child who was gifted with having visions at an early age. Born in Azerbaijan in Northern Persia, he taught a belief in one God, the existence of the devil, and the doctrine of immortality. It is alleged that these priests (the magi) predicted the birth of the Christ Child. As ruling monarchs, the priests were referred to as “Kings of the Orient” and “the wise men.” Zoroaster believed in the oneness of God and preached that God was the creator of heaven and earth, the initiator of justice, kindness, and truthfulness, and one who guided his creatures to those same principles. Their philosophy was based on good thought, or reflection, good words, and good deeds. Everybody had the liberty to choose the right way, out of his or her good reflection. Since human wisdom is related to good reflection, the followers
would thus pave the way for the continuation of science and education. In this manner, Zoroastrianism became the “forerunner” of knowledge and enlightenment. My research indicates that there is a trace of this ancient religion still in existence today. It’s found in India, and is known as Parsi. And so, here they are, the Magi from Persia, in the middle of what we know as the ‘Christmas Story’, playing a very important role, being guided by Divine Providence. To me that suggests the same universality we find in Masonry -- where good men of every faith can seek to serve God and minister unto His plan. The Magi’s entire trip is a quest. They are following the light, that strange phenomenon in the heavens to the East, seeking understanding and enlightenment. And they are willing to make sacrifices to follow that light, to understand more. It was a need in them as great as the need for food or drink - to grow and develop spiritually and intellectually. Aren’t we as Masons endeavouring to do the same? Receiving more light in order to better understand...to make us better men? That’s another part of the Masonic message of this season. We need to become more, to know and understand more. The Mason who stops seeking, learning, and growing is being untrue to his profession. In the process of learning, the Magi gave. They gave not only of their time and attention, but also their material gifts. There are some who condemn the holiday season’s gift-giving, claiming it commercializes what should be a spiritual moment. It can go too far, of course; any 24
good thing can. But it seems appropriate to me that each year we should think of ways we can make those we love happy, with some gift carefully chosen, and given with joy. In the Christian tradition, the giving of gifts at Christmas began with the gifts of the Magi.
quest, and may the New Year ahead bring you more happiness and fulfilment than ever.
This combination of learning and giving is a powerful symbol of a successful life. And, again, it resonates in Masonry. It is stated well, in the Entered Apprentice Degree that, at your leisure so that you may improve in Masonic knowledge, you are to talk with well-informed brethren, who are always as ready to give, as you will be ready to receive important instruction for your Masonic journey. Thus, Magi and Freemasons, and of course, all wise people have the same motivation: to grow and develop spiritually and intellectually.
Douglas Messimer, PM, LEO Tuckahoe Lodge No. 347 8-09 Sources: Wor.Walter J. Harmon - The Invisible Lodge C. Fred Kleinknecht -The Wise Men
On a personal note, but still relating to the subject of Masonic education, I am very pleased with the importance and priority that our Grand Master is giving to Masonic education. Over the past 33 years I have read many thousands of pages of Masonic history and find it predictable, how, the hidden meanings and philosophies of our rituals would always become apparent. An excellent example is with tonight’s subject, the Magi of the familiar Christmas story. As research revealed the motivation behind their quest, so did the intricacies of Divine Providence become more apparent. And finally brethren, as we approach the end of another Masonic year and will soon enter into a wonderful season which has special meaning to Masons of all faiths, may the example, and the gifts of those Wise Men, shine in your life. May you seek and find the object of your personal 25
Yes, I know…it’s not Christmas yet, but it gives us something to think about, and something to really look forward to.
Freemasonry & Judaism are compatible. Freemasonry is the oldest and best known of the world’s fraternal organisations. It claims to be as old as the Bible. In its present form it arose in the Middle Ages when stonemasons worked together, often for years at a time, on building great castles and cathedrals, developing a strong bond of comradeship and honouring high standards of craftsmanship. In due course “speculative” members were accepted into the movement – i.e. men who were not necessarily “operative” or active builders but espoused the Masonic ideals and used masons’ tools, especially the square and compasses, to symbolise the right way of regulating human conduct and building an ethical world. Especially in English-speaking countries, the movement has always had a high proportion of eminent Jewish members, including leading rabbis. Among present day Australian rabbis, high masonic office is held by Rabbi Shalom Coleman of Perth,
Rabbi Chaim Gutnick of Melbourne and myself in Sydney. Other rabbis and ministers are past masters of their lodges.
reference to Jesus or the New Testament, at least in the basic three degrees through which most masons progress.
All this clearly indicates that Jews have not found freemasonry to be incompatible with their Judaism. Why Jewish masons feel at home with the movement includes the requirement that a mason must believe in God, and the fact that the Bible occupies a place of honour in the lodge room.
Masonry responds by insisting that it is religious without being a religion and that it fosters a generally religious attitude to life, but has no theological doctrines, mandatory interpretations or modes of worship.
Masonic ritual is based largely on biblical words, events and personalities, and the overall emphasis is on ethics, friendship and good works. Admittedly, some of the Hebrew words that figure in Masonic ceremonies are mispronounced and the references to biblical events occasionally get their history wrong, but these are regarded by Jewish freemasons as incidental issues. No major challenge to Jewish faith is seen in being a mason or in promoting its ideals. It has often been otherwise among Christians. For a long period, masonry and the Roman Catholic Church lived in a state of conflict or, at best, of uneasy truce, though the Catholic position is now increasingly positive. In recent years, however, the Church of England has taken up a critical attitude to the movement, both in Britain and elsewhere in the Anglican communion. In 1988, the synod of the Anglican Church in Australia declared freemasonry to be “basically incompatible with Christianity”. The Christian problem with freemasonry is both general (there is an incorrect perception that the movement is a rival religion), and particular, in that it makes no
It defines itself as “a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. It is not a church or synagogue; it does not compete with church or synagogue; and it urges masons to be fully committed and practising members of whatever faith group they adhere to. The omission of Jesus and the New Testament is implicit in the fact that freemasonry is open to men of all faiths. Jews, Muslims, Hindus and others are as welcome as Christians. But each comes to masonry with his own religious beliefs and commitments, and when he hears the word “God” in lodge ritual, he attaches to it his own theological interpretation. A Jew will understand the divine name in terms of the pure, indivisible monotheism of Judaism: to him, “God” is “HaShem”. A Christian is free to import into the word “God” his own Christian concepts and understanding. The history of freemasonry suggests a major and tragic paradox. In parts of continental Europe, especially 19th-century Germany, there were major objections to Jewish membership of the movement. Antisemitism was then endemic in sections of German freemasonry. Yet the antisemite 26
was never rational or consistent, and before long freemasonry was regularly attacked as “too Jewish”, and therefore dangerous to society. Accusations of Jewish-masonic plots to undermine and control the world played a role in the Dreyfus affair. They surfaced in that notorious forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. And the German right wing and the Nazis added similar accusations to their antisemitic armoury. To Jews, the right to join freemasonry became a touchstone of religious liberty, an agent of emancipation and social integration. Hence, in the free atmosphere of British countries, Jews were well represented in lodge memberships, and Jewish community leaders were prominent masons. Whether Masonic involvement is growing or declining among Jews is difficult to tell; statistics do not exist, though it could be a useful subject for research. But whatever the numbers, Jewish masons are proud of their contribution to freemasonry, and proud of the friendships and ethical inspiration they have gained from the movement. By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
Did You Know? Why did the Masons hold special celebrations on December 27? Answer; 27 is the feast of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist. Saint John is one of the two patron saints of the Masonic order (along with Saint John the Baptist).
Throughout Europe and the English colonies members of the Masonic order celebrated Saint Johns Day with special activities in towns and villages. In Virginia, it was customary for the Masons (dressed in full Masonic regalia) to hold a procession from their lodge building to the local parish church on Saint Johns Day. The Anglican liturgy for Saint Johns Day was observed at church but the Masons usually heard a special sermon that invoked the blessings of love, unity, fraternity, wisdom, and brotherhood. These are the qualities associated with Saint John. The sermons were often delivered by Anglican clergymen who were themselves members of the Masonic order. After the service the Masons continued to celebrate Saint Johns Day by attending a special ball and supper with their wives and friends. A fellow brother was assigned to organize the evening celebrations that were often held in local taverns or in private homes. In 1778, the preparation for Saint Johns Day came early as indicated by the minutes of the Williamsburg Lodge: (note the reverence for the Sabbath--Sunday after Christmas Day). December 1, 1778 On a motion made respecting the ensuing Saint John the Evangelist it was after mature consideration resolved that as that Feast falls on Sunday the usual Ceremonies be postponed until Monday. Resolved: That this Lodge meet on Monday after the ensuing Saint John and go in procession to Church and that the Reverend Brother Madison (James) be requested to preach a sermon on the occasion. Resolved: That this Lodge meet on Monday Afternoon to spend the Evening together and that a Ball be given to the Ladies and that brother Charlton (Edward) be desired to provide accordingly.
Visiting Fredericksburg on December 27, 1774, John Harrower, a Scottish tutor, noted in his journal: "St Johns Day. This Day a Grand Lodge in Town, And the whole went to Church in their Clothing & heard Sermon.
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY XICROPHAGISTS On the 24th of April, 1738, Pope Clement XII issued his Bull forbidding the practice of Freemasonry by the members of the Roman Catholic Church. Many of the Freemasons of Italy continued, however, to meet; but, for the purpose of escaping the temporal penalties of the Bull, which extended, in some cases, to the infliction of capital punishment, they changed their esoteric name, and called themselves Xerophagists. This is a compound of two Greek words signifying Eaters of dry food, and by it they alluded to an engagement into which they entered to abstain from the drinking of wine. They were, in fact, about the first temperance society on record.
YEAR of LIGHT Anno Lewis, in the Year of Light, is the epoch used in Masonic documents of the Symbolic Degrees. This era is calculated from the creation of the world, and is obtained by adding four thousand to the current year, on the supposition that Christ was born four thousand years after the creation of the world. But the chronology of Archbishop Ussher, which has been adopted as the Bible chronology in the authorized version, places the birth of Christ in the year 4004 after the creation.
ZEAL Ever since the Revival in 1717, for it is found in the earliest lectures, it was taught that Apprentices served their Masters with "Freedom, Fervency, and Zeal" - and the symbols of the first two of these virtues were Chalk and Charcoal. In the oldest instructions, earthen pan, which see, was designated as the symbol of Zeal; but this was changed to Clay probably by Preston , and so it still remains. The instruction to the Operative Mason to serve his Master with freedom, fervency, and zeal—to work for his interests willingly, ardently, and zealously is easily understood. Its application to Speculative Freemasonry, for the Master of the Work we substitute the Grand Architect of the Universe, and then our zeal, like our freedom and our fervency, is directed to a higher end. The zeal of a Speculative Freemason is shown by advancing the morality, and by promoting the happiness of his fellow-creatures.
This has brought an end to the Masonic Dictionary. From next month, we will have a new back page feature entitled the “The Emblems of Freemasonry.”
Merry Christmas From the Editor. 28
Published on Nov 28, 2015