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Volume 4 Issue 1

January 2008. The Poet Laureate….

The Inauguration of Robert Burns as Poet Laureate of Canongate Kilwinning by Brother Stewart Watson is probably one of the most famous Masonic paintings in the World. After the painting was finished Brother James Watson a secretary of the Lodge produced a book called “A Winter with Robert Burns” which was compiled as a guide to the characters represented in the painting. The Webmaster of Lodge 76 has put on the site a copy of the painting with short biographies of each of those shown in the painting, using this book and other sources. This is a must for all those who have a print[link] I’m always on the lookout for Masonic lectures/articles/poems; if any Brother knows one that I can use, get in touch.


Batman at Rosslyn?….

As promised in the last issue, Batman was a freemason and that he visited Rosslyn Chapel? Well maybe a wee bit tongue in Cheek, but here’s the caped crusader himself, battling on the roof of Rosslyn Chapel in an episode of the Comic called, Scottish Connection. If you know any other Brethren who might like to be included in the mailing list, get in touch via the mailing list page on the website.

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Masonic Crosses…. The Jerusalem Cross A Greek cross between four crosslets. It was adopted by Baldwyn as the arms of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and has since been deemed a symbol of the Holy Land. It is also the jewel of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. Symbolically, the four small crosses typify the four wounds of the Savior in the hands and feet, and the large central cross shows forth his death for that world to which the four extremities point.

The Maltese Cross A cross of eight points, worn by the Knights of Malta. It is heraldically described as "a cross pattée, but the extremity of each pattée notched at a deep angle." The eight points are said to refer symbolically to the eight beatitudes (see Matthew v, 3 to II ).

The Cross of Constantine The monogram of the name of Christ, formed by the first two letters of that word, XPISTOZ, in Greek. It is the celebrated sign which the legend says appeared in the sky at noonday to the Emperor Constantine, and which was afterward placed by him upon his standard. Hence it is sometimes called the Cross of Constantine. It was adopted as a symbol


by the early Christians, and frequent instances of it are to be found in the catacombs. According to Eusebius, the Labarum was surrounded by the motto EN TOTTQ NIGH, or Conquer oy this, which has been Latinized to In hoc signo Minces, the motto assumed by the Masonic Knights Templar. In his Life of Constantine , Eusebius describes the arrangement of the Labarum as on a long gilded spear having a crosspiece supporting a square purple cloth jewelled richly, at end of spear a gold wreath enclosing monogram. The derivation of the word Labansm is uncertain. The Greek word Labaron means a flag.

The Cross of Salem Called also the Pontifical Cross, because it is borne before the Pope. It is a cross, the upright piece being crossed by three lines, the upper and lower shorter than the middle one. It is the insignia of the Grand Master and Past Grand Masters of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States. The same cross placed on a slant is the insignia of the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

The Passion Cross The cross on which Jesus suffered crucifixion. It is the most common form of the cross. When rayonnant, or having rays issuing from the point of intersection of the limbs, it is the insignia of the Commander of a

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Commandery of Knights Templar, according to the American system.

The Patriarchal Cross A cross, the upright piece being twice crossed, the upper arms shorter than the lower. It is so called because it is borne before a Patriarch in the Roman Church. It is the insignia of the officers of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States. The same cross placed on a slant is the insignia of all possessors of the Thirty-third Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

The Saint Andrews Cross A saltire or cross whose decussation or crossing of the arms is in the form of the letter X. Said to be the form of cross on which Saint Andrew suffered martyrdom. As he is the patron saint of Scotland, the Saint Andrew's cross forms a part of the jewel of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, which is "a star set with brilliants having in the center a field azure (blue), charged with Saint Andrew on the cross, gold this is pendant from the upper band of the collar, while from the lower band is pendant the jewel proper, the Compasses extended, with the Square and Segment of a Circle of 90, the points of the Compasses resting on the Segment, and in the center, the Sun between the Square and Compasses.'' The Saint Andrew's cross is also the jewel of the Twenty-ninth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or Grand Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew.


The Templar Cross André Favin, a French heraldic writer, says that the original badge of the Knights Templar was a Patriarchal Cross, and Clarke, in his History of Knighthood, makes the same statement, but this is an error. At first, the Templars wore a white mantle without any cross. But in 1146 Pope Eugenius III prescribed for them a red cross on their breasts, as a symbol of the martyrdom to which they were constantly exposed. The cross of the Hospitalers was white on a black mantle, and that of the Templars was different in color but of the same form, namely, a cross pattée, pattée meaning the arms broad and spreading at the outer ends. In this it differed from the true Maltese Cross, worn by the Knights of Malta, which was a cross pattée, the limbs deeply notched so as to make a cross of eight points. Sir Walter Scott, with his not unusual heraldic inaccuracy, and Godfrey Higgins, who is not often inaccurate, but only fanciful at times, both describe the Templar cross as having eight points, thus confounding it with the Cross of Malta. In the statutes of the Order of the Temple, the cross prescribed is that depicted in the Charter of Transmission, and is a cross pattée.

The Tau Cross The cross on which Saint Anthony is said to have suffered martyrdom. It is in the form of the letter T

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Masonic Encyclopaedia‌. Candidate Among Romans it was the custom for a man seeking office to wear a shining white robe. Since the name for such a color was candidus (whence our "candid"), the office seeker came to be called candidate. In our ceremonies the custom is reversed: the candidate is clothed after his election instead of before.

Column The Greeks called the top or summit of anything kolophon; in Latin culmen had a similar meaning; from these origins come our culmination; excelsior, colophon, colonnade, colonel, and climax appears to he closely related to it. A "column" is a cylindrical, or slightly tapering, support; a "pillar" is a rectangular support. Either may stand free or be incorporated into the building fabric. The officers of a Lodge are figured as columns because they are the supports of the official fabric of the Lodge. The Great Pillars are symbolical representations of the two pillars, which stood on the Porch of King Solomon's Temple.

Compasses This is the plural of compass, from the Latin corn, meaning "together," and passus, meaning a pass, step, way, or route. Contrivance, cunning, encompass, pass, pace derive from the same roots. A circle was once described as a compass because all the steps in making it were ''together," that is, of the same distance from the center; and the word, natural transition, became applied to the


familiar two-legged' instrument for drawing a circle. Some Masons use the word in the singular, as in "square and compass," hut the plural form "square and compasses" would appear to he preferable, especially since it immediately distinguishes the working tool from the mariner's compass, with which it might be otherwise confused by the uninformed.

Consecration Sacer was the Latin for something set aside as holy. By prefixing con, meaning "together," consecrare resulted, the general significance of which was that by adding to some holy object a formal ceremony the object was declared to be holy to the public, and must therefore be treated as such. The ceremony of consecrating a Lodge room is a way of giving notice to the public that it has been dedicated, or set aside, for Masonic purposes only.

Cowan The origin is unknown, but it may be early Scottish. It was used of a man who practiced Masonry, usually of the roughest character as in the building of walls, who had not been regularly trained and initiated, corresponding in some sense to "scab" as used by labor unions. If a man has learned the work by some illegal method he is a Cowan. An "eavesdropper" is one who spies on a Lodge, and may be such without having learned anything about it before. A "clandestine" is one who has gone through initiation ceremonies but not in a regular Lodge.

Next Month the Letter ‘D’. The Webmaster

Volume 4 Issue 2

February 2008. The Erskines of Mar….

Masonic the Hedgehog….

“No family in Scotland played a greater a part in the nation’s history during the troublous times of the Bruces and Stuarts than that of the Erskines of Mar.” So begins the article in this month’s web page entitled The Erskines of Mar and Freemasonry. This fascinating article comes from the History of the Lodge of Alloa No., 69, the Lodge that the Earls of Mar are inextricably linked. The article traces the lineage of the Erskines of Mar from the 5th Earl through to that of the 14th Earl and their place in Scottish Freemasonry. [link] I’m always on the lookout for Masonic lectures/articles/poems; if any Brother knows one that I can use, get in touch.

Did you know…. Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. the oldest Lodge in Scotland with the name Royal Arch in its title?


This is a picture sent into us by Bro. Wull McArthur of Masonic the Hedgehog wearing his Masonic apron. If you have any pics like these to share, send them to me, and I’ll publish them. If you know any other Brethren who might like to be included in the mailing list, get in touch via the mailing list page on the website.

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Masonic Postcards….

“I love to love a Mason, cause a Mason never tells”

In the December issue of the newsletter we told the story of the Masonic stamp, but did you know that there have been all types of Masonic postcards issued, here are just a few of the ones we have found, this series is romantic postcards!

I dearly love a MASON, because a Mason’s “ON THE SQUARE” I always liked a MASON, For a MASON will not tell – The secrets you confide to him, No price can make him sell. No matter what or where or how, He’s always on “The Square.” I certainly do like a MASON, For he’s fine as he is fair.

Altogether now Brethren, give us an Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! If you liked them, I’ll dig out some more for a later issue of the newsletter, there are more than these, even goats!


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The All-Seeing Eye‌.

An important symbol of the Supreme Being, borrowed by the Freemasons from the nations of antiquity. Both the Hebrews and the Egyptians appear to have derived its use from that natural inclination of figurative minds to select an organ as the symbol of the function which it is intended peculiarly to discharge. Thus, the foot was often adopted as the symbol of swiftness, the arm of strength, and the hand of fidelity. On the same principle, the open eye was selected as the symbol of watchfulness, and the eye of God as the symbol of Divine watchfulness and care of the universe. The use of the symbol in this sense is repeatedly to be found in the Hebrew writers. Thus, the Psalmist says, Psalm xxxiv, 15 : "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry," which explains a subsequent passage (Psalm cxxi, 4), in which it is said: "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. " In the Apocryphal Book of the Conversation of God with Moses on Mount Sinai, translated by the Rev.WT. Cureton from an Arabic manuscript of the fifteenth century, and published by the Philobibion Society of London, the idea of the eternal watchfulness of God is thus beautifully allegorized:

"Then Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, dost thou sleep or not? The Lord said unto Moses, I never sleep: but take a cup and fill it with water. Then Moses took a cup and filled it with water, as the Lord commanded him. Then the Lord cast into the heart of Moses the breath of slumber; so he slept, and the cup fell from his hand, and the water which was therein was spilled. Then Moses awoke from his sleep. Then said God to Moses, I declare by my power, and by my glory, that if I were to withdraw my providence from the heavens and the earth, for no longer a space of time than thou hast slept, they would at once fall to ruin and confusion, like as the cup fell from thy hand." On the same principle, the Egyptians represented Osiris, their chief deity, by the symbol of an open aye, and placed this hieroglyphic of him in all their Temples. His symbolic name, on the monuments, has represented by the eye accompanying a throne, to which was sometimes added an abbreviated figure of the god, and sometimes what has been called a hatchet, but which may as correctly be supposed to be a representation of a square. The All-Seeing Eye may then be considered as a symbol of God manifested in his omnipresence---his guardian and preserving character-to which Solomon alludes in the Book of Proverbs (xv, 3), where he says: "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding (or, as in the Revised Version, keeping watch upon) the evil and the good." It is a symbol of the Omnipresent Deity. From Mackey’s encyclopaedia of Freemasonry.


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A DECADE OF ALEXANDERS MASONRY 25th January 1996 - 26th January 2006

into Lodge St Andrew No 176, Denny and Loanhead again to confer an E.A. Degree. On the 22ndof November 2000 Bro. John Macgregor P.M. headed the deputation into his mother Lodge, Cumbernauld St. Andrew’s Lodge, No199.

The “Brethren of Alexanders” were formed in 1996 by Bro. Steven Conlin, who thought it would be a novel and entertaining idea to organise a Degree team comprised entirely of masons who were employees of Alexanders Coachbuilders.

This was an historic occasion for the Brethren of Alexanders as by conferring the E.A. Degree on Bro. Tom McLeod they initiated the first candidate who was employed by Alexanders. The Brethren marked the occasion by presenting Bro. McLeod with an apron.

The suggestion was put to some of his colleagues, who enthusiastically supported the idea. Steven then persuaded the Brethren of his Mother Lodge, Lodge Camelon No 1456, to allow the “Brethren of Alexanders” to confer the E. A. Degree on one of their Candidates, permission was granted from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire and the rest is history.

This was followed by another momentous occasion when on October 22nd 2001, Bro. James Fisher P.M. led the Brethren into Lodge Stirling R.A. No 76, where the Brethren initiated a father and son, in the persons of Brothers Alex. and David Drummond, the former being an employee of Alexanders. The Brethren also presented Alex and David with an apron.

The first rehearsal took place in Steven’s living room, where a chess board was used to represent the lodge carpet and the format for the Degree was worked out. The degree was a huge success both Masonically and socially and the die was now cast for future degrees.

On the 18th September 2002, the Brethren were invited to Lodge St John Slamannan 484 to confer their first Mark Master Mason Degree, they were headed by Bro. James Fisher P.M. of Lodge Stirling R.A. No 76.

The Brethren of Alexanders

So from that first degree conferred on the 25th January 1996, the Brethren then went on to confer an E.A. Degree under the leadership of Bro. Colin Reid R.W.M. at Lodge St John No 484, Slamannan, on the 17th September, 1997. On the 19th of February 1999, Bro. John Bell, R.W.M. led the Brethren


After a period of seven years, the time it took to build the Temple at Jerusalem, the Brethren returned to Lodge Camelon 1456, on April 10th, 2003, to confer their first Master Mason Degree, on this occasion the Brethren were led by Bro. Steven Conlin P.M. of Lodge 1456. The candidate on that evening was Bro. Derek Clark, the third employee of Alexanders to have a Degree conferred

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on him. Bro. Clark was also presented with an apron by the Brethren. On the 17th of September of that same year the Brethren were invited back to Lodge St John Slamannan 484 to again confer M.M.M. Degree. Their fame was now spreading far and wide and on the 21st of October 2003 they were invited to the. U. S. A. (the other side of Airdrie) to Lodge Caldercruix St John No 1314, when another employee, Bro. Willie Marshall had the M.M.M. Degree conferred by the Brethren. Not to be outdone, by their near neighbours, Lodge Airdrie St John No 166, invited the Brethren to confer the M.M.M Degree on March 3rd 2004. On each of these last three Degrees, Bro. James Fisher P.M. carried out the duties of Right Worshipful Mark Master. A week later on the 10th of March Bro. John Macgregor once more led the Brethren into his mother Lodge to confer the M.M. Degree. In 2005 the Brethren conferred three degrees, on the 24th of February, Bro. Ian Campbell R.W.M. of St Andrew No 176 Denny and Loanhead led the Brethren into his Mother Lodge to confer a M.M. Degree. On April 11th Lodge Stirling R.A. No 76 were the hosts and again a M.M.s Degree was conferred. P.M. Bro. Fisher led the deputation into his mother Lodge, then presented the Gavel to Bro. Ian Campbell to preside over the Degree. Another of the Airdrie Lodges, Lodge New Monkland St James No 88 invited the Brethren to confer the M.M.M. Degree on October the 24th On


Wednesday the 28th December 2005, the Brethren visited Cumbernauld St Andrew’s Lodge No 199 once more and under the leadership of R.W.M. Bro. John Macgregor they conferred the M.M. Degree.

Then on the 26th January 2006, almost ten years to the day, the Brethren of Alexanders re-entered Lodge Camelon No 1456 at the request of R.W.M. Bro. Donny Wright to confer the M.M. Degree on one F.C. Bro. Martin Swan, the son of one of the Brethren in the degree team Bro. Willie Swan, and celebrate their 10th anniversary. Since then the Brethren have worked Mark Degrees in Lodge Whifflet St John No 963 on March 28th 2006, in Lodge Polmont No 793 on the April 26th 2006, Lodge Kyle Kildrum No 1602 on May 18th, 2006, an E.A Degree in Lodge St John Falkirk No 16 on the 24th October 2006 and a M.M. Degree in Lodge St Cumbernauld St Andrew No 199. The team this evening was led by R.W.M. Bro. John MacGregor, the Reigning Master of 199. The most recent Degree was a Mark Degree held in Lodge Dolphin, Bonnybridge ,No 911. A most enjoyable evening was had by all. During the ten years plus of the venture they have produced various mementoes such as an Alexanders tie, bowtie, lapel pin and for the 10th Anniversary they had a Jewel struck. Which are available to purchase via the Lodge Camelon site. Permission was granted by Bro. Graeme Russell to reproduce this article.

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Masonic Encyclopaedia‌. Deacon Despite the fact that the bloom has been rubbed off by our slangy use of it, this is one of the most beautiful words in our language. In Greek, diakonos was a servant, a messenger, a waiting man. In the early Christian Church a deacon served at the Lord's Supper and administered alms to the poor; and the word still most frequently refers to such a church officer. It appears that the two Lodge offices of Senior and Junior Deacon were patterned on the church offices.

Degree The Latin gradus from which are derived grade, gradual, graduation, etc., meant a step, or set of steps, particularly of a stair; when united with the prefix, da, meaning "down," it became degradus, and referred to steps, degrees, progress by marked stages. From this came our "degree," which is a step, or grade, in the progress of a candidate toward the consummation of his membership. Our habit of picturing the degrees as proceeding from lower to higher, like climbing a stair, is thus very close to the ancient and original meaning of the word.

Discalceation 'While this is not as familiar to Masons as the preceding words, it should come into more popular use because it is the technical name to describe an important element in the ceremony of initiation. Calceare was the Latin for shoe, calceatus meant shod. When united with the prefix dis, meaning apart, or


asunder, our discalceate was originated, the obvious meaning of which is the removal of one's shoes, as suggested in the familiar Bible passage, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." The ceremonial removal of the shoes is properly called the "rite of discalceation."

Doric Order The oldest and most original of the three Grecian orders. It is remarkable for robust solidity in the column, for massive grandeur in the entablature, and for harmonious simplicity in its construction. The distinguishing characteristic of this order is the want of a base. The flutings are few, large, and very little concave. The capital has no astragal or molding, but only one or more fillets, which separate the flutings from the torus or bead. The column of strength which supports the Lodge is of the Doric order, and its appropriate situation and symbolic officer are in the West.

Dues In Latin debere meant to owe something; it is preserved in our familiar, too familiar, "debt," in debit, indebted, debenture, duty, dues, etc. Related is the French devoir, often employed in English, meaning a piece of work one is under obligation to do. The same idea appears in "duty," which means that which is due, or that which is owed, in the moral sense. Dues represent one's fixed and regular indebtedness to his Lodge which he placed himself under obligation to pay when he signed the by-laws.

Next Month the Letter ‘E’. The Webmaster

Volume 4 Issue 3

March 2008. The Black Boxer…. In the “Famous Scottish Freemasons” web page on the Lodge 76 site, mention was made of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the World. The webmaster has been granted permission by Brother Gordon Vincent to reproduce his full article entitled “The Black Boxer & the Scottish Craft.” This brilliant article has been given as a lecture by the author and I’m positive all the brethren who subscribe to this wee newsletter will enjoy reading it. Brother Vincent current secretary of the Lodge of Hope of Kurrachee No 337, “pulls no punches” (sorry brethren – webmaster) in his description on how Jack Johnson came to be initiated into a Scottish Masonic lodge and the furore this caused not only in Scotland, but on the other side of the Atlantic as well! This is a well researched and well written piece of Scottish Masonic History, and one that deserves a wider audience, so Brethren, let your fellow Brothers know, about how Brother Jack Johnson, joined a wee Lodge in Dundee in Bonnie Scotland of all places!


Pictured here, Jack (John) Johnson won the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World in 1908 beating Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia. He would hold on to the title until 1915 when Jess Willard beat him. It was during this period that Johnson was initiated into Lodge Forfar and Kincardine No. 225. [link]

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Interesting facts….

Continuing with where Lodge Stirling Royal Arch has met over the years, the second recorded meeting place in the old minute book is the Guildhall in Stirling. The minute is dated the 27th December 1760 which is St. John’s day and was held for the election of the Lodge office-bearers. It is little wonder that the Lodge was able to meet here, as the new Master and most of the officers of the Lodge were all members of Stirling Town Council.! It was the custom of the time after the election for the Brethren to have walked in procession with flambeaus (a pole dipped in wax and set alight as a flaming torch) from the Guildhall to what tavern they would have their supper and harmony. It was not unusual for a band to be in attendance at the procession if one could be had, the minutes record that the procession would stop off at a local inn to take a glass of wine. The Lodge met at the Guildhall for many years until it became the custom to meet in local hostelry’s owned by Brethren of the Lodge, in particular John Sawers’ house in Baker Street. The next time we will look at the Old Coffee house in the Bow, where the Lodge met for many, many years.


A Masonic Gravestone….

You will see from the picture of the Guildhall on the left column, it is close by a cemetery, known as the Holy Rude Kirkyard. As you would expect there are many Masonic gravestones within this cemetery, this is a picture of one of them I took this year. It is dated 1780 and is certainly one of the oldest stones with Masonic symbols on it within the old cemetery, as you can see in the photograph, all the working tools can be seen quite clearly, the date is just above the square and compasses, you will be able to make the date out if you enlarge the PDF file. This is a very important stone but not as important as the one close by to where this one is standing. It is called the Service stone, so named after John Service, who incidentally signed the second St. Clair Statute in 1628, but that’s another story!

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Remember the Alamo!‌. On February 23rd, 1836 the battle of the Alamo began. Five Masons lost their lives in that battle. James Bonhman James Bowie David Crockett Almeron Dickenson William Travis Bro. James Bonham eluded Mexican guards and patrols twice in two weeks to slip out of the Alamo and make two 230-mile round-trip horseback rides to beg for help, help that never came. Then, because he was trained to fight with cannon and knowing that the garrison needed his expertise, he stayed to fight, obligating himself with his life while manning his cannon. Bro. Almaron Dickinson, an expert cannoneer, was in charge of artillery at the Alamo. When the battle was nearly lost and his death almost certain, he directed his wife to display his Masonic apron and so hope for mercy from the Mexican Freemasons when they took possession of the fort. Then he returned to the fray to give his last breath to freedom's cause. A Myth Dispelled: There has existed for many years the story or myth that General Santa Anna, captured on 21 April 1836 after the defeat of the Mexican Army after the Battle of San


Jacinto, was able to save himself from execution by giving secret "Masonic signs" when he was captured, and again when he was brought before General Sam Houston. Texas historian James D. Carter recorded in his book, Masonry in Texas, that "Texas Masons contemporary with [the Battle of] San Jacinto stated emphatically that Santa Anna 'filled the air' with Masonic signs after his capture and had given a Masonic grip to Houston." C.R. Wharton, in his book, El Presidente, stated that "Santa Anna, fearing for his life, gave the Masonic distress signal to John A. Wharton." Where it may be true that the captured Mexican dictator did appeal to his captors to spare his life, using his knowledge of Masonic signs and grips, they were under no obligation to do so for several reasons. Santa Anna had disowned the Masonic fraternity and outlawed its practice in Mexico, further his many offenses against Mexican and Texan Freemasons placed him outside the protection of any Masonic obligations, and most importantly, Santa Anna was worth more to Texas alive than dead. President Andrew Jackson, a member of the same Masonic lodge as Sam Houston, Cumberland Lodge No. 8 at Nashville, Tennessee, wrote to Houston and implored him to spare Santa Anna's life, reminding Houston that "while he is in your power, the difficulties of your enemy, in raising another army, will be great.... Let not his blood be shed, unless imperious necessity demands it.... Both wisdom and humanity enjoin this course in relation to Santa Anna." This article came about from an idea of Brother Jim Hill a member of this newsletter, thanks Jim, hope you like it.

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Masonic Encyclopaedia…. East The East, being the place where the Master sits, is considered the most honourable part of the Lodge, and is distinguished from the rest of the room by a dais, or raised platform, which is occupied only by those who have passed the Chair. Bazot (Manuel, page 154) says: "The veneration which Masons have for the East confirms the theory that it is from the East that the Masonic cult proceeded, and that this bears a relation to the primitive religion whose first degeneration was sun-worship."

Eavesdropper Early European peoples used a word in various forms - evese, obasa, opa, etc., which meant the rim, or edge, of something, like the edge of a field; it came in time to be applied wholly to the gutter which runs along the edge of a roof. (Our "over" comes from this root.) "Dropper" had an origin among the same languages, and meant that which drips, or dribbles, like water dropping from a thawing icicle. Eavesdrop, therefore, was the water which dripped from the eaves. If a man set himself to listen through a window or keyhole to what was going on in a house he had to stand so close that the eavesdropping would fall upon him, for which reason all prying persons, seeking by secret means what they have no business to know, came to be called eavesdroppers.

Edit The root of this word is the Latin dicere, speak; united with the prefix e, meaning out, to come forth, it produced edicere, meaning to proclaim, to speak out with authority. It came in time to be applied


to the legal pronouncements of a sovereign or ruler speaking in his own name and out of his own authority. When a Grand Master issues a certain official proclamation in his own name and out of the authority vested in his office it is an edict.

Emblem This beautiful and significant word, so familiar to Masons, has historical affiliations with the original idea embodied in "mosaic work," on which something is said below. Emblem is derived from the Greek prefix en, meaning in, united with ballein, meaning cast, put. The word became applied to raised decorations on pottery, to inlay work, tessellated and mosaic work; and since such designs were nearly always formal and symbolical in character, emblem came to mean an idea expressed by a picture or design. As Bacon put it, an emblem represents an intellectual conception in a sensible image. It belongs to that family of words of which type, symbol, figure, allegory, and metaphor are familiar members.

Esoteric This is the opposite of exoteric. The root of it is the Greek eso, within. It means that which is secret, in the inner circle. Exoteric is that which is outside. In Masonry the "esoteric work" is that part of the Ritual which it is illegal to publish, while the exoteric is that part which is published in the Monitor.

Next Month the Letter ‘F’. I’m always on the lookout for Masonic lectures/articles/poems; if any Brother knows one that I can use, get in touch. If you know any other Brethren who might like to be included in the mailing list, get in touch via the mailing list page on the website.

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Russell Hunter

The Brethren of Lodge 76 regrets to inform of the death of Brother Russell Hunter Past Master of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76, he passed away on the 12th February 2008. Russell's was RWM in Lodge 76 in 1968 and was Secretary to the Lodge since 1973 a total of 35 years which was no mean feat. His reward was the post of Honorary Grand Lodge Assistant Grand Secretary in 1998. He was also a member of Stirling Rock Royal Arch No2, Balfron Cryptic Council No.555, Greyfriars Preceptory and Stirling Castle Conclave No.14. He was also a member of the Perth Sovereign Chapter of Princes Rose Croix No.71 (an 18th Degree Mason). Brethren, Russell Hunter will be sadly missed by every person who ever had the pleasure of meeting him. He was one of life’s true gentlemen and Brother.


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Volume 4 Issue 4

April 2008. The Scottish Ancestry….

Scot, there is in existence in Scotland, and accessible to serious inquirers, the most extensive collection of original Masonic records to be found anywhere, from operative times right down to the present.” So begins the article, ‘The Scottish Ancestry of Freemasonry is an article by Ossian Lang. This fascinating piece of writing traces the usages and customs of modern day Freemasonry back to Scotland and the operative masons of old. This is a terrific piece that I think you might like. [link] The photograph here of Freemason’s Hall, Edinburgh is used by permission of Bro. Jim Campbell a subscriber to this newsletter. To see the rest of Jim’s photo’s click here.

Interesting facts….

“They say that the Scots keep the Sabbath and everything else they can lay their hands on. This is quite true on the whole. They keep the Ten Commandments, too. But what interests us particularly in connection with the subject, thanks to this saving trait in the


Strange as it may seem, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch’s Temple suffered damage by a German bombing raid during the Second World War! At that time Lodge 76 met in the Craigs Masonic Hall in Stirling, and one night a German Bomber on it’s way home after a bombing raid in Glasgow, dropped a bomb, hitting the nearby Forthbank football ground. The explosion caused some windows to break in the Lodge!

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The dust cover secret….

visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. The stakes are raised when Langdon uncovers a startling link: The late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion – an actual secret society whose members included Sir Issac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci among others. Langdon suspects they are on the hunt for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proven through the centuries to be as enlightening as it is dangerous. In a frantic race through Paris, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu find themselves matching wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless they can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle, the priory’s secret – an explosive ancient truth – will be lost forever.

Worry not Brethren, this is not an advert for Dan Brown’s piece of fiction, But more of what is hidden within the dust jacket of the book. If you have a hardback copy of the book, look inside the front and back flaps you will see this description of the plot. “While in Paris on business, Harvard Symbologist receives an urgent latenight phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci – clues


Breaking the mold of traditional suspense novels, The Da Vinci Code is simultaneously lightening paced, intelligent, and intricately layered with remarkable research and detail. From the opening to the unpredictable and stunning conclusion, bestselling author Dan Brown proves himself a master storyteller.” Nothing unusual in that you might well say, but look again, enlarge the page, (you might have to go to 200%) you will notice that some of the letters are in bold print, exactly the same as printed on the dust cover! Now write them down and you will see what is hidden within the words. Clever is it not! In fact there are 5 hidden puzzles in the book jacket, this is only one of them, so if you have a copy with the dust cover, see if you can find the rest of them!

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The five orders…. The five orders of Architecture In the Second degree lecture, we learn that there are five orders of architecture. These, we are told, are the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. These five types of pillars are often found either depicted or actually standing in many lodges around the world. However, how many of us really know the difference of these pillars, and why they are so important? It is firstly important to state that there are many sorts of architectural orders. The five mentioned above, refer to the Greek/Roman orders, but there were also Egyptian, Hindu and other orders.

Most buildings made by ancient Greece and later by Rome, ranging from temples to baths, used one of these five orders of architecture. No matter which order was used, the basic purpose was the same - that is, to impress whoever shall use the building of its importance and the wealth spent to build it. The Greeks used only three orders of architecture, namely the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Romans borrowed these three, and added two of their own,


the Tuscan, which was made simpler than the Doric, and the Composite, which was made more elaborately than the Corinthian. A column is actually made up of three parts. The top portion is called the Cornice, or top horizontal portion. The middle long straight section (or shaft) is called the Frieze, and the base of the column is called the Architrave. It is said that the Greeks viewed the plain but sturdy Doric order as the male, whereas the slimmer, and often fluted, Ionic represented the female. The flower decorations seen on the Corinthian are said to represent acanthus leaves. Tuscan, the simplest, always has non-decorated straight columns. Symbolically the pillar can have several meanings. In heraldry, the pillar signifies fortitude and constancy. Fortitude was also the reason that many pillars were erected, such as in ancient Egypt, to commemorate important events, with esoteric secrets engraved on them. We read in the Book of Judges (ix. 6) of Abimelech, that a “pillar was erected in Shechem” when he was made king; and (2 Kings xi. 14) it is said that a pillar was raised when Joash was made king, “as the manner was”, indicating that this was common practice. Thoth, the father of all wisdom, was said to have concealed his books by burying them under a pillar. A pillar is said to represent the bridge between heaven and earth.

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Masonic Encyclopaedia….

is reminded of Luther's great hymn, "A mighty fortress is our God."

Fraternity Fellowcraft The Second Degree of Freemasonry in all the Pites is that of the Fellow Craft. In French it is called Compagnon; in Spanish, Compañero; in Italian, Compagno; and in German, Gesell: in all of which the radical meaning of the word is a fellow workman, thus showing the origin of the title from an operative institution. Like the Degree of Apprentice, it is only preparatory in the higher initiation of the Master; and yet it differs essentially from it in its symbolism.

This the most prized, perhaps, of all words in Masonry, harks back to the Latin frater, which is so closely allied to "brother," as already noted in the paragraph on that word. It gives us fra, frater, fraternize, and many other terms of the same import. A fraternity is a society in which the members strive to live in a brotherly concord patterned on the family relations of blood brothers, where they are worthy of the tie. To be fraternal means to treat another man as if he were a brother in the most literal sense.



We speak of the "form of the Lodge," "due form," etc. The word is derived from the Latin forma, which meant the shape, or figure, or frame of anything; also it was used of a bench, or seat, whence the old custom of calling school benches "forms." It is the root of formal, formation, informal, and scores of other English words equally familiar. The "form of the Lodge" is its symbolical shape; a ceremony is in "due form" if it have the officially required character or framework of words and actions.

"Freemasonry is the subjugation of the Human that is in Man, by the Divine; the conquest of the Appetites and Passions by the Moral Sense and the Reason; a continual effort, struggle and warfare of the Spiritual against the Material and Sensual. That victory-when it has been achieved and secured, and the conqueror may rest upon his shield and wear the well-earned laurels-is the true Holy Empire." Masonry is that system of the Brotherhood of Men and ethical laws, teaching by daily actions and Lodge traditions the sovereignty of God; instilling the desire to be clean with all God's creatures, commending its members to extend justice to all mankind, and compelling respect for the rights of a Brother.

Fortitude The key to the meaning of this magnificent word lies in its derivation from the Latin fords, meaning strong, powerful, used in the Middle Ages of a stronghold, or fort. Force, enforce, fortify, fortification, forceful, are from the same root. A man of fortitude has a character built strong like a fort, which can be neither taken by bribe nor overthrown by assault, however strong may be the enemy, or however great may be the suffering or deprivation within. One


Next the Letter ‘G’. I’m always on the lookout for Masonic lectures/articles/poems; if any Brother knows one that I can use, get in touch. If you know any other Brethren who might like to be included in the mailing list, get in touch via the mailing list page on the website.

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Odds and Sods

“Now my son! I have told you before; the left hand is used to cover your work!�


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Volume 4 Special Issue

SUMMER 2008. Brethren, welcome to the Summer issue of the newsletter. In fact this is the last edition of the newsletter with the heading above, for as from September we are changing and going ‘posh’, and the newsletter will have more of a magazine effect, with a front cover story and looks like this. Watch out the Sunday supplements.

We will still have the charm and sophistication that you have become used to and the editorial team (that’s me) will be bringing you a bigger and better newsletter with many interesting articles, at least that’s the plan. And so, to the reason for this summer edition. Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 is next year, celebrating the 250th anniversary of it receiving its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and to help commemorate the occasion, the Lodge has issued a new mark penny.

This is the ‘old’ Lodge seal, of a wolf crouched on a crag and is based on the


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old Stirling Burgh seal. On the reverse, there is the present Lodge seal;

With the words, “They Received Every Man A Penny.” The penny has been cast in gold coloured metal and both the seals are enamelled. The Lodge has also produced a Mark Penny Key ring, again with the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Lodge seals. The key ring has been cast in silver coloured metal.

The cost of the penny is £4.00, and the cost of the key ring is also £4.00. The post and packaging is £1.50 in this country, I do not know as yet what it will be for overseas. These are available to the readers of the newsletter from me. So if anyone would like to purchase either or both of these mementoes of the 250th anniversary of the Lodge Charter. Contact me by replying to the email sent out with this newsletter, in the first instance, with your details etc, and I will let you know where and to whom you send the cheque, sorry brethren, its sterling only! But the more you buy, the cheaper the postage will be! Brethren, you can read more about the 250th anniversary celebrations in the Lodge 76 main web site, click on this link,

Lodge 76 main web site And so to finish off this shameless piece of profiteering and trying to take advantage of our wonderful and generous readers, let me finish with the story about the wolf on the crag, our wonderful old Lodge seal.


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The story of the Wolf of the Castle Crag is part of the folk-lore of Stirling, and today it still symbolises alertness. There is the "Wolf Crag" in Port Street, of which we there is the following legend. During the reign of Donald V., near the close of the ninth century, two Northumbrian princes, named Osbrecht and Ella, had acquired by conquest all south of the Forth from Stirling, and toward the eastern coast. The town was under the rule of these AngloSaxons for some twenty-eight years. About the same period the Danes, under their magical flag, the "Black Raven," had visited Britain for pillage. Pursuing their depredations to the north, each town inhabited by Anglo-Saxons was as well guarded and watched as could be for the approach of these invaders. At the "South Port," a sentinel had been set; but, overcome with fatigue, he fell asleep on duty, and was awakened by the growl of a wolf which had left the woody wilds for a rock in the immediate neighbourhood. Getting roused in time to see some of the northern hordes on the advance, he at once alarmed the garrison, who speedily caused a retreat. The incident of the cries of the wolf having been regarded as a favourable omen, the rock received the name of "Wolf Crag." Mottoes had previously been introduced into England by the Saxons, and the Northumbrian


Anglo-Saxons who ruled in Stirling adopted the design of the wolf recumbent on a rock as the armorial bearing of the town. In an ancient seal belonging to the burgh, it is understood that there are seen seven stars set in the sky, and the rock on which reclines the wolf is strewn with branches of trees, apparently indicative of the Druidical or Pagan idea of the deities specially superintending the affairs of this part of "Sylvae Caledonia." The wolf is a good emblem. It tells of a long pedigree, of tenacity and the overcoming of odds, just like Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.

Good to hear from you Brethren, and don’t forget, the newsletter commences again on the 1st of September. What’s coming in the newsletter! September, The pyramid in Stirling. October. Scottish Mark Tokens, part 2. November, The Scottish Rite, part 1 December, The National Monument, Edinburgh. January, Robert Burns, 250th celebrations. And much, much more!

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