Contents Page 2, ‘Peter P. Pitchlyn’. A short Bio about Peter P. Pitchlyn (18061881) Choctaw Indian Chief.
Page3, ‘Blue Ribbons and Blue Silk,’ This is a nice little article I came across in a blog called “The Masons Badge.” It looks at the colour of the apron and how it has become evolved over the years in the English constitution.
Page 5, ‘The Masonic Encyclopaedia.’ This month we look at the letter, ‘P’, from Password to Points of Fellowship.
Page 6, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’, The cover story for November introduces our new regular feature. Each month we will publish a different article from Carl Claudy’s ‘Old Tiler Talks.’
Page 8, ‘Lodge of Aberdeen No.1Ter.’ A short Historical sketch about the Lodge of Aberdeen No.1Ter.
Page 11, ‘Book Review’, This month we review, “The Stars of Robt Burns, by Catherine Smith Phd.
Page 12, ‘On the Level’, Masonic visitors from outer space!!
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Torture of John Coustos’ by Brother Robert. J. Currie, a subscriber of the newsletter. [link]
Peter P. Pitchlyn ….
Peter P. Pitchlyn (1806-1881) Choctaw Indian Chief. b. Jan. 30, 1806 in Hushook-wa, Noxubee Co., Miss. of a white father and Choctaw mother. His Indian name of Hatchootuekee means "snapping turtle." His father was commissioned by George Washington as an interpreter. Brought up as an Indian boy, he was given the benefit of a good education, being sent 200 miles to school in Tenn.; later attended the Columbia (Tenn.) Academy, and graduated from the U. of Nashville. He returned to Miss. to become a farmer; married, and was the first Choctaw to depart from the practice of polygamy. He also did great service to his tribe by enforcing the treaty on sale of liquor, and, as a reward, was made a captain and elected a member of the national tribal council of the Five Civilized Tribes. In 1828 he headed the delegation sent to Indian Territory (Okla.) in 1828 to select the lands for their future homes, and to make peace with the Osage. He later immigrated, and built a cabin on the Arkansas River. Charles Dickens met Pitchlyn on a steamboat on the Ohio River in 1842, and mentioned him in his American Notes as an Indian chief. Actually, Pitchlyn did not become a chief until 1860. Dickens described him as a handsome man with black hair, aquiline nose, broad cheekbones, sunburnt complexion, and eyes that were bright, keen, dark and piercing. He favored the Union cause in the Civil War, although three of his own children, and many of his people, joined the Confederate cause. After 1860 he spent most of his time in Washington, D.C.,
representing his tribe, and pressing claims for lands sold to the U.S. in 1830. In addition to the treaty of 1820, he signed the treaty of Dancing Rabbit (Miss.) in 1830, treaty of Washington (1855), and was principal chief of treaty of Washington in 1866. He was an able orator, a Christian, and a man of much wisdom and tact. His lodge and chapter are not known, but he was probably a member of both in Washington, D.C. as he was knighted in Washington Cornmandery No. 1, K.T., Washington, D.C., May 27, 1854. His name is mentioned in the bylaws of that commandery in 1857, 1859, 1869, and 1893. In 1854 he addressed the Grand Lodge of Georgia "giving good evidence that he felt and understood the true principles of the Order of Masonry; and also gave a very favorable account of the conditions of the Craft in his tribe, which he considered a convincing proof of their progress in civilization." He was also a Scottish Rite member, having received his 32° at the hands of Albert Pike, q.v., in the spring of 1860. A warm friendship developed between Pike and Pitchlyn and the bonds grew stronger after the Civil War. It was Pike's intention to elevate Chief Pitchlyn to the 33° as noted in a letter dated Dec. 7, 1865: "I hope you may remain in Washington until the 3rd Monday of Feb., when the Supreme Council meets there, and I shall propose you for election to the Honorary 33°." d. Jan. 17, 1881 and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington. The Masonic rites were conducted by his friend, Albert Pike. William Denslow – 10000 Famous Freemasons
The Masonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Badge â&#x20AC;Ś Blue Ribbons and Blue Silk The colour of the Master Mason Apron has evolved over time. As weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve read earlier, the symbolic nature of the apron intended that its colour and its material would and should be pure spotless white and be made of lambskin, which is esteemed as an emblem of innocence and purity. No other substance, such as linen, silk or satin, could be substituted without entirely destroying the emblematic character of the apron, for the material of the Master Mason's apron constitutes one of the most important symbols of his profession; the lamb having always been considered as an appropriate emblem of innocence. The resolution of the Grand Lodge of England on March 17th, 1721, ordained that: "None but the Grand Master, his Deputy and Wardens shall wear their Jewels in Gold or gilt pendant to Blue ribbons about their necks, and White leather aprons with Blue silk; which sort of aprons may also be worn by former Grand Officers."
This was the first official mention of Blue Silk as a trimming for aprons, and it is clear that the Blue was originally reserved for Grand Officers. The Rawlinson MS., c. 1734, mentions: "Two Grand Masters aprons Lined with Garter blue silk and turned over two inches with blue silk strings." Originally Garter Blue was a very pale blue, "of a watery tinge", changed under Edward VI to a Mazarine or Light Sky Blue and changed again during the Hanoverian period [probably 1745] to the current darker hue. Examples of the earliest Masonic Blue can be found extant on ribbons attached to Grand Lodge of Ireland lodge warrants; this is not the same as the national colour of Ireland which is traditionally Azure.
By 1745-50 Grand Officers were beginning to edge their aprons with purple ribbon. The light blue, gradually given up by the Grand Officers, was soon adopted by Master Masons, and since there was no official ruling on the subject (until 1815), blue-edged aprons became fairly common with the rank and file of the Craft from about 1745 onwards. Uniformity and regularity in the material, design, form and decorations of the apron were not officially insisted
upon by the United Grand Lodge until March 2nd, 1814. The pattern was submitted and agreed to on May 2nd; then the order for a general uniformity was issued. The Constitutions (1815), p. 123, prescribed:
An American Past Master's apron.
Entered Apprentice,— A plain white lamb skin 14 to 16 inches wide, 12 to 14 inches deep, square at bottom, and without ornament; white strings. Fellow Craft,— A plain white lamb skin, similar to the, entered apprentice, with the addition only of two sky-blue rosettes at the bottom.
A Scottish Constitution Past Master's apron.
Master Mason,— The same, with skyblue lining and edging, 1 1/2 inch deep, and an additional rosette on the fall or flap.-No other colour or ornament shall be allowed except to officers and past officers of the lodges, who, may have the emblems of their offices in silver or white in the centre of the apron. It will be seen that little modification of the 1815 text has been necessary in the past century-and-a-half. Today it is ruled that the apron of the E.A. must have a "flap" ; that the two rosettes of the F.C. must be attached "to the lower corners" of the apron; and that the aprons of Master Masons are to be edged with ribbon of "not more than two inches in width", that "silver tassels" must hang over the face and that the strings must be "light blue"; it is also provided that the "emblems" of "offices in the centre of the apron" may be "surrounded by a double circle in which may be inserted the name and number of the Lodge".
And an apron of the French Rite.
Brethren, I’m always on the look-out for interesting articles such as this for the newsletter. If anyone has a story/article/lectures/photos or even an idea, please get in touch, I will be only too happy to include it
The Masonic Encyclopaedia The Letter ‘P’
Password The Latin passus meant pace, step, track, passage; it contains the picture of a path, road, aisle, or door through which one can make his way, hence our “pass,” derived from it. From it also we have our word “pace.” A password is any agreed word or counter-sign that permits one to pass through an en-trance or passage otherwise closed.
Penalty It is significant that our “penal” derives from the Latin for pain, paena, the root of our penance, penalty, penitence, penitentiary, punish, primitive, pine, and a circle of similar English words. It has the meaning of pain inflicted for the purpose of correction, discipline, or protecting society, never the infliction of pain for its own sake. Our own penalties are symbolical in form, their language being derived from early English forms of punishment for heresy and treason.
Pillar The Latin pila was a pile,—such as a pile under a house—a pier, a pillar, or a mole, — the last named a massive stonework enclosing a harbour. In ancient times pillars were used for all manner of religious and symbolical purposes, as when Jacob erected a pillar at a grave, or Solomon set up two great pillars— the prototype of ours—on the Porch before his Temple.
of lead tied to it, of a line with a lead ball at its end for testing the perpendicular, etc., the source of our plumb, plumber, plunge, plump, plumbago, plummet, etc. A plumb-line is accordingly a line, or cord, with a piece of lead at the bottom to pull it taut, used to test vertical walls with the line of gravity, hence, by a simple expansion of reference, an emblem of uprightness.
Profane This has a technical meaning in Masonry, nevertheless it adheres closely to the original significance of the word. Fanum was the Latin for temple; pro meant “before,” in the sense of “outside of.” It is the picture of man standing on the outside, not permitted to enter. It has tlfis same sense in Masonry; the “profane” are those men and women who stand outside of Masonry. The word here, of course, has nothing to do with profanity in the sense of sacrilegious language.
Points of Fellowship, Five There are duties owing by every Freemason to his Brethren, which, form their symbolic allusion to certain points of the body, and from the lesson of brotherly love which they teach, are called the Five Points of Fellowship. They are symbolically illustrated in the Third Degree, and have been summed up by Dr. Oliver as "assisting a Brother in distress, supporting him in his virtuous undertakings, praying for his welfare, keeping inviolate his secrets, and vindicating his reputation as well in his absence as in his presence."
Plumb Plumbum was the Latin for lead, and was used also of a scourge with a blob
Next Month the Letter ‘Q’.
"It isn't a childish getting together for the love of titles and honors," answered the Old Tiler. "Men would soon' invent a much better organization for the satisfaction of such purposes. In fact, he has invented better ones. Men who want to play politics and be called the Grand High Cockalorum of the Exalted Central Chamber of the Secret Sanctorum can join these. If Masonry were nothing but play, it wouldn't live, and living, grow.
What is Masonry? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been a Mason six months now and I ought to know something about Masonry. But there are more secrets in the fraternity I don't know than those I have been told!'' The New Brother was puzzled. The Old Tiler laid down his sword, picked up a half-smoked cigar and lit it, and settled back in his chair. "Get it out of your system," he invited. "Is Masonry a religion," continued the New Brother, "or a system of philosophy, or a childish getting together of men who like to play politics and wear titles? I have heard it called all three. Sometimes I think it's one and sometimes the other. What do you think?"
"Masonry isn't a religion. A religion, as I see it, is a belief in a deity and a means of expressing worship. Masonry recognizes Deity, and proceeds only after asking divine guidance. But it does not specify any particular deity. You can worship any God You Please and be a Mason. That is not true of any religion. If you are a Buddhist, you worship Buddha. If a Christian, Christ is your Deity. If you are a Mohammedan you are a worshipper of Allah. In Masonry you will find Christian, Jew, Mohammedan and Buddhist side by side. "Masonry has been called a system of philosophy, but that is a confining definition. I don't think Masonry has ever been truly defined." "Or God," put in the New Brother. "Exactly. A witty Frenchman, asked if he believed in God, replied, 'Before I answer, you must tell me your definition of God. And when you tell me, I will answer you, no, because a God defined is a God limited, and a limited God is no God.' Masonry is something like that; it is brotherhood, unlimited, and when you
limit it by defining it you make it something it isn't."
paper. "Listen, you," he said, "'till I read you just one verse of it:
"Deep stuff I" commented the New Brother.
'A picket frozen on duty; A mother, starved for her brood; Socrates' drinking the hemlock, And Jesus on the rood; And millions who, humble and nameless, The straight hard pathway plod; Some call it consecration And others call it God.'
"Masonry is 'deep stuff,'" answered the Old Tiler. "It 's so deep no man has ever found the bottom. Perhaps that is its greatest charm; you can go as far as you like and still not see the limit. The fascination of astronomy is the limitlessness of the field. No telescope has seen to the edge of the universe. The fascination of Masonry is that it has no limits. The human heart has no limit in depth and that which appeals most to the human heart cannot have a limit." "But that makes it so hard to understand!" sighed the New Brother. "Isn't it the better for being difficult of comprehension?" asked the Old Tiler. "A few days ago I heard an eminent divine and Mason make an inspiring talk. I hear a lot of talks; nine-tenths are empty words with a pale tallow-dip gleam of a faint idea somewhere in them. So when a real talker lets the full radiance of a whole idea shine on an audience, he is something to be remembered. This speaker quoted a wonderful poem, by William Herbert Carruth. I asked him to send it to me, and he did; please note, this busy man, president of a university, and with a thousand things to do, didn't forget the request of a brother he never saw before!" The Old Tiler put his hand in his pocket and took out a much-thumbed piece of
The New Brother said nothing, held silent by the beauty of the lines. "I am no poet," continued the Old Tiler, "and I know this isn't very fitting, but I wrote something to go with those verses, just to read to brothers like you. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shyly the Old Tiler continued: "Many men, banded together Standing where Hiram stood; Hand to back of the falling, Helping in brotherhood. Wise man, doctor, lawyer, Poor man, man of the hod, Many call it Masonry And others call it God." "I don't think it makes much difference what we call it, do you?" asked the New Brother.
This is the first article in this new regular feature, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Old Tiler Talks,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Aberdeen No.1.Ter……. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE LODGE OF ABERDEEN No. 1.Ter.
The lodge of Aberdeen is one of our oldest lodges in Scotland and has made a distinctive contribution to the history of Freemasonry, in its long association with operative masonry, far exceeding 300 years, and in it’s possession of the celebrated ‘Mark Book’ of 1670, the Laws and Statues contained therein, and also of one of the copies of the ‘Old Charges’. It was at one time thought that the lodge dated from the rebuilding of St. Machar Cathedral, begun in 1359, when masons were brought from Melrose and were said to have introduced St. John’s Masonry to Aberdeen and founded the lodge. Modern historians, however, consider this unlikely, as in those days Old Aberdeen and Aberdeen were two quite distinct places, and there is nothing in our records to connect us with Old Aberdeen. More likely this distinction belongs to our honoured sister lodge St. Machar No. 54, who refer to the matter in the book issued at their Bicentenary in 1953, whilst admitting that “proof is absent’’. For more reliable information regarding the mason craft in Aberdeen we must look to the old records of the burgh, almost unbroken since 1398, which contain numerous references to masons, particularly in regard to such important buildings as St. Nicholas Church, King’s College and the Bridge of Dee.
The first reference in the town records to the ‘’lodge’’ is in 1483, in which year one if the minutes mentions “the masons of the lodge”. This is the earliest recorded instance of the use of the word in connection with the Scottish Craft. Over the next few years many agreements and rules regarding conduct are recorded, and in 1544 we learn that Alexander Rutherford presented to the town four great chandeliers of iron “lying in the lodge”. In 1527 the magistrates issued a proclamation known as the Seal of Cause, incorporating certain crafts and granting them disciplinary powers. By this the mason craft obtained for the first time official recognition as one of the crafts of the town, but whilst the other crafts eventually formed a joint organisation the masons always kept separate and developed along different lines. In 1541 the masons received a second Seal of Cause and the lodge was then reconstituted on a new footing. When eventually the lodge obtained it’s charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland dated 30th November, 1743, by which it was acknowledged as a regular lodge “under the title and denomination of The Lodge of Aberdeen in all time coming”, it started “it was made to appear by an extract of some of their old writings and other documents produced that year 1541 there had been a regular lodge formed in Aberdeen but the records had by accident been burned” In the absence of the lodge records previous to 1670 there is no definite
evidence to show that the lodge of 1670 was the direct successor of the lodge of 1483 and 1541, but from indications provided by our traditional history it seems very probable this organisation continued in the years between. The question of the date of formation of the lodge was reconsidered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1891, when recognised as having existed “before 1670”. Its position on the roll was then advanced from No. 34 to No. 1 ter, thereby conceding to the lodge a position in accordance with it’s history which had long been claimed by it’s members. During its long history the lodge has had many meeting places. In its earliest days it was forbidden to meet in house “where there is people living”, and meetings were held in the open air in some secluded spot-chiefly at the point of Ness (Girdleness) but also at Carden’s Haugh and Cunninhar Hill. The first recorded building was on St. Katherine’s Hill, and later in the Gallowgate. In 1700 a house for the lodge was build at Futtiesmyres on the Links, and in 1755 ground was acquired at what is now the corner of Union Street and King Street, on which a hotel, the New Inn, was built containing lodge rooms, entrance to which was from the street still known as “Lodge Walk”. Later premises in Exchequer Row were in use the move to the present magnificent temple in Crown Street in 1910. Very few lodges possess more complete or more interesting records relating to the early days of masonry. R. F. Gould in his “History of Freemasonry” says “Many of these documents possess
features exclusively their own, whilst some are unsurpassed by any others of a similar character in interest and value”. Unfortunately lack of space allows the briefest reference here to these records. By far the oldest and most important is the Mark Book which was commenced in 1670, when it records the names of 49 fellow crafts and master masons and 11 apprentices-conclusive proof of our existence “prior to 1670”. It is noteworthy that even at that date only 10 members were operative masons. In 1748 the original book having worn out, a new one was commenced in which were pasted 28 pages from the original, and it is this book which is still in use, though it has been rebound with modern covers. Of the 49 original names four are peers and many others are known to have been men of prominence in the town. The Mark Book also contains the Laws and Statues of the Lodge and the Mason Charter. The Laws and Statues are of great importance, not only on account of being a Masonic document written 300 years ago, but because they supply the best and fullest example of the rules of an old Scottish Mason Lodge. The Mason Charter is a record of the traditional history and teachings of the lodge. The earliest existing Minute Book dated 1696 – 1778 records only admissions of members and elections of office-bearers, but general minutes are complete from 1737, and treasurer’s cash books from 1719. The old minutes are of interest, reflecting as they do the life of a Masonic lodge in those days, with great bursts of activity following periods of inertia, and also the growing influence of non-operative masons.
In 1753 Lodge St. Machar was formed and the lodge of Aberdeen no longer stood alone as representing masonry in the town. Since then of course many other lodges have formed, but our lodge has continued its leading role at all times. During the present century three past masters-Brothers A.L. Miller, R.P. Masson and G.G. Nicol-have become Provincial Grand Master of Aberdeen City Province. During the Second World War activity almost ceased, but in 1945 a nucleus of active members got going again, and under a succession of excellent masters the lodge soon got back on its feet. The present officebearers are masons of the highest calibre and keenness and there is no doubt that the lodge enters its fourth century with every prospect of continuing success.
This Historical Sketch about Lodge Aberdeen No. 1 Ter was reproduced from the website of the Lodge, and is used in the newsletter with permission from the Lodge of Aberdeen and for that the editor thanks the Lodge. Brethren, this will become a regular feature in the newsletter for a wee while, featuring some Scottish Lodges. If you have a brief history of your lodge and would like to see it here, drop me a line. Next month, we will publish a short Historical Sketch of Lodge Coupar O’ Fife No.19.
Please Explain This……. Why do we sometimes see three dots arranged in a triangular pattern?
. . .
LODGE SEAL The seal of the Lodge dates from 1762 and probably reproduces an earlier one that was lost. The motto “Commissum tege et Vino tortus et Ira” is from Horace-Epistle 1-18.38 and translates “Conceal the secret entrusted to you even when influenced by wine or anger”.
The three dots (or three points) were formerly fashionable in Masonic writing instead of the usual periods after initials. The practice was apparently started in France by the non-recognized Grand Orient of France in 1774 and Masons were sometimes called 'Three Point Brothers'. The usage became popular in the US and is seen today in some Scottish Rite documents. Any significance they had two hundred years ago is now long lost. Extracted from the masonicinfo site, many thanks!
Brethren, I’m always on the look-out for interesting articles such as this for the newsletter. If anyone has a story/article/lectures/photos or even an idea, please get in touch, I will be only too happy to include it.
Book Review ……. The Stars of Robt Burns by Catherine Smith Phd.
The book "Stars of Robt Burns" by Catherine Smith Phd is available from Masonic Publishing at this link. A completely different and fascinating viewpoint of Scotland's National Bard. This study of Burns aims to understand how his thoughts formed. It considers how his education and experiences contributed to his character and ingenuity. It appreciates his message, poems and songs, loved by so many throughout the world and their relevance today. Burns had polymath knowledge and was fascinated with technology which made him prescient of contemporary economic and social tragedy caused by industrialisation. He overcame hardships with laughter. Although he was born during the "Scottish Enlightenment" astrologers saw destiny in his horoscope. Through his strength from Freemasonry and the Brotherhood's support he obeyed the command of his muse, Coila: "Preserve the Dignity of Man". Price £19.95
Book Reviews……. Circle publications and Masonic Publishing produce a wide range of Masonic Books, each month we will include a book review page of some of the books available from them.
On the Level Masonic items that I have come across Surfing the net!
Have a good look at this photograph. This picture was taken in Wiltshire in England. And yes, it is a crop circle. Probably visitors from Lodge Ursa Major No.123! In the Orion System. Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.