Contents Page 2, ‘Masonry and the Statue of Liberty’ This month’s cover story describes that part freemasonry played in this iconic statue.
Page 7, ‘Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle No.312.’ A short Historical sketch about this old Scottish Lodge.
Page 11, ‘The Masonic Encyclopaedia.’ This month we look at the letter, ‘W’, from Warden to Worshipful.
Page 12, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’, “The Greatest Work”, the eighth in the series from Carl Claudy’s ‘Old Tiler Talks.’
Page 14, ‘Famous Freemasons.’ Will Rogers, An Uncommon – Common Man, Hollywood Actor.
Page 16, ‘The Initiates Chain’. You will never take linking arms again for granted!
Page 17, ‘A Cartoon Strip’, The further Adventures of Billy!
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Tracing Board of the First Degree’. The article this month looks at how to interpret the meaning of this tracing board. [link]
Masonry and the Statue of Liberty
talent. But the proposal lay dormant during the autocratic rule of Napoleon III and throughout the destructive years of the Franco-Prussian War.
Masons everywhere can take special pride in the part our great Fraternity played in the creation and erection, over 100 years ago, of the most unique symbol of freedom and opportunity, the Statue of Liberty.
In 1871, Laboulaye, the Brother Lafayette with their cousin, the Marquis de Noailles, and the Marquis de Rochambeau, along with Henri Martin, revived the plan for the as yet unnamed memorial. They suggested that Bartholdi visit America and make arrangements for the presentation of the monument on July 4, 1876, the Centenary of the Declaration of Independence.
In the summer of 1865, a group of Frenchmen were gathered together one evening at the home of the well-known author, Edouard Rene de Laboulaye, in the village of Glavingny, a suburb of Paris. Among those present were Oscar and Edmond de Lafayette, grandsons of the Marquis d' Lafayette, Masonic brother of George Washington; Henri Martin, the noted historian and French Mason; and a young artist from Colmar in French (later German) Alsace by the name of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who at the time was engaged in making a bust of Laboulaye, called by one biographer "America's most ardent admirer in France." Laboulaye told the group that it would be a splendid gesture on the part of all liberty-loving Frenchmen to acknowledge their friendship to America by presenting a fitting memorial. (Some have speculated that he had a second motive in mind--to call attention to the contrast between the American way of life with its freedoms and that of the French under the repressive Second Empire.) The 31-year-old Bartholdi became imbued with the idea and also the challenge it presented to his artistic
Armed with letters of introduction and full of high hopes, Bartholdi sailed for America, although it is said that he did not have even a rough drawing of the proposed monument. Two weeks later, while standing on the deck of the ship Pereire steaming up Lower New York Bay, he caught a vision of a magnificent goddess holding aloft a torch in one hand and welcoming all visitors to the land of freedom and opportunity. Quickly obtaining paper and brush, Bartholdi sketched in watercolour the idea of the Statue of Liberty substantially as it appears today. It was his thought to have this symbolic structure tower over the steeple of Trinity Church, then the tallest building on the New York skyline. He wrote to Laboulaye, "These outlines may well aim beyond the mere monument at a work of great moral value." Bartholdi returned to France in 1874 and soon thereafter the FrancoAmerican Union was established in Paris to raise funds for the Statue of
"Liberty Enlightening the World." That same year, Bartholdi began his work at the Parisian firm of Gaget, Gauthier & Cie. His model for the face of the "Goddess of Liberty" was his mother, Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi. First, he made a four-foot clay miniature, then a nine-foot cast in plaster, and then proportionately enlarged each section four times, making as many as nine thousand measurements with each increase in size. Gustave Eiffel, who later gained worldwide fame as a result of the 984foot tower he created for the Paris Exposition in 1889, specially designed the main structural framework of four huge steel supports. Under the leadership of Henri Martin, and inspired perhaps by the fact that so many of the sponsors of the FrancoAmerican Union were members of the Masonic Fraternity, a campaign netting one million francs was completed by 1880. Contributors included over 100,000 individuals, 181 villages, 10 Chambers of Commerce, and many school children. The pedestal, which was America's responsibility, had been plagued by inadequate financial support, and it took a last-minute effort by Joseph Pulitzer, the owner and editor of the New York World, to raise over $100,000, most of it from school children. Together, American and French citizens contributed some $500,000 to the project. Although the Statue's completion was not in time for the original 1876 date, the right hand and torch were displayed at the Philadelphia World's Fair and later in New York, so America was
given a "sneak preview" of what was to come. On Washington's Birthday in 1877, Congress accepted the statue, in the name of the United States, as a gift from the French people. President Hayes then authorized General William T. Sherman, Army Chief of Staff, to select a suitable site for the gift. Sherman, knowing Bartholdi's preference for Bedloe's (now Liberty) Island, wisely concurred. Meanwhile, in France Bartholdi and his fifty workmen finished the head, which was to go on display at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1878. In 1880, the final stage was in preparation. The copper sheets were ready to be riveted in place, and Levi P. Morton, American Minister to France, later Vice President of the United States and Governor of New York, was invited to "drive the rivet in the first part to be mounted, the big toe of the left foot. " The giant lady literally grew out of the Paris pavement. When completed, she stood 151 feet high and remained in place for two years, awaiting the building of a pedestal. The statue was finished on May 21, 1884, and formally presented to Ambassador Morton by Ferdinand de Lesseps, head of the Franco-American Union and builder of the Suez Canal, at a friendship dinner on July 4, 1884. Around this time, Bartholdi, who was a member of Lodge Alsace Lorraine in Paris, which was composed of intellectuals, writers and government representatives, invited his brothers to
view his masterpiece prior to its leaving their native land for America. It is also reported that in November of that year, he delivered a lecture and gave the Lodge a report on the history and various methods used in the creation of the statue. In 1887, after the statue was dedicated at its final resting place, Bartholdi told his Lodge brothers of the ardent welcome he had received in New York and of the wide enthusiasm created by his work. Meanwhile, in America plans were being made for the laying of the cornerstone of the pedestal. Chairman William M. Evarts of the American Committee contacted the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, and requested a Masonic ceremony "appropriate to the occasion." It had been a tradition in America to have the cornerstone of major public and private buildings and monuments consecrated with full Masonic rites, ever since President George Washington, on September 18, 1793, had personally laid the cornerstone of the United States Capital, with the assistance of the Grand Lodge of Maryland. Similarly, the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid in a Masonic ceremony. The Evart's invitation, however, was more than a local manifestation of the influence of the Craft or the continuance of a national practice. The presentation and erection of the Statue of Liberty was an occasion of worldwide significance, and delegating the laying of the cornerstone to the Masonic Fraternity was a fitting tribute rendered to free
men of high principles and recognized international reputations throughout the world. The date set for the ceremony was August 5, 1884. The American Committee sent invitations to all the leading state and municipal leaders across the Nation. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at two o'clock. Everything humanly possible was carefully planned. But one factor could not be controlled--the weather. On August 5, 1884, it did more than just rain, it poured! However, the ceremony went off as scheduled. The gaily-decorated vessel Bay Ridge, draped with the Tricolour of France and the Stars and Stripes, ferried approximately 100 members of the Grand Lodge of New York and visiting Masonic Grand Officers, along with many civic officials, to Bedloe's Island. Because of limited space, the traditional Masonic parade was omitted and the program was begun immediately. A United States Army band played " La Marseillaise," the French National Anthem, following with the very popular "Hail Columbia." Then began, on the raised northeast corner of the pedestal, the formal cornerstone ceremony. Brother Richard M. Hunt, principal architect of the pedestal, presented the Working Tools to M..W. William A. Brodie, Grand Master, (see Famous Scottish Freemasons in the Lodge 76 website) who in turn distributed them to the Grand Lodge officers: R. .W. Frank R. Lawrence, Deputy Grand Master; R. .W. John W. Vrooman, Senior Grand
Warden; and R. .W. James Ten Eyck, Junior Grand Warden. R. .W. Edward M.L. Ehlers, Grand Secretary and a member of Continental Lodge 287, read the list of items to be included in the copper box within the cornerstone: A copy of the United States Constitution; George Washington's Farewell Address; 20 bronze medals of Presidents up through Chester A. Arthur (including Washington, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Johnson, and Garfield who were proven Freemasons); copies of New York City newspapers; a portrait of Bartholdi; a copy of Poem on Liberty by E.R. Johnes; and a list on parchment of the Grand Lodge officers. By traditional ceremony, the cornerstone was then tested and being found, square, level and plumb, the Deputy Grand Master completed the work by applying the mortar and by having the stone lowered firmly into place. The Grand Master then struck three blows with the gavel and declared the stone duly laid. The elements of consecration, corn, wine and oil, were next presented by R. .W. Brothers Lawrence, Vrooman and Ten Eyck. The most Worshipful Grand Master then gave a brief but pointed talk. He posed a question: "Why call upon the Masonic Fraternity to lay the cornerstone of such a structure as is here to be erected?" His answer, which is as true today as it was then, was: "No institution has done more to promote liberty and to free men from the trammels and chains of ignorance and tyranny than has Freemasonry." The principal address was given by the Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Brother
Lawrence, who said in part: "Massive as this statue is, its physical proportions sink into comparative obscurity when contrasted with the nobility of its concept. Liberty Enlightening the World! How lofty the thought! To be free, is the first, the noblest aspiration of the human breast. And it is now a universally admitted truth that only in proportion as men become possessed of liberty, do they become civilized, enlightened, and useful. . . . As Masons, we cannot appropriate to ourselves alone the lessons, which this monument will teach. Not only to us, but to all men will it appeal . . . the gigantic figure which is here to stand in unapproachable grandeur while the centuries pass, will command: "Be noble, and the nobleness that lies In other men, sleeping, but never dead, Will rise in majesty to meet thine own. " The remainder of the story concerning the Statue of Liberty and Freemasons is almost anti-climatic. Upon completion, the pedestal stood 89 feet high from its foundation on old Fort Wood, an abandoned 12-acre site on Bedloe's Island, 2,950 yards southwest of Manhattan Island. Liberty was dismantled in Paris, every copper plate and beam coded and packed into 214 cases, and the whole shipment transported on a 70-car train to the coast. After a month at sea on the Isere, she arrived at Bedloe's Island in June, 1885. It took 15 months to assemble the 225 tons of pure copper (applied in l/8" thickness), steel and iron, but when she was in place, the result was as magnificent as the creator's dream.
Dedication Day, October 28, 1886, was declared a holiday in New York City. Charles P. Stone, Grand Marshal, led the 20,000 paraders, including many Masonic Lodges, from 57th Street past President Crover Cleveland's reviewing stand at Madison Square Park and on down to the Battery, where groups were taken by steamer to Bedloe's Island. Brother Henry C. Potter, Episcopal Bishop of New York, gave the Invocation and Comte Ferdinand de Lesseps presented the statue to Chairman Evarts in the name of the French people.
inscribed with the date "July 4, 1776" in the other, casts its light far beyond the horizon. The light which illumines the Statue of Liberty is a guiding symbol to the path of freedom for men of all nations.
Both the Statue and the pedestal were then formally presented to President Cleveland, who received the monument with eloquent thanks in the name of the United States. Brother Bartholdi then pulled a silken cord releasing the Tricolour veil from the head and face of the Statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World."
This article by Bro. Robert D. Singer was sourced from Masonicworld.com.
The main speaker was Chauncey M. Depew, United States Senator, railroad president, one of the most famous orators in American history, and an active member of Kane Lodge 454, having been raised in 1885. The program was closed with a Benediction pronounced by Bishop Potter. The Statue of Liberty is not just a colossal 225-ton pile of metal reaching some 300 feet in the air at the entrance of New York harbour, conspicuous by day and a guide to mariners by night. Magnificent in its conception, wonderful in design, and a masterpiece of engineering skill, this gigantic figure, holding aloft a torch of freedom in one hand and clasping a book of laws
Yes, Freemasons everywhere can well be proud of the key role played by the Craft in the inception and erection of this great memorial and each of us should renew his vows and obligations to spread further the light of freedom, truth, tolerance, and justice which the Statue of Liberty so grandly symbolizes.
A Wee Joke The New Password A wife was helping her husband set up his new computer, and at the appropriate time in the process, told him he would now need to enter a password.. Something he would use to log-on. Her husband was in a rather devilish mood and figured he would try for the shock effect to bring this to his wife's attention. So, when the computer asked him to enter his password, he made it plainly obvious to his wife that he was keying in: P...E...N...I...Sâ&#x20AC;Ś His wife fell out of her chair laughing when the computer replied: ***PASSWORD INVALID*** **NOT LONG ENOUGH**
Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle. "This night the Brethren in the house of Hugh Paterson met, for the purpose of electing Office-bearers, according to the request of The Grand Lodge of Scotland, and, having unanimously chosen John Banks President for the night's proceeding, the following persons were elected Office-bearers: Thomas Crawford John Fergusson William McAllister John Wilson James Dobbie William Denovan John Banks John McCulloch David McQew
Master Depute Master Senior Warden Junior Warden Treasurer Secretary Steward Auditor Tyler
The above is the first Minute Book Record of the Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle Lodge numbering '312' on the roll of The Grand Lodge of Scotland and was recorded 175 years ago.
Anderson, Innkeeper, Newmarket, Bannockburn, to hold a Lodge of Brethren assembled and to formulate in Bannockburn the high ideal which is the foundation of Freemasonry, may not have imagined that their Lodge, started also as a Friendly Society, would continue in strength and be on its way to the second century of its existence. It is fitting after perusing the known Records and Minute Books of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle to pay tribute to the historians of the Lodge represented by a long line of excellent Masters, Secretaries and Treasurers. Not all of the records are in copper-plate handwriting, for many of the early members were weavers and could not record the Minutes as men of letters. But shining through the Records, however presented, is the fact that Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle has been ever-mindful of charity - with top priority always being given to the less fortunate brethren, in sickness or other distressed circumstances, their widows and orphans.
Any organisation of men which has stood the test of time from just after the Battle of Waterloo to the landing of men on the moon must surely have contributed something worthwhile to the well-being of the community.
The basic industry in the village of Bannockburn at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century was the weaving of cloth. The occupations of 13 of the 19 founder members were Manufacturers (2), Weavers (8), Warpers (3). The fees due at this time on being initiated as a Fellow Craft and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason were ten shillings (50 pence), a not inconsiderable sum then.
The nineteen founder members when they met first in the house of James
The first name to be recorded as a member, dues paid, was Thomas
The Lodge has continued in the "Town," with the name of such great historic significance to Scotland, since that time.
Crawford, Plasterer, Stirling, the first R.W.M. as stated in the Minute of the first meeting on 6th November, 1824. It is probable he was connected with a Stirling Lodge and may have been the same Thomas Crawford who was R.W.M. of Lodge Ancient Stirling No. 30 in the year 1800. There has always been some speculation on how the "Thistle" became incorporated, along with the natural desire to have the famous Scottish hero King Robert the Bruce forever linked with the name of Bannockburn. It may be of some significance, in attempting to discover why "Thistle" should be chosen - apart from the more obvious connotation of its being one of the National Emblems of Scotland - to record this fact. Some of the early meetings were held at "Sister Denovan's" and her "Crown and Thistle" Inn was at the end of Newmarket. Meetings, many of which were in the homes of members in the early days, were not so frequent as in recent times. The first public parade of the Lodge occurred in December 1825 when the Brethren of the Lodge, accompanied by the Bannockburn Instrumental Band, paraded through the town prior to assembling for the first Festival of St. John. The consecration of the Lodge took place on October 23rd 1827, almost three years after the charter was granted, with the ceremony being performed by Bro.
John Prentice R.W.M. of the Stirling Ancient Lodge. Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle's two sponsor lodges, The Lodge of Alloa and Lodge St.Andrew Denny and Loanhead were also in attendance as were Stirling Royal Arch and Stirling Rock Encampment. But the brethren attended many more public occasions, particularly the laying of foundation stones. Brethren of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle attended such ceremonies as the new bridge over the Forth at Stirling in 1831; the Wallace Monument in 1861; the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1870 and the Smith Arts Museum at Stirling in 1871. Gifts to the Lodge from members were many in the early years and it is recorded that on the return from their visit to Edinburgh in 1870 one of the deputation, Bro. E.L.Wilson R.W.M., presented a handsome mahogany mallet with ebony handle and Senior and Junior Warden's Pillars. The history of Scotland and the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution can be traced from the Minute Books of the Lodge during the Nineteenth Century. The start of the working of coal in the local pits could be seen by the number of miners who joined the Craft. There were those who joined the emigrating Scots who were to make new lives for themselves and families in Canada and Australia.
Many of these brethren were raised through all the Degrees to become Master Masons at one emergency meeting - a speedy arrangement also made for many members going overseas on active service. The social and Harmony ideal of Freemasonry has never been neglected by Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle in going from labour to refreshment. The constantly changing social aspect can be traced through concerts, dances after Festivals of St.John, a cinematograph show, summer drives in charabancs, Masonic Balls and on to the present '312' Social Club. After Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle had taken a Lodge Room on its own instead of meeting mostly in members houses the premises were frequently let to other organisations and societies to assist them in their formative years at the end of the Nineteenth Century. They included the Free Gardeners, the Y.M.C.A. for Sabbath morning meetings and also the let of the premises as a reading room. The Lodge received help on many occasions from Bro. Col. Wilson, who owned the weaving mills for tartans in Bannockburn by providing storage space for Lodge possessions etc, and to other members of the Wilson Mills family. In 1826 the Brethren attended the laying of the Foundation Stone of James Wilson's Mill. The exact location of this Mill is not known but could it have been the Royal George Mill Building in which the present Lodge Temple is
situated? Indeed, there is a lintel in the building bearing the date 1826. The Lodge considered the building of a new Temple at the close of the Nineteenth Century instead of renting a Lodge Room. One of those rented and in use for many years was the building at the corner of Main Street and Kirk Wynd, near the old Ladywell Church, later the Murrayfield U.F. Church. The Lodge decided, however, to rent as a hall the upper storey of the Old Town Hall and their first meeting in these premises was in February 1904. During the Centenary Year of the Lodge (1924) the brethren were in the midst of negotiations to purchase the present Masonic Hall premises at the Royal George Mill and to raise money to renovate it. This was probably why no Thanksgiving Service or Dinner was held in that Centenary Year. The decision was taken to combine the Consecration of the new Masonic Temple with the Centenary Celebrations the following year on 24th April 1925. In a closely-knit community like Bannockburn, son has followed father into the Fellowship of the Craft during the 175 years of its existence as a Lodge. It is particularly interesting to trace names such as Wilson, Plank, Vallance, McQue (sometimes McQew), Morrison,
Stevenson, Buchanan, Jaffray and Don appearing and re-appearing as generation succeeds generation throughout the Lodge's history. To pick out just one of the above names, in December 1888 it was recorded that Bro. John Don, 84 years of age, had been a Freemason for 65 years. This pre-dates the Lodge by one year. In 1916 a presentation of a Gold Albert and Seal and a life membership certificate was made to Bro. George Don who had been the Lodge Tyler for 25 years. The current R.W.M. is Bro. Alexander Don and his brother Robert is the W.S.W., both of whom followed their late father into the Lodge. Whilst it is not known if these two brethren are direct descendants of Bros. John & George Don, in a small community such as ours it is likely that some connection exists.
the motor car era, was also a feature of the post War years. This short history is more of a sketch of its idealistic work during the first 175 years. Some happenings have been left unrecorded and names which might have been expected are not mentioned, because of some Minute Books not being available or perhaps through human oversight, but I hope that the inherent laudable intentions of the Brethren of the Lodge, down the years, to follow the precepts of the Craft, shine through it all and provide an inspiration to present Freemasons and to all who follow in the Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle Lodge No. 312.
The Brethren of the Lodge have always been ready and willing to give a practical token of their sympathy to those in distress. When three Brethren died in the Plean Pit explosion in 1922 special payments were made to their wives or dependants. In the immediate years after the Great War and again after the Second World War there were understandably many more candidates to join the Craft after long absences from home of serving men in the forces. Greater visitation between Lodges, no doubt because of improved transport in
This excellent history was sourced for the website of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle No.312. If your Lodge would like to have its history published in the newsletter, please contact the editor.
The Masonic Encyclopaedia
The Letter ‘W’
In the First Book of Kings (vi, 8) it is said: "The door for the Middle Chamber was in the right side of the house; and they went up with winding stairs into the Middle Chamber, and out of the middle into the third." From this passage the Freemasons of the eighteenth century adopted the symbol of the Winding Stairs, and introduced it into the Fellow Craft's Degree, where it has ever since remained.
Warden “Ward” is of Medieval origin, having been used in early English, French, German, etc., always in the sense of to guard something, a meaning preserved in warden, guard, guardian, wary, ware, ward, etc. A warden is guardian of the west gate of the Temple, the Junior Warden of the south gate.
West Although the West, as one of the four Cardinal Points, holds an honorable position as the station of the Senior Warden, and of the pillar of Strength that supports the Lodge, yet, being the place of the sun's setting and opposed to the East, the recognized place of light, it, in Masonic symbolism, represents the place of darkness and ignorance.
Widow’s Son In Ancient Craft Masonry, the title applied to Hiram, the architect of the Temple, because he is said, in the first Book of Kings (vu, 14) to have been "a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali." The Adonhiramite Freemasons have a tradition which Chapron gives in the following words: "The Freemasons call themselves the widow's sons, because, after the death of our respectable Master, the Freemasons took care of his mother, whose children they called themselves, because Adonhiram had always considered them as his Brethren. But the French Freemasons subsequently changed the myth and called themselves Sons of the Widow, and for this reason.
Working Tools In each of the Degrees of Freemasonry, certain implements of the Operative Art are consecrated to the Speculative Science, and adopted to teach as symbols lessons of morality. With these the Speculative Freemason is taught to erect his spiritual Temple, as his Operative predecessors with the same implements so constructed their material Temples. Thus they are known as Working Tools of the Degree.
Worshipful The Anglo Saxon weorth was something honorable, deserving of respect, a meaning that shows up in worth, the value of anything, also in worship, which is deference paid to some object or person of great importance. Worshipful describes something full of the qualities calling for such deference. It was used in Medieval times of one’s parents, officers of the state, prelates, etc., signifying that such persons were of high station or entitled to deferential respect. It is so used in our term, “Worshipful Master.”
Next Month, Letter ‘X and Y’.
suppose the brotherly love and relief she teaches are among the greatest of her works. She teaches men to agree to disagree, and to avoid dissension while meeting on a common level. She teaches brotherly love, which makes society run more smoothly and makes us all happier. One of Masonry's works is education, since she admonishes us to learn and to study. But I don't know that I could say that any one of them is the most important."
The Greatest Work OLD TILER, what is the greatest work of Masonry?" The New Brother sat by the guardian of the door and pulled out his cigar case. "Persuading new brethren that Old Tilerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s need something to smoke!" returned the Old Tiler promptly. The New Brother laughed as he handed over a cigar. "I hope you will smoke with me," he said, "But that wasn't just what I had in mind. Masonry has so many different jobs to do -- I was wondering which is the greatest." "Suppose you tell me what you think these jobs are," suggested the Old Tiler. "I can answer more intelligently if I know what you have in mind." "Masonry teaches and practices charity," began the New Brother. "I
"That is rather difficult," answered the Old Tiler. "Besides, you have left out a number of things. Masonry helps us to make friends-and surely in the struggle for happiness, friends add much to the joy and take away much from the burden. "Masonry helps men to come closer to their Maker-she does not ape the church in teaching men how to worship God, but only that God is, and that one can commune with the Great Architect without sect or creed. She teaches sympathy and understanding. She teaches toleration of the other fellow's views. Democrat and Republican, saint and sinner, meet on the level in a lodge and forget their differences in their sameness, lose sight of the quarrels in their oneness. All this Masonry does for those who accept her gentle ministrations." "But that doesn't tell me which is the greatest thing she does," objected the New Brother as the Old Tiler paused. "I don't think there is a greatest thing, except for the individual," answered the Old Tiler. "The greatest thing Masonry
may do for me may not be your greatest thing. To one man her brotherly love may be the greatest; to another, the friends; to a third, the charity. Doesn't it depend on the man?" "You wouldn't say, then, that you think relief is Masonry s greatest accomplishment?" asked the New Brother. "For those it relieves, yes; and it often is for those who have contributed to it. But suppose a man is engaged all day as a charity visitor or a doctor or a Red Cross official. Relief by Masonry won't be anything new to him. He must look elsewhere for the greatest thing." "Well, what is Masonry's greatest accomplishment for you, as an Old Tiler?" "Opportunity for service!" answered the Old Tiler, promptly. "It gives me a chance to do things for my fellowman I wouldn't otherwise have. I am an old man. I am not very active, and I have always been poor. But in Masonry I can be active, even if not very spry. Not having much, means doesn't seem to count. Now let me ask you, what is Masonry's greatest accomplishment for you?" The New Brother laughed. "I knew that was coming. It's sort of hazy when I try to put it into words. But it is clear in my mind. The greatest thing which I get out of Masonry, save one thing only, is my kinship with the past. My sense that I am part of a living chain which goes back into the years which are gone, for no one knows how many centuries. I do
what George Washington did in a lodge. I see the same things Elias Ashmole saw. As I do, so did Bobby Burns. I am mentally akin with the Comacine builders and the Guild craftsmen of the Middle Ages." "Back to Solomon and beyond," agreed the Old Tiler. "I understand." "Perhaps you do, but I can't make it clear when I try to put it into words." The New Brother looked off into the distance, frowning. "I feel a mystic sense of strength and inspiration from this oneness with so many millions of brethren who have gone this way before me-it seems to me that I have an added strength for my daily life because I am a part of so great a chain. "All who love the Craft have that feeling," smiled the Old Tiler. "But you said there was one other benefit which Masonry conferred on you, and which you thought was the greatest of all. What is that?" The New Brother looked at the Old Tiler, without smiling. "The privilege of talking to a man as wise as you," he answered.
This is the eighth article in this 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
Famous Freemasons Will Rogers An uncommon – common man
Rising from the obscurity of a country upbringing, Will Rogers the son of an Oklahoma rancher rose to a level of power and respect that most heads of state can only dream of. This man of little formal education truly captured the attention and imagination of the world. Armed with a homespun brand of humor and philosophy he entertained the public, promoting thought and encouraging leaders to walk the straight and narrow path of righteousness. He was famous for statements like, "Lead your life so you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." Raised a Master Mason in
Claremore Lodge # 53, A.F.& A.M., Claremore, Indian Territory (Oklahoma) on March 13, 1906, he constantly promoted our Masonic ideas of brotherly love, ethics, and charity. Born November 4, 1879 in the Indian Territory, William Penn Adair Rogers was an outdoorsman and rambler. Early on he saw that school was not for him and began work as a ranch cowboy. Day to day ranch life fell by the way as Will discovered the joy of rodeo competition. His skills as a roper earned him a small amount of cash early on, but eventually led him into the world of Wild West Shows and the Circus. His rambling nature led him to Argentina in 1902 where he worked in the pampas with the gauchos. From there he wrangled livestock aboard a ship bound for South Africa. His show career began in Africa when Texas Jack’s Wild West Show hired him as a trick roper. Will’s amazing feats of skill with a rope were the keys that got him in the door to a life on stage, but his ultimate success was roped through his humorous banter. Back in the U.S., Will began working in vaudeville, twirling the rope and catching horses on stage. Suddenly he caught the audience’s attention when in his shy manner he began to ad lib. One of the first was, "Swinging a rope is all right," "Provided your neck ain’t in it." His dry humor and witty observations eventually led to star roles in the Ziegfield Follies, movie roles, radio commentaries, books, articles, and at the time of his death in a plane crash in 1935, recognition as America’s number one box office draw.
This Mason’s charitable spirit was legendary. Often he was known to give away the last of his pocket money, requiring him to bum a ride home. "It’s great to be great, but it is greater to be human." This human side led Brother Will to be recognized as one of the largest individual contributors the Red Cross and the Salvation Army had. At one point he refused a radio series unless his entire salary of $75,000 was split between the two charities. Numerous out of work actors were employed by Rogers, often receiving more pay than they could receive from bit parts. Will’s friend Brother Eddie Cantor, recalled that he saw Will anonymously give one thousand dollars to the Goodfellows Fund, telling them to buy some toys for the kids. In an effort to bring some relief to those in areas of natural disasters, Will visited many sites, including Managua Nicaragua, Mexico, and the flooded Mississippi River Valley. He also visited Hospitals in efforts to bring cheer to the sick and injured. Will Rogers though famous was not above sitting beside an ill child and telling him stories. But first and foremost Will was an American. He openly challenged our system and leaders to do better. As a good Brother should, without malice, he pointed out the wrongs he observed. An example was the following influenced by the First World War. "The guy who makes the bullets was paid $5 per day, and the man who stopped them got $15 a month", "Of course this came under the heading of unskilled labor." Much of his time was spent at the "National Joke Factory", Washington. The actions of our Government were constant sources of material. It would
seem the Legislators would have had enough gibes, like these slogans, "Why sleep at home when you can sleep in Congress?" "Be a politician, no training necessary!" "Come to Washington and vote to raise your pay!", but when Will turned down a series of radio spots, he was convinced to take on the project after receiving a letter signed by the entire Senate. His most famous line concludes an explanation of how he got away with kidding so many important figures, "…because I liked all of them personally, and if there was no malice in your heart, there could be none in your gags; and I have always said I never met a man I didn’t like." With a shy tilt to his head, a twinkle in his eye, and a grin, our Brother captured the public with humorous half-truths. As evidenced by the recent Broadway hit, "The Will Rogers Follies" many of his gags are still as effective today as they were when first told. This was a man our country and the Masonic Fraternity should be proud of, for he was able to touch the heart of the high and mighty as well as the common man. "There is nothing impresses "common folks" like somebody that ain’t common." This bio was sourced from Jacques DeMolay Lodge No. 1390
Brethren, I’m always on the look out for items of interest for the Newsletter. If you have written an article, lecture etc, or have come across a piece that you might like to share, or even have an idea for something of interest that the Brethren might like, get in touch and leave the rest to me.
The Initiates Chain At the closing of a lodge of Entered Apprentices, after initiating a candidate, some lodges in the highlands use the Chain of Union, which they call the Initiates Chain, with the master making the following explanation: Brother Initiate, you will observe that with open arms we receive you into freemasonry in general, into this your Mother lodge, in particular, and into the hearts of the brethren forming this Masonic circle. You will see the brothers arms cross the breasts of those next to him on either side: this symbolizes the protection brother gives to brother from the attacks of the insidious should the need arise. You will also notice the brothers arms extend beyond his immediate neighbours; this signifies the far reaching nature of Masonic help. The chain thus formed is symbolic of our order; it is a double link chain and therefore doubly strong. It has two meanings, first, it shows the manner in which the initiate is received into Freemasonry; all the brethren receive him into the circle which has no end. You, bro initiate are grasping the hands of the Immediate Past Master across the breast of the Worshipful Master. You
represent the future; The Worshipful Master the present and the Immediate Past Master, the past. Thus, the past looks through the present to the future to see the continuity of its work. Secondly, because the chain is a double link one, should it so happen that a link is broken by the G.A.O.T.U. calling a brother to the Grand Lodge above, the chain remains unbroken by means of the other links. Nevertheless a weakness remains until that link is replaced by a new brother. Tonight, brother initiate, you are that new link; may you remain strong and unbroken until you in turn receive your summons to the Grand Lodge above. The slight swaying movement made by the brethren signifies that the chain is being stretched and tested but remains strong and unbroken, this points out that masonry is able to meet and overcome all difficulties under any circumstances. (Brethren, this chain of union may seem slightly familiar to you, although you might think you have never witnessed it or been a link in the chain, but in all likelihood you have, and on numerous occasions at that. In you have ever formed a circle at the end of a Burns Supper or indeed at a Masonic event, sung Auld Lang Syne and crossed hands with those people or either side of you, then you have taken part in the Chain of Union, for that is the action that is being described in this article, - The Editor.)
The Adventures of Billy! The Lodge Goat
Fancy a game of darts?
By SRA76 Web comics
Ok, Nearest the bull Goes first.
ÂŠ SRA76 - 2010/7
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.