Contents Page 2, ‘Robert Burns, Poet-Laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning’ If you ever had any doubts about whether or not Burns was Poet-Laureate of this Lodge, this article will expel those reservations!
Page 7, ‘Famous Freemasons.’ Wallace Bruce, the American with the Scottish name, and author of the cover article
Page 9, ‘Lodge Dramatic No.571.’ A short Historical sketch about Lodge Dramatic No.571 in Glasgow.
Page 12, ‘A Travelling man in Masonry.’ In search of Light!
Page 13, ‘The Disliked Petitioner’, The sixteenth in the series from Carl Claudy’s ‘Old Tiler Talks.’
Page 15, ‘The International Order of HooHoo Another in our series of Fraternal Societies throughout the World.
Page 16, ‘The Shoe.’ An explanation as to this Masonic symbol.
Page 18, ‘Coming to Terms with Freemasonry.’ The word ‘Hoodwink’. In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Masonic Genius of Robert Burns’. [link] The front cover picture is a detail from the Inauguration of Robert Burns as Poet-Laureate, © G.L.O.S.
Robert Burns Poet-Laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning 225 years ago next month, on the 1st of February, Robert Burns was affiliated as a member of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning in Edinburgh. Tradition has it that at the meeting the month after, Robert Burns was created PoetLaureate of the Lodge. A tradition that has for over 125 years been the subject of much heated discussion, even a Committee was set up by the Grand Lodge of Scotland to investigate the claim. To commemorate this event, the newsletter has published this article by Wallace Bruce, himself a poet-laureate of the Lodge, written in 1881 Bro. Bruce presents a very strong case in defence of the claim that Robert Burns was indeed created Poet-laureate of this ancient and honourable old Scottish Lodge. (ed)
He [Burns] comes to Edinburgh and finds his home with an Ayrshire man, at No. 1 Baxter's Close, Lawnmarket. It is to be noticed that Burns' homes, like his songs, were humble; but in Edinburgh he found ready associates with the great, the witty, the good, and the noble. I picture him in St Andrew's Lodge, as his health is proposed, in an unexpected toast, â€œCaledoniaâ€™s Bard, Robert Burns." He says in a letter that he rose to his feet and replied as well as he could, and was delighted when he sat down to hear a word of praise pass along the table. I see him, about two
weeks afterwards, here in Lodge Canongate Kilwinning. I find him surrounded by the best known scholars of Edinburgh. I read the brief minute upon the books of that meeting: " The Right Worshipful Master having observed that Brother Burns was at present in the Lodge, who is well known as a great poetic writer, and for a late publication of his works, which have been universally commended, and submitted that he should be assumed a member of this Lodge, which was unanimously agreed to, and he was assumed accordingly." That minute went upon the lodge - book, and it is preserved to-day in Lodge Canongate Kilwinning among her choicest treasures. There is no minute in the St Andrew's lodge books that Robert Burns ever passed the door of that Lodge, and his visit there would have gone for ever from the memory of man if Burns had not happened to refer to it in a letter to a friend. The lodge books of those days were very imperfectly kept. I have observed that some of the minutes of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning during these years were not even signed. In fact, the April meeting of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning in 1787 is not minuted at all. But here is that prized and honoured minute, making Burns an affiliated member of this Lodge. There is a picture on the walls of this room representing Burns crowned as Poet- Laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning. That picture hangs perhaps in every State of the Union. It hangs today in every shire of Scotland, produced and reproduced in various forms and different sizes. Yet it is said by some very worthy men that this installation of Robert Burns as Poet-Laureate of Lodge
Canongate Kilwinning never took place that the event portrayed in the picture of Brother Watson, painted in 1845, had no existence. Let us look at the picture itself. Neither you, nor I, nor any other person supposes that this picture is a photograph or an exact reproduction of that scene in this Lodge. We all have seen the picture of Wellington and his staff-officers. Does any man believe for a moment that Wellington was ever surrounded by his staff-officers as shown in that picture? We all have seen the picture of Shakespeare and his friends. These pictures are not presumed to be strictly accurate in depicting what actually took place, but for that reason are we not to believe that there was a battle of Waterloo, and that Wellington and his troops stood that day as a wall of fire around Saxon institutions and liberty, and held the line against Napoleon's cavalry? Are we to be told that Shakespeare did not live in London at the time of Ben Johnson and the worthy poets of that generation? Let us stop for a moment and calmly consider. Friends may differ. Some may think that this ceremony never took place. We are, nevertheless, friends. If one person puts together, by the law of deduction, a certain lot of premises, and finds a particular result in his own mind, I am none the less a friend of that individual because I find, after the same reasoning, a logical deduction that leads me to think otherwise. Proof is to be found in tradition and in actual evidence. There is much in tradition, and many of the incidents in Burns' life are known only by tradition. What is tradition? It is when one generation passes on to another an idea or
statement which is known and accepted as true. I was once at the sweet and beautiful home of the nieces of Robert Burns, the Misses Begg. They told me that when Burns came home from working in the field he would take a half-hour and go up to a little room that had a little pine table, and upon that table he would write the poems that he had ploughed up in the field; and the nieces told me that their mother could hardly wait till the dinner was over, and Burns back to his work, before she, his youngest sister, ran up to that room and literally devoured those poems. Am I to believe or disbelieve that? It was not written in a book, but was told me, ninety years after the production of â€œThe Daisyâ€? and â€œThe Twa Dogs," by the daughter of the youngest sister of Robert Burns, and I believe it. Long years after " The Cotter's Saturday Night" was written, Gilbert Burns said that one Sunday afternoon, while walking across the fields, his brother Robert recited to him that wonderful poem, and he spoke of the emotion that thrilled him. When I am told of that, am I to doubt it? There is something in the Scriptures about holding fast to the old traditions and keeping secure the old landmarks. I remember, when I was initiated in Lodge No. 7, in Hudson, New York, they told me that Brand, the half-breed Indian, had once sat in that Lodge. It was a hundred and thirty years before I was made a Mason, and it is twenty-six years since this fact which I am going to tell you was made known to me. It was never on record. It was told me that
once in a massacre, when a man was tied to a tree and the fagots piled about him, and the flames were beginning to mount and crackle, that man, thinking no one was present nothing but the allseeing eye of God remembered the hailing sign of distress. In that vast wilderness, he made the sign. Brand, the half-breed Indian, who had been made a Mason in Canada, rushed into the flames and cut his prisoner free, because he was a brother Mason. Am I to believe that tradition? When my sons join that Lodge, will I not tell it to them? Years may pass before I take them by the hand as brother Masons; but the first thing I will tell them will be that Brand once sat there. And when speaking of my connection with Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, I will tell them that the great poet Robert Burns sat in this Lodge, and was made her PoetLaureate; that I received it from brethren who voiced the fact from those who knew him, and within these walls took him by the hand. I remember the time when I received honorary affiliation here, four years ago. It was a proud hour of my life to come up to this Lodge, with its old associations, and the first thing told me was that there, in that Poet's Corner, Robert Burns was made Poet-Laureate. But tradition is not all. We are living only in the second or third generation from that day. There are men still living who took the hands of those who knew Robert Burns. I do not care whether it is the second or third generation; tradition in a great family is bound to be true. Half of the history of the noble families of Scotland is to - day unwritten; but the transmitted tradition of those families is
truer than much of the history that has been put upon paper. A man in a quiet chamber, with curtains drawn, may make characters that resemble the poet's writing, and may pile up documents by the ''cord," which experts declare to be spurious. Tradition may exaggerate; but always in the very core of tradition there is the nugget of truth. I speak to some who have only recently joined this Lodge, and desire to speak plainly and freely, that they may not be disturbed by floating sentences that come from outside sources, but examine for themselves straightforward evidence and the vouchers we have of Burns as Poet-Laureate of this Lodge. We do not rest our claims upon tradition alone. We have vouchers of the fact, and vouchers that would be accepted as evidence in any court of law in the world. There is such a thing as written testimony that cannot be disputed. I wish to say to the younger members of the Lodge that although in 1787 there was nothing put in that brief minute about Robert Burns having been made Poet- Laureate of this Lodge, yet twenty -eight years afterwards, while many men who knew of the event were still living, I do not stop to account for it, whether it was due to the meagreness or the slovenliness of the minutes, but twenty - eight years afterwards only eighteen and a half years after the poet's death when everybody had Burns blazed upon him as the genius of Scotland, in the year 1815, when it was proposed that a mausoleum should be erected over the poet's grave in Dumfries, this grand old Lodge put upon record that it would give twenty guineas towards that mausoleum, because Burns was the Poet
-Laureate of Canongate Kilwinning. And, as if to make the link secure, the brother who seconded that motion in committee was Mr Charles Moore, the very man who signed the minute as Depute - Master of Burns' affiliation in this Lodge in 1787, and, therefore, was bound to know whether he had been made Poet-Laureate or not. Am I to be told that this Lodge, with its Christopher North, and its members known throughout the world, would try to make out that Robert Burns was PoetLaureate of this Lodge if he were not? If you do not know Scotsmen, I do, and when they subscribe they are pretty sure to know what they are subscribing to. Take a parallel instance. There was another doubter, a person by the name of Ignatius Donelly, who made a trip to Stratford - on - Avon. He went fortified with a book of 960 pages under his arm to prove to the good people of Stratford that Shakespeare was not a poet at all, that Lord Bacon had written the plays of Shakespeare. There is not a book so thick or a volume so thin that can take the place in this Lodge of the immortal memory of Robert Burns as our PoetLaureate. What other witnesses have we? I summon Henry Mackenzie to whom Walter Scott dedicated his ' Waverley ' the author of ' The Man of Feeling,' who died in 1831, who wrote the first warmhearted expression of regard for Burns, and placed the first literary crown on his head. I summon Henry Erskine, the great wit of Scotland, who was a member of this Lodge, who lived until 1817 and knew Robert Burns, and ask if he would not know in 1815 whether
Burns had been Poet-Laureate here? I summon Alexander Nasmyth, the celebrated painter and friend of Burns, who lived until 1831; Baron Norton, made a brother the very night, February 1, 1787, when Burns was affiliated, who lived until 1820; William Petrie, who knew the poet in 1787, and lived until 1845, thus connecting the year Burns was made Poet-Laureate with the very year the picture was produced ; Robert Ainslie, who made the tour of the Borders with Burns, and lived until 1838, thereby connecting the Poet of Ayr with the Ettrick Shepherd, who was made PoetLaureate in 1835; Louis Cauvin, the great teacher, with whom Burns studied French in Edinburgh, who was made a Mason in 1778, and lived until 1825. I summon Lord Kenmore, who spans the years between Burns and Hogg, who was made a Mason in 1786, and lived until 1840. Will any one say that these men all brethren of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning would not know in 1815 whether Burns was Poet- Laureate here? and does any man think that these men, whose very names suggest that old time honour of Edmund Burke, which " felt a stain like a wound," would have fabricated and perpetuated a falsehood ? Is it not more probable that these men, who saw with their own eyes, should know whether Burns was Poet-Laureate here, or self - appointed critics of second sight, living one hundred years after the poet's death? There was a man by the name of Campbell, who forms a connecting- link between Robert Burns and this picture, the man who seconded the motion in 1845 to have this picture painted. This man says that some of his happiest days
were spent with Burns at Ochtertyre Castle. It has been pointed out that he would only have been eleven years of age at that time. I have not examined the record, and cannot say ; but this I will say, that if any boy eleven years of age had met Burns, and did not remember it to tell to his friends and descendants, he had better never have been born. I will take a leaf out of my own book. I met Horace Greeley, the great editor of a New York paper, when a lad. I followed him for two days, willing to touch even the hem of his garment, and to shake his hand. When I was ten years of age, there came a man to our town to give a series of poetic lectures John G. Saxe. I remember the very seat in the village church where I sat those nights. When I was ten years of age, I met John B. Gough. When eleven years old, I was fishing with a crooked pin in a little stream near Troy, New York. A man passed by, of stately mien, and talked with me, afterwards President Garfield of the United States. These are things a boy can never forget. So much for reminiscence; and we can readily see how Brother Campbell cherished the memory. On January 16, 1835, another minute appears in the books of this Lodge, to the effect that "It was expedient that the Honorary Office of Poet - Laureate of the Lodge, which had been in abeyance since the death of the immortal Brother Robert Burns, should be revived, and that James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, on whom his poetical mantle had fallen, should be respectfully requested to accept the appointment as the highest tribute to his genius and worth which the brethren have it in their power to
bestow, which motion was unanimously and enthusiastically carried." This is another connecting - link between Burns and this Lodge. There has been no man connected with this Lodge since the time of Burns who did not believe that Burns was PoetLaureate here. It all comes to this, the credibility of the witnesses. I am honoured with the friendship and affiliation of Lodge No. 1 Mary's Chapel. The Master of that Lodge, whom I am glad to see here to-night, has given me, as a keepsake, which I shall ever cherish, a mell or mallet made of wood taken from the old Parliament Hall at Edinburgh Castle, and another bit of wood taken from Holyrood Chapel. While I live and my children live they will know that these are not fabrications, because they come to me direct from an honest man with an honest heart. He has also presented to me a little bit of wood from the bed which witnessed the last sigh of Robert Burns. I shall cherish that as long as I live, and nobody can tell me, or my children, or my children's children, that that piece of wood was not part of the bed whereon Robert Burns died. It depends, my brothers, on the credibility of witnesses, and I know of no men more worthy of credence than those who used to come here in the days of Erskine, and others associated with Burns in this Lodge. What a galaxy of genius! How they pass in long review before us! How the old Hall grows wider and the tesselated floor dearer as it rings again to their cheery companionship! No wonder that old Canongate Kilwinning with hallowed
associations cherishes her great Laureate's birthday, and exclaims “Still o'er these scenes my mem'ry wakes, And fondly broods with miser care. Time but the impression stronger makes, As streams their channels deeper wear."
Famous Freemasons Wallace Bruce An American with a great Scottish name! Wallace Bruce was born in Hillsdale N.Y. in 1844, the son of Alfred and Mary Ann McAlpine Bruce of good Scots stock, which probably instilled in him a love of all things Scottish, especially Robert Burns. He graduated from Yale in 1871 and took up a literary career, and quickly became a most prolific poet and author. Bruce was appointed the United States consul at Edinburgh in 1889, a post he held until 1893, and during this time he delivered Burns anniversary address at Ayr, Edinburgh, Kilmarnock and other venues throughout Scotland and indeed the World, speaking about the life and work of his favourite Poet. The famous Henry Ward Beecher wrote to him regarding his volume ‘Clover and Heather,’ "I congratulate you on issuing such a charming volume. It will be thankfully received by every lover of Burns. I thank you as one. You have touched the strings with melodious results."
Some of Bruce's books which have been published are "Old Homestead Poems," "In Clover and Heather," "The Hudson," "Wayside Poems," "Here's a Hand," "Leaves of Gold," "Scottish Poems," and "Wanderers." In fact, the cover story of this newsletter regarding Burns and Canongate Kilwinning was first published in “Here’s a Hand.” Brother Bruce joined Hudson Lodge in 1869 at the age of 24. His Grand Lodge Registry number was 130768, and he was the 279th member of the lodge. He was initiated on 17 November 1869; passed on 1 December 1869; and raised on 30 December 1869. On 7 April 1875, Brother Bruce withdrew from membership in the lodge as it would appear he moved away from the area. On his moving to Edinburgh as US consul, Bruce soon quickly became associated with the Freemasons in the city, and in particular Lodge Canongate Kilwinning of which he was made an honorary member, and following in the footsteps of his poetry idol, was elected as Poet-laureate of the Lodge, a position in which he relished. However, it is perhaps for a most public and unselfish act that Wallace Bruce should be better remembered and more widely acclaimed, for Brother Wallace Bruce is responsible for the only Civil War monument outside the USA, situated in the Old Calton Cemetery in Edinburgh. This imposing monument to the Scots who fought in the Union army is the only memorial outside the United States to those who lost their lives in the Civil
war, which is altogether surprising considering the number of different nationalities who died during this conflict. The monument consists of two statues; a crouching, freed slave extends his arms in gratitude to an imposing Abraham Lincoln. The freed man is resting on furled flags, symbols of victory. The statues are made of bronze and that of Lincoln is about 16 ft high. The base is marble. A medallion on the monument has the flags of Britain and the United States surrounded by thistles and cotton plants.
so tight that his wife and children had to go out to work to support their little family. Things became so desperate that McEwan even tried to give his precious sword to his doctor in exchange for fees. The doctor said his business was to save life, not to take it and he wished neither the sword nor other recompense but pleasant remembrance. Mrs. Bruce, the consul's wife, met Mrs. McEwan when she went to the consulate to claim her pension. Full of sympathy upon hearing her story, Mrs. Bruce asked, although Memorial Day had passed, whether she might place some flowers on McEwan's grave. Sadly the widow said that her husband had been buried in a pauper's grave which could not be identified. Consul Bruce approached the Edinburgh Corporation for a burial site for Scots who had served in the Civil War and had returned to their native land. A plot was provided in the Old Calton Cemetery, close to the tomb of David Hume, the historian and philosopher. Bruce also wished to raise a statue of Abraham Lincoln and launched a fundraising programme in the United States.
The story of how the monument came to be is quite remarkable. A Scots woman, Mrs. McEwan, applied to American Consul Wallace Bruce, for a widow's pension as her husband had served in the Union Army in the war. Towards the end of Sergeant-Major McEwan's life his health was so poor and money was
A well-known American sculptor, George E. Bissell (1839-1920), who had worked in the United States and in Paris, undertook to execute the bronze statue, which was intended to be a gift to Scotland from America, so Bruce obtained subscriptions from many influential Scots-Americans, including Andrew Carnegie. The unveiling ceremony aroused so much interest that admission to the burial ground was by ticket only. Crowds of people stood outside in Waterloo Place, even though the weather was wet and windy. This Bio was compiled by the editor.
Lodge Dramatic No.571. LODGE DRAMATIC was founded on August 2, 1875, " for the profession ... by the profession." And the profession in question was that of acting. The number of the Lodge should have been 570, for the petition for a charter was submitted to Grand Commit-tee three months before that of Lodge Kenmuir. The petition was, however, sent back to Provincial Grand Lodge â€œfor a report thereon " and after a delay of three months and the allocation of No. 571, Charters for both lodges were granted on August 2, 1875. When the petition first came before Provincial Grand Lodge, the Senior Provincial Grand Warden said he could see no objections to signing it, on condition that the entrance fee be not less than three guineas, that the Lodge should not be open after midnight and that no office bearer should be appointed who was not resident in Glasgow.
The first meeting of the Lodge was held in St Mark's Hall, 213 Buchanan Street, on Wednesday, August 18, 1875. The first Master was Bro. W. J. E. Dobson, a comedian, and the office bearers included four members of the Theatre Royal staffâ€”the box office keeper, the scenic artist, the gas engineer and the bill inspector. One of the affiliates at that first meeting was Bro. David Reid, who later became Grand Secretary. In 1875 he was Master of Lodge St Andrew, Glasgow No. 465, and at the age of 21 is believed to have been one of the youngest masters in the history of Scottish Freemasonry. Bro. Reid
worked the First Degree at that meeting and the first initiate, No. 17 on the Roll, was William Forsyth, a lithographer. This was to mark the start of the Lodge's association with the printing industry, an association which flourishes to the present day. The Lodge was consecrated on November 1, 1876. In the beginning, the customs at Lodge Dramatic differed more than somewhat from accepted Grand Lodge rules. For instance, it was written into Lodge byelaws that contrary to Grand Lodge law, honorary affiliates should be able to hold office and attain the Master's chair. How this managed to get past Grand Lodge remains a mystery. But pass it did! For many years, too, Lodge Dramatic candidates were voted for by a show of hands. It was not until 1887 at the Provincial Grand Lodge visitation that the attention of the Lodge was drawn to the fact that voting should be by ballot. However, there was to be another, bigger thorn in the flesh of Grand Lodge! This was the practice of Lodge Dramatic to confer three degrees in one day. Grand Lodge had banned this practice prior to 1875, but had left powers in the hands of Masters so that they could in an emergency confer more than one degree on the same day. These powers were meant to cover members of H.M. Forces who might be posted abroad at short notice and, in each case, the reason for conferring more than one degree on the same day had to be entered in the minute book. The practice came to be the rule rather than the exception in Lodge Dramatic. After many appeals, Grand Lodge withdrew the concession in 1897 and
stated that there be two weeks between degrees. This was in spite of a protest in 1896 by the then master, Bro. E. T. de Banzie. At a Provincial Grand Lodge visitation he said: " Lodge Dramatic depends on and was founded expressly for a class of people who cannot always regulate their movements in conformity with the orthodox laws formed for the average individual. Actors and musical men are not average men. ' They are men who require special gifts to pursue their studies and must have retentive memories. It is a common thing for an actor to learn a play in a single night. Surely he can get up a whole degree?" Many of our members who received all their degrees at the one time went away knowing more about Freemasonry than tne average man who waited the prescribed time. He appealed for a special dispensation for Lodge Dramatic. It was, however, refused.
THE early minute books have some interesting tales to tell. On April 19, 1876, a Count de Rocheton, P.M. of a French Lodge in Constantinople (now Istanbul), addressed the brethren in French. It was translated by a P.M. from the English constitution . . . Harmony meetings, for which Dramatic is now famed, first started on January 17, 1877 . . . The first Mark degree recorded took place on January 11, 1883 . . . The Lodge of Instruction, which plays such an important part in Dramatic's year, had its foundation laid in 1884 when the R.W.M. Bro. E. T. de Banzie gave a talk on the History and Objects of Freemasonry." ... In the early '90s the
Lodge received a visit from Bro. Henry Irving's Dramatic Company and also from the famous actor-comedian Bro. Edward Terry, Past Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of England and an Hon. member of Lodge Dramatic. There were other, perhaps less famous visitors, and one such is described by author Neil Munro, writing about Glasgow in the 1890s in his book " The Brave Days "...
Of the buildings adjoining the station on the south I can recall but three. One was St Columba's Gaelic Church, to which I went on occasional Sundays. There was also a nondescript flatted building in which, inter alia, a Masonic Lodge held its meetings, mainly for gents of the theatrical profession and other distinguished public entertainers. Tom Cannon and the Terrible Turk were in Glasgow at the height of the wrestling boom and one day were put forward for the First Degree in Lodge Dramatic. During the preparations in the "adjacent' the goat must have either butted the Terrible Turk in the ribs, or the ritual must have scared him, for I saw a TERRIFIED Turk dash out of the Lodge and up the street for the Wellington Bar, still unpossessed of grips and passwords and sorely in need of a mother's consolation. BUT back to the minute books . . . Turning the pages to Thursday, March 2, 1911, we find recorded the initiation of George Gordon Jefferson, manager of the Metropole Theatre. Although Bro. Jefferson was well known in Glasgow, it was his son who was to find world-wide fame ... as Stan Laurel, perhaps one of the best comic actors of the screen.
On Thursday, January 11, 1912, we find that the Koran was used as the V.S.L. for two Moslem candidates. Lodge Dramatic has always been world-wide in its interests and members. We have had initiates from as far away as Japan and degrees have frequently been worked in French and German. By November 26, 1914, 30 members of the Lodge were on active service with H.M. Forces. And on August 12, 1915, the Lodge hears of the deaths of Bro. Captain E. G. Field, P.M., and Bro. J. Waters, first members of the Lodge to be killed in action. On Thursday, September 14, 1916, Grand Lodge enacts that" no brethren of alien enemy birth or nationality " shall attend Lodge meetings until a peace treaty has been signed. On now to February, 1918. The Lodge decides to move from Sauchiehall Street to the Central Halls, Bath Street. Last meeting of the Lodge in the Sauchiehall Street premises was on May 23, but the move to Central Halls was delayed because the Military authorities were still in occupation. The Lodge property was stored at Cathcart and insured for £300. Thursday, October 10, saw the consecration of the new Lodge room at Central Halls, and another chapter of the Lodge's history was about to begin. The Lodge continued to flourish between the wars and 1935 saw our Diamond Jubilee. The Roll Book, now regarded as a classic, already contained many famous names, including Sir Harry Lauder, George Formby, senior, and W. P. McAllister (Doodles the Clown). But due to the travels of our theatrical members, the stalwarts of the Lodge
were becoming—and still are—the brethren from the newspaper industry. Two of them deserve a special mention here. They are the late Bro. Hugh McCreadie, a Bard of whom the Poet himself would have been proud, and the late Bro. Fred Clayton, an exceptional degree worker and dedicated Mason. To them goes the Lodge's thanks for their research in the preparation of this short history. A short history it must unfortunately be, and it's forward in time again—this time to 1968. It was then that Lodge Dramatic had the unique occasion of Bro. L. J. Bell, Master, naming his father as his Depute . . . and the following year, installing him into the Chair of the Lodge. No record of the Lodge would be complete without a mention of the late Lex McLean. Lex was the traditional Glasgow comic, but he had friends and admirers the world over. He was a brother and friend of Lodge Dramatic for many years, and it was often thanks to Lex and his colleagues from the "profession" that Lodge Dramatic's famous harmonies were such a success. In 1971, the Lodge received its supreme accolade with the first visit to the Lodge of the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Bro. David Liddel Grainger, of Ayton. In the short space of 18 months, the Grand Master Mason, who impressed everyone in his travels with his quiet and kindly nature returned to the Lodge—this time to be made an Honorary Member. This ceremony was conducted only two weeks after the same honour had been conferred on Bro. Adam Ferguson, Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow, and Bro. John McC. Russell, Junior
Grand Warden and a Past Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow. Today, Lodge Dramatic remains as it has always beenâ€”a friendly and lively Lodge, where members and visitors mix easily. But as always, they remain precise in their work and decorous within the Temple. The members like to think that 100 years of unbroken connection with the stage and the acting profession have imbued us with a sense not only of tradition, but also of the very necessary discipline which surrounds the " profession." Although the vocations of the membership are now more varied than ever, our pride and interest in matters ' Dramatic " are as alive now as they were in 1875 when all this began. This excellent history was sourced for the website of Lodge Dramatic No. 571 for inclusion in the newsletter. My thanks go to Lodge 571 for allowing us to use it. If your Lodge would like to have its history published in the newsletter, please contact the editor.
A Travelling Man in Masonry In the ancient world of Operative Masonry the masons were often required to move from job to job much as in our modern time. It was further explained that ancient master masons, just as 1st class masons of today of today, were more likely to travel great distances than those of lesser ranks (FC & EA). Due to their experience (and today, usually a membership in the labour union representing the craft) they could move freely from job to job. Those doing so were normally members of a Masonic guild, whose members would, if known, vouch for the qualifications of (or recommend) another 'travelling' mason. In speculative masonry we as Master Masons may freely move from Lodge to Lodge (either visiting or moving membership) and upon proper avouchment or by testing be found worthy to attend another Master Mason Lodge. This is much the same as moving from one job to another or from one ancient Masonic guild to another. Also, a Master Mason is a traveller from west to east, as east is the where the sun comes up, hence the source of light. This is why the master sits in the East. Because it is the source of light. Thus being a travelling man represents our journey from darkness to Masonic light (enlightenment). We "travelled" symbolically when we were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Remember the words, "It will be necessary for you to travel"? and the condition of the road we would have to travel? In Masonry we are told to seek the light. Light in Masonry is knowledge and from that knowledge comes information and understanding.
explain to the committee that Bedford was a rascal, or beat his wife or stole money, or had been in jail or something, it wouldn't be a problem. But so far as I know Bedford Jones-Smith is correct to the point of perfection. He is a thoroughly respectable man. I dislike him extremely. He rubs me the wrong way. I despise his unctuous manner; he shakes hands like a fish. I think he wears corsets, and he is the most perfect lady I know, but there isn't a thing against him legally, mentally, morally! The committee will find him 100 per cent Simon pure, and this lodge will receive the original nincompoop, the pluperfect essence of idiocy, and the superheterodyne of jackasses, as a member!"
The Disliked Petitioner "I am much disturbed!" announced the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "Tell me about it. I have oil for troubled waters. If your water on the brain is disturbed, maybe I can soothe it!" "I doubt it! I heard the name of Bedford Jones-Smith read out in lodge tonight as a petitioner. I don't want Bedford here!" "That's nothing to be disturbed about," answered the Old Tiler. "You have a vote, haven't you? If you don't want to wait until he comes up for ballot, go tell the committee what's the matter with him. " The Old Tiler leaned back in his chair as if the question was settled. "There isn't anything the matter with him!" cried the New Brother. "If I could
"Anything to stop you voting against him?" asked the Old Tiler. "It's your privilege to cast your little black cube in secrecy against any man you don't like." "That's where the problem comes in! I know I can do it. I know that I don't have to let Bedford Jones-Smith into my Masonic home if I don't want him, any more than I have to let him into my everyday life. It's just because I can keep him out that I am troubled. If I do, I'll feel that I did a mean act. Yet I don't want that double-distilled ass in this lodge!" "Suppose you dig a little deeper" suggested the Old Tiler. ''Just why don't you want him? ''Because I don't like him!" "And just why don't you like him?" "Because he stands for everything, that I despise; he never plays games, he never
works, he never does anything except wear fashionable clothes, go to parties, and is an irreproachable escort for dumb Doras. He's not a man, he's a wearer of trousers!" "Sounds harmless" said the Old Tiler. "He can't pink tea here, can he? He certainly can't bring any dumb Doras to this lodge. We don't need any games played here, and we have so many men in lodge who never work at it that one more won't hurt "But it will make me uncomfortable to have him around. " "Then keep him out!" "Oh, you exasperate me! I come for help, and you laugh at me. What shall I do?" "Really want to know?'' asked the Old Tiler, the smile fading from his face. "I really do!" "Then I'll tell you. Snap out of your conceited, selfish attitude. Get rid of the idea that your comfort, your feelings, your happiness are so important. Get hold of the thought that Masonry is so much bigger than you and Mr. Jones-Smith rolled up into one that together you are not a fly speck on its map, and separately you can't be seen! Try to imagine yourself a part of a great institution which works wonders with men and forget that you are so important! "By your own showing, nothing is the matter with this gentleman except that you don't like his ways and manner. Doubtless he doesn't like yours. To him you are probably a rough-neck, a golf-
playing, poker-playing, automobiledriving, hard-working, laboring man. He might not want to join the lodge if he knew you were in it! He has different standards. That they are not yours, or mine, doesn't make him poor material for Masonry. The fact that he wants to be a Mason shows he has admirable qualities. That he is moral, and respectable, shows he has manhood. That his manners don't please you is no reason for keeping him out. To keep a man who wants them from the blessings of Masonry because of personal dislike is a crime against those teachings of toleration which Masonry offers you. Let him in. Try to help him. Try to show him there is something else in life beyond fripperies and foolishness. Maybe you can make a regular Mason out of him. But don't vote for him unless you are really prepared to take his hand and call him brother. "Better let your conscience hurt you for being a snob than to have it hurt for being false to your obligation of brotherhood. Better realize you are a selfish and opinionated person than that you are a bad Mason, a forsworn member of the fraternity, a traitor to its principles, a . " "For the love o' Mike, let up on me! I'll vote for the simp -- for the man, I mean -- and try my best. Old Tiler, Masonry has such a lot to do to make me a regular man, I'm afraid I'll never learn!" "You are getting there, son," observed the Old Tiler, smiling with satisfaction. "Not every young Mason will admit he is an idiot even when it's proved!'' This article is from the pen of Carl Claudy, and is taken from his Old Past Master series.
Fraternal Societies Of the World
‘International Order of Hoo-Hoo’ The Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo was founded as a “fun” fraternal society for men involved in the lumber industry. Called today the “International Order,” it is principally American and publishes the Hoo-Hoo Log and Ta1ly Magazine quarterly. There were 7,300 members in 1994. The Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo was founded on January 21, 1892, in Gurdon, Arkansas, to which its headquarters had returned at the time of this writing. In the intervening years, it has moved a long way from its intention, which was to fight superstition and conventionalism, and became a parody of established secret societies. It started out with the intention of having nothing that other orders possess. Originally, there were no lodge rooms. Meetings, or “concatenations,”
were held in hotels, the first being at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans on February 18, 1892. Even the name is unique. “Hoo-hoo” is not some arcane lumberman’s distress call, but a word coined by one of the founders, Bolling Arthur Johnson, about a month before the order was founded. He used it to describe a lonesome tuft of hair on the head of one Charles H. McCarer. “Concatenated” referred both to the cat, which was chosen as the symbol, and to “concatenation,” or “linking together in a chain.” The founding members were not just lumbermen. They also included railroad men (who transport lumber) and newspaper men (who cover it with print). The organization chose as its emblem a black cat, to show its disdain for superstition, and based much of its ritual on the cat’s nine lives. Their officers were the Supreme Nine, made up of the Snark, the Senior Hoo-Hoo, the Junior Hoo-Hoo, the Bojum or Boojum, the Scrivenotor, the Jabberwock, the Cuctocacian, the Arcanoper, and the Gurdon. The overall leader was the Snark of the Universe. One of the high points of the ritual was the Embalming of the Snark, by which process he passed into the House of Ancients. The theme of nines was continued. In 1937, initiation cost was $9.99; annual dues were $0.99, and the constitution originally limited membership to 9,999, though that was subsequently changed to 99,999. There are also nine Ethical Principles, though it is not clear whether these were a part of the original conception or a subsequent addition as the order matured into respectability. In 1909 (appropriate enough), it started
down the slippery slope to seriousness with a funeral fund (raised by a $2 assessment against 3,000 members), which was fraught with actuarial loopholes. The relatives of decreased members were paid $250, which was no mean sum in 1909, and when the reserves fell too low, there would be another assessment. In the absence of medical examinations and age limits, the Concatenated Order was playing actuarial Russian Roulette. The next change, therefore, was a requirement that no death benefits were payable for the first 60 days of membership. By 1921, it was calling itself “a living, moving, inspiring Force! A force for good! A force for fellowship! A force for welding all lumbermen into a compact, humanitarian body for SERVICE [their capitals] to God, Family and Country.” It described itself at this time as “the Pioneer Business Fraternal Order of the World” and “the Largest Business Fraternal Order of the World.” It even put out such messages as “Radical and Bolshevist attacks on the organized business and personal property rights of America call for a sharp class association in every department of business life.” In 1965, it threw out the “Concatenated” part of the title as being outdated. By the 1980s, it had so far forgotten itself as to dedicate itself to the promotion of lumber in many ways: by sponsoring exhibits at state and county fairs, paying lecturers, giving scholarships, giving awards for carpentry in vocational schools, and sponsoring tree-planting projects.
The Shoe The Shoe, as a masonic symbol, is employed to remind us of the duty of constancy and fidelity in our engagements, that whatever contract we make we must honestly fulfil; whatever work we undertake we must perform to the utmost of our power, not undertaking any work which we do not believe ourselves to be well capable of performing, nor promising its completion within a time which we cannot reasonably regard as sufficient for it. It is thus a symbol having reference to conduct in the common affairs of life: but the duties of which it reminds us are nevertheless duties, the obligation of which must be referred to the highest principles, to those of justice and truth. The use of this symbol is derived from an ancient custom of the Jews, of which we read in the Book of Ruth, in the account of the transaction between B*** and his kinsman who was nearer in relationship to Ruth than himself, concerning the redemption of the land that had been Elimelech's, and concerning the marriage, in accordance with the Jewish law, of Ruth the Moabitess, the widowed daughter-inlaw of Elimelech. The transaction took place in the gate of their city, in presence of ten men of the elders of the city, and when the kinsman refused to redeem the land and to marry the youthful widow, saying, "I cannot redeem it, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it" he drew off his shoe and gave it to B***; and this formality is thus spoken of by the
narrator: "Now this was the manner in former time in Israel, concerning redeeming, and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto B***, Buy it for thee; so he drew off his shoe" (Ruth iv. 6-8).
practised upon him. If, however, after discovering this, he still proceeds for a time as if he had made no such discovery, he must be regarded as having condoned the offence, and is then bound by the contract. It is as if, in full knowledge of the facts, he entered into it anew. By Bro. Chalmers I. Patton PM England
This was done in accordance with a law which we read in the book of Deuteronomy, and in which probably an ancient custom was sanctioned (see Deut. xxv. 5-10). It was a custom somewhat similar to that long enforced by the law of Scotland in the completion of sales of land or of mortgages on land, of the handing of earth and stone from the one party to the other, the transference of the handful of earth and stone being in token of the transference of the right of property. So the kinsman who relinquished his right may be understood as saying to B***, I give over to thee all my right in this matter as fully as I now give thee this shoe; I divest myself of it as completely as I do of this shoe. And the elders of the city having witnessed this transaction, the bargain was completed and could not be resiled from. The shoe as a symbol, reminds the Freemason that his contracts are never to be resiled from, but faithfully implemented, even if he should find them less profitable than he expected. This principle or rule, however, is only applicable to contracts fairly made. If a man has been entrapped into a contract by false representations on the part of another, he may honestly and honourably renounce it as soon as he discovers the imposition which has been
A Mason and a Man (Author Unknown) Brother, Masonry means much more Than the wearing of a pin, Or carrying a paid-up dues receipt So that the Lodge will let you in. You can wear an emblem on your coat, From your finger flash a ring, But if you are not sincere at heart This doesn't mean a thing. It is merely an outward sign To show the world that you belong To that great fraternal brotherhood That teaches right from wrong. What really counts lies buried deep Within the human breast, 'Til Masonic teaching brings it out And puts it to the test. If you practice out of Lodge The things you learn within, Be just and upright to yourself And to your fellow men. Console a brother when he's sick, Assist him when in need, Without a thought of personal reward For any act or deed. Walk and act in such a way The world without will see, That only the best can meet the test Laid down by Masonry. Be always faithful to your trust And do the best you can, Then you can proudly tell the world You're a Mason and a man.
The hoodwink is an emblem, not only of secrecy, but also of the darkness that vanishes in the light of Initiation and enlightenment. The idea of a bare or slipshod foot is so ancient that its age cannot be guessed, and there are so many reasons given for it being used. Untied or missing shoes, un-knotted garments had much importance in medieval folklore, and even today a Scots bridegroom may have his left shoe untied, although he may believe that it is simply ‘for luck’! In spite of the many suggested reasons and beliefs which have been written, with regard to the Masonic Candidate the conclusion could be that we may stumble at the threshold of a house or (symbolically) at the threshold of a new undertaking. It infers that the slipshod condition is in itself a token of fidelity. From an 18th Century writing a conclusion can be made that the initiate wore a slipper belonging to the Lodge, just as he does today. In many American lodges the 3rd degree Candidate is “bare-foot.” Sourced from Why? ‘Coming to Terms with Freemasonry’ by Bro. John Cane PPG Supt Wks (Surrey)
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.