Contents Page 2, ‘George Meikle Kemp and the Scott Monument’ The iconic monument situated in probably the best known street in Scotland.
Page 5, ‘The Holy Saints John.’ The Patron Saints of Freemasonry?
Page 10, ‘Christian and a Freemason.’ Many churches are now refusing us divine services, you might like this article.
Page 11, ‘Lodge Scotia No.1003.’ Another History of one of our Scottish Lodges, this time from Penang!
Page 14, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’, “On Finding Out”, the twentieth in the series from Carl Claudy’s ‘Old Tiler Talks.’
Page 16, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “Am I a Master Mason?’ our new monthly feature of writings.
Page 17, ‘The Rechabites’ Another in our series of Fraternal Societies throughout the World.
Page 19, ‘Brothers and Builders’. The Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry, Chapter Four – The Compasses.
Page 23, ‘Coming to Terms with Freemasonry’ The Knocks.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Evolution of the modern Tracing Board’. [link]
The cover picture for this months issue is the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, taken by the Editor.
George Meikle Kemp and the Scott Monument
George Meikle Kemp (25 May 1795 â€“ 6 March 1844) was a Scottish carpenter/joiner, draughtsman, and selftaught architect. He is best known as the designer of the Scott Monument in central Edinburgh. Kemp was born to farming parents in Moorfoot, Midlothian, near Gladhouse Reservoir, although the family moved shortly afterwards to Newhall near Carlops, around 14 miles (23 km) west. He was educated at the school in Penicuik, and was inspired, at the age of ten, by a visit to Rosslyn Chapel and Roslin Castle. In 1809 he was apprenticed to Andrew Noble, a master wright (carpenter) in Redscarhead, near Peebles. During his four-year training he began his own study of the ancient architecture of the Scottish Borders, including Melrose Abbey. After a year working for a millwright in Galashiels, Kemp moved to Edinburgh, working as a carpenter and writing poetry in his spare time.
In 1817, Kemp moved to England, working in Lancashire and travelling, on foot, to draw Gothic architecture as far away as York Minster. He returned to Scotland, basing himself in Glasgow for four years, before moving to London in 1824. Here he continued to study architecture, but could not find permanent employment, so instead set off for France. He spent a year working there, viewing Gothic architecture in Bolougne, Amiens and Paris, before the death of his mother recalled him to Scotland. In Edinburgh, he attempted to set up as a carpenter and joiner, and meanwhile continued his own studies. He was introduced to the architect William Burn by his brother Thomas, who was employed by the Duke of Buccleuch. Burn engaged Kemp as a draughtsman, entrusting him with drawings for Bowhill House, the Duke's seat in the Borders. Kemp also produced a wooden model of a proposed new house for the Duke at Dalkeith. Kemp exhibited his own drawings of Melrose Abbey at the Scottish Academy exhibition of 1830, and in 1832 he married Elizabeth Bonnar, daughter of William Bonnar, an Edinburgh painter. In the early 1830s Kemp was engaged to produce measured drawings of historic Scottish buildings for a proposed book on Scotland's cathedrals and other antiquities. Although the project was later abandoned, Kemp completed a series of drawings of Glasgow Cathedral, which at that time was incomplete and partly in ruins. He included a drawing showing how the cathedral may have looked, had it been
completed as intended, even preparing a model and costs for the works. In 1836, these proposals were publicised by a committee set up to investigate the restoration of the cathedral, although his drawings were attributed to James Gillespie Graham. Kemp was even accused of copying Graham's design, and was not vindicated until 1840. The scheme was later abandoned.
that it was, as Kemp intended, "in strict conformity with the purity of taste and style of Melrose Abbey". At the same time, John Steell was commissioned to produce the statue of Scott for the base of the monument. The site, in Princes Street Gardens, was not finally decided until 1840, and work began under Kemp's supervision in March of that year.
After the death of the poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott in September 1832, a movement to erect a major monument was begun almost immediately. Fundraising began after a public meeting in Edinburgh in October 1832, and in spring 1836 a design competition was announced. Kemp prepared a design in the space of five days, and submitted it under the pseudonym "John Morvo", the name of a 16th-century master mason who worked on Melrose Abbey. Kemp had feared his lack of architectural qualifications and reputation would disqualify him. A total of 54 competition entries were submitted, of which the top three were to receive premiums of 50 guineas. English architects Thomas Rickman and Charles Fowler were placed first and second; John Morvo's design won the third premium. The identity of John Morvo was revealed by David Cousin, another competitor and a friend of Kemp who was in on the secret.
The supervision of building construction was entrusted to George Meikle Kemp, and the contract was assigned to Mr David Lind who had previously built the Tolbooth Church on Castlehill. It was also decided to use Binny sandstone from Uphall, West Lothian to build it. Kemp had convinced the Committee to allow a foundation on bedrock to be excavated, due to the proposed height of the monument and the fact that the Caledonian Railway Company proposed to tunnel under Princes Street within eight feet (2.6m) of the foundation. He then invited several friends to witness the laying of the 'real' foundation stone.
However, the committee in charge of the competition could not agree on an outright winner, and a second round of contributions was invited. Kemp refined his proposal further, and on 28 March 1838 his scheme was adopted. The committee praised the "beautiful proportions" of the design, declaring
A letter was sent out inviting Freemasons to attend the official ceremony of the Laying of the Foundation Stone of the â€˜Metropolitan Monumentâ€™ - the Scott Monument. The letter reads: Crown and Anchor Tavern, Edinburgh 8th August 1840 Sir and Brother I am directed by the Right Worshipful Master of the Edinburgh Lodge Saint Andrews, to inform you that the Foundation Stone of the Metropolitan Monument in memory of Sir Walter Scott is to be laid with Masonic Honours, on Saturday 15th, upon which
occasion you are respectfully invited to attend. The Brethren will assemble in the Quadrangle of the University at 1 o’clock precisely - Costume - Full Dress Black, with White Gloves, Clothing Dark Blue Sash and Apron, to which it is hoped that all present will adhere. No brother can be admitted without a ticket which may be had of the RWM Bellevue Cottage. The Treasurer, 62 Leith Street, or Brother Geo Vallance, 11 Register Street, at 11 o’clock forenoon. The Brethern will dine the same day in the Crown and Anchor Tavern, High Terrace at 5 o’clock precisely. Ticket 2/6. The Lodge will meet next Friday evening at half past to make the final arrangements. I am, Sir and Brother, Yours Fraternally R.Stewart The text of the ticket reads; Grand Lodge of Scotland Foundation Stone of the Metropolitan Monument in memory of Sir Walter Scott to be laid on Saturday 15th August by The Right Honourable Sir James Forrest Bart., MW Grand Master Mason of Scotland Admit Brother George Pearson of St Johns Lodge Inverkeithing to join the Masonic Procession from the Quadrangle of the University of Edinburgh
Wm. Laurie, Sec[retary] John Brown sc N.Bridge Edin. Kemp did not live to see the completion of his great work, however. On a foggy Wednesday evening in March 1844 he visited the office of the building contractor, near the end of the Union Canal. Intending to walk along the canal towards his home in Jordan Lane, Morningside, Kemp apparently lost his way in the fog, and fell into the canal. His body was discovered the following Monday, close to the Lochrin Distillery. He was buried on 22 March at St Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh. Kemp is also commemorated by a memorial at Moy Hall, Redscarhead, which was formerly the workshop of Kemp's master, Andrew Noble. It was erected in 1932, on the centenary of Scott's death. Kemp's brother-inlaw, the painter William Bonnar, oversaw the remaining construction of the Scott Monument. In the autumn of 1844 the last stone was placed by Kemp's son Thomas. The Scott Monument was finally inaugurated, following the installation of Steell's statue, in August 1846. George Meikle Kemp was a Master Mason of the Edinburgh Lodge St. Andrews, No.48.
THE HOLY SAINTS JOHN One of the primary purposes of Freemasonry is the education of its members. Unfortunately, as the pressures of time and business conspire to constrain the intellectual activity of our Lodges, real Masonic education and inquiry are among the first pursuits to be jettisoned from our regular agendas. Education and reflection on Masonic issues used to be much more of a central part of the business a Masonic Lodge than it is today.Too often we become what Brother Mackey referred to as ‘parrot Masons’ - Masons who become quite proficient at learning words and directions but who give little or no attention to the philosophy behind those words. It is proper then that as we celebrate the feast day of St. John the Baptist, we pause a few minutes to consider the history and background of this celebration. As Masons we are all familiar with the phrase ‘Erected to God and dedicated to the Holy Saints John.’All of our Blue Lodges are so dedicated, yet we never hear any other information regarding these ‘Holy Saints John’ or anything to explain why we refer to them as the Patron Saints of Freemasonry. They are referenced in the Entered Apprentice Lecture as being ‘perfect parallels in Masonry as well as in Christianity.’ It is almost anafterthought of a reference, given that we dedicate every Lodge to these two men. Who
were these Saints John? Why are they important to us as Freemasons? In early Masonry, the feast day of St. John the Baptist was always celebrated by the Craft. In fact, the first public Grand Lodge - the Grand Lodge of England - was born on St. John the Baptist’s day, June 24, in 1717 in London.Thereafter, the Grand Lodge of England sponsored great annual celebrations of this day for many years. Eventually the feast of St. John the Evangelist became important as well and many Lodges and Grand Lodges moved the beginning of their Masonic year from June 24 to December 27. We can only assume that the proximity of December 27 to the beginning of the calendar year made it expedient to do so. The festival days were of central importance to early American Lodges as well. Both feast days were almost always celebrated by all well-governed early Lodges. Our records indicate that Brothers George Washington and Benjamin Franklin always made it a point to attend their Lodges respective observances of St. Johns Days. Elections and installations were usually planned around these dates. Even though we have allowed this tradition (like so many) to slip away, we retain the vestiges of it. You will notice that here in Florida our Masonic year begins ‘as close as possible’ to December 27 according to the Digest of Masonic Law. The Grand Lodge year and annual communication are always scheduled in close proximity to June 24.
We always run the danger of allowing traditions to become habits and losing sight of the reason for the original tradition. Today we celebrate the festival, or feast day of St. John the Baptist. Who was Saint John the Baptist? The four Gospels, the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as found in the Bible’s New Testament, all describe this man in almost exactly the same language. The Baptist, who was a cousin to Jesus Christ, is spoken of as ‘A voice crying in the wilderness,’ whose purpose was to, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord and make his paths straight.’ He must indeed have been an important man for all four Gospels to refer to him with exactly the same terminology, as this is extremely rare. In the Gospel of Luke, in fact, Jesus himself says of John, ‘Among them that are born of women, there has not risen any greater than John the Baptist.’ High praise indeed. It becomes more clear why we as Masons should hold him in such esteem. John the Baptist - called the Baptist because as he preached he baptized believers in the River Jordan - lived a simple, yet powerful and devout life. He preached single-minded righteous living and change of character. His message was that one must live in a holy manner and that deviation from that manner was not acceptable. For his refusal to change himself or his message and for his devotion to Jesus, John the Baptist was imprisoned and eventually beheaded by King Herod. The heroism, fidelity and integrity of John are echoed in the legends of Jacques DeMolay and Hiram Abif,
which gives us more insight into his choice as a Patron Saint of the Masonic Order. Certainly Saint John the Evangelist is important to us as Masons as well. It is fitting that while we have a relatively concrete biography of St. John the Baptist, whose theology and teachings were straightforward and rigid, the story of the Evangelist is more difficult to relate and requires more study much like his teachings. Saint John the Evangelist is likely the amalgamation of several New Testament Johns, including John the Disciple of Christ, John the Epistle writer and John the Divine of Patmos, the author of the Book of Revelation. There are many striking reasons why Freemasons would choose the Evangelist as Patron. Chiefly, the writings of this John (or group of Johns) read almost like Masonic ritual. The Gospel of John begins: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and darkness comprehended it not. Nowhere else in the Bible since the beginning of Genesis - familiar to all Freemasons - is the concept of light so inextricably entwined with the idea of the divine spirit. As we progress through higher degrees the concept of the Word, the Light and the Divine as inseparable parts of the whole of Creation becomes of primary importance. John the
Evangelist leads us forward in that direction. In his Epistles, the Evangelist continues to work from the theme that the Word and the Light are inevitably linked and goes on to bring Truth and Love in as links of the same chain. The idea and practice of Brotherly Love and Fellowship is explored more thoroughly by the Evangelist than by any other New Testament writer. The disturbing imagery of the Book of Revelations is the source of many esoteric schools of thought and many writers have made convincing arguments that this imagery is in many ways influential to Masonry. Also of Masonic importance is that John the Evangelist is described as among the most loyal of the Disciples of Christ and the one closest to Jesus. Even in death, Jesus entrusts the care of his Mother to John, who we may assume was in many ways his best friend on earth. There we have two Saints John, very properly described Masonically as parallel figures. Both of unimpeachable character and strong influence on the Western Mind, but one dogmatic and rigid, and the other intellectual and esotericIn both we find the integrity and inflexible fidelity so common to Masonic teaching, but the manner of teaching those virtues varies between the two. It is fitting that they represent these parallel lines of which we speak. But why them? Why have they always been linked to the Fraternity? Surely Masonry as we know it was not extant in the early Christian era, yet there is no period in Masonry where they do not appear.
In Masonic research on the topic of the Saints John we can be sure of only one thing - the concept of dedication of Lodges to them is indeed ‘time immemorial.’ The earliest Masonic documents speak of the Saints and of ‘The Lodge of the Saints John at Jerusalem.’ Craft Masonry and Blue Lodges as we know them have received the care of the Saints John as Patrons as something of an heirloom from previous centuries. Lodges of ‘St. Johns’ Masonry’ existed long before 1717. Which brings us to the question of whence comes our Masonry. Interestingly, all three traditions of the most common theories of time immemorial Masonic origins have their own relationship with the Saints John. There is a school of Masonic research holding that the Fraternity is descended from the Druids and other truly ancient Celtic priesthoods of the sun. Implausible as this theory is, it has a direct correlation to the veneration of the Saints John. Although entirely pagan and pre-Christian, these sun priests claimed as their holiest days the summer and winter solstices - the day when the sun shines the most and the day when it shines the least. As this was common among many pagan theologies, the early and medieval Christian Church adopted the solstices as important feast days and simply renamed them for two of the most important saints. The summer solstice was officially fixed to June 24 and dedicated to St. John the Baptist and the winter solstice was fixed to December 27 and dedicated to St. John the Evangelist.
Some say the old pagan traditions live on in Masonry’s celebration of these days. If there is truth in that statement, it is because we celebrate the solstices as an embodiment of the Masonic ideals of regularity, constancy and order. As Freemasons we naturally work toward order and against irregularity and chaos. Only when a Masonic Lodge conforms to basic orderly usages and customs do we term it a ‘regular’ Lodge and consider it worthy of communication. What better example of order and regularity than these diurnal solstices when the sun inevitably ‘dies’ and is ‘reborn?’ As the early Church saw wisdom in adopting these pagan symbols, perhaps it is not such a leap of faith to see them as Masonic Symbols as well. In recent years the long-held belief that modern Masonry evolved from Medieval Stonemason Guilds has come under much questioning. Regardless of these questions, we find a relationship with the Saints John from this theory as well. Of course, all medieval guilds adopted Patron Saints and used their feast days as central gatherings for celebration and also for choosing leaders and other necessary business matters. Stonemason Guilds, most notably in northern England and Scotland, often chose one or both of the Saints Johns as their Patrons. This was not necessarily true on the European continent or in Norman-dominated southern England. The Freemasonry we practice here today, however, came primarily from northern England and Scotland - where
the Saints John were common among the Stonemason Guilds. An old theory of Masonic genesis that is slowly gaining returned momentum is the hypothesis that our Freemasonry evolved from the knightly orders of the Crusades. Specifically named are the Knights Templar and to a lesser extent the Knights Hospitaller. It is important to note here that the Hospitallers were (and are still today) more properly known as the Knights of St. John. The Saints John are also commonly referred to in Templar records and we know their festival days were of importance to the Templars. When the Templars were suppressed in 1307 most of their property, especially in England, became the property of the Hospitallers. Many Knights Templar in that area joined the Hospitallers following the suppression as well. Also important in this inquiry is that one of the charges of ‘heresy’ brought against the Templars was that they had become followers of Gnostic Christianity and had in many ways left behind the more traditional Roman Catholic interpretations. This is important in a discussion of the Saints John because the basis of much Gnostic thought is the Gospel and Epistles of John the Evangelist. In effect, the ‘crimes’ of the Templars may have been that they venerated the theology of our Patron Saint John the Evangelist more than that of Saint Paul or Saint Peter. The tradition of the Saints John carries on to this day in the several British nonMasonic knightly orders. The ‘Lodges of St. John’ existed in London and
southern England from the Crusades through the entrance of Freemasonry and even exist today. There can be little doubt that these Lodges had at least some influence on the development of Freemasonry, if they were not indeed Freemasons themselves. We see that while we can find no real answers to the question of why the Saints John are our Patrons, the lineage of the dedication is clear. Plato taught that for every thing in creation, including people and organizations, there exists in a nonphysical, ethereal subconscious otherworld a perfect form or ideal of that thing. As Freemasons perhaps we should view the Saints John in that context. According to the Book of the Law, as men we are bound to certain frailties and failures. This keeps us all from becoming ideal men and Masons, no matter how we may try. We should hold for ourselves as the perfect form or ideal of Masons the Holy Saints John. Although we know they were not Freemasons, what we know of them shows them to be perfect examples of what a Freemason should be - kind, righteous, loving and above all faithful unto death to the trust reposed in him. They are the Platonic Form of the Freemason - never to be achieved, but always to be emulated. Further extrapolated, we can see the mythical Lodge of the Saints John at Jerusalem as the Platonic Form of a Masonic Lodge.
It can and should exist as our ideal of what a Lodge of Masons would be if all its members achieved the ideal Masonic state of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. Perhaps the Christian Mason can even see in that ideal Lodge Jesus Christ as Master and the Saints John as Wardens, composing the perfect Lodge. While we have now no more answers on this subject than when we started, we have hopefully shed a little more light - or truth, as the Evangelist would see it - on our practice of dedicating Lodges to the Holy Saints John. As always in Masonry, every revealment is also a reveilment and we must always in new knowledge meet new intellectual frustrations. Freemasonry is, after all, the legend of the search for the Lost Word and we are charged to be the searchers. Hopefully this inquiry ignites some interest in further research and makes the observance of Saint Johns Day a little more poignant for us as Masons. This article by Bro. Harvey L. Ward. PM. Was sourced from the Grand Lodge of Florida.
The Masterâ€™s Wife A mason who had just been installed as Master of his lodge and was duly attending all the functions he could, was having a hard time with his wife, who said, "All those masters-in-office have to do is click their fingers and you would be there wouldn't you? I wish I was a master!" After due thought, he said, "So do I dear, we swap them for a new one every year!!"
Christian and a Freemason There is a sad misconception within some mainstream churches, as well as in some much smaller ecclesial societies, that Freemasonry is incompatible with Christian belief and practice. Some even state very publicly that it is impossible to be a Christian and a Freemason. Let me state from the outset that I and many other Christians, both lay and ordained, have found that the one compliments and sustains the other. The Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth, are totally in keeping with Christian teaching, as is the charitable giving exercised by all Freemasons – many hundreds of thousands of pounds are given on a regular basis by lodges to many different charitable causes. You name it; Freemasons support it very generously indeed. Some claim that there is an outright denial of Sacred Scripture within Masonry – a total misrepresentation! The Scriptures are hailed as one of the ‘Great Lights of Freemasonry’, and an open Bible sits in pride of place within every single Lodge. As Masonry is open to all men (admittedly men only, although there are some women’s Masonic Orders) who have a belief in a Supreme Being, whatever their faith, God is referred to as ‘The Great Architect of the Universe’, and where there is a multi-faith membership within a Lodge, the Sacred Torah, the Holy Qu’ran, or the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, might share a place with the Holy Bible, individually and collectively referred to as ‘The Volume(s) of Sacred Law’.
Anyone who has difficulty accepting the Masonic description of God need simply refer to the Psalms where many references can be found to the Creator, for example “laying the earth’s foundations”, and there are constant references in Masonic ritual to God’s supreme love and care, as well as to our duty to Him. The first question a candidate for Masonry is asked as he enters into the ceremony of initiation is “in whom do you place your trust?” Unless the candidate freely answers, “in God”, then his entry into Masonry cannot proceed. As the initiated Mason progresses, if he wishes to, through some of the higher degrees of Masonry, he must profess faith in the Holy Trinity, and in Christ as ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life’. Seems quite Christian to me! Some people are under the impression that part of the promises made by Masons on their initiation take the form of ‘Blood-oaths’. This is a total fallacy. In Masonic legend, there were indeed some pretty gory penalties, but I can promise that never in my Masonic career have I pledged to allow myself to be disembowelled, to have my throat cut, my tongue ripped out, or to have any other body parts forcibly removed, if I betray Masonic secrets. The ‘ancient penalties’ are alluded to during Masonic ritual, but they are certainly not part of any oath or obligation. Which brings me very nicely to the much-hackneyed claim that Freemasonry is a ‘secret society’? This is utter nonsense. The fact that we are Masons is never something that we
would ever want to conceal – far from it. Any Freemason will proudly wear a lapel badge that proclaims his membership, perhaps the famous ‘Square and Compasses’, or perhaps a ‘Forget me not’ badge, which became a symbol of the oppression of German Masons during the Holocaust, when many thousands of our brethren were killed by the Nazi regime. Yes, we have our secrets – but they are the signs and tokens of recognition uniquely kept between Masons and they are no more sinister than keeping one’s banking PIN a closely guarded secret. As a Christian, I have found that Freemasonry affirms my Christian life, and especially my ministry as a priest. It provides support, friendship, affirmation, and encouragement that would be envied by any ecclesial body, and I defy anybody who is not a Freemason, and who condemns Freemasonry as ‘Unchristian’, to prove themselves worthy to criticise. I am proud to be a Christian, proud to be a Freemason, and especially proud to be a Christian Freemason. Written by Fr Paul (A Christian Freemason) Recommended to the newsletter by Wull McArthur
Address to the Deil When masons’ mystic word an’ grip, In storms an’ tempests raise you up, Some cock or cat your rage maun stop, or, strange to tell! The youngest “brither” ye wad whip aff straight to hell. Robert Burns 1785
Lodge Scotia No.1003 Penang
The Beginnings On 17th May 1906, twenty-seven freemasons from the Scottish, English and other Constitutions came together in Freemasons' Hall in Northam Road, (now renamed Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah) in Penang, to consecrate Lodge Scotia No 1003 S.C. under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The first Right Worshipful Master, Bro. John Gray Allan was a Past Master of the Royal Prince of Wales No 1555 E.C. The Scottish brethren used their own Scotia Masonic Hall at Logan Road, from 1918 till 1925. From January 1926 to October 1929, they resumed holding their meetings at the Freemasons' Hall at Northam Road.
Joint New Temple at Western Road Sometime in May 1924, the two lodges agreed to share in the building of a Masonic temple. The ceremony of laying the Chief Corner Stone was carried out by Bro. John G. Allan, who represented both lodges, on the 17th of December 1927 at the site bounded by Brown Road and Western Road, now renamed as Jalan Utama. Nearly two years were to pass before the Consecration Ceremony, held on the 15th of November 1929, was conducted by the R.W. District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago, the R.W. Bro. The Honourable Mr Justice Percy Julian Sproule, assisted by Bro. John McRae Chalmers, the ruling Depute District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Middle East.
purchasing two second hand 10-horse power air-conditioning units from the contractors of the Muda Irrigation Project in kedah in the early 1970s. This helped to provide some comfort to the Brethren during meetings. Four Past and One Incoming District Grand Masters In the history of the Lodge, now entering its second century, it was honoured by having four of its Past Masters being commissioned as District Grand Masters. Come August this year, Bro Daljit Singh Nagreh, now Depute District Grand Master, will the the Fifty Past Master from Scotia, when he will be installed as the District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East, succeeding R.W. Bro. Neoh Ho Keat.
The Early Members During the early years from 1910 to 1919, there were more affiliates than initiates, with planters, engineers and merchants making up the majority of the professions. From 1930 to the beginning of the Japanese Occupation the number of admissions declined, due to the Great Depression and the onset of the Second World War. It was only in the 1960s that membership rose with the admission of local Malaysians. The Second World War and After During this period, from 1941 to 1945, saw all records and fittings in the temple either destroyed or stolen, as the premises were occupied by Japanese Naval ratings and was also used as a stable for horses. Meetings resumed after the War ended. The premises used by both Lodges, shared in the cost of
Three earlier Past Masters were appointed to the Scottish District and on to the English District. Two expatriate members held office before and immediately after the War. The other two were Malaysians. The first was Bro. Edwin Victor Coates Thomson, who ruled the Scottish District for 20 years from 1931 to 1950. The second Past Master was Bro. John Henry Mason Summers, an affiliate of Scotia, who assumed the office of District Grand Master in 1955 but resigned in 1958 when he retired and departed from the country. The third Past Master was Bro. Mustapa B. Osman, also an affiliate, whose mother lodge was Lodge St. John no 618 S.C. of the Far East District in Hong Kong, and he was commissioned
as the District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago on the 1st July 1967. He served in that high office until his passing in 1974. Bro. Dr. M.B. Osman was held in very high esteem by and close to the hearts of the Past Masters and Brethren of Lodge Scotia. The fourth Past Master is Bro. Dato Dr. Peter Chitambaranathan Vanniasingham, who received his commission as District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East on the 6th of August 1987. His commission was extended for a second term and he was re-installed in 1992. He has the distinction of being the first Malaysian to be installed as the the District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East, since the District was consecrated in 1916. Lodge Scotia's Ritual Scotia in its early years had no ritual of its own. It was only in 1916 that the first ritual, 'as practised in Lodge Scotia No. 1003 S.C. Penang S.S.' was introduced. It was in use until 1960 when it was revised by Bro. Dr. M.B. Osman, and again in 1982, under the chairmanship of Bro. Tan Seng Jin, Hon. Sr. Grand Deacon, P. Sr. D.G.W. and Past Master, it was perfected. However, it was only in 1986 that it was officially approved and adopted by the Lodge. This version removed some of the 'English' influences in the old ritual, which made the new one more 'Scottish'. Re-enactment of the Third Degree in K.L. In 1975, the R.W. Master and Brethren accepted an invitation from the
Worshipful Master of Mustapa Osman Lodge No. 8469 E.C. (now known as Fidelity Lodge) to perform a reenactment of Scotia's unique Third Degree ritual in K.L. About 18 Brethren led by the R.W. Master Bro. Khoo Keat Theam, went down to perform the ceremony, which won high praise from W. Bro. Dr. K. A. Menon who said, "Penang stands for three Ps Performance, Precision and Perfection.". This, of course, is a reflection of the tenacity of discipline and determination for perfection imposed by the then Bro. Director of Ceremomonies, who was none other than Bro. Dato Dr. Peter C. Vanniasingham. To Rule By Consensus Lodge Scotia, the oldest existing lodge in the Scottish District, has been fortunate in having Past Masters whose interest, loyalty and dedication have seen the Lodge through the past many years, more especially after the country's independence, when local Brethren were admitted. Almost every R.W. Master has received guidance and invaluable advice in the conduct of the Lodge from Past Masters, whose guiding principle, as propagated by the late Past Master Bro. Choong Eng Kim, has been 'to rule by consensus'. Above all, the Lodge maintains the attitude of rewarding merit rather than seniority, seeking quality rather than quantity in its membership. Quality is reflected in a Brother's commitment, enthusiasm and dedication in forwarding the interests of the Lodge in particular and Freemasonry in general. By Bro. Khoo Soo Hay, Hon. G. Jeweller, P. Sr. D.G.W., P.M., Distinguished Service Member
Scotia Crest The logo of Lodge Scotia 1003 S.C. is made up of an All-Seeing Eye on the top of the crest and and assemblage of thistle flanking both sides. A square and compass rests beneath the crest. In the centre, the symbol of Penang, the Pinang tree, takes precedence. The symbols of 47th Problem and Star of David accompanies the Pinang tree.
I absolutely delighted to start of the new session with the History of one of our overseas Scottish Lodges, along with the explanation of their Lodge crest. The newsletter acknowledges Lodge 1003 for allowing us to use their History. The Lodge website can be accessed at this link. If your Lodge has a history that it might like our readers to read, contact the editor.
On Finding Out I'm sore!" announced the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "Where?" demanded the Old Tiler. "I'm no doctor, if it's your teeth or your back." "It isn't. It's my feelings." "That's different. As a soother of sore Masonic feelings I am the best doctor in captivity!" smiled the Old Tiler. "Pull out your symptoms and let's look at them." "It's being jumped on, if you must know," began the New Brother. "I asked a friend to give me his petition to the lodge and Brother Smith heard it and walked all over me. How was I to know we didn't go around asking for petitions? At lunch a man I know made
slighting remarks about Masonry and I defended it, and a brother took me to task afterwards and told me I shouldn't discuss Masonry with the profane. How was I to know it wasn't done in the best Masonic circles? Just this evening I answered the telephone and a feminine voice asked for Brother Jones and I said he wasn't here. The Master walked up and down my spine for giving out information as to who was and who wasn't present. How was I to know that was a secret?" "How do you usually find things out?" asked the Old Tiler. "But I think I ought to be told these things! I think I should be instructed what to do and what not to do. I think." "I don't think you think," interrupted the Old Tiler. "I think you think you think. Really, you just react. Now answer a few questions, like a good patient, and I'll cure your pimpled feelings, relieve the congestion in your inflamed emotions and reduce the swelling in your cranium and you'll feel a lot better. In the first place, what's your business?" "Why, I am in the hardware business-I own the store at the corner of Main and Oak Streets-what's that got to do with it?" "When you went into the hardware business, did you know all there was to know about it?" "I'll say I didn't and don't now. But what. . ."
"I'm doing the question asking!" snapped the Old Tiler. "Did all the other hardware dealers of this town give you good advice? Did they all surround you day and night with counsel and assistance? Or did they let you paddle your own canoe?" "Just that. I learned what I know by asking questions and reading, by listening to others who knew the game, by. . ." "Exactly. You hung up a sign and launched out for yourself, and they accepted you at your own value-as a competitor, a man, a business agent, able to fight your own battles. That's what we do in the lodge. We make you a Master Mason. We give you instruction in Masonry. We make you one of us. Then we turn you loose and expect you to act as if you were a man and a Mason, not a school child. If we spent all our time telling every new brother all we know, we'd have no time to practice brotherhood. We expect you to open not only your ears but your mouth. There are seventy-six men in that lodge tonight, any one of whom will answer any question you ask, and if they don't know the answer they will find some one who does. But to expect the seventy-six to force information on you is unreasonable. They don't know what you know; they have natural reluctance to put themselves in he position of teachers, when they don't know if you want to learn or what your want to learn. Ask a question and you'll hear something. Stick around with your mouth shut and you won't.
"The fraternity has certain customs and usages. Those who denounce it in public can do it no harm, but defense can harm it. If a man gets up in public and says he thinks the public school is useless, the church is a bad influence, and the government a failure, banks a hindrance to business and the automobile a blot on civilization, do you defend the school, the church, the government, the bank, the automobile? Every thinking human being knows the public school has made this country what it is, that the church makes men and women better, that this is the best of all governments and that the automobile is the greatest of time savers. These things are self-evident. The man who denies them makes himself, not the thing he criticizes, ridiculous. Criticism of Masonry hurts the man who utters it, not the Craft." "All that is true. I admit it, but I didn't know it!" "No, and you didn't know you were not supposed to say whether Brother Jones was here or not. That's his business. But I'm telling you because you asked me. I thought you knew all this. How was I to know you didn't? You never told me you didn't!" "Well, er-I thought-I mean-" "You thought you thought but you thought wrong!" smiled the Old Tiler. "Just remember, don't do, don't say, don't think Masonry while you are new until you have asked. We are old, old; we have ideas, ways of doing and thinking, which have grown up through the years. You will learn them gradually as you attend lodge and talk with well-
informed Masons. Don't be afraid to open your mouth. No one will laugh at you, all will help. But don't ask questions outside the lodge and don't talk outside the lodge until you know what you are talking about." "I know one place outside the lodge where I can, do and shall talk! defended the New Brother. "In spite of what I say?" demanded the Old Tiler, somewhat tartly. "Yep, in spite of what you say! And that place is right here in the anteroom," smiled the New Brother. "And thank you." This is the twentieth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy
Rays of Masonry “Am I a Master Mason?” Many times the question comes to the forefront: "Am I a Master Mason?" The fact that perfection on earth has never yet been attained may offer some degree of satisfaction, but we who ask the question are not thinking in terms of perfection! Rather we are thinking in terms of those things which we could do which would make us better Masons. We think in terms of a personal happiness that would naturally derive
from living more the principles that make of a Mason a Master. Then follow other questions: Do I speak of a standard of morality for others which I do not make an effort to attain for myself?
Fraternal Societies Of the World â€˜The Rechabitesâ€™
Do I presume to question the motives of others and to establish a pattern for them which is my own, but perhaps less desirable than the one they live by? Do I look for little, unimportant things to criticize, and enlarge upon these, overlooking my own greater faults? Do I look for the good that I know is in my brother, or only for the things that are his special weaknesses, while I dismiss my own faults as mere trifles? Since man cannot reach higher than his aim, what is my aim? Is it greater love or greater envy? Is it unselfish service or personal gain? Is it courage to defend the principles of Freedom, Justice and Tolerance, or the cowardice of silence? How great is the disparity between what I stand for and what I am willing to fight for? How can I become more deserving of the title- "Master Mason?" Dewey Wollstein 1953. Rays of Masonry are the musings of Dewey Wollstein, and make for very good reading, these appear as a regular feature in the newsletter.
The Rechabites-variously the Order of Rechabites, the Sons and Daughters of Rechab, and so on-were founded on August 25, 1835 in Salford, near Manchester, England, as a fraternal benefit total-abstinence society. It now operates worldwide, and will admit anyone willing to "sign the pledge." The size of the order is no longer clear, and the Rechabites are apparently not centralized. In Cornwall, well into the second half of the 20th century, a common description of extreme intoxication was "as drunk as a Rechabite on the annual outing." Such is the irreverent Cornish sense of
humor; for the Rechabites are a strict Temperance movement. The Rechabites were the archetypal temperance society; their influence, once so great and popular, has now greatly waned. In the first decade of the 20th century, the (American) Independent Order of Rechabites alone was only 10,000 short of a million members-though this seems high in view of the 220,000 figure for worldwide Rechabitism given by Stevens at the beginning of the century. Probably no one ever knew precisely how many Rechabites there were. The Salford Unity of Rechabites was founded in 1835 by a small group of abstainers who wanted to form a fraternal benefit secret society. They called their first lodge "Tent Ebenezer, No.1," because the Sons of Jonadab, the sons of Rechab, were apparently instructed by the Almighty not only to abstain from wine but also to live in tents. There were soon Tents for male adults (over 16) and female adults (over 12); for boys, aged 12-16; and for children of both sexes aged from 5 to 12. All who could write were required to "sign the pledge," saying (among many other things) that they would "abstain from all intoxicating liquors except in religious ordinances, or when prescribed by a legally qualified medical practitioners during sickness which renders one incapable of following any employment." If you lived in a temperance town or village, you might well have signed the pledge a dozen times before you reached your majority. The sick fund originally paid half a crown a week in return for one penny
per week subscription . The funeral fund was approximately sixpence for a ÂŁ5 benefit, and you could buy up to six shares in either. Later, a grade assessment plan was adopted, but the teetotalers argued that their health record was better than that of the drinkers, and that they therefore represented better value because they paid out less in sickness benefits or for premature deaths. In the United States, the Independent Order of Rechabites in North American fared poorly, while the Independent Order of Rechabites (without the North American qualifier) did very well. There was also the Encamped Knights of Rechab of North America, which seem to have had a negligible impact, except locally in small areas. At the end of the 19th century the Independent Order had a $100 funeral benefit. The rituals seem to have varied from place to place, but generally worked three degrees: Knight of Temperance, Knight of Fortitude, and Covenanted Knight of Justice. The ritual also had elements of the freemasonry, and the governing body, at least in England, was (and continues to be) the Movable Committee, which meets in different cities every two years. In the United States, the Rechabites collapsed with the repeal of Prohibition, and in Britain, the order diminished in size and influence after World War II. These fraternal societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World, the reader will notice the similarity to the Craft. This particular society will well-known in Scotland just after the first World War.
Brothers and Builders The Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry CHAPTER 4 â€“ THE COMPASSES. IN our study of the Square we saw that it is nearly always linked with the Compasses, and these old emblems, joined with the Holy Bible, are the Great Lights of the Craft. If the Lodge is an "oblong square" and built upon the Square (as the earth was thought to be in olden time), over it arches the Sky, which is a circle. Thus Earth and Heaven are brought together in the Lodge - the earth where man goes forth to his labor, and the heaven to which he aspires. In other words, the light of Revelation and the law of Nature are like the two points of the Compasses within which our life is set tinder a canopy of Sun and Stars. No symbolism can be more simple, more profound, more universal, and it becomes more wonderful the longer one ponders it. Indeed, if Masonry is in any sense a religion, it is Universe Religion, in which ail men can unite. Its principles are as wide as the world, as high as the sky. Nature and Revelation blend in its teaching; its morality is rooted in the order of the world, and its roof is the blue vault above. The Lodge, as we are apt to forget, is always open to the sky, whence come those influences which exalt and ennoble the life of man. Symbolically, at least, it has no rafters but the arching heavens to which, as sparks ascending seek the sun, our life and labor tend. Of the heavenly side of
Masonry the Compasses are the symbol, and they are perhaps the most spiritual of our working tools. As has been said, the Square and Compasses are nearly always together, and that is true as far back as we can go. In the sixth book of the philosophy of Mencius, in China, we find these words: "A Master Mason, in teaching Apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of wisdom must also make use of the compass and the square," Note the order of the words: the Compass has first place, and it should have to a Master Mason. In the oldest classic of China, The Book of History, dating back two thousand years before our era, we find the Compasses employed without the Square: "Ye officers of the Government, apply the Compasses." Even in that far off time these symbols had the same meaning they have for us to-day, and they seem to have been interpreted in the same way. While in the order of the Lodge the Square is first, in point of truth it is not the first in order. The Square rests upon the Compasses before the Compasses rest upon the Square. That is to say, just as a perfect square is a figure that can be drawn only within a circle or about a circle, so the earthly life of man moves and is built within the Circle of Divine life and law and love which surrounds, sustains, and explains it. In the Ritual of the Lodge we see man, hoodwinked by the senses, slowly groping his way out of darkness, seeking the light of morality and reason. But he does so by the aid of inspiration from above, else he would live untroubled by a spark.
Some deep need, some dim desire brought him to the door of the Lodge, in quest of a better life and a clearer vision. Vague gleams, impulses, intimations reached him in the night of Nature, and he set forth and finding a friendly hand to help knocked at the door of the House of Light. As an Apprentice a man is, symbolically, in a crude, natural state, his divine life covered and ruled by his earthly nature. As a Fellowcraft he has made one step toward liberty and light, and the nobler elements in him are struggling to rise above and control his lower, lesser nature. In the sublime Degree of a Master Mason - far more sublime than we yet realize - by human love, by the discipline of tragedy, and still more by Divine help the divine in him has subjugated the earthly, and he stands forth strong, free, and fearless, ready to raise stone upon stone until naught is wanting. If we examine with care the relative positions of the Square and Compasses as he advanced through the Degrees, we learn a parable and a prophecy of what the Compasses mean in the life of a Mason. Here, too, we learn what the old philosopher of China meant when be urged Officers of the Government to "apply the Compasses," since only men who have mastered themselves can really lead or rule others. Let us now study the Compasses apart from the Square, and try to discover what they have to teach us. There is no more practical lesson in Masonry and it behoves us to learn it and lay it to heart. As the light of the Holy Bible reveals our relation and duty to God, and the Square instructs us in our duties to our
Brother and neighbour, so the Compasses teach us the obligation which we owe to ourselves. What that obligation is needs to be made plain: it is the primary, imperative, everyday duty of circumscribing his passions, and keeping his desires within due bounds. As Most Excellent King Solomon said long ago, "better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." In short, it is the old triad, without which character loses its symmetry, and life may easily end in chaos and confusion. It has been put in many ways, but never better than in the three great words: self-knowledge, selfreverence, self-control; and we cannot lose any one of the three and keep the other two. To know ourselves, our strength, our weakness, our limitations, is the first principle of wisdom, and a security against many a pitfall and blunder. Lacking such knowledge, or disregarding it, a man goes too far, loses control of himself, and by the very fact loses, in some measure, the self-respect which is the corner stone of a character. If he loses respect for himself, he does not long keep his respect for others, and goes down the road to destruction, like a star out of orbit, or a car into the ditch. The old Greeks put the same truth into a trinity of maxims: "Know thyself; in nothing too much; think as a mortal" ; and it made them masters of the art of life and the life of art. Hence their wise Doctrine of the Limit, as a basic idea both of life and of thought, and their worship of the God of Bounds, of which the Compasses are a symbol. It is the wonder of our human life that we belong to the limited and to the unlimited. Hemmed in, hedged about,
restricted, we long for a liberty without rule or limit. Yet limitless liberty is anarchy and slavery. As in the great word of Burke, "it is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that a man of intemperate passions cannot be free; his passions forge their fetters." Liberty rests upon law. The wise man is he who takes full account of both, who knows how, at all points, to qualify the one by the other, as the Compasses, if he uses them aright, will teach him how to do. Much of our life is ruled for us whether we will or not. The laws of nature throw about us their restraining bands, and there is no place where their writ does not run. The laws of the land make us aware that our liberty is limited by the equal rights and liberties of others. Our neighbour, too, if we fail to act toward him squarely may be trusted to look after his own rights. Custom, habit, and the pressure of public opinion are impalpable restraining forces which we dare not altogether defy. These are so many roads from which our passions and appetites stray at our peril. But there are other regions of life where personality has free play, and they are the places where most of our joy and sorrow lie. It is in the realm of desire, emotion, motive, in the inner life where we are freest and most alone, that we need a wise and faithful use of the Compasses. How to use the Compasses is one of the finest of all arts, asking for the highest skill of a Master Mason. If he is properly instructed, he will rest one point on the innermost centre of his being, and with the other draw a circle beyond which he will not go, until he is ready and able to go farther. Against the
littleness of his knowledge he will set the depth of his desire to know, against the brevity of his earthly life the reach of his spiritual hope. Within a wise limit he will live and labour and grow, and when he reaches the outer rim of the circle he will draw another, and attain to a full-orbed life, balanced, beautiful, and finely poised No wise man dare forget the maxim, "In nothing too much, " for there are situations where a word too much, a step too far, means disaster. If he has a quick tongue, a hot temper, a dark mood, he will apply the Compasses, shut his weakness within the circle of his strength, and control it. Strangely enough, even a virtue, if unrestrained and left to itself, may actually become a vice. Praise, if pushed too far, becomes flattery. Love often ends in a soft sentimentalism, flabby and foolish. Faith, if carried to the extreme by the will to believe, ends in over-belief and superstition. It is the Compasses that help us to keep our balance, in obedience to the other Greek maxim: "Think as a mortal" -- that is, remember the limits of human thought. An old mystic said that God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, and its circumference nowhere. But such an idea is all a blur. Our minds can neither grasp nor hold it. Even in our thought about God we must draw a circle enclosing so much of His nature as we can grasp and realize, enlarging the circle as our experience and thought and vision expand. Many a man loses all truth in his impatient effort to reach final truth. It is the man who fancies that he has found the only truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and who seeks to impose his dogma upon others,
who becomes the bigot, the fanatic, the persecutor. Here, too, we must apply the Compasses, if we would have our faith fulfil itself in fellowship. Now we know in part - a small part, it may be, but it is real as far as it goes - though it be as one who sees in a glass darkly. The promise is that if we are worthy and well qualified, we shall see God face to face and know ever as we are known. But God is so great, so far beyond my mind and yours, that if we are to know Him at all truly, we must know Him together, in fellowship and fraternity. And so the Poet-Mason was right when he wrote:"He drew a circle that shut me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout; But love and I had the wit to win, We drew a circle that took him in."
This is the fourth Chapter in the Book, Brothers and Builders by Joseph Fort Newton, the fifth Chapter - The Level and the Plumb will appear next month. Brethren, the editor is always looking for articles, poems, stories, Lodge Histories, anything in fact that would make for interesting reading for the readers of the newsletter. Many thanks to those who have sent pieces in, I try to use them if I can.
ON THE SQUARE My Brother, in the Courtyard Each one of us have stood Outside the tyled Temple door Awaiting as we should. Take heed, thou young Apprentices The Word emblazoned there: To meet upon the level And part upon the square. My Brother, at the Altar Each one of us has knelt With solemn Oath and Brotherhood The Mystic Tie we've felt. Take heed, my Brother Fellowcraft The Word emblazoned there: To act upon the plumb And part upon the Square. My Brother, in the Temple Each one of us were Raised And on receiving further light Into the Light we gazed. Take heed, my Brothers, Masters all The Word emblazoned there: To Live within the compass And part upon the Square. Many Thanks to Bro. Edgar McLlenaghan
The Knock(s) on the outer door is an alarm or a signal that someone seeks admission, the same as a knock on one’s front door. The Three distinct knocks are an allusion to the saying, ‘seek and ye shall find: ask and ye shall have: knock and it shall be opened unto you.’ Some students hold the theory that the knock on the door of the Lodge are given by his ‘friend’ of proposer on his behalf by proxy. Perhaps a catechism in an old ritual supports this:Q: A: Q: A:
Who brought you to be a Freemason? “A friend whom I afterwards found to be a brother”. How did you gain admission? “By three distinct knocks”.
There are three distinct knocks to obtain admission, and three distinct knocks to pass each obstruction. One theory, among many, is that there are three obstructions and three doors (one door real, and two symbolical) to be negotiated by the Candidate. Sourced from Why? ‘Coming to Terms with Freemasonry’ by Bro. John Cane PPG Supt Wks (Surrey)
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.
Published on Aug 28, 2012