Volume 9 Issue 6 No.72 October 2013
Contents Cover Story, Stonehenge: From Whence Came You? Famous Freemason – Mel Blanc How can we keep young Masons interested? Lodge Scone and Perth No.3. Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks The Almoner Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism – Part 1 Poems Masonic Clothing The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – The History of the Two Pillars
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Stonehenge: From Whence Came You?.’ An Ancient Masonic Temple? See what you think with this great article. Page 6, ‘Mel Blanc.’ A Famous Freemason. Page 9, ‘How can we keep the young Masons Interested?.’ “One Brother’s view on what we can do” Page 12, ‘Lodge Scone and Perth No.3.’ Another History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 13, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “The Efforts of Masonry”, our Regular monthly feature. Page 13, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’. “To Wait How Long”, the twenty ninth in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 16, ‘The Almoner!’ The Role of the Lodge Almoner. Page 18, ‘Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism. – Part 1 A three part article. Page 21, ‘The Best Event in a Mason’s Life’ A Poem. Page 22, ‘Masonic Clothing’. The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 24, ‘The Masonic Dictionary’ Flaming Sword.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The History of the Two Pillars’ tracing the history of these emblems. [link] The front cover artwork is a stock picture of Stonehenge.
Stonehenge is viewed as it spreads over the plain.
“From Whence Came You?”
How was it built? - What genius supplied the scientific knowledge which made it possible? - When was it built - and by whom? Questions unanswered now and possibly for all time.
STONEHENGE! An ancient structure filled with mystery; the subject of speculation and rumour studied and analyzed by generations of men. Scientists and producers of fanciful mystique alike have found it a challenge which thwarts the analytical minds and the discerning eyes of man! What is this strange and little known edifice which stands alone and aloof on the Plains of Salisbury? To quote a statement by Russell A. Herner, author of "Stonehenge: An Ancient Masonic Temple.”: I contend that this majestic structure is, in fact, an Ancient Masonic Temple. This structure, or Temple as I will call it, has survived the lapse of time, the ruthless hands of ignorance, and the devastations of war for many centuries." The author does not equivocate; he does not apologize; he does, however, theorize very convincingly. Let's look at this phenomenon on the open plains of Southwest England. Salisbury Plain is in Wiltshire, England, about seven miles from the town of Salisbury. On the flat plain surrounding Stonehenge, one can see large burial mounds similar to those found in the United States (Moundsville, West Virginia, for example). Unanswered questions come flooding into one's mind as the mystery of
This was no small undertaking which our ancient craftsman took upon themselves. IT WAS MONUMENTAL! Imagine what they faced! No high-tech equipment which today's builders use so routinely! No colleges teaching today's technology and sciences! Quarries for the special stones located from 20 to 240 miles away! No beasts of burden - only man's backs and strong limbs. A river between the quarries and the building site! A project of a magnitude exceeding the Sears Tower in Chicago or the Bay Bridge in California. For building such modern projects involved many tasks which individually were not difficult. - Building Stonehenge involved many tasks which individually seemed Insurmountable! To the average mind today it was the impossible dream! But there it stands for all to see: the improbable, impossible, inconceivable project. Completed by a culture which we consider to be uneducated and without artistic temperament. At a point directly Northeast of the centre of the Altar Stone, there is a break in the circular embankments for an avenue, nearly 40 feet wide which leads to the only element of Stonehenge which is outside this circle. The "Heelstone" is a massive stone 20 feet high with 4 feet buried in the plain. It is planted at an incline of 27 2
degrees toward the centre of the structure. It is estimated to weigh over 35 tons and is 256 feet from the centre of the Altar Stone. Just within the embankments is a stone 3 feet thick, 7 feet wide, and nearly 22 feet long. This is thought to be the spot where animals were slaughtered as offerings to Deity. More is involved in the construction of Stonehenge than meets the casual view. It is located and constructed by an exact scientific formula from which can be derived much scientific data and many astrological readings. Just inside the Aubrey Holes there are four Station Stones forming a rectangle 108 feet 8 inches wide and 262 feet 3 inches long with its long dimension perpendicular to the Northeast axis. At this latitude of 51 degrees 17 minutes North Latitude, lines drawn through these four stones plot the rising and setting positions of the sun and moon at midsummer and midwinter. If Stonehenge were moved as little as 30 miles, this rectangle would have to be laid out as a parallelogram without right angled corners. At the summer solstice (about June 21) the sun rises directly over the tip of the Heelstone; its rays passing through the Sarsen Arch and striking the centre of the Altar Stone. (That one archway is 6 inches wider than all the rest.) 3
With this in mind, picture, if you will, this scene which may - or may not - be purely imaginative. It is night. The darkness is broken only by a candle or two -or perhaps by the dim light of a setting moon. A group of men, marching in double file, enter the Sarsen Circle. They are dressed in ancient costumes of leather and rough, homespun cloth. They carry implements of the builders trades. In the centre of the group, walking between the columns and guided by two of the ancients, is a young man - an initiate. They circumambulate the Sarsen Circle, stopping at strategic points while voices from the darkness instruct and admonish the initiate in their midst. As dawn approaches they pass through the open end of the Trilithons, into the Bluestone Horseshoe, and wend their way Southeastward until the initiate and the guides stand behind the Altar Stone, at its centre, facing Northeast. The rest of the group file slowly back until they form a double line from the Altar Stone to the Sarsen Arch at the Extreme Northeast limit of the Circle. All is quiet. The darkness dims. The initiate has time to think on what he has been told and the things he has seen.
The circles of stone about the group shut out nearly all the light as dawn grows near. Suddenly a glow appears and a guide turns the initiate's head with the command: "Look to the East!" The entire area is encompassed by two earthen embankments separated by a ditch 17 feet wide. The inner embankment rises 7 feet above the plain to reduce the possibility of cowans and eavesdroppers. The outer mound is approximately 400 feet in diameter. Within this circle, at a diameter of 286 feet, are 56 pits (called "Aubrey Holes") filled with solid chalk. Several of these have been excavated and found to contain human bones, spawning the assumption that they are burial spots for the leaders or officers of those who used the site.
uprights). These stones are about 3 feet thick and 7 feet wide and, at the top, are carved in the form of a mortise and tenon joint to hold the lintel in place. Within this impressive group is a second horseshoe of round Bluestones 2 feet in diameter varying in height from 9 feet 3 inches at the closed end to 6 feet 6 inches at the end open to the Northeast. These are set at a diameter of 39 feet. Central to all the other parts of the structure is one of the two most important elements. It lies flat on the ground and is a green stone with flecks of mica throughout. It measures nearly 2 feet thick, 3 feet 3 inches wide and 15 feet 9 inches long. This is the "Altar Stone."
Further toward the centre, with an inside diameter of 97 feet 4 inches is the main part of the structure: a circle of 30 stones nearly 4 feet thick, 7 feet wide and standing 13 feet 6 inches above ground. At a diameter of 77 feet is a circle of Bluestones, 6 feet 7 inches high in the Southwest, tapering to 2 feet 4 inches in the Northeast. We now approach the "Inner Sanctum" of Stonehenge. A horseshoe formation of 5 huge stone groups called "Trilithons" with the open end to the Northeast. These mammoth units consist of 3 stones each. Two upright members varying in height from 25 feet 6 inches in the centre of the closed end of the horseshoe to 20 feet above ground at the open end. The third stone forms a lintel across the top and is 15 feet 5 inches long (the width of two
Some mention should be made of the two colour elements used in Stonehenge's construction: the green Altar and the two Bluestone units. Mackey's Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry has this statement: "In all the Ancient Mysteries, this idea was carried out with Green symbolizing the birth of the world, of the moral creation or resurrection of the initiate." Thus we have 4
the theory that the initiate took his obligation on the Green Altar Stone at Stonehenge: "the creation or resurrection of a new life." The Bluestones are thought to be indicative of the blue which is indelibly attached to Masonry. From all ages blue has symbolized truth, sincerity, and fidelity. Further, Masons met in outdoor Lodges under the blue canopy of Heaven - thus, today, we meet in "Blue Lodges." A sudden shaft of light bursts through the Sarsen Arch as the sun rises directly over the tip of the Heelstone. It crosses the space within the Circle - strikes the Altar Stone - and shines directly on the face of the Initiate! LIGHT!!! The Initiate has received the LIGHT. After further instruction he is admitted to the inner circle of these rough men who, somehow, know many things of science and nature. A FINAL THOUGHT Imagery??? Perhaps. - Perhaps not! We may never know; but this is an indisputable fact: the construction of Stonehenge, like the Great Pyramid of Giza, was done with knowledge that would be difficult to find, even today. It is done with scientific skill which was thought to be developed many centuries after these men lived and died. The "How" and "Why" we may never understand, but the facts remain. An Ancient Masonic Lodge??? Who knows? And, one may ask: "Does it really matter?" For whatever we choose to 5
believe about Stonehenge, it offers material for intriguing hypothesizing and endless interesting conversations. My Brothers - I give you the Mystery that is Stonehenge!" This article and pictures were sourced from the Gila Valley No.9 Masonic Blog., by Daniel Genchi.
RESEARCH Research is such a funny thing -I marvel at it daily. Some do it, oh!, so grudgingly While others do it gaily. Some spend days, or weeks, or years Donating hours freely While others will not turn a leaf Without demanding, "Pay me!" Some think that Research starts and ends With, say, a dictionary. While others hoard on their own shelves A bursting library. These are they who fondle tomes With reverence, and gently; Not those who only read a book As oft as Comet Halley. Some there are for whom archives Are sweet as any daisy; While others think that musty books Smell more than slightly gamey. So let them watch their football bowls, Or bowl in their alley. We'll talk about our own Research, Or search for what is, is really. And if we don't always agree Upon each cherished theory, Well, intellectual debate Can still be quite a melee! (For The New Mexico Masonic Lodge Of Research) by Owen Lorion
Famous Freemasons Mel Blanc
which would keep us in suspense, wondering if Dale Rogers who was tied to the railway tracks would be rescued in the nick of time as the train came thundering down on her, or if Flash Gordon would be able to escape from his spaceship as it was hurtling out of control and speeding towards the ground and certain death. The following Saturday would show Roy Rogers galloping down at the last moment to save Dale, and Flash waking up just in time to prevent the spaceship crashing. Great stuff, the adventure serial would normally be followed by a one-reel film, sometimes two, and then for many the highlight of the Saturday morning, the animated cartoons of Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, starring Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat, Foghorn Leghorn and Pepe Le Pew to name just a few, and anyone who has seen these Warner Brothers cartoons over the years has heard the voice of Brother Mel Blanc, the man of a 1000 voices, voices that are instantly recognised by countless millions around the world. (ed)
People of my generation long before the television became readily available will remember the Saturday morning matinee, the local picture house that took us on a two hour journey of the magic of the silver screen and introduced us to the likes of the Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers overcoming the bad guys in the old Wild West. (Did you know that the good guys always wore white hats?) Flash Gordon was busy fighting Emperor Ming trying to save the Universe, and Buck Rogers was waking up after a 500 year sleep to find the Earth was ruled by the ruthless Killer Kane. These 12-part serials kept us on the edge of our seats with the weekly episode ending in a cliff-hanger
Melvin Jerome Blank was born in 1908 in San Francisco, California. The family moved to Portland, Oregon where Mel attended school and was raised. It was during his formative years that he changed the spelling of his name to Blanc because a teacher told him ‘he would amount to nothing, and be like his name a blank.’ This made him more determined and he started ‘entertaining students and teachers, getting big laughs, but lousy grades.’ In was in these early days as a teenager at high school he created the cackle that would later become the familiar sound of Woody Woodpecker. When Mel reached 17 in 1925 he was initiated into the Order of DeMolay at the Sunnyside Chapter in 6
Portland. The Order of DeMolay, is an organisation for young men between the ages of 12 and 21 and is modelled on Freemasonry, Mel would remain active in the Order for the rest of his life and in 1987 he was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame. He said this at the time; “I have been a member of DeMolay for sixty-three years. I thank God and DeMolay for helping me become kind and thoughtful to my parents and all my friends. I had many opportunities to do the wrong things, and I might have done them, if it were not for DeMolay. God bless them.” On leaving High school at the age of 19 he started out in show business, he was an accomplished musician able to play the bassist, violin and sousaphone and appeared with various orchestras until he became known as a ‘voice actor’ appearing on local radio shows where his ability to mimic and create different voices was soon in big demand. In 1931 aged 23 he joined Freemasonry in Portland Midway Lodge No.188, and continued to take an active part in the Craft all his life, although it is probably his work in the Shriners Organisation that Mel is best known for, he joined the Shriners in 1951. He married Estelle in 1933 and began his own radio show and it was at this period that he began to specialise in comic voices. In 1935 Mel and Estelle moved to Los Angeles and continued to work in radio, he soon joined ‘The Jack Benny show’ where he was a regular cast member for 20 years. Mel would later make the transition to television in 1950 with Benny. In 1936 after trying for 18 months to get work with Warner Brothers he eventually was taken on and worked on their animated cartoons, his first major role was Porky Pig, and then he created perhaps his most famous voice 7
Bugs Bunny the next year. The producer of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Leon Schlesinger knew he had a gold mine in Mel Blanc and signed him to an exclusive contract in 1940 and soon the infectious laugh of Woody Woodpecker was being heard in cartoons all over the world. Other voices came following and Mel created all the memorable cartoon voices he ever did, including Sylvester, Tweety, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Woody Woodpecker, The Road Runner, Speedy Gonzales, Tasmanian Devil, Pepe LePew, Marvin the Martin and one which is maybe not so well known, the voice of Barney Rubble in the Flintstones. The voices he created are still well known to this day, 7 decades later. Mel Blanc’s career rise was meteoric, and he was in constant demand in radio, television and commercials, and 1950 saw him release a record, “I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat.” The song was sung by Mel in the voices of Tweety Pie and Sylvester, and sold over 2 million records reaching number 9 in the USA and number 1 in the UK. In 1962 in the Pat Boone “Speedy Gonzales” record, Mel voiced Speedy Gonzales, ‘The fastest mouse in all Mexico,’ which was a huge hit. During Mel’s early time with Warner Brothers, ‘voice artists’ on cartoons were not given any screen credit, and he suggested to the producer they could add his name as a ‘Voice Characterizationist’ rather than give him the rise in wages he wanted. The producer readily agreed as it would save money and from then on, only Mel Blanc’s name as a voice actor was seen in the end credits of those that had worked on the cartoon. The publicity that created quickly brought Mel to the public’s eye and brought him even more work on the Radio, then eventually television.
In the early 60’s Warner Bros., decided to move away from animated cartoons and Mel went to Hanna-Barbera and worked on The Flintstones, providing the voices of Barney Rubble and Fred’s pet dinosaur, Dino. He also worked on most of the popular Hanna-Barbera cartoons of that period. It was while working on the Flintstones that Mel was involved in a near fatal car accident, and ended up in a coma. The doctors treating him tried without success to get him to come out of the coma, until a doctor fan of the cartoons said, ,”Bugs? Bugs Bunny? Are you there?” Mel opened his eyes and responded in Bugs Bunny’s voice, “What’s up Doc?” Eventually Mel came out of the coma, and he remained in hospital for months in a full body cast. The producers of the Flintstones desperate that the show should remain in production set up recording equipment in Mel’s hospital room and with the rest of his co-stars recorded the soundtrack for the episodes from his bed! In 1975 along with his son Noel, Mel branched out and formed his own Production Company, continuing to work in Cartoons and did more work on Television Commercials where his voice characters were in great demand. One of his last performances was in the 1988 feature film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” when he provided the voice of Daffy Duck, and when Mel Blanc passed away at the age of 81, in appreciation to him, Warner Brothers ran a colour ad showing Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety Pie, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam and a few others, all with their heads bowed and voices stilled. His gravestone in Hollywood is inscribed, “That’s All Folks.” Mel Blanc ‘the man of 1000 voices’ is best remembered for his voice, and the cartoon characters he portrayed,
but the work he did for the Show Business Shrine Club of Al Malaikah Temple when he put on the Masonic Fez and helped children in need is legendary, he speaks of his association with the Craft in his autobiography, ‘That’s not all Folks!”
“I'd always tried to help others as much as I could; now I was truly determined to perform more mitzvahs, the Yiddish word for good deeds, especially for incapacitated children. As soon as I was able to get around, I stepped up my number of appearances at Masonic and Shriners children's hospitals. I had become a Mason in 1931, when I was still living in Portland, and a Shrine Mason in 1951. Because its 850,000 members wear black-tasseled red fezzes, or tarbooshes, and belong to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, all sorts of misconceptions persist about the Shrine. It is not some Middle Eastern religious cult but an international fraternity founded in New York over a century ago. Four presidents have been prominent members, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman. And what of the Masons' and Shriners' foreignsounding salutation "es Selamu Aleikem"? It simply means, "Peace be with you." The Shrine is dedicated to philanthropy, operating a network of free orthopedic hospitals and burn institutes for kids under eighteen. When I was a teenager, I used to pass by the Portland Shriners hospital, located not far from my parents' home. Hearing about the work they did with crippled children was 8
what initially piqued my interest in the fellowship and prompted me to seek admission. I've visited many of their facilities and have spent countless hours with the youngsters. I don't know who appreciates whom more, me or them. "Do Bugs Bunny!" "Do Tweety!" they never fail to shout excitedly. Hopefully I'm able to bring them laughter and a respite from their pain. But it in no way equals the untold enrichment they bring to my life with each smile. There isn't a time that I walk out of their rooms without tears in my eyes. Honestly, sometimes I don't know how I manage to blink them back until I'm out the door. One thing I do know: Visiting these brave kids makes you count your blessings, and your own troubles seem very small by comparison. Returning to the Los Angeles Shriners Hospital for the first time since my accident was very emotional for me. I'd always taken my talent for granted before, but as I sat talking in Sylvester's voice to a darling little girl; I thanked God for not revoking this undeserved gift.â&#x20AC;?
How Can We Keep The Young Mason Interested ? Brethren, if I had the answer to this perplexing problem, I would be lauded as a genius, and no doubt be immediately asked to take over as Grand Master and dispose more wisdom. Unfortunately, I don't have the answer (and we have a pretty good Grand Master anyway), but I have several comments and suggestions about this dilemma. A CHANGING WORLD We as Masons have to realise the world has changed in the past seventy-five, fifty, even twenty-five years. In the good old days, men in their 20s and 30s would leave their job, take a short trek home and after ingesting a meal prepared by their dutiful wife, indulge in the pleasantries offered by their nearby lodge, as there would be little else happening that evening. Today, men of that age have to brave a slow and painful rush hour as they drive home. Often, the wife is working, so dinner isn't piping-hot by the time he gets home. And then, despite television, local sports activities, organisations not even thought of when the century began and plain old exhaustion, he's expected to drive back into town to attend lodge. If that's the case, we had better have something to offer him. Far too often, we don't. In fact, we do things that seem designed to discourage that man from even coming back. MEMORY WORK
This article was sourced from various web sites and adapted by the editor for the Newsletter.
Does this sound familiar? A young man has just been put through the degrees of our Order. Now, he's being handed a piece of paper with the instruction of "here,
memorize this." How often is the newcomer left to fend for himself? How many times do you hear members take the attitude "oh, it's up to his SPONSOR to teach him and I don't know him anyway." I've seen this happen. The Master should ensure someone is assigned to help the new initiate with his ritual work, and at the new member's own speed. Some Lodges like to set up their schedule of degrees, and then expect the newcomer to fit into the scheme. Doesn't this seem backwards to you? Why not let the new member learn his work when it's convenient to him? It'll show a little consideration. And why is it Lodges feel a new member has to take part in degrees immediately after being raised? Put yourself in the new member's place. You've just finished memory-work for three degrees. And NOW you're being asked to learn something else? So far, the only impression you've given to your new member is all we Freemasons do is an awful lot of memory-work. And that isn't the reason anyone joins an organisation, is it? Don't turn off your new Freemasons by shoving memory work at them at the beginning. Let them sit and watch for a bit. Give them a bit of a breather. ATTENDANCE How often do you tell a prospective member at his Enquiry that "Freemasonry takes up only a couple of nights a month"? We all know that's not true. Members, new ones especially, are bombarded with meetings. There is a great deal of pressure put on Masons to attend fraternal visitations. Provincial visits. And Installations of other Lodges in the District. And if they don't attend, you'll be sure to hear a few Lodge members grumble
that "so-and-so doesn't get out enough." Remember the Lodge isn't, and shouldn't be, the only spare-time activity of a new member. Don't expect him to be out every night at Lodge, like some of our members are. THE CHAIRS Do you know of any Lodges where, no sooner do they get a new brother, than they stick him in as Junior Steward and after a few months make unveiled hints that they'd like him to continue through as Master in six, seven, eight years? I have. And I've seen young members fall by the wayside because of it. The worst thing a Lodge can possibly do is start putting undue pressure on a new member. If you want to give him a chair, perhaps give him one that isn't hooked up to "the line" that exists in all Lodges. That way, he'll get his feet wet and not feel pressured to "continue on." Remember as well that in today's transient society, people have no idea where they'll be two or three years down the road, let alone eight. ACTIVITIES Years ago, a Masonic Lodge would have clearly offered the best after-work activities for a young man. Maybe at home, someone played a piano or a neighbour would come over and sing. But a Lodge could get a whole group of people together for a skit, a band or whatever. Today, that young man can get world-class entertainment in his own home with the flick of a remote control switch. Lodge today have been placed in the uncomfortable position of trying to compete with that 42-inch box in the living room. How well do we do that? 10
Are Lodge meetings of the variety that motivate young men to attend them? Is ritual performed well (and NOT out of a book)? Is the Master in control or is there "dead air" as he whispers to the Secretary, Director of Ceremonies or I.P.M. to find out what to do next? Are discussions short and to the point? If you can answer "no" to any of these questions, you're giving a new member a great excuse to stay home and catch the football on TV. Our Installation ritual tells us "the object of meeting in a Lodge is of a two-fold nature." You know the line. In what way are we giving "moral instruction and social intercourse" to our new brethren? It's an excellent idea to have some kind of education at a Lodge meeting, but too often, it's someone at a podium reading off a script. While a member may have constructed his talk with the utmost sincerity, very few Masons can stand up before an audience on their own and deliver an effective and informative speech that will hold a crowd's attention for its duration. Think: how often do you turn on a television and see a man staring at a camera with nothing but a script in his hand? You don't. It's too dull. So why should our lodges take this kind of approach? Obviously, you can't have computer graphics in a Lodge room, but you can liven up your education portion. How about a Masonic-related film or video? What about a Masonic quiz, where all the members (not just the Past Masters) are involved?. Use your imagination. Maybe even ask the younger members if they have any ideas. Avoid a static presentation. Strive for some movement. Make it interesting. What kind of social activities does your Lodge have? Are they something that appeal to people in their 20s and 30s? Many times, they're not, and that gives your new member another excuse to stay home. When you play music 11
at your Lodge dance, is it something younger people will dance to, or something popular when people used ration cards? Try music of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Does your Lodge have a sports team? Probably not, because most of the Lodges have too few young members to put together that kind of thing. But among the Lodges in a District, a team should be able to be put together. Why can't Districts play each other in a sport event? Why can't a District Sports or Social officer be appointed? By the way, if you're worried about older members not taking part in these kinds of events, you can create something for them, perhaps a bowling or whist team. COMMUNICATION Finally, has anyone in your Lodge taken the time to talk to your younger members? Have you asked THEM what interests them? If they've stopped coming to lodge, has anyone picked up the phone and TALKED TO THEM to find out what's wrong; why they like or dislike about the lodge? Or is your lodge content to put young men through the degrees with the attitude that "if they really care about the Lodge, they'll show up"? If that's the case, I can guarantee your Lodge is in serious trouble. We must keep the lines of communication open to our new brethren, especially the rare ones who haven't been privileged to blow out the candles on their 40th birthday cake. Show that you care about them, that you're interested in them, that you won't put undue pressure on them. Above all, remember these younger men are not only the future of your Lodge, but our great Craft as a whole. by W. Bro. Jim Bennie, P.M.
Lodge Scone and Perth No.3
Scoon is one of the oldest of the Scottish Lodges, e.g. the Abbey of Kilwinning was not founded until 1140 where King Alexander I founded and established an Abbey at Scoon in 1114. The earliest written reference to the Masons of Scoon of which we are aware is recorded in King James IV's Treasurers’ Account Books, "11th October 1504, Item. - Given to the Masons of Scoon, drink silver by the Kings command."
"Ane uniforme communitie, and unione throughout the whole world." This telling phrase written in 1658 in the Lodge’s oldest document known as “The Mutual Agreement.” by the "maisters, ffriemen, and fellowcrafts, measones, resident within the burgh off Perth." Describing themselves and their "predecesoris" who had been building temples churches and other buildings since the building of King Solomon’s "Temple of temples." Like many Ancient Incorporations and Societies, the history of Lodge Scoon & Perth is partially traditional. Our early records are lost, but we are a Lodge acknowledged to be one of the oldest, if not, the oldest in Scotland. It should be noted that our earliest document, "The Mutual Agreement", helped to establish Lodge Mother Kilwinning, as the preeminent Lodge in the land. If the ‘Antiquity of the Old Lodges’ is to be determined by the age of the churches or buildings with which they are connected, then it follows that the Lodge of
Our oldest document is The Mutual Agreement, (or The Mutual Contract) dated 24th December 1658. The original is in safe keeping in Register House, Edinburgh. It contains the interesting statement giving the genesis of the Lodge, viz.: - four hundred, three score and five years or thereby, before 1658. This gives us 1193, as the approximate date of the foundation of the Lodge. This famous document while not a charter can almost be called that. It is our most prized possession and to us is beyond all price. It was signed by 41 Brethren of the Lodge and was recorded in the Books of the Grand Lodge of Scotland on the 19th May 1742. The document also declares ‘the current tradition of the time’ “the Ancient Lodge of Kilwinning was the first Masonic Lodge established in Scotland". This bears out the earlier statement that Lodge Scoon & Perth helped Lodge Mother Kilwinning to her now established position. King James VI [he would be 34 at this time] by his own desire was entered ffrieman, measone, and Fellow of Craft of the Lodge. Also seen in this document is the remark "during all his lyfetime he mantayned the same as ane member of the Lodge of Scoon, so that this Lodge is the most famous Lodge (iff weill ordered) within the Kingdome." 12
The Mutual Agreement began with the invocation of the name of God and ended with a prayer for his blessing. In this most certainly lay the strong link in the chain of their continuance. To this day the closing prayer at Lodge meetings repeats the phrase from the Mutual Agreement "That soe long as the Sun ryseth in the East and setteth in the West, as we would wish the blessing of God to attend ws in aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l our Wayes and actions". The "so called Charter" - The Mutual Agreement of 1658 was taken to Edinburgh to be entered into the Rolls of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and bears the docquet of confirmation. We were granted The Charter or to give it its correct title "Charter of Confirmation" by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, 1742, in favour of the Lodge of Scoon," and dated 19th of May 1742. The designation of the Lodge varied in its early days. The Lodge of Scoon 1658, the Lodge of Perth 1725, The Lodge of Scoon keept at Perth 1742. At the beginning of the 1800s The Lodge of St. John, 1836-47 Lodge Perth and Scoon, later the Lodge of Scoon meeting in Perth. It was not until the year 1844 that the name of the Lodge was recorded on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland as Lodge Scoon & Perth. So much for the past and now a bit of the present. On the 22nd October 1929, a discussion at the General Committee as to the advisability of promoting a building fund in preparation for the erection of a Masonic Temple was initiated by Brother John B. MacDonald, Past Master. After several expressions of opinion, a committee was appointed to look out for a suitable site or sites, ascertain the probable costs and report their findings to the Lodge. This is 13
the first mention in the Minute Books of the idea of a New Temple to be custom built for the Craft in the City of Perth. The purchase of the frontal premises of this fine building built between 1797-1803 in the centre of a Georgian Crescent, and the building of the New Temple at the rear of the property, was made possible by the sale of the property in the High Street and by the efforts of the Brethren of the Lodge with the willing assistance of all the different Orders who meet here, along with the wonderful help of their ladies in raising funds. The Foundation Stone of the Lodge Temple at 5 Atholl Crescent was laid by Brother Reverend Andrew Wylie Smith BD Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Perthshire East, on the 6th August 1932 and the Lodge was consecrated and opened for the first time on Saturday, 4th March, 1933. We the members of the Lodge are indebted to the core of dedicated hard working Brethren who year after year have given their time, skills, expertise and labour to keep the Lodge premises at 5 Atholl Crescent Perth, well decorated, wind and watertight. Doing the unseen jobs that are needed to sustain the smooth functioning of our well ordered Lodge in these changing times when we, and the Lodge, need to adapt to new laws of the community and the ever innovative technology of the modern world and still able to keep the ancient aims and principles of our ancient order. We thank you.
This History was sourced from the Website of Lodge No.3. whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright holder. Click here to go to their site.
Rays of Masonry â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Efforts of Masonryâ&#x20AC;? "Neither are you to suffer your zeal for the Institution to lead you into argument with those, who, through ignorance, may ridicule it." The circle of Masonry would encompass those who misunderstand its functions and purposes. This is true because the enthusiasm that is ours is not for the perpetuation of a name or an organization, but for the propagation of a field for service which has for its end the amelioration of mankind. A great objective calls for the careful selection of men who will assume their respective parts in the work. Heroic and courageous names perhaps will not be transmitted to future generations. But the "Mark" of the individual stamped upon his endeavors will leave no doubt that there lived an unselfish worker. That which Masonry struggles against is not the enemies that strike out against our Institution, but the elements of hate and injustice that make such an enemy blind to his own peril. What is good for and through Masonry is good for the world and humanity. What Masonry seeks to perform it seeks for the universe. Masonry claims nothing that cannot be imparted to men who believe in love as the antidote of hate. During life and after, man is immortal. The primary duty of men is to live together in harmony. And all the efforts of Masonry are united to bring about this joyous condition Dewey Wollstein 1953.
To Wait How Long. "Old Tiler," began the New Brother, "do you think I ought to be a Chapter Mason and a Commandery Mason and a Scottish Rite Mason right away?" "That's a rather large question," objected the Old Tiler. "Why do you ask?" "I am constantly asked to join these bodies," answered the New Brother. "It seems to me I ought to wait until I know more about Masonry before I go farther." "I agree with you," answered the Old Tiler, heartily. "You just said it was too large a question to answer right off," cried the New Brother. "That was before you told me how you felt," countered the Old Tiler. "No man should go farther in Masonry as long as he 14
feels he should wait. But if you had said that your interest was flagging, and that you wanted to go ahead and explore, to refind the thrill of the third degree, I would probably have told you I agreed with you heartily." "Seems to me," answered the New Brother, "that the Grand Lodge might profitably make a rule that no Master Mason could apply for the degrees in any other Masonic body until they have been Master Masons for six months or a year. "You are not the only, or the first Mason, to think that," answered the Old Tiler. "But that is a very large question indeed, and much can be said on both sides." "Won't you tell me both sides?" asked the New Brother. "I'll try," answered the Old Tiler. "The Grand Lodge side of it is simple enough; it is obvious that if there were only the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry a man could not divide his attention, his money, and his time with them and any other Masonic bodies. But we have Capitular degrees and Commandery degrees and Cryptic degrees; and Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite degrees, and the Shrine; while the Shrine is not a Masonic body, yet it is a goal for many Masons, so it enters into the problem. Those who propose that Grand Lodge forbid newly made Master Masons applying for the degrees in Chapter or Rite until after a lapse of a year, have in mind that if a man has only his lodge to go to, he will learn some Masonry, get the habit, and so, when he does take the other degrees, he will not forget his Alma Mater." 15
"Those who think the Grand Lodge should not make such a regulation, often believe that it should be made by the other bodies. Such Masons think that Capitular Masonry and Scottish Rite Masonry would be stronger and better if they refused any candidates who had not at least a year's experience in the Symbolic lodge. A college demands certain scholastic standards of its freshmen. Many demand a high school diploma, or its equivalent. A college has a right to say on what terms it will accept students. But the high school never says 'you mustn't apply to the college without a high school diploma.' The high school doesn't attempt to tell the college what it must or must not do, or who it can and cannot have as freshmen. It but prepares those willing to study to enter to the college. It is the college which won't take the unprepared." "Many Masons will feel that the so-called 'higher' degrees are a sort of college course to Masonry, and that the bodies which confer those degrees should demand at least a year's experience in Blue Lodge Masonry, but can see no reason why the Grand Lodge should keep their doors for them." "No well-informed Mason sees the lodge as a primary school and the other Rites as colleges. No well-informed Mason but regards Ancient Craft Masonry as the source of all Masonry, to be honored above all others. A real comparison perhaps could be made with a country and citizenship. Citizenship in this nation is a very high estate. Yet some citizens know more statecraft than others and become leaders in the legislature, the cabinet, the law, the diplomatic service. They could do none of these things without being citizens. The United States demands a certain period - I
think it is five years - which a 'candidate' for citizenship must wait, before he receives his 'third degree,' his final papers. Until he gets them, he cannot be a citizen or enjoy the rights of citizenship, or go higher in the State, or be an officer. That is like the lodge demand of a month between degrees, and a proficiency in the work before the next degree is conferred." "The United States doesn't say to a newlymade citizen 'now that you are a citizen, you must wait a year or two before you exercise your citizenship.' Our Grand Lodge does not say to a Blue Lodge Mason 'you must wait a year before you try to be an officer or before you apply for any other degrees.' Yet there are those who would have Grand Lodge do just that." "There are two sides, my brother. Personally, I would think that a period of waiting would be an excellent thing. I would like to see the Grand Chapters and the Supreme Council decide that a Master Mason must be such for six months or a year before he could apply, just as they now demand six months' or a years' residence in a place before they will admit jurisdiction. But I think a Grand Lodge is less than wise if it attempts to regulate the so-called 'high bodies' in their standards." "I thought Grand Lodge could anything," put in the New Brother.
"So it can, very nearly," smiled the Old Tiler. "I did not say I thought a Grand Lodge would be going beyond its rights in making such a regulation. I said I thought it would be unwise. The Grand Lodge has complete control of a man's Masonry and his Masonic conduct. Its right to regulate is undoubted; its wisdom in doing so may be open to discussion."
"Well, I'm going to wait a while; but not a year," responded the New Brother. "Which will be just right, for you," smiled the Old Tiler. This is the twentyninth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
THE ALMONER On the occasion of his investiture the Almoner is told that the jewel of his office is a scrip purse upon which is a heart. This is to remind him that the practice of charity is one of the principal objects of our institution. Elsewhere it is stressed that, of all the virtues, charity is selected for the honour of being denominated the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason’s heart. It is not by accident that the dispensing of material assistance and a heartfelt concern for his fellow creatures are linked by the jewel in this manner when describing the Almoner’s role. All charity, of whatever its nature, must emanate from or be actuated by the heart if it is to have any real effect. To paraphrase the prolific writer Paul, in his letter to the men of Corinth, “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor …...and have not charity” it is of little avail; and again, “Though I speak with the tongues of …. Angels and have not charity, I become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal”. So, whichever way we look at it, we see the Almoner’s role as one of total concern which means that he himself as an individual must be a man of understanding 16
and compassion. He must be concerned about the material well-being of those of his brethren who have fallen on hard times, and about those in the community at large who are in distress. But he must also be concerned for those who are lonely, who are sick, who are frail, are in any way immobilised. Above all he must be concerned for those who just need a brother’s love and understanding. He must be concerned with a continuing concern, for the widow and the fatherless. Indeed, there should be no limit to his compassion. However, in order to carry out his onerous, but very rewarding task, the Almoner must be continually fed up-to-date information by the brethren of his Lodge. No single Almoner could reasonably be expected to be personally aware of the health, the problems, or the difficulties being encountered by all individual members of his Lodge. This has always been true, but never more so than in these days of a shifting population, when members, once part of a closely-knit community, by force of circumstances may now be scattered far and wide. This makes it all the more important that each brother accepts his personal responsibility to feed the Almoner with every scrap of relevant information which becomes known to him. So often called ‘good report’ of the Almoner, good because he has nothing to report. Apparently indicating that “God is in His Heaven, and all’s right with the World” is merely an incomplete report, showing that the Almoner has not been kept appropriately informed. There are other sources of information available to the Almoner. For instance, there is the attendance book (assuming he can decipher the signatures) from which he will be able 17
to note absences not accounted for, and which he may follow up. Certainly no resignation of a member of the Lodge should ever be received without the Almoner first being informed so that, where he thinks it appropriate, he may make enquiries to satisfy himself that the reason for resignation is not something which the Lodge may be able to rectify. This, properly pursued, could result in a potential loss to the Lodge being converted into a revitalised and active member. It is a good idea for the Almoner to keep an upto-date “Lodge Widows Book” so that the welfare of the widows of deceased brethren may be continually monitored. You see, what were good health and adequate financial circumstances, say, ten or so years ago may not be satisfactory or adequate these days and, indeed, the need quite often grows greater as the years go by. May we all, in our hearts and by our acts, be an Almoner. Many thanks to Bro. Tom Stirling who supplied this very interesting report from the archives of the Grand Lodge of Victoria.
Free and Accepted Never a word was spoken – There was no common tongue we knew – But we shared a sign and a Token As Sons of Widows do. We had made the same Preparation, Each in his secret heart; We had sought our Initiation, And we’d made Advance in the Craft. We owned no link with each other of language, of race or of birth – But we each of us greeted a Brother From the opposite end of the earth.
Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism Arthur Edward Waite
PART I THE subject which I am about to approach is one having certain obvious difficulties, because it is outside the usual horizon of Masonic literature, and requires, therefore, to be put with considerable care, as well as with reasonable prudence. Moreover, it is not easy to do it full justice within the limits of a single lecture. I must ask my Brethren to make allowance beforehand for the fact that I am speaking in good faith, and where the evidence for what I shall affirm does not appear in its fullness, and sometimes scarcely at all, they must believe that I can produce it at need, should the opportunity occur. As a matter of fact, some part of it has appeared in my published writings. I will introduce the question in hand by a citation which is familiar to us all, as it so happens that it forms a good point of departure: â&#x20AC;&#x201D; "But as we are not all operative Masons, but rather Free and Accepted or speculative, we apply these tools to our morals." With certain variations, these words occur in each of the Craft Degrees, and their analogies are to be found in a few subsidiary Degrees which may be said to arise out of the Craft â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as, for example, the Honourable Degree of Mark Master Mason. That which is applied more specially to the working implements of Masonry belongs to our entire building symbolism, whether it is concerned with the erection by the Candidate in his own personality of an edifice or "superstructure
perfect in its parts and honourable to the builder," or, in the Mark Degree, with a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, or again with Solomon's Temple spiritualized in the Legend of the Master Degree. A SYSTEM OF MORALITY It comes about in this manner that Masonry is described elsewhere as "a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." I want to tell you, among other things which call for consideration, something about the nature of the building, as this is presented to my mind, and about the way in which allegory, symbols and drama all hang together and make for one meaning. It is my design also to show that Craft Masonry incorporates three less or more distinct elements which have been curiously interlinked under the device of symbolical architecture. That interlinking is to some extent artificial, and yet it arises logically, so far as the relation of ideas is concerned. There is, firstly, the Candidate's own work, wherein he is taught how he should build himself. The method of instruction is practical within its own measures, but as it is so familiar and open, it is not, properly speaking, the subject-matter of a Secret Order. There is, secondly, a building myth, and the manner in which it is put forward involves the Candidate taking part in a dramatic scene, wherein he represents the master-builder of Masonry. There is, thirdly, a Masonic quest, connected with the notion of a Secret Word communicated as an essential part of the Master-Degree in building. This is perhaps the most important and strangest of the three elements; but the quest after the Word is not finished in the Third Degree. 18
THE FIRST DEGREE Let us look for a moment at the Degree of Entered Apprentice, and how things stand with the Candidate when he first comes within the precincts of the Lodge. He comes as one who is "worthy and well recommended," as if he contained within himself certain elements or materials which are adaptable to a specific purpose. He is described by his conductor as a person who is "properly prepared." The fitness implied by the recommendation has reference to something which is within him, but not of necessity obvious or visible on his surface personality. It is not that he is merely a deserving member of society at large. He is this, of course, by the fact that he is admitted; but he is very much more, because Masonry has an object in view respecting his personality — something that can be accomplished in him as a result of his fellowship in the Brotherhood, and by himself. As a matter of truth, it is by both. The "prepared" state is, however, only external and all of us know in what precisely it consists. Now the manner of his preparation for entrance into the Lodge typifies a state which is peculiar to his inward position as a person who has not been initiated. There are other particulars into which I need not enter, but it should be remarked that in respect of his preparation he learns only the meaning of the state of darkness, namely, that he has not yet received the light communicated in Masonry. The significance of those hindrances which place him at a disadvantage, impede his movements, and render him in fact helpless, is much deeper than this. They constitute together an image of coming out from some old condition by being unclothed there from — partially at least — and thereafter of entering into a 19
condition that is new and different, in which another kind of light is communicated, and another vesture is to be assumed, and, ultimately, another life entered. THE MEANING OF INITIATION In the first Degree the Candidate's eyes are opened into the representation of a new world, for you must know, of course, that the Lodge itself is a symbol of the world, extending to the four corners, having the height of heaven above and the great depth beneath. The Candidate may think naturally that light has been taken away from him for the purpose of his initiation, has been thereafter restored automatically, when he has gone through a part of the ceremony, and that hence he is only returned to his previous position. Not so. In reality, the light is restored to him in another place; he has put aside old things, has come into things that are new; and he will never pass out of the Lodge as quite the same man that he entered. There is a very true sense in which the particulars of his initiation are in analogy with the process of birth into the physical world. The imputed darkness of his previous existence, amidst the life of the uninitiated world, and the yoke which is placed about him is unquestionably in correspondence with the umbilical cord. You will remember the point at which he is released therefrom — in our English ritual, I mean. I do not wish to press this view, because it belongs of right, in the main, to another region of symbolism, and the procedure in the later Degrees confuses an issue which might be called clear otherwise in the Degree of Entered Apprentice. It is preferable to say that a new light — being that of Masonry — illuminates the world of the Lodge in the midst of which the Candidate is placed; he is penetrated by a
fresh experience; and he sees things as they have never been presented to him before. When he retires subsequently for a period, this is like his restoration to light; in the literal sense he resumes that which he set aside, as he is restored to the old light; but in the symbolism it is another environment, a new body of motive, experience, and sphere of duty attached thereto. He assumes a new vocation in the world. The question of certain things of a metallic kind, the absence of which plays an important part, is a little difficult from any point of view, though several, explanations have been given. The better way toward their understanding is to put aside what is conventional and arbitrary — as, for example, the poverty of spirit and, the denuded state of those who have not yet been enriched by the secret knowledge of the Royal and Holy Art. It goes deeper than this and represents the ordinary status of the world, when separated from any higher motive — the world-spirit, the extrinsic titles of recognition, the material standards. The Candidate is now to learn that there is another standard of values, and when he comes again into possession of the old tokens, he is to realize that their most important use is in the cause of others. You know under what striking circumstances this point is brought home to him. ENTERED, PASSED, RAISED The Candidate is, however, subjected to like personal experience in each of the Craft Degrees, and it calls to be understood thus. In the Entered Apprentice Degree it is because of a new life which he is to lead henceforth. In the Fellowcraft, it is as if the mind were to be renewed, for the prosecution of research into the hidden mysteries of nature, science, and art. But in
the sublime Degree of Master Mason it is in order that he may enter fully into the mystery of death and of that which follows thereafter, being the great mystery of the Raising. The three technical and official words corresponding to the successive experiences are Entered, Passed, and Raised, their Craft — equivalents being Apprentice, Craftsman and Master — or he who has undertaken to acquire the symbolical and spiritualized art of building the house of another life; he who has passed therein to a certain point of proficiency, and in fine, he who has attained the whole mystery. If I may use for a moment the imagery of Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, he has learned how to effectuate in his own personality "a new birth in time," to wear a new body of desire, intention and purpose; he has fitted to that body a new mind, and other objects of research. In fine, he has been taught how to lay it aside, and yet again he has been taught how to take it up after a different manner, in the midst of a very strange symbolism. IMPERFECT SYMBOLISM Now, it may be observed that in delineating these intimations of our symbolism, I seem already to have departed from the mystery of building with which I opened the conference; but I have, been actually considering various sidelights thereon. It may be understood, further, that I am not claiming to deal with a symbolism that is perfect in all its pats, however honourable it may be otherwise to the builder. In the course of such researches as I have been enabled to make into the Instituted Mysteries of different ages and countries, I have never met with one which was in entire harmony with itself. We must be content with what we have, just as it is necessary to tolerate the 20
peculiar conventions of language under which the Craft Degrees have passed into expression, artificial and sometimes commonplace as they are. Will you observe once again at this stage how it is only in the first Degree that the Candidate is instructed to build upon his own part a superstructure which is somehow himself? This symbolism is lost completely in the ceremony of the Fellowcraft Degree, which, roughly speaking, is something of a Degree of Life; the symbols being more especially those of conduct and purpose, while in the Third Degree, they speak of direct relations between man and his Creator, giving intimation of judgment to come.
thereafter he rises, and it is this which gives a peculiar characteristic to the descriptive title of the Degree. It is one of raising and of reunion with companions — almost as if he had been released from earthly life and had entered into the true Land of the Living. The keynote is therefore not one of dying but one of resurrection; and yet it is not said in the legend that the Master rose. The point seems to me one of considerable importance, and yet I know not of a single place in our literature wherein it has received consideration. I will leave it, however, for the moment, but with the intention of returning to it. Part 2 of this article will appear in the next issue.
THE THIRD DEGREE I have said, and you know, that the Master Degree is one of death and resurrection of a certain kind, and among its remarkable characteristics there is a return to building symbolism, but this time in the form of a legend. It is no longer an erection of the Candidate's own house — house of the body, house of the mind, and house of the moral law. We are taken to the Temple of Solomon and are told how the MasterBuilder suffered martyrdom rather than betray the mysteries which had been placed in his keeping. Manifestly, the lesson which is drawn in the Degree is a veil of something much deeper, and about which there is no real intimation. It is assuredly an instruction for the Candidates that they must keep the secrets of the Masonic Order secretly, but such a covenant has reference only to the official and external side. The bare recitation of the legend would have been sufficient to enforce this; but observe that the Candidate assumes the part of the Master-Builder and suffers within or in him — as a testimony of personal faith and honour in respect to his engagements. But 21
The Best Event in a Mason’s Life I heard three knocks at the Temple door And then it was opened wide. I felt the grip of a Mason’s hand As I slowly passed inside. I was lowered on bended knees, As a prayer was said for me, And then I was helped to pass around For the Brethren all to see. All to me was like black of night, As my leader took me round, And my racing heart I heard more clear Than the organs solemn sound. My faltering footstep here and there Were halted on my way, As several questions were put to me As I struggled not to sway. Then moving on I took three steps And again I had to kneel
Whilst my left hand pressed a compass point For my naked breast to feel. With my right resting on The Law I took my obligation And I swore Id be a Mason true At my initiation. Some word were said which I could not hear Though wishing that I could see, Then after a knock that echoed wide My sight was restored to me. I shall not tell more of what I saw Or much of what was spoken But I saw the sign and heard the word And felt the Masons token. I'll tell you this that I heard a charge (Which later I learned by heart) As it told me all that a man should do As a Mason, from the start. It matters not if you pass the Chair Or reach the highest station, The best event in a Mason’s life Is his initiation.
officers has the duty “to see the brethren properly clothed”. Operative Masons had protective clothing with pockets or other receptacles for their working tools; we presume they had a pride in their appearance as well as their work. Speculative Freemasonry followed similar sartorial principles even though they were merely philosophising about being builders without getting their hands dirty. Some levels of Masonic attire and regalia are now quite magnificent but tend to be so heavy that the wearer is weighed down, hopefully with his responsibility and not just his uniform. The craft has four main items of clothing: apron, collar, gloves, and gauntlets. In earlier ages there was also the hat, but this has been discarded. Few Masons would think of wearing a hat in Lodge, nor would members of the House of Commons now wear a hat in Parliament. The notion comes from the Temple priests, who wore mitres. In later Judaism hats were worn during prayer and religious study and by some pietists at all times, to express humility in the presence of God. In Christian worship the hat was removed, except by women. Raising or removing the hat became a sign of respectful greeting. The Apron
The general public are used to seeing police or military personnel in uniform. There are sports uniforms, religious robes, academic gowns, and once there were formal black jackets and striped trousers for stockbrokers and members of the financial community. Freemasonry also has its modes of attire, though rarely paraded in public but donned at Lodge meetings to the extent that one of the
Every Mason wears an apron, the symbol and evidence of his membership. From the French napperon, a cloth, it was part of the operative Mason’s work clothes, affording him protection as well as pockets for his working tools. Giving a new brother his first apron derives from the medieval custom of one’s badge of trade being provided by the employer (some servants wore livery, so named because it was delivered by the master). 22
Masonic aprons are made of strong leather; cloth would be little help when handling stone. The modern white lambskin apron is a badge of innocence, honesty and reliability. Medieval aprons were fulllength and not necessarily white, which would soon become soiled. Today’s apron, being symbolic, is both white and shorter. It is both “a badge of innocence and a bond of friendship” (a mark of fellowship). The original apron was tied round the body by strings; a relic is the hanging tassels. As a Mason rises in the craft, the more decorative his apron. The higher the Masonic officer, the more ornate his regalia. The Collar Originally utilitarian with the purpose of suspending certain working tools, today’s collar is like a ribbon to hang “jewels”, i.e. symbols of office and dignity identifying one’s distinctive function, e.g. as Junior (the plumb rule) or Senior Warden (the level). Some jewels are worn on the breast. The blue of the collar represents “the blue vault of heaven”, a mark of constancy, scope and consistent virtue. The Gloves The operative Mason wore gloves to protect his hands. In speculative Freemasonry the gloves stand for dignity (compare the use of gloves in chivalry) and purity (note that the good person is described in Psalm 24 as having “clean hands and a pure heart”.
gauntlets became a sign of the dignity of Masonic office. The Hat Operative Masons probably wore head covering. In speculative Freemasonry there were times when the Master wore a hat (often a top hat) in Lodge to symbolise his rule and power. Ancient Romans prayed with covered heads if they were free citizens; thus the hat may have become a symbol of a free Mason, i.e. one who was free to choose his craft. Covering the head may also have suggested a link with the requirement of tiling (or tyling) the Lodge, i.e. covering it to protect the secrets of its proceedings. Formal Dress All Freemasons must wear smart clothes to indicate that there is no distinction between Masons’ external rank or social status. Local custom dictates how formal one’s clothing must be: in cold climates it is often a dinner suit with black bow tie but in hot climates or at daytime meetings the rules are often relaxed. With formal wear, Freemasons frequently wear military or national medals and decorations. Masonic dress is significant but is not an end in itself, as indicated by this old poem:
“My glory, honour, all depend Upon my shirt and cloak and hat: Alas! An age that honours clothes Though worn by horse or ass!”
The Gauntlets These were originally part of the gloves and were a further means of protection from injury or soiling. Gloves and 23
By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Flaming Sword A sword whose blade is of a spiral or twisted form is called by the heralds a flaming sword from its resemblance to the ascending curvature of a flame of fire. Until very recently, this was the form of the Tiler's sword. Carelessness or ignorance has now in many Lodges substituted for it a common sword of any form. The flaming sword of the Tiler refers to the flaming sword which guarded the entrance to Paradise, as described in Genesis (iii, 4): "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim's and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life;" or, as Raphall has translated it, "the flaming sword which revolveth, to guard the way to the tree of life." In former times, when symbols and ceremonies were more respected than they are now; when collars were worn, and not ribbons in the buttonhole; and when the standing column of the Senior Warden, and the recumbent one of the Junior during labour, to be reversed during refreshment, were deemed necessary for the complete furniture of the Lodge, the cavalry sword was unknown as a Masonic implement, and the Tiler always bore a flaming sword. Source â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mackays Masonic Encyclopaedia
You exaggerate slightly, Bro. Tyler! Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor. 24