Greetings, from the West.

Greetings, Brethren, here we are into July already, and are having a good year. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome and congratulate our new EAís. I would encourage the new Brothers to attend Lodge as often as possible, and also work on those proficiency exams. We look forward to having you attend all Masonic doings as a Master Mason.

It has crossed my mind from time to time, where the "Free" comes from as it is applied to Freemasons. Well, as I was reading some Masonic material, by Brother Elbert Bede 33o , I came across this article.

There are many explanations for the "Free" as it applies to Masons. Operative Masons frequently were free of local laws. In some cases they were free from taxes. Their actions were not restricted as were the actions of others. They were free to travel from country to country in following their trade or art. Masons who labored on Solomonís Temple, legend tells us, enjoyed special privileges and were free from laws others were required to obey. In modern days, however, it seems some feel the term means free from attending Lodge, free from calling on the sick, free from obligations voluntarily assumed, free from giving aid to the officers, free from taking any part in the work, free from any responsibility, free with criticism. Let us, all of us, be the kind who do not wait for free time in which to attend Lodge. Let us not be the kind who believe Freemasonry is free. We are free to do as we wish about these things, but no one can be a Freemason in the true and fullest sense of the word unless he purchases that Freemasonry with his time, with his energy and by use of the faculties wherewith God has blessed him.

Finally Brothers, donít forget the up and coming outdoor on the 4th of August. Live in peace; and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you.


Paul Vernagelli

Senior Warden


In the days before planned obsolescence, when damaged or broken items were repaired rather than discarded, an important member of society was the tinker who traveled from place to place repairing pots and pans. The repair method for a hole in a pot was to fill the hole with solder. To keep the melted solder in place until it cooled and hardened, the tinker built a small 'dam' of clay around the hole. When the solder hardened the clay dam was brushed away and the solder was beaten to a smooth surface with a hammer - the tink, tink, tink sound of the hammer is where the name 'tinker' comes from. The clay dam was obviously of very little value once it had served it's purpose, thus, the phrase 'not worth a tinker's dam."

Now how does that relate to Masonry? Is it possible that there were some items erected, like the tinker's dam to aid some necessary work, and having served their purpose can now be brushed away and discarded? Think about it.

May 2001, The Northern Light