September 2010

Bay City Lodge #865, A.F.& A. M.
This Month's Featured Small Town Lodge

Bay City Lodge #865, A.F.& A. M. in Matagorda County, Texas

The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page II

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Bay City Lodge #865, A.F.& A. M.

The Master's Message

A Masonic Did U Know? - The First Black Mason

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum Historic Site

The Inaugural Bible

If I Had A Hammer...

Texas Masonic History - Was Freemasonry An Influencing Factor During The Texas Revolution?

The 1964-65 World's Fair and Freemasonry

The First Recorded Initiation In England

Our Brothers In Australia - The Fourth of Six

Mormons, Masons and Myths

What is a Mason?

Concord Lodge Members Stumble On Historic Find

Argentina: Freemasonry In Buenos Aires

The Master Mason Degree

The Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association

10 Steps to Defeat the Masons

History of Freemasonry - Part 1 Of 3

The Morgan Affair - Justification To Condemn Millions?

The Three Degrees of Masonry

Masons Were Hotshots in Old Town

Rosslyn Chapel's Resurrection Revealed .

Treasures of Cork Past and Present Opened Up To Public.

The Odds At The End.

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Page III
Bay City Lodge #865, A.F.& A. M.

In 1902, eight years after Bay City was founded, there were some twenty Masons living in the area. They came from diverse sections of the country; no two Masons were from the same Lodge. At that time there was only one other Masonic Lodge in Matagorda County; Tres Palacios Lodge No 411 (Now called Blessing Lodge #411 was situated some twenty miles from Bay City on the Tres Palacios River.

A petition for the dispensation to form a Lodge in Bay City was presented to the Most Worshipful Grand Master (M.W.G.M.) William Clark, in April, 1902, and was signed by the following Master Masons: C. F. Baker, Jr., J. W. Brown, John T. Sargent, Dr. James Byars, T. F. Carr, R. W. Fullwood, John A. Green, James M. Hamby, W. P. Johnson, W. H. Glenn, Isadore Marks, E. F. Higgins, Dr. A. S. Morton, Dr. E. E. Scott, Theodore Schaedel, John Sutherland, J. M. Moore, and W. C. Carpenter.

On April 13, 1902, the Grand Master issued his dispensation authorizing the said brethren to organize a lodge and confer the degrees of the Blue Lodge at Bay City, known as Bay City Lodge No. 865 A.F. & A.M. The petition was endorsed by Tres Palacios Lodge No. 411. The following officers were named: W. C. Carpenter, worshipful master; Isadore Marks, senior warden; A. S. Morton, junior warden; V. L. LeTulle, treasurer;

C. F. Baker, tiler; and E. F. Higgins, secretary.

Shortly after the granting of the dispensation, the lodge was instituted by D.D.G.M. J. J. Davis of Galveston. Records as to the exact date were lost in the 1909 tropical storm which severely damaged the Masonic building. The charter was dated December 4, 1902.

The 23 charter members were Dr. E. E. Scott, A. C. Fox, W. P. Johnson, Ernest Zuch, Isadore Marks, J. W. Brown, R. W. Fullwood, Dr. A. S. Morton, V. L. LeTulle, J. M. Moore, John A. Green, C. F. Baker, T. F. Carr, J. M. Sims, J. M. Hamby, John Sutherland, J. T. Sargent, Theodore Schaedel, James Byars, W. H. Glenn, E. F. Higgins, M. N. Cain, and W. C. Carpenter.

The first lodge meetings were held on the second floor of a two-story wooden building, which housed a saloon on the first floor. W. C. Carpenter wrote of the location, Pardon the allusion, there was not elevator connecting the two places." In January, 1907, the Masons moved into their own building, away from the saloon environment. C. F. Baker was architect for the $7,000 brick building. This new building, situated on Seventh Street, was dedicated February 2, 1907, with John P. Bell, Grand Master, presiding. Visitors from Wharton, Blessing, Weimer, Jefferson, Bellville, and Dallas attended the ceremonies.

The members of Masonic Lodge No 865 have met regularly through the years, and they have conducted many Masonic funerals and appeared in public in regalia for special occasions. In 1909, under proper dispensation, the lodge laid the cornerstone of the First Methodist Church in Bay City with William Walker, worshipful master, presiding. In 1914 the Lodge laid the cornerstone for the First Baptist Church with Thomas H. Lewis, worshipful master, conducting the ceremonies.

The lodge has prospered all these years with the exception of the depression in the 1930's. There was one year during which the lodge was in arrears with the Grand Lodge for not paying assessments.

the Masonic Lodge moved from the two-story brick building on Seventh Street to a new building in the 1600 block of Avenue F.

Hurricane Carla caused much damage to the lodge building in 1961. The building was repaired; however, a move was begun to erect a new Temple. The lodge sold the old building, and with donations from Bay City Chapter No 315, Bay City Council No. 251, Bay City Commandery No. 74, and Bay City Chapter No. 380 Order of the Eastern Star; the lodge moved into its present building, situated at 3301 Avenue F, free of debt.

By 1919 the membership had grown from 23 to 159, and in 1971 there were 380 members.

The Master's Message

By Damien Hudson, WM
Lodge Devotion #723, Australia

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I thought Devotions meeting at Camberwell would be novel, and then visiting Australia Felix would be good, but I really did not realise how good it would be.

To hold the honour of being the Master and having our members enter a lodge en mass in an official visit was truly a highlight of the year and will be long remembered. While sitting in the East – another WM leaned over to tell me "what a great Lodge you have." I asked him why and he said he had been watching Devotion's Members chatting, laughing and smiling together while awaiting entry to Australia Felix. He said it was very clear how happy a group we are. He also noted the way our members, both young and old, were circulating and enjoying the chance to catch up and share time together. Devotion is indeed a great lodge!

I thank the Master and Members of Australia Felix for their hospitality at Camberwell. Not just because I should - but because that gratitude is genuine and heartfelt - we had a great night with our Brothers of the oldest Lodge in the Constitution.

On the fourth Saturday of June we had another official visit to Plenty Valley Lodge at Ivalda. About nine members of Devotion accompanied me We went to support Mr Stephen Austin's Initiation. It was a moving thing to see a Mason's son made a Brother. Congratulations to Mr, now Brother, Stephen and his father WBro Don Austin. Another great night in Freemasonry was had by us all.

Finally, at the last meeting of Devotion, I was also honoured by our members by being declared Master Elect for the year 2010-2011. I am greatly enjoying my year in the Chair, and like all our other members, actively working to improve the fraternal experience at Devotion. I am very excited by another year in the Chair and look forward to my successor being passed a lodge enhanced by the team working together to keep and improve our lodge's spirit.

Warm Fraternal Regards
Damien Hudson, WM

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page IV
A Masonic Did U Know? - The First Black Mason

Submited By Brother Dwight Seals

The Frontis-piece For Anderson's Constitutions
If John Pine (born 1690, died 1756) was not the first Black Man to be made a Mason in England he was not far behind.  He was a member of the lodge at Globe Tavern, Morgate in 1725 where his name was spelled 'Pyne'.  He was an engraver and a close friend of the painter Hogarth.  He became famous in his day by being the engraver who produced the beautiful frontis-piece to Dr. James Anderson's Constitutions of 1723.  The same engraving was used again in the 1738 edition of Anderson's Constitutions.

               Beside the art work in the Constitutions Bro. John Pine engraved the annual List of Lodges from 1725 to 1741.  They were done in the form of a packet of loose cards rather than being bound in a book.  These lists showed the sign of the tavern or inn where the lodge met; the address of the inn; and the time and night of meetings.  The first page of the 1725 List of Lodges pictured the engraved signs of the Goose and Grid Iron, Queens Head at two locations, Horn, King's Head, Griffin, Three Compasses, and Fountain Tavern.

               The Book of Constitutions came about when the Grand Lodge, organized in London in 1717, requested Rev. Anderson DD to digest the old Constitutions into a new and usable system. The work was completed and published in 1723 and the House of the Temple in Washington has two copies of the original 1723 edition as well as copies of the 1738 edition.

              Bro. John Pine served as Marshall of the Processions on January 29th, 1730 when Lord Kingston, GM escorted the Duke of Norfolk, GL-Elect, from the Duke's house in St. James Square (London) to Merchant Taylor's Hall.  “The Marshall, Mr. Pyne, is to bear a Truncheon painted blew and tipt in gold “

              John Pine who was described as fat and jovial, was born in London, and spent his entire life there. Other than his Masonic engravings, he produced an unbelievable quantity of art, chiefly in the form of book illustrations.  John Pine, like Hogarth, trained as a silversmith's engraver and became London's finest heraldic and decorative engraver.  This led to an appointment as Bluemantle Pursuivant in the College of Heralds in 1743 where he took up residence.

               A monumental work was an exquisite edition of “Horace” in which the whole text was engraved and illustrated with ancient bas-reliefs and representations of gems. Known as “Pine's Horace,” this was published in two volumes in 1733 and 1737 and is now a collector's item of considerable value.

               The “Dictionary of National Biography” whose approximately 70 volumes list the most important British personages through the years, devotes about two full columns to John Pine and almost as much to his son, Robert Edge Pine, who was also an artist.  The son migrated to America after the signing of the Declaration of Independence with the intention of painting the important persons involved in the Revolution as well as scenes of interest.  Robert Pine spent three weeks at Mt. Vernon painting George Washington and his family.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum Historic Site

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum
On May 3, 1929, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum historic site in Huntsville was  formally dedicated. The museum, located on 18 acres of the original farm of over 200 acres owned by Gen. Sam Houston and his family from 1847 until 1858, is owned and managed by Sam Houston State University as an integral part of the academic structure of the university.

In 1936, $35,000 was appropriated by the Texas Centennial Commission for construction of the rotunda section of the present museum building, a modern facility designed to preserve and exhibit artifacts of the Houston era. The complex was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Woodland Home was declared a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior in May 1974.

The Woodland Home
The complex contains 10 buildings and is divided between areas of natural woodland and landscaped spaces adjacent to the historic buildings. Lake Oolooteka is an artificial pond named in honor of Sam Houston's adoptive Cherokee Indian father.

Woodland Home was built in 1847 when Houston was serving as one of the first United States Senators from Texas and was spending more than half of each year in Washington, D.C. His wife Margaret Houston wished to live near town, where she could have better access to medical care and the spiritual comfort of the First Baptist Church.

Four of the eight Houston children were born in the traditional-style, double-pen dog-run log cabin. Houston rented the home at times and ultimately sold the property in 1858. The house is accurately furnished with several original Houston pieces of furniture and other items representative of the period. Also dating to the 1847-58 period is the law office, a single-room log cabin that served Houston as a study and gathering place for political discussions. It also functioned as a cradle of Freemasonry in the early days of the Texas frontier.

The Steamboat House
The Steamboat House, a building of unusual architectural design, was rented by the family when Houston returned to Huntsville in 1861 following his dismissal as Texas governor for failing to pledge his loyalty to the Confederacy. On July 26, 1863, he died in the house and was buried from the front parlor. The house was moved onto the grounds of the historic site in 1936.

The movement to preserve Houston's Huntsville homestead began in 1905 at the instigation of history students from Sam Houston Normal Institute. The students, having acquired several acres of the original Houston tract, moved Houston's Woodland Home and Law Office back to their original site in 1911. Subsequent years of neglect and improper maintenance prompted the school to seek financial assistance from the state of Texas for preservation of the structures. In 1927 the legislature appropriated $15,000 for development of the home and site, and a restoration and reconstruction project was undertaken.

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page V
The Inaugural Bible

Author Unknown

For the sixth time in history, a pre-revolutionary Bible owned by the Masonic order was to be used for the swearing in of a U.S. president. 

George W. Bush had intended to take the oath of office as the nation's 43rd president on the historic Masonic bible. George Washington was the first, in 1789. The last was George H.W. Bush, who used the Bible in 1989. 

On Friday, 19 January 2001, three officials of the Manhattan-based St. John's Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons boarded an Amtrak liner for Washington, D.C., carrying the nine-pound, 234-year-old King James Bible in a special container. At Union Station, they were met by inaugural committee officials and escorted to the inaugural site. They were literally waiting in the wings in a room adjacent to the inauguration platform when, at the 12th hour, a decision was made (attributed to the Vice President, but not confirmed) not to jeopardize the Bible because of the rain then pelting the area.

Bound in London in 1767, the Bible was brought to the colonies and given by Jonathan Hampton to the St. John's Lodge in lower Manhattan three years later when he became its grand master. 

Just before Washington was to take his oath of office on the steps of Federal Hall in New York City on April 30, 1789, it was discovered that there was no Bible on hand. The then-New York Gov. Robert Livingston, a Masonic grand master, borrowed the lodge's bible from St. John's Masonic Lodge, which had meeting rooms just a short distance away. A statue of Washington marks the site in front of the present-day Federal Hall on Wall Street. 

No printer in the colonies produced Bibles at the time, and the London import, bound in maroon Moroccan leather with silver hasps, was ''probably close to a year's wages for the average fellow.'' Despite its age and history, the lodge today puts no monetary value on the book. ''I guess the word is priceless,'' a representative said.

Other presidents who have placed their left hand on the Masonic Bible were Warren G. Harding in 1921, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, and Jimmy Carter in 1977. Among the six, only Washington and Harding were Masons.

Harry Truman, probably the most active Mason among the nation's chief executives, did not use it, nor did several other Masons who served as president. 

In 1867, President Andrew Johnson, attending the dedication of a new Masonic temple in Boston, asked that the George Washington inaugural Bible be brought to his hotel room, and was seen by aides ''to weep as he held it in his hands". 

In addition to its role in presidential oath-taking, the Bible was used at Washington's funeral in December, 1799, the dedication of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. in 1885, the re-laying of the U.S. Capitol's cornerstone in 1959, and the christening of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington at Norfolk, Va., in 1992.  It was on display at the New York world's fair in 1964-65 and at the White House for 30 days after the elder Bush's inaugural.  Between travels, it is maintained by the National Parks Service in a protective display case at Federal Hall, open to Genesis 49, 50, the pages on which Washington rested his hand to be sworn in. .

If I Had A Hammer...

Reproduced with permission from The Work on the Trestleboard

  "While foundations were being laid, skilled craftsmen worked in quarries and produced blocks of stone that would be used in the building process. It would not be unusual for as many as fifty advanced skilled apprentices to work in a quarry along with 250 labourers. They would be supervised by a master quarryman. A master mason would have provided the master quarryman with templates for the shapes required from the cut quarry stone. Each stone would be marked to show where it would go once the building started."

As a start to my new approach to Masonry I became involved with the education of new Brothers. Traditionally in our Lodge the Master delegates this task to an experienced Brother. In light of my new outlook, I decided to step up and become a part of the process. After all, I was the one who would declare these men as "suitably proficient". How could I do that unless I know first hand that they are so? I also felt that in order for me to be able to give direction to mentors, I needed to have been one myself.

In my research of Freemasonry I drifted toward the history of stonemasons who worked on the ancient cathedrals. The work was delegated to a Master Mason and he oversaw the many tasks of the building. The very starting point of this whole process however began in the quarry itself. It was the Master Quarryman who directed the selection of the stones which would be fitted for the builder's use according to the plans given him. It impressed me that the building of these grand edifices started not with the Master Mason, but with the quarryman who formed the ashlars for the building. With that, I set out to lay aside my duties as Master Mason for awhile and work at becoming a quarryman - shaping the stones which become ashlars for our Masonic edifice

. In New York, Brethren journeying through the degrees must learn a catechism - a series of questions and answers - which must be memorized. They must then "prove their proficiency" in the work by reciting this catechism in front of the Lodge or a committee appointed by the Master. In my Lodge, this process usually occurred outside of the Lodge proper, so that most Brethren had no idea how proficient new Brothers actually were. This was often true of the Master as well - he just took the word of the examining Brothers that proficiency was achieved. To me, that was a mistake. As Master, I virtually "signed off" on a Brother's qualification to be advanced. Therefore, they were a direct reflection of me. So, if a Brother gets to the end of the line and is completely devoid of any understanding of key concepts and symbols, he is a bad piece to be fitted into the "building". By extension, too many of these improperly formed stones will eventually compromise the integrity of the building and it might eventually collapse. Taking it a step further, as the Master Mason in charge of the building, it is my fault for allowing these stones to be used. This had to change.

"Suitable Proficiency" is a huge grey area in New York. The Master, and he alone, determines what "suitable" means. So last year I got knee-deep in running classes. I began by changing the philosophy that regurgitation of the catechism was enough. It was important that a Brother understand why he is answering a question way he does and why the questions has been asked of him. The first class of two in the Fall of 2008 were given the option to take their proficiency in open Lodge - a first for Lodge #252. Both succeeded in doing so. The Spring class of 2009 saw weekly sessions with a walk-about the Lodge. Unfettered by cable tow or hoodwink we walked through each degree so that they had a clear visual of their experience. Our last class - Winter of 2010 - went beyond. The weekly classes did all of that, plus we began to explore the symbols of the lectures - the point within a circle, the cardinal virtues, the Sts. John (to name a few). This class, in my opinion, was the best educated so far. The best part is that they are hungry for more, and have me scrambling to keep up with them.

It was truly rewarding to see these stones selected for the quarry and shaped for the edifice. There was a real sense of accomplishment - for them and for me. So now I will no longer see myself as just a Master Mason placing designs of the trestleboard. I also help to select and shape to stones which will become part of the building.

I am a Quarryman.

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page VI
This Issue's Visit In Texas Masonic History

Was Freemasonry An Influencing Factor During The Texas Revolution?

Reprinted With Permission of The Author
"Don Guillermo" (Wallace L. McKeehan)
The Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas Web Site

Col. James Bowie
Warring between free masonry factions along political lines in the newly independent Mexican Republic and meddling in the scrabbles for political interests by first US Mexican envoy, Joel Poinsett, may debatably have very indirectly contributed to the first two of three causes which led to the Texas Revolution of 1835-6, as briefly stated by Anglo-Mexican immigrant Col. James Bowie:

1. Jealousy of Mexicans regarding the intentions of the people of the United States, and a belief that, a design to despoil Mexico of Texas was contemplated, and had the secret aid of the American government.

2. The feelings engendered by these opinions caused Mexican officials to look upon the actions of the American residents of Texas, with suspicion, and ended in treating them unjustly and oppressively.

For an objective look at freemasonry and impact on 19th century Mexican politics, see Rivalries between the Scottish Rite (Ecoseses of European continental origin) and York Rite (Yorkinos of American origin) lodges. 

More interesting is if there is merit to stories related by old Texians like DeWitt colonist Creed Taylor and Joseph Lawrence, and San Antonio patriot Antonio Menchaca. Creed Taylor relates:

The scouting party that captured Santa Anna was composed of Joel W. Robinson [Robison], A. H. Miles, Charles P. Thompson, Joseph Vermillion, and Siron [Sion] R. Bostick, led by Color Sgt. James A. Sylvester, the gallant young man who bore the "Liberty or Death" flag through the Battle of San Jacinto, the only flag flown on the field by the Texans that day. In flushing the vicinity near Vince's Bayou, the Mexican general was discovered crouching in the tall grass along a small hollow. He was first sighted by Jim Sylvester who suddenly rode upon the fugitive. The Mexican had on a corporal's uniform and was barefooted. Sylvester at once signaled his men scattered around some four or five hundred yards away, and as they began dashing up and flourishing their guns, Santa Anna became excited, and it was at that moment that he first gave the Masonic sign of distress. Both Sylvester and Robinson were Masons and they understood what "them funny motions meant," and this no doubt accounts for the fact that the captive was not killed on the spot.

If these stories have merit, then the masonry brotherhood may have saved El Presidente from immediate or post-capture execution for which there was significant pressure. Arguably, execution of the dictator may have changed the course and timetable of independence and relative peace and painted the Texian freedom fighters as no more humane than their Centralista enemies.

There are other reports of use of the Masonic bond to spare execution or gain favors in actions in the Texas war of independence. A description of an event in Texas by W.P. Zuber mentions a role of Masonic membership as early as 1827:

one or more members of the fraternity. All intelligent Free Masons know this to be false; but in cases of purely political offense, Masonry has frequently been the means of saving life. Mr. Sterne being a MasonIt has often been said that no Free Mason can be lawfully punished for crime if the power of conviction or pardon rests in
Susannah Dickinson
of high degree, his Masonic friends in New Orleans interceded for him through the agency of General Terán, who was also a Mason of high rank, and Terán procured his pardon. But his liberation was on parole not again to bear arms against the Mexican government, nor to aid its enemies. [Adolphus Sterne, a Mason of Jewish descent, was a Nacogdoches resident who participated in the Fredonian Rebellion who, in contrast to most, was not released after the affair because of supplying arms to the rebels]

Almeron Dickinson is said to have left his Masonic apron with wife Susannah and instructed her to display it appropriately if it would aid her survival assuming she were spared in the Alamo assault. There are instances where the masonry brotherhood is said to have fostered cooperation between Anglo and Hispanic Texians prior to independence in gaining favorable political conditions for settlement through colonization.

For a discussion of early Texian Masons, see Masonic Heroes of Texas.  11/29/99 for Alamo de Parras War Room

A Masonic Did U Know? - The 1964-65 World's Fair and Freemasonry

Submited By Brother Dwight Seals

Lots of folks have memories of the 1964-65 World's Fair, held in the borough of Queens in New York City, and recognized by the Fair's memorable icon, the Unisphere. There were lots of popular pavilions and attractions at the Fair, ranging from the memorable - like General Electric's Progressland (developed by Walt Disney and later transplanted to Disneyland as the Carousel of Progress) - to the perhaps less-than-memorable, like the AARP's Dynamic Maturity pavilion. But did you know that there was also a Masonic pavilion at the 1964-65 World's Fair? The theme of the Fair was "peace through understanding," and so it seems a natural fit that the Grand Lodge of New York decided to sponsor The Masonic Brotherhood Center, with its theme of "Brotherhood: the Foundation of World Peace."

Outside, the pavilion featured 50-foot tall (and very space-agey) square-and-compasses. Inside the building, items on display included the bible that George Washington used when he first took the Presidential oath of office, as well Simon Bolivar's 32nd degree Scottish Rite apron and his 32nd degree Scottish Rite collar.

If you go to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens today, you can still see the Unisphere as well as the Tent of Tomorrow, but you won't find too much of the 1964-65 World's Fair beyond that - certainly not those huge square-and-compasses.
The Masonic Brotherhood Center
(Although I'm happy to report that our colleagues over at the Livingston Library at the Grand Lodge of New York inform us that those great space-age square-and-compasses still survive.)

If you've got memories of The Masonic Brotherhood Pavilion, we'd love to hear about them - just share them in the comments below.

Pictured above is a small booklet produced by the Grand Lodge of New York for the World's Fair:

The illuminated "G" from the large fiberglass square and compasses that stood in front of the Masonic Brotherhood Center was moved to the New York Masonic Home campus in Utica, New York and installed into a smaller sculpture.

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page VII
The First Recorded Initiation In England

By blake
From The
Masons Of Texas Web Site

At Neucastell the 20 day off May, 1641. The quilk day ane serten nomber off Mester and others being lafule conveined, doeth admit Mr the Right Honerabell Mr Robert Moray, General quarter Mr to the Armie of Scotlan, and the same bing aproven be the hell Mester off the Mesone of the Log off Edenroth, quherto they heaue set to ther handes or markes. A. Hamilton, R. Moray, Johne Mylln. James Hamilton.

Thus runs the entry of the first ascertained recorded Masonic initiation on English soil into Speculative Freemasonry. It is the record of the initiation of one of the most remarkable men of his time. His name, by writers other than himself - for he always signed his name in bold characters as R. Moray - is spelt variously as Moray, Murray, and Murrey, and a singular mistake occurs in the standard edition of Evelyn's Diary, where the entries occur as Murray, while in the Correspondence, the only letter that appears from Moray is, of course, signed in the correct manner, with the result that both forms appear in the General Index. In Chester's Registers of Westminster he is described as a son of Sir Robert Moray of Craigie, by a daughter of George Halket, of Pitferran, but Burke's History of the Landed Gentry and other authoritative works of reference state that he was a son of Sir Mungo Murray, and this undoubtedly is correct.

Sir Robert Moray was a descendant of an ancient and noble Highland family. He was educated partly at the University of St. Andrew's and partly in France, in which country he secured military employment under Louis XIII. He gained very high favour with Cardinal Richelieu, to such a degree that French historians have remarked that few foreigners were so highly esteemed by that great minister as was he. It was possibly through the influence of the all-powerful Cardinal-statesman that Moray was raised to the rank of Colonel in the French army. When, however, the difficulties of Charles I increased, Moray returned to Scotland and was appointed General of Ordnance when the Presbyterians first set up and maintained their government. He was in charge of the Scottish army at Newcastle at the time of his initiation, which took place two months before that city was evacuated by the soldiers. Moray was knighted at Oxford on 10th of January, 1643, by Charles I.

Moray was also on good terms with Mazarin and fought with his regiment in Germany, and, in 1645, he was made a prisoner of war in Bavaria. About the same time he was appointed Colonel of the Scotch regiment in succession to James Campbell, Earl of Irvine, and he was nominated by the Scots as a secret envoy to negotiate a treaty between France and Scotland, by which it was proposed to attempt the restoration of Charles I. His release in Bavaria was therefore obtained and he returned to England. In December, 1646, when Charles was with the Scottish army in Newcastle, Moray prepared a scheme for the escape of the king. One, William Moray, afterwards Earl of Dysert, provided a vessel at Tynemouth, onto which Sir Robert Moray was to conduct the king, who was to assume a disguise. The king put on the disguise and even went down the back stairs with Sir Robert, but fearing that it would scarcely be possible successfully to pass all the guards without being discovered and judging it highly indecent, says Burnet, to be taken in such a condition, he changed his resolution and went back

After the accession of Charles II to the throne of Scotland, Moray, in May, 1651, was appointed Justice-clerk, an office which had been vacant since the deprivation of Sir John Hamilton, in 1649. A few days afterwards, he was sworn as a privy councillor, and, in the following month, was nominated a lord of session, though he never officiated as a judge. His various appointments were, however, merely nominal, in order to secure his support to the government, particularly if it be true, as Wood asserts, that he was presbyterianly affected. His uncle, the Rev. John Moray, was a great opponent of the bishops and suffered imprisonment for his opinions. However, at the Restoration, Sir Robert Moray was re-appointed justice-clerk and a lord of session, in addition to being made one of the lords auditors of the exchequer.

The Royal Society may be said to have been founded by Moray: it was certainly the outcome of suggestions made by him, and Bishop Burnet says that while he lived he was the life and soul of the Royal Society.

A quibble has frequently been raised over the statement made by writers that Moray was the first president of the Royal Society, since the name of Viscount Brouncker appears in that capacity on the Charter. Moray was the sole president of the Society from its first formal meeting on 28th November, 1660, until its incorporation on 15th July, 1662, with the exception of one month from 14th May to 11th June, 1662, during which short period Dr. Wilkins occupied that honourable position, though in a Latin letter addressed to M. de Montmor, president of the Academy at Paris, dated 22 July, 1661, he styled himself Societatis ad Tempe Praeses. Nor is too much to say that it was through his influence the charter of incorporation was obtained. He was the bearer of the message from Charles II to the effect that his Majesty approved the objects of the Society and was willing to encourage it and, generally he was the organ of communication between the king and the Society. Moray was also the prime mover in the framing of the statutes and regulations.

Wood, the well-known Oxford historian, states that he was a single man and an abhorrer of woman, but here he is in error, for he married the Hon. Sophia Lindsay, elder daughter of the first Earl of Balcarres, who died, without issue, at Edinburgh, and was buried at Balcarres on 11th January, 1653. If the daughter inherited the tastes and pursuits of her father, the marriage must, indeed, have been a felicitous one, since it is recorded that Sir David Lindsay, the first Earl of Balcarres, chose a private life without ambition, was learned, and had the best collection of books in his time and was a laborious chymist. There is in the library of Balcarres ten volumes written by his own hand upon the then fashionable subject of the philosopher's stone. He was raised to the peerage when Charles I visited Scotland in June, 1633.

After the death of his wife, which apparently affected him greatly, Moray lived, apart from his philosophical meetings, a hermit-like existence. In a letter dated 23rd February, 1658, he wrote to a friend who had accused him of being in love: o If you think no more of a mistress not take more pains to look after one than I do, I know not why one may not think that you may lead apes among your fellow virgins when you dy. You never maet with such a cold wooer as I: since ever I came to this place I never visited male nor female but two or three cousins, and they never three times. The truth is I never go out of doors but to the church except I have some glasses to make, and then I go to the glass house. Nor do I receive visits from anybody once in two months, except it be the commander, so that I am here a very hermit.

In his correspondence with Kincardin during that year (1658), he describes how he was making chemical experiments on a large scale. At one period, when he was at Maestricht, he had two rooms with a kitchen and cellar. One of the first he converted into a laboratory and there he spent his days in perfect content. "You never saw such a shop as my laboratory," he wrote, "so there's a braw name for you, though means matters. He constantly speaks of his chemical labours in the language of an enthusiast. "It is somewhat considerable that I afford you such volumes in the amount of my chemicall operations. I have had seven stills going these two days with one fire, most upon juniper berries, some with water, some with sack, and some dry."

Moray was naturally of a retiring disposition. During a portion of his life he was called upon to take up a prominent position, but he never cared to be in the limelight in politics and he did his best to keep out of the political arena altogether. His books, his chemical furnaces and retorts, his music, his medical and mechanical investigations, and his philosophical friends were more to him than such stuff, as he once impatiently called politics. He was happier, far more satisfied, to be President of the Royal Society than Deputy Secretary for Scotland, Lord of Commission, or Privy Councillor. There are few characters in history, particularly among those who have undertaken peculiarly difficult, and even dangerous, diplomatic tasks, so generally revered as was Sir Robert Moray. Birch, one of the historians of the Royal Society, describes him as being universally loved and esteemed and eminent for his piety, spending many hours a day in devotion in the midst of armies and courts. He had an equality of temper in him that nothing could alter, and was in practice a stoic, with a tincture of one of the principles of that sect, the persuasion of absolute decrees. He had a most diffused love to mankind and delighted in every occasion of doing good, which he managed with great zeal and discretion. His comprehension was superior to that of most men. He was considerably skilled in mathematics and remarkably so in the history of nature.

Nor is Birch a solitary appreciator of his character. Bishop Burnet, a historian of higher rank, styled him the wisest and worthiest man of his age; and, on another occasion, he wrote: I have every joy that next to my father I owe more to him than to any other man. To Evelyn he was a deare and excellent friend; Sheldon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was absolutely won by his charm of manner; Pepys speaks of him as a most excellent man of reason and learning, and understands the doctrine of music and everything else I could discourse of very finely; while his sovereign and personal friend, King Charles II, tersely gave expression to his independence of character by the statement that he (Moray) was head of his own church. A writer in the Scottish Review for January, 1885, said: To the beautiful and remarkable character of Robert Moray justice has yet to be done. Few men of so strong and decided a personality have left behind them so little trace upon the public documents of their time: except in a few Privy council letters his signature does not appear at all. A writer in the Biographica Britannica says that his general character was excellent in the highest degree. He was beloved and esteemed by men of every party and station.

Continued On Page VIII

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The First Recorded Initiation In England

Continued From Page VII

But these expressions of opinion found some exception. Was ever man placed in a position of responsibility and influence who did not encounter enemies? From 1660 to 1670 the influence of Moray affected the whole course of the Scottish government, and he guided, controlled, and supported Lauderdale against the cabals that were formed to oust him. Thus it was that Sharp, Alexander Burnet, and other apostles of repression came to look upon him as an enemy to be dreaded, and one, Lord Glencairn, made an attempt to break and ruin him. A letter was pretended to be found at Antwerp, as written by him to one William Murray, formerly whipping-boy to Charles I. This letter gave an account of a bargain alleged to have been made by Moray with another man for murdering the king, the plan to be put into execution by William Murray. Sir Robert was questioned and put under arrest, and the rumour got abroad that he had intended to kill the king, but, says Burnet, the historian, upon this occasion Sir Robert practised in a very eminent manner his true Christian philosophy without showing so much as a cloud in his whole behavior.

It was in the society of such men as Andrew Marvell, John Evelyn, and Robert Moray that Charles II loved to linger; his delight was not, as some have asserted, in consorting with less noble types of humanity. Wood is of opinion that the degree of intimacy existing between Charles II and Sir Robert Moray was probably more upon a philosophical than a political basis for he was employed by Charles II in his chemical processes and was indeed the conductor of his laboratory. Birch says that it was Moray who first interested the sovereign in philosophical pursuits. Charles II was a frequent visitor to the laboratory in Whitehall, which, though nominally Moray's workshop, is said to have been conducted by him for and on behalf of the king, and there may be truth in the opinion more than once expressed that Charles II was also a royal initiate of the ancient and honourable order known as Freemasons. In any case, assuming, which is very unlikely and improbable, that Sir Robert Moray was the first non- operative to be initiated into the mysteries of the Craft in England, Freemasonry has no reason to be ashamed when it looks to the rock whence it was hewn.

Moray was the friend and benefactor of the well-known mystic, Thomas Vaughan, who, says Wood, settled in London under the protection and patronage of that noted chymist, Sir Robert Murray, or Moray, Knight, Secretary of State for the kingdom of Scotland. At the time of the plague, Vaughan accompanied Moray to Oxford and the latter was with Vaughan when he died there. Vaughan was buried in the church of Aldbury, or Oldbury, about eight miles from the university city, by care and charge of the said Sir Robert Moray. This was in 1673, shortly before Moray's own death and but a few hours after he had informed Wood of the passing of Vaughan.

Moray's life came to an end in a very sudden manner. It occurred on 4th July, 1673, and Burnet, recording the event, wrote: How much I lost in so critical a conjuncture, being bereft of the truest and faithfullest friend I had ever known: and so I say I was in danger of committing great errors for want of so kind a monitor.

Under date of 6th July, 1673, Evelyn wrote in his Diary: This evening I went to the funeral of my dear and excellent friend, that good man and accomplished gentleman, Sir Robert Murray, Secretary of Scotland. He was buried by order of his Majesty in Westminster Abbey, and then he added in a footnote: He delighted in every occasion of doing good. He had a superiority of genius and comprehension. Moray was not only buried in the Abbey by the King's express command, but also at the King's personal expense. His grave is by the Vestry, door, close to the grave of Sir William Davenant, sometime laureate to Charles II; the name appearing in the register as Sir Robert Murray.

His memory remained green with John Evelyn, for six years afterwards - on 11th July, 1679 - writing to Dr. Beale, he said, referring to the Royal Society: You know what pillars we have lost, Palmer [Dudley Palmer, d. 1666, one of the first council, with Moray, of the Royal Society], Moray, Chester [Dr. John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester], Oldenburg, etc.

Evelyn made frequent mention of Moray in his Diary, as will be seen from the following excerpts:

9th March, 1661. I went with that excellent person and philosopher, Sir Robert Murray, to visit Mr. Boyle at Chelsea, and saw divers effects of the coliple for weighing air.

9th May, 1661. At Sir Robert Murray's, where I met Dr. Wallis, Professor of Geometry at Oxford, where was discourse of several mathematical subjects.

22nd August, 1662 (the day after Evelyn was sworn one of the Council of the Royal Society), I dined with my Lord Brouncker and Sir Robert Murray.

25th January, 1665. This night being at Whitehall his Majesty came to me standing in the withdrawing room, and gave me thanks for publishing The Mystery of Jesuitism, which he said he had carried two days in his pocket, read it, and encouraged me; at which I did not a little wonder; I suppose Sir Robert Murray had given it to him.

19th July, 1670. I accompanied my worthy friend, that excellent man, Sir Robert Murray, with Mr. Slingsby, Master of the Mint, to see the latter's seat and estate at Barrow-Green in Cambridgeshire.

Wood, recording the demise of Moray, wrote: He had the king's ear as much as any other person and was indefatigable in his undertakings. . . . He was most renowned chymist, a great patron of the Rosi-Crucians, and an excellent mathematician. His several relations and matters of experiment, which are in the Philosophical Transactions (of the Royal Society, many of which referred to the phenomena of the tides) show him to be a man well vers'd in experimental philosophy.

After his initiation into the Craft there is only one other record of his attendance at a meeting of the Lodge of Edinburgh, which was on 27th July, 1647, on the occasion of the admission of William Maxwell, doctor off Fisick ordinate to his Maj'stie hines, when he signed the minute of the meeting. ln his correspondence, however, he frequently made use of his Masonic mark (five-pointed star), particularly in his correspondence with Lauderdale, and this has been reproduced in the Lauderdale Papers without comment, beyond the mere statement that Moray frequently made use of his Mason mark when he referred to himself or had anything of importance to communicate. If this had been an unusual occurrence in correspondence at that day one would think that more notice would have been taken of such an incident.

An interesting story might be woven around Moray and his circle, for the men who composed that circle bore names which are familiar to every student of the history of the Craft. Such men as Wren, Ashmole, Brouncker, and others, all of whom are accredited with having been initiated into Freemasonry. Moray's name, together with that of Christopher Wren, is to be met with on almost every page of the early volumes of the Journal of the Society.

It is also of interest - may it not even be said, of significance - to compare the constitutions of the Royal Society with those of the Masonic Order. Sprat, the earliest historian of the Royal Society, says that they freely admitted men of different religions, countries, and professions. This they were obliged to do, or else they would come far short of the largeness of their own declarations. For they openly profess not to lay the foundation of an English, Scotch, Irish, Popish, or Protestant Philosophy, but a Philosophy of Mankind. Members were elected by ballot, being proposed at one meeting and balloted for at another. The duties of the President were to call and dissolve the meetings, to propose the subjects for discussion or experiment, to regulate the proceedings, to change the enquiry from one thing to another, to admit the members elected. The President, on his installation, took an oath as follows: I . . . do promise to deal faithfully and honestly in all things belonging to the Trust committed to me, as President of the Royal Society of London for improving Natural Knowledge. So help me God.

Whatever, however, may be the deductions on this ground, it will unhesitatingly be admitted that none could more have sought the study of the liberal arts and sciences that came within the compass of his attainment than did Brother Sir Robert Moray, the first known initiate into the Craft of Freemasonry on English soil.

Source: The Builder, Dudley Wright. 1921

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Page IX
Our Brothers In Australia - The Fourth of Six

Famous Australian Freemasons

From The Freemasons Victoria


Throughout history Freemasonry has attracted countless members. Though membership of Freemasonry is no guarantee of fame or success, it is notable that so many of its members have been leaders in their field. It must be noted that many, if not most, of these members became Freemasons after they achieved renown and so these lists are not offered as proof of Freemasonry's benefits but rather that men of strength, intelligence, courage and great principle find Freemasonry aligns with their sense of honour and community.

Sir Edmund Barton

First Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, Speaker of the legislative assembly, Australian Lodge of Harmony No 556 (EC).

Sir Edmund Barton, GCMG, QC (18 January 1849 – 7 January 1920), Australian politician and judge, was the first Prime Minister of Australia and a founding justice of the High Court of Australia. Barton's greatest contribution to Australian history was his management of the federation movement through the 1890s. Elected at the inaugural 1901 federal election, Barton resigned from the position of Prime Minister of Australia in 1903 and became a judge of Australia's High Court.

Sir Donald Bradman

Australian Cricketer, Lodge Tarbolton, No 12

Sir Donald George Bradman, AC (27 August 1908—25 February 2001) was an Australian cricketer, acknowledged by many as the greatest batsman of all time. Later in his career he was an administrator and writer on the game. Bradman is one of Australia's most popular sporting heroes and one of the most respected past players in other cricketing nations. His career Test batting average of 99.94 is by many measures the greatest statistical performance in any major sport.

Graham Kennedy

AO Australian Television personality, Lodge of St Kilda, 1955

Graham Cyril Kennedy, AO (15 February 1934 – 25 May 2005) was an Australian radio, television and film performer and "The King" of Australian television. Kennedy was a pioneer of Television in Australia, hosting the variety programme In Melbourne Tonight for thirteen years. He then went on to host the game show, Blankety Blanks, still one of the worlds highest rating game shows. He was King of Moomba, inducted into the Logie's Television Awards Hal of fame in 1988 and is fondly remembered by many as “the King of Television”.

Sir Robert Menzies

AO 12th Prime Minister of Australia, Austral Temple Lodge No. 110, VC

Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, KT, AK, CH, QC (20 December 1894 – 15 May 1978), was the twelfth Prime Minister of Australia. His second term saw him become Australia's longest continually serving Prime Minister, at sixteen years. He had a rapid rise to power as Prime Minister at the 1940 election. A year later, his government was brought down by MPs crossing the floor. He spent eight years in opposition, during which he founded the Liberal Party. He was re-elected Prime Minister at the 1949 elections and dominated Australian politics until his retirement in 1966. Menzies was renowned as a brilliant speaker, both on the floor of Parliament and on the hustings; his speech "The forgotten people" being an example of his oratory skills.

Sir William McMahon

20th Australian Prime Minster, Lodge University of Sydney, No 544

Sir William "Billy" McMahon, GCMG, CH (23 February 1908 – 31 March 1988). 20th Prime Minister of Australia, had practised in Sydney with "Allen, Allen and Hemsley", the oldest law firm in Australia. In 1940 he joined the Army, but because of a hearing loss he was confined to staff work. In 1951 Prime Minister Robert Menzies made him Minister for Air and Minister for the Navy. Over the next 15 years he held the portfolios of Social Services, Commerce and Agriculture and Labour and National Service. When Prime Minister John Gorton resigned during a leadership challenge in 1971, McMahon succeeded him as leader and Prime Minister. When he resigned from office he had been a minister continuously for 21 years and 6 months, a record in the Australian Parliament.

Sir Hubert Opperman

World's Fastest Bicyclist in 1930s; Governement Minister; High Commissioner to Malta, Stonnington Lodge, No 368.

Sir Hubert Ferdinand Opperman OBE (29 May 1904 - 24 April 1996), was an Australian cyclist and politician, whose endurance cycling feats in the 1920s and 1930s earned him international acclaim. Hubert Opperman rode a bicycle from the age of eight, when he was a Post Office messenger, until his 90th birthday. After the war Opperman joined the Liberal Party of Australia and in 1949 was elected to the Parliament of Australia for the Victorian electorate of Corio. He served in parliament for 17 years. He became the Government Whip in 1955. Between December 1963 and December 1966 he was Minister for Immigration and oversaw a relaxation of conditions for the entry of people of mixed descent and a widening of eligibility criteria for entry by well-qualified people into Australia. After his retirement from politics in 1967 he was appointed as Australia's first High Commissioner to Malta, where he remained for 5 years.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

aviator who was first to cross the Pacific from the US to Brisbane. Lodge Gascoyne, No 62.

Air Commodore Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith, MC, AFC (February 9, 1897 - November 8, 1935) was a well-known early Australian aviator. In 1928, he made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia. He also made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand, and the first eastward Pacific crossing from Australia to the United States. He also made a flight from Australia to London, and set up a new record of 10.5 days. The major airport of Sydney, located in the suburb of Mascot was named Kingsford Smith International Airport in his honour.

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Page X
Mormons, Masons and Myths

By Aaron Shill
From The
"Mormon Times

Some Latter-day Saints accept that Freemasonry descends from the builders of King Solomon's Temple, but that's just a myth, says LDS author Matthew B. Brown. The evidence actually points to early Christianity.

Some critics claim that Joseph Smith concocted the Mormon temple ceremonies after becoming a Freemason, but that's also a myth, Brown says. The history and richness of LDS temple ordinances cannot be explained away by comparisons to Freemasonry.

"Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons" (Covenant Communications, 2009) takes on such myths that keep "critic, bystander and Saints alike" from seeing the bigger picture. The book and companion DVD documentary appeal to history to demonstrate how Masonry can't account for LDS temple ordinances.

"We can see better parallels in the ancient world in many ways than we see in Masonry," LDS scholar Daniel Peterson says on the documentary. "Masonry does not account for all the parallels to the ancient world. ... Does it have something to do with the temple? I think undeniably so. Does it account for it? Absolutely not."

Brown's book details how modern Masonic scholars say the fraternal order did not descend from the builders of King Solomon's Temple, as once stated in Masonic constitutions. They say the claim is "romantic and wholly fictitious."

Brown quotes one scholar, Dr. Andrew Prescott, as saying that legends about "ancient charters" were used by 15th century stonemasons "to protect (them) from the effects of recent labor legislation."

"That's the mythology that you have to get past in order to understand the bigger picture here," Brown says. " ... It was done just for the purpose of getting a prestigious pedigree. And so you have to start sorting things out from that point."

While there is "no solid consensus on where the Masonic organization and its rituals came from," orthodox Christianity is "the place to start looking," Brown writes. He quotes several sources that link Freemasonry with the early Christian church.

One source, Robert Cooper of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum and Library, said, "Freemasonry adopted much Christian symbolism and iconography. ... Freemasonry doubtless used other sources and invented some, but the majority were adopted from Christianity."

Another, John Hamill of the United Grand Lodge of England, said, "None of the symbolism employed in Freemasonry is peculiar to Freemasonry. It has all been borrowed."

Brown says many elements of Freemasonry's rites -- such as the Tiler (guard) and dramatization of a legend, among others -- are "solidly grounded in, and very likely drew from, the initiation ceremonies of the orthodox Christian church."

"When you're trying to determine where did they get their ritual and symbolism, you can see that there are some exacting parallels between what Freemasons do during their ceremonies and what Christian kings or priests or monks do during their initiation ceremonies," Brown says on the documentary. "And when you put them together, it's unmistakable that there's a connection between the two."

LDS Church founder Joseph Smith was a member of the fraternal organization, becoming a Master Mason in March 1842. Forty-eight days later, he introduced the temple endowment.

"This is where people think there is controversy," Peterson says. "I don't agree with that particular point of view, because I look backward a lot farther into the history to see what is going on before that point in time."

According to Brown, "the theory that Joseph Smith took ritual elements from the Freemasons in order to create the LDS temple ceremony is principally founded upon the concept of time. ... But when a much broader survey of time is taken by the student of the past and the events of history are scrutinized in a much more careful manner, then this theory takes on the appearance of a movie façade; it is not nearly as sturdy as it looks."

Brown argues that the Prophet knew and thought much about the Nauvoo-era endowment long before he was introduced to Freemasonry. He references instructions and teachings given prior to 1842 dealing with the pattern for the temple, outlining activities to perform there, and principles like eternal marriage, baptism for the dead and the three degrees of glory.

Critics claim that symbols on the Salt Lake Temple were taken from Masonry, but Brown says they were present in Mormon practice long before Joseph Smith became a Freemason. For example, Brown found 20 references to the "all-seeing eye" and four references to bees in LDS history occurring before 1842.

References to a more complete endowment, beyond what was introduced in the Kirtland Temple, were also made before 1842.

By examining history, "it becomes obvious that the Nauvoo-era temple ordinances and doctrines did not suspiciously materialize after Joseph Smith became a Freemason," Brown writes.

Before joining the fraternity, Joseph Smith had associates who were Freemasons, including brother Hyrum Smith and apostle Heber C. Kimball. Brown, however, says there is no evidence suggesting the Prophet knew about Masonic secrets before becoming a Freemason himself. In fact, revealing such secrets would be grounds for punishment, and "there is no evidence of any such action being taken against a Mormon Mason for making improper disclosures to Joseph Smith."

The nine men who first received the Nauvoo ordinances were all Freemasons.

"And there was no mistaking that there were some resemblances between the two rituals for, as Heber C. Kimball wrote just a month after being endowed, 'There is a similarity of Priesthood in Masonry,'" Brown writes. "And yet, no incredulous cry about bootlegging or fraud rang out from this group against the Prophet."

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Page XI
What Is A Mason?

by Blake

Before answering what Free Masonry is, I want to point out what it isn't. It isn't a religion. Although you will find writings from people or organizations who oppose masonry because they believe it is a religion. Therefore in competition or at odds with their teachings or beliefs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of these nay sayers like to point out that the Masonic Order has an alter, prayers, a leader who is worshipped and a figure head who was resurrected from the dead.

However, masonry does have a couple of religious prerequisites. To meet the first requisite a candidate must have is a belief in a Supreme Beingor creator. It does not matter which religion the candidate practices. It could be Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Shinto or Buddhist just to mention a few of the more common religions practiced in today's world. An agnostic is someone who believes there is a supreme being but does not believe the being made itself manifest unto mankind. In effect the world was created, wound up and left to perpetually run by itself like a clock. Since the agnostic believes in a Supreme Being or creator they could qualify as a candidate. An atheist would not be eligible as a candidate. The next requisite is a mason should attend, practice and support the religion to which they belong. Masonry is not included because it is not a religion. Therefore there is nothing in the Masonic teachings which would contradict, diminish, interfere, discount or impair mason's duty to their professed religion. Perhaps you read my New Years resolution on religious tolerance. There is only a dichotomy if you believe Masonry is a religion. Once again let me restate Masonry is not a religion. Masonry leaves the salvation, nourishment and guidance of one's soul to the religion the religion a mason professes. When a Free Mason speaks of light he is not talking about spiritual light but of knowledge and appreciation of the arts and sciences.

"O.K., if it isn't a religion… then what is it?" you may be asking. I promised you a simplistic explanation and I will do so using the following analogy, at the risk of perhaps insulting some masons, who will have to forgive me, strictly for illustration purposes. You may equate Free Masons with Boy Scouts. Adult Boy Scouts if you will. The Masonic Blue Lodge could be equated to the Cub Scouts, the York or Scottish Rite with the Boy Scouts and the Shriners as the Eagle Scouts. The Free Mason Order is simply a fraternity of men, from different walks of life, persuasions and religions beliefs who have come together to do good and improve their knowledge and culture. Just like the Scouts who endeavor to earn "Merit Badges" for skills they have learned the Free Masons strive to enhance personal skills. Just like the Scout fraternal organizations use Indian Lore and trappings to make meetings more adventuresome, let's face it most meetings are boring, the Free Masons use themes, like you might have used a theme at a high school prom. The Masonic Blue Lodge (first level) uses the building of Solomon's Temple as a theme. The York and Scottish Rites use Heraldry as a theme, the Shriners use the Far East as a theme. You could think of the Free Mason's as the first "Support Group." Free Masons believe in supporting each other when the other is in trouble.

"So why then," you ask, "do Free Masons get such a bad rap from some organizations?" I believe this comes from a lack of knowledge about the Free Mason Order. The Free Masons hold their meetings in "Secret." The purpose of this "secrecy" is not to conduct some sinister, clandestine agenda but to enhance the concept of one coming out of the Dark Ages (where knowledge and the arts were persecuted due to superstition) and into the Renaissance, if you will, on a personal basis. Remember the original masons of Solomon's Temple were craftsmen. At that time a mason was any craftsman or artisan not just workers of stone. These artisans were considered treasures and were protected by putting them in a guarded cloister to live. Just like Home Owner and Condo Associations are people who come together to insure the quality of life in their cloister (the Condominium or Home Owner project) the masons of that time were able to accomplish the same thing. They had one bargaining chip. They had their skill and could choose whoever they wanted to train. By keeping their "Trade Secrets" they could control who lived in their cloister by making sure the apprentice candidate was of reputable character. Just like the Condo and Homeowners Assoc. do now. Only they had no control over anyone who was already an artisan. In order to keep as many undesirables out it was import to keep one's trade secrets so undesirables did not learn a craft and therefore be allowed to live in the cloister. Life in the cloister was usually much better, and safer, than living among the general populace of common labors. They would have excluded slaves because a Master could command a Slave to teach others and the Slave would have to obey. Pagans (people who did not believe in a Creator or Supreme Being) weren't acceptable either. If they made an oath there was no underlying moral belief compelling them to keep their promise. The candidate for apprentice had to have some history. Someone who had recently been brought from the provinces, and no one knew, would be wild card. There would be no way to know if they could keep a secret or not. Or if they had lived a life as someone who professed a religion. Also, since the artisans lived in the cloister with their families, it was important to know the candidate would respect the wives, daughters and families or the people who were to teach them who to use trade tools and accept them into their community. It is this concept that is passed down in Free Masonry. Just like the original masons who built King Solomon's Temple did not want to socialize with the "riff-raff" the Free Mason controls his social environment, which is important to nurturing his enlightenment, by being selective in the candidates it chooses to be members. Since the original King Solomon Masonic builders lived in a cloister they became like brothers and would come to one another's mutual aid. Today it isn't that the Free Mason rituals or teachings are that important that revealing them would devastate the order. On the contrary a number of people, who believed they could destroy the Free Masons by revealing their ceremonies have done just that. One Free Mason Order in England now performs all of its ceremonies and rituals in the open by providing an antechamber where people may watch. The importance today is not the secret but the individuals promise to keep it as a reflection of an individual's resolve to maintain the high standards of the Free Mason Order.

Unfortunately it is this "secrecy" some have attempted to impugn the Free Masons. Let us address those in closing. The Free Masons have an alter but it is to alter the person from living in ignorance and living in knowledge and culture. It speaks of light but this is not spiritual light but the light of knowledge over ignorance. It refers to a lodge's leader as Worshipful but in the old English, in which Free Masonry is still conversed in, of Worchipful (as in the Old English King James version of the bible) meaning "Honorable." Such as, "worchip thy fithir and mithir."

I want to dispel another myth. To those who believe Washington D.C. was designed by a Free Mason and the design contained a pentagraph and this is evidence the Free Masons were plotting the destruction of the United States. Be informed George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and many of the "founding fathers" were Free Masons. That the ideals in the United States Constitution are derived from Free Mason tenants. That the "Great Experiment" which is called "The United States of America" is in reality the "Great Masonic Experiment." If you really want to understand Free Masonry, without joining and learning on your own, read the "Constitution of The United States of America."

Excerpts from Bro. Glenn Fannin's "What is a Mason" This article was originally published in forum thread: What is a Mason? started by Blake

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Page XII
Concord Lodge Members Stumble On Historic Find

From the
Rural Masonic Lodge Newsletter

In the popular movie "National Treasure" a band of treasure hunters searches for a glorious cache of riches hidden centuries ago by colonial Freemasons, including a few of the Founding Fathers. All of it was a bit of Hollywood fun, but in Concord, some modern day masons think they may actually have stumbled on a real life treasure linked to none-other than the illustrious silversmith Paul Revere, who once served as Grand Master of the Grand lodge of Massachusetts.

"We're excited. Proud. It links us again to the heritage that the lodge has," said Douglas Ellis, the senior deacon at the Corinthian Lodge in Concord who said that about a year ago two members were doing some cleaning at the lodge and stumbled on a bag of a antique-looking "jewels," the decorative medals Masons wear for ceremonial occasions.

"They thought they were just old regalia that had been tossed aside," said Ellis.

"They were in a box up in a store room and we were like, 'Oh my. Look what we have


Suspecting that the jewels might be pretty valuable, last month they asked a visiting Mason from Spain who is something of a silver expert what he thought of the cache. He confirmed their hunch that the jewels very well may have been created by Paul Revere himself.

"We have the documentation that puts them at the date, 1797," said Ellis, referring to the year the Concord lodge was chartered, which was the same year Revere served as Grand Master.

It was also the same year that a set of jewels was donated to the Concord Lodge by its first Lodge Master, Dr. Isaac Hurd, who was initiated as a Freemason by none other than Revere, back in 1777.

"You know there was a very close tie between these two men," Ellis said, although he admits that it has been tough to say for sure that the jewels were made by Revere. Subsequent examinations of the jewels made at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington and by the curator of the Revere silver collection at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts show many similarities between the Concord lodge jewels and others known to have been made by Revere, but "there are also a lot of things that do not fit," said Ellis.

"There's a lot of mystery that's still out there," he said. "Although it's not conclusive, all the signs point inthat direction."

Although Ellis valued the silver jewels, which resemble ornate medals, at between $150,000 to $300,000, he said the small 14-piece set doesn't even come close to the massive fictional treasure hidden by Masons in the National Treasure film.

"This is nothing like that. These were items we were given or purchased. Revere did this as a business. He made money off this," Ellis said, and it's likely he made a good income as he chartered 23 new Masonic lodges in Massachusetts during his tenure as Grand Master.

Ellis said the jewels are now locked up tight off site from the lodge and will only be brought out for special events, but their link to the Mason's, and the hall's, rich history, and to one of their most illustrious members, is what makes them priceless to the members. "It's very fun," said Ellis.

Corinthian Lodge, in the heart of the town of Concord, was formed in 1797 under the authority of Grand Master Paul Revere. The first permanent meeting place was in the building across from the Colonial Inn. The inn was a stopping place for the Grand Master when he made the 20-mile trip from Boston to Concord. Farming was the principal occupation then.

Today, the setting is far from farming. Freemasonry continues to be vigorous in the community. The Concord Masonic building is now home to Corinthian Lodge, Houghton-Walden Royal Arch Chapter, Adoniram Council Royal and Select Master Masons, Nashoba Valley Court #13 Order of the Amaranth (the Court of the Grand Master's grandmother) and Concord Assembly #53 of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls.

Corinthian Lodge became the 26th lodge constituted by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. With the charter in hand, the petitioners met in the grand jury room at the Court House in Concord on 5 July 1797, the day following the annual Independence Day celebration.

During the early American period, New England was thought to be an austere place, but any austerity was on the outside. Inside lodges, like Corinthian Lodge, meetings were held in the warmth and comfort of a tavern's hospitality. In its first 22 years, the lodge met in six different halls. The first lodge meeting was held in Joshua Jones' Hall (tavern) on Exchange Street. The last three of these early years were at the County House, where warmth and hospitality.building many years ago

On 13 November 1820 Corinthian Lodge and the Town of Concord dedicated their new brick building that was to be used as a school and the first permanent Masonic Hall. It is said that the young Henry David Thoreau was a teacher here for a short time. From 1797 to 1916, Corinthian Lodge operated as a “moon lodge.” Its meeting dates were tied to the arrival of a full moon, which helped the brothers traveling on foot and horseback without benefit of electricity. The first Master was Dr. Isaac Hurd , who later served as Senior Grand Warden and was the son of Benjamin Hurd, for whom the Distinguished Service Medal of Royal Arch Masonry

is named. Many notable Masters took office in the ensuing years. Among them were Dr. Lemuel Shattuck for whom the Boston hospital is named; Louis A Surette, a historian and author of many Masonic histories; and Ephraim W Bull, who developed the Concord grape.

During the 50th anniversary of the battle at the bridge over the Concord River where the farmers stood and fired the shot heard around the world, the Masons of Corinthian Lodge were prominent in the laying of the monument cornerstone on 19 April 1825.

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Argentina: Freemasonry in Buenos Aires

Predating Argentina itself, Freemasons have been in existence since 1795

By Ian F Thurn
Buenos Aires Herald

Freemasonry in Buenos Aires was started with the consecration of a “Logia Independencia” in 1795 consisting of young intellectuals mostly with higher European degrees. Some of the most prominent members were Juan José Castelli, his cousin Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Paso, Feliciano Chiclana, Matías Irigoyen, Nicolás Rodríguez Peña, Hipólito Vieytes, Juan Larrea, Domingo Matheu and Antonio Luis Berutti.

Going forward in time and leading up to May 25, in 1808 Don José de San Martín joined his first lodge, the “Logia Integridad” in Cadiz, where the Worshipful Master of the lodge was General Francisco Solano, Captain General of Andalucia. It was at this time that San Martin, who was only a junior Mason at the time, met Lord Mac Duff, a noble Scotsman, who was plotting the liberation of South America. San Martín travelled to England where he was put into contact with Alvear, Zapiola, Berro and Guido who formed part of the Lodge Lautaro created by Francisco de Miranda, who along with Bolívar, were already fighting in Venezuela for its liberation.

On March 9, 1812 San Martín arrived in Buenos Aires on board the Royal Navy Frigate George Canning direct from London, accompanied by a group of high ranking military personnel such as Chilavert, Zapiola, Carlos de Alvear, Arellano and Baron Olambert.

It is interesting to note that the First Triumvirate in 1811, the Second in 1812, the Declaration of Independence in Tucumán in 1816, the Constituent Assembly in 1853 and the Assembly of 1860 were mostly formed by Masons.

Don José de San Martín joined the Freemasons in 1808.
By this time there had already been a large immigration from the British Isles and Europe in general and it was on 10 June 1853 in Buenos Aires, that the first English Lodge working under English rule was consecrated. This was “Excelsior Lodge” under the Mastership of Samuel Hesse.

To this day, Excelsior Lodge No. 617 continues to meet regularly in Buenos Aires.

On 5 December 1861 and thanks to the intervention of Excelsior Lodge a Treaty was signed between the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Orient of the Argentine Republic whereby the United Grand Lodge of England recognizes and acknowledges the Sovereignty and Independence of the Grand Orient of the Argentine Republic as a true Masonic Power located in Buenos Aires.

In 1861 Silver River Lodge No. 876 in Montevideo opened, in 1864 Star of the South Lodge No. 1025 and in 1872 Lodge of Harmony No. 1411 in Valparaíso followed, all three lodges are operative to this day.

Shortly after about 27 other English lodges were consecrated and started to operate in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mendoza, Tucumán, Córdoba, Bahía Blanca, Campana, Quilmes, Villa Devoto, Hurlingham, Lomas de Zamora and Tigre.

English Masonry continues to this day working in Montevideo, Valparaíso, Buenos Aires, Córdoba city, Lomas de Zamora and Tigre, all under the District Grand Lodge of South America, Southern Division. This District covers Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

Freemasonry is not a secret society but rather a society with secrets and is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies practiced under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England, Wales and in many places overseas including our District in Buenos Aires.

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas — a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge — which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons' customs and tools as allegorical guides.

Freemasonry instills in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: it seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.

The Master Mason Degree

Submited By Brother Dwight Seals

Did U Know?

Many Masonic Lodges have long standing traditions in their Lodges when it comes to the Master Mason Degree. Our Lodge as do many other Lodges present every candidate with a Bible which was set aside and put on the Altar when they received each of their degrees. This is given as a keepsake after they receive their Master Mason Degree and all the Brethren in attendance can sign the Bible so the candidate has a memorial of who was in attendence that evening.

We also set aside a leather Apron which was presented to the candidate in his Entered Apprentice Degree and give it to him on his night of the sublime Degree. But I have also heard of other presentations on this special evening. As mentioned in the "Did U Know" sent out this past Wednesday, Bro. Ed Johnson was presented a beautiful wood framed print of "What is A Mason". When the Grand Lodge of Ohio has their "Grand Masters Class" (one day class), they provide a miniture set of the Square & Compasses to each candidate. I know of a Lodge in Ohio that gives each candidate a beautiful wooden box of the entire set of miniture working tools (24 inch guage, common gavel, plumb, square, level and trowel).

Another Lodge has a trowel engraved with the Square & Compasses and the Lodge name, number, city and state engraved on it and given as a keepsake. I heard of a Lodge that years ago had a brick layer by trade as their Worshipful Master. During his year as Master, he presented each candidate with a new full size trowel just like he used everyday. That tradition is continuing yet today and is a very inexpensive presentation to new candidates that has significance. The trowel seems to be a common practice to give candidates as another Lodge I visited gives a sterling silver trowel lapel pin to the candidate on his night of being raised. Some Lodges will give candidates a Masonic hardbound book so they can continue their search for more light in our great Fraternity. I am sure there are others.

The Master Mason Degree is a special night. If your Lodge has something special they do for the candidate that evening, drop me a line and let me know what it is and I will compile them and send another "Did U Know" at a later date with the findings. My DUK list is now hitting states from New York to Hawaii and countries including Canada, Scotland, France, Thailand, England and Iraq among others. What does your Lodge do on Master Mason Degree nights that other Brethren would find interesting? Please send it to Dwight Seals at You can also subscribe to the Masonic "Did U Know" emails there.

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The Small Town Texas Mason's E-magazine
Page XIV
The Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association

Submited By Brother Dwight Seals

Did U Know?   The Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association is an International Association which is open to all Masons who enjoy the sport of motorcycling and have a desire to ride with and associate with their fraternal brothers. Our goal is to:

1. Introduce the sport of motorcycling to our Masonic Brothers
2. Raise Masonic Awareness in the world of sport motorcycling
3. Contribute to the relief of our Widows & Orphans
4. Support the Blue Lodge through regular attendance, and assisting with or attending lodge events.

While we wear identifying patches or regalia, the Widows Sons are not a gang, MC, 1% Club. We are required to represent the fraternity in a positive light at all times. The Widows Sons serve as a Masonic Booster Club by helping to raise Masonic Awareness while we attend public motorcycling events, and by supporting our Blue Lodges in whatever capacity we are able. Widows Sons chapters have helped to increase Masonic membership through our presence and visibility during public motorcycle events and rally's.

In every location where we have a chapter, the Widows Sons have proven themselves to be a positive asset to the fraternity. Many of our chapters are proud to have current and past Grand Masters as members. We regularly attract new members to the fraternity, and several of our chapters have their own Degree Teams or volunteer in doing Masonic work whenever possible. Each Widows Sons chapter sponsors or participates in local charity runs or events. In all cases, we strive to present a positive image of Freemasonry and our Association to the public.

The Widows Sons was conceived of and founded by Brother Carl Davenport PM, in the year 2000. Today we have active chapters throughout many States in the USA, Canada, and abroad. If you are interested in joining the Widows Sons, we would be happy to hear from you. Please see our page on Joining to find out how to join or form a chapter of your own.

Administration & Chapter Support

The International Association is comprised of individual Grand Chapters and their subordinate chapters. Each Grand Chapter is autonomous or governs themselves according to what best insures their continued success. Each Grand Chapter is responsible for the formation of associate or sub-chapters within their state or country. They also determine what the policies are in regards to membership requirements, dues (if any), and all matters pertaining to the Widows Sons in their area. We have modeled ourselves in a similar fashion to Masonic Grand Lodges who determine the rules and By Laws of their jurisdictions, membership requirements, types of ritual used, etc.

Each Grand Chapter is required to adhere to certain landmarks or the "spirit" and purpose of the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association. Association-wide policy was set during our formation, and any future adjustments would come only if approved by the consent of a majority of our Grand Chapter representatives.

In order to facilitate the formation of new Grand Chapters, we have brothers appointed who work as voluntary representatives in order to assist brethren in setting up new chapters. We offer guidance and advice in getting new chapters set up, then issue charters and facilitate them in ordering patches or Widows Sons regalia. Once a Grand Chapter has been chartered, our oversight of them ends. Each Grand Chapter is required to submit a copy of their By Laws and contact information to their respective Representative. Grand Chapters must maintain periodic contact with the Association.

10 Steps to Defeat the Masons

From Blake The Masonic Traveler

Every once and a while I get an interesting anti-Masonic e-mail which gets me chuckling. So I'd like to share this one with you all.. Here we have it, a quick 10 step list on how to defeat the Devil Worshiping Freemasons (cue the scary music please). Thanks for the e-mail!

Please note: Spelling mistakes and wild conclusions are from the original sender, the cute red devil is my own addition

[ start anti-masonic hate mail ] From: XXX
Subject: Its over devil worshipers
Freemason Yes/No: No
Lodge: Never
Grand Lodge: Never
Message Body: How to defeat the Mason's and their False God the devil.

Step 1:

Learn the Gospels word per word and be able to repeat it.

Step 2:

Read and memorize the remainder of the New Testament first then learn the old testament.

Step 3:

Learn Ephesians 6:10-6:24, it is your only hope against the strikes of the demons. When your faith is strong in the Lord the true and only God, the devil and his demons can't touch your heart. They can only strike you at night in your sleep. That's how they will kill you if you are unrighteous in your acts. Rightous is the only way.

Step 4:

Must learn to pray correctly to the true and only God and ask for forgivens for being tricked into following a false God. First you must get on your knee's and repeat the prayer like this: My Father Who is in Heaven the true and only God I ask for your forgiveness for my ignorance in following the Mason's false God. I ask that your only son Jesus Christ act as my advocate and savoir. I ask for you to protect me and guide me in becoming righteous. For righteous is the only way to defeat evil.

Step 5:

Must attend a baptist church away from Masons, and Disassociate with the mason's. Must never communicate or attend meetings with mason's. Must never enter a hall. Avoid all contact with those of the past.

Step 6:

Never use a weapon or anything that is unrightous. They will take away all income and make it were you can't make an income. Rightousness is the only way to defeat them.

Step 7:

If you have ever attended a hall meeting or worshiped from there false bible of the devil or taken an oath. It will take 4 generations to break away. However if you are unaware of what is going on it is up to the True God who is in heaven if you can break away. Pray nightly for protection and if you are sincere you will be protected.

Step 8:

Leave behind all unrighteous activities and behavior.

Step 9:

Must bring awareness to other Mason's and give them the necessary steps to break away.

Step 10:

Never read any bible except the King James Version (KJV). It's the only authorized english bible.

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Page XV
History of Freemasonry - Part 1 Of 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The history of Freemasonry studies the development, evolution and events of the fraternal organization known as Freemasonry. This history is generally separated into two time periods: before and after the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Before this time, the facts and origins of Freemasonry are not absolutely known and are therefore frequently explained by theories or legends. After the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, the history of Freemasonry is extremely well-documented and can be traced through the creation of hundreds of Grand Lodges that spread rapidly worldwide.

From origin to 18th century Freemasonry

Origin theories of speculative freemasonry

In its ritual context, Freemasonry employs an allegorical foundation myth: the foundation of the fraternity by the builders of King Solomon's Temple.

Beyond myth, there is a distinct absence of documentation as to Freemasonry's origins, which has led to a great deal of speculation among historians and pseudo-historians alike, both from within and from outside the fraternity. Hundreds of books have been written on the subject. Much of the content of these books is highly speculative, and the precise origins of Freemasonry may very well be permanently lost to history. Some believe the scant evidence that is available points to the origins of Freemasonry as a fraternity that simply evolved out of the lodges of operative stonemasons of the Middle Ages. Others have disputed whether stone masons were ever organized formally into guilds, and have criticized the suggestion that Freemasonry evolved out of such organizations as a trite myth, stemming merely from the fact that the fraternity uses stone masonry as the core allegory for the organization of its symbolism. In any event, the matter of the origins of Freemasonry continues to puzzle and mystify historians.

The origin of Freemasonry has variously been attributed to: King Solomon and the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem, Euclid or Pythagoras, Moses, the Essenes, the Culdees, the Druids, the Gypsies, or the Rosicrucians, not to mention the intellectual descendants of Noah. Some of the more popular theories include Freemasonry being an offshoot of the ancient mystery schools, or that it is an institutional outgrowth of the medieval guilds of stonemasons, or that it is a direct descendant of the "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem" (the Knights Templar).

There are other lesser-known theories, such as:

· Freemasonry is an administrative arm of the Priory of Sion,
· Freemasonry is the intellectual descendants of the Roman Collegia
· Freemasonry is the intellectual descendant of the Comacine masters
· Freemasonry had its beginnings particularly in the German Steinmetzen, or the French Compagnonage
· Freemasonry was created by Francis Bacon, Oliver Cromwell, or the Stuart Pretenders to the British Crown.
· Freemasonry was a result of Sir Christopher Wren and the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral

Name origins

The medieval stonemasons were sometimes known as "freemasons." Historians have suggested several origins of the term:

· From the French term franc Maçon, a mason working in a Lodge that has been granted a franchise by the Church to work on Church property and free from taxation or regulation by the King or the local Municipality.
· From the French "frere Macon" literally meaning "brother Mason"
· From Free Men, that is they were not serfs or indentured, and free to travel from one work location to another.
· From working in "freestone," a type of quarry stone, and they were therefore Freestone Masons.

From historical foundation to 1717

The early development of Freemasonry has two distinct growth periods:

· Stage 1. Operative Freemasonry - associated with the craft guilds. Ritual elements are simple and there is no evidence beyond a rudimentary philosophical outlook.
· Stage 2. Freemasonry of the late 16th Century and into the 17th Century. Surviving Scottish Lodge records, as early as the 1630s, show a gentrification process - a transition from Operative to Speculative Freemasonry - evidenced by increasing non-operative notable gentleman within the membership. Virtually no records of English lodges survive prior to the speculative, Grand Lodge period of 1717 onwards. The purely speculative ritual and lectures of William Preston (1742-1818) demonstrate an increasing use of a ritual infusion of Enlightenment philosophy.

A credible historical source asserting the antiquity of Freemasonry is the The Halliwell Manuscript, or Regius Poem - believed to date from ca. 1390. This makes reference to several concepts and phrases similar to those found in Freemasonry. The manuscript itself seems to be an elaboration on an earlier document, to which it refers.

There is also the Cooke Manuscript, an undated manuscript constitution from the mid-15th century, the oldest of the Gothic Constitutions. The first statutory use of the word 'Freemason' in England appears in the Statutes of the Realm enacted in 1495 under Henry VI, although the archaic term "frank mason" had been used fifty years earlier. Prior to that, the earliest use of the term "ffre Masons" was in a 1376 reference to the "Company of ffre Masons," one of the numerous craft guilds of London.

By 1583, the date of the Grand Lodge manuscript, the documentary evidence begins to grow. The Schaw Statutes of 1598-99 are the source used to declare the precedence of Lodge Mother Kilwinning in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland over Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) in Edinburgh. These are described as Head and Principal respectively. As a side note, following a dispute over numbering at the formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (GLS) - Kilwinning is numbered as Lodge Mother Kilwinning Number 0 (pronounced 'Nothing'), GLS. Quite soon thereafter, a charter was granted to Sir William St. Clair (later Sinclair) of Roslin (Rosslyn), allowing him to purchase jurisdiction over a number of lodges in Edinburgh and environs. This may be the basis of the Templar myth surrounding Rosslyn Chapel.

The Regius Poem and Cooke manuscript, about 1390 and 1410 respectively, are written in the dialects of the west and southwest of England, and may have been written for the school of masonry associated with Salisbury Cathedral.

Early operative Freemasons, unlike virtually all Europeans except the Clergy, were Free - not bound to the land on which they were born. The various skills required in building complex stone structures, especially churches and cathedrals, allowed skilled masons to travel and find work at will. They were lodged in a temporary structure - either attached to, or near, the main stone building. In this lodge, they ate, slept and received their work assignments from the master of the work. To maintain the freedom they enjoyed required exclusivity of skills, and thus, as an apprentice was trained, his instructor attached moral values to the tools of the trade, binding him to his fellows of the craft.

Freemasonry's transition from a craft guild of operative, working stonemasons into a fraternity of speculative, accepted, gentleman Freemasons began in Scottish lodges during the early 1600s. The earliest record of a lodge accepting a non-operative member occurs in the records of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel), 8 June 1600, where it is shown that John Boswell, Laird of Aucheinleck, was present at a meeting. The first record of the initiation of a non-operative mason in a lodge is contained in the minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) for 3 July 1634, when the Right Honourable Lord Alexander was admitted a Fellowcraft. The first record of the Initiation of a non-operative on English soil, was in 1641 when Sir Robert Moray was admitted to the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) at Newcastle.

From the early 1600s references are found to Freemasonry in personal diaries and journals. Elias Ashmole (1617-1692) was made a Mason in 1646 and notes attending several Masonic meetings. There appears to be a general spread of the Craft, between Ashmole's account and 1717, when four English Lodges meeting in London Taverns joined together and founded the Grand Lodge of London (now known as the United Grand Lodge of England). They had held meetings, respectively, at the Cheshire Cheese Tavern, the Apple-Tree Tavern, the Crown Ale-House near Drury Lane, the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Churchyard, and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Westminster.

With the foundation of this first Grand Lodge, Freemasonry shifted from being an obscure, relatively private, institution into the public eye. The years following saw new Grand Lodges open throughout Europe. How much of this growth was the spreading of Freemasonry itself, and how much was due to the public organization of pre-existing private Lodges, is uncertain.

Continued Next Month

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Page XVI
The Morgan Affair - Justification To Condemn Millions?

By John "Corky" Daut P.M.
Editor STTME-mag

Forward; For those readers who may know nothing of the 'Captain Morgan Affair'.

William Morgan, a brickmason, lived in Batavia, New York, from 1824 to 1826. Accounts of him differ widely, as they do of any notorious person. Few are so wicked as to be without friends; few are so good they have not their detractors. From the estimates of both enemies and friends, the years have brought an evaluation of Morgan which shows him as a shiftless rolling stone; uneducated but shrewd; careless of financial obligations: often arrested for debt; idle and improvident; frequently the beneficiary of Masonic charity.

That he was really a Mason is doubtful; no record of his raising or Lodge membership exists, but it is certain he received the Royal Arch in Western Star Chapter R. A. M. No. 33 of Le Roy, New York [May 31, 1825 cf. Cummings p. 25]. It is supposed that he was an "eavesdropper" and lied his way into a Lodge in Rochester by imposing on a friend and employer, who was led to vouch for him in Wells Lodge No. 282 at Batavia. [Cummings notes that Wells Lodge never met in Batavia and that Western Star Chapter was numbered 35. Judge Ebenzer Mix, of Batavia, a Mason of unquestioned reputation, wrote of this alleged Masonic membership: "There must have been a most reprehensible laxity among the Masons both of Rochester and Le Roy; for there was no evidence educed, then or afterwards, that he ever received any Masonic degree save the Royal Arch, on May 31, 1825, at Le Roy."

At any rate, he visited Lodges, was willing to assist, made Masonic speeches, took part in degrees. When Companions of Batavia asked for a Royal Arch Chapter, he was among those who signed the petition. But suspicion of his regularity began to grow, and his name was omitted as a member when the Charter was granted.

Just how much this incident inspired the enmity he developed for the Fraternity is only a guess; doubtless it had much to do with it.

Morgan entered into a contract (March 13, 1826) with three men for the publication of this work. These were: David C. Miller, an Entered Apprentice of twenty years standing, stopped from advancement for cause, who thus held a grudge against the Fraternity; John Davids, Morgan’s landlord; and Russel Dyer, of whom little is known. These three entered into a penal bond of half a million dollars to pay Morgan one fourth of the profits of the book. Morgan boasted freely in bars and on the street of his progress in writing this book

 The following quotes are a summary of a couple of paragraphs in the book, "The Character, Claims And Practical Workings Of Freemasonry" 1869 by Rev. C. G. Finney - Chapter II - "THE MURDER OF WILLIAM MORGAN, CONFESSED BY THE MAN WHO, WITH HIS OWN HANDS, PUSHED HIM OUT OF THE BOAT INTO NIAGARA RIVER. The entire book may be read at,

William Morgan by Noel Holmes
"The following account of that tragical scene is taken from a pamphlet entitled, 'Confession of the murder of William Morgan, as taken down by Dr. John L. Emery, of Racine County, Wisconsin, in the summer of 1848, and now (1849) first given to the public:'. . ."

"This 'Confession' was taken down as related by Henry L. Valance, who acknowledges himself to have been one of the three who were selected to make a final disposition of the ill-fated victim of Masonic vengeance. . . "

He proceeds with an interesting narrative of the proceedings of the fraternity in reference to Morgan. . .

"Three of their number (Freemasons) were to be selected by ballot to execute the deed. 'Eight pieces of paper were procured, five of which were to remain blank, while the letter D was written on the others. These pieces of paper were placed in a large box, from which each man was to draw one at the same moment. After drawing we were all to separate, without looking at the paper that each held in his hand. So soon as we had arrived at certain distances from the place of rendezvous, the tickets were to be examined, and those who held blanks were to return instantly to their homes; and those who should hold marked tickets were to proceed to the fort [Fort Niagara] at midnight, and there put Morgan to death, in such a manner as should seem to themselves most fitting. . . "

Arrangements were made immediately for executing the sentence passed upon their prisoner, which was to sink him in the river with weights; in hope, says Mr. Valance, 'that he and our crime alike would thus be buried beneath the waves.' His part was to proceed to the magazine where Morgan was confined, and announce to him his fate--theirs was to procure a boat and weights with which to sink him. . . Morgan, being placed in the bow with myself, along side of him. My comrades took the oars, and the boat was rapidly forced out into the river. The night was pitch dark, we could scarcely see a yard before us, and therefore was the time admirably adapted to our hellish purpose. . . Morgan was standing with his back toward me, I approached him, and gave him a strong push with both my hands, which were placed on the middle of his back. He fell forward, carrying the weights with him, and the waters closed over the mass. We remained quiet for two or three minutes, when my companions, without saying a word, resumed their places, and rowed the boat to the place from which they had taken it."

"Before continuing I would like to bring up a couple of points about the so called "confession". Now remember, these men were over 30 miles from home, floating in a strong current, down a strange river, in a pitch dark night. where they couldn't see over a yard away and they sat in the boat quietly for 2 or 3 minutes while the boat drifted further down stream. Now how could they have rowed back, in a strange river, to the dock that they couldn't have seen until they were 3 feet from it? There is no evidence that Henry L. Valance was ever there except that what was in the Rev. C. G. Finney's (a well known anti-mason) book. To me, it brings up the question, was Henry L. Valance really there or was he just trying to get his name into the history books? In fact, three other freemasons, Loton Lawon, Nicholas Chesebro and Edward Sawyer, were charged with, convicted and served sentences for the kidnapping of Morgan which would strongly reduce Valance's and the Rev. Finney's credibility.

There were actually two, contradictory, death-bed confessions of William Morgan’s murder that should be noted and debunked. Neither conform to the known facts of the case,n15 and neither can be proven.

The second "confession" comes to us by way of the man who almost singlehandedly created the controversy surrounding the Morgan Affair. Thurlow Weed, the man who had earlier identified the body of one Timothy Munro as that of William Morgan, died in 1882. On his deathbed he stated that in 1861 John Whitney, who had been convicted on the conspiracy charge, confessed to him the full details of the murder of Morgan. According to this alleged confession, Whitney and four others carried the abducted Morgan in a boat to the centre of the river, bound him with chains, and dumped him overboard. Weed stated that Whitney had promised to dictate and sign this confession, but died before he could do so. Whitney in fact died eight years later in 1869. Whitney provided Rob Morris a complete account of the Morgan incident, denying any foul play and branding Weed a liar.

These two unsubstantiated confessions aside, there is nothing to demonstrate or prove that Morgan met with foul play; only that he was last seen in the company of the men who subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to "seize and secrete" Morgan, and served terms in prison for the offense.

Today, "Christian" anti-Masons like to use the example of Morgan to show the evils of Freemasonry while ignoring both the millions of men who've been members during the intervening nearly 200 years and the fact that such an event has never again reoccurred in the history of the organization.

Maybe the "Christian" leaders like Rev. C. G. Finney and Dr. Larry Holly who condemn "Freemasonry and millions of Freemasons" as murders because of one alleged murder during the past 300 years should read Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:."

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The Three Degrees of Masonry

An Address Before Keith Chapter Rose Croix
Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Halifax, NS
Easter 1954
By Reginald V. Harris 33*

A Man's Masonic stature is not to be measured by the number of degrees he has or the offices he has held. The titles by which he is addressed may be high sounding; the regalia he wears may be rich and gaudy, but neither means anything if they adorn a man whose spiritual stature has not increased as he advanced in Masonic knowledge.

There are only three degrees in Masonry; some never get beyond the first degree; some do reach the second degree; I know of few who have attained to the third.

It is a source of much interest to many outside the Craft as to why men join the Order. There is a ever-ending stream of petitioners knocking for admission. Some come prompted by the recollection that father or brother was a Mason; others conjure up a group of men, most of whom are influential in the business world, or public life, or the professions, and they be lieve Freemasonry will help themselves. Another hears of Masonic banquets, of parades, of clubs and good times, and he seeks the circle of good fellowship. Still another wonders what there is in Freemasonry that is secret and he comes impelled by mere curiosity and inquisitiveness.

Such men seldom mean anything to the Order; they get their degrees, attend a few meetings; they are on hand for festive occasions; they wear Masonic emblems on their fingers and coat lapels but when they hear Free masonry adversely criticized they can say nothing in its praise; they conceal their emblems and deny their membership.

Some of them have their eyes on other goals —we seldom see them again—but we often find their names among the suspended members. Some few go on and attain high office; they love the titles by which they are addressed and the plaudits of the crowd, but their swords are never drawn in the cause of Masonry. They have attained to the First degree, of which the Password is “Self.”

But there are others—sincere in their declaration that they “solicit our privileges, prompted by a favorable opinion preconceived of the Fraternity, a desire for knowledge and a sincere wish to be serviceable to their fellowmen.” On such men must depend the very existence of Free masonry. In their hearts they come—with a desire to ally themselves with all that is good, a desire to maintain a code of conduct emblematic of good citizenship. Outside the Order he may never have understood its aims and purposes.

He may have never heard of “the Lost Word” or “Masonic Light” or “Truth,” but with such motives in his heart and once inside our doors he grasps something of its meaning; it lures him on in the cause of service wherever there is work to do without the hope of fee or reward. He may serve as keeper of the wardrobe, or audit the accounts, or visit the sick in the hospitals. He may direct a rehearsal or play a minor part in a degree. Outside the Lodge we usually find him serving his City or Town, in its Council or School Board, as a volunteer fireman or as a private in the ranks. He helps to solve the problems of his Church—serving on its com mittees or boards; and when at last he lays down the working tools of life there are few to fill his place. Such a Mason has attained to the Second degree, whose password is “Service”. Before considering the Mason who has attained to the Sublime degree of Master Mason, let us review our earliest days as Masons.

Each of us well remembers the occasion when we first stood outside the door of the Craft lodge and knocked. We were asked what we desired? We learned that the right answer was “Light.” In the Second degree we again knocked and asked for “More Light.” in the Third degree the answer was “Further Light.” We later heard of a “Lost Word.” In the Fourth degree we declared we sought “Truth and the Lost Word.” and so on. The answer we gave was “Light” or “Truth” or “The Lost Word.” Always seeking but never finding. In the 14th we were actually given the word but failed to hear it.

In the 17th, we were still “a humble and patient seeker after Truth,” still seeking the True Light; in the 18th degree we found the Temple demolished, the tools and columns of Masonry broken and destroyed, the greatest confusion reigned (as in the Third degree, when there were no designs upon the Trestle Board). Our Shepherd was smitten and the Word was lost. Later we were told that Faith, Hope and Love were valuable aids to us in our search.We were told that by embracing the new law “to love one another” we would be led to the Word, which is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

What is this Lost Word?

Shall we find it if we explore other Masonic orders? Or go higher in the Scottish Rite? Brethren I have explored all these so-called higher degrees and I am still seeking the Lost Word. In all ages and everywhere there has been this search for that which was lost. It is as old as man himself.

On a clay tablet recently recovered from the ruins of a city upon the Euphrates they found a hymn about a Word—7,000 years ago. Something that was lost—a Word. It is symbolized in the Egyptian mysteries; in those of Eleusis and Mithras; in those of Scandinavia and the Teutonic race; in those of the Celtic race and the Saxon peoples. We find it in the Legend of the Holy Grail, so beautifully told by Tennyson in his Idylls of the King, the sacred cup used at the Last Supper; brought to England by Joseph of Arimathea and laid up at ancient Glastonbury. After his death “the times grew evil and the holy cup was caught away to Heaven and disappeared.”

The Knights of King Arthur see it in their hail covered and they leap to their feet and swear that, for a year and a day, they will take up the Quest. The vision comes to each according to the soul of each.

Sir Galahad, virgin in body and soul, alone achieves the Quest and goes with it into the City of God. He represents the immortal search for perfection, the search for the Lost Word. Another example is the German legend of the Blue Flower, so well re told by Dr. Henry Van Dyke; the Blue Flower, sought along many and various paths and with varied fortune, but never found. Then there is that other beautiful story of the other Wise Man, the fourth Magus led by a star on his way to join his fellow Magi in Bethlehem, who turned aside to minister comfort to a dying stranger, and arrived too late. He wanders for 33 years in search of his lost Christ, spending his substance in good works.

He joins the crowd on that first Good Friday—hoping to catch a glimpse of Christ, but is turned aside by the cry of a girl sold into slavery, and in his dying moments he hears those wonderful words “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it Unto Me.” Brethren, he found the Lost Word.

In Alpine climbing there always seems to be another peak in the dis tance which appears to be the summit—only to find on reaching it there is a still higher one in the farther distance. In Masonry there is no finality because the virtues it teaches know no limit of development short of the perfect standard of the Perfect Master.

We must go on; impelled to go on; guided by the virtues we profess to practice until we reach the summit, the humanly unattainable summit— until we find the Lost Word.

All through the pages of that wondrous book upon our altars, through the smoke of Sinai, through psalm and proverb, through prophecy and parable, is heard the everlasting truth of one God who is love—who re quires of men that they love one another, do justly, be merciful, keep them selves unspotted from the World and walk humbly before Him in whose hand they stand.

Continued On Page XVIII

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The Three Degrees of Masonry

Continued From Page XVII

Our place as Masons is unique. We set ourselves high standards of conduct, are we not expected to follow them?—or are they merely beautiful ceremonies intended to entertain?

If I am consistent, then the obligations I have assumed at our altar must materialize into action for the good of others. Masons are no longer ordinary men—content to grub along in the ebb tide of social responsibility. Masonry has failed in each one of us if it leaves us as it found us—content and satisfied with old standards. We must be pioneers—with a vision of new and exalted standards, for the truths inculcated here, if truly lived, lead men in the way of God.

William Booth—the valiant founder of the Salvation Army, once sent an Easter message to his officers and members; just one word — "Others." What a wealth of meaning is in that one word "Others!"

The life that counts is the life that serves. Let us by our service to others demonstrate that Freemasonry includes men who exert by the lives they live those benign influences of absolute justice, a conscientious discharge of public and private duty; a wholesome respect for law and authority and an unswerving allegiance to the cause of righteousness.

Those are the standards set before us from the E. A. degree to the 33rd, and in every other degree in Freemasonry.After all, the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule are the rock bed of Freemasonry and only the Mason who tries to live (I don't say, succeeds in living) according to that divine teaching is seeking the Lost Word.

What is a Masonic Temple?

Is it only a pile of bricks and mortar, concrete and stone? Is it only a collection of beautiful lodge rooms? It is all that and more. It stands, next to the Church of God, as an honest effort for the building of character, for the strengthening of faith, for the increase of patriotism. It serves no purpose unless it is a great power house which radiates out great forces and influences through the lives and the service of its members. Only the consecration and dedication of ourselves to its cause and its ennobling influences will convince mankind that Freemasonry is not a pur poseless order, that it will aid us in the search for Christ and will aid Christ in His search for us.

Such men, energized by the wondrous teaching of Freemasonry, radiate their influence into their service for others, their homes are homes of happi ness where Christ is ever a welcome guest; their work for their Church speaks of the reality of their lives; their earnestness of purpose, their love of God.

If one-tenth of the members of the Craft in this city; if just those of the Scottish Rite, were to live for one year, or even for one month, a week or a day, in accord with the wonderful vision of Freemasonry, the emphasis it places on spiritual values, the insistent urging to seek the Lost Word, there would be effected in the life of our Province a transformation un dreamed of by us now.

As King Arthur says; A glorious company, the flower of men, To serve as model for the mighty world; And be the fair beginning of a time I made them lay their hands in mine and swear; To reverence the King as if he were Their conscience and their conscience as their King; To break the heathen and uphold the Christ; To ride abroad redressing human wrongs; To speak no slander nor listen to it; To honour his own word as if his God's."

Let me recall those great words of Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, who speaks of the true Mason as "one who finds good in every faith, that helps any man to lay hold of divine things; who knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope; who has kept faith with himself with his fellow man, with his God; to those ears no voice of distress comes in vain, whose hand no other seeks without response; who feels the benign influence of Freemasonry in his very soul; who seeks to ennoble others and himself—In his hand a sword for evil; in his heart a bit of a song, glad to Live but not afraid do die."

Such a man has found the only real Secret of Masonry and the one which it is trying to give to all the world. Only such a man has found the Lost Word; only such a man has attained to the Sublime degree of Master Mason.

Courtesy of Bro Plante
(Great Grandson of Bro Harris PGM)

Masons Were Hotshots in Old Town

By Martha Churchill, Special Writer
Milan News-Leader
From The Rural Lodge Newsletter

The Masonic Temple got started in Milan, even though there already was a secret society in town. The Knights of Pythias had been organizing a wide variety of community activities before the Masons came along. The Knights were responsible for the parades, street entertainment and other activities to hold people together. The Knights of Pythias had another function, as well, and that was life insurance. Members of the organization paid certain amounts every month or so and, in return, there was a bang-up funeral for the person when he died. Not only did the Knights put on a fantastic funeral for its members, there was also a cash payment to the widow. he men in Milan really liked this homemade life insurance arrangement, and they also enjoyed running the town.

By the time Milan was incorporated as a village in 1885, there was a new organization in town to run things -- the Masonic Temple. For some reason, the Masons were attracted to third floor meeting rooms. On 19 March 1885, members James Gauntlett and Carlos Allen stopped off at the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Milan, and spoke to Mell Barnes, the bank's founder. They were buying fire insurance. With a third floor meeting room in a wood building, fire insurance was a smart idea.

Barnes had more than one fire insurance company to sell at the time, and his choice for the Masonic Temple was the Insurance Company of North America. Barnes wrote all the details into his fire insurance ledger book. Masonic Lodge #323, he wrote. The lodge was situated in a three-story frame building on the east side of River Street, now Wabash Street. The insurance policy cost only $26 for the year, covering all of their carpets, "paraphernalia," pump organ, framed pictures and so forth.

Where was that wood building? It was probably in the same space where the Chase Bank is today. According to the fire insurance ledger, the Masons bought more fire insurance in 1889 and 1890.

This was a wise decision, and unfortunately it paid off. A small handwritten note in the fire ledger says there was a "loss" 27 October 1891. Apparently, the wood building burned to the ground. The insurance company paid off the damage in November, in the amount of $440 for the "paraphernalia" and other items.

I suspect Alfred E Putnam built his two-story brick building for his dry goods store on that same spot. His building was later occupied by the bank. This year marks the 100-year anniversary for that bank opening its doors in Milan in that same location. When the bank first opened, it was called the Milan State Savings Bank.

By 1892, the Masonic Temple brotherhood was ready for a new location. After renting the third floor in the wooden building, it seemed natural for them to rent the third floor in a new downtown building. The landlord, Simon Gay, and his son, Edward, designed the double-wide brick sky scraper with the Masons in mind.The front of the building still has the Masonic symbol engraved in stone.

The men in this Masonic Temple portrait were all movers and shakers of Milan at the time. My friend Ron Morey helped me identify these men with full first name and occupation, when I had only their initials. The first one in front, starting on the left, is Orin Kelley. He owned a hardware store at 9 W. Main St., where you can buy a cup of coffee today. Kelley sold paint, stoves, tinware, pumps, windmills and farm implements. If he didn't have it in his store, he probably knew where to find it.

The next brother is Edward Warner, York Township supervisor. It was no accident that the Masonic Temple had members who served as village president and some who ran the nearby townships. To heck with public meetings, just go to the Masonic Temple and make decisions for the community.

George Dennison is the next one. He was a teacher and a banker. Actually, almost everyone in this picture was a banker, because they bought substantial amounts of stock in the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Milan. It was no coincidence they also bought their insurance at the same bank.

Dennison served as Cashier of the F&M Bank, while William Henry Hack also purchased substantial stock in the bank. What a funny coincidence -- Dennison married Hack's daughter.

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Page XIX
Scotland: Rosslyn Chapel's Resurrection Revealed

From The Rural Lodge Newsletter

The Scotsman - Edinburgh, Scotland

IT is one of Scotland's most intriguing attractions, yet for years its true beauty has remained a mystery to the thousands of visitors who flock there each week. But now Rosslyn Chapel, which shot to international fame after featuring at the climax of the best-selling novel and film The Da Vinci Code, can finally be seen in all its glory again after the final pieces of its protective "cage" were removed.

For 14 years the architectural masterpiece in Midlothian was surrounded by tonnes of scaffolding and a steel canopy to protect its crumbling roof. Visitors had to clamber up a steel walkway to get a close look at the building, which will have newly landscaped grounds in the next few weeks to celebrate its restoration. The grounds of the chapel may still resemble something of a building site as the building is still halfway through the £9 million programme, but the trust responsible for its upkeep heralded yesterday's removal of the last major scaffolding from the chapel as key milestone.

Colin Glyne-Percy, director of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, which started planning the refurbishment in the wake of a surge in visitors after the success of Dan Brown's 2004 novel and the subsequent Tom Hanks blockbuster movie, said: "It's a hugely exciting moment for us. No-one has had a proper view of the building for 14 years as the protecting covering had to be kept in place for so long to ensure the original roof was dried out, while we put a fundraising plan together. “We went right back to the original stonework to ensure it was fully restored and the new watertight roof ensures that the roof is properly preserved underneath. We think the removal of the canopy structure and the scaffolding will generate more interest in the chapel. “We had just 40,000 visitors a year before then, and although it reached a peak of 175,000 visitors we still had 136,000 through the doors last year, and we can still attract 1,100 visitors on a good day."

By next spring, when a new visitor centre next is due to be unveiled, the chapel's stained-glass windows and organ will be fully restored, and new heating and lighting equipment will have been installed. By the end of the following year, all the stonework in the building will have been repaired. Painstaking work to restore the original 15th-century roof has recently been completed, while a new metal covering has been installed to fully protect it from the elements.

Extensive weatherproofing was installed in 1996 after experts found the chapel, which dates from 1446, was decaying badly because of water leaking through its ornate roof. Damage due to dampness was found throughout the building, which has been linked to the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail and Freemasonry. Nic Boyes, an Edinburgh-based stone conservation expert who has masterminded restoration efforts, said: "A temporary protective covering had been over the chapel roof in the 1950s, but the asphalt had cracked and shrunk since then and was letting in quite a lot of water, and making the building really damp and cold. You have to remember that we are talking about a 550-year-old building and it really was beginning to suffer a lot of decay. It really was in a poor condition 14 years ago."

Movie magic

Work to safeguard the chapel's future began in 2004. Scaffolding, put in place eight years earlier, was only seen as a protective measure. Such was the fragile condition of the building, that the scaffolding and roof canopy had to remain in place during the filming of The DaVinci Code, leaving film-makers to use computer graphics to show the chapel.

Treasures of Cork Past and Present Opened Up To Public

By BARRY ROCHE Southern Correspondent

CORKONIANS WILL get a chance to step back in time next weekend when some of the city’s most historic buildings are opened to the public in a series of guided tours and talks as part of Cork Heritage Open Day on Saturday August 28th.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Michael O’Connell said the Heritage Open Day provided a unique opportunity for Corkonians to visit some of the city’s most noted buildings, buildings which are rarely open to the public, as well as exploring other fascinating aspects of the city’s past.

“For the first time ever, we’re opening up the Lord Mayor’s office here in City Hall and I will be telling the story of Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney and the fact that the portraits we have of both men were donated by another former lord mayor, Gerald Goldberg.

“We have many of the oldest buildings in the city being opened to the public, but we also have some of the newest like the extension here to City Hall, the Elysian Tower and the penthouse suite on the Clarion Hotel so there’s a great mix of old and new.”

Among the historic buildings open to the public on Saturday next are the Masonic Hall on Tuckey Street, which has been the home of Freemasonry in Cork since 1844 and the Unitarian Church on Princes Street, the oldest documented surviving building in the city.

Local historian Liam Ó hUigín will give a guided tour of the old walls of the city, while there will also be tours of Cork City Hall and the Washington Street courthouse. Another local historian Ronnie Herlihy will give a guided tour of St Joseph’s Cemetery in Ballyphehane where temperance campaigner Fr Matthew is buried.

Among the other events planned is a screening of a film by pioneering British filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon, who visited Cork in the early 1900s, which is being shown in the Civic Trust House on Pope’s Quay.

Meanwhile, the Cork Vision Centre on North Main Street will host Echoes of the Past , a series of black and white photographs over the past 100 years and the Traveller Visibility Group will host a photographic exhibition at the City Public Museum in Fitzgerald’s Park. Among the events planned for children is a bug and nature hunt in Fitzgerald’s Park and a fun family tour in the Crawford Art Gallery. For further information log on to

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Page XX
The Odds At The End

The Chalk Guy

Julian Beever is an English artist who is famous for his art on the pavements of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Its peculiarity?  

Beever gives his drawings an anamorphosis view, his images are drawn in such a way which gives them three dimensionality when viewing from the correct angle. It's amazing !!!

Drawn On A Flat Sidewalk With Colored Chalk.

More Voices From The Past

For those old enough to remember the days before Facebook…

Don't lose that button; I'll sew it back on as soon as I can.
Get out from under the sewing machine; pumping it messes up the thread!
Be sure and fill the lamps this morning so we don't have to do that tonight in the dark.
Here, take this old magazine to the out house with you when you go, we are almost out of paper out there.
Don't turn the radio on now, I want the battery to be up when the Grand Ole Opry comes on.
No! I don't have 10 cents for you to go to the show. Do you think money grows on trees?
Eat those turnips, they'll make you big and strong like your daddy.
That dog is not coming in this house! I don't care how cold it is out there, dogs don't stay in the house.
Sit still! I'm trying to get your hair cut straight!
I don't want to hear words like that! I'll wash your mouth out with soap!
It is time for your system to be cleaned out. I am going to give you a dose of castor oil tonight.
If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you'll get another one when you get home.
Quit crossing your eyes! They'll get stuck that way!
Soak your foot in this pan of kerosene so that cut won't get infected.
When you take your driving test, don't forget to signal each turn. Left arm straight out the window for a left turn; left arm bent up at the elbow for a right turn; and straight down to the side of the door when you are going to stop.
… and it's 'Yes Ma'am!' and 'No Ma'am!' to me, young man, and don't you forget it!

Cow Pokes

The Pencil Guy

Boris Rasin is an artist who lives and works in New York City. He is not a Freemaon yet, but he "has a keen interest in the rich history and imagery of Freemasonry" and at the edge of asking for a petition.

He is currently developing a body of drawings inspired by old lodge portraits. For years the mysterious black and white images of strangely bearded and mustached men, adorned in aprons, jewels and oriental costumes have fascinated him. He is currently making meticulous pencil drawings inspired by some of his favorite found photographs from that era. He hope to eventually mount an art show at a local lodge and evently become a professional portrait artist.

The Banquet


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