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The Waller Masonic Lodge
#808 AF & AM   E-Newsletter

February 2007

The Annual Valentine Party

Waller Masonic Lodge will be having our annual Valentine Party this Saturday February 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm for our families and members of the Waller Chapter of the Eastern Star.

As usual, the motivation behind the party will be to let the ladies in our lives know we love them, so bring your wife or significant other and the other girl type people in your life.

A meal will be furnished by the Lodge, however if anyone would like to bring a desert it would be appreciated. ?

By by George H. T. French

Three Masons spent a morning round a dining room table. One was Brother Harry Carr, the great Masonic scholar, on his recent visit to Houston, Texas. The conversation, almost a monologue, dealt with the Hebraic origin of some Masonic words. Herewith some enlightening information gleaned concerning the word Abif.

It is difficult for many Master Masons to understand that the Legend of Hiram Abif is not a historical event. Jesus taught lessons using parables in which the action wove round fictional or created characters. Aesop did his teaching with animals that spoke and acted. Freemasonry teaches its lessons by making historical characters, such as Hiram Abif, a real person, participate in activities that have no historical basis. Hiram Abif was a real person, and is mentioned several times in the Old Testament.

A Biblical Character

In II Chronicles 2:13 Hiram Abif is mentioned in a letter from Hiram King of Tyre to King Solomon: "I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's." In a list of tools described in II Chron. 4:16 it states "The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to King Solomon for the house of the Lord." He is also mentioned in I Kings 7:13, 14 and 40.

Although written in a more outdated language, it is perhaps easier to understand the English Bible of Wycliffe, published in 1388, than the corresponding passages in the King James Authorized version. John Wycliffe put it this way: "I sente to you a prudent man and most Kunnynge Hyram my fader" II Chron. 2:13, and "Hyram the fader of Salomon made to hym alle vessels in ye hous of ye Lord" II Chron. 4:16.

Hiram's Parents

These Biblical passages seem to say that Hiram was the father of Hiram King of Tyre and of King Solomon. Can that be so?

The Bible clearly tells us who were Hiram's parents. His mother was a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, I Kings 7:14, also described as a woman of the daughters of Dan, II Chron. 2:14. His father was a man of Tyre, I Kings 7:14; II Chron. 2:14. Therefore, he really could not have been the father of Hiram King of Tyre nor of King Solomon.

If such is the case, then "my father's" and "his father" must mean something other than carnal paternity. Yes, and such is the case.


Myles Coverdale, one of the leaders of the English Reformation, published, with William Tyndale, a Bible in English in the middle 1530's. In it Huram appears as Hiram, followed by Abif. This seems to be the only place, outside of the Masonic ritual, where the name appears printed in this way in English.

Going back to the original Hebrew, the name appears as "Huram Abi" and Huram Abif." Light begins to be shed on the mystery upon learning that "Ab" in Hebrew means father, "Abi" means my father, and "Abif" means his father.

Another relevant fact is that the Talmud uses "fathers" to mean distinguished teachers of the Law, and this in turn means that "father" was a title of honor and respect. It is used as such in the Old Testament in the following passages:

Genesis 45:8 says "He (the Lord) hath made me (Joseph) a father to Pharaoh." And Isaiah 22:21 says "I (the Lord) will call my servant Eliakim ... and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah." R. Tydeman, A.Q.C., 84, 192.

The Bible in Today's English uses the word "master" instead of the word "father," for some translators believe that the Hebrew word "Ab" could possibly mean "author," or "originator," or "master." Hence, in II Chron. 2:13 Hiram King of Tyre writes to King Solomon saying "I am sending you a wise and skillful master craftsman named Hiram." And in 77 Chron. 4:16 it is stated that "Huram the master craftsman made all these objects."

It would appear from all this that although the word "Abif" literally means "his father," it is used to convey a feeling of respect toward a leader or master.

Ritualistic Legend

From all this confusing mass of material, it appears that the name Hiram Abif appeared only once in an English Bible, and that was in a 1535 version that attained very limited popularity.

What is of still more importance is that the story of Hiram Abif's death and its consequences does not appear in the Bible.

Furthermore, there is no written evidence that we know of today that tells us of the Hiramic Legend before the eighteenth century. Neither in the Bible, nor in any Masonic document, nor anywhere else.

The intriguing point is that this notwithstanding, Anderson introduced Hiram Abif in his Constitutions of 1723, and, of even more importance still, the Freemasons of 1723 seemed to have been so acquainted with the name that Anderson did not feel the need to explain it in any way. Anderson mentions in his 1723 Constitutions that "Hiram, or Huram, was the most accomplished Mason on earth," and in the 1738 edition we are informed of the "sudden death of our dear Master Hiram Abif whom they decently interred in the lodge near the Temple according to ancient usage." But there is no hint of a tragedy.

One would be justified in believing that the name Hiram Abif was in regular use among Masons in the early 1700's, and had been received by attentive ears from the instructive tongues over the years, without benefit of the written word.

Finally, one could understand how Hiram Abif was incorporated into the Masonic ritual which was undergoing such important growth in the early 1700's. And how the tragedy appears printed in Samuel Prichard's 1730 exposure called "Masonry Dissected."?

Attention Waller County Shriners


Masonry During The War Between The States

The Civil War was the single most divisive event in our nation's long history. No other war, political event, or national crisis has ever approached the levels of animosity and hatred that the Civil War caused. Brother fought against brother. Fathers against sons. Families were forever split over the idealism of the War. They were not alone. Major national organizations, notably the Baptist Churches, also broke up over the issues of slavery and States' Rights. The War seemed to destroy the bonds of any organization it touched. ?

All the organizations, that is, except one: Freemasonry. While the War raged around them, Freemasons held on to the ties and the idealism that brought them together in the first place. Thousands of Masons fought in the War, and many died. But the tenets of the Craft, those ideals and moral codes that we, as Freemasons,[2] strive to abide by, were able to overcome the hatred and the animosity that the War generated.?

There are a number of reasons why Freemasons, more than other, was able to survive the tumult of the Civil War. A major reason is the long and storied history of the Craft. The beliefs and tenets of the Lodge predate not only the Civil War, but the Constitution, the discovery of the New World, and, according to some, even the birth of Christ. When a tradition of that many years exists, it is difficult to ignore. ?

A second reason why Masonry held together is that membership in a Masonic Lodge is by choice only. No man has ever been recruited into joining a Lodge. Our rules in fact prohibit Masons from actively pursuing someone for initiation. Instead, a man interested in becoming a Mason must, "of his own free will and accord," actively seek out a member of the Lodge which he wishes to join and ask him for a petition for membership. ?

The third reason is the structure of the Craft itself. There are a number of internal rules and customs that helped the Lodge as a whole avoid the turbulent politics and divisiveness of the War. This allowed the Lodge to continue to function as a place a man could go when he needed help, or a quiet haven from the storms that raged outside the Craft. It was then, and continues to be today, a place where true brotherhood exists.

A Polish immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver's license.

But, first, of course, he had to take an eye test.

The optician showed him a card with the letters:

"C Z W I X N O S T A C Z."

"Can you read this?" the optician asked.

"Read it?" the Polish guy replied, "Of course I can. He's my brother in law."

Waller Member's News

Worshipful Master Wes Mersiovsky has been under the weather, but is now feeling better.

Brother C.L. Garrett is (as last heard) is in the Kindred Northwest convalescence home. You can visit or send a card to; C.L. Garrett # 319. C/O Kindred Northwest, 11297 Fallbrook, Houston, TX 77065

Brother Ed Locklear (as of last contact) has Bronchitis again. Ed claims he was healthier when he smoked. (He wasn't that old back then either.)

Mrs. Frankie "Tookie" Wren celebrated her 90th. birthday Feb 3rd..

Brother "Bob" Scarborough is limping around. (Maybe we can get a group discount on new knees.)

Freemasons Care

We care about our own development as men and Masons. We care about our country. We care about our individual faiths. We care about the poor, the sick, the helpless and the hopeless.

And, especially, we care about our families. We care about our wives as independent, equal partners in life. We care about our children, not only because they represent the hope for tomorrow but as growing, developing individuals who must be given every possible chance to be everything they can be.

Celebrations For February

Masonic Anniversaries
Floyd Dennison 57
John W. Reese, Jr. 49
C. J. Rose 30
Michael W. Risley28
Ted W. Wren, III 9
Happy Birthday To
John L Thompson 79
Wayne Shultz 78
George A. Chudleigh 76
Harold A. Thomas63
James B. Riley 50
Mark L. Seeman 45

This Month's Humor

An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years.

He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%.

The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again."

The gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to their conversations. I've already changed my will three times!"

Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says: "Slim, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?"

Slim says, "I feel just like a newborn baby."

"Really!? Like a newborn baby!?"

"Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants."

Why Not, The Knights Templar?

By John "Corky" Daut P.M.

Since no historian, Masonic or non-Mason, knows the true beginnings of Freemasonry, why is it hard for so many historians to believe that Freemasonry was an alternative continuation or conversion of the Knights Templar? Actually a few historians did, such as John Robinson in Born in Blood and Dr. Robert Lomas in The Origins of Freemasonry

The following are some of the pieces of evidence that all Masons should consider.

On Friday the thirteenth of October 1307, Jaques de Molay Grand Master of the Templars, and sixty of his senior knights were arrested in Paris: simultaneously many thousands of other Templars were arrested throughout the realm of France. A few escaped arrest and once the word got out the remainder simply fled.

Immediately after the first arrests the King's agents visited the Templar treasury. The great treasure which was the objective of outlawing and arresting the Templars, had vanished without trace, as had almost the entire Templar fleet French Masonic ritual indicates that Scotland was designated as the place of refuge or safe keeping for the Templar treasures.

In 1312, after the Council of Vienne, and under extreme pressure from King Philip IV, Pope Clement V issued an edict officially dissolving the Order. Many kings and nobles who had been supporting the Knights up until that time, finally acquiesced and dissolved the orders in their fiefs in accordance with the Papal command. Most, however, were not so brutal as the French. In England many Knights were arrested and tried, but not found guilty. And a few Templars had a relative safe haven in Scotland, since Robert the Bruce, the King of Scots, had already been excommunicated for other reasons, and was therefore not disposed to pay heed to Papal commands.

The layout of Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh Scotland, which was started in 1440, is an exact replica of the ground plan of the Third King Soloman's Temple, built in Jerusalem by Herod and destroyed in the First Century by the Romans.

Rosslyn Chapel was built by Sir William St Clair Last St Clair Jarl of Orkney. He was a direct descent of William de St Clair, the Last Temple Grand Master of Scotland to house artifacts brought by the Knights Templar to Scotland in 1126. Between 1118 and 1128 the Templars excavated the ruins of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem. This was proven in 1860 the British Army Engineers mounted an expedition to Jerusalem. They excavated beneath Temple Mount and found many deep tunnels in which they also found and recorded Templar artifacts.

There is a statue in the Rosslyn Chapel that was carved at the time the Chapel was being built. The figure shows a man kneeling between two pillars. He is blindfolded and has a running noose about his neck. His feet are in a strange and unnatural posture and in his left hand he holds a bible. The end of the rope about his neck is held by another man who is wearing the mantle of a Knight Templar. This was two hundred and seventy years before the claimed founding of the Craft in England.

Degrees in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite such as the Knight of Saint Andrew, the Knight of Rose-Croix, and the 32nd Degree in Consistory make reference to a "Masonic Knights Templar" connection.

A few more thoughts;

  • Why did the Templars completely disappear during the 1100's when they were in no danger in Scotland?

  • Why didn't Masonic Lodges develop in Europe until after they were developed in England. There were many times more Cathedrals being built in France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany and many times more stone masons in Europe?

  • You can understand how the Knights Templar may have required blood oaths from all members to prevent revealing any information about the order, since they were outlawed throughout the world by the Catholic Church, except in Scotland. But, why would stone masons need them to protect the secrets of building a church?

  • Why is the Masonic youth organization for young men, the Order of DeMolay, be named after the last Grand Master of the Templar order, Templar Jacques de Molay who was executed?

  • Why is the Masonic Knights Templar, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, and the largest Templar order in the world? The Order's efforts include the "Knights Templar Eye Foundation", and the "Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage".

  • Why is the Knights Templar the final order joined in the York Rite Masons. (Unlike other Masonic bodies which only require a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religion, membership in Knights Templar is open only to Master Masons who promise to defend the Christian faith, as did the original Knights Templar founded in the 12th Century .)
Actually, some historians have make the connection between the Knights Templar and Masonry, such as John Robinson in Born in Blood and Dr. Robert Lomas in The Origins of Freemasonry

The Famous Masons Series  

Harry Houdini

April 16, 1874 - October 31, 1926

Born Erich Weiss, Harry Houdini was a world famous escape artist and trapeze performer, as well as the inventor of the diving suit, and the first successful aviator in Australia.

Houdini was not alone among masonic magicians, a group which included such notables as Harry Keller, Howard Thurston, and Harry Blackstone.

His untimely death has been the topic of much folklore: his burst appendix was not caused by an earlier blow to his stomach nor did he collapse on stage.

Initiated: July 17, 1923
Passed: July 31, 1923
Raised: August 21, 1923
St. Cecile Lodge No. 568, New York

Burl Ives

June 14, 1909-April 14, 1995

June 14, 1909-April 14, 1995 World renowned performer on the concert and theater stage, in radio, film and television Burl Ives often performed for charities

Famous for such folk songs as "Jimmy Crack Corn," "Big Rock Candy Mountain" and "Blue Tail Fly," as well as for his lead role in the folksinging group "The Weavers," Ives also starred on stage throughout the United States and in Europe, and in such major motion pictures as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "The Big Country" for which he won an Academy Award. He also starred in the television comedy series "O.K. Crackerby" and the drama "The Bold One."

Initiated: 1977
Magnolia (now Magnolia-La Cumbre) Lodge No. 242

Joseph Rudyard Kipling

December 30, 1865 - January 18, 1936

Born in Bombay, India, Rudyard Kipling was educated in England, returning to India in 1882. As a poet, author, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907, he published over 80 stories and ballads. Most of his work celebrated the English Empire and its soldiers in India. Although only active masonically for a few years, Freemasonry's effect can be noted in many of his works

His autobiography also has a number of references to Freemasonry.

Initiated: April 5, 1886 (by dispensation)
Passed: May 3, 1886
Raised: December 6, 1886
Demitted: March 4, 1889
Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782. E.C. Lahore, India

Joined: July 8, 1909
Sociata Rosicruciana in Anglia

Honorary Member:
Author's Lodge No. 3456, E.C.
Motherland Lodge No. 3861, E.C.

Founding Member (January, 1922):
The Builders of the Silent Cities Lodge No. 12, St. Omer, France, F.R.

Initiated: ?

I recently discovered an excellent source of cartoons that were printed in newspapers during the 1900's, 1910's and 1920's. I thought we might enjoy seeing the "funnies" our grandparents enjoyed.

Pearl Harbor - Masonic Connections

The disastrous attack by Japan against the United States at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, resulted in some Masonic connections.

Henry C. Clausen, later to become the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S., was assigned in 1944 by the U.S. Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, to conduct one of the many investigations of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. (Lodge of the Double Headed Eagle, by William L. Fox, pages 321-322). He conducted his extensive investigation during 1944 and 1945, while he was in the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the U.S. Army, a Major and then Lieutenant Colonel.

Fox said that Clausen "concluded it was absurd to assume any complicity on the part of President Roosevelt or General George C. Marshall" for the Pearl Harbor attack, but instead Clausen blamed communications problems and an unworkable system of military intelligence. (Conspiracy theorists might say that Clausen, the Freemason, found that Roosevelt and Marshall, also Freemasons, were not to blame.)

In the book At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor, by Gordon W. Prange, which is the most extensive book about the attack, the author refers to Clausen's appointment to investigate the Pearl Harbor attack saying that Stimson "had an excellent eye for a good man and could recognize efficiency when he saw it." He also says: "Clausen's judicious gaze reflected the astute lawyer which he was. Something in his eyes also revealed a touch of the mystic, a quality which led him to become a deeply committed Freemason of the thirty-third Degree." (page 668)

In Clausen's own book about his Pearl Harbor investigation, Pearl Harbor: Final Judgement, with Bruce Lee, published in 1992, shortly before his death, Clausen mentioned Freemasonry several times.

At pages 56-57 he wrote: "So I called upon Harry Truman and met him for the first time. He was cooperative, but stiffer and more formal than I had expected. . . . he didn't respond with any enthusiasm. Then I told him: "When you were the Grand Master of the Masons in Missouri, I was Grand Orator of the Masonic Grand Lodge of California." Hearing this, Truman literally jumped up from his chair, came around the desk and began shaking my hand vigorously. "You'll have my complete cooperation, Henry," he promised, and he immediately began to put his words into action."

At page 149 he wrote:

". . . MacArthur asked me some personal questions. I told him that when the war began, I had been the Grand Orator of the Masonic Grand Lodge of California, and I congratulated him, as I later did President Truman, on being made a thirty-third-degree Scottish Rite Mason. "He kept me in his office for nearly another hour, talking about how to expand in the Far East the moral principles of Freemasonry. Every dictator in history has tried to put the Masons out of business because they believe in freedom. MacArthur was positive that Hitler had poisoned the minds of the Japanese against the Masonic Order for this very reason, and that was why even the Constitution of Japan forbade anyone from joining the order. MacArthur promised me that if and when he got to Japan, he was going to make sure that provision was eliminated from any future Constitution. He did, too.

"'Since we're talking in this fashion,' I said, 'may I tell you about the plight of some Masonic people in Manila? . . . Would there be any objection, General, to my using the military mail to send over some implements that are used to start up the Masonic Lodge, items such as rods, Bibles and so forth?' 'Absolutely not,' MacArthur said. 'I'm a Mason. My G-2, Willoughby, is a Mason. We'll make the arrangements for you.'

"Well, Willoughby went overboard. He told me to send anything I wanted. . . . MacArthur was also instrumental in getting confiscated property in Manila and Japan returned to the Masons, and the Order has had the basis to flourish in both places and inculcate the spiritual values MacArthur recommended."

Perhaps because of these comments, in Scapegoats: A Defense of Kimmel and Short at Pearl Harbor, by Edward L. Beach, the author, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, said that Clausen's book particularly faulted Admiral Kimmel and General Short for what happened at Pearl Harbor and other U.S. areas in December 1941, and layed qualified blame on President Roosevelt. (page 149)

"Significantly, he places no fault on either General Marshall or General MacArthur but took pleasure insofar as General MacArthur was concerned in the fortuitous fact that he and MacArthur were both thirty-second degree Masons. As he explains it, this fact itself exonerates MacArthur of any fault."

Masons, both young and old can still benefit from the "Old Tiler Talks" stories that started in 1921. It's funny how these stories (lessons) that taught our Masonic grandfathers, are just as significant today as they were 80 years ago. The book with with 70 of the "Old Tiler Talks" stories and 2 other Carl Claudy Masonic books may still be purchased from Temple Books

Keepers Of The Door
By Carl Claudy

From the Old Tiler's Talk - by Carl H. Claudy, The Temple Publishers

"Darn the luck! I am assigned on a petition again and I am going fishing tomorrow!" The New Brother looked dolefully at his notification slip.

"Why not see the applicant the next day?" asked the Old Tyler.

"Because he is going out of town. I got to see him tomorrow or else. And I want to go fishing. This committee stuff makes me tired, anyway. Say, if I get the Master to change my name to yours, will you do it for me?"

"Why, of course," answered the Old Tyler. "I am always proud to be one of the Keepers of the Door."

"Now that," said the New Brother, "sounds both interesting and dangerous. It's interesting, because I don't understand it, and experience has taught me that when I come at you below the belt, as it were, I usually get kicked pronto and unexpectedly. Please explain the door which you like to keep, where the honor is, what me and my committee work have to do with it, and remember that I am a poor orphan che-ild alone in the wild anteroom with a raging Old Tyler, and not to be too hard on me?"

The Old Tyler did not smile. "I would laugh," he confessed, "only it's Masonry you are jesting about and it's not a jest. Yes, I will tell you about the door. I wish I could speak the word in capital letter."

"Masonry is a structure of brotherly love, relief and truth, cemented with affection, erected on a square to God, and towering miles high above puny humanity, its foibles and its failings. Masonry is a structure of which we, its humble builders, are proud, because we know that we have built better than we knew. We have so built, partly because we have had help from so many men of so many past ages, and partly because we have had help we could neither see nor understand."

"Some look at our temple of Masonry and wonder. Some look, shrug shoulders and pass by. Some look at our temple of Masonry and see it not; others gaze on it and seek to enter."

"In this country there are nearly 16,000 doors to our temple of Masonry, through one of which a man must pass who would see it from the inside. There are so many doors in order that any man who desires, and who is fit, may find the door which is easy for him to enter. It is not true that it is 'hard to be as Mason."

"We only ask that an applicant be free-born, of age, a man, and of good character. He may be high or low, rich or poor, great or obscure, famous or unknown. If he is a good man we want him to see our temple from the inside as soon as he expresses a desire to do so."

"So we have 16,000 lodges -doors- to our temple of Masonry, that no man can say he came not in because he could not find a way."

"Certain things a man must do, inside our temple, and in a certain way he must live. If he lives the life, the temple is stronger. If he does not live the life, the temple is weakened."

"Hence, Keepers of the Door. Like any other symbol in Masonry, they are three; three brethren to keep each door safe, sacred and undefiled from the footsteps of evil men, self-seekers, the wicked, the blasphemous, the immoral. Those three who keep each door are not assigned to it for any length of time."

"Not theirs a service which may become onerous from time-taking and effort. The Master appoints three Keepers of the Door for every man who tries to enter. Today there is you and John and Jim. Tomorrow it will be George and Jack and Will. The next day another three will keep the door, if any man raps upon it."

"With due humility, but infinite pride, I am the Guardian of the Locked Door. As Tyler I suffer none to pass within who have not the right. But the open door no one man may guard; it takes three."

"You were appointed tonight as one of those three. Some one has rapped at the door and now it stands ajar. To you it has been said, 'Keep thou the door; keep thou the faith; keep thou this thy temple pure and undefiled.'"

"You do not want to labor. You want to go fishing. You ask me if I will do your work for you and I answer you, gladly, if so the Master shall find me worthy of the honor."

"I shan't ask him," he answered low. "I am ashamed. I didn't understand. I am not, I know, worthy of the honor, but as well as I know how, I will keep the door.."

"I thought you might," smiled the Old Tyler. "After all, no one will catch all the fish; there will be some left for you some other time."

"Not if it interferes with being Keeper of the Door," answered the New Brother vigorously.

See You Next Month

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Copyright © 2007 Waller Masonic Lodge #808 AF & AM.