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

             April 2007

Lead Stories

I confess that I am a Born Again, Fundamentalist, and Freemason.

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Was General Santa Anna’s Life Saved Because He Was A Freemason?

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For many years as a member of the Craft, I was guilty of believing that Masonry would always remain the same

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. . . views on John J. Robinson's two books, "Pilgrim's Path" and "Blood in Blood."

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The Editors Corner

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This Months Humor

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This Months Funnies

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The Famous Masons Series

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The "Old Tiler Talks" Series

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Brother David M. Rattray

Brother David M. Rattray of Waller Lodge was born July 17, 1929 and passed away Saturday March 31, 2007. He was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason over 32 years ago on June 29, 1974.

The funeral service will be held at the Cannon Funeral Home Saturday the 7th of April at 10:00 am. We will meet at the Lodge at approximately 9:00 am to gather the items needed for a Masonic funeral. The Waller chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will handle the military section of the funeral.

Brother Rattray will be buried at the Waller Cemetery. There will be a “Potluck” dinner at the Waller Lodge after the graveside service. The Brothers are ask to bring a covered dish to the lodge for the dinner. It would help if we let the Worshipful Master know what we are bringing ahead of time so the Lodge can make up for short food items.

Confessions of a Born Again Fundamentalist, Freemason
By Nelson King, FPS

I confess that I am a Born Again, Fundamentalist, and Freemason.

Now before you have a cardiac arrest, or a stroke, let me explain what a Born Again, Fundamentalist, Freemason is.

I used to be a very [for want of a better word] liberal Mason. I am now a very Conservative or Traditionalist, Freemason. Therefore, I am Born Again. By Fundamentalist, I mean that I believe that no one has a right to be a Freemason.

I believe those who want to be Freemasons must be good and true men, free born and of a mature and discreet age and sound judgment, no bondsmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, only men of good report.

I believe that a man who wants to be a Freemason must believe in the existence of God, and take his Obligation on Volume of The Sacred Law of his choice and that he owes a duty to that God and to his fellow man no matter what their creed, color, or religion.

I believe that a Freemason is obliged to obey the moral and civil law.

I believe that a man's religion or mode of worship should not exclude him from the Order of Freemasonry, provided he also believes in the Existence of a Supreme Being, and that the Supreme Being will punish vice and .reward virtue.

I believe that a Freemason is bound never to act against the dictates of his conscience. I believe that Freemasonry is the center of union between honest men and the happy means of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

I believe a Freemason's Lodge is the temple of peace, harmony, and brotherly love; nothing is allowed to enter this Lodge which has the remotest tendency to disturb the quietude of its pursuits.

I believe all preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only, therefore no Brother should be passed chair to chair, whether it is in a Lodge or a Grand Lodge, just because he knows the right people or has held the previous office for one year, no Grand Master, Master or Warden is chosen by seniority, but only for his merit. I believe that there is nothing wrong with Freemasonry, as laid down for our instruction in our Ancient Charges.

I am a Born Again Fundamentalist, Freemason. 

Bill and Doug were sitting on a riverbank fishing. They look up at the bridge next to them and see a funeral procession passing over it. Bill stands up, takes his hat off, holds it over his heart and bows.

Doug said. "That was a very nice thing to do." "Well," Bill replies," . . . we were married for 20 years."

It’s Happening At Waller Lodge
By "Corky"

Nearly Finished
Brothers, If you weren’t at the March stated meeting you should make it a point to be at the next one, so you can see the improvements. The old front foyer, hallway, the closets (the original restrooms), and trophy room (the original kitchen) are now one big open reception room with showcases, plaques, awards photos and even places to sit and talk. Besides being 3 times as big, it has new paint, a new ceiling, a new floor, new light fixtures and even crown molding. And, even better, now people can pass each other between the front door and the dining room without having to turn sideways.

A big thank you to “Wes” and “Liz” Mersiovsky, Calvin Trapp and Regan Rape. With their free labor, everything including the big dining room storage closet only cost $704, probably about 25% of what it would have cost to hire a contractor.

In order to make it the warm hospitable area we can all enjoy, the Worshipful Master has ask if anyone has any of the following items they would like to donate or furnish for the Lodge. a hat/coat rack (brass or wood), some small end tables, a couple of wing-back chairs (blue or gray preferred), artificial tree (tall and narrow). And, any donations to the building expenses would be appreciated. If you have a donation, please call “Wes” at (936) 372-9172 or at (281) 330-7008

D.D.G.M. Robert Byrd was welcomed at the March stated for his official visit to Waller Lodge. He checked on the Lodge’s record keeping and participation in the different programs set up by Grand Lodge. “Bob” Scarborough and “Corky” Daut were given high marks for the Lodge’s records.

He also had high praise for the newly remodeled reception room with it’s warm and inviting look.

The main message he brought from the Grand Master was that the Lodges should give more support to our new E.A. and Fellowcraft members and to let them know that they are Masons and Brothers.

Brothers “Bob” Scarborough as the oldest and Brack Whitehead as the youngest Masons present received the 2007 Grand Master’s pin. W.M. “Wes” Mersiovsky received one just for being the W.M..

Betty Locklear, Ed’s wife, had dinner with us at the Lodge at the March stated meeting night, She seemed pretty perky for someone recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor.

The Monday study nights have been pretty active lately. Future candidates to fill next years chairs are working hard to polish up their parts and our degree team is working hard to get ready for a Fellowcraft degree that’s coming up soon.

Brothers “Wes” Mersiovsky, Jim Brown, John Reese and I visited Hempstead Masonic Lodge for the March stated meeting to hear D.D.G.M. Robert Byrd’s visit.

I really enjoyed visiting with some of the regulars including Brothers John R. Hammack Roy Shields, Kenneth Harvey and Junior Bridges.

We also got to visit with old timers “Doug” Holloman and Robert and Kevin McWilliams who I hadn’t seen in Lodge for a few years. And, of course there were our four Waller Lodge Brothers who are dual members and officers at Hempstead Lodge, Worshipful Master “Bubba” Schiel, Treasurer Roy Shields, Junior Deacon “Bob Podvin and Chaplin “Ed” Locklear.

Deeply missed was Secretary, P.M. Kelly Cox.

Was General Santa Anna’s Life Saved Because He Was A Mason?

That question often comes up in April. San Jacinto Day on April 21, celebrates the day in 1836 when Texas won it’s freedom from Mexico. The question was why the Mexican General Santa Anna was not executed after his defeat at San Jacinto. After the atrocities at Goliad and the Alamo, most Texans felt he deserved to die.

Santa Anna attempted to sneak away during the turmoil of the battle, but his horse bogged down in Vince's Bayou. He found some clothing and hid out during the night. The next day, some of the Texans who were looking for stragglers, picked him up but did not realize that he was a prize catch. When he was grouped with other prisoners, some of them saluted and addressed him as "El Presidente," and his captors took him directly to General Sam Houston.

William R. Denslow, author of 10,000 Famous Freemasons, writes: "It is said that Santa Anna owed his life to the giving of the Masonic sign of distress, first to James A. Sylvester; secondly to Sam Houston; and thirdly, to a group of Texas soldiers, among whom were John A. Wharton, George W. Hockley, Richard Bache, Dr. J. E. Phelps and others.

In his book, Masons In Texas, History and Influence to 1846, Dr. James D. Carter holds another view: "It may be that Masons saved the life of Santa Anna but if so, they did not act because he made claim to their mercy as a Masons All of the Masons to whom he appealed knew that Santa Anna had previously disowned Masonry; that further, his many offenses against Texas and Mexican Masons had placed him outside the protection of any Masonic obligation. Santa Anna’s life was saved because the Texas leaders considered him worth more to Texas alive than dead."

That is probably the closest we have to the truth. Sam Houston and others, who could have ordered a military trial and convicted their foe of an infinite number of war crimes, however they knew their victory was tenuous at best, and executing Santa Anna would probably give him the martyrdom he did not deserve. And, they did not know who would replace him in the vacuum that would exist if he was executed.

Cooler heads prevailed and Santa Anna was spared, not because of any Masonic connection, but because it was the politically expedient thing to do.  

A Thought For The Day

"The American Indians found out what happens when you don't control immigration."

Masters, Wardens And Secretaries Association News

At the March meeting the new President Chris Ryland started a discussion about what the Lodges of District #108 expected and wanted from the association. A couple of items wanted was a District degree team and a District Masonic funeral team that all Lodges can call on when needed. It was decided to have degree team practice nights on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. The 3rd Wednesday practice would be after the regular meeting.

Another item would be to have some type of educational program at the regular meetings.

Meetings are held on the third Wednesdays of January, March, May, July, September and November. All Master Masons are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Wives are also welcomed.

Early Chinese Philosophy

In China the implements of architecture were used in a system of moral philosophy at a very early date. Mencius, who wrote about 300 B.C., said: "A master Mason, in teaching his apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of Wisdom, must also make use of the compasses and the square." In a book called Great Learning, 500 B.C., we find that "A man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do unto him; and this is called the principle of acting on the square."

Sources Of Liberty

"Two-thirds of the Masons of the world are to be found in North America, and have built upon the sure foundation of a belief in God. Since France removed the Holy Writings from its altars and struck from its ritual all reference to the Bible and a belief in and dependence upon the Supreme Being it has practically stood still, Masonically. With one-third the population of the United States, its three rival Grand Lodges have less members under their obedience than a single American grand jurisdiction. We refuse to acknowledge anyone as a brother Mason who does not put his trust in God. We cannot substitute for this, vague platitudes concerning 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.' They have not comprehended the source from which true liberty springs."

Celebrations For April

Masonic Anniversaries
John Lewis Thompson58
L C. White44
Leslie Kit Scruggs.31
George E. Talbott25
Richard J. Ventrca10
Happy Birthday To
C. L. Garrett94
Bart C. Harvey43
Thomas R. Rape41
Paul B. Cox40

This Month's Humor
A Non Mason

A ragged tramp stopped a Mason on his way home from the lodge and asked him for money for food.

"I'll do better than that!" said the Mason. "Come on into the bar, and I'll buy you a drink!"

"Thank you!" said the beggar. "But I've never drank alcohol and I never will!"

"Well then, let me buy you some cigarettes!" said the Mason.

"No, thanks!" said the tramp, "I've never smoked and I never will!"

"Okay", said the Mason. "Come over to the lodge with me and I'll see that you get a good meal!"

"No, thanks", said the man. "I've never entered a Masonic lodge and I never will!"

"OK then", said the Mason, "if I give you $10.00, will you come home with me and meet my wife!"

"Why?" asked the tramp.

"Well", said the Mason. "I just want her to see what happens to a guy who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke and hasn't joined the Masons!"


By Leo J. Ghirardi, Doric Lodge No. 205, Louisiana

Dear Brother Masons,

Are you satisfied with the status quo? For many years as a member of the Craft, I was guilty of believing that Masonry would always remain the same no matter what changes took place in our society. Now, without realizing it, time has changed to such a great degree that we are sidetracked by many other things we find ourselves pursuing outside our Lodges. We, who are guilty of believing that a missed lodge meeting doesn't matter, that I things will continue on regardless of our actions, are misleading ourselves In fact we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to Masonry.

Even with so many changes rapidly taking place all over the world, the fundamental principles of Freemasonry have not changed. However, we must admit that the modern world in which we live is changing in too many ways that are detrimental to the very fabric of our American way of life.

I must admit that I am not satisfied with the status quo. For example, I am displeased concerning the fact that we spend many hours educating candidates in the first two degrees only to have them fall by the wayside, never to be heard from again. I am well aware of how discouraging it is to work with and teach new candidates their degrees only to see these candidates who are now knowledgeable concerning many of our secrets of Masonry relate to others misinformation that will discourage their friends who might have had a desire to petition a lodge of Masonry.

I believe that the Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana should consider both the entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degrees, once received in our lodges, to be treated as permanent degrees. However, never should those two degrees in Masonry enjoy the rights and privileges that we enjoy as Master Masons. Keeping the new candidates interested in Masonry and exposed to Freemasonry is vital, for in time, they will have a desire to be raised to be raised sublime degree of a Master Mason. I know that we all agree with the tradition of never asking a man to join a lodge of Masonry. But for the good of Masonry we do owe it to ourselves to encourage the new candidates to continue in their Masonic education.

When any Lodge of Masonry loses a candidate who has been exposed to the secrets of our craft, that loss is the beginning of a domino effect that will be felt today and keep into the future of Masonry I must confess that I feel a personal guilt as a Master Mason when we lose a candidate. We must continue to reveal all of the wonderful mysteries of Freemasonry to all our new candidates and when we do, our Masonic principles are upgraded to such a high degree that no other organization in the world will ever be equal.

I challenge all Master Masons to encourage all new candidates to grow from infancy in Freemasonry to adulthood in our craft. We will always owe a debt of solemn gratitude to those who have carried the torch of Freemasonry since its beginnings. Now that it is time for us to carry the torch, we must make certain that the flame will never be extinguished because we failed to keep, our solemn obligations.

Thought For The Day:

Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections!

The Famous Masons Series  

Tom Mix

[Tom Mix ]

January 6, 1880 - October 12, 1940

One time bartender, cow hand and Texas Ranger, Thomas Edwin Mix was a superb marksman and rider who went on to become arguably the most important cowboy film star in Hollywood's history. Mix's career in movies famous for quick action and dare-devil stunts spanned 26 years from 1909 through 1935. Making 336 feature films, producing 88, writing 71 and directing 117, he made only nine sound feature films and the 15 chapter serial Miracle Rider before leaving film to tour with the Tom Mix Circus from 1936 to 1938. Dying in an auto accident in 1940, he remained popular on radio and in comic books for more than a decade after his death.

Mix was an active freemason, joining both the Royal Arch and Scottish Rite while also participating in the 233 Club, a Craft degree team composed of actors.

Raised: February 21, 1925
Utopia No. 537, California

Audie Leon Murphy

June 20, 1924 - May 28, 1971

Audie Murphy was the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II. After the war he moved to Hollywood; his first starring role came in a 1949 released film called Bad Boy. He went on to star in 44 feature films over the next 25 years. His 1949 autobiography To Hell And Back was a best seller. Murphy starred as himself in the 1955 film version which held the record as Universal's highest grossing picture until 1975 when it was finally surpassed by Jaws.

He was also a successful thoroughbred and quarterhorse racehorse owner and breeder, having interests in such great horses as "Depth Charge." Audie Murphy wrote some poetry and was quite successful as a songwriter.

In a effort to draw attention to the problems of returning Korean and Vietnam War veterans, Audie Murphy spoke out candidly about his personal problems with PTS, then known as "Battle Fatigue".

Raised: 1950
Hollywood Lodge No. 542, North Hollywood, Calif.

James Cash Penney

September 16, 1875 - February 12, 1971

Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.

Opening his first department store on April 14, 1902, J.C. Penney went public in 1927, giving all his store managers shares and later including all his employees in corporate profit-sharing. By 1971 J.C. Penney's had 1660 stores in North America.

A devout Christian—he published 50 Years with the Golden Rule (1950)—he gave generously to his favorite charities, establishing a 120,000 acre scientific farming community in Florida, the Memorial Home Community, a 60-acre residential community for retired ministers, lay church workers, missionaries, their wives and families, and the J.C. Penney Foundation to assist religious, scientific and educational projects. In 1954 he established the James C. Penney Foundation to support organizations addressing issues of community renewal, the environment, and world peace. In 1957, Penney became a charter member of the Distributive Education Clubs of America, helped found and funded Junior Achievement Clubs, and endowed a chair at Westminster College in Missouri. A few years before his death he donated his Guernsey herd and a large endowment to the University of Missouri for the support of improved dairy farming.

Initiated: Wasatch Lodge No. 1, Salt Lake City


The Internet is being used increasingly in creating a network of Masons around the world. Recently two members exchanged views on John J. Robinson's two books, "Pilgrim's Path" and "Blood in Blood."

Ken Hawn wrote:

Brothers, John Robinson's "Born in Blood" concept has given Freemasonry something to think about. It was the first book that I read about Masonry. While there is not hard evidence that Masonry developed from the Knights Templar, there is certainly a lot of circumstantial evidence.

I will quote a brief section from "A Pilgrim's Path": "I must admit that I began my own research with the conviction that Freemasonry's original purposes had to be more serious than a social club, attached to a guild of stone cutters. That did not seem a likely reason for starting a secret organization that was to survive and spread for hundreds of years. I had only one fixed point, the Regius Manuscript dating from about 1390. The manuscript seems to establish that there was Freemasonry or a predecessor in fourteenth-century Britain. The implausibility of the theory of origins in medieval stonemason's guilds became apparent after my research in England clearly established that there were no guilds of stonemasons in fourteenth-century Britain." The first stonemason's guild was not documented until two hundred years late in the sixteenth century. If Robinson is correct it would be plausible that the Templars used the guilds as a cover. My opinion (and that is all it is) is that Freemasonry does indeed have some connection with the stonemason guilds of Britain, but they had long ago been infiltrated by the Templars. Just my 2 cents. Fraternal Regards. Ken Hawn.

Robert Berger wrote:

I am in midst of rereading "Born in Blood" for the umpteenth time. The lack of documentation of Robinson's theories is definitely one problem. The fact that Robinson later admitted that he was wrong about the part of the ritual having to do with pirates and corsairs is another. On the other hand, however, some of his analysis makes sense even without documentation. First, his argument that a guild of stonemasons would not need the type of oaths Masons take makes sense. Why wouldn't other guilds also have similar oaths? I think that Robinson's conclusion that Masonic oaths fit in with a group on the run rather than a stationary guild of stone masons is at least plausible. Second, his argument the fact that Masonry is historically non-denominational does not fit with a medieval guild (of any kind) who were well known (and well documented) to be very religious. Further, the finding of Templar graves in remote areas of Scotland lends credence to Robinson's arguments that some Templar's probably fled from England to Scotland and in doing so created a mutual aid society.

Robert M. Berger, Senior Warden, Home Lodge No. 721, Van Nuys, CA.

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.

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

A Mason
By Carl Claudy

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

"I am much disappointed," announced the New Brother, sadly, sitting down beside the Old Tyler during refreshment.

"Disappointed in what?" asked the wielder of the sword.

"Why, Masonry in general, and this lodge in particular," answered the New Brother. "Neither are what I thought they were."

"That's too bad," sympathized the Old Tyler. "Tell me about it."

"My dad was a Mason. He told me how helpful Masonry was and how a lodge stood back of a fellow, and how one brother would go out of his way to help another, and if you were in trouble, a brother would help you out of it. I believed it. But I have been a member here now for some time, and I have seen none of that."

"Been in trouble, son?" asked the Old Tyler.

"I suppose everyone has some troubles."

"Have you been in any real trouble, in which you could have been aided by the lodge had the lodge known of it?"

"That isn't the question," answered the New Brother.

"No, I agree it isn't. So I will ask you the real question," said the Old Tiler, and his lips lost their smile. "How many brothers have you helped since you have been a member? How many shoulders have you slapped? How many men have you gone to and said," Jim, I know you are in trouble, count me in to help because we both belong to the same lodge?"

"Why, how you talk!" replied the New Brother. "I hardly know anyone in the lodge, yet. How would I know whether they were in trouble?"

"The same way they would know if you were in trouble, of course!" answered the Old Tyler. "I am a old man and I have had a lot of trouble, most of which never happened. You complain that Masonry is a failure because you have not personally experienced its helping hand. You admit you haven't needed it. And you also admit you haven't held it out. Brotherhood means the relation between two brothers, not the relation of one brother to another and no comeback. If you can't be a brother, how do you expect a man to be a brother to you? You ask me how you would know if a brother is in trouble. How does anyone know?

"Here are some stories I heard last week. Brother A, of this lodge, lost his wife two weeks ago. It was in the papers. Two brothers of this lodge sent their wives to his house to look after his children until he could make arrangements for a nurse. Another brother of this lodge failed in business. Lodge action wasn't necessary, but two bankers and a business man went to the poor failure and staked him, and put him on his feet. A brother of this lodge has a boy who is wild. Last week the boy went joy riding with too much hooch in him and smashed up a car which didn't belong to him. The owner wanted to put the boy in jail, where he belonged, but a brother of this lodge took the responsibility on himself, sent the boy to a farm during good behavior, saved the father from a broken heart and maybe society from a criminal. The home of a brother of this lodge burned down last month. It wasn't insured. He had just paid for it. Ten brothers of this lodge financed his new house; he will pay a dollar a week for life, or something, but he had fraternal help. Three brothers in the lodge tonight are out of work, and with little money. Before they go away someone will see that they get a chance."

"But how do brothers know other brothers are in trouble? They don't get up in lodge and tell it!"

"How did you expect people were going to come and help you if you didn't let them know you needed help?" countered the Old Tyler.

"Why, I just thought maybe someone would have enough interest in me to know..."

"Have you had enough interest in your brethren to know when they were in trouble?"


"You needn't answer. In every lodge are the 'gimme's' and the 'lemme's.' The 'gimme's' are those who want things done, and the 'lemme's' do them. In every lodge are the 'have's' and the 'haven'ts.' It's up to the 'have's' to share with the 'haven'ts.' I take it you are naturally a 'have.' You have money, clothes, a good position. You are not in need of help from your brother. But some brethren are in need of help from you. It may be a dollar, advice, a word to an influential friend, a loan, it may be some of the things I have told you about. If brotherhood is to mean what you hoped it won't be because you get it, but because you give it. A Masonic lodge should never be an organization from which a man expects to get something. If everyone was disappointed because no one did anything, it would be a failure. It isn't a failure because most real Masons look for the chance to do something for some brother who needs help."

"Some brethren do a lot for idiotic new brothers, just by talking to them!" responded the New Brother remorsefully. "Do you suppose you could slip a dollar to each of those three who haven't any and tell 'em you found it on the floor?"

"Could be," answered the Old Tyler.

"And please believe I don't think it's a failure and the only thing about it which is disappointing to me is myself."

"Could be," answered the Old Tyler.

See You Next Month

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