Worshipful Master David "Dave" Reagan - Secretary & Editor John "Corky" Daut
The April 2010 Issue
It’s Happening At Waller Lodge
"Masonry at Work" Award At Waller Lodge #808
Join the Waller Lodge 808 in Waller Texas in presenting John "Corky" Daut with our 'MASONRY AT WORK" Award for his publication of "Small Town Texas Masonry" E-Magazine.
This award was approved by our Grand Master Orville L. O'Neill and he is making every effort to attend.
Date May 3rd. Time 6:30 PM at the Waller Lodge.
Please RSVP DDGM Robert Podvin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 936-445-9322 (cell phone).
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There were 23 Master Masons and 2 Entered Apprentices. present for the March meeting including 12 Past Masters.
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There were two petitions turned in at the March meeting.
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Brother Wes Mersiovsky reported that kitchen project will be started very soon, the Memorial Garden is growing well and will be finished soon. The new front door project will be done as soon as we can schedule a work day as it will have to be finished in one day. The rest room entry way project is almost finished.
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Brother Calvin Trapp reported that the air vent project is near completion.
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Right Worshipful Gary Mosmeyer reported that at the last meeting of the Waller chapter of the Eastern Star a collection was taken to help the Lodge kitchen renovation. The OES chapter decided to match the donation and the Lodge was given a check for $200.00 to be used for the kitchen project.
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SICKNESS AND DISTRESS
Please say a prayer for,
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it was reported that Brother Wes Mersiovsky's sister was still being treated for cancer.
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Brother Jimmy Hooper's operation was postponed.
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Ed Lockear's daughter has been being treated for cancer now almost annually since 1996.
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Bo and Doris Bazarth are both on pace makers and are still getting around, but a little slower.
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Brother Walter Schiel Jr. died Saturday April 3, 2010 after an accident while riding an ATV.
Residents Fight To Keep Their “Cultural Marae”
By Wayne Thompson
A Devonport group says it is trying to stop demolition of the Masonic Tavern out of an overwhelming desire to see a pub or similar hostelry on its waterfront corner for another 144 years.
The Masonic Friendly Society, which has 390 members, is calling on the Environment Court to protect "a much-loved landmark and cultural marae".
It says Redback Development's apartment proposal does not pay proper regard to the tavern being a place of significant historical and cultural importance.
"Our members want to continue walking past the Masonic Tavern and hold their head high in the knowledge they did their best to protect this unique building and especially its usage," said co-convener Claudia Page.
"If this development is allowed to proceed, generations will not have the associations that generations of people from all walks of life had with this place."
Redback has offered to restore street facades in its plan for 10 apartments and a cafe.
However, Devonport Heritage chairwoman Margot McRae said the proposal should allow all the exterior walls, early windows and the roof of the tavern building to remain.
"The rebuilt street facades would then be able to connect with the authentic walls of the tavern and the building would retain its integrity.
"Retaining the 19th century roof form and north and west walls is crucial as these give the building much of its primary architectural character."
During this week's hearing, the Historic Places Trust pressed its view that Redback's proposal fails to keep as much of the original heritage building as it could.
Paul Cavanagh, QC, who is appearing for the trust and other objectors, said both societies had marshalled their resources to secure appropriate technical evidence to enable them to present a credible case.
A core group's effort to plan the case and raise money to pursue it was "an indication that their endeavours have considerable local community support".
They represented 320 people who made submissions to the North Shore City Council and 1700 who signed a petition asking the council to give the hotel, associated buildings and site a Category A protection in the District Plan. Council protection covers only the hotel's street facade.
Yesterday, the court postponed the hearing until next month. Evidence will be given then by expert witnesses for the societies and residents.
Oh, How the Times Never Change
From the Palmetto Mason BLOG
The Winter 2008-2009 edition of The Plumbline, the quarterly bulletin of the Scottish Rite Research Society, carried a reprint of an article by Albert G. Mackey, titled Reading Masons and Masons Who Do Not Read as was originally published in Voice of Masonry in June 1875.
Interestingly, Mackey addressed some of the very same issues that Masons discuss today – one hundred and thirty-four years later. In fact, one could probably remove Mackey’s name and the date of publication from the article and then easily pass it off as something written yesterday.
Mackey’s article contains his opinions about the title seekers in Freemasonry and the multitude of Freemasons who do not seek self enlightenment via personal research. Mackey divided Freemasons into three classes as follows.
1) Those that petitioned because they felt membership in the Fraternity would “personally benefit them” in their business, political, or other profane endeavors.
2) Those that applied for admission into Freemasonry due to a “favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, and a desire of knowledge.”
3) Somewhere between the first two classes are those that believe all of the Masonic teachings are imparted by their initiations into the various degrees.
Mackey felt that the first group is without hope. “They are dead trees having no promise of fruit. Let them pass as utterly worthless, and incapable of improvement.” He referred to the second group as the “shining lights” of Freemasonry and then concentrated on discussing the third group.
Mackey plainly felt that this third group was the most dangerous to Freemasonry.
“Such Masons are distinguished, not by the amount of knowledge that they possess, but by the number of jewels that they wear. They will give fifty dollars for a decoration, but not fifty cents for a book.
These men do great injury to Masonry. They have been called its drones. But they are more than that. They are the wasps, the deadly enemy of the industrious bees. They set a bad example to the younger Masons – they discourage the growth of Masonic literature – they drive the intellectual men, who would be willing to cultivate Masonic science, into other fields of labor – they depress the energies of our writers – and they debase the character of Speculative Masonry as a branch of mental and moral philosophy.”
Mackey did not let up on his condemnation of this third class as he concluded his article.
“The Masons who do not read will know nothing of the interior beauties of Speculative Masonry, but will be content to suppose it to be something like Odd Fellows, or the Order of the Knights of Pythias – only, perhaps, a little older. Such a Mason must be an indifferent one. He has laid no foundation for zeal.
If this indifference, instead of being checked, becomes more widely spread, the result is too apparent. Freemasonry must step down from the elevated position which she has been struggling, through the efforts of her scholars, to maintain, and our lodges, instead of becoming resorts for speculative and philosophical thought, will deteriorate into social clubs or mere benefit societies.”
Oh, how the times never change.
Note: All quotes are from Mackey’s referenced article in the Winter 2008-2009 edition of The Plumbline.
Rosicrucians and Freemasonry
By Bro Brendan Kyne
From The Freemasonry Victoria
|The Temple of the Rose Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618.
Many masonic researchers and historians try to discover the ultimate and all encompassing source from which speculative Freemasonry originated, though no single source exists.
Speculative Freemasonry was a child of the renaissance which was a period of intellectual ferment, a longing, a search for knowledge presumed to have been known to the ancients. It was a golden age of Hermetic thought nourished by the alchemical movement. An era that combined cabalistic thought, alchemy, mathematical sciences and hermetics, so much so that the burgeoning mathematical/scientific approach to nature still had a heavily mystical strand. This was a period when occult strivings were
directed toward understanding the hidden or secret spiritual forces of the universe. It is from this intellectual maelstrom that we begin to discern the emergence of speculative Freemasonry. In the early 1600s one group which no doubt had an influence on the development of Freemasonry, was the Rosicrucian movement – the brotherhood of the Rose Cross.
|Frater C.R.C. - Christian Rose Cross (symbolical representation).
The Rosicrucians announced themselves to the world in the early 1600s via anonymous manifestos, which proclaimed the existence of an invisible college – a secret enlightened brotherhood. The Rosicrucian manifestos, the first of which appeared in 1614, the second in 1615 and the third in 1616 claimed that this secret brotherhood was in possession of esoteric knowledge that would usher in a new Golden Age of enlightenment, religious tolerance, peace and intellectual advancement. In short, a transformation of the world according to hermetic principles.
The manifestos stated that this invisible secret fraternity was founded by a man named Christian Rosencruetz, who was
supposedly born in 1378 and died at the age of 106. According to the story contained in the manifestos, Christian Rosencruetz had embarked on a journey to the east in search of esoteric knowledgeand spiritual enlightenment. Upon hisreturn to Europe, Rosencruetz is said to have established the secret Rosicrucian brotherhood. This brotherhood continued on in secret after Rosencruetz’s death although it began to languish until the discovery of his burial vault in 1604.
The manifestos aroused equal measures of excitement and concern throughout Europe, which was followed by Rosicrucian witch hunts and culminated in the mystical brotherhood being outlawed. By the early 1620s, with the onset of the devastating Thirty Year War, interest in the manifestos had again dissipated.
In England and Scotland however, interest in the Rosicrucian ideals continued on, aided by a steady flow of Rosicrucian influenced thinkers and philosophers seeking refuge in England from the ravages and persecutions of the Thirty Years War.
|Frater C.R.C. - Christian Rose Cross (symbolical representation).
Was there a real Rosicrucian brotherhood or was it all a myth? On one hand the simple answer to the question is that there never was a Rosicrucian brotherhood with a history and origins as detailed in the Rosicrucian manifestos. We also know that Christian Rosencruetz at least a pseudonym if not an outright myth, and the history of the brotherhood of the Rosy Cross as told in the manifestos was similarly mythical. Considering the furore the manifestos caused it is curious that no actual Rosicrucian member was ever found, nor did anyone openly claim to be a member of the Rosicrucian brotherhood.
On the other hand it still leaves us with questioning if the story contained in these manifestos was mythic, was there notwithstanding a real “Rosicrucian Brotherhood”? Unfortunately there is no simple answer to that question, however one of the aims of the Rosicrucian manifestos was to draw peoples attention to the existence of a secret society dedicated to peace, tolerance and the pursuit of intellectual advancement.
| John Lewis Thompson
| L C. White
| Leslie Kit Scruggs
| George E. Talbott
| Richard J. Ventrca
|Happy Birthday To
| Bart C. Harvey
| Thomas Reagan Rape
| Paul B. Cox
| Brack Whitehead
Teacher Spotlight: Mr. James Campbell
From The Lamplighter news of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY
Mr. James Campbell’s vibrant personality makes his probability and statistics, and algebra III classes enjoyable. Most students assume that teachers live at school, and that they have no life outside of the school building, but there is a lot more to know about Mr. Campbell.
For instance, he graduated from Dunbar in 1999, and then graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in physics. of a profession utilizing his physics degree, Campbell chose to be a teacher because a friend pressured him into taking some education classes. “I ended up really enjoying those classes, and that is why I became a teacher,” said Mr. Campbell.
He is also involved in Kentucky Freemasons, which is an organization that teaches its members ethical responsibility in order to make the world a better place. Mr. Campbell has been a member since 2005. organization helps with the Shiner's Hospital, provides scholarships, supports Habitat for Humanity, and provides emergency aid to local communities.
He holds 32 positions, the highest being the master of the “royal secret.” He is the junior past master of his lodge, Lexington lode # 1 F. &A.M. He has had many unique experiences from being a member of this organization “The most interesting experience that I have had was that I was present at a 3rd degree master’s raising in London, England.” said Mr. Campbell.
When he was younger he was involved in DeMolay, which is a youth organization sponsored by freemasonry. “I liked the positive effects that this group had on society, and I wanted to continue to be involved in such an outstanding organization,” said Mr. Campbell.
When Mr. Campbell is not teaching, you can find him hunting, watching movies from Netflix, or spending time with his wife and son. He often rewards his classes with stories of his hunting excursions, or random stories about his life. In high school, Mr. Campbell threw shot put for the track and field team, and he had a bench press of 365 lbs., but his personal best was 440 lbs. in December 2002. Today his bench press is around 330; although it is lower, he can still jump and touch the ceiling
His classroom is always open to students, and he will also do anything to help a student out. “I have really enjoyed having Mr. Campbell as a teacher and I always look forward to his class,” said senior Breanna Lawson.
The Waller Masonic Lodge Printed Newsletter
I probably spend at least 10 or 12 hours a month researching, writing and composing this paper version of the newsletter, but I love to do it.
My real love however, is the electronic version of the newsletter. That’s another 10 or 12 hours of work since its about 3 times bigger with colors, pictures and many additional features.
We currently only have 19 Waller Brothers (26% of the membership) and 20 outsiders including District and Grand Lodge officers, that subscribe to the online version. These 39 subscribe costs the Lodge nothing, but the saving to the lodge is almost $300.00 per year in postage, printing and envelope costs.
SO, if you use the internet and are currently getting this printed newsletter, please consider getting changing to the online version. Remember, every dollar saved is a dollar less we have to earn working in a fund raiser
The Small Town Texas Masons E-Magazine
Don’t miss reading the monthly Small Town Texas Masons E-Magazine at, http://www.mastermason.com/STTM-Emag/
This Month features the Gonzales Lodge No. 30, A. F. & A. M.
and Robert McAlpin Williamson "Three Legged Willie"
This Month's Humor
The game warden knew Bubba was doing something crooked, but he couldn’t figure out what.
Every time Bubba came back from a fishing trip he had a tow sack full of fish.
The game warden tried to talk to Bubba’s friends to find out his secrets, but no one would admit to knowing anything about Bubba’s fishing secrets.
Finally, seeing Bubba sitting at the drug store counter drinking a cup of coffee one morning, the game warden decided it was time to just ask him outright what his secret was.
“Hello there Bubba, you know over the years I’ve noticed that you seem to be the best fisherman in this area. I was wondered if you let me in on some of your secrets?”
“No sir, I couldn’t hardly do that. Any fisherman worth a darn will never tell his secrets. But, I reckon if you would like to go fishing with me in the morning, I wouldn’t mind to much.”
The next morning the game warden was standing on the pier when Bubba walked up to where his boat was tied, carrying his tow sack, “I’m ready to go fishing Bubba.” the game warden said.
“Well sir, get in the boat and let’s go.” Bubba answered.
After starting the motor, Bubba drove the boat about a mile back into a small bay. There he killed the motor and reached into his tow sack. He pulled out a stick of dynamite with a short fuse. He lit the fuse and stuck the dynamite in the game warden’s hand with the fuse sizzling.
“You can’t do this, it’s against the law.” The game warden hollered.
Bubba looked at the game warden and said, “I’m not doing anything. Now are you gonna talk or fish?”
|The Waller Lodge Electronic Newsletter Subscriber's
Beneath Gargoyles And Gaslight
From The Brisbane Times
In darkest London, Tom Adair follows the clues encrypted in the Da Vinci Code.
'Researching this, I often felt we should be in a federal witness protection program," says Brian Hicks, a Blue Badge guide and sometime winner of London Tourist Board's guide of the year. He has created "Mysterious London and The Da Vinci Code", a tourist trail that takes in the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, with a ride on London's Underground for good measure.
The route retraces the hokum of Dan Brown's best-selling fiction in London, following in the footsteps of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu, the heroes played by Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in the spin-off movie. It also doubles as a riveting dig through the entrails of mediaeval Christian England.
Today, there are 10 on the tour: two Australians, three Americans, two Israelis, a Bulgarian, and a woman who says she's "Uranian" (yes, they are even here from Uranus). I had been hoping for rain, for some gothic gloom, a fanfare of thunder, a crack of lightning but, alas, the River Thames glitters gold in the afternoon sun, the wrong kind of alchemy altogether.
At 2pm sharp, Hicks meets us at Temple Tube station and whisks us into the wind-blown shade of Embankment Gardens. "Dan Brown has sold 45 million copies of the book," he says, though the figure is closer to 80 million. "It has been taken very seriously by the Vatican, who appointed the Bishop of Genoa to dispel its various 'lies and misrepresentations'." Hicks's eyebrows rise and he rolls the phrase around his mouth like a connoisseur of ecclesiastical paranoia.
Are we initiated, he asks? Have we seen the movie? Read the novel? It isn't essential but it certainly helps. "The Knights Templar feature hugely in the book. From their inception, they were sponsored by the Pope. Wherever they went, they built circular churches based on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem." You sense that a circular church is coming up.
"And here it is," he says, leading us through the paved purlieu of riverside courtyards, under the branches of spiked wintry trees, past mantled gaslights and into the deep seclusion of outlandish wealth: the Inns of Court - a den of barristers, of privilege, Aston Martins and Ferraris. And the Templars' church.
"But first," for Hicks cannot resist a colourful digression, "we see before us the Templars' great hall, where Shakespeare acted in Twelfth Night in front of Elizabeth I and where, years later, Robert Louis Stevenson saw names in the stained-glass windows that stirred dark thoughts - of Jekyll and Hyde."
Looming behind the great hall, which survived heavy bombing during World War II, is Temple Church.
"To this very door came Robert and Sophie in the early hours of the morning, along with Leigh Teabing, their accomplice, to find the burial place of a knight. Let's see what they found."
Inside, beneath the leery gaze of gargoyles (featured prominently in the movie to accentuate the menace), are sombre effigies of nine Templars. "Brown suggests there should be a 10th," says Hicks, shaking his head, "[but] there never was."
As if on cue, the church's organ shatters the silence - something by Bach - like a movie soundtrack, prompting visions of the gripping kidnap scene, the gunfire, Silas the red-eyed albino monk from Opus Dei pressing his knife to Neveu's throat, Teabing bundled into a getaway car. And the attempt to steal the keystone, which holds the map to the Holy Grail.
Hicks's amusement drowns the racket: "Ah, monks with red eyes, dressed in white habits, we see them around here all the time." As the walk winds on between high, bricked chambers, following Langdon and Neveu's escape route, Hicks peppers us with the historical context of the early Christian church and the sacred role of Mary Magdalene, whose sarcophagus, Dan Brown believes, will reveal the final meaning of the Grail itself - Jesus Christ's bloodline and who its inheritors are today.
We absorb odd facts: how the pirate flag, the Jolly Roger, got its name; why Friday the 13th became a cursed date. We are urged to look up and see - on weathervanes, atop archways, on gothic lamps - the Agnus Dei, or lamb of god - the symbol of the Knights Templar. Every detail links to our quest.
Minutes later, we spill through a gateway into the traffic of the Strand, a blur of taxis and red double-deckers. Hicks's arms become a flurry, pointing up, to the left and right, then above our heads, to symbols linking the Templars to Freemasonry and across the road to the law courts of the Old Bailey.
"Dan Brown was summoned to Court 61 here, to defend himself," Hicks says. "Accused of plagiarism. The trial judge said The Da Vinci Code was, quote, 'a thumping good read'. So he wasn't biased. Brown won his case."
For another hour, we pursue The Da Vinci Code's narrative, first to the chapel of King's College London, then into Strand Lane, which conceals a link with Charles Dickens's David Copperfield, as a bonus for sleuths of literary London.
Then there's a headlong rush down the stairwell of Temple Tube, where Langdon and Neveu jump the barrier, pacing the platform, keen to race to the nearby sanctum of Westminster Abbey, where the next clue, and its solution, await.
A few minutes later, we're in daylight and under the 4 o'clock chime of Big Ben. Around the corner at Westminster Hall, Hicks points to where "the first traffic lights in the universe were erected back in 1868". We presume he checked all the other planets.
Here, we relive The Da Vinci Code's dramatic denouement in Westminster Abbey - when the keystone spills its secret. And Hicks throws in his own conundrum: how does a 1960s mural by Jean Cocteau in a hidden church off Leicester Square connect with Leonardo Da Vinci? He leaves this question unanswered.
A few minutes later, on my way to solve the puzzle, I find myself checking the street behind me for red-eyed albinos cloaked as monks. Or Tom Hanks. Or possibly Hicks, on his federal witness protection program, loitering with intent. One can't be too careful, after all.
The walking tour, Mysterious London and The Da Vinci Code, is held on Thursdays at 2pm, departing from Temple Tube station (Circle and District lines). The walk costs £7 ($12) for adults and is free for under-15s. Bookings not essential. See londonwalks.com.
|The Monthly 'Computers For Masons' Series
Understanding Computers - Part 2 of 5
Introduction to Computers
The Big Picture
A computer system has three main components: hardware, software, and people. The equipment associated with a computer system is called hardware. Software is a set of instructions that tells the hardware what to do. People, however, are the most important component of a computer system - people use the power of the computer for some purpose. In fact, this course will show you that the computer can be a tool for just about anyone from a business person, to an artist, to a housekeeper, to a student - an incredibly powerful and flexible tool.
Software is actually a computer program. To be more specific, a program is a set of step-by-step instructions that directs the computer to do the tasks you want it to do and to produce the results you want. A computer programmer is a person who writes programs. Most of us do not write programs, we use programs written by someone else. This means we are users - people who purchase and use computer software.
Hardware: Meeting the Machine
What is a computer? A six-year-old called a computer "radio, movies, and television combined!" A ten-year-old described a computer as "a television set you can talk to." The ten-year-old's definition is closer but still does not recognize the computer as a machine that has the power to make changes.
A computer is a machine that can be programmed to accept data (input), process it into useful information (output), and store it away (in a secondary storage device) for safekeeping or later reuse. The processing of input to output is directed by the software but performed by the hardware.
To function, a computer system requires four main aspects of data handling: input, processing, output, and storage. The hardware responsible for these four areas operates as follows:
· Input devices accept data in a form that the computer can use; they then send the data to the processing unit.
Now let us consider the equipment related to these four aspects of data handling in terms of what you would find on a personal computer.
· The processor, more formally known as the central processing unit (CPU), has the electronic circuitry that manipulates input data into the information people want. The central processing unit executes computer instructions that are specified in the program.
· Output devices show people the processed data-information in a form that they can use.
· Storage usually means secondary storage. Secondary storage consists of devices, such as diskettes, which can store data and programs outside the computer itself. These devices supplement the computer's memory, which, as we will see, can hold data and programs only temporarily.
Your Personal Computer Hardware
Let us look at the hardware in terms of a personal computer. Suppose you want to do word processing on a personal computer, using the hardware shown in Figure 1.
Word processing software allows you to input data such as an essay, save it, revise and re-save it, and print it whenever you wish. The input device, in this case, is a keyboard, which you use to type in the original essay and any changes you want to make to it. All computers, large and small, must have a central processing unit within the personal computer housing. The central processing unit under the direction of the word processing software accepts the data you input through the keyboard. Processed data from your personal computer is usually output in two forms: on a screen and eventually by a printer. As you key in the essay on the keyboard, it appears on the screen in front of you. After you examine the essay on the screen, make changes, and determine that it is acceptable, you can print the essay on the printer. Your secondary storage device in this case is a diskette, a magnetic medium that stores the essay until it is needed again.
|Figure 1: Personal Computer
Now we will take a general tour of the hardware needed for input, processing, output, and storage. These same components make up all computer systems, whether small, medium, or large. In this discussion we will try to emphasize the types of hardware you are likely to have seen in your own environment. These topics will be covered in detail in later chapters.
Input: What Goes In
Input is the data that you put into the computer system for processing. Here are some common ways of feeding input data into the system:
· Typing on a keyboard. Computer keyboards operate in much the same way as electric typewriter keyboards. The computer responds to what you enter; that is, it "echoes" what you type by displaying it on the screen in front of you.
· Pointing with a mouse. A mouse is a device that is moved by hand over a flat surface. As the ball on its underside rotates, the mouse movement causes corresponding movement of a pointer on the computer screen. Pressing buttons on the mouse lets you invoke commands.
· Scanning with a flatbed scanner, wand reader or bar code reader (Figure 2).
· Flatbed scanners act like a copying machine by using light beams to scan a document or picture that is laid upon its glass face. A great way to send pictures through email! Bar scanners, which you have seen in retail stores, use laser beams to read special letters, numbers, or symbols such as the zebra-striped bar codes on many products.
|Figure 2: Flatbed Scanner
You can input data to a computer in many other interesting ways, including writing, speaking, pointing, or even by just looking at the data. We will examine all these in detail in a later chapter.
Continued Next Month
Public Invited To Celebrate Masons' 200th Aanniversary
From The Herald Express
South Devon, UK
THE doors of Torquay's oldest Masonic Lodge swing open to the public tomorrow. Members of St John's Lodge number 328, in Park Hill Road, are celebrating two centuries of Masonic work in the Bay. People are invited to pop along between 9:00am until noon on Saturday for an open morning, with refreshments and information on offer.
The actual anniversary will be marked on Monday, when the great and good of Devon's Masons attend the Lodge. Among those going along will be the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, the Past Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, two Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Grand Officers, present Provincial Grand Officers and numerous Past Provincial Officers.
The Worshipful Master of St John's Lodge will present Torbay Council's civic chairman with a donation for his chosen charity, the John Parkes Children's Unit at Torbay Hospital. At Monday's celebrations there will also be a fundraising raffle, with all the proceeds going to the Masons' Teddy Bear Scheme. David Dawson, lodge spokesman, said: "This worthy scheme supplies teddies to children who have, for one reason or another, to spend some time in hospital.
"For most youngsters, visiting hospital can be quite a traumatic event, so these children receive a teddy as a comforter. For those old enough to understand, a demonstration of the procedure will be carried out on their teddy. This practice seems to reassure them that no harm will befall them."
Other charitable organisations to benefit from Masonic donations include South Devon NHS Trust, the Paediatric Diabetes Fund, and the Sarah Matheson Trust for research into MSA.
The lodge has a fascinating history, including its times through the wars and the day its records were lost in a fire. Mr Dawson added: "Disastrously, in 1847 a house containing our lodge records burned to the ground. All our records were lost except the Lodge Warrant, so our history from 1810 to 1848 was gone.
During the past 10 years, we have managed to access ledgers and records of Provincial and Grand Lodge, and have recovered some of the missing information. But tragically for us, the secretary's Minute Book and all the detail therein was no more."
| English gold guinea coin —this one dated
1719 with the bust of King George.
During Monday's celebration the Worshipful Master of St John's Lodge will present the Provincial Grand Master with a donation towards the Provincial Festival 2012 Fund. He will also hand over 50 guineas, which was the amount given in 1946, to the Provincial Grand Masters personal fund.
Further information about the lodge
The guinea was minted between 1663 and 1813. It was the first English machine-struck gold coin, originally worth one English Pound sterling, but rises in the price of gold caused the value of the guinea to increase, at times to as high as thirty shillings.
The first guinea was produced on 6 February 1663, and was made legal currency by a Proclamation of 27 March 1663. 44½ guineas would be made from one Troy pound of 11/12 finest gold, each weighing 129.4 grains.
From 1717 onwards (see picture) its value was officially fixed at twenty-one shillings, after Great Britain adopted the gold standard.
The coin has been obsolete for over 100 years, but the amount of money it represented is still used in a few cases. In the post WW2 era it was associated with professional fees and pricey consumer items.
For example an upright piano might be priced in pounds sterling, but a grand pianoforte would cost you many guineas. A guinea was equal to one pound sterling and one shilling (a pound plus another twentieth part). It might have been costlier to the buyer, but the extra classiness was worth it, by Jove! Alas, all gone, along with the Brittish Empah!
A Little Military Humor
On The Attack
The Secret Life of Them
| Freemasons .... first official insider's document released about the group in Australia.
Feemasons .... first official insider's document about the secretive group in Australia has been published.
It counts sitting MPs and prominent Brisbane businessmen among its current members.
And for hundreds of years it has remained one the world's most secretive societies.
But will a new book launched in Brisbane yesterday really lift the lid on the mysterious Freemason fraternity?
It's No Secret: Real Men Wear Aprons is the first official insider's document about the group in Australia, which boasts about 4000 members in Brisbane alone.
The aim of the book was to uncover some of the myths about Freemasonry, some of which have allegedly been exacerbated by the latest Dan Brown novel, The Lost Symbol.
"We had reason to be concerned that some of the book might be damaging to the fraternity," author Alex Lazar AM said yesterday.
Queensland grand master Graeme Ewin said it was time to tell the truth about the Freemasons, which remains an exclusively male domain.
However, he wasn't willing to reveal one of its most infamous secrets - the Freemasons handshake.
"It's a sign that you're a member of a fraternity, that we have gone through a process of learning moral and ethical behaviour," Mr Ewin said.
Scores of Brisbane men have gone to their graves as members of the secret society.
Mr Ewin today revealed some of the city's most prominent historical figures had been members.
These included the first mayor of Brisbane, John Petrie, and three former governors, John Goodwin, Leslie Wilson and Alan Mansfield.
Mr Ewin refused to disclose the identities of any current members, as he feared any public misconceptions could jeopardise the men's positions.
However, he did insist Freemasonry in Brisbane was set to experience a resurgence following 40 years of flagging membership figures.
"It's going to gain strength, it's going to get bigger, it's going to return to its pinnacle of ... the early 60s," Mr Ewin said.
New members are principally younger men aged in their 30s, he said, although some were as young as 18.
"I feel that a lot of younger people today, are finding that the social fabric of society is failing them and they're looking for a better way of life and freemasonry offers it."
Despite the push to become a more transparent organisation, it is unlikely women will be admitted as members any time soon.
"I'd like to think that it will never happen," Mr Ewin said.
Mr Ewin is working to make Brisbane's most prominent Freemason lodge, the United Grand Lodge of Queensland at 311 Ann St, more accessible to the public.
While non-members will still be excluded from important meetings - where the correct handshake is required to enter - they are invited to general ceremonies, including on Anzac Day.
The meeting rooms inside the four-storey stone building resemble a cross between a church and parliament.
Each is laden with symbolism, while the most important are decorated in gold.
"It's the best kept secret, masonically, in Brisbane," Mr Ewin said.
Not any longer, if Mr Ewin's pledge is sincere.
The Forgotten Word
|Here are some of the "funnies" our grandparents enjoyed.
From the Old Tiler's Talk - by Carl H. Claudy, The Temple Publishers
"Never have I been so glad to get to lodge as tonight!" began the New Brother to the Old tiler in the anteroom.
"Some one here owe you some money or something?" asked the Old Tiler.
"No indeed! But lying awake last night, thinking about Masonry, I tried to recall the word of a Master Mason... and I couldn't! It was a lost word for me, sure enough! I couldn't sleep all night, trying to remember. I couldn't remember today and it bothered me a lot! So I was glad to come to lodge tonight and get instructed!"
"I shouldn't have worried over that," answered the Old Tiler. "Our memories play strange tricks. You didn't need it, did you?"
"No, but a Mason ought not to forget it. It's the most important thing in Masonry. If we don't have it we cannot visit and work as a Master- and everything!"
"So we are told," answered the old Tiler. "Yet don't you mistake the meaning? The syllables you are taught to pronounce are not important."
"Why, Old Tiler! How can you say that?"
"Because it is true,"answered the Old Tiler. "Is it important what particular piece of cloth is put in an apron? Is it important what particular piece of iron is used to make a pillar, or what particular copy of a million Bibles is on the Altar, or what particular piece of wood is used in the gavel? Isn't it important that we wear an apron and know why, that we have a pillar to teach a lesson, that we revere the Great Light in Masonry, that we have a gavel for our control? Then are the syllables of the word important, or is the spirit, the meaning, the symbolism important?
"Masons must know the word, the modes of recognition, the signs and tokens. But all these may slip from memory and still a brother have Freemasonry in his heart. They are audible symbols of spiritual knowledge.
"We are taught that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. Do you read into that statement some particular word? Or is the Word here used in the Old Jewish sense of the truth, the light of knowledge for which man may strive?
"Masonry's search for the lost word is for far more than a syllable, my brother. The substitute word is more than an exclamation. It is an inward knowledge of oneness with the Great Architect, for which all men of all ages have searched. Not all search in vain; many find their Word. Even the substitute word could only be given under certain circumstances; doubtless those earnest seekers who found the real word could never assemble the circumstances under which it, too, might be given to humanity.
"But we continue to search. Slowly but surely man has come up from barbarianism. The world improves with age. Except in war men are less cruel now than centuries ago; men know more than they did centuries ago. We are all brutes underneath, but to be underneath connotes something above. In our long struggle after the lost word we have put something above the brute. On that we climb, and are by so much nearer the Word we seek.
"It is this which is important. Let not your heart be troubled if that strangest part of all God's works, the human mind, plays a prank on you. Better men than you and I have forgotten their own names. Now and then one forgets the name of Deity. But in the end we remember, in some far place where angels see that our memories work! All you needed was conversation with any brother who had sat in lodge with you. If you desire, nothing prevents you from giving and receiving it as Masons are taught to do.
"Your only cause for worry is that you fail to keep always before you that Masonry in men's hearts searches for a word which no man has yet put into words. The tender lesson of the Master Mason degree has been a solace to millions. The Word, substitute though it is, has meant much more than the scholar translates. It is this which you must never forget, even when your memory temporarily takes from you the recollection of the letters and their pronunciation."
"You should be a travelling lecturer!" cried the New Brother.
"You mean that as a compliment, but I'd rather sit still and tile."
"But you can't get anywhere!" cried the New Brother.
"Neither can a sign post by the road," smiled the Old Tiler. "Yet it points the way."
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