|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 27, 2009 at 9:16 AM||comments (0)|
This article was published in The Grand Lodge Florida Mason magazine, 2003.
Special thanks to W:. John Garnder.
MASONIC EDUCATION, OPINIONS & POETRY.
NOVEMBER 2003 THE FLORIDA MASON
"THE PIGEON DEGREE"
This is a true Masonic story of what happened at one Masonic Blue Lodge.
A few years ago, the Lodge was having trouble with flocks of pigeons roosting on their roof.
These pigeons caused the worst smell from their droppings, which were bringing insects to borrow into the droppings.
The Worshipful Master, and other elected officers of the Lodge became alarmed at this situation and formed a committee to take
care of this pigeon problem.
Well the Lodge committee, on removal of pigeons, met to study and talk about a solution, and what matters to take to bring about the permanent removal of the pigeons. The first thing the committee did was to go up on the Lodge building’s roof and tie several strips of cloth in various areas to scare the pigeons away. These efforts did not work and the pigeons remained there.
The committee then, as was planned, bought several decoy Owls and placed the Owls in several areas of the
roof, again in an attempt to scare the pigeons away. Again these efforts brought no relief and the pigeons had covered the roof by now.
When after several fruitless attempts were made for the removal of the pigeons the committee then, as was planed, hired a professional pigeon removal company who advertised and guaranteed in writing the permanent removal of the pigeons or they would refund all monies to anyone having this problem if they failed to cause the permanent removal of the pigeons. Well this company came to the Lodge building and after several weeks, and several attempts, to cause the permanent removal of the pigeons, and all attempts failed, the company refunded all of the Lodge’s money.
My Brothers, I am happy to report to you there was not a sad ending to this pigeon problem. It so happened that the following month the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Florida was in Miami on Masonic business, and the Grand Master came to Coral Gables Lodge on
an unofficial visit. After the business of the Lodge had been conducted, and the Lodge was closed, the officers, members, and visitors retired to the Lodge dining room where the Lodge Stewart's had prepared and served dinner for all. While the Brothers were sitting eating
and talking in general, and near the end of dinner the then Most Worshipful Grand Master, whom was sitting next to the then Worshipful Master of Coral Gables Lodge, asked the Worshipful Master how the business, and Masonic work, of Coral Gables Lodge was going on under his Mastership of the Lodge. The Worshipful Master then told the Grand Master that all of the Lodge business and degree work were being held and preformed in all Masonic principles in due respect and honor of Freemasonry. The Master then said to the Grand Master that there was only one problem the Lodge was having and that was the pigeon problem the Lodge was experiencing for seven months and of all the attempts which were made to relive the problem. The Master also told the Grand Master this pigeon problem was becoming out of control and that the Lodge could not find a solution to end this problem.
My Brothers all this will perhaps sound strange to you, but there are those Brothers who will confirm what you are about to read next as it is all true and it did happen in Coral Gables Lodge. Upon hearing this tale of woe from the Worshipful Master about the pigeon problem, the Grand Master stood up and told the Lodge’s Master that he could solve his problem for the Lodge then and there. The Grand Master asked the Master to show him the stairway to the roof and the Master led the Grand Master, with the pigeon committee, up and onto the Lodge roof. The Grand Master seeing the thousands of pigeons then and there raised his hands skyward toward the starry-decked heavens and the Grand Master said
“By the power in me invested I now declare all pigeons Past Masters.”
And lo and behold, all of the pigeons disappeared and never came back to the Lodge.
Thank you my Brothers all for your attention in reading and consuming this very important Masonic knowledge.
I know by now you believe, and understand this Past Masters Pigeon Degree.
Yours in Brotherly Love, and Masonic Education.
W:.John E. Gardner, PM
Coconut Grove Lodge No. 258
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 25, 2009 at 8:27 PM||comments (0)|
What Fortitude Achieves*
An EA candidate must decide by his own free will to enter the Lodge through a door. After entering, fortitude is associated with the first point of our entrance. Fortitude teaches Masons to have the strength of heart and mind to persevere in all noble endeavors.
Fortitude is an earnest enthusiasm that is disciplined by reason and ennobled by sincerity. It is a dynamic quality that is essential for all great achievement. Men with fortitude reject temerity and timidity. They have courage to match their convictions. They inspire confidence, invite action, and generate progress. Temperance, prudence and justice lose much of their effectiveness without the driving force of fortitude. The greatest achievements of man are tributes to the blending of these virtues.
When we practice fortitude in little ways we will be better able to call up great fortitude when we most need it. By standing firm for truth and growing in courage, we will also be improving in fortitude. As we achieve greater fortitude, we become better men. Growth in fortitude fosters leadership roles for us in our homes and workplaces. We become leaders who embody heroic fortitude in good times and in bad. Let us demonstrate our courage and fortitude so that our actions match our convictions.
*The National Scholastic Honorary Society in Business, Beta Gamma Sigma, presents three lectures on honor, wisdom, and ernestness. The lectures are derived from Plato. Some of the language from the speech on ernestness has been adapted for this section on what fortitude achieves.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 25, 2009 at 8:16 PM||comments (0)|
THE TWELVE POINTS WERE BASED UPON THE 12 SONS OF JACOB, AND SYMBOLIZED
THE PATH OF THE CANDIDATE THROUGH HIS FIRST DEGREE.
1. OPENING OF THE LODGE:
REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF REUBEN, THE FIRST BORN OF JACOB - THE
BEGINNING OF HIS STRENGTH. WITHOUT THE OPENING, THERE WOULD
BE NO LODGE.
2. PREPARATION OF THE CANDIDATE:
WAS TO SYMBOLIZE THE TRIBE OF SIMEON, BECAUSE SIMEON PREPARED
THE INSTRUMENTS FOR SLAUGHTER OF THE SHEMITES. IN PART, IT
SYMBOLIZES THE MASONIC ABHORENCE TO CRUELTY, MANIFEST IN THAT
EVENT. (BEING DIVESTED/DEVOID OF ALL METALLIC OBJECTS).
3. THE REPORT OF THE S.D.:
REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF LEVI. LEGEND HAS IT THAT LEVI
SIGNALED HIS BROTHER SIMEON IN THE EXECUTION OF THE SLAUGHTER
OF THE SCHEMITES. MASONRY DENOUNCES CRUELTY TO A HELPLESS
4. ENTRY OF THE CANDIDATE INTO THE LODGE:
SYMBOLIZES THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, FOR THEY WERE THE FIRST TO
CROSS THE RIVER JORDAN, AND ALLUDES TO THE PASSING OF THE
CANDIDATE FROM THE WILDERNESS OF DARKNESS INTO THE LAND OF
LIGHT AND LIBERTY.
5. THE PRAYER:
SYMBOLIZES THE TRIBE OF ZEBULUN, BECAUSE THE PRAYERS AND
BLESSING OF JACOB WERE GIVEN TO IN DEFERENCE TO HIS BROTHER
6. THE CIRCUMABULATION:
REFERS TO THE THE TRIBE OF ISSACHAR. BEING SOMEWHAT
SHIFTLESS IN CHARACTER, THIS TRIBE NEEDED A SPECIAL LEADER TO
ADVANCE THEM TO AN ELEVATION EQUAL TO THE OTHER TRIBES.
7. ADVANCING TO THE ALTAR OF FREEMASONRY:
SYMBOLIZES THE TRIBE OF DAN. IT SHOWS US THAT WE SHOULD
ADVANCE TO TRUTH AND HOLINESS WITH SPEED, IN CONTRAST TO THE
RAPID DECLINE OF DAN INTO IDOLATRY.
8. THE OBLIGATION:
REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF GAD, AND ALLUDES TO THE SOLEMN VOW
MADE BY JEPHTHAH, JUDGE OF ISRAEL, AND A MEMBER OF THIS
9. THE ENTRUSTING WITH THE MYSTERIES OF THE ORDER:
WAS SYMBOLIZED BY THE TRIBE OF ASHER, FOR THIS TRIBE WAS
PRESENTED WITH THE FULL FRUITS OF MASONIC KNOWLEDGE.
10. THE INVESTITURE OF THE LAMBSKIN:
REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF NAPHTALI, FOR THIS TRIBE WAS INVESTED
WITH A PECULIAR FREEDOM BY MOSES IN THE PROPHECY, "O
NAPHTALI, SATISFIED WITH FAVOR AND FULL WITH BLESSINGS OF THE
LORD, POSSESS THOU THE WEST AND SOUTH."
11. CEREMONY IN THE NORTH EAST CORNER:
REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF JOSEPH, AND HIS TWO SONS EPHRAIM AND
MANASSEH, HEADS OF TWO HALF TRIBES.
12. CLOSING OF THE LODGE:
REFERS TO THE TRIBE OF BENJAMIN, THE YOUNGEST SON OF JACOB,
THUS CLOSING HIS STRENGTH.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 22, 2009 at 9:12 AM||comments (2)|
By Brother Red Skelton 33. January 14, 1969
?When I was a small boy in Vincennes, Indiana, I heard, I think, one of the most outstanding speeches I ever heard in my life. I think it compares with the Sermon on the Mount, Lincoln?s Gettysburg Address, and Socrates? Speech to the Students.
We had just finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he called us all together, and he says, ?Uh, boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems that it has become monotonous to you. Or, could it be, you do not understand the meaning of each word? If I may, I would like to recite the pledge, and give you a definition for each word:
I Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance My love and my devotion.
To the Flag Our standard. ?Old Glory?; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts ?Freedom is everybody's job?.
of the United That means that we have all come together. States Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that?s love of country, of America.
And to the Republic A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern. And the government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands
One Nation Meaning so blessed by God.
Indivisible Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty Which is Freedom.The right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.
And Justice The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.
For All. That means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.? Now let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that be eliminated from our schools, too??
Here's a link with his voice.
Courtesy: W:. John Gardner.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 15, 2009 at 6:14 PM||comments (0)|
A skirret is a line of cord on a reel. At the loose end of the cord is a stake.
Within Freemasonry, it is used symbolically to create a straight and undeviating line of conduct. The spool of cord resides on a cord holder which freely rotates on a center pin. We might commonly see this tool used by a gardener in which to create straight rows of crops. The rotating cord holder reels out the cord which is stretched tightly. In this way, the skirret was used to mark out straight lines to create not only straight rows of crops, but perfectly straight lines for the foundation of a building or edifice.
In most non-American, but English-speaking, regular Freemason lodges which work Emulation or similar or related ritual, the skirret is one of their working tools.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 15, 2009 at 5:59 PM||comments (2)|
There are two groups of Women Freemasons. There are Co-Masonry lodges, which admit both men and women and there are Women Freemason lodges which admit only women.
The members of Co-Masonry lodges and Women Freemason lodges take Freemasonry just as seriously as their all male counterparts. Ascending the chairs is a much slower process than in American Freemasonry, as much study and a high degree of proficiency is required.
While "regular" Grand Lodges across the world do not formally recognize "mixed" Co-Masonry (male and female) nor Women's Masonry, in many countries there is a growing measure of mutual respect bestowed upon some of these groups, many of which use the same working tools, lectures and ritual as regular Freemasonry
Members of both Co-Masonry and Women Freemason lodges work toward the same Masonic ideals as that of regular male Freemasonry. They wish to be of service to their fellow man and woman.
Le Droit Humain is an organization which admits women Freemasons to the craft, however they are viewed as clandestine within regular Freemasonry. Womens Freemason Lodges and the Droit Humain generally recognize each other and are free to visit one another, although their rituals and traditions differ in minor ways.
Women's Freemasonry is growing in popularity around the world. Since the early 1900s, women's lodges have become quite widespread in France. Internationally, women Freemasons now number in the tens of thousands and there are more than 60,000 women Freemasons in England.
Features of Women Freemasons Lodges
Each local group is called an Obedience.
Membership is by invitation only
Everyone is eligible regardless of race, creed, ethnic background or sex.
All members are expected to actively participate or resign.
All gatherings are formal and not social occasions
There is no "G" in the Masonic symbol for Droit Humain lodges. There is, instead, a star, or both a "G" and a star.
Le Droit Humain Freemasons Organizations (Co-Masonry) in the World
Le Droit Humains, which litrally means "Human Rights" , is the oldest Masonic organization admitting both men and women, is The International Order of Co-Freemasonry (IOCF), was founded in Paris in 1893.
Le Droit Humain has lodges in Canada, the U.S.A., Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Japan.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 8, 2009 at 5:55 PM||comments (0)|
Historically, the regular (mainstream) Grand Lodges did not recognize the lodges under the "Prince Hall" Grand Lodges. The Prince Hall Masonic Lodge descends from a lodge of Black Freemasons in Boston begun by a Black man by the name of Prince Hall.
Prince Hall Free Masonry began during the War of Independence, when Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Lodge # 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot of the British Army garrisoned at Castle Williams...now called Fort Independence, at Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775. Later, they applied for and received a Charter from the Grand Lodge of England.
After Prince Hall passed away, the lodge ceased to function. Many years later, Black Masons established their own Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge. They subsequently issued charters to Black men for subordinate lodges.
Today, many Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge are recognized by the regular (mainstream) Grand Lodges. In other states, they are termed as affiliated. Any Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge which is not recognized by their regular counterparts are termed as irregular (non-mainstream) lodges.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 8, 2009 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
From 1751 to 1813, there were actually 2 Grand Lodges in England. The difference in AF&AM vs F&AM states goes back to a disagreement between these 2 Grand Lodges in London at that time.
One group was called the "Moderns", but was actually the older of the 2 English Grand Lodges. The other group was called the "Antients", which became the "Ancients" in AF&AM.
Due to this disagreement, the 2 groups broke into separate Grand Lodges. The disagreement was later healed around 1880, but by that time, there were lodges and Grand Lodges all over the United States that were descended from one group or the other, and so each group kept their corresponding initials with which they were formed, (which is the reason for which there are small differences within different states' ritual wording and Grand Lodge By-Laws and procedures).
Most Grand Lodges in the U.S. recognize each other and treat each other's members as valid Masons. Also, all of the U.S. Grand Lodges recognize (and are recognized by) the official Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, Scotland and the Grand Lodges in most of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Thailand, India, etc.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 8, 2009 at 9:42 AM||comments (0)|
By BRO. N. A. McAULAY (From The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, October, 1916)
Foot to foot that we may go,
Where our help we can bestow:
Pointing out the better way,
Lest our brothers go astray.
Thus our steps should always lead
To the souls that are in need.
Knee to knee, that we may share
Every brother's needs in prayer:
Giving all his wants a place,
When we seek the throne of grace.
In our thoughts from day to day
For each other we should pray.
Breast to breast, to there conceal,
What our lips must not reveal;
When a brother does confide,
We must by his will abide.
Mason's secrets to us known,
We must cherish as our own.
Hand to back, our love to show
To the brother, bending low:
Underneath a load of care,
Which we may and ought to share.
That the weak may always stand,
Let us lend a helping hand.
Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,
That our lips may whisper cheer,
To our brother in distress:
Whom our words can aid and bless.
Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to thee.
Foot to foot, and knee to knee,
Breast to breast, as brothers we:
Hand to back and mouth to ear,
Then that mystic word we hear,
Which we otherwise conceal,
But on these five points reveal.
|Posted by Sam Salama P.M. on April 3, 2009 at 4:50 AM||comments (0)|
Harold B. Simpson quotes the Encyclopedia Britanica, in his out-of-print book AUDIE MURPHY, AMERICAN SOLDIER, when he describes Freemasonry as a:
|"... fraternity to which men called Freemasons belong . . . . It is secret insofar as it has rituals and other matters which those admitted take an oath never to divulge. Its meeting places, however, are prominently identified and its governing bodies publish annual proceedings, while its membership is a matter of public knowledge . . . . It admits adherents of all faiths, claiming to be based upon those fundamentals of religion held in common by all men and to inculcate, through allegories and symbols connected with the art of building, a lofty morality laying particular stress upon benevolence."|
Further readings on Audie Murphy & Masonry are found on the link: