Khôi phục

Aug 2001

George Helmer’s postings from August 2001

Fri, 31 Aug 2001 22:14:01 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


By Rabbi H. Geffen, 32d F.P.S.

The first Masonic legislator, whose memory is
preserved to us by history, according to
Pike, was Buddha, who, about a thousand years
B.C., reformed religion. He called to the
Priesthood of all men, without distinction of
caste, who themselves inspired by God to
instruct men.

The Phoenician Cosmogony, like all others in
Asia, was the word of God, written in astral
characters by the planetary divinities, as a
profound mystery, communicated to the higher
intelligence of humanity. Man had fallen,
according to the Phoenicians but not by the
tempting of a serpent, for the serpent was
sacred to them.

To Philo Judeas, the Supreme Being was the
Primitive Light, Source, whence the rays
emanate that illuminate souls. He is the Soul
of the world, and as such acts everywhere. He
Himself fills and bounds His whole existence,
and His forces fill and penetrate every

Philo says, that he who disbelieves the
miracles, simply as the miraculous, neither
knows God, nor has he ever sought after Him;
for otherwise he would have understood by
looking at that truly great and awe-inspiring
sight, the miracle of the Universe.

The Alexandrian Jews endeavored to be in an
opposition against the anthropopathism of
Deity; they exerted to purify the idea of God
from all ad-mixture of the human. This was
also the conception of God of Maimonides, who
said in his thirteen principles of the faith,
that God is not a body, and He is free from
all the accidents of matter. Also Pythagoras
said: “God is neither the object of sense,
nor subject to passion, but in-visible, only
intelligible and supremely intelligent. In
His body He is like the Light, and in His
soul He resembles Truth. He is the Universal
Spirit that pervades and diffuses itself over
all nature.

God, say the sacred writings of the Jews,
appeared to Moses in a flame of fire in the
midst of a Bush, which was not consumed. He
descended upon Mount Sinai as the smoke of a
furnace: He went before the children of
Israel, by day, in a pillar of cloud, and by
night, in a pillar of fire to give the Light.

According to the Kabbalah everything that
exists has emanated from a source of infinite
Light. Hence we see what is the meaning of
Masonic Light. We see why the East of the
Lodge, where the initial letter of the name
of Deity, overhangs the Master, is the place
of Light. Light, as contra-distinguished from
darkness, is God, as contra-distinguished
from evil; and it is that Light, the true
knowledge of God, for Whom Masons in all ages
have sought. Still Masonry marches steadily
onward towards that Light, that shines in the
great distance, the light of that day when
Evil, overcome and vanquished, shall fade
away and disappear for ever, and Life and
Light be the one law of the Universe, and its
eternal harmony.

But to our greatest sorrow we are still very
far away from that day of Light, witnessing
the world situation now, the bloodsheds and
conflicts over the whole globe, after three
years since the proclamation of peace, still
an ideologic war is going on, from the East
an Atheistic-Communist movement, from the
other side a Fascistic race-hatred,
intolerance and prejudicial propaganda, and
in the middle our Masonic Democratic sublime
world organization.

It is our hope and our prayer that to the end
the Light of Goodness and Deity will defeat
the dark-evil powers. The Empire of Light
alone is eternal and true; and this Empire is
a great chain of Emanations, all connected
with the Supreme Being, which make manifest
the triumph of Almighty. This is Spinoza’s
Infinity of Infinite Attributes of God. Such
were some of the ancient notions concerning
the Deity.

God is a mystery. We know that there is and
must be a Supreme Being, a First Cause. We
know that God must be good, true, wise, just,
benevolent, merciful; and in all these we are
conscious that the laws imposed on us by the
very nature of things are necessary, and
without which the world would be in

Even, when we are witnessing at present the
greatest chaos in the world, we must submit
and admit that we are not in a position to
comprehend and understand the ways and
actions of Almighty in ruling the Universe.
Masonry leaves to the brethren to develop the
great religious truths in their own
conviction and comprehension. Our Fraternity
looks calmly on and is tolerant to any creed,
and is liberal to every brother’s
interpretation of God’s manifestations and
attributes to whatever extent his reason

All the various conceptions of faith try to
find the truth. Masonry with them inculcates
its old doctrine; that God is One, He created
the Universe; that the soul of man breathed
into him by God, is immortal, that man
possesses free will to do good or evil; that
man is responsible for his deeds, and
punishable for his sins, that sufferings are
a temporary discord of one great Harmony of
Truth, Love, Peace and Happiness, that will
ring for ever and ever.


Freemasonry is a science of symbols, in which, by their proper
study, a search is instituted after truth, that truth consisting in the
knowledge of the divine and human nature of God and the human
Soul. – DR. A. G. MACKEY.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

A Lodge Master Appeals for Advice in Furthering Masonic Knowledge
Thu, 30 Aug 2001 06:26:35 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

A Lodge Master Appeals for Advice in
Furthering Masonic Knowledge


“I really joined Masonry because of the high
opinion in which I held the Order. I had no
mercenary motives for becoming a Mason. I had
sold myself on the idea of fraternalism and I
thought Freemasonry was the best medium
through which I could meet and associate with
men with a purpose similar to mine.

“I have faithfully observed the admonitions
that were made to me when I was admitted to
the Craft – that is, so far as I could. The
trouble is I did not learn enough while
undergoing the ceremonies of initiation into

“After I first saw THE light, as an
apprentice, I was told I must “make a daily
advancement in Masonic knowledge.” But I was
not told HOW I was to secure the Masonic
knowledge I lacked, so took it for granted
subsequent initiatory ceremonies would
perfect my knowledge . . . When I became a
FellowCraftsman, I was advised “to study the
Liberal Arts which tend so effectively to
polish and adorn the mind, especially the
science of Geometry.”

I knew little of what is known as “the
liberal arts” and as to Geometry, it was
something I loathed when I was in High
School! I did not find among my fellow-
lodgemen anyone who could enlighten me. But,
again I supposed, that when I would be raised
to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason I
would, at long last, be told what I need
learn-and where to learn it. Instead of that,
I was admonished to “afford assistance and
instruction to the Brethren in inferior
degrees.” This I would have been pleased to
do – but how could I? I knew nothing but
signs, steps and passwords and little of what
they meant. And, to my surprise, I found most
of my fellow-members knew little more than I
did! In the hope of enlightening myself, I
subscribed to Masonic Light, having been told
I would find much information in its pages.
The first issue that reached me contained a
report of a speech made by the then G.M.,
Bro. Leslie Boyd, before a body of P.G.
Masters in the United States, in which our
highest dignitary had stated that “the Master
Mason’s Diploma is not the end, but the
beginning of Masonic education.” Since then,
I’ve been an omnivorous reader of Masonic
books on the history, symbolism and
philosophy of the Craft. As a result the
ritual has taken on a new meaning for me. I
no longer await in nervous restlessness for
the end of the lodge “work”-but it seems a
hopeless task to try to interest my fellow-
members in anything but the traditional
“fourth” that follows the closing of the
lodge, during which I have to listen to the
same repetitious talks on the beauty and
grandeur of Masonry, in vague though
grandiloquent terms; drink the toast to the
visiting Brethren and hear the hesitant
replies thereto – and finally go home
exasperated that such opportunities to impart
masonic knowledge are passed by!

After two years of constant reading, I feel I
really know something about Masonry, its aims
and purposes -and regret that so little
interest is taken in the meaning back of the
spoken word of ritualism; that most members
consider their Lodge as a sort of Rotary or
Kiwanis Club in which they have an
opportunity of meeting some of their old
cronies; and where nothing is done to improve
the knowledge of Masonry. With such a
condition existing is it surprising so many
lose interest in Lodge work – even if they do
not demit or cease paying their dues until
they get a life membership!

Surely, Masonry means more than the
recitation of ritualistic formulas and
nothing else. “Going through the chairs” is
not the summum of what Masonry has to offer
for the mental and spiritual satisfaction of
its members? Most of the plain “blue Lodge”
members not finding the light for which they
seek, either lose interest, demit or allow
themselves to be suspended for non payment of
dues-the others, the minority who think, seek
in the so-called “higher” degrees, the
“knowledge” they have been unable to obtain
in the basic degrees.

I sincerely feel Masonry is failing in its
purpose in this jurisdiction, yet I don’t
want to leave the Craft. What should I do?”

Fraternally yours, Wm. P.___ , W.M.

After Initiation, What?

There are many Masons in this jurisdiction,
Bill, who feel exactly as you do. If you
could sit at this desk and read the many
communications that reach us from sincere,
but dissatisfied Masons, you would soon
realize there are more thinking Masons than
you seem to believe.

The “Rotary Club” mentality, admirable as it
is, is but a small part of the sentiments
Masonry should inspire in one who
understands it. True most social clubs, by
limiting membership foster a feeling of
friendship among the small group that makes
up such a club, whereas we, specially in the
metropolitan areas, with hundreds of members
on the membership roll in all walks of life,
can hardly hope to promote the feeling of
friendship that exists in smaller groups.

What is most urgently needed in Quebec, is
not more ordinary Lodges, but a half dozen of
more “Lodges of Instruction”, centrally
located so that the greatest number possible
of individual Masons can conveniently attend
meetings and secure there the knowledge they
have been unable to obtain in their own

Now, ask you, what are Lodges of Instruction?
Though called “Lodges” they are not Lodges at
all in the generally accepted meaning of the
word. They are assemblies of Brethren,
congregated without Warrant of Constitution,
under the direction of a lecturer or Skillful
Brother for the purpose of improving their
knowledge of the symbolism and philosophy of

In Montreal there exist three such groups
which are not known as Lodges but as “Study
Clubs”. I refer to the Westmount Study Club
which meets once a month at Victoria Hall,
Westmount; the St. Lambert Study Club, which
meets in the Temple in the trans-bridge City
on the South Shore of the St. Lawrence and
the St. Andrew’s Club, under the auspices of
St. Andrew’s Lodge of Montreal, which meets
in the Sherbrooke St. Temple.

I am given to understand other Lodges now
meeting at the Sherbrooke St. Temple would
like to organize similar Study groups, but
are refrained from doing so, by the high
rental demanded by the Temple Corporation for
the use of the small, unused rooms on the
upper floors of the Temple. This is a pity –
and a very short-sighted view of Masonry’s
financial problem.

Statistics show that the average activity in
Masonic Lodges by individual members does not
exceed seven years.

I have in my Library Annual Reports from 1926
till 1949. In 1926, the total membership in
Quebec Province was 14,152. In 1949, it had
reached 16,613 – an advance of 2,461 in 23
years – or a little more than 100 a year-
this, notwithstanding the splurge in
applications that turned our Lodges into
initiation mills since 1940-the first
complete year after the beginning of World
War II. The loss of membership due to
“Suspension for non payment of dues” and
demits has been tremendous -because
sidebenchers (and they constitute the
majority in all Lodges) had lost interest in
Masonry-or, in other words, they did not find
in Masonry what they had sought for!

And why did they lose interest?

(a) BECAUSE they got tired of listening,
meeting after meeting, year after year, to
the repetition by rote of the ritualistic
formulas that had never been fully explained
to them;

(b) BECAUSE being unacquainted with the why
and the wherefore of the ceremonies held
within the Lodge-nor even the meaning of the
decorations of the Lodge room, they cannot
appreciate the richness of symbolism of what
is going on.

Some members, and not a few, do not care to
go “through the chairs” because they are
disinclined to memorize formulas which they
do not fully understand and do not favor the
system of placing a premium on those who are
gifted with mnemotechnic qualities,
regardless of other intellectual attainments.
And if, even at best, they are willing to
impose on their brain the effort of
memorizing ritual, with the lodge membership
running up into the hundreds, what chance
have they to reach the “chairs” before
several years have elapsed.

(c) Even though the attendance to Lodge
meetings is small when compared to the total
membership, the number of members present is
still too great to foster that feeling of
fraternalism that is supposed to exist among
Lodge members.

So, loss of interest in Lodge meetings is
easily understood and can only be overcome by

(a) the multiplication groups:

(b) the fostering of smaller lodges-breaking
up into small units those lodges that have
too large a membership. Thus in England,
where Masonry is very much alive, the average
lodge membership does not exceed 50.

True, the smaller lodges will reduce the
revenue since G.L. collects per capita taxes
on the total number of members on a lodge’s
roll, regardless of attendance at Lodge
meetings-but, on the other hand, it will
multiply the number of Lodges, so that in the
end, financially, the revenue of G.L. will
not be affected. True, it may mean a larger
number of Lodge rooms in the Temple, but
surely we, of all people, can find an
Architect who will be able to plan the floor
space we dispose of to better advantage than
at present. And these smaller lodges will
mean that a greater number of members will
have a chance of “going through the chairs”
and, most important of all, the members will
have a better chance than now of knowing
their fellow-lodge-members. A closer-knit
organization will result and a greater
interest be fostered in the symbolism and
philosophy of Masonry. Why do we find more
real Masonry in the rural or semi-rural
Lodges than in the large lodges of the
metropolitan districts? Simply because the
rural or semi-rural Lodges are smaller and
members have a better chance of knowing each

As to those so-called “higher degrees” let me
remind you there is no degree higher than
that of Master Mason. Most M.Ms go to them in
the hope of learning those things they have
failed to learn in their “blue” lodges, and
to a certain extent, they will acquire
Masonic knowledge in the capitular and other
degrees, because the rituals of such bodies
are but an elaboration of the work
incompletely given in the three basic degrees-
but that knowledge can be obtained quicker
and easier by personal study . . by reading
some of the thousands of books published on
Masonic topics.

As to the aspiration of so many to reach the
Shrine, let me tell you that this association
of Masons is NOT Masonry. In England the
Order of the Mystic Shrine is banned and any
English Mason who joins such a “Temple,”
“Grotto” or whatever you call the individual
units of this or similar Orders, will upon
being reported, be suspended from membership
in the Masonic Order! Please note I have
nothing against The Shrine – I admire it for
using to such good purpose the funds they
accumulate in providing for Masons a means of
recreation outside the strict limits of

If you would add to your Masonic knowledge
“on your own”; without going to the expense
of passing through the so-called higher
degrees, subscribe to a Masonic paper devoted
to the history, symbolism and philosophy of
Masonry-and not solely or mostly to the
doings in individual Lodges or to
‘biographical sketches of individual masons.
By reading such a paper, you will acquire
Masonic knowledge in easily assimilated form.
In the columns of such publications you will
find advertised most of the new books
published on Masonic topics, which can be
bought at reasonable prices -specially Great
Britain books which are remarkably low priced
to us Canadians, because of the low Exchange
value of the English pound at the present
time. In addition, English-printed books will
reach you here duty free, whereas American
books are subject to the complications of
Custom’s entries and high duties. These
conditions are purely temporary and it is
well to take advantage of them while they
prevail, establish your own Masonic Library,
now, never again, in future years, will
conditions be as favorable as they are right

If your own Lodge has no study group or Club
of its own, arrange to follow meetings in one
of those groups that are at present
functioning. You will not be refused
admission – the same principles of inter-
visitation between Lodges existing in Study
Clubs. Meanwhile, try to convince your own
lodge’s Permanent Committee to organize a
study club of your very own. If the expense
of carrying on meetings is too high, start
meeting in each other’s homes until such time
when your group counts sufficient members to
justify charging a small fee to cover cost of
rental of an adequate room in which to hold
your meetings. Where several lodges exist in
a same section, it is quite possible for them
getting together to foster a study group in
their locality or vicinity.

It is the study of the History, Symbolism and
Philosophy of Masonry that will save our
Order in the Jurisdiction of Quebec. Masonic
leaders know this. P.G.M. Leslie Boyd was,
during his term of office, one of the most
ardent advocates of providing the means of
ensuring a Masonic education for the rank and
file. Our present and newlyelected Grand
Master holds the same views, so does the
Deputy Grand Master, Dr. Charles Roman, who
is one of the foremost students of Masonry in
this jurisdiction. Last year, an Educational
Committee was appointed by G.L. and two or
three lectures in mimeographed form have been
distributed by this committee-let us hope
that like too many documents these do not die
in the desk drawer of some official of a
lodge without being communicated to the
membership! The issuance of a Grand Lodge
Bulletin is also a step in the right
direction. However I am convinced progress
will not be made until each lodge has its own
educational committee. Several D.D.G.M. have
featured this topic in their visits to the
Lodges under their care, but until a report
is demanded of such a Committee by the
D.D.G.Ms. when they officially visit the
Lodges, little progress will be made.

The Library at the Sherbrooke St. Temple will
soon be open to all. Let us hope that a
system will be devised so that library
facilities will be extended to out-of-town
Masons, as has been established with
brilliant success by the G.L. library of

In the words of P.G.M. Leslie Boyd, “The
Master’s certificate is but the beginning of
a M.M.’s education”! So, let us cease to be
Masonic ignoramuses. One simple and
inexpensive way of starting to pull ourselves
out of the mires of ignorance is to secure
those excellent envelope-size booklets edited
by Carl Claudy and published by the Masonic
Service Association, Washington – 1, D.C.,
U.S.A. These booklets cost only a dime each
when bought singly as issued each month. You
can subscribe for 60c a year. 25 different
copies of old issues will be mailed to you
for $1. and 90 copies, all different, are
yours for $3. I know of no better way of
getting a birds’ eye view of Masonry than
reading those Claudy booklets.
It is with this thought I leave you, Brother
Bill-but don’t despair, we are making
progress towards an educated Masonry in
Quebec. Getting this movement started has
been a tedious task, but now it is started
nothing can hold it back. FRA CAROLUS.


Freemasonry is an ancient and respectable institution, embracing
individuals of every nation, of every religion, and of every condition
in life. Wealth, power and talents are not necessary to the person
of a Freemason. An unblemished character and a virtuous conduct
are the only qualifications for admission into the Order. – LAURIE.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Wed, 29 Aug 2001 07:46:31 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>





BRETHREN, – The history and the ceremonial of
the Mark Degree have reference more than
other branches of the Royal Art, to the
actual operations of those of our ancient
brethren who were employed in building the
Temple of King Solomon; and the pictorial
representation on the board in front of you
is an attempt to set forth, in a graphic
form, such of the operations, and the
implements and tools used, as we depend upon
to illustrate the valuable lessons afforded
in this degree. As throughout all
Freemasonry, in the Mark Degree we hold the
Volume of the Sacred Law in the highest
possible estimation, containing as it does
the revealed will of the Almighty. In the
foreground of the illustration therefore will
be found, not the bound volume such as we are
at the present time accustomed to use, but
the roll of parchment upon which the
Pentateuch and certain of the historical
books were written in the days of King
Solomon. It was not until the time of Esdras,
forty years after the building of the second
temple, that the various inspired writings
were brought together by that pious scribe
and collated into one volume.

Making the Volume of the Sacred Law, as it
were, the threshold of your life, ” a lamp
unto thy feet,” your attention is next
directed to the emblems of reward and
punishment as symbolised by the wicket of the
Senior Warden and the figure of the Junior
Warden ready to inflict God’s judgments upon
the evildoer, while in the distance the
Heavenly Jerusalem, the city made without
hands, in which the righteous dwell for
evermore, is typified by the earthly temple
which we strive to keep for His honour and
glory. Illumined as it is by the first beams
of the rising sun, we are taught to think of
the Sun of Righteousness, arising with
healing in His wings. Looking down upon, and
embracing everything in its glance, is the
All-seeing Eye, typical of the Grand Overseer
of the Universe. As an Entered Apprentice you
were taught to regard the Almighty God of
Heaven and Earth as your Creator, as a Fellow
Craft, you looked up to Him as your Preserver
and Guide through life, and as a Master Mason
it is the eternal principle implanted in you
by Him that alone inspires you with the hope
of a joyful resurrection to eternal life. But
in the degree to which you have just been
advanced, you are taught that the Almighty
will be the awful Judge in that day when the
secrets of all hearts are revealed, and
therefore the Mark Degree teaches us, in the
very forefront of its precepts, to form our
thoughts, words, and actions upon the eternal
principles laid down for our guidance in the
Volume of the Sacred Law, so that when tried
by the square of the Grand Overseer of the
Universe they may be counted unto us for
righteousness. In the illustration before
you, you will observe that entrance to the
Holy City is gained by passing over the
checkered floor and ascending the nine steps,
which are again referred to in the
representation of Jacob’s ladder above. In
Freemasonry the number nine, 3×3, is held
sacred, as enumerating the principal virtues,
of which the chief are Faith, Hope, and
Charity, which are described by the three
Hebrew words.

It may be interesting in this connection to
note that in olden time all public edifices,
and especially those of sacred character,
were approached by an odd number of steps, it
being considered to be a good omen that the
foot which first pressed the step should be
the first to enter the building. The
checkered floor is held, as in Craft Masonry
to represent the diversities of life, which
is made up of joy and sorrow, lights and
shadows, a due proportion of both of which
make up the total of our earthly pilgrimage.
Surrounding the illustration is what some
call the tessellated border What has been
said of the checkered pavement may also be
said of the border, but a further explanation
is that whilst the Temple was in course of
completion, and various sections of the
sacred pavement were finished, the space
around each section was fenced off with
ropes, to keep away the feet of the profane,
and these ropes were knotted at the four
corners with tassels, represented, as you
will have seen in a Craft Lodge, by four
tassels pendant from the four corners of the
Lodge, and these, you were taught, reminded
you of the cardinal virtues of Prudence,
Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance, which
should ever bound our lives and actions.

In the centre of the illustration we see the
several stages of the building of King
Solomon’s Temple. In the foreground are the
forests of Lebanon with their magnificent
cedars, and the fir trees of Tyre which
furnish the timber. Here are also the plains
of Zeredatha made of a peculiar clay, very
suitable for its cohesive and plastic quality
for the purposes of the moulder in metals.
Hence all the brass work of the Temple was
cast in this place.

The Hebrew letters to which I now direct your
attention may be thus translated: Lapis
reprobatus est ab aedificatoribus, caput
anguli fit, or “The stone which the builders
rejected is become the head of the corner.”
The curious symbols adjacent refer to the
methods of communication at one time adopted
by our predecessors; they are in reality a
cipher, which any expert brother will be glad
to explain to you at further leisure, and at
greater length than is now possible. In
ancient times it was sometimes necessary for
the craftsmen to travel great distances in
search of work. They procured therefore from
their homes, or their mother lodges,
recommendations or testimonials which would
entitle them to admission to other lodges,
and further, would serve as suitable means of
identification on returning home, it might be
after a lapse of many years. Inasmuch as the
character of a mason, then as now, carried
with it many and important privileges, it was
necessary for their safeguarding, that secret
means of communication should be adopted.
These consisted of our secret grip, password
and signs; of the cryptic mode of writing
alluded to, and the “tessera.” A tessera was
a white stone, which was broken in half, the
one half being retained by the Lodge, the
other half by the craftsman. The stone was
divided by fracture that there might be no
doubt as to the identity of the respective
halves when brought together again. This
custom explains the allusion to a white stone
in the scripture you have heard read.

Around the board are depicted various
emblems, the use and meaning of many of which
are quite familiar to you as a Master Mason.
The working tools of a Mark Master Mason are
the mallet and the chisel. As an Entered
Apprentice you are familiar with the gavel
and the chisel, and therefore you are taught
in Mark Masonry as in Craft that a good
education is one of the best instruments of
success in life. The mallet differs from the
gavel, in that the latter was used at the
quarries, the former at the actual building,
at which you have heard there was no metal or
tool of any sort used, all material being
exactly prepared at a distance, so as to be
put exactly in place. The mallet was a wooden
implement designed to be used in fixing each
stone in its proper place with reference to
its neighbours, and therefore as Mark Masons
we are given to understand by the association
of mallet and chisel that the chief benefit
of education is to teach us to know our
proper place in the world, having respect to
the right and privileges of our fellows. With
reference to the white stone already alluded
to, I may tell you that there is a legend
that out of a very precious white stone our
Grand Master fashioned the keystone for the
main Arch of Solomon’s Temple. It was a work
of singular form and beauty which aroused the
admiration of the practical overseers, who,
while not knowing either the marks it bore or
the place for it in the noble structure on
the crown of Mount Moriah, still refused to
reject it, until at a loss for its final
disposal when, like much of what is pure,
good and beautiful in this world, the stone
was set aside by the master builders. (1) The
scriptural quotation which accompanies its
presentation to the candidate is one of the
grandest in the long list of Divine promises,
as the reward for work, good, true and
square. It is to be given to a certain class
that in life have fought a good fight and
become victors in the contest.

” To him that overcometh.”

The lesson of the Mark Master’s degree is,
that fraud or hypocrisy can never succeed.
Reward is only to those who overcome. The
fellow-crafts who through the week wrought in
the quarries of Zeredatha, brought up their
work on Friday afternoon to Jerusalem and
received their wages of corn, wine and oil.
Probably they spent Sabbath in the Holy City,
and long before cock-crow on the first day of
the week they started back along the Jordan
to resume the mallet and chisel as the
working tools of their profession.

The journey to and from Jerusalem was a long

(1) It is much to be regretted that the moral
lesson drawn from the “White Stone” in this
beautiful degree is permitted to receive but
a passing allusion.

and tedious one. With the lighter stones they
had fashioned during the week resting on
their shoulders, they travelled along over
dangers and difficulties, overcoming, until
the tapering spires and glittering domes of
the beloved city burst upon their vision.
Rejoicing over the task performed and the
journey completed, they presented their work
and received their pay. With renewed energy
they resumed their task from day to day, from
week to week, and month to month, until at
last the thing of grandeur on Moriah’s top
had assumed its final form of grace and
beauty, and the last ” sixth hour ” had come.

And when that hour comes, brethren, to
ourselves, when work is over, and the working
tools and garments of labour laid aside, then
the ” living stones,” all in proper form and
place, will there be seen forming the temple
of the triune God, each stone being the work
and bearing the mark of him that overcometh.


Freemasonry is an institution founded on eternal reason and truth;
whose deep basis is the civilization of mankind, and whose everlasting
glory it is to have the immovable support of those two mighty pillars,
science and morality. – DR. Dove.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Hướng dẫn tải game nổ hũ đổi tiền mặt cực đã tại đây. Nhanh tay lựa chọn địa chỉ ưng ý nhất và kiếm thật nhiều tiền thưởng từ top 10 sân chơi uy tín nhất.

Sun, 26 Aug 2001 11:39:54 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


Short Talk Bulletin – August 1968

Part II

I.’.H.’.S.’.V.’. In hoc signo vinces. “By
this sign thou shalt conquer.”
I.’.N.’.R.’.I.’. lesus Nazarenus, Rex
ludaeorum (Latin). Jesus of Nazareth, King of
the Jews
introd. introduction; (“by” understood in
I.’.P.’.M.’. Immediate Past Master
In the Name of the Great Architect of the
Universe. Often forming the caption of
Masonic documents.
J.’.D.’. Junior Deacon
J.’.W.’. Junior Warden
K.’. King
K.’.C.’.C.’.H.’. Knight Commander of the
Court of Honor
K–H.’. Kadosh, Knight of Kadosh
K.’.H.’.S.’. Knight of the Holy Sepulcher
K.’.M.’. Knight of Malta
K.’.R.’.C.’. Knight of the Red (or Rosy)
K.’.S.’. King Solomon
K.’.T.’. Knight(s) Templar
l., ll. line(s). It is often advisable to
indicate clearly in the margin that the
letter l and not Arabic l or ll is intended.
Better still, spell it out or (for poetry)
use “vs.”
L.’. (plu. LL.’.) Lodge
lang., langs. language(s)
loc. cit. (not l.c.) Loco citato, “in the
place (passage) cited,” i.e., in the same
passage referred to in a recent note. Never
follow “loc. cit.” with a page number.
German, “a.a.O.”
L.O.H. Legion of Honor
L.’.R.’. London Rank. A distinction
introduced in England in 1908.
M.’. Mason; Master
M.’.C.’. Middle Chamber; Master of
Ceremonies; Mystic Circle
M.’.E.’. Most Eminent; Most Excellent
M.’.E.’.G.’.H.’.P.’. Most Excellent Grand
High Priest
M.’.E.’.G.’.M.’. Most Eminent Grand Master
(of Knights Templar)
M.’.L.’. Mere Loge (French); Mother Lodge
M.’.M.’. Master Mason; Mark Master; Mois
Maconnique (French); Masonic Month. March is
the first Masonic month among French Masons.
M.’.P.’.S.’. Most Puissant Sovereign
M.P.S. Member of the Philalethes Society
MS, MSS manuscript(s), (as “the many MSS of
Chaucer”). But spell MS. with a period when
referring to a specific manuscript, as
“Bodleian MS. Tanner 43.” (M.S. is “Master of
M.S.A. Masonic Service Association;
Meritorious Service Award (in Northern
Jurisdiction, A.’.A.’.S.’.R.’.)
M.’.W.’ . Most Worshipful
M.’.W.’.S.’. Most Wise Sovereign
n., nn. note(s), (as “p. 56, n. 3”).
Commonly used instead of “fn.”; occasionally
spelled “p. 56n”, (italicized, no period).
German, “Anm.”
N.B. nota bene; “take notice, mark well”
n.d. no date, i.e., in a book’s imprint.
German, “o.J.”; French, “s.d.”; Spanish,
no., nos. number(s). Cf. “numb.”
n.p. no place, i.e., of publication; German,
“o.O.”; French, and Spanish “s.l.”
N.P.D. (or NPD) non-payment of dues
N.S. New Series, New Style (of dating since
numb. numbered
O.’. (or Or.’.) Orient; Orator
OB.’. Obligation
obs. obsolete
op. cit. (not o. c.) opere citato; “in the
work cited.” This is the most abused of
scholarly abbreviations. Some journals and
presses never use it. Properly used in citing
a passage on a different page (cf. “loc.
cit.”) of a work recently noted, but in such
cases the author’s name alone may suffice, or
his name and a short title may be clearer.
Spanish, “obra cit.”
O.S. Old Series, Original Series, Old Style
(of dating before 1752)
P.’. Past; Prefect; Prelate; Prior
p., pp. page(s). Avoid capitalizing. Write
“Pages” instead of “Pp.” Omit if volume
number precedes. German, “S.”; Spanish,
`pag., pags.”
par., pars. paragraph(s)
passim “throughout the work, here there”;
(as pp. 78, 133, et passim”)
per cent (no period)
P.’.G.’.M.’. Past Grand Master
philol. philological
philos. philosophical
pl., pls. plate(s)
P.’.M.’. Past Master
post “after”. Cf. “infra”
pref. preface
Pro G.’.M.’. Pro Grand Master (England)
Prov.’. Provincial
Prov.’.G.’.M.’. Provincial Grand Master
P.’.S.’. Principal Sojourner
pseud. pseudonym
pt., pts. part(s). Note that this
abbreviation saves but one character.
pub., pubs. (or publ.) published,
q.v. quod vide; “which see”
R.’.A.’. Royal Arch
R.’.A.’.M.’. Royal Arch Mason; Royal
R.’.C.’. or R.’.+.’. Rose Croix. Appended
to the signature of one having that degree.
R.’.E.’. Right Eminent
reg. registered
resp. respectively (as “pp. 56, 17, 89, 6
rev. review, reviewed vision.
R.’.F.’. Respectable Frere (French)
Worshipful Brother
R.’.L.’. or R.’. Respectable Loge (French)
Worshipful Lodge
R.’.O.’.S.’. Royal Order of Scotland
R.’.S.’.Y.’.C.’.S.’. Rosy Cross (in the
Royal Order of Scotland)
R.’. & S. %M.’. Royal and Select Masters
R.’.W.’. Right Worshipful
S.’. Scribe; Sentinel; Seneschal
S.’.B.’. Standard Bearer
S.’.C.’. Supreme Council
sc. scene
scil. scilicet; “namely, to wit”
sec., sees. (or sect.) section(s)
ser. series
S.’.G.’.I.’.G.’. Sovereign Grand Inspector
sic “thus, so.” Between square brackets when
used as an editorial interpolation;
otherwise, within parentheses. Avoid using
with an exclamation mark.
sig., sigs. (sigg.) signature(s)
Soc.’.Ros.’. Societas Rosicruciana;
Rosicrucian Society
S.’.P.’.R.’.S.’. Sublime Prince of the
Royal Secret
S.’.S.’. Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies
S.’.S.’.S.’. Trois fois Salut (French).
Thrice greeting. A common caption to French
Masonic circulars or letters.
st. stanza
St. (or S.), SS. Saint(s) (feminine, Ste.)
sup. supra; “above.” See “infra” for comment.
s.v. sub verbo or voce; “under the word or
S.’.W.’. Senior Warden
T.’. Tiler; Treasurer
T.’.C.’.F.’. Tres Chere Frere (French)
Very Dear Brother
Tr.’. Treasurer
trans. (or tr.) translator, translation,
translated (“by” understood in context)
U.D. Under Dispensation: empowered to work
Masonically, but as yet not warranted or
v. vide; “see.” German, “s.”
v., vv. (or vs., vss.) verse(s)
V.’. (or Ven.’.) Venerable (French).
V.’.D.’.B.’. Very Dear Brother
Ven.’.Gr.’.Prior Venerable Grand Prior
Ven.’.Lt.’.Gr.’.Comdr.’. Venerable Lieutenant
Grand Commander
viz. (with or without a period; usage varies)
videlicet; “namely”
V.’.L.’. Vraie lumiere (French). True light
vol., vols. volume(s) (as “Vol. II of 3
vols.”) Omit “Vol.” and “p.” when both items
are supplied. Most journals and presses avoid
`v’ for volume since it may be mistaken for a
Roman numeral. German, “Bd., Bde.”; Spanish,
vs. versus; “against”; (also, verse)
V.’.S.’.L.’. Volume of the Sacred Law
V.’.W.’. Very Worshipful
W.’`. Worshipful
W.’.M.’. Worshipful Master, German Wurdiger

(The triangle of dots used to indicate
Masonic abbreviations is an “ancient custom,”
but it is not consistently or universally


Masonry is one of the most sublime and perfect institutions that ever
was formed for the advancement of happiness and general good of mankind;
creating, in all its varieties, universal benevolence and brotherly love.
It holds
out allurements so captivating as to inspire the Brotherhood with emulation
deeds of glory, such as must command, throughout the world, veneration and
applause, and such as must entitle those who perform them to dignity and
respect. It teaches us those useful, wise and instructive doctrines upon
alone true happiness is founded; and at the same time affords those easy
by which we attain the rewards of virtue; it teaches us the duties which we
to our neighbor, never to injure him in any one situation, but to conduct
with justice and impartiality; it bids us not to divulge the mystery to the
and it orders us to be true to our trust, and above all meanness and
and in all our vocations to perform religiously that which we ought to do

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Sun, 26 Aug 2001 11:37:18 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


Short Talk Bulletin – August 1968

Part I

This Bulletin is published as a handy
reference booklet for the Masonic reader and
writer. It is not intended to be a complete
list of abbreviations used in Masonic lodges
and other bodies, nor of those used in
scholarly reference books.

However, this list can help the Brother who
is engaged in some purposeful Masonic
reading; it explains the most common
abbreviations and reference words he may
encounter in his search for Masonic Light.

Brother Aemil Pouler, Format Editor of The
New Age, official publication of the Supreme
Council, 33, A.&A.S.R., Washington, D.C.,
compiled this list. He is a member of St.
John’s Lodge No. 11 in the nation’s capital.
This booklet will help to answer many of the
questions that come to an editor’s desk. To
Brother Pouler, we express sincere
appreciation for making possible this useful
tool for Masonic enlightenment.

A.’. &A.’. Ancient and Accepted
A.’. & A.’.R.’. Ancient and Accepted Rite
(as used in England)
A.’.A.’.S.’.R.’. Ancient Accepted Scottish
Rite (used in Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A.)
A.’. & A.’.S.’.R.’. Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite (used in Southern Jurisdiction,
abr. abridged; abridger
A.D. Anno Domini; “in the year of the Lord.”
Precedes numerals; often printed in small
caps; no space between.
A.’.Dep.’. Anno Depositionis; “in the
Year of the Deposit,” the date used in
Cryptic Masonry
A.’.F.’. & A.’.M.’. Ancient Free and Accepted
A.’.F.’.M.’. Ancient Freemasons
A.’.Inv.’. Anno Inventionis; “in the Year
of the Discovery.” The date used by Royal
Arch Masons
A.’.L.’. Anno Lucis; “in the Year of Light.”
The date used by Ancient Craft Masons.
A.’.L.’.G.’.D.’.A.’.D.’LU.’. A la Gloire du
Grand Architecte de l’Univers. To the Glory
of the Grand Architect of the Universe
(French). The usual caption of French Masonic
A.’L’O.’. A l’Orient. At the East (French).
The seat of the Lodge.
A.’.M.’. Anno Mundi; “in the Year of the
World.” The date used in the Ancient and
Accepted Rite.
anon. anonymous
ante before. Cf. `supra.’
A.’.O.’. Anno Ordinis; “in the Year of the
Order.” The date used by Knights Templar.
A.Q.C. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. the
printed reports of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No.
2076 of London, England.
art., arts. article, articles
A.’.Y.’.M.’. Ancient York Mason
b. born. Latin, “n.”; German, “geb.”
B.’. (or Br.’.) Brother, or Bruder.
(German for Brother)
B.’.A.’. Buisson Ardente. Burning Bush
B.’.B.’. Burning Bush
B.C. Before Christ. Follows numerals; often
printed in small caps; no space between.
bibliog. bibliography, bibliographer,
biog. biography, biographer, biographical
bk., bks. book(s). Note that this
abbreviation (e.g., Bk. II of 2 bks.) saves
but one character.
C. Constitution. Used to indicate
warranting authority of constituent lodges.
E.g., “E.C.,”I.C.,” and “S.C.” mean of
“English, Irish, or Scottish Constitution,”
i.e., “chartered by the Grand Lodges of
England, Ireland, or Scotland.”
ca. (or c.) circa, “about.” Used with
approximate dates; e.g., ca. 1776; “ca.” is
preferable to “c.” which can also mean
“chapter” or “copyright.”
C.’.C.’. Celestial Canopy
cf. confer; “compare.” Never use “cf.” when
“see” is intended. German, “val.”; Spanish,
C.’.G.’. Captain General, or Captain of the
C.’.H.’. Captain of the Host
ch., chs. chapter(s) (or chap., chaps.) col.,
cols. column(s)
Comp.’. Companion; designation of a member
of the Royal Arch
comp. compiled, compiler
D.’. Deputy (also District. See
d. died. Latin, “ob.” or “obit.” German,
D.’.D.’.G.’.M.’. District Deputy Grand
Master (America). (See Dis.’.D.’.G.’.M.’. –
D.’.G.’.B.’.A.’.W.’. “Der grosse
Baumeister aller Welten” (German); the Grand
Architect of all Worlds
D.’.G.’.G.’.H.’.P.’. Deputy General Grand
High Priest
D.’.G.’.H.’.P.’. Deputy Grand High Priest
D.’.G.’.M.’. Deputy Grand Master
Dis.’.D.’.G.’.M.’. District Deputy Grand
Master (England). (See D.’.D.’.G.’.M.’. –
diss. dissertation
D.’.Prov.’.Gr.’.M.’. Deputy Provincial
Grand Master
E.’. East, the place of Light. Also, Eminent;
E.’.A.’. (or E.’.A.’.P.’.) Entered
E.’.C.’. Excellent Companion (E.C. – “of
English Constitution”)
Ec.’. Ecossais (French); Scottish,
belonging to the Scottish Rite
ed., eds. (or edd.) editor(s), edition(s),
edited by. Some presses prefer “edn.” for
edition, “ed.” for editor.
ed. cit. editio citata; “edition cited”
e.g. exempli gratia; “for example.” Rarely
capitalized; no space between; preceded and
followed by comma. German, “z.B.”
E.’.G.’.C.’. Eminent Grand Commander
enl. enlarged (as in “rev. and enl. ed.”)
esp. especially (as in “pp. 248-263, esp. p.
et al. (never et als.) et alii; “and
et seq., seqq. et sequens, sequenlia; “and
the following.” But cf. “f., ff.”
etc. (rarely &c.), “and so forth.” Avoid
using in text. German, “usw.”
E.’.V.’. Ere Vulgaire (French); Vulgar Era;
Year of the Lord
ex., exs. (or exx.) example(s)
f., ff. “and the following (with a space,
after a numeral) page(s) or line(s).” But
exact references are preferable; e.g., “pp.
53-54” instead of “pp. 53 f.”, “pp. 53-58
ff.” (Some presses, e.g., Harvard, prefer the
style “53f) – omitting the period.)
F.’. (plu., FF.%) Frere. Brother (French)
F.’.A.’.A.’.M.’. Free And Accepted Masons
(This abbreviation used only by the Grand
Lodge of the District of Columbia.)
F. `. & A.’.M.’. (F.’.A.’.M.’.) Free and
Accepted Masons
fac. facsimile
fasc. Fascicle
F.’.C.’. Fellow-Craft
F.P.S. Fellow of the Philalethes Society
fig., figs. figure(s)
fl. floruit; “flourished, reached greatest
development in influence”
F.’.M.’. Freemason (old style). (French,
Franc Macon; German, Friemaurer)
fn. footnote. Cf. “n.”
fol., foil. (or fo.) folio(s)
Fra.’. Frater (Latin); brother (title of
address used by Knights Templar)
front. frontispiece
G.’. Grand; also, the symbol for Deity and
G.’.A.’.O.’.T.’.U.’. Grand Architect of
the Universe
G.’.A.’.S.’. Grand Annual Sojourner
G.’.C.’. Grand Chaplain; Grand Chapter;
Grand Council; Grand Commander; Grand Cross;
Grand Chancellor; Grand Conclave
G.’.D.’. Grand Deacon
G.’.D.’.C.’. Grand Director of Ceremonies
G.’.E.’. Grand Encampment; Grant East
G.’.G.’. Grand Geometrician; Grand
Generalissimo; Grand Guardian
G.’.G.’.C.’. General Grand Chapter
G.’.G.’.H.’.P.’. General Grand High Priest
G.’.H.’.P.’. Grand High Priest
G.’.J.’.W.’. Grand Junior Warden (also
G.’.L.’. Grand Lodge; Grande Loge (French);
Grosse Loge (German)
G.’.M.’. Grand Master
G.’.N.’. Grand Nehemiah
G.’.O.’. Grand Orient, Grand Organist
G.’.P.’. Grand Pursuivant; Grand Priory;
Grand Principal; Grand Preceptor; Grand
Patron, etc.
G.’.P.’.S.’. Grand Principal Sojourner;
Grand Past Sojourner
Gr.’. (or G.’.) Grand; Great
G.’.R.’. Grand Registrar or Grand Recorder
G.’.R.’.A.’.C.’. Grand Royal Arch Chapter
Gr.’.Comdr.’. Grand Commander (Also, Sov.’.
Gr.’. Comdr.’.)
Gr.’.Eq.’. Grand Equerry
Gr.’.M.’. of Cer.’. Grand Master of
Gr.’.Min.’. of State Grand Minister of
Gr.’.Organist Grand Organist (Also,
Gr.’.Prior Grand Prior (Also, Ven.’.Gr.’.
Gr.’.Sec.’. (or G.’.S.’.) Grand Secretary
Gr.’.Sec.’.Genl.’. Grand Secretary General
G.’.S.’.W.’. Grand Senior Warden (also,
S.’. G.’. W.’.)
Gr.’.St.’.Bearer. (or G.’.S.’.B.’.) Grand
Standard Bearer
Gr.’. Steward Grand Steward (Also, G.’.
Gr.’.Sw.’. Bearer (or G.’.S.’.B.’.) Grand
Sword Bearer
Gr.’.Treas.’. Grand Treasurer (Also,
Gr.’.Treas.’.Genl.’. Grand Treasurer
G.’.S.’. Grand Scribe; Grand Secretary
(Grand Secretary is also Gr.’.Sec.’.)
G.’.S.’.B.’. Grand Sword Bearer; Grand
Standard Bearer (also, Gr.’.Sw.’.Bearer and
G.’.T.’. Grand Treasurer (Also, Gr.’.
Treas.’.); Grand Tiler
G.’.W.’. Grand Warden
G.W.M.N.M.A. The George Washington Masonic
National Memorial Association
H.’.A.’.B.’. Hiram Abif
H.’.E.’. Holy Empire
hist. history, historical, historian
H.’.K.’.T.’. Hiram, King of Tyre
H.L.O.H. Honorary Legion of Honor
H.’.P.’. High Priest
H.’.R.’.D.’.M.’. Heredom
ibid. (sometimes ib.) ibidem, “in the
same place,” i.e., the single title cited in
the note immediately preceding. Not to be
introduced by “in.” German, “ebd.”
idem (no period; sometimes id.), “the same”
i.e. id est, “that is.” Rarely
capitalized; no space between; preceded and
followed by comma. German, “d.h.”
I.’.G.’.H.’. Inspector General Honorary
Ill.’. Illustrious
illus. illustrated, illustrator,
infra (not inf.) “below.” Cf. “post” and
see “supra.” Since the English word has the
same number of letters, the use of the Latin
may be thought affectation. Many editors
consider “see below (or above)” preferable,
although others, particularly editors of
classical journals, warn that “above” and
“below” can occasionally be mistaken for
references to the physical position of
objects in an illustration.


Not More But Better Masons
Sat, 25 Aug 2001 19:17:57 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

Not More But Better Masons
A Talk Given by L. F Walker, P.D.D.G.M. for
Three Rivers and Quebec


There are some Lodges in the Republic to the
South of us that boast of their Lodges having
memberships of 2000 and even more. In
Montreal we have quite a few Lodges that have
500 members or more on their rolls.

In England, on the other hand, the Lodges are
proud of the fact that their membership does
not exceed fifty with every man knowing the
other well. And it is this feeling of
personal friendship that makes for 100%
attendance at Lodge meetings.

What Masonry needs is not merely MORE Masons,
but BETTER Masons. If it were otherwise, we
could, like other societies, associations and
clubs, conduct recruiting or membership
campaigns and soon double the number of
adherents to our Order. On the contrary, we
make it difficult for profanes to join our
Lodges. Not only solicitation of membership
is strictly forbidden, but the past and
present of those who volunteer for membership
is and must be strictly scrutinized before
they can be admitted to Lodge for initiation.
And even when admitted through our portals
for initiation, they can still be turned back
and be refused the benefits of Masonry, if
they do not, by their conduct while
undergoing the initiatory ceremonies is not
all that it should be.

We cannot be too careful as to whom we admit
to our Temples. While creed, denomination,
color, politics cannot bar a man from
admission to the Order, we must make sure the
applicant will blend well with the other
members of the Lodge in which he seeks
admission. A dissident member will do more to
disrupt the harmony of a lodge than all that
might be done against our Order by its
enemies -and I regret to say that in this
Province of Quebec, Masonry has many enemies.
. . people who have been deliberately
misinformed about Masonry. And I am sorry to
say too few of our Brethren are sufficiently
well informed concerning Masonry to be able
to adequately spread correct information as
to the History, Philosophy, Symbolism and
Aims and purposes of our Order that would
correct false impressions concerning it.

There is considerably more to Masonry than
memorizing ritual. Back of each spoken word
is a world of symbolism, tradition and
history. That is why at your initiation you
were enjoined to “make a daily progress in
our secret arts and sciences” . . . How few
of us have even given a thought to the
admonition as to making progress, given us
when we were received in the Masonic fold.

Possibly you have awaited for your officers
to provide that additional instruction in
Masonry you were told to acquire … and you
have awaited in vain, routine and initiation
“work” taking up practically all the time
available, and thus you have considered
Masonry a sort of secondary religion,
recommending brotherly love and good conduct
– but that is not enough, commendable as it

Of course, the ideal way to handle this all-
important problem would be to have a small
Masonic reference library of your very own –
a dozen or so books on the history,
philosophy, symbolism of Masonry is all that
is required for a start. And with a
depreciated Pound in England it is surprising
how little these books would cost if bought
from English publishers instead of Americans
whose prices are to my mind abnormally high.

Another method is to invite well versed
Masons to address your meetings. I understand
the Educational Committee of Grand Lodge has
available a list of speakers it recommends.
Located where you are, it might not be easy
to attract these speakers to your locality,
but some of them surely travel this way and
The Educational Committee could help you and
gladly would if you expressed the desire to
hear some of the speakers it recommends.

But the simplest method of painlessly
imparting Masonic knowledge is to follow the
method launched a year or so ago by Royal
Alexandra Lodge No. 104, situated on the
outskirts of Montreal. In the anteroom of
this Lodge fastened to the wall in a
prominent position, is an unpretentious
wooden box with a slot on top in which can be
slipped an envelope or even a simple sheet of
paper. Above this box is a small but visible
sign worded as follows:

Don’t be a Masonic Illiterate
All questions pertaining to
Masonry deposited in this box
will be answered in open lodge
at next meeting.

Write yours now – before you forget
and pencil available
Ask tyler

After each meeting the Secretary opens the
box and turns contents over to the chairman
of an Educational Committee. This Committee
meets before the following meeting and
prepares concise answers. It happens that the
Committee of three in charge of this work is
well versed in Masonry-but most questions are
mostly elementary and can easily be answered.
Should questions that are difficult to answer
come up, it is referred to the local study
club which is attended by most Masonic
researchers in the Montreal area, and an
adequate answer is soon provided which can
then be used by the local Committee. There is
also a Masonic Light Association in Montreal
which will gladly answer such difficult
answers by mail, in time for your meeting.

This method ensures the protection of the
anonymousness of the enquirer, he therefore
does not signal himself to the attention of
his colleagues as a Masonic ignoramus. The
answers, rarely taking more than 10 minutes
to read, are read under the agenda item: “For
the good of this Lodge.” Thus all members
benefit and add to their Masonic knowledge –
and very often one question suggests another,
so that there are always three or four
queries to be answered at every meeting.

I would like each lodge in my District to
inaugurate such a simple, uncomplicated
system of Masonic study and I will gladly
help you install it and put you in touch with
sources of information which will help you
supply the answers. And all of this will cost
you nothing above the cost of the box and the
small sign which one of your members can make
as a contribution to masonic education in his

Education, more education, that is what is
required to make individual members realise
what is meant by the Light that was restored
to you at your initiation and it is my ardent
desire that in my District at least we have
more and more members who are acquainted with
the true secrets of Masonry; who understand
the symbolism back of the words of ritualism.


Freemasonry is a moral order, instituted by virtuous men, with
the praiseworthy design of recalling to our remembrance the most
sublime truths, in the midst of the most innocent and social pleasures,
founded on liberality, brotherly love and charity. – ARNOLD.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Thu, 23 Aug 2001 07:37:13 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


Short Talk Bulletin – April 1972

Let us think about friendships and the mark
they leave upon us. Let us look at the four
jeweled facets of friendship that can best be
remembered by the four proverbs: (1) “As a
man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (2)
“Birds of a feather flock together.” (3) “A
faithful friend is the medicine of life.” (4)
“Never forget a friend when prosperity comes
your way.”

Friends are not wished upon us. We do not
deliberately choose friends. We win them. And
not every man or woman has that disposition;
not every man or woman is possessed of that
inner grace wherewith to win friends. Just as
some ears are deaf to music and some eyes
blind to painting – hearing but not
comprehending, and seeing but not discerning
– so there are hearts that are closed to

People who are usually absorbed in other
relationships, who are too completely
dominated by other interests, or too
self-centered, too egotistical, too
self-sufficient; or the contrary people who
are too timid, too locked up, escapists who
run away from what they fear, from
commitments and entanglements – all such
people often miss the completing and exalting
experience of friendship.

Friendship, like all other human forms of
culture, takes time and thought. It must be
carefully cultivated, and it requires time
for seasoning and ripening. It is the old
friends who are the. true friends, just as
it’s the old wine that is the good wine.
Jewish writings tell us: “Forsake not an old
friend, for the new is not comparable to him.
A new friend is as new wine. When it is old
thou shaft drink it leisurely.” Those who are
too busy with other concerns have not the
time, therefore, for the proper husbandry of

All great religions and all great literatures
stand in the presence of the phenomenon of
friendship as if in the presence of the
mystic, something magnificently great. In the
Old Testament we read the story of Jonathan’s
friendship for David which was so profound
that Jonathan gave David the sceptre of a
kingdom-a kingdom that could have been his.

The Book of Ecclesiasticus, which is
recognized as sacred scripture by our Roman
Catholic brothers but not by Protestants, has
a lot to say on friendship. Ecclesiasticus
was composed by an eminent physician, Ben
Sirach, in the second century before Christ.
He was a wise man who travelled far, learned
much, gathered wisdom and published his
findings in this book of the Apocrypha.

Francis Bacon, an Englishman living at the
time of Queen Elizabeth I, wrote concerning
friendship: “A principal fruit of friendship
is the ease and discharge of the fullness and
swellings of the heart, which passions of all
kinds so cause and induce …. No receipt
openeth the heart but a true friend, to whom
you may impart griefs, joys, hopes,
suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever Beth
upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of
civil shrift or confession.”

Let us consider the first facet of the great
jewel of friendship. “As a man thinketh in
his heart, so is he.” Make friends with
ideas. Then let those ideas become the
driving force in your life. Then select your
friends from those who share your same vision
of greatness. Institutions such as the
church, or Freemasonry, dedicated to sharing
these great ideals, often provide the common
ground that creates lasting friendships.

In a Declaration of Principles adopted by the
Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois in 1939,
the guiding ideals of Freemasonry were
outlined as follows:

“Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent,
educational, and religious society …. Its
only secrets are in its methods of
recognition and of symbolic instruction ….
Freemasonry seeks to improve the community.
Thus it impresses upon its members the
principles of personal righteousness and
personal responsibility . . . . Inspires them
with a feeling of charity, or good will
toward all mankind which will move them to
translate principle and conviction into
action. To that end it teaches and stands for
the worship of God; truth and justice;
fraternity and philanthropy; and
enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil,
religious, and intellectual . . . . The
Freemason will act in civil life according to
his individual judgment and the dictates of
his conscience.”

Mr. Nightengale has become a very successful
man in the field of human motivation because
he discovered the importance of making
friends with ideas. From the wisdom of the
ages he distilled the thoughts of men from
various cultures and civilizations. He
condensed his findings into a system. Then he
makes cassette tapes and instructs those who
are looking for a way to be successful to
listen to these tapes over and over again.
Make that idea an intimate friend; then it
will go to work for you.

In a very real sense, this is what the
Masonic lodge is all about. The key truths of
Masonry are reduced to ceremony and symbols
which are re-enacted every stated meeting, so
that men will not only marvel at the beauty
of truth; these truths will become their
intimate friends. Masonry is a progressive
moral science, divided into different
degrees; and as its principles and mystic
ceremonies are regularly developed and
illustrated, it is intended and hoped that
they will make a deep and lasting impression
upon the mind.

Make friends with great ideas. Then let those
ideas become the organizing force and the
dynamo of your life.

The second facet of the jewel of friendship
is stated in the proverb: “Birds of a feather
flock together.” Select your friends from
those who share with you the same vision of

The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds his
Christian audience of the great “Cloud of
Witnesses” that once occupied the stage of
human drama and acted out their faith. In
that great essay on faith in Chapter 11 of
Hebrews we are told:

“By faith Abel offered a sacrifice greater
than Cain’s . . . . By faith Enoch was
carried away to another life without passing
through death . . . . By faith Noah divinely
warned about the unseen future, took great
heed and built an ark to save his household .
. . . By faith Abraham obeyed the call to go
out to a land destined for himself and his
heirs, and left home without knowing where he
was to go …. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob
and Esau and spoke of things to come . . . .
By faith when Moses was born, his parents hid
him for three months, because they saw what a
fine child he was . . . . By faith when he
grew up, Moses refused to be called the son
of Pharoah’s daughter, preferring to suffer
hardship with the people of God. Need I say
more? Time is too short for me to tell the
stories of Gideon, Barak, Samson, and
Jepthah, of David and Samuel and the Prophets
. . . . With all these witnesses to faith
around us like a cloud, we must throw off
every encumbrance, and run with resolution
the race for which we are entered, our eye;
fixed upon Jesus.”

We are familiar with the glorious history of
our Judeo-Christian heritage, but do we
understand the part Freemasonry plays in that
history? Rear Admiral Homer N. Wallin,
speaking in Seattle, Washington, in 1955
said: “America is indeed a monument to the
principles and the ideals of the Founding
Fathers – a monument to the truth we seek, to
principle, to self-sacrifice, to the loyalty
and devotion of its people. And it is correct
to say that our kind of America is a monument
to the ideals and principles of Freemasonry,
not only because of the accord in principles
and ideals, but also because a large number
of our Founding Fathers were Freemasons.
Masons have inherited the right to say,
`Behold the flag of our country, an emblem
conceived by Freemasons and representing
Masonic ideals’. ”

Among the Signers of the Declaration of
Independence, Masons were well represented. I
know at least two – Benjamin Franklin and
John Hancock – were Freemasons. You may
recall John Hancock made his signature very
large on this historic document so that
George II could read it without putting on
his glasses.

Fourteen American Presidents were Masons.
This list would include George Washington,
who was Master of his lodge in Alexandria at
the time of his inauguration as President in
1789. He was sworn into office on a Masonic
Bible. It also includes James Monroe, Andrew
Jackson, William McKinley, the two
Roosevelts, and Harry Truman.

The early influence of Freemasonry is
illustrated in the Louisiana Purchase of
1803. Most of those directly involved in the
purchase were Masons: Robert Livingston and
James Monroe. The area was explored by
Masons: Meriwether Lewis, William Clark,
Zebulon M. Pike, and Andrew Henry. It was
governed by Masons. Lewis was the first
Governor, Clark the Indian. Superintendent,
Frederick Bates, Secretary; Judges Otho
Shrader, Silas Bent, Pierre Chouteau, and
Bernard Pratte.

The impressive list of Masons in the military
would include General Douglas MacArthur,
General Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Captain
Edward V. Rickenbacker, Admiral Richard Byrd,
General Henry “Hap” Arnold, and General James
Harold Doolittle, just to name a few in this

From this list one might get the impression
that a man had to be a Freemason to get ahead
in politics and government service. This was
not true, for the list of non-Masons is
greater; but it is interesting to note that
this charge was levelled by dissident clergy
against the Genesee Conference of the
Methodist Church more than a century ago.
They claimed that all the good churches were
filled by Methodist ministers who were Masons
and those who refused to join the lodge
received what crumbs were left. This group of
dissident Methodists also became upset over
pew rents that were being charged members and
said that church pews ought to be free. They
found the main body of the church
disinterested in their reforms and broke away
to form the Free Methodist Church, which
survives to this day as a small group which
does not permit its members to join any

Masonry began in the dim light of the almost
forgotten past. Some say it had its
beginnings at the time of the Greek
Philosopher Pythagoras, some five hundred
years before Christ. Certainly it borrows
heavily from his geometric truths. In the
modern era the first Grand Lodge was
organized in London in 1717. From fragments
of history we know that Freemasonry was in
existence in the fourteenth century. While
one might assume from what I have said that
Masonry is primarily an American
organization, this would not be true. It is
world-wide in scope, as the Master Mason
Rudyard Kipling has illustrated in his famous
poem, The Mother Lodge.

The church and the lodge provide a common
ground for men who have caught the vision of
greatness to meet and become friends. What a
rich legacy is ours in this brotherhood!

The third facet of the Jewel of Friendship is
the proverb: “A faithful friend is the
medicine of life.” There is healing in
friends. It is agreeable to have another
human being share with us those things which
burden us, filling our hearts beyond their
own capacity to bear them. In this way, a
faithful friend is the medicine of life – and
in another way, too. Not only by sharing our
burdens with others, but by taking into our
lives the griefs and the hopes and the
problems of our friends, we cleanse our own
souls of self-coddling; we save ourselves
from becoming too wrapped up in ourselves. We
make ourselves well by giving and receiving.

There is another profound comment on
friendship found in the Bible: “Just as iron
sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the
countenance of his friend.” Friendship
challenges us. A true friend is one who will
warn us when we are being less than our best.
For true friendship demands the best that is
within us. We are not on parade before our
friends. True friends can have sharp
differences of opinion without losing their
esteem or affection for each other.

The fourth facet of the Jewel of Friendship
is the proverb: “Never forget a friend when
prosperity comes your way.” This is to say
that friendship makes demands. Friendship is
not a matter of personal convenience. A
friend is not there just to receive our
intimate confessions, to counsel us, to
soothe us, to agree with us, to justify us,
and always approve of our ways.

Friendship calls us to duty. Our Lord lived
His life in obedience to the higher duty of
God and for His friendship to man laid down
His life. “There is no greater love than
this, that a man should lay down his life for
his friends. You are my friends.”

We are living in perilous times, times when
the quality of life has been polluted by
desires of quantity. Mr. Alvin Toffler in his
best selling book, Future Shock, has vividly
described what is happening. He says that
living in the last half of the twentieth
century is like living in the center of a
tornado. Things that we thought were secure,
resting on good foundations, are suddenly
flying overhead like aircraft. The church,
the lodge, the public school system, our
government – all these things which we
thought were resting on good foundations have
come unglued. Novelty, confusion surrounds
us. Rowboats aren’t in the water; they’re
flying through the air. Our rapidly changing
environment is taking a heavy toll on
personalities. Never did we need
companionship more. Never has the call to
duty to fight for and preserve our
friendships been a more important call.
Collectively we can maintain our sanity in
this tornado ravaged world. Individually we
will lose our sanity, if we don’t have
lasting friendship.

In our sacred literature we are cautioned to
prove and to test men before we admit them
into the sacred sanctuary of friendship. “If
thou wouldst get a friend, prove him first
and be not hasty to credit him!” There are
those who are friends for their own occasion,
who will not abide the day of trouble. These
are our fair-weather friends, our prosperity
friends, our companions at the table. They
are the scavengers of friendship. They are
camp followers.

Real friendship is only possible when there
exists between two people a concurrence of
driving ideals, a genuine capacity for
loyalty, for trust, for generosity, and the
real baring of one soul to another. This is
the fertile soil of friendship.

Tell me not of a man’s history, only let me
know the ideals to which he subscribes, the
institutions he supports, the companions he
make, and I can tell you what kind of a man
he is.

My greatest joy on earth shall be,
To find at the turning of every road,
The strong hand of a comrade kind
To help me onward with my load.
But since I have no gold to give
And only love can make amends,
My daily prayer shall be,
“God make me worthy of my friends.”


Masonry is an art, useful and extensive, which comprehends
within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning,
and stamps an indellible mark of preeminence on its genuine
professors, which neither chance, power, nor fortune can
bestow. – PRESTON.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Wed, 22 Aug 2001 06:11:46 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

by Allen E. Roberts

Short Talk Bulletin – December 1972

Freemasonry in the United States counts
almost four million individuals in its
membership. The word individual is all
important. In Masonry the individual controls
his own destiny. He is a free man.

The man who enters a Masonic Lodge is free to
become a good, or indifferent member He can
attend meetings, if he wants to. He’s not
penalized if he doesn’t. He isn’t rewarded
with stars or bars for perfect attendance. He
receives no awards fur performing particular
duties. He may work a lifetime for
Freemasonry and receive no special
recognition. His counterpart in a civic club
would probably have his name prominently
displayed in the news media constantly.

Then why do so many Freemasons devote so much
of their lives to the Order? Actually, there
is no obvious answer. It’s impossible to
generalize There is probably no one answer
that can fit even a dozen individuals.

Let’s look at the case of one Brother whom I
know intimately.

Twenty-five years ago he said to a friend
while at church one Sunday, “I’ve always
wanted to be a Mason, but evidently you
Masons don’t like me.”

“Why do you say that?” asked his friend.

“Because none of you has ever asked me to
join.” His friend laughed and told him no one
ever would, but he would take care of that
right now. A petition was in his hands before
the day was over. He filled it out. It was
signed by two of his Masonic friends and
submitted to the Lodge.

Before the petition could be acted on, the
petitioner’s wife had a miscarriage. He had
no hospital insurance; his savings were tied
up in a new business he had just started. His
friend called and offered to have the
petition held over till things were better.
The petitioner said he appreciated that, but
he didn’t want that done. He and his wife had
talked it over. They had reserved one last
Savings Bond so he could become a Mason.
That’s the way they wanted it.

He was elected to receive the three degrees,
which were conferred on him promptly. He
learned the Master Mason’s catechism. Then he
learned all the lectures. He received all the
instruction in the ritual he wanted. But the
Lodge had no library. When he asked where he
could obtain books about Masonry, no one
could tell him.

Some time later he learned about the Masonic
Service Association. He wrote to it and his
Masonic education began. A few years later he
attended a “Masonic Church Service” with
members of his Lodge. The minister was an old
man, and evidently a dedicated Master Mason.
He told of many episodes of Brotherly Love in
action, particularly during the Civil War.
His heart was filled with pride to know that
he was a member of an organization that in
spite of the hells of war would help a
Brother in distress.

In the weeks that followed he couldn’t forget
that preacher and his stories about
Freemasons. Search as he did, he could find
no one who knew what Freemasonry was all
about. He determined to do what little he
could to change this – to work in the field
of Masonic education.

About this time a Past Grand Master learned
of his interest and took him by the hand.
They learned and worked together to develop
an educational program. They mace a lot of
mistakes. They made some friends, some
enemies, and many dedicated Master Masons.
They are still working and won’t be satisfied
until every man who enters a Masonic Lodge
has the opportunity to learn what Masonry
really is.

This series of Short Talk Bulletins is an
endeavor to further their aim – to make every
member a dedicated Master Mason. It can’t be
done, as we’ve said before, without
Constructive Leadership. If the leaders don’t
care, the member won’t either. This series
has tried to prove that Leaders do care.

Who are the leaders? Every individual who
becomes a Freemason is now a leader, or at
least a potential leader. So, every member
should learn the Masonic ritual. But above
all, he should learn the meaning behind the
ritual. He should become Masonically educated
so that he will become Masonically dedicated.

Every Masonic Lodge is a Team. In the
Constructive Lodge the Worshipful Master
assigns a coach to see that the Team
functions properly. As in football, each
member has an assignment. When he carries out
his assignment fully, goals are reached
without difficulty. In this series, we’ve
laid down some ground rules to follow. But we
can’t emphasize too strongly that every Lodge
is different. Every Lodge will have to
establish its own format to achieve success.
We have merely pointed the way.

Where the Team doesn’t function, the
individual is of necessity on his own. It
will be more difficult for him to learn what
he ought to know about Freemasonry, but he
can do it. He can prove that he is a leader.
He should remember that there are ways to
achieve success as an individual. Not all
games require teamwork. Tennis and chess
champions come from individuals who have had
to strive alone. But the help they need is
always available somewhere.

For the individual who wants a self-study
course in Freemasonry, there are many good
Masonic books available. Last month’s Short
Talk listed some and told where to find
hundreds of others. As an example, here are a
few that can give anyone interested an
immediate well-rounded background in Masonry:

Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, available from
Macoy Publishing Company, is an excellent
one-volume history of Freemasonry. Among its
many features is a “History Reading
Directory”. By following this outline, the
student of the Craft can obtain a
well-rounded background. Mackey’s Revised
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry is still a
valuable tool for finding answers to
particular questions about the Craft. In
these two books the student of Masonry can
find most of the Masonic knowledge he needs
to know.

Carl Claudy’s Introduction to Freemasonry is
available from The Temple Publishers, 8120
Fenton Street, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.
It’s an easy to read explanation of the three
degrees of Freemasonry. It covers the
symbolism and history of the Craft that the
Master Mason ought to know. Although it was
written in 1931, it is as up-to-date as

For the Master Mason who wants to become a
leader in his Lodge, Key to Freemasonry’s
Growth will help. It is available from Macoy.
Its pages contain the “meat” from hundreds of
books on management written for industry. It
has been adapted for the fraternal leader. It
is being used as a text by Grand Lodges,
district conferences, Lodges, individuals,
and even by some military and government
agencies. One reviewer asserted: “It is a
must reading for the peanut vendor, the heads
of large corporations, as well as the line
officers of Masonic Lodges.”

These four books can serve as starters for
the individual, or group, who wants a
self-study course in Freemasonry. In
addition, there are hundreds of other books,
pamphlets, and brochures available. The
Masonic Service Association has been in the
“business” of Masonic education since 1919.
It wants to be of service to all Freemasons.
Let it know what you want.

As pointed out in the November Short Talk,
Grand Lodge libraries are available to all
who are interested. Grand Lodge educational
committees have material pertinent to their
Jurisdictions. They want to get this material
into the hands of every member.

Every Master Mason has promised “to improve
myself in Masonry.” This is an individual
commitment which every member ought to take
seriously. You didn’t say you would improve
yourself in Masonry only if the leadership
was interested. Or if someone took you by the
hand and led you along a thornless path. Or
if everything was made easily obtainable.
What you promised was “to improve myself in

When a man is raised to the Sublime Degree of
Master Mason, he has become a member of the
world’s greatest fraternal organization. What
he does from that day on strengthens or
weakens the Fraternity. If he is a good
Mason, he enhances the name of Masonry in his
community. His actions make other good men
want to emulate him. He becomes a stronger
citizen, a better churchman.

Being made a Master Mason, a member of a
Lodge, doesn’t automatically make a man a
good Freemason. Like the high school or
college graduate, he still has much to learn.
He has really received only enough knowledge
to “get by”. If he doesn’t put this knowledge
to work to acquire more knowledge, he has
wasted his time and his money. He won’t
satisfy his ego needs.

While there is disagreement in determining
just what man’s needs are, most behavioral
scientists agree that there are three kinds:
(1) Physical and security needs, such as
food, shelter, and clothing; (2) Social
needs, because all human beings arc dependent
on each other. and must help or be helped to
realize self-satisfaction; (3) Ego needs,
resulting from man’s desire to be an
individual, to do things on his own, to
realize a sense of self-accomplishment.

Every man who enters Freemasonry has
satisfied his physical and security needs. He
has become a Mason because he must satisfy
his social and egoistical needs. In Masonry
every individual has an unlimited area in
which to work to realize these needs. This is
good, because it has been determined that a
man utilizes only from 10 to 20 percent of
his natural creative ability in the work that
satisfies his security needs-his daily job.

Of course, there are men who desire no
responsibility. Many would rather spend their
time building model ships or planes. There
are others to whom money is “king” and
acquiring it is a compulsive activity. But
the vast majority believe in the American
dream that every man can rise to the highest
position in his organization, his company, or
the land if he works to achieve worthwhile
social and spiritual goals.

Human relationships thrive on a balance of
giving and taking. This is particularly true
in Freemasonry. The better the balance is,
the more the relationship will flourish and
grow. This will help to fulfill the needs we
all have.

Apart from the material things, we all need
recognition, approval, encouragement,
affection, understanding, sympathy, and
especially acceptance of our weaknesses.
These are the ingredients of the “mystic
tie”. Those who are strong should willingly
help the weak. Those who have knowledge to
impart should not hesitate to teach those who
need it.

We will do this, and more, if we will follow
these words of wisdom from Bits & Pieces:
“The man who does only what is required of
him is a slave. The moment he does more, he’s
a free man.”

Elsewhere I have given Masonic expression to
this thought as follows:

“You have entered a new world. Symbolically,
and perhaps literally, you have been reborn.
This started the moment you were prepared to
become a Freemason.

“As you progress in Masonic knowledge, your
wisdom will broaden; you will become more
vitally alive than ever before; you will
become more aware of your fellowman, your
family, your church, and your country. Your
whole philosophy of life will improve.

“This will take place, but only if you become
Masonically educated.”

The last statement is most important. To
become Masonically educated you will have to
do more than is required of you. As you do
this you will achieve a self-satisfaction
that cannot be measured. And you will be
proving that you have the qualities that are
necessary for a leader.

Too often we are told, and unfortunately
believe, that an individual can do nothing.
Individuals have ideas. It is from ideas that
countries and organizations grow. They grow,
that is, if the ideas are brought out into
the open and discussed, then put to work.

Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Henry
Ford, three individuals we have discussed
earlier, had ideas, or used those discarded
by others. Their accomplishments have been
well documented in the pages of history. So
are the deeds of countless other individuals
who put their ideas to work and went on to
become the leaders of their day.

Many, many individuals have influenced
Freemasonry through their ideas. It is
impossible in these pages just to name them
all, without even mentioning their
accomplishments. George Oliver wrote a
Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry and dozens
of other books and tracts on Freemasonry.
Much of what he wrote has been discredited,
but he did inspire others to add to or
subtract from what he wrote. One so inspired
was Robert Macoy, who published A General
History, Cyclopedia, and Dictionary of
Freemasonry. In 1849 he formed what is now
the Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply
Company, Inc., practically the only publisher
of Masonic books in the United States today.

Albert G. Mackey gave up his practice as a
medical doctor to write about and for
Freemasonry. He is most famous for his
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, written in 1874.
It was he who compiled the 25 Landmarks which
have influenced the Masonic law of several
Grand Lodges in the United States. It was he
who conferred the Scottish Rite degrees on
Albert Pike, and it was Pike who revitalized
the Scottish Rite by revamping the rituals of
that Masonic Order.

Thomas Smith Webb (1771-1819 ) was the
foremost ritualist of his day. He is credited
with being the founder of the American, or
York, Rite of Freemasonry. What he did with
the ritual has influenced almost every Grand
Lodge to this day. He inspired Jeremy Ladd
Cross and John Barney to carry on as
ritualists and organizers where he left off.

In this century there have been individuals
such as Frank S. Land, who organized the
Order of DeMolay for young men; George L.
Schoonover, who is credited with founding The
Masonic Service Association, which has helped
to harmonize American Freemasonry. Out of its
annual meetings came the Conferences of Grand
Masters and Grand Secretaries. Through the
Association American Freemasonry was able to
unite in service to our soldier sons and
Brothers during World War II, and frequently
during periods of calamity to help, aid, and
assist distressed worthy Brothers.

No well informed Freemason needs to be
reminded of the contributions made by Joseph
Fort Newton, D.D., whose book, The Builders,
is still the best selling Masonic book in our
country. The spiritual philosophy in his
writings will influence countless generations
of Freemasons to become better than they
might otherwise be. One of the many Newton
influenced was Carl H. Claudy, whose
imaginative writings have inspired thousands
of Craftsmen, and who brought The Masonic
Service Association from infant weakness to
the `strength it enjoys today.

What can one individual do? Nothing – or
everything! It all depends upon what the
individual wants to do. But there is one
thing certain – he can accomplish nothing by
sitting on his hands. He will achieve nothing
by burying his ideas. If he fears criticism,
he will get nowhere.

“He that will so demean himself as not to be
endeavoring to add to the common stock of
knowledge and understanding, may be deemed a
drone in the hive of nature, a useless member
of society.”

Whether or not an individual aspires to
leadership, he can achieve most of the goals
he sets for himself. But he first has to set
those goals. If he does, he will be well on
the road to success.

The man who sets goals for himself will
utilize the principles of leadership that
have been discussed in this series. He will
use the planning process to reach his goals;
he will organize himself and those around him
to make his plans work; his “staff” will
include those with the knowledge necessary to
help him toward his objectives; he will know
how to communicate his ideas and listen for
the feedback essential to his success; he
will practice participative control and take
the corrective action needed every step of
the way.

How important is the individual? Only the
most important ingredient in Freemasonry!


Freemasonry is founded on the immutable laws of Truth and
Justice and its grand object is to promote the happiness of
the human race. WASHINGTON.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Re: Mark Degree Tracing Board
Sat, 18 Aug 2001 17:29:38 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>
1 , 2 , 3


Bro. Drew, you do not need to make any apologies for the long post you
made, I do it all the time ………

After your reference to the Mark Ritual, I checked a copy I did not know I
had of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales ….
and there was the Lecture on the Mark Masters Masons’ Degree – thank you
for pointing that out.

I have a copy of a set of Harris Tracing Boards (dated 1836) which includes
2 Royal Arch Tracing Boards. It would be interesting to compare notes.

The other Royal Arch Tracing Board I am familiar with is described:


The Origin of the English Royal Arch Degree – 1867
By George Oliver

I HAVE had the good fortune to meet with a
very curious Floor Cloth of the Royal Arch
degree, as it was practised in the Grand
Lodge of England, at the period of its
introduction into what was then denominated
modern Masonry by Brother Dunckerley, which
clearly illustrates the principles already
enunciated. It is painted on silk (size 22 by
18 inches), and is the property of the St.
Michael’s Chapter No. 24, in the city of
Chester, and was forwarded to me by my friend
and brother, Willoughby, of Birkenhead. The
Warrant for this Chapter is dated February
9th, 1781, and differs very little from the
present form, except that it is dedicated to
“the Almighty JAH .” It is signed by the
three Principals, two Scribes, and three
Sojourners, and also by three Inspectors
General. An old jewel which belonged to this
Chapter, has a mitre upon it, on which is

Would anyone be interested in the full George Oliver description?

>Sorry for the long posting to the list, it was intended as a
>private post to M.Ex.Comp McGee.
>However in order to in some way make amnmends I am willing to post a
>description of the tracing board, but rather than than jump in with
>both feet I will first ask if there is anmy interest in it.
>I hasten to add that there is nothing considered secret in either the
>board itself or the contents of the previously posted lecture
>Fraternal Regards
>Drew Grant
><[email protected]>
>Almoner Howdon Panns 5316 UGLE
>”P.S.” de Lorraine RAC 541 SGCEng

“Just a Junior Deacon”
Sat, 18 Aug 2001 08:06:09 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

“Just a Junior Deacon”


Way back in A.D. 1911 the Worshipful Master
of Evans lodge No. 524 of Evanston, Illinois,
found it difficult to get the Junior Deacon
to learn the Senior Deacon’s Lecture. Hoping
to get results by putting the Junior Deacon
`on a spot’ he wrote to him as follows:

“Chicago. July 19, 1911.

“Mr. James Wray, Evanston, Ill.,

“Dear Brother Wray:- Tuesday next. July 25th,
you will be expected to give the lecture
about which I have spoken to you.

Asahel W. Gage.
Worshipful Master.

The Junior Deacon replied as follows:

“I am just a Junior Deacon,
And my name is Jimmy Wray.
I haven’t got that Lecture learned
And there’s the deuce to pay.

“I’ve promised and I’ve promised
And then some more, I guess,
Now they say it’s up to me,
And right here I will confess:

“I haven’t learned that lecture,
And there’s no one you can blame
I’ll just own up truth,
And say with face of shame:

“I haven’t learned that lecture.
And next Tuesday’s drawing nearer
If I could hear it just once more.
Its meaning would be clearer.

So, please, kind sir, be merciful
And Don’t ask me to give,
A lecture that goes through my mind
Like water through a sieve.”

Evans Lodge then had a good working library
which was open for use by its officers and
members, not only on the nights of its
Communications, but on every week day.

This source of information contained
materials not only as to the history and
meanings of Masonry but also as to it, useful

Jim Wray learned `what Masonry is all about’.
He applied what he learned and in 1915 he had
a most outstanding useful year as Worshipful
Master, among a long list of outstanding
years in Evans Lodge.

His useful and beneficial Masonic work did
not end with his year as Worshipful Master.
It has continued ever since and it is hoped
that it will long continue.

“I am just a Junior Deacon” was published in
the Evans Lodge notice for September 1911. In
that same 1911 notice was the following,
which hints of what was being done way-
back-then in Evans Lodge to assist members
and candidate in their search for Masonic

“BUILDING DESIGNS: No man should ever enter
upon Masonry without some Understanding of
the nature of the society. That it has
secrets he must know. That it is the truest
type of fraternity of brotherhood, he will
soon learn. Its members he will find to be,
of the substance of the community. A society
of reformers who have confined their
reforming largely to themselves. The
applicant must understand that Masonry means
the building of character and ability as well
as mere physical building. How and why he can
only learn be becoming a Mason. The
landmarks, fixed and plain, are there for
guides. No one should ever be allowed to
conceive Masonry to be an institution of
light or trifling character.

“In order that each candidate may better
appreciate the beauties and the benefits of
the work, the Worshipful Master endeavors to
impress upon each before initiation, that the
degrees contain a secret system of moral
instruction by the ancient method of symbol
and allegory. That the teachings unfold as
pondered and that pleasure and profit will
always be found in them.

“The co-operation of the brethren in
developing this conviction will be
appreciated, and of lasting benefit to the

“It should be always remembered that the
letter “G” does not stand for goat, and that
nothing should ever be said that may by any
possibility mislead a candidate into thinking
there is anything frivolous in the work.”

Before the 1st degree and after each degree
as taken, the Worshipful Master suggested to
the candidate that he read specific verses
from I Kings V, VI & VII; II Chronicles II,
& III; and Ezekiel XLI.

When the candidate presented himself for the
1st degree, after the secretary’s monitorial
lecture, and before any ceremonial
preparation, he was courteously requested to
remove his left shoe and hand it to the one
in charge of his preparation, who then placed
it on the floor by the candidate and informed
him that this had a symbolic meaning, that
all of his preparation had symbolic meanings,
and that the ceremonies in which he was about
to take part had meanings that he could
better understand by paying close and sincere
attention to them as they were unfolded.

After each degree there was communicated to
the candidate something of the meanings and
applications of the degree he had just been

In those old-time days Evans Lodge was not
only building close fraternal relations
between its members individually but it was
as a body doing practical and helpful work
and was assisting its members to do the same.

In the Evans Lodge December 1911 notice the
following was published:

“BUILDING DESIGNS:” The designs in which all
are interested are those for that spiritual
building, that house not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens. What that house is,
St. Paul clearly indicated when he said:
`know yc not that ye are the Temple of God.”

“How to plan the erection of this temple, the
Bible teaches in its historical account of
the erection of the material temple. Life is
grouped into three divisions: Youth, Manhood
and Old Age. The development of humanity may
also be divided into symbolic epochs. These
divisions are typified by the three groups of
laborers employed in building Solomon’s

“The apprentices, or beaters of burdens,
correspond to youth, and symbolize man before
he became the predominant creature. His whole
existence was a struggle against the
inclemency of the elements, and the ferocity
of the wild beasts when he worked with and
developed strength, symbolized by Thor’s
hammer. His mind was not the highly developed
complex intelligence that it now is. He knew
only simple and direct effort, symbolized by
the straight line of the twenty four inch
gauge. The working tools of the apprentice
teach the necessity of directness of thought
and strength of character.

“The fellowcrafts or hewers correspond to
manhood, and symbolize man in the second
stage of development when he notes the
orderly or geometric tests, tries, and by the
aid of his working tools, symbols of his
faculties, he learns to use the materials and
forces about him. The ability to work with
the fellowcraft tools makes life easier and
more secure and gives opportunity for the
development of the higher faculties.

“The masters, or chiefs over the work,
correspond to old age, to man developed until
he becomes a builder, a designer. a creator,
he molds all nature in forms of his own
design. He grows corn of the quality he
wants, the orange without seed, and the rose
of a color to suit his fancy. His working
tools are all the implements, but more
especially the trowel, the symbol of
cementing, of uniting, of building.

“The stories of which the temple is composed
are thoughts, words and deeds. The master
with the trowel of constructive thought
unites the symbolic stones into a temple of
character and ability. The Bible teaches that
these stones must be perfected in the
quarries where they are wrought. There will
he no tools to alter them later neither
hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, is
heard in the temple while it is building. The
necessity for perfection of each thought,
word, and act is therefore apparent.

“The Biblical account of the building of
Solomon’s Temple is most perfect symbolism.
Being Truth, its application is universal and
the lessons to be learned from it are limited
only by the ability to understand its
teachings. The benefits we receive are
limited only by the ability to apply the
teachings to the problems of life.’

During “Jim Wray’s year”, way back in 1915,
he and `the old Past Master of 1911, spent a
Sunday in the Iowa Grand Lodge Library which
the then Grand Secretary. Newton Ray Parvin.
opened that day for them. There they visited
with several Past Grand Masters and other
brethren who had attained to Old-Age. There
that day Jim Wray arranged with our beloved
Brother Joseph Fort Newton to come to
Evanston and deliver an address on Masonry to
the members of Evans Lodge, their families
and their neighbors. This address was
published in pamphlet form. It has recently
been republished in the Masonic News and also
as a Craft Fellow’s pamphlet, revamped it has
become the title chapter of Newton’s book,
“The Men’s House”.

In addition to Newton’s address Jim Wray that
year had talks given in the Lodge, by members
of the Lodge, on the first three degrees of
ancient symbolic Craft Masonry and other
appropriate subjects. Several of these talks
and numerous `Masonic Jingles’, “By Jimminy,”
were published in masonic journals. Some of
the Worshipful Masters “Jingles’ and the
talks on the 1st degree and on the 3rd degree
were that year published in “The Builder”,
the Journal of the National Masonic Research
Society, which evolved into the Masonic
Service association of the United States.
These two talks were published as booklets by
the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and ordered read in
every Iowa Lodge. They are preserved in
Volume 15 of “The Little Masonic Library”.
published by the National Masonic Service
Association. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
in their 1944 “Manual” for use in their
District Lodges of Instruction refer to these
two talks. The Grand Lodge of Iowa have a
small booklet for each candidate after he has
received each degree. In his remarkable
booklet “The Third Degree’ he has explained
the Word perhaps better than anyone else.

It is not surprising that in Evans Lodge,
more than thirty years after those `old-time
days’ a score of old-time members of those
days have attended their mother lodge.
Results follow causes with geometric

Masonry teaches that “Old Age” is the symbol
of a Master.

James Thomas Wray, who signs himself “By
Jimminy”, entered the Illinois Masonic Home
Family at Sullivan on August 10th 1948.

Before the end of his first two weeks there
he received many letters and post cards from
members of his lodge. Dr. Dwight F. Clark, a
senior and most outstanding `M.D. of
Evanston, president of one might almost say
the, Evanston Historical Society, and
old-time member of Evans Lodge and the
physician who made the health certificate for
Jim’s admission to the home wrote to him that
the Home Family was to be congratulated on
having him a member because he would be a
valuable addition to any group. Not all
members of the Home Family are as fortunate
as Jim in being remembered by old friends
Jim’s sympathy inspired the following:


There arc men who arc forgotten
When they move into the Home.
They have lost all their loved ones
And are too old just to roam,

If you could see the faces
When the mail man goes his round,
No letter or post card for you today
How simple that all sounds.

They look forward daily
For a word from you or me
Just a letter or a post card
That is all it has to be.

If you have a relative
Or a friend who is living here
Just send him a card or letter
He will like it, never fear.

Don’t let him think he is forgotten
And has been put upon the shelf.
There is no way of telling now
But you may be here yourself.


Evanson. Ill., Oct. 29/48

NOTE – The author of the above article – and
the many others – that have for many years
appeared in the American Masonic Press, which
were signed “By Jimminy”, was Bro. James
Thomas Wray, who died at the Illinois Masonic
Home, on December 21, 1948. Masonry has lost
in him a clever and well skilled Craftsman.


Freemasonry is founded on the immutable laws of Truth and
Justice and its grand object is to promote the happiness of
the human race. WASHINGTON.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Re: Mark Degree Tracing Board II
Thu, 16 Aug 2001 20:22:44 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>



Some of the old chapters bad, and probably
may still have, tracing-boards, the idea of
which came straight from Craft usage. In the
old Irish chapters were boards depicting the
symbols not only of the Royal Arch, but of
the Craft and a number of additional degrees.
It is thought that the oldest Irish floor-
cloth (and the floor-cloth was in effect a
tracing-board) is owned by Lurgan Lodge, then
No. 394, Irish Constitution, and its chief
feature is an arch.

An engraved plate dated 1755 represents a
very early instance of a tracing-board
displaying a Royal Arch idea. It is a curious
illustration showing an arch in three stages
and an indented border on a tracing-board
which is in course of use by the architect.
In the Chapter of Fortitude, Edgbaston, No.
43, is a painted floor-cloth, not thought to
be older than 1840, showing the signs of the
zodiac, while in the Chapter of Sincerity,
Taunton, No. 261, is a tracing-board,
originally a cloth, dating back to the early
1800’s, and displaying as one of its emblems
the mariner’s compass. This last board,
illustrated in a full-page plate in the
author’s earlier volume, is quite
outstanding; within an indented border it
includes a main arch supported by two great
pillars, and inside that is seen a succession
of three arches, with the Sojourners at work.

A Third-degree tracing-board belonging to the
Britannia Lodge, No. 139, Sheffield (started
as an ‘Antients’ Lodge in 1761), presumably
dating back to not earlier than the 1840’s,
displays the clearest possible evidence of
association with the Royal Arch. Within an
outline of a coffin (surmounted by a sprig of
acacia) are a few bold Craft emblems and
three pentalphas, those last probably an
indication of the survival of the ‘Antients’
feeling originally in the lodge.

On old Craft tracing-boards, banners, jewels,
etc., a hand holding a plumb-line is a symbol
often indicating a Royal Arch connexion. It
comes from the ‘Antients’ ceremony of
Installation, and dates back to the time when
the Past Master’s ‘Degree’ was considered an
essential step to the Royal Arch. It is a
matter for conjecture whether anything was
contributed to this particular symbolism as a
result of Galileo Galilei’s investigation of
the properties of the pendulum, but it is
impossible to contemplate the well-known
statue of the great physicist holding a line
with pendulum bob without instantly calling
to mind the hand-and-plumb-line symbol to be
seen on numberless tracing-boards and jewels
of other days. An excellent example of a
design in which the same symbol occurs is on
a Royal Arch banner (1780-1800) in the
masonic museum at Canterbury

The anchor, a device common on old tracing-
boards and jewels, was (and still is) a
Christian emblem of eternal life,
particularly so when combined with the cross.

The group of seven stars so commonly seen on
old tracing-boards, jewels, and the like is
inspired by the texts in Revelations i, 16;
ii, i; and iii, i, these speaking of the
seven stars in the hand of Christ.


Re: Mark Degree Tracing Board
Thu, 16 Aug 2001 20:13:51 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<sup[email protected]>, <[email protected]>

Why no R.A. Tracing-Board?
Taken from AQC
Q. What is the origin of the design of floorcloth used by
English Royal Arch Chapters and why does a Tracing Board
not feature in Chapter working?
A. It is suggested that the floorcloth used in English Royal
Arch Chapters is a product of Masonic furnishers, dating in
its present form from the latter part of last century and
inspired, perhaps, by engravings by John Harris (1791 –
1873), the noted designer of Tracing Boards. It is intended to
be a conventional representation in the Masonic idiom of the
four walls of a vault, seen in perspective, obliquely from
above, with the Pedestal in the centre – obliquely, in order to
display the front of the Pedestal to view.
It seems as if some sort of floorcloth must have been in use
in the Grand Chapter in London from its early days, for by
1784 it was necessary to have a new one. The Grand
Chapter Committee decided on 27 February, 1784:-
“That there be a new chequered painted cloth and a new
Pedestal and Letters provided . . : ”
but there is no means of knowing what form this “chequered
cloth” took. The premier Grand Lodge on its part did not,
apparently, look with favour on the type of painted cloth
which was the forerunner of the modern Craft Tracing Board.
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 23
November, 1796 record that:-
“An Hieroglyphical Banner or Painting of a Lodge was by
direction of the Committee of Charity laid before the Grand
Lodge for its inspection when the Grand Lodge disapproving
thereof. It was Ordered to be immediately removed out of the
Many early Tracing Board designs have a mosaic pavement
drawn in perspective (several examples are illustrated in E.
H. Dring’s monumental paper on the subject in A. Q.C. vol.
xxix), and the design of the Royal Arch floorcloth commonly
used today may be an extension or application of this
Harris’s Royal Arch engravings were first advertised by him
in 1836 as:-
“New Designs, illustrative of the Royal Arch, on two boards
for instruction in that degree . . : ‘
They were taken up by Robert Spencer who eventually
acquired the copyright of Harris’s Craft and Royal Arch
designs, and advertised the latter, like the Craft designs, as
“Tracing Boards”. The set of two so-called Tracing Boards
for the Royal Arch designed by Harris do not take the form of
the present floorcloth but are pictorial representations of (1)
the legend of the Degree, and (2) the layout of the Chapter.
They were published as plain or coloured engravings,
approximately 9″ x 5″, often bound into a folder with a clasp.
The engraving of later date reproduced on p. 285 of this
Volume appears to have been based on this Harris set and it
combines the two designs into one.
Harris’s Royal Arch (and Craft) Tracing Boards were,
together with a Royal Arch floorcloth etc., listed in
catalogues issued by “Spencer’s Masonic Depot” from the
1870s on. The second “board” was illustrated – although not
described as such – in the 1880 catalogue (Freemasonry: its
Outward and Visible Signs, Revised Edition) which claimed
that “The plate shows the arrangement of a Chapter
approved by H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex whilst Grand Z.” but
this statement must be treated with reserve. Of the floorcloth
advertised in the same catalogue it is said:
“The site for a Pedestal is placed nearer to the Principal’s
throne than is shown in the plate and the chequered
pavement points to it from all sides in diminishing
perspective giving as idea of greater distance.”
Harris’s Royal Arch Tracing Boards do not appear to have
found acceptance in the way that did his Craft designs.
There was no place in the ritual for their use and, in any
case, a Tracing Board in the Royal Arch would appear to be
superfluous since the layout of an English Chapter in itself
forms a three-dimensional Tracing Board illustrative of the
traditional history and legend of the Degree. Examples of
Royal Arch Tracing Boards do occur, but in isolated
instances only, and it is probably true to say that such
Boards have never had any wide currency in the English
Constitution. The Grand Lodge Library and Museum
possesses a large Royal Arch Tracing Cloth, once the
property of the Royal Gallovidian chapter (an English
Chapter which met in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, from 1810 to
1861) and one of the set of three Tracing Boards on loan to
the Museum from the Mount Lebanon Lodge, No. 73, is
undoubtedly a Royal Arch Board. A Royal Arch Board
belonging to the Chapter of Sincerity, No. 261, Taunton,
Somerset, is illustrated in the Transactions of the Somerset
Masters Lodge, No. 3746, Vol. V, 1927-30, facing p. 112

At 08:52 PM 8/16/01 +1200, [email protected] wrote:
>Fraternal Greetings Companions
>In my Chapter we have a tracing board for the Mark degree.
>Unfortunately we have no ritual or lecture for it.
>As i am now about to complete my second term of office as
>First Principal, I would like to do so by giving a lecture
>on the Mark Tracing Board (the Mark being my favourite
>Can anyone help?
>Fraternal Cheers,
>M.Ex.Comp.James MacGee
>Ponsonby Kilwinning RAC No.394 (SGRAC.Scotland)
>Albany, New Zealand.


From its origin to the present hour, in all its vicissitudes, Masonry
has been the steady unwearing friend of man. – Rev. Erastus Burr

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Functions of a Masonic Lodge
Thu, 16 Aug 2001 20:07:40 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

Functions of a Masonic Lodge


It is not the primary function of Masonry to
initiate candidates, or to enlarge its
membership. Were it so, there would be no
basis for our laws against proselyting. The
ordinary function of a Masonic Lodge indeed,
the primary function of our Craft, is to
train its members to an understanding of the
truths which its rituals and its ceremonies
are calculated to inculcate, to develop its
members as benevolent men, to cultivate the
social virtues among men, and to propagate
the knowledge of the art.

The chief concern of the Lodge is with its
welfare, the happiness, the Masonic
development of its members, not with the
admission of those who seek entrance to its
doors. Its success as a Masonic Lodge cannot
be gauged by the length of its membership
roll or by the size of its accumulated funds.

The beauty of our ritual, and the good
fellowship among the members of our Lodges
cannot be conserved when the chief aim is to
make Masons and money – “for a man’s life
consisteth not in the abundance of things
which he possesseth” – and a Lodge’s life
does not consist in its acquisitions, but in
the contribution which it makes to
civilization and society through the
influence to those whom it has helped to
train to what we call Masonic character.
Therefore, it should be the duty of every
Masonic Lodge to put in action a plan for the
education of its members in Masonic history,
symbolism and philosophy, devoting more of
its meetings to this much neglected function.
– Wenatchee Masonic News.


Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind
– Andrew Jackson

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Mon, 13 Aug 2001 21:28:16 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


MASONIC LIGHT – September 5949

It, was in one of those new suburban
districts where row upon row of “wartime”
houses had been built. The Parish Priest
decided one day, he wanted to get acquainted
with those newly moved in people, so he
started off to visit house after house. Most
of them were occupied by returned soldiers
who, somehow, did not seem to be very devout.
In fact the priest’s reception had been
rather cool. Finally, almost discouraged, he
reached a house where, through the open win
dow, he could see on the wall of the living
room one of those elaborately framed pictures
of Pope Leo XIII, in his papal robes, tiara
and all. Surely this was one place where he
would be well received! So he knocked at the
door, certain of a favorable reaction to his
religious admonitions.

To his surprise the door was opened by a tall
Scot who seemed rather surprised to see him
and said: “Well, what do you want with me?”

– I’m your Parish priest and I’ve come to
make your acquaintance.

– Pleased to meet you . . . but I’m no
parishioner of yours, sir.

-How’s that, you are a good catholic

– Nothing of the kind, I’m a Presbyterian!

– Then why have you got the Pope’s picture on
your wall?

-There’s no pope’s picture here, sir.

-Why, yes there is, said the priest, pointing
at the chromolithographed picture in the
living room.

-That’s not the pope!

-Sure it is.

-Are you sure?

– Of course I am, that is His Holiness Pope
Leo XIII of sainted memory.

-Oh! the darn peddler!

-He was no peddler. He was a count at the
court of Italy before he joined the church.

– It’s not him I mean . . . I mean the
peddler who sold me that framed picture by
telling me it was one of Bobbie Burns in full
Masonic regalia!


Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind
– Andrew Jackson

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Sun, 12 Aug 2001 16:17:03 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

Wanted: An inexpensive book on the symbolism
and history of Masonry

Charles Holmes

After the neophyte has been through the
Apprentice’s degree, during which he has been
told that he must ever seek more light, that
he must broaden his knowledge of Masonry, he
is brought to the East where he is given a
book of the G.’.L.’. constitution and a copy
of the by-laws of the particular lodge to
which he has been admitted. True, the
Constitution may give him an insight into
what are our ancient landmarks and of the
regulations of 1721 and the “old charges of
1722” – the whole in a very few pages and
presented in a very unpalatable form, this is
not enough to satisfy the enquiring mind of
the thinking man who comes to us because of
the preconceived good opinion he his of our

If the newly-made Mason does read the few
pages that arc not devoted to the dryly
expressed and often obscure regulations of
the order, the knowledge he will thus have
secured will be insufficient to make him
realize what a wonderful institution Masonry
really is.

He will then pass through his Craft, man’s
denies – and again be admonished to seek more
light, to make the liberal arts and sciences
his future study .. but where will he find
the knowledge he is admonished to seek?
Finally he is raised to the sublime degree of
a Mater Mason, is told that he is now a
Master of oar Arts … and he is bewildered
to realize that though he has absorbed, in
the course of the ritualistic ceremonies he
has undergone a great deal of the legends on
which Masonry, as we know it, is based these
ceremonies, impressive as they are, have
failed to inform him completely as to the
purposes and history of Masonry. If he goes
no further in his quest for light, the new
Master Mason will merely be a “new member”
who will soon lose interest in our Order.

It has been the Custom, in some Lodges, to
give to the newly-raised Mason, a nice,
gilt-edged, leather, bound Bible, on the
fly-leaf of which is inscribed the date on
which he took each of his three basic
degrees. This is a nice gesture and the book
is doubt, less kept by the recipient as a
pleasant memento of his admission to our
Order, but, will it really help him to secure
more knowledge of Masonry, even if it
contains the story of Solomon and the
building of his Temple and a few scanty
references to Hiram Abif and Hiram, King of
Tyre, which he has doubtless already read and
which he may re-read with greater care, now
that these stories have taken on (for him) a
deeper meaning! Was it really necessary to
present him with a V.S.L. to ensure this
result? Is it not a probability, if not a
certainty, that the new brother already had a
Bible in his home in which he could have
found those references that interest him as a

If, instead of presenting a Bible to the
newly-made Master Mason, some concise book on
Masonry, containing an outline of the
history, philosophy and symbolism of Masonry,
could be presented to him, would this not
impart a new and deeper meaning to the
ritualistic ceremonies he has been through
and would be so frequently called upon to
witness and take a part in, in the future?
Would not the knowledge of Masonry’s
wonderful philosophy and its history,
reaching back so far in the past, inspire the
new brother with a new zeal and admiration
for the institution of which he has been made
a part? In other words would it not, even
more than the in, dispensable ritualistic
ceremonies, make the new brother a real

While we have many books – and series of
bulky tomes – on Masonry in general or some
specific phase of Masonic study, we sadly
lack a small, concise, almost elementary book
on Masonry, sold at a modest price, which
Lodges could present to their new members
after they had taken their third degree.

I know of several books – the latest and one
of the best being “The newly, made Mason” by
Haywood – unfortunately these books are too
costly for the average Lodge to be able to
buy them for free distribution to new
initiates – and, naturally, to the Lodge
members as well.

In pre-war days it was possible to secure, in
Great Britain, pocketbooks giving an outline
of the symbolism and history of Masonry.
These sold for a couple of shillings and,
preferential tariffs aiding, such books could
be delivered in Canada, transportation paid,
for less than a dollar. Unfortunately, the
war has destroyed so much printing equipment
in the “old-country” and paper is still such
a scarcity on the British market, it is,
today, almost impossible to produce books
with limited editions at anything near prewar
prices. When, today, you write a British
publisher for a book on some Masonic subject
which you have seen in a Library or featured
on the lists that frequently appear at the
end of books printed before the war, you will
generally be advised it is “out of print”.

On this side of the pond, we knew of but one
book that was within the price-range that
would make it accessible to all. It was W. G.
Sibley’s “The Story of Freemasonry” published
by The Lion’s Paw Club of Ohio. 114 pages of
text, written in a style remarkable for its
simplicity of expression, that made it easily
understandable to all, in contrast with most
of our Masonic writers who seem to take a
perverse delight in expressing themselves in
a stilted, pedantic style that allows them to
display their erudition at the cost of
clarity and easy comprehension. Sibley’s
little book, had no less than four editions
between 1904 and 1913, more than 35,000
copies being sold for one dollar (less in
quantity lots) though the book was printed on
heavy paper and bound in cloth. There was a
book that gave a bird’s eye view of Masonry
in all its aspects to the new initiate. After
reading it, he would not need to seek
explanations from older brethren, who
generally could not give the required
information. He would have a general idea of
what Masonry was all about-and having once
secured his knowledge from a book, he would
logically rely on books to give him a deeper
knowledge of any aspect of Masonry in which
he sought further enlightenment.
Unfortunately, the copy, right on Sibley’s
book has been put, chased by a publisher of
Masonic books, who has not republished it. It
is there, fore no longer available.

It is so evident that once you can get a man
to become sufficiently interested in a
subject to read a book about it, he will soon
wish to secure further knowledge by reading
other books on the same subject, we wonder
why some publisher of Masonic books, does not
publish such a book as that of Sibley as a
means of advertising the other – and more
costly – books he publishes. A large
proportion of the cost of such a book could
be charged up to promotion or advertising by
the publisher and he could print it in a
sufficient large edition to sell it for a
shilling or a quarter, the revenue thus
produced covering the actual cost of
production, the publisher relying on the sale
of the larger and more expensive books he
publishes and advertises in this concise
book, to realize profits from his

The publishing of a book such as that
described would certainly, not only promote a
better understanding of Masonry and make
better Masons of new initiates – but would
actually further the cause of Masonic
education among the older members of the


Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind
– Andrew Jackson

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Sun, 12 Aug 2001 14:43:03 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


R.W. Bro. A.O. Aspeslet
S.G.W. Grand Lodge of Alberta

34th Annual Inter-Provincial Conference of
the Officers of the Four Western Masonic

When it was suggested that I present a paper
at this conference, the subject matter was
left open. Being a lazy individual, I chose
the topic suggested for this meeting by M. W.
Brother George Sterling last winter entitled
“I am a Mason. Why?”

At first glance it appeared that it would not
be too difficult to explain “why” I am a
Mason. However, upon closer examination it
was found to be a rather difficult subject.
In consideration of such an important
undertaking it is not sufficient to deal in
platitudes; one must look at the reasons in a
critical manner. Most of us, I suppose, are
inarticulate where matters close to our
hearts are involved. Where Freemasonry is
concerned there are probably only a few who
could explain why they knocked at the door
and sought admission. I must confess that I
am one of the multitude.

The title of this paper appears to infer that
I consider myself to be a Mason. Well, it is
true that I have been subjected to the three
Craft degrees, and so, I suppose, I can be
excused for assuming that I am a Mason. I am
reminded here, however, of that moment when
the candidate appears before the W.M. of the
lodge during the second section of the York
Rite M.M.’s degree, wearing the J.W.’s jewel.
At this point, he is asked if he feels that
he is now a M.M. In many cases the candidate
answers in the affirmative. The W.M. then
replies, “However natural such a supposition,
it is erroneous, neither do I know that you
will ever be one -you have along way to
travel-that is extremely perilous.” This must
certainly make one stop and think about this
craft of ours called Freemasonry.

Legally, by our constitution, a man is a
Mason when he has taken the obligation of an
E.A. Contrary to many, I consider the
combined three degrees to be Masonic
initiation, for one degree is not complete
without the other two. Be that as it may, the
E.A. is a newcomer in a strange environment.
By the time he has been passed to the F.C.
degree and raised to the sublime degree of a
M.M., he will have gained some experience of
Freemasonry, and the foundation upon which to
build, will, hopefully, have been well and
truly laid.

It seems to me that to become a M.M. in the
true and practical sense is the work of a
lifetime. It is work that should not just be
confined to the lodge room, but MUST be taken
out and practiced in the profane world. We,
being only human, and subjected to the
pressures of daily living, the way is indeed
long and perilous. Neither do I know at this
point in time that I will ever be a Master

In looking at the question “Why am I a
Mason?”, it seems to me that one must first
examine the reasons for seeking admission. At
the time of completing my application for
initiation I am afraid that my knowledge of
Masonry (and I am sure this is true of many)
was very limited. Of course I was aware that
it was a fraternal organization of men. As to
their aims and objectives, however, I was
blissfully ignorant. It is true that over the
years I had met many men who were Masons. One
observes these Masons converse with one
another, in terms only they can understand,
and one feels left out of something. Perhaps
these Masons have something I am missing.
Thus, it would appear that the first reason
for seeking admission is prompted from sheer
curiosity. We hope to discover what knowledge
these Masons have that is absent in

It is for this reason that at times I
disagree with the idea, prevalent in some
quarters today, that to obtain members we
must completely inform the prospective
candidate about the aims, objectives, etc. of
Freemasonry. I have a strong feeling that we
would be much better off if we were to
maintain the mystery of Masonry.

Another possible reason may have been the
desire for a feeling of fraternity. It has
been mentioned above that I was aware that
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization of
men. From the very beginning of time man has
been a creature who needs association and
loyalty. Being gregarious in nature, man was
never intended to live alone. We learn this
fundamental truth by reading the very first
page of the V.O.T.S.L. Genesis Chapter I,
Verse 27; “So God created man in his own
image, in the image of God created he him,
male and female created he them.” And in
Genesis Chapter II, Verse 18; “And the Lord
God said, it is not good that man should be

In the beginning man’s first loyalty and
association was to his family, subsequently
to the tribe and finally to the nation. At
the present time these loyalties are somewhat
more numerous and complex, but they are none
the less essential. Is it not possible then
that another reason for requesting membership
may have been to share in the fraternity of
other men, with whom hopefully, one could
share ideas and companionship.

Are there other reasons? I am sure there must
be. It would seem to me that, however slight
ones knowledge of Freemasonry is, he must
first have obtained a favorable opinion of
the Order, from association with its members;
otherwise one would have no desire to apply.
But, because we are an organization where
members are very reticent, and because we do
not solicit members, it is suggested that
curiosity and, hopefully, a curiosity based
on a favorable opinion preconceived of the
Order, is basically the prime reason for
seeking admission. There are many
organizations that one may join today and
obtain companionship of men. The aims and
principles of many of these organizations are
known prior to joining because they actively
solicit membership.

Now, having made application and being raised
to the degree of M.M., why does one remain on
active Mason? To find the answer to this
question one must make a study of the three

As one stands ready to pass through the inner
door to the E.A. degree he has nothing to go
on; all is new and strange. And I suppose to
many, even when the degree has ended, he is
somewhat bewildered, wondering what it is all
about and what comes next. He is a man in the
process of being born into the world of
Freemasonry, so different from the world from
which he came. He finds here that it is a
brotherhood of likeminded men, who are sworn
to practice brotherhood and charity. He finds
that Masonry is a way of life that will help
him to shape his own life at all times. He
finds that he has bound himself to do and not
to do certain things, upon his honor as a
man. He is taught where to obtain information
with regard to his duties towards his God,
together with his duties towards his neighbor
and himself. The E.A. will, in all
probability, find the work strange and
mystifying. This, however, I suggest, is one
of the appeals of Freemasonry. The working
tools have all been explained and it is left
up to him to put them to good use. If the
candidate is sincere in his undertaking he
should be awakened to the fact that somewhere
in this great institution is food for mind
and soul, and he will make an earnest effort
to understand the E.A. degree. A successful
initiation being really a new birth, the
importance of a proper impression being made
on the candidate, at this his first reception
cannot be over-emphasized. His entire idea of
the institution is formed at this time. The
E.A. degree opens the eyes of the candidate,
he has come into a new life and he will never
pass out of the lodge quite the same man as
when he entered.

Freemasonry, however, is a progressive
science, so we pass him to the F.C. degree,
after proper proof of his proficiency in the
former degree. Unfortunately the F.C. degree
is regarded by many to be just a stepping
stone to that of a M. M. That is unfortunate
because it is in this degree that the Mason
attains manhood, that part of a mans life
where he should be able to contribute the
most to society. He has left behind the
faltering footsteps of Masonic childhood. As
a man it is his responsibility to raise a
superstructure perfect in its parts and
honorable to the builder. In the first degree
the candidate learns the lessons of moral
truth and virtue. In the second degree he is
taught to seek the TRUTH, by a study of
nature and science. By concentrating on the
liberal arts and sciences we are enabled to
penetrate the hidden meaning of our mysteries
and thus learn a very important lesson; our
moral responsibilities to our fellowman.

You will recall that in the E.A. degree the
candidate is taught the symbolism of the
ladder with the three rounds, FAITH, HOPE and
CHARITY. In the F.C, degree the most
important symbol is that of the winding
staircase. I suggest to you that there is a
similarity here, with the latter being
probably more deeply symbolic than the
former. Due to the fact that the Mason has
now attained manhood, he can be expected to
be able to analyze this deeper symbolic
problem. In both, he is taught to rise above
the ordinary, to seek more light, or in other
words to strive for TRUTH. The winding
staircase is typical of man’s progress
through life. As he puts his foot on the
first step, the topmost one is around the
bend and far above out of sight. So it is in
life, when he sets forth on his journey he
knows not where it will lead. What he shall
accomplish is out of sight. However,
fortified by FAITH and sustained by HOPE he
must press on to the unseen goal. That for
which he is striving lies hidden from his
view until he can prove his worthiness. Thus,
by study, experience and reason, which it is
his duty to acquire, the F.C. wild learn to
govern and control his actions. Thus,
travelling ever onwards and upwards, he will
eventually arrive at the middle chamber,
where he is to receive his wages.

What then of his wages and how will he
receive them? He is told that F.C.’s received
their wages without scruple, knowing that
they had justly earned them, and without
diffidence, from the unbounded confidence
they placed in their employers. Now our
employer is T.G.G.O.T.U. His integrity is
unquestionable. But what will be the wages to
which the F.C. is justly entitled? This is
the great question that every F.C. must ask
himself, for it is certain he will get only
that which is justly due. It is also a
question that must be considered long before
he enters the middle chamber, for by then it
will be too late. Only with a liberal
education and a judicious application of the
working tools throughout life may he then
hope to receive his just dues.

So much for the second degree. By far the
most popular of the degrees in the eyes of
many Masons is that of M.M. This popularity
is not surprising, for it is the conclusion
of completion of Masonic initiation. It will
not, however, in my opinion, stand on its
own. The former two must be exemplified in
order for the third degree to complete the
ceremony. Having passed through the physical
and mental degrees we are now prepared for a
spiritual revelation. In the third degree the
candidate is raised above the common human
level of that of a spiritual life, or a real
M.M. i.e., perfection by regeneration.

The allegory of Hiram Abiff is full of deep
symbolism. I shall only touch on it very
briefly. For those interested in a very
complete coverage of the M.M. degree I would
refer you to the 1969 minutes of this

The candidate is taught in this degree that
the most important of all human studies is
the knowledge of oneself, that he has, a soul
that never dies.

The Hiramic legend reveals the way in which
the soul of man gains strength to recover
from the tragedies of the human failures and
misfortunes. The enemies of Hiram Abiff are
symbols of the lusts and passions that make
war on his life. The work supervised by Hiram
is a symbol of the work that the M.M. must
supervise, in directing his own life during
his term here on earth; with the hope that by
the assistance of the M.H. his just dues will
be eternal life in that temple not made by
hand, but eternal in the heavens.

From a summary of what has been said in this
paper, I am a Mason because:

1. It gives me a greater opportunity to work
with like-thinking men.

2. It teaches tolerance and harmonious living
with all men. Thus, it helps all men to
cooperate with each other without rancor or

3. The brotherhood of Freemasonry, based on a
belief in God, provides an aim in life to
which all men should subscribe.

4. It helps one to get to that certain point
of self-confidence which will help him to
become an effective instrument in society.

5. Freemasonry teaches the doctrine of the
dignity of the human individual and the
sacredness of his work.

6. Freemasonry develops leaders who can stand
up and express their ideas with beauty and

7. Freemasonry asks no member to believe in
anything which his mind does not tell him is

Brethren, the Craft does not write out its
lessons in great letters for all to see. It
conceals them in symbol and allegory.
Symbolism and allegory are a language that is
old and universal. It is always alive. It
sets the mind free and hopefully makes every
man think for himself. In this manner we hope
to learn the TRUTH, which none of us may
learn from another and no one may learn
alone. To draw aside the veil from these
symbols and allegories is Masonic work, and
he who applies the working tools of his trade
to this purpose will receive great reward.

Masonry cannot teach; it can only point the
way. Each one must, by his own study and
contemplation, decide what it means to him.
Each of us has a duty to assist in this great

You and I in the first instance initiate
candidates. Therefore, they are man-made. Let
us hope that in carrying out this great work
we may do it well and that those Masons we
make will be HEAVEN BLESSED.


Masonry, according to the general acceptation of the term, is an art
founded on the principles of geometry, and devoted to the service and
convenience of mankind. But Freemasonry, embracing a wider range
and having a nobler object in view, namely, the cultivation and improvement
of the human mind, may with more propriety be called a science, inasmuch
as, availing itself of the terms of the former, it inculcates the
principles of
the purest morality, though its lessons are for the most part veiled in
and illustrated by symbols.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Sat, 11 Aug 2001 22:49:03 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


The Craftsman – 1875


introduction of the Neophyte into Masonry.
2. FELLOW CRAFT MASON. – The Apprentice
becomes a Workman and is entitled to wages,
and learns the necessity of knowledge.
3. MASTER MASON. – Describes, the death of
H.A.B. previous to the completion of the
Temple, and the reception of the Craftsman
into the grade of Master with a substituted
word. [Note. – The above three Degrees are
not practised in Canada, or where the Craft
Degrees of the “York Rite” are worked.]
4. SECRET MASTER. – This Degree originated
immediately after the death of H.A.B. Seven
of the most expert M.M.’s. were appointed
special guardians of the S. S, and the Sacred
Furniture of the Most Holy Place.
5. PERFECT MASTER. – Celebrates the Obsequies
of H.A.B., and is the proper Funeral Rite of
Members of this Rite.
illustrates the over zealous interference of
an indiscreet friend between S.K. of I. and
H.K. of T., and proves the sublime doctrine
of the immortality of the soul. It is not
connected with the Degree preceding or
following, it, but as it occurs during the
period of mourning for H.A.B., it is,
chronologically in its proper place and
7. PREVOST AND JUDGE – Consequent upon the
death of H.A.B., K.S. found it necessary to
appoint several Officers, to keep order and
decide disputes among the workmen, teaching
justice as the necessary consequence of the
relations between God and man.
Superintendents were appointed by K.S. to
supply the want of a Chief Architect, lost in
the death of H.A.B.
9. KNIGHTS ELECT OF NINE. – This degree was
established to reward the real of one of the
favorites of K.S., who was the first to
detect and bring to justice one of the
murderers of H.A.B.
10. KNIGHTS ELECT of FIFTEEN. – Recounts the
mode of arrest and punishment of the other
Assassins of H.A.B.
the reward bestowed by K.S. on 12 of the 15,
who were instrumental is bringing to justice
the assassins of H.A.B. This, with the two
preceding Degrees, called the Elect or Elu,
are intimately connected. The members are not
“Knights,” in the Chivalric sense, and might
more properly be “Knight Masters.” The term
“Knights,” however, is retained for reasons
that every termed “Kadosh” will understand.
12. GRAND MASTER ARCHITECT. – This Degree was
established as a School of Instruction for
the best workmen of the Temple, to insure
uniformity in work and design.
Degree forms the climax of Ineffable Masonry.
It is the Keystone of the Arch, and discovers
that which is revealed and explained is the
succeeding Degree of “Perfection.”
– This Degree describes the S.T. under the
S.V., in which is the P. of B, and the Holy
four-letter name. In this Degree the Temple
is completed. It also narrates the death of
Solomon and the destruction of the Temple and
Degree relates to the Babylonish Captivity,
and the return of the Captives to Jerusalem.
16. PRINCE OF JERUSALEM. – This Degree is
intimately connected with the preceding one,
and relates the difficulties upon the
rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem and the
final success of the undertaking. This is the
last of the series of the Ancient Degrees, as
found in strict chronological order. The
preceding Sixteen Degrees of this Rite may
justly be considered as being in strict
sequence to each other, both as regards Time
and Circumstances. They form a very perfect
History of Masonry, in respect to the Temple
at Jerusalem.
be considered as the first of the Modern
series of Degrees in this Rite. It
figuratively represents the building of the
Third Temple in the heart of man. The
ceremonies are very impressive and are almost
entirely drawn from the Book of Revelation.
18. KNIGHT of THE ROSE CROIX. – This Degree
is plainly Christian in its teachings. It
symbolizes the Crucifixion, Descent, and
Ascension of our Lord, and teaches the final
victory of the principle of good over evil.
It is quite out of place in the A. and A.
Rite, and properly belongs to the Knights
Templar, within whose Preceptories it was
formerly practised.
This Degree is founded upon certain mysteries
relating to the New Jerusalem; it inculcates
the three virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity,
and is purely Christian in its teachings.
MASTER AD VITAM. – This may be considered as
a “Chair Degree,” similar in many respects to
that of “Installed Master” in the “York”
Rite. It teaches the proper mode to govern in
all symbolic Lodges.
Degree was formed at the time of the
Crusades. Its object was, in a time when
general disorder and lawlessness were spread
over Europe, to enforce Law and Justice, and
they called themselves “Noachite Masons;
because they aimed at imitating the justice
and purity of the Patriarch Noah. The Order
was in several parts of Germany popularly
known as the “Holy Vehme.”
LIBANUS. – Alludes to the felling of the
Cedars in Lebanon for the Temple. Its proper
place in this Rite would appear to be
immediately after the 2nd or Fellow Craft
23. CHIEF OF THE TABERNACLE. – Describes the
form of the Tabernacle erected by Moses in
the Wilderness.
24. PRINCE of THE TABERNACLE. – Describes the
sacerdotal ceremonies of the Levitical
Priesthood. It is a continuation of the
preceding Degree.
to the time when the Camp of the Israelites
was pitched at Punon, when the plague of
“Fiery Serpents” was sent among them for
their unbelief. This, with the two preceding
degrees, together with the “Royal Ark
Mariner,” might be designated as “Mosaic
Masonry,” and they have no particular
propriety or significance as part of the A.
and A. Rite.
– This is a strictly Christian Degree, and
shows the alliance between the “Natural Law,”
“The Law of Moses,” and “The New Covenant of
Christ,” hence its name of “Trinitarian.” It
originated when Domitian was Emperor of Rome,
and when in fear of persecution and death,
the Christians held their Religious
Assemblies in the Catacombs.
degree originated at the seige of St. Jean de
Acre, when the Knights nursed the sick and
wounded by night and fought the Saracens by
day. It appears to have been in imitation of
the “Templar” Order, and is the first
“strictly” Christian Degree of the A. and A.
28. KNIGHT of THE SUN. – This is the Grand
Philosophical Degree of the A. and A. Rite.
It teaches that there is but One God,
uncreated and Eternal, and whose Divine
attributes are Reason, Truth, and Justice.
This Degree stands alone in the Rite, totally
unconnected with any other, and teaches the
theory of the Universal Religion.
CRUSADES. – This Degree teaches Equality
among Knights, that is, that the poor Knight
is equal to the Monarch. It also teaches the
requisites of Knighthood.
TEMPLAR. – This Degree existed with various
forms and ceremonies, but the meaning now
generally attached to it is that it is a
commemoration of the suppression of the Order
of “Knight Templars,” and seems to properly
belong to that Order.
Teaches the mode of trying Offenders in the
A. and A. Rite.
This Degree was instituted as a Christian
Order of Knighthood, having for its object to
re-conquer the Holy Land and plant the Banner
of the Cross on the Walls of Jerusalem.
is the Official Degree of the Rulers of the
Rite, representing Frederick the Great of
Prussia, and reciting the Constitution and
Instructions “said” to have been granted by
him in 1786.

NOTE. – The Statutes of the A. and A. Rite
for Canada only require that the 4, 9, 14,
18, 30, 31, 32 degrees be conferred in
“extenso” all the others may be
“communicated.” This Rite has been formed by
a selection from the 800 degrees of one kind
and another that flooded the Masonic world
during the last century, by innovators and
inventory, striving to overthrow the
primitive simplicity of Masonry; and,
although the systematic arrangement of the
degrees of the rite have rejected all
incongruities, the number might still be
reduced. In England, the 18, 30, 31 and 32
are the only ones given in extenso. Some of
the designations and titles used have an
esoteric meaning consistent with the true
spirit of Masonry. Thus the Prince is he who
aims at being the first among his equals in
virtue and good deeds. The Sovereign is
supreme only because the law and
constitutions are so which he administers and
by which he like every other brother is
governed. The title “Puissant,” “Potent,”
“Wise,” and “Venerable,” indicate that power
of virtue intelligence and wisdom which those
ought to attain who are placed in high
office. The degrees, then, of the A. and A.
Rite, professing to be the teacher of great
truths, form a connected system of moral,
religious, and philosophical instruction.

Sat, 11 Aug 2001 22:48:43 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>


The Craftsman – 1875

As an amusement for a leisure hour, I have
prepared the following notes upon the various
Masonic Rites and Degrees, and also the
Chivalric Orders of Knighthood, as practised
in Canada, more particularly with the view of
showing the proper sequence in which the
various Masonic Degrees should follow each
other. It is not in the least intended that
these Notes should bear upon the existing
order of things, they are merely thrown out
as “Masonic Curiosities,” and may perhaps
afford amusement, if not information, to the
follower of the “Mystic Tie.”








the Neophyte is introduced into Masonry.

2. FELLOW CRAFT MASON. – Becomes a Workman
and earns wages.

3. MARK [MASTER?] MASON.- Is taught how to
distinguish his work by a “Mark,” and the
proper method of receiving his wages.
[Notre.] – This and the two following degrees
are improperly called “Masters,” – no Master
Masons, except the Three Grand Masters S.K.
of I., H.K. of T., and H.A.B., were in
existence until the Degree of Master Mason
(No. 6,) was conferred by K.S.

4. ROYAL [MASTER?] MASON. – Receives an
explanation from H.A.B. of the time and under
what circumstances, only, he can be made a
Master Mason.

5. SELECT [MASTER?] MASON. – Receives an
explanation of how and by whom, The Sacred
Treasures, afterwards discovered in the R. A.
Degree, were secretly deposited.

6. MASTER MASON. – Describes the death of
H.A.B. before the completion of the Temple,
and the substitution of a ward for the true
one, which remained concealed.

7. MOST EXCELLENT MASTER. – Describes the
completion of the Temple, and the ceremonies
attendant thereon.

8. PAST, OR PRESIDING MASTER. – Inspection of
the finished Temple by K.S., the Q. of S.,
and others, and their expression of
admiration at its beauty.

9. SUPER EXCELLENT MASTER. – Describes the
destruction of King Solomon’s Temple, and the
carrying away of the Jews in captivity to

PASS.” – Describes the method by which
permission was obtained to rebuild the
Temple, and the various obstructions met with
and overcome by Z. and his companions on
their journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.

11. HOLY ROYAL ARCH. – Describes the way in
which the work of rebuilding the Temple of
Jerusalem was conducted, and the discovery of
the Sacred Treasures deposited in the S.V.,
as described in the S.M. Degree, (No. 5) and
the finding of the True Word, for which a
substitute was given in the M.M. Degree, (No.
6.) This degree is the summit and completion
of ancient Masonry, as connected with the
Temple at Jerusalem.

The above is the proper Historical and
Chronological Sequence of the “Masonry of the
Temple,” worked in Canada, but in practice
the Degrees are given in a sequence entirely
different, viz: “Under the Grand Lodge
Degrees. Nos. 1, 2, 6; Under the Grand
Chapter Nos. 3, 8, 7, 11: Under the Grand
Council, Nos. 4 5, 9. 10. As neither Grand
Lodge nor Grand Chapter would permit any
alteration in present arrangements, this
“proper sequence” can only be looked upon as
a “Masonic curiosity.”


ROYAL ARK MARINER. – This Degree does not
properly belong to the series of Degrees
practised in either the “York,” or “Ancient
and Accepted” Rite. It is based upon the
Mosaic account of the Deluge, and can with
propriety be given to any Master Mason.


For centuries had Freemasonry existed ere modern political controversies
ever heard of, and when the topics which now agitate society were not known,
but were all united in brotherhood and affection. I know the institution to
be founded
on the great principles of charity, philanthropy and brotherly love.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Sat, 11 Aug 2001 09:00:51 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>



IN our last Chapter we considered the mystery
of the Divine existence; we shall now call
attention to the mystery of the Divine
attributes. All the attributes of God are
co-eternal with his existence, even as matter
and its attributes are co-existent, and as we
cannot conceive of matter in any of its forms
without connecting therewith its essential
attributes, no more can we conceive of God
only as in possession of those attributes
essential to his nature and existence.
Progress and development can only be
predicated of creatures; perfection, absolute
and eternal, from which nothing can be taken
and to which nothing can be added,
essentially and necessarily belong to the
Creator. What he was away back in the
infinitely remote periods of his own eternity
existing alone, that he is this moment, and
what he is now that he will be for ever,
unchanged and unchangeable.

As the existence of this eternal Being is a
mystery, so alike is the mode of that
existence, and as the human mind never will
be able to tell the origin of this mysterious
Being, neither can it define the mode of his
existence; both are alike involved in an
impenetrable veil. In contemplating the
latter however, we are not left as in the
former without data or information on which
to base our opinions and conjectures. The
path of our investigation is illumined by
light from heaven, Revelation instructs us in
relation to the attributes of the eternal
self-existent One.

In our dissertations on the attributes of God
we shall not attempt to pursue any
theological order, and shall first invite
attention to his infinite knowledge. The fact
of such possession is frequently and
variously asserted in Divine revelation, and
the mind, indeed, apart from, any revelation
on the subject, at once infers such a
possession in a being who is the cause of all
things in the world of matter and mind. With
him all facts, all events and all things in
the eternity, past, in the time present and
in the eternity to come are known with
infallible certainty, so that with him, so to
speak, there is no succession of ideas, no
past, no present or future, but one eternal
present, in which all things from eternity to
eternity are seen and known as clearly and
certainly as one may know his present
thoughts and what is transpiring around him.
What the infinite mind sees and knows in the
future is not seen and known contingently,
without foresight or expectation. This is a
mere theological expression which is as
destitute of propriety as it is of relevancy
in a discussion on the Divine attributes.
Knowledge with God is an absolute state of
mind dependent upon no contingency whatever.
To say that he has all knowledge and yet that
some things are known by him contingently, is
quite as ridiculous as to say though he is
omniscient yet there are some things he does
not know. Equally ridiculous is the
speculation of some theologians, who to avoid
a difficulty in the way of their creed,
affirm that there are some things which God
does not choose to know. The capacity or
ability to know all things are very
different, as much so as the difference
between the finite and the infinite. This
infinite knowledge is of necessity, and
nothing can come up upon the boundless
horizon of the future that has not been and
is not now and ever will be present in the
Divine mind as a palpable reality. Though no
event can transpire simply because it was
known to God, yet as known to him it must
come to pass and could not by any possibility
be otherwise.

Before the first atom was created or the
first mind shot forth its intellectual fires
through all the endless series of physical
and intellectual creations, there has not
been a single motion of the one or a thought
of the other, and there never will be, that
was not known to God from all eternity. The
first thought of the first angelic mind that
ever existed was known from eternity. The
moment of man’s birth and the moment of his
death were known with infallible certainty
from everlasting. Every thought, emotion,
volition and action of every moment of our
lives in time and forever were known unto
God. Man may resolve and re-resolve and
counter-resolve, he may determine,
pre-determine and then change his mind, but
his resolves and purposes and final acts are
just such and only just such as they were
seen and known of God before he had a
beginning. Any other view than this would
deprive the infinite mind of omniscience and
make Jehovah like ourselves, dependent upon
contingencies and the reception of knowledge
through the media of the senses or the
intellect as the case may be. It must be
obvious that any addition to the knowledge of
God, by the occurrence of any event whatever
in the future, would necessarily argue
progress which cannot be predicated of
infinite knowledge or absolute perfection,
and would be equivalent to the affirmation
that God does not know all things in the
future as well as the present and past.

Some have attempted to evade the doctrine of
the Divine omniscience in relation to the
future by asserting that God cannot know what
is not the subject of knowledge. Hence, it is
said he cannot know a thing as existing
before it does exist. We reply, of course
not, as this is in itself a contradiction and
absurdity. There is no limit to the Divine
omniscience but in that which implies a
contradiction and an absurdity. Though it is
possible for God to know all things, just as
it is possible for him to do all things, yet
he cannot know what is in itself an
absurdity, nor can he do what is wrong.
Whatever will transpire in the future, he
knows as future. There is a difference
however between divine knowledge and divine
power, the latter to become active must be
preceded by volition, but not so with
knowledge, as that is a state of the Divine
mind wholly independent of volition.

Omniscience is a full and perfect knowledge
of all future events. This knowledge extends
through all tune and through all eternity,
and not only embraces a perfect cognizance of
all things which shall yet crime to pass, but
of all things which have transpired through
all the cycles of eternity back to the first
entity in the universe of God. Before matter
was created or a single change had taken
place in the modes of its existence, before
the earth, was made a habitation for man out
of whose dust he was fashioned, all the
scenes that would be enacted upon it,
together with the nature and consequences of
all the actions, and the names and characters
and destinies of all the actors were
perfectly known to God. So far as this world
is concerned, a succession of events
embracing a period of six thousand years has
transpired, the nature of which with their
proximate and ultimate consequences were
known from all eternity. Taking our stand
point at the beginning we look out upon the
earth as a vast theatre, and behold
successively the several acts of the grand
drama of life, performed according to the
precise order and manner in which they
existed in the mind of God. There was not in
all the past a single prelude, interlude or
afterpiece, incidental or accidental, that
was not perfectly known to the omniscient
mind as certainly as if they had been written
out in a programme and occurred in the order
laid down; and nothing shall occur in the
future, even to the “fall of a sparrow,” that
is. not a matter of the same certain definite
knowledge. The seduction of Satan in Eden,
whereby he sought the ruin of its sinless
inhabitants, was precisely such as
Omniscience saw before that rebel angel left
his first estate and was cast-out of heaven.
Our first parents fell from their state of
holiness and happiness in their thoughts,
emotions, and volitions, just in the very
manner and at the very time it was foreseen
of God. The heart of Cain was excited to envy
and conceived the dreadful deed which
resulted in the death of his righteous
brother, and sent himself a murderer and
fugitive accursed over the earth, just as God
foresaw the sad and melancholy event. The
antediluvians were filled with all manner of
wickedness, and covered the land with
violence and blood so that their crimes
reached heaven and called for vengeance, just
as Jehovah foresaw them before Cain fled “to
the land eastward from Eden.” The faith and
righteousness of Noah, the building of the
ark and the destruction of the human race by
a flood, all came to pass as forever known.
The disgrace of Noah, the wickedness of Ham,
and the curse of Canaan and his descendents
forever, all transpired not as foreordained
but as foreknown forever. The wonderful and
tragic events in the life of Abraham and Lot,
the gross unnatural wickedness of the
Sodomites and the dreadful destruction of the
cities of the Plain, the fate and fortune of
Joseph, and all the events connected with his
wonderful life in the court of Egypt; the
birth, preservation, and exaltation of Moses,
his flight to Arabia, his return to Egypt,
the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart, the
astounding miracles, the deliverance of the
Israelites, the passage of the Red Sea, and
all the events connected with their wonderful
desert wanderings until their entrance into
Canaan; the life, fortunes and history of
David, the perversity of Absalom, the fate of
Saul and Jonathan, the numerous wars of the
Israelites, their successes and defeats, and
all the events connected with their wonderful
history, as well as those which transpired
among surrounding and cotemporary nations,
the destruction of armies and cities, the
rise and fall of empires were all known
precisely as they came to pass, from all

All the events and circumstances connected
with the birth of Christ, the sending of
Pilate from Rome to Judea as Governor, the
ministry of John, the baptism of Jesus, his
temptation in the wilderness, all his
miracles, parables, sermons and acts, his
betrayal, denial, sentence, crucifixion,
resurrection and ascension were all known
unto God before angels fell or Adam sinned.
The stoning of Stephen, the conversion of
Saul, his ministry, imprisonment and
martyrdom, together with all the actions of
the apostles and all the cotemporaneous
events, the taking of Jerusalem by Titus, the
immense slaughter of the Jews, the
preservation of the Christians, the
banishment of John, including all events not
here enumerated found in sacred, profane and
unwritten history, the wonderful spread of
the Gospel, the ten Pagan persecutions, the
destruction of the Roman Empire, the events
which occurred during the long dark night of
a thousand years, the rise of Mahommedanism
and Popery were all and singular known to the
infinite God. The dawn of the Reformation,
the struggles and successes of Luther and his
coadjutors, the translation of the
Scriptures, the burning of Tyndal and
Wickliff, the Papal persecutions, the art of
printing, the discovery of America, the
revolt of the Colonies, the foundation of a
Republic, all the wars and revolutions that
have occurred in all pants of the world, and
all the events that have transpired and are
now transpiring were in the Divine mind

If any object to this particular and
comprehensive knowledge of God on the ground
of its being unnecessary or beneath the
notice of the infinite mind, let them
remember that the very necessity of the case
requires it, and it could not by any
possibility be otherwise. The Omniscient God
who sees the end from the beginning, unto
whom all things are naked and open, whose
infinite eye takes in its universal gaze all
time and all eternity, must know all things
past, present and future. Every thought,
every perception, every emotion, and every
volition of our minds, whether awake or
asleep, and every action of our lives from
our entrance into the world to the present
time, together with every thought, ward and
act of our lives, through the future period
of our probation and through the endless
duration of a future state were forever known
to God. All the events that have befallen us,
all the circumstances by which we have been
surrounded and all the events that shall
befall us, both as it regards their nature
and the manner and time of their occurrence,
are all known with absolute certainty, and as
known they will come to pass as absolutely as
if they had been decreed. This foreknowledge
does not make them come to pass, nor yet does
it argue that they might not have been
otherwise, for had they been otherwise they
would have been thus known. The period of
time we have to live, the day, hour and
moment of our death, and the manner of it,
and all the attendant circumstances, and the
destiny that awaits us in the future world
are all known and were known before we had an
existence with as much certainty as if they
had been foreordained of God. The very nature
of Jehovah as revealed in nature and
revelation shuts us up to this belief.
Nothing can be more clear and conclusive than
the fact that if God be eternal, omniscient
and omnipresent, there can be no place in the
universe where he is not always present, and
there can be no thing which he does not know.
There is no escaping this conclusion without
denying the existence and attributes of God,
and the flimsy and puerile argument that
omniscience is simply a capacity to know all
things, just as omnipotence is a power to do
all things; and hence, as God does not choose
to do all things he may not choose to know
all things as before stated, is an absurdity
too gross and palpable for a moment’s
consideration. Such a statement may properly
be affirmed of man, for there is no limit to
his capacity to know, while there is a limit
to his power to do, but to affirm it of God
is a species of irreverence if not blasphemy,
which we should shudder to utter. What does
such a statement require, but that the
knowledge of God in relation to some things,
and his ignorance of others shall depend upon
his choice, which makes the whole hypothesis
absurd and ridiculous, inasmuch as to be able
to make a selection of those things he would
choose to know, he must necessarily know the
nature of those things concerning which he
chooses to be ignorant. It is vastly better,
honestly and frankly to acknowledge a
difficulty which we may find impossible to
reconcile with our preconceived notions of
theology, than to endeavor by any sophistry
to evade it, as all efforts of this
description do ultimate injury to the common
cause of truth. Theologians may draw out the
finest spun theories interwoven with the
nicest metaphysical subtitles, bewildering
and confounding to minds not adequate to
detect their fallacy; but truth needs not
such foreign aid, she walks forth not like a
spectre dimly seen in the misty twilight,
with a veiled face and downcast eyes, but she
stands erect, unveiled, full-eyed and
beautiful, shining in her own light. To see
her is to know her, and to know her is to
love her.

The question is not whether the certainty
which exists in the mind of God in regard to
all events which have come to pass or which
shall come to pass is compatible with man’s
freedom or not, but whether there is such
certainty in the divine mind. It is a
question of fact and with that alone we are
concerned. We should “Follow Truth where’er
she leads the way,” if in so doing we should
cross and re-cross every path we have made in
the wilderness of thought for a thousand
years. If the temple which we have reared and
in which we have enshrined the object of our
worship prove to be an idolatrous temple, and
our worship a false misplaced one, the sooner
we behold it a heap of ruins the better.
Truth is that “pearl of great price” which we
should be anxious to purchase at any cost or
sacrifice within our power. Better throw all
our loves away than put out the only light
that can shine in eternity.

As it regards the connexion or bearing of
God’s foreknowledge upon human events and
actions, we confidently affirm there is not
the remotest conceivable contact so far as
causation is concerned in bringing them to
pass ; and there can be no more connexion
between foreknowledge and foreordination than
there is between the volitions of a human
mind and the revolutions of a planet, the
transit of a star, or the circuit of a comet.
The idea that a foreknowledge of every thing
that will transpire, from the wreck of a
nation to the fall of a bird, or from the
conflagration of a world to the derangement
of an atom, is attributing to the Almighty a
trifling employment, can only be entertained
by those who take a narrow and contracted
view of his Providence, which extends to the
minutest insect invisible to the naked eye,
as specially as to the mastodon whose tread
shakes the earth. In all God’s illimitable
empire there is nothing trifling or
insignificant, and the same wisdom and power
are displayed in the creation and
preservation of an atom as a world, of an
insect as an archangel.

Though all things come to pass as they were
foreknown of God, yet there are some things
that come to pass which were predetermined.
These events of course are absolute and
unavoidable. God predetermined the creation
of the Universe with its suns and systems,
and all the orders of intelligences from
seraph to man. He also foreordained all the
laws for the government of the physical and
intellectual universe. He also determined the
essential freedom of angels and men and
endowed them with adequate power to obey all
the laws of their being, and any other view
of angels or men would make them beings of
necessity, mere moral automata, entirely
without moral character and without
accountability. Hence, there could have been
no such thing as sin in the world, unless
indeed, we could conceive the horrid idea of
making the Creator its author. It would be
just the same as if matter should infract one
of the laws by which it is governed, and
should in consequence thereof be held
accountable for the violation. The infinite
knowledge of Jehovah took in the fall of
angels and men as the result of an abuse of
their freedom, and all the provisions growing
out of that fall, as well as all the
consequences, were alike predetermined. But
though all thin is true, yet in man’s nature,
duty, and mysterious destiny, there are no
dark inflexible decrees fixing from all
eternity his fate. No terrible iron barrier
frowns across his pathway to the world
beyond. The same freedom to rise from the
fall with gracious help provided by infinite
love is his, and in the inception and
development of this scheme of restoration a
more glorious mystery has been opened up to
man’s vision than was ever before brought to
the contemplation of the minds of angels.


The aims of Freemasonry are not limited to one form of operation, or
one mode of benevolence, its object is at once moral and social. It proposes
both to cultivate the mind and enlarge and purify the heart. REV. J.O.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

More Light in Masonry (VIII) Dedication Through Education
Tue, 7 Aug 2001 08:38:41 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

More Light in Masonry (VIII) Dedication
Through Education
by Allen E. Roberts

Short Talk Bulletin – November 1972

WITHOUT EDUCATION. We certainly can’t be
enthused about something that we know little
or nothing about.

On a recent camping trip I discovered more
evidence of the lack of dedication in
Masonry. I was typing a manuscript and had a
couple of Masonic books spread out on the
table. An elderly camper was curious. He
asked me what I was doing, and I told him. “I
don’t understand how you can do that,” he
said. He was visibly puzzled.

“What don’t you understand?” I asked, just as

“How you can write about such a secret
organization? For many years I’ve thought I
would like to be a Mason, but every time 1
ask someone about the organization, 1 get no
answers. 1n fact, everybody I talk to makes
me feel like I’m intruding into something
sacred. I really don’t sec how you can have
any members at all, if it’s that secret.”

That disturbed me. Unfortunately, I’ve heard
similar statements over and over main. And
they disturb all those who arc dedicated to
the progress and prosperity of Freemasonry.
They trouble us because we arc making members
but are not teaching them to become Master

I explained to my camping acquaintance that
Freemasonry is definitely not a secret
organization. It does have a few secret words
which help to identify those who arc
Freemasons from those who arc nut. It does
have a ritual that helps teach a man to be a
better man. We discussed Freemasonry at
length. Than 1 gave him a copy of Key to
Freemasonry’s Growth and suggested he read
Chapter I, “Freemasonry in Perspective”.

Too often we forget that every member of an
organization is important. One uninformed man
can destroy years of work by the leadership.
In the degree work, the man with a
nonspeaking part is just as important as the
Worshipful Master. There just is no such
thing as an unimportant member or worker.

For some time my wife wanted a new living
room suite. I wasn’t a good member of the
“team.” I ignored her. Then my conscience got
the better of me – and there were other
reasons. We decided to get the suite for her
birthday. Off we went to a host of furniture
stores. The receptions we received were
amazing. In a couple we were greeted
graciously, but in most, the sales personnel
appeared to be annoyed because we were there.

We finally found what we wanted, in a store
where we were told which floor the furniture
was on, but were then left to shift for
ourselves. I was about to find a salesman to
write up the order when my wife discovered
something sharp at the base of the sofa. It
was an improperly driven staple. So we
examined that furniture carefully and found
several other slight imperfections. We left
the store and looked elsewhere until we found
what we wanted.

Undoubtedly the fellow whose responsibility
it was to staple the fabric to the frames of
sofas didn’t realize how important his job
was. But his workmanship lost a sale. He
wasn’t alone in his carelessness, though. The
foreman, the superintendent, the head man, as
well as the inspector must share the blame.
So must the furniture store in which the sofa
finally was received. It should have checked
for defects and corrected them.

My camping friend proved, if any proof was
needed, that there are careless workers in
the quarries of Freemasonry. “Material” is
being turned out that is defective. All who
profess to be Masonic leaders must share the

What we can do about correcting the shoddy
workmanship Masonry has been practicing is
what this series of Short Talk Bulletins has
been all about. But it won’t help to discuss
goals, planning, communication, teamwork, and
the other principles of leadership, if we
don’t put them to work. So, let’s put them to

Practically every Grand Lodge has an
Education Committee (called by varying
names). These Committees are created to work
with lodges and groups of Masons to further
the cause of Freemasonry in their
Jurisdictions. Call on them.

The Masonic Service Association, the servant
of Freemasonry, has always been ready to
assist Grand Lodges, Lodges, and interested
individual Master Masons. It has an abundance
of Short Talk Bulletins, Digests, and other
material to instruct members how to become
Master Masons. It has been in the “business”
of Masonic education since it was formed in

Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company,
Richmond, Virginia, has been serving
Freemasonry for well over 100 years. It has
numerous books on every phase of Masonry. It
now has a series of films designed to train
Masonic leaders, similar to those available
for industry. These films, along with the
Leader’s Guide for each, can help grow the
leaders Freemasonry must have to survive.

Many Grand Lodges maintain Masonic libraries
where useful books about the Craft may be
consulted. Some of the larger ones, as in
Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania,
and Texas make books available on loan by
mail. No responsible Mason needs to remain
“in darkness.”

There arc numerous Research Lodges throughout
the country and the world. These Lodges arc
doing a tremendous job in spreading factual
Masonic information, as well as speculative
interpretations of Masonic symbols and
philosophy. Many of then, publish their
proceedings regularly and nuke them available
to interested Brethrcn.

In fact, there is an inexhaustible supply of
Masonic literature and information available
for the asking. Ask, and ye shall receive.

Once you’ve got the information, what should
you do with it?

There are some folks who enjoy studying
alone. Most of us, though, would much rather
work with others. We find that a sharing of
ideas and thoughts aids the learning and
retainin2 process. So, for the majority of
us, MASONIC STUDY GROUPS is one answer.

Actually, Masonic study is not a chore – it’s
an adventure! Freemasonry takes us into
fields and realms formerly undreamed of; its
romance is unparalled in the history of the
world; it is an important part of the world’s
history. Once really begun, such study will
never stop. The pleasure of it will be too

The formation of a Study Group can be the
most important step that your Lodge will ever
take. It can develop a continuing corps of
Masonic leaders. It can develop “Mentors” or
“Big Brothers”, – Master Masons dedicated to
Freemasonry more than willing to work with
and teach the newly initiated Mason. It can
do away with “shoddy workmanship”, thereby
sending Freemasons out into the world who are
truly “worthy of their hire.” Money can’t
motivate these workmen. Only dedication can.

Here’s what the formation of a MASONIC STUDY
GROUP can accomplish:

– More interest in the teachings of
– More participation in the activities of the
Lodge and Grand Lodge
– More enthusiasm for Freemasonry
– More dedicated Master Masons
– A knowledge of the history, philosophy, and
symbolism of the Craft
– The development of speakers for Lodge
– The growth of Masonic leaders
– The development of Masonic teachers,
writers, and researchers

It’s impossible not to become interested in
the teachings of the Order when groups get
together and intelligently discuss the
principles that have made it great for
centuries. Participation in study groups will
bring members closer together. They will
become supporters. They will attend Lode
functions regularly. They will have more of a
stake in the accomplishments of the Lodge.

The enthusiasm will become contagious and
extend to other Lodes in the area. Even the
community will be a beneficiary. And the more
that is learned, the greater will become the
dedication of the members to Freemasonry.
Such dedication will uncover Masonic
interpreters and teachers, men who might
remain hidden for years, or not be discovered
at all, if it weren’t for the active study

How do we form a Study Group? Easily. All we
have to do is get a few interested Master
Masons together and talk about Freemasonry.
We can’t get more informal than that. But if
we want to be a little more formal, here are
a couple of points to consider:

– Select a leader, preferably one who has a
knowledge of Freemasonry other than the
– Let the officers and members of the Lodge
know that a Study Group is going to be formed
– Invite all who are interested to attend the
organizational meeting

The first meeting (or any meeting) may be
held anywhere, someone’s home, a Lodge hall,
a hotel room. Study Groups seldom discuss the
few “secrets” that Freemasonry has, so there
is nothing to hide. The important thing is to
have the meeting. Get the Group off the
ground and into action.

There are no hard and fast rules that can, or
should, be followed for the organization of a
Study Group. But much of its success will
depend upon how well it is organized. This
holds true for everything that is started.
The points to cover in the organizational
meeting are suggestions only. Every Lodge is
different; every locality has its
peculiarities; every Jurisdiction has its own
rules and regulations that must be followed.

– Elect a president (or chairman); then let
him conduct the rest of the meeting
– Determine the number of members to he
admitted to the Group
– Decide how often and where the Group will
– Determine the scope of the Group’s
– Select the method of study
– Appoint a Team to draw up simple bylaws
– Determine whether or not the members should
pay dues
– Decide who will be responsible for planning
courses of study or programs

Individuals participating in small groups
will learn more than they can in larger ones.
By limiting the number, however, you may
deprive some really interested members from
learning what they ought to know about the
Fraternity. You should take this into
consideration when a maximum membership is
determined. One Study Group set its
membership limit at 25. So many Masons
clamored to participate, the by-laws were
amended and the limit removed. Within a year,
200 were meeting regularly, and the
participation in the discussions was

Circumstances will determine how often your
Group should meet. Where it will meet must
also he determined by local circumstances.
But, the more comfortable the surroundings,
the more participation can be expected. The
scope of the Group’s activities should be
unlimited, as long as it acts within the laws
of its Grand Lodge. It would be best to
exclude the ritual, though. That’s a field in
itself. Don’t hesitate to teach and learn
about the meaning behind the words of the
ritual. This is definitely within the scope
of Masonic education.

There are many, many methods that can be used
for study. A combination of several will
usually be in order. A panel is always
interesting and informative. Three or four
men answer questions from the floor on a
given subject, or several related subjects.
Using a certain Masonic book as a text works
well. Here every participant purchases a copy
(or is given one) to study. At each meeting
the leader covers a chapter, using the
question and answer method. Speakers from the
Group or outsiders discuss a particular phase
of Masonry, then answer questions from the
floor. Color motion pictures (as mentioned
earlier) are now available, along with
pertinent suggestions for Workshops (another
name for Study Groups). Your creativity and
the ideas of your members can extend this
list indefinitely.

The matter of dues will be an independent
interpretation. The Lodge may determine to
underwrite the small cost when it learns of
the many benefits it will derive from such a
Study Group. It should be taken into
consideration, though, that most of us who
get something for nothing seldom appreciate

Without an organization that has leaders and
a flexible policy to follow, the chances for
long range success are limited. Simple
by-laws should be formulated and adopted for
the Group’s guidance, so that it will have a
name, a purpose, a set of officers whose
duties and terms of service are defined, a
simple dues structure, qualifications for
membership, etc.

The Study Group will take on more meaning if
it has a special name. It might honor some
Master Mason, now deceased, who worked in the
quarries of Freemasonry. If he was well-known
in the community, so much the better. The
Group’s purpose might be stated in this
You must have a purpose for existence that
the members can “buy” if the Group is to be

And here are some more proven points to
follow on the road to success:

– Start on time; never wait for the
– Have a subject to discuss and stick to this
subject – DON’T RAMBLE.
– Keep the papers or speech short; leave
plenty of time for discussion.
– Adjourn at the pre-determined time-not a
minute later!

Here’s another program that you may or may
not want to follow. Hold a couple of meetings
every year that your ladies can attend.
Whether we realize it or not, our ladies play
an important part in the success of our
fraternal activities. The more they learn
about Freemasonry, the more they will
encourage their men to participate.

Many years ago the Senior Deacon of my Lodge
came to my home with tears in his eyes. He
said that his wife refused to let him
continue in line. This was a great
disappointment to the whole Lodge. He was an
excellent ritualist and interested in all
phases of Masonry. No amount of persuasion
could change his wife’s mind. He not only
dropped out of line, but out of attendance,
although he remained a member. Not long ago 1
met him at another function. He told me that
his wife was now sorry she had made him drop
out of active participation in the Lodge. She
had seen several instances of Freemasonry at
work and had learned that the Fraternity is
good-that men are better for belonging. But
the damage had been done. And this is by no
means an isolated case.

During the past several months we have been
discussing the principles of leadership. You
will be putting these principles to work in
the formation of a Study Group. You will be
determining a PURPOSE for the existence of
the Group. This Purpose will tic into the
Purpose for the existence of Freemasonry–to
Make Good Men Better.

You will be setting a GOAL or GENERAL
OBJECTIVE-the formation of the Study Group to
teach members how to become Master Masons.
You will be inculcating the principles of
Freemasonry. You will be PLANNING
continuously for improvements, after your
original plan has been put into effect.

COMMUNICATING, and the leaders of the Group
will be CONTROLLING the action.

So by doing only one thing – organizing a
Study Group – you will be proving that you
are a Constructive Masonic Leader. Do it. You
will be amazed at the results as the years go


The aims of Freemasonry are not limited to one form of operation, or
one mode of benevolence, its object is at once moral and social. It proposes
both to cultivate the mind and enlarge and purify the heart. REV. J.O.

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

Fri, 3 Aug 2001 07:42:03 -0500
“george helmer” <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>

by Allen E. Roberts

Short Talk Bulletin – October 1972

(This seventh Short Talk in the Leadership
series is based on the Masonic Leadership
with the permission of Macoy Publishing and
Masonic Supply Company. The script was
written by Allen E. Roberts, who also
produced the film. The films are available
from Macoy on either a rental or purchase

“Brethren, I spent over 60 hours researching
this speech. Now I’m too tired to give it,
and you’re too tired to listen. I’ll just say
that your Lodge had a glorious 150 years. I
hope the next 150 will be just as glorious.
Thanks for inviting me. Good night.”

It was 11 p.m. when a Past Grand Master made
this declaration. The festivities had started
with dinner at six. The dinner was over in 45
minutes, but the Lodge wasn’t opened until
8:05, 35 minutes past the scheduled time.
Then the Worshipful Master had gone through
the whole gambit-opening, reading the minutes
of previous meetings, reading of petitions,
balloting, introduction of numerous guests,
all of whom had been invited to “say a few

Few speakers have the courage of this Past
Grand Master. No matter how carelessly they
are treated, they will give the speech they
have prepared. And Masonic speakers are
generally polite and considerate. In spite of
the suffering they may be subjected to, they
attempt to make the leadership look good.

A few years ago I was invited to speak at the
200th anniversary banquet of a Lodge in
another jurisdiction. I spent many hours
learning about the history of the Lodge and
the jurisdiction. Then I put my notes
together, not an easy task. The audience was
to be mixed. Ladies just don’t like dry,
factual presentations.

The day before the event my wife and 1 drove
through a snow storm to the hotel where the
banquet was to be held. No one was present to
meet us; there was no note awaiting us; no
one called during the evening. We heard from
no one.

Over 500 were present for the festivities on
the following evening. The serving of the
meal was delayed. The hotel staff had goofed.
The remains of a wedding reception had to be
cleared away before the guests of the Lodge
could be seated. The service was slow. The
schedule, if there was one, was off by well
over an hour.

The Grand Master was introduced and spoke
briefly. Then all the Grand Lodge officers,
the Lodge officers, committeemen, and other
dignitaries were introduced. Two young girls,
under the direction of their mother, danced.
A comedy team consisting of a man and woman
entertained the group with smutty jokes. The
laughter from the audience was sparse. I
shuddered I could feel my stories being
buried. A lump formed in my stomach. It grew
larger as the evening wore on.

A magician followed the vaudeville team. The
audience squirmed noticeably; many left the
room. Some never returned. At 11:35 I was
introduced. My wife whispered, “Don’t say
what you’re thinking, please!” I didn’t. I
merely hit the highlights and was through in
ten minutes. Even so, there was no dancing.
The affair had to end at midnight.

Another Lodge honored one of its members –
its only living Past Grand Master. A dinner
preceded the meeting. The Lodge was opened 30
minutes late. The “program” dragged and
dragged. A Grand Lodge officer turned to me
and said, “What a golden opportunity for
Masonry is being lost. I’ll bet that over 300
of those present haven’t been in a Lodge for
ten years. It’ll be another ten before
they’ll attend another.” The speaker for the
occasion was the Grand Master. It was almost
11 p.m. when he was called on to speak. I
don’t know what the honored guest had to say.
I was gone long before he was presented. So
were many others who had been there to honor

All of us can relate other examples of poor
planning. That is the main reason so many
members are staying away from Masonic
meetings. Even when the Lodge has a good
program, improper planning can ruin it. So,
let’s look at the first principle of
leadership-planning. We’ll return to speakers

Planning is difficult. It’s easier to work
with our hands. Planning involves things that
we don’t like to do. We have to think; we
have to do paper work; we have to follow
orderly procedures. The average Masonic
leader would rather work with the
ritual–confer degrees, teach catechisms or
lectures – because these are familiar areas.
They have become second nature to him. From
the first day of his entrance into Masonry he
has had to work with them. This can be
likened to the doctor, plumber, bricklayer,
and accountant who have become proficient in
their trade or profession through long usage.
This becomes their operative work, and is
much easier to perform than is planning, or
managing-using the principles of leadership.

We have determined that the principles of
leadership are: PLANNING, ORGANIZING,
with GOAL SETTING an all important part of
planning. This was discussed at some length
in the June, 1972, Short Talk, Growing the
Leader. We must set goals, then
constructively plan to reach them.

In the book on Masonic leadership, Key to
Freemasonry’s Growth, we read: “With more and
more materialistic things vying for the time
of man, planning has become more a necessity
than ever for fraternal organizations. The
lack of goals, or goals not clearly defined,
and then no plans to reach them, will not be
tolerated by the busy men of today. They have
become used to efficiency and this is what
they expect to find in the leaders of the

That’s a whole series of reasons for
planning, but let’s enumerate some other

– For Change
– To Build for the Future
– For Improvement
– To Stimulate Growth
– To Increase Efficiency
– To Build Morale
– To Improve Human Relations
– To Grow Leaders

Change, we’ve said before, is all around us.
Some of it is good; some bad. Nothing can or
does remain static. Change can be chaotic, or
it can be smooth. Proper planning makes the
difference. Planning is a necessity-not a
luxury. Planning becomes a tool, when
properly used to produce desired change and
transform the organization into a vibrant
structure. It takes us from the present into
the future in an orderly manner. And it must
be orderly if we are to improve the future.
The planning we do today will affect the
lives of countless individuals until the end
of time. If that sounds melodramatic, think
about the Holy Bible, Socrates, Plato,
Pythagoras, and other individuals of
centuries ago.

We want our planning to produce improvements
in what we do, to stimulate the growth of the
organization and the individual. We want our
Lodges, our districts, our Grand Lodges to
become more efficient in meeting the needs of
their members.

Planning, unquestionably, builds the morale
of the members. It gives them a feeling of
security, makes them more confident in the
leadership. Along with this morale-booster,
it improves human relations. It improves the
way the members work together in Teams,
becoming one great Team that works for the
benefit of the organization as a whole.

In this way it grows leaders for today,
tomorrow, and the future. It stimulates these
leaders to work with the members in selecting
even tougher goals for the organization –
goals – that will cause them to reach for the
stars-and through participation, reach those
stars more often than not.

This participation is all important. Always
keep in mind that IT TAKES PEOPLE TO MAKE
PLANS WORK. One way to get this participation
is to hold informal “bull sessions” with
those who will be affected. Bring out
everyone’s ideas. Kick them around as you
follow these PLANNING STEPS:

– Determine the Purpose of the Organization
– Set the Goal
– Gather Information
– Analyze Factors
– Formulate Assumptions
– Determine Budget
– Set Timetable
– Establish Measurements
– Take Corrective Action

Few management consultants agree on the
actual order of the steps to be taken in
planning, but most management experts agree
that setting goals to enhance the purpose of
the organization is the next critical step in
the planning process. Before anything can be
accomplished, there must be a goal to aim

This must be emphasized, lest there be
confusion when you work with others in
establishing goals. There is much honest
disagreement about whit the goals should be
called. Some believe they are “objectives”
and should be called that. Others say they
should be termed “roles and missions.” And
there is other terminology. If we know what
we are looking for, we won’t let the
differing terms confuse us. We’ll put up the
target, then aim to hit it.

You won’t always use the planning steps in
the order in which they are enumerated. You
will use other steps as well. In fact, you
will use all the principles of leadership
that have been discussed in these 1972 Short
Talks, More Light in Masonry.

An excellent plan to follow can be found in
Guide 7 in Key to Freemasonry’s Growth. The
Planning Guide on the opposite page, taken
from the film, Planning Unlocks the Door,
supplements Guide 7. Its arrows point out the
importance of continually reviewing,
reconciling, and modifying the goals and
objectives that have been established. We
will follow these planning steps in a
practical example, one that you can put into
action immediately.

We have established as our PURPOSE FOR
EXISTENCE – To Make Good Men Better. One of
our GENERAL OBJECTIVES will be a well-rounded
program of Masonic Education. We have decided
on this because we know that THERE CAN BE NO
our members Master Masons in every sense. One
of our GOALS is set. We want an excellent
MASONIC speaker. Our Team gets together and
it will GATHER INFORMATION about speakers
throughout the area-or the country, if the
budget will stand it. The Team will ANALYZE
the credentials of several speakers. It will
FORM ASSUMPTIONS about the availability of
the one finally chosen, such as what he will
charge or what we will offer as a fee and his
expenses. Here we must recognize that it
costs money to travel, to eat, for loss of
time to attend the meeting and the
preparation beforehand. We’ll look at the
BUDGET and determine the funds available.
We’ll know then if we can afford the speaker
we want. The Team will decide WHEN he is
the speaker, such as what subject it wants
him to stress, and how long it wants him to

Each step along the way the Team will REVIEW,
RECONCILE, and MODIFY the plans for the
achievement of the goal. As this is done,
CORRECTIVE ACTION will be taken to come up
with the best possible plan. Such action may
mean that the second or third choice for a
speaker may be the answer. If so, don’t let
the final choice know it.

As we go along in the planning process, we
will be aiming for the target – to ACHIEVE
THE OBJECTIVE. By following these steps, and
modifying them as necessary, we will achieve
our objective more often than we will fail.

This planning process should be followed for
every objective we set. But because Masonic
speakers will always be important to the
educational program at every Lodge, let’s
establish some simple considerations for

Give your prospective speaker a choice of
dates. This will give you a much better
opportunity of obtaining him.

Give him a choice of subjects, or leave it up
to him. No matter how good a speaker may be,
he is better with some phases of Freemasonry
than others.

Let him know how long you want him to speak,
but don’t make this too rigid. Some subjects
can be covered in five minutes; others may
take an hour or more. You will find, however,
that the better speakers will try to stay
within 20 minutes.

Tell your speaker to whom he will be talking.
If it’s a tiled Lodge, you will need to say
no more. If it’s for a dinner meeting, he
will need to know the type of
audience-ladies. children, or only men.

Make sure that you both understand whether he
is to receive an honorarium, and whether or
not that figure includes expenses. A
speaker’s out-of-pocket expenses, like
travel, lodging, meals enroute, etc., should
always be paid.

Confirm all arrangements in writing. This
will take away the chance of error. Give him
the date and hour, allotted speaking time,
the subject, expenses and/or fee, how to get
to and from your locality.

Get a biographical sketch for publicity and
introduction purposes. Get a recent
photograph if you plan to give the
information to the newspapers.

Let your members and all the Masons in the
area know about your program! Put out a
bulletin that will be an “eye-stopper.” If
you can, get the story in the newspapers, on
radio and television. Use a Telephone Team.

Above all – sell your speaker on his merits –
NOT on your members’ obligation to attend.
And this should be your plan regardless of
your program-sell it on its own merits.

To be courteous is something we all learn in
Freemasonry. Sometimes we fail to put it into
practice. We invite speakers, or groups such
as Masonic thespians, degree teams, Grand
Lodge officers, members to serve on panels,
then do not see to their comfort. Before and
after your speaker (or group) arrives:

If he is to stay overnight, be certain that
lodging has been arranged for him. He
deserves the same consideration as does your
house guest. Take care of his transportation
from the hotel to the meeting.

Give him some time to himself. If you don’t
meet him, call him on the phone and welcome
him. Ask him if there is anything he needs.
You will have left a copy of the program of
the activities at the hotel for his arrival.

Let him know who will join him at the head
table, if it is to be a dinner meeting.

Be certain the public address system (if
used) is working.

Provide a lighted lectern. This will be
appreciated, even if he doesn’t use it.

Position the head table away from the main
entrance to minimize the distraction of late
arrivals and early goers.

Arrange to have the tables cleared before
introducing the speaker. See that he has
water to drink if he wants it.

Stay with him. Introduce him to others. Let
him visit if he wants to. See that the
financial agreement is promptly taken care
of. Take care of his transportation after the

Send him a thank you note, even if he wasn’t
what you expected! Send him any news
clippings available, particularly the
favorable ones.

Will your program be a success? It will be,
if the planning steps outlined are followed.
These detailed suggestions about only one
phase in planning and achieving a good
Masonic meeting may seem “elementary”; but
they illustrate the “nitty gritty” of
planning for progress.

Planning isn’t easy. Being a Constructive
Leader isn’t easy. It’s tough. But the
satisfaction you will get in carrying through
a plan to achievement is something that
cannot be described. You have to experience
it to enjoy it.

One thing is certain. Where there is
meaningful planning, there is progress; where
there is no planning, there is only
dissatisfaction and failure.

(Next month: Masonic Study Groups: what they
are, how they are formed, what they can
accomplish in turning members into dedicated
Master Masons.)

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The prosperity of Masonry as a means of strengthening our religion and
propagating true brotherly love, is one of the dearest wishes of my heart,
which, I trust, will be gratified by the help of the Grand Architect of the

George Helmer FPS
PM Norwood #90 GRA
PZ Norwood #18 RAM

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