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Texas Regalia (2)

Regalia of the Grand Lodge Officers, The Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M.
Compiled by Pete Martinez.

Tyler, Texas: The Key Printers; produced by permission of The Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M., 1997. Pp. ii, 18, 50 colored illustrations. Copies may be ordered from Pete Martinez, 2408 Holley St., Tyler, Texas 75701. Price, $18.00, including postage and handling.

Book review by Wallace McLeod
from the Royal Arch Mason magazine, 19.6 (Summer 1998) 190-191

Sometimes we tend to imagine that Masonic regalia is the same the whole world over. But once we begin to travel, or to read a bit, we find that it isn’t so. There are local variations. Of them all, there can’t be very many which are as distinctive as that of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Their aprons, which are quite elaborate, were designed, one gathers, in 1931 by Jewel P. Lightfoot, Past Grand Master. And a series of five articles explaining their form and significance was published in 1963 by James W. McClendon, Past Grand Master. Now Pete Martinez. who was Master of the Texas Lodge of Research in 1990-91, has brought together the McClendon articles, and supplemented them with a splendid array of magnificent colored illustrations.

Let us briefly summarize the decorations on the aprons. On the bib is a representation of the collar jewel. (Some of these are familiar — doves for the Deacons; cornucopia for the Stewards; Square, Level, and Plumbrule for the principal officers). Then, in the lower corners of the apron are various astronomical syumbols — the rising and setting sun, the full moon, the half moon, and stars.

But the central emblems on the apron are what make them unique. We have the Triangle (Grand Junior Steward), the Square (Grand Senior Steward), a five-pointed star (Grand Junior Deacon), six- (Grand Marshal) , seven- (Grand Orator), eight- (Grand Treasurer), and nine-pointed star (Grand Secretary), three versions of the plan of the lodge room floor (Grand Junior Warden, Grand Senior Warden, Deputy Grand Master), and a very intricate ten-pointed star for the Grand Master. It is also interesting to note that Texas has at least one Grand Lodge Officer that is not yet found in every Grand Lodge, the Grand Photographer (whose emblem is the trowel).

But there is more. Each Grand Master of Texas issues a distinctive coin and a lapel pin to mark his year in office. And the latest fourteen of these are illustrated as well. The book is not cheap, but it is very attractive, and most interesting.

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