Friday, December 31, 2010
Poet/Lyricist Brother Robert Burns modified a traditional Scottish folk song that became an internationally known song in 1788.
The lyrics of Auld Lang Syne consist of five verses. The words literally translate from Old Scottish meaning 'Old Long Ago'. I think its about reminiscing or reflecting about old times. In Minnesota I think it's very fitting that we usually will conclude a Table Lodge with all participants in holding hands and singing a few verses. I'm always touched by the lyrics in the song "We'll take a cup of kindness yet." To me that symbolizes our current friendship.
I am always touched as I gaze into the faces of all my Brothers and friends as we sing that phrase.
So on the New Years Eve I raise my glass and think of you. Happy New Year Brother!
Monday, December 20, 2010
In a few hours here in Minnesota and the Northern Latitudes we are entering the dark days of Winter. December 21st, 2010 is the day with the least amount of daylight. This day is called the Winter Solstice also known as the First Day of Winter.
For us as Free Masons the Winter Solstice is known to us as St.John the Evangelist Day. It is a day that we all celebrate world wide.
Early this morning we also are going to experience an Lunar Eclipse. A Lunar Eclipse is when the Earth passes between the Sun and Moon. When this occurs the Earths shadow covers all or part of the moon.
Tonite is going to be an extreely rare moment. For the last time the Lunar Eclipse occurred on the Winter Solstice was 12-21-1632 or 372 years ago.
Watching the eclipse is perfectly safe . You dont need any special equipment or telescopes.
Here in Minnesota Mother Nature is finishing up with another snow strom so I will not be able to view it, but I encourage you to go out and gaze to the heavens and enjoy the sights.......
and take a moment to remember all those Free Masons where so ever disbursed.
The table of information below comes from the U.S. Naval Observatory the experts in these matters. It is a time table of Lunar Eclipse.
Total Eclipse of the Moon
o ' o '
W093 16, N44 58
Central Standard Time
h m o o
Moonrise 2010 Dec 20 16:02 54.9 ----
Moon enters penumbra 2010 Dec 20 23:27.7 157.4 67.3
Moon enters umbra 2010 Dec 21 00:32.3 195.7 67.9
Moon enters totality 2010 Dec 21 01:40.4 228.6 61.5
Middle of eclipse 2010 Dec 21 02:17.0 240.8 56.3
Moon leaves totality 2010 Dec 21 02:53.6 250.5 50.5
Moon leaves umbra 2010 Dec 21 04:01.7 264.6 39.1
Moon leaves penumbra 2010 Dec 21 05:06.1 275.5 28.0
Moonset 2010 Dec 21 08:06 304.0 ----
oh ya dont get Moon burn from all those Moon Beams.........enjoy
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Today is a day for all Free Masons to celebrate....The Boston Tea Party. I have found an article by Brother Edward Cair of California. I found this to be a very enjoyable story. I hope you too will raise your cup in honor of this great American moment and I consider today a Masonic day.If you see me be sure to stop me and Ill buy you a cup of coffee and we can enjoy the moment together.
Amazingly, no one knew who dumped the tea!
Two thousand people stood on Griffin’s Wharf and watched the Boston Tea Party. The crowd was silent as sixty men dumped 340 chests of tea into the salt water. Some of them put lampblack or paint on their faces. Some came wrapped in blankets. They called themselves “Mohawks”. (Most of the participants actually were not disguised.)
The crews of the tea ships were ordered below. No resistance was made. Some of the crew even helped unload the tea.
The Governor’s Cadet Corps were guarding the tea ships. They never lifted a musket and stood away from the crowd because these people had not forgot-ten the Boston Massacre.
It took three hours and all done in silence and order. No damage was done to the ships. The decks were swept clean. No “Mohawk” would keep any of the tea.
The three tea ships were in range of a 60-gun British warship. The entire Tea Party could have been blown out of the water. It would have meant firing on the crowd as well as the people in buildings near the wharf. No shot was fired.
The British Admiral watched from the upstairs window of a house nearby. When the “Mohawks” had completed their task they marched under his window. The Admiral opened the window and shouted, “Tomorrow you’ll still have to pay the piper! “.
No trial of the “Mohawks” was ever made in Boston. One man in the crowd said he would be a witness provided they would take him to London 3,000 miles away. He was never taken to London. Governor Hutchinson said that if he held a trial in Boston the members of the jury would turn out to be the “Mohawks” or their friends.
After the Tea Party, Governor Hutchinson himself was withdrawn to London “for consulta-tion”. He never returned. Instead the King and Ministry sent General Gage as a new military Gover-nor and gave him full discretion to find evidence for a trial of those responsible for the Boston Tea Party. Parliament closed down the port of Boston, cut off the trade, and sent in 10,000 troops to oc-cupy a town of 20,000 people. The new military Governor with his full discretion never found suf-ficient evidence in Boston and the Ministers to the King in London never pressed charges.
Benjamin Franklin, a Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, was in London at the time. He called the Boston Tea Party “an act of violent in-justice”. A group of London merchants wanted to pay twice the value of the tea in order to keep trade open. Franklin offered to pay for the tea himself or raise the money in Boston.
“Though the mischief was the act of persons unknown, yet as probably they cannot be found, or brought to answer for it, there seems to be some reasonable claim on the society at large in which it happened.”
Once Parliament closed down the port of Boston no one ever paid for the tea. Parliament took the tax off tea, but the East India Tea Company was never able to sell tea in America. The Tea Act that had given them a monopoly could not protect them.
Many years later, Sir Winston Churchill—Prime Minister, Historian and Freemason—commented on the Tea Act of Parliament that had given the East India Company a monopoly on tea. Brother Churchill called it “a fatal blunder”.
The Tea Act put a small tax on the East India Tea. It was actually cheap tea that had been stored in warehouses in England. However, the East India Tea Company was bankrupt, so Parliament gave them a monopoly. Tea was to be sold by the Consignees (tea agents) of the one company. This gave the Con-signees a tea monopoly in their area. Keeping the small tax on tea would just prove that Parliament still had the power to tax. But . . . it didn’t work!
In New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, the Consignees for the tea resigned their Commissions at the request of the Sons of Liberty. With no Con-signees to pay the tax and sign for the tea, the East India Company tea ships had to turn around and sail back to England with their cheap tea.
But Boston was different! The Consignees would not resign. Two sons of the Governor and a son-in-law were Consignees. When the Governor’s family is in the tea business the ships cannot leave the harbor.
The Tea Act stated that tea “remaining twenty days unloaded” was subject to seizure by the Customs House and sold for nonpayment of duties. Once the tea was in the Governor’s hands, he could dispose of it secretly to local merchants. When Governor Hutchinson again refused to let the tea ships go on the night before December 17th, (the 16th was the end of the 20 day limit for unloading), the “Mohawks” seated in the balcony at the Old South Meeting Hall took matters into their own hands.
There never would have been a Tea Party if the ships could have left before December 17th. Several of the Brothers of the St. Andrews Lodge did their part in trying to turn the tea ships around.
Brother William Molineux acted as spokesman for the Sons of Liberty. He and Brother Joseph Warren led a crowd of 300 from the Liberty Tree to the Customs House to confront the Consignees. Would these tea agents resign and send the tea ships back to England? The Governor’s sons refused and moved to Fort William under military protection. Just three years before Brother Molineux and Brother James Otis (St. John’s Lodge) had led a crowd of a thousand patriots to confront the Gover-nor’s sons who were importing tea and hiding it in a warehouse against the nonimportation agree-ments. In that tea business, the Hutchinsons sur-rendered the tea and the money for the tea they had already sold. Brother James Otis was the Mason who gave us the saying “Taxation without represen-tation is Tyranny!”.
Brother John Hancock was the Colonel for the Governor’s Cadet Corps who guarded the tea ships. The night before the Tea Party he was aboard the tea ships inspecting his troops. Both he and Brother Joseph Warren had served as Orators at the Com-memoration of those who had died at the Boston Massacre.
Brother John Hancock was the richest merchant in New England. He served as Moderator for a mass Town Meeting of 5,000 who voted to turn the tea ships around. He was a member of the Committee of Selectmen, who were the leading tradesmen of Boston, who met with the Governor and the tea Consignees to try to convince them to let the ships go.
Brother John Rowe was the owner of one of the tea ships, the Eleanor. He was also a Selectman anc promised to use his influence with the Governor tc return the tea ships and the tea to England. Brothel Rowe was the Grand Master of the St. John’s Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (Moderns). In his diary he called the dumping of the tea “a disastrous affair”.
On the day before the Tea Party, Brother Joseph Warren met with Brother John Rowe in a concern for his “ship and cargo”. Brother Warren was tht Grand Master of the Grand Lodge (Ancients) Brother Warren also went to the Customs House with the owner of the tea ship, Dartmouth. All exits to the harbor were blocked. By law the Customs Officials cannot release the ship unless the Con signees unloaded the tea and paid the tax. The next day the Customs Officials were to seize the tea according to law.
In the final appeal to the Governor by the Select-men, Covernor Hutchinson offered to give the tea ship Dartmouth military escort to Castle Island and Fort William where his sons, as Consignees, would unload the tea and pay the tax. The owner of the Dartmouth did not want to move his ship with the help of a 60-gun warship.
During the 19 days prior to the Tea Party, Brother Paul Revere served with the North End Caucus Guard, who prevented the Consignees from unload-ing the tea, wanting it instead returned to England. The Consignees blamed the guard for not unloading; the tea and the guard blamed the Consignees for not returning the tea to England.
After the Tea Party, Brother Paul Revere mounted
his horse and carried the news to New York. Whe
a tea ship arrived there, the Consignees resigned an
the tea ship returned to England. The news was
taken to Philadelphia and beyond. There were no
more Consignees for the East India Tea Company
The English said that the Americans lost their taste for tea because they had a peculiar way of mix-ing it with salt water.
Order tea and you were a Tory. Order coffee an you were a Patriot!
America has been drinking coffee ever since.
Bro Edward Cair is a member of Southern Calilornia Research Lodge.
Monday, December 13, 2010
The official name is "The Mystic Order of the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm of North America.It was formed in 1889 because many believed that the lodges had become too serious and that men would become better Masons if they mixed a little fun and social activity with the serious teachings.
This is the full line of Officers for 2011. I think its pretty impressive the way that Selim is growing and building upon its great tradition.
My lodge Brother Richard Kachman. One of the Men and Brothers on this earth I have the most highest regards and respect for.I think were twins.....maybe not in looks unless you close your eyes.
I was invited to come and spend the evening and I even gave a little talk. I noticed none were sleeping when I finished.
It was a beautiful Minnesota Winter night.....We drove in a Snow Storm to get there. But when we walked it our coldness went away very quickly from all the Warm Smiles and hearts that greeted us.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Grand Master of Minnesota Masons John Cook came personally to install the Officers after a beautiful meal.
It was good to see that the lodge Officers had all the Chairs filled with willing and eager Officers.
There were Awards given out as well. This years Hiriam Award was given to Jr. Past Master Ethan Seaberg.Ethan may have protested, but I couldnt have been happier for him. Ethan is very deserving.
Visitors come from far and wide to spend the evening. Last night Lebanon Lodge of Shakopee, and Montgomery Lodge of St Paul brought many members. It was such a pleasure to have the dining room filled with voices and laughter.
Gary always makes his famous Christmas Pudding for this meeting . I have several photos for get a good look at it for those not familiar with the dish.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Last year around December 30th, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Iowa Masons Craig Hummel challenged our beloved Grand Master Tom McCarthy to a very friendly non-monetary wager. Ya see the Minnesota Gophers were about to play the Iowa State Cyclones at the Insite Bowl in Tempe Arizona. The winner of the bet was to supply the loser of the bet with the appropriate shirt and hat to wear at the Loser's Annual Communication.
Well ,my Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to Iowa State in a very close game 14 to 13. The rest is history. Our Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and myself donned Iowa State Gear for at least 15 minutes during our Grand Lodge. I am sorry I won't show those pictures here.
So this year Our Grand Master John Cook invited The Most Worshipful Grand Master Craig Davis to be his guests at the last game of the year at the Minnesota vs. Iowa University game.
The game was at the TCF Stadium on the U of M campus.
As you can see the Grand Master took the opportunity to show off our new Gopher Stadium and the President's Club had all of the amenities. I thought our Grand Masters strategy was brilliant. Treat them special and they will take it easy on us if the Gophers lose. I didn't think it looked too good for us. The Gophers had fired the Coach in mid season, and we were like 2-9 for the season.
After lunch we had a cold hard slap of reality. Grand Master Davis and Past Grand Master Jack Butler provided us with large gift bags. I was afraid to look into it....When I gazed inside I saw a tee shirt, hat and other Iowa University garb. Yup the standing bet from last year was still in effect. Well I left my bag at the table and went to find my seat. Ya see, I was hoping that someone would steal it.....when I returned at half time it was still there.
So take a few minutes and look at the pictures for they tell the story. But it was a great afternoon of Brotherhood and a lot of laughs. It was one of those afternoons that was filled with special moments that will be never forgotten and enjoyed for many years to come.
Brian Beerman, MWGM Craig Davis, PGM Jack Butler,and our friend Jennie Soderholm from the University of Minnesota. .
Saturday, November 20, 2010
For those of you wondering DeMolay is a young Mens organization that prepares young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives.
Using timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men ages 12 to 21 by helping them develop the civic awareness, personal responsibility, and leadership skills so vitally needed in our society today. DeMolay takes a fun approach to this serious mission by building important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.
I was a Demolay ! It made a huge positive influence on my life. I cannot say enough about it. I even think that we should have a Minnesota Demolay alumi Association stay tuned for that.
It was a beauitful cermony and the Boys performace was OUTSTANDING! You should consider being there next year I will.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
We had a heavy Snow here in Minnesota on Saturday Morning. Driving to my meeting of the Grand Lodge was a little slippery. But when I drove into the Masonic Home in Bloomington, Minnesota I found it to be a winter postcard.I thought you would enjoy these images.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I am a proud American and Veteran of the US Army. I always observe this day for those who have served in our Nations Military. I came across this beauitfuly worded speech that far better describes and honors the Veteran better than I could.
Our Country was born in blood and maintained by the blood of the Men and Women who wear our Countries uniform.
Please take a moment and thank a Veteran for their service.Read on......
We are gathered at the National Cemetery, which provides a final resting place for the heroes who have defended our country since the Civil War. This amphitheater, this place for speeches, is more central to this cemetery than it first might seem apparent, for all we can ever do for our heroes is remember them and remember what they did -- and memories are transmitted through words.
Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we're never quite good enough to them-not really; we can't be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it's a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember.
It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.
And the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong. Weakness, after all, is a temptation -- it tempts the pugnacious to assert themselves -- but strength is a declaration that cannot be misunderstood. Strength is a condition that declares actions have consequences. Strength is a prudent warning to the belligerent that aggression need not go unanswered.
Peace fails when we forget what we stand for. It fails when we forget that our Republic is based on firm principles, principles that have real meaning, that with them, we are the last, best hope of man on Earth; without them, we're little more than the crust of a continent. Peace also fails when we forget to bring to the bargaining table God’s first intellectual gift to man: common sense. Common sense gives us a realistic knowledge of human beings and how they think, how they live in the world, what motivates them. Common sense tells us that man has magic in him, but also clay. Common sense can tell the difference between right and wrong. Common sense forgives error, but it always recognizes it to be error first.
We endanger the peace and confuse all issues when we obscure the truth; when we refuse to name an act for what it is; when we refuse to see the obvious and seek safety in Almighty. Peace is only maintained and won by those who have clear eyes and brave minds. Peace is imperiled when we forget to try for agreements and settlements and treaties; when we forget to hold out our hands and strive; when we forget that God gave us talents to use in securing the ends He desires. Peace fails when we forget that agreements, once made, cannot be broken without a price.
Each new day carries within it the potential for breakthroughs, for progress. Each new day bursts with possibilities. And so, hope is realistic and despair a pointless little sin. And peace fails when we forget to pray to the source of all peace and life and happiness. I think sometimes of General Matthew Ridgeway, who, the night before D-day, tossed sleepless on his cot and talked to the Lord and listened for the promise that God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
We're surrounded today by the dead of our wars. We owe them a debt we can never repay. All we can do is remember them and what they did and why they had to be brave for us. All we can do is try to see that other young men never have to join them. Today, as never before, we must pledge to remember the things that will continue the peace. Today, as never before, we must pray for God's help in broadening and deepening the peace we enjoy. Let us pray for freedom and justice and a more stable world. And let us make a compact today with the dead, a promise in the words for which General Ridgeway listened, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
Thank you. God bless you all, and God bless America.
Monday, October 25, 2010
A new revealing look at the history of Freemasonry will be presented at an International Conference by the Canonbury Masonic Research Center in London England on October 30-31, 2010.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Patricia Kennedy Grimstead, of Harvard University, will present a lecture entitled "War on Freemasons: the fate of the Nazi and Soviet seized books and archives." The lecture will provide an overview of the millions of Masonic documents orginally stolen from the Masonic lodges by the Nazis during World War Two. Then during the Sack of Berlin, the documents were transported by the forerunner of the Soviet KGB and placed into the archives in Moscow.
For futher information and a downloadable program of this one-of-a-kind conference and details on how to register, go to the CMRCS website at http://www.canonbury.ac.uk/conferences/programme10.pdf
This is the start of the news that I have been waiting to hear for some time. We don't really know how many Freemasons were sent to the Nazi Concentration Camps or who they were. Perhaps this will be the start of the flow of such information many of us have been waiting for.
I wish I could attend this conference.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Brother Conrad Jackson-Cataract Lodge
You will have an opportunity to look at what Scottish Rite is intended to be. For we are just a hand full of Valleys that perform all twenty nine degrees..... but we do it TWICE a year.
More to come