Thursday, December 31, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

After the Third Degree......Now What?

After the Third Degree….Now What?

So you just received the Third Degree in your lodge and now you’re a Master Mason.  Congratulations, you now belong to the world’s oldest fraternity.  Over the past several months (or one day) you have been exposed to a tremendous amount of information ranging from history, philosophy, legends, symbols and maybe even some mumbo jumbo.
Expecting you to digest and comprehend that vast amount of knowledge over such a short period of time is unreasonable and is like taking a drink of water from a fire hydrant.
It is common and even expected for the new Mason to seek to understand all three degrees and how they may apply in your journey for more Masonic light.  Some of the stumbling blocks you will encounter may be understanding the many cryptic passages or the symbolism. In addition, you may want to know more information about the origins and foundations of Craft Freemasonry.
Ultimately, you likely will end up having more questions than answers. You may even conclude that you are missing pieces of information or you may feel that you have not gotten the whole story.  Well, you are right; you did not get the full complete narrative in the first three degrees.  As a matter of fact, most students (theoreticians) of Freemasonry agree that the story of the craft presented in the three degrees is incomplete and but that the degrees of the Chapter of the Royal Arch will complete the story for you.
There are many that would have you believe that you can receive the true secrets of the craft in the degrees that are other than the Royal Arch degrees. This is simply not true.  Some say that these other degrees have similarities but different emphasis but again this is not true.
You have already received the symbolic degrees of the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason.  These three Blue Lodge degrees are of the York Rite, so it would be natural that you will want to continue expanding your knowledge in the same tradition?
As a matter of fact, the Grand Lodge of England, thought that the teachings of the Royal Arch were the very essence of pure Freemasonry and very important.  When the Ancients and Moderns were merged in the 1813, creating the United Grand Lodge of England, they included a reference to it in the 1813 act of the Union:
“By the Solemn Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of England in December 1813 it was declared and pronounced that Pure Ancient Masonry consist of three degrees and no more, via…, those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. Including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.”
In England today, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, by virtue of his office, is also the top leader of the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch. 
The Royal Arch is taken very seriously in England.  From my experience, I found the Royal Arch chapters meet in the local lodges on a different night than the regular lodge meeting.  Usually your companions are your lodge Brothers.  When the lodge raises a Master Mason he is entitled to join the Royal Arch “in order to complete his Master Mason degree.” Within a ten mile radius of London there are 3,000 Chapters with approximately 105,000 members (Companions).
The next logical step to complete your Masonic education is the Royal Arch. It will present a complete system that is in complete mutual agreement with the original plan. It will lead you to a fuller understanding of the purpose and spirit of Freemasonry and for the first time you will be able to perceive the completeness of the ancient craft.  You will also have better insight into all the ceremonies from the Entered apprentice to the Master Mason degree. Once you have a clear picture or understanding then you can apply those principles to your life making it all relevant.
As a Royal Arch Mason, you will have completed your education of Craft Freemasonry and your quest for more light continues.
A man is not a Master Mason until he has received the Masters word and he can only receive it in the Royal Arch.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Freemasons Happy Boston Tea Party !

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.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Remember Pearl Harbor


     On December 7th 1941 at 7:55 AM the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navel base at Pearl Harbor. Over 2400 U.S. personnel were killed,hundreds of aircraft were destroyed,and a fleet of eight battleships were ruined in a matter of minutes. America did not want to go to war,but the Attack on Pearl Harbor propelled our country into quest for mankinds future.It is a day that changed our nation.
     A Ceremony was held December 6 ,2015 at the USS Arizona Memorial.A former US Airman Jack Detour and Japanese fighter pilot Shiro Wakita who were sworn enemies during the war met. Together commemorated the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
    Our WWII veterans are aging and passing away. For this year it was reported that no Pearl Harbor Survivors were present at this years ceremony.The last surviving officer from the USS Arizona Joseph Langdell died on Feb.4th this year in California at the age of 100.

     Let us take a moment to commemorate those who were lost that day. Also to honor the peace and friendship that has developed  between the United States and Japan. Finally to remember that "Freedom isn't free"

Pearl Harbor by the Numbers Infographic

Thank you to the U.S. Navy for the images Click on image for enlargement

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Light in Darkness

I love to look-up Latin sayings.  The other day I stumbled across a Masonic Lodge with the name Lux in Tenebus Lodge #3856 so I did a little research. The Latin meaning “Light in Darkness’. Some say its Light out of Darkness. This appears to be a very fitting name for the lodge membership is blind.
The lodge received its warrant of Constitution on April 23, 1918. They meet on the third Friday of the month at Freemasons Hall in Lodge Room #5 in London England.

I guess it was that Latin class in the 5th grade that created an interest in Latin . Now that I have a little more time I think I’ll dwell deeper into it. Deo Volente…Absum!