Central Division
This is the Craft Masonry Education Website for all Freemasons in New Zealand. Welcome.
Dr George Allan
Education Pillar Head
This website is maintained by VW Bro. George Allan who firmly believes that Freemasonry is Universal, so, you can share anything good on this website with any other Mason in the world.

I realise that "education" is not every Mason's cup-of-tea but there is a ground-swell that indicates that many Masons join with a thirst for knowledge and then walk away when they can't find that knowledge. So, this website aims to fill that gap on a regular basis with articles to inform you of masonic learning, masonic educational events that are happening or going to happen in all three Divisions and ideas to try for yourself and your Lodge.

You are encouraged to use the information you find here as discussion points with other Masons in your Lodge, other Lodges in your Division and other Masons throughout the world. Your feedback is especially welcome - e-mail me by clicking here and tell we what you and your Masonic friends are doing.

Click the dropdown above to visit the collection of Masonic Education Pages we have put together for you.
GEORGE ALLAN ON EDUCATION
About this Website

This is the "Main Page" on which new articles appear each month along with a new QUIZ each month. Then they are moved to the "Archive Page" so this Main Page doesn't get clogged up. To see all the pages available to you click in the drop-down box in the grey rectangle called "...select a page to view " top left of the photo above.

To see the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree web-pages click on the appropriate degree shown in the drop-down box. Read the I.T. password instructions carefully to get in.

We now have a Masonic Education Course on this website: the "Introduction" is now on the Archive Page, the 1st degree material is under the 1st degree page, the 2nd and 3rd degree materials are under their relevant pages. Have a look and make your daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.

We need your questions about Freemasonry, any points you want clarified, any issues you want discussed - send them to me at drgeorgeallan@gmail.com and through this webpage we will find answers for you.




Quiz for May 2017
  1. How many master masons must be present to “open” a lodge of entered apprentices?

  2. What are the three great lights of a lodge?

  3. Why are entered apprentices seated in the north-east corner of the lodge?

  4. What is a “Token” and why is it issued to an Entered Apprentice Freemason?

  5. Why is a P. applied to the N.L.B of all initiates? 

  6. What is the connection between the phrase “…..from the P. that S. at the L. of the P. or E. of K.S.T. and the first regular step of an entered apprentice?

  7. State three reasons why Masonic Lodges ought to be facing due East to West?

  8. What do the “Three Lesser Lights” represent?

  9. What is the significance of the letter “G”?

  10. What is the main reason you were you divested of all metallic substances at your initiation?




What Sort of Lodge is Your Lodge?

There are many, many different sorts of Masonic Lodge in New Zealand but put simply there are four main types. These can be summerized as:

Which sort is your Lodge?

National Education Team Position

Since May 2016 we have developed relevant masonic articles to help you make your Lodge evening interesting. These are at

http://www.themasons.org.nz/cdiv/education.php

Click on this link and see what you can see.  This is a resource that includes a teaching programme to assist members to learn and know their Masonry.

Topics relate to good Masonic practice and promote understanding of our Craft.

The Added Masonic Value

Good/great interactive masonic evenings lead to:

more engagement amongst members which ....

leads to motivation to learn more .... 

leads to fewer members leaving .... 

leads to speaking about Masonry to others ....

leads to possible new members.

Time spent in masonic discussions in Lodge (instead of simulated degrees) is good for your Lodge members’ engagement and leads to more interaction and understanding which impacts everyone in the Lodge.




THE LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES

by W Bro Russell Ward inspired by W Bro Southwark

Europe is undergoing tumult from the massive migration of people who are leaving the East and going to the West, sadly for less than Masonic reasons. It may take generations for the changes to shake down. This is not a new thing: people have moved en masse in the past too. We often fail to credit some members of society with their dues. Our Craft was formed in an atmosphere of great learning and discoveries about the nature of things. This knowledge came about in part by Louis XIV’s incredible alienation of 50,000 French Protestants in October 1685. He revoked the 1598 Edict of Nantes at Fontainebleau that had guaranteed the Huguenots freedom from persecution on religious grounds.

They decamped to England (the present day equivalent of 650,000 immigrants), bringing the great Huguenot traits of inventiveness and dedication.  What was striking about the Huguenots was the extraordinary diversity of their manufacturing, scientific and artistic penchants. They were able to fill a huge void, in a country that didn't have much of that stuff. France lost heavily in the process. 

It was to be England’s gain and the Craft in particular profited by it. There became a huge need for gentlemen’s clubs in London (5% of the population) and our Craft marketed itself to the intelligentsia. In its infancy, there was a close connection between the Craft and the Royal Society. Nearly all Grand Masters during the first 50 years of Grand Lodge were Fellows of the Royal Society. You had to be pretty astute to become a Fellow, a glib turn of phrase wouldn’t cut it.

The important point I wish to make is that, in the times we are considering, a gentleman would have had a thorough grounding in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. The influential thinkers of the times, who made such a contribution to the industrial improvement of the British economy, were deep thinkers who (for example) could look at such a simple thing as an apple falling from a tree and formulate the incredible scientific principles that Isaac Newton did. His work is still the background of all our physics of movement today. Denis Papin invented a steam engine 20 years before Newcomen and 70 years before Watt. Steam power was just what was needed for the cotton mills. And who were the bright people at handcrafts particularly spinning and weaving? The Huegenots. Papin was one.

So let’s consider the knowledge base of the Craft in our times. The Apprentice is advised, after his initiation, to make the Liberal Arts and Sciences his study: these are Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. The hidden mysteries of Nature and Science are referred to in another of our charges. Chambers says that this really an intimation to the candidate that he is expected to study and continue in the pursuit of knowledge.

It can all be distilled down to a challenge to Freemasons to equip themselves as men, through education and study, to play a full and adequately informed part in the life of the society in which they live. A man who has learned to base his thinking on the teachings of moral truth and virtue (rather than the TV News) will be an exemplary member of modern society, making a daily advancement in his knowledge – particularly Masonic Education, as we understand it, is something that continues until one’s dying breath. Every day there is something new out there, so grab it, study it, understand it. Learn on, my brothers, especially teach the succeeding generations the Liberal Arts and Sciences!

References

1 Cryer, Neville Barker 1995 Hugenot Freemasons in A Masonic Panorama AMRC

2 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/refugee-week-the-huguenots-count-among-the-most-successful-of-britains-immigrants-10330066.html

3 Southwick L H: The Hidden Mysteries of Nature and Science Paper presented to United Masters Lodge 27 August 1964. Provided the inspiration for this missive.

4 Chambers A R : Questions and Answers 2 Edition 1983 edited by Hepburn R  

5 Personal feeling: I often want to cast off my boots and throw them at the TV.




The Historical Timelines of the Origins of our Freemasonry

by VW Bro George Allan PG Lec K.L. OMLJ PhD CEng

To understand how our fraternity of Freemasons came into being we need to get several pieces of the puzzle into the correct order relative to each other. The term ‘puzzle’ is a fitting one as it really is a puzzle and this presentation will probably leave you with more questions than answers.

We are told according to tradition that our Freemasonry came from Operative Lodges dating back to sometime in the 1300’s and possibly even earlier – who knows as there are no existing records that we know of.

What we do know is that there were Lodges of English Freemasons in existence in the 1600’s. The earliest record of an initiation is that of Mr.Elias Ashmole (1617 – 1682) an antiquarian (studied historic things especially the empirical evidence of the past), an officer on the Royalist side of the civil war, founder member of the Royal Society in London. He was made a mason on 16th October 1646 at Warrington, Lancaster

We know that in 1717 first Grand Lodge and that in 1751 there was another Grand Lodge styled the Antients or Atholl Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Old Institution 1751. These came together as the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813 and is the one and only current Grand Lodge for England.
There was also the Grand Lodge of York 1725 – 1792
And the Grand Lodge South of the River Trent 1779-1790.

Where did it all start.
A text dated around 1390 in Old English (the language of the day current in Chaucer’s time) written in rhyming verse of nearly 800 lines starts with the art of Geometry as related to teaching the children of the nobility of ancient Egypt and it calls this masonry. It tells of the spread of Geometry into other lands.  It also relates a good story of how masonry started in England under King Athelstan (895-939). This poem is called the Regius Poem probably because it was donated by persons unknown in 1734 to King George II as a gift and was filed away in the royal archives as unimportant until discovered around 1840 by James Halliwell. He was not a Freemason but recognised the important messages in the text. For example, the text lists 15 articles and 15 points for the governance of operative masons. 
The Regius Poem also called the Halliwell Document is regarded as an early form of The Old Charges because it tells mason apprentices how they should behave both professionally at work and morally in life.

An interesting parallel is the similarity of the Guilds of London dating back to the times of King Henry II who wanted to raise taxes. He commanded that the tradesmen of London should improve the quality of their work, become better and therefore sell more good, make more profit and pay more tax. The first of these to be Chartered was the Worshipful Company of Weavers in 1155. By the time of King Edward I, II and III in the 1300’s Guilds were established for most trades. No trade was allowed to take on apprentices unless they were registered and regulated.
Members were expected to adhere to very strict and proper behaviour.
Members of Guilds were appointed to the most important posts such as Aldermen and Mayor and became powerful citizens of London. 
Each Guild built its own Hall and was ruled for a year by an elected Master , SW and JW (some Guilds had Upper Warden, Middle Warden and Lower Warden) who progressed towards the master’s chair.
This was the situation in London around 1640 and middle and upper classes wanted to join, dine well, have a good time, intellectual discussions. The Royal Society was formed out of these gentlemen in November 1660.

We are told that the first Grand Lodge in England was formed from 4 Lodges meeting in London and named after the public houses where they met: the Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul's Church-yard (now called Lodge of Antiquity No. 2); the Crown Ale-house in Parker's Lane off Drury Lane; the Apple-Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden (now called Lodge of Fortitude and Old Cumberland No. 12); and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster (now called Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No. IV).  Representatives first met at the Apple Tree Tavern in 1716 to discuss forming a governing body, holding an annual assembly and feast. They met finally at the Goose and Gridiron and constituted themselves into the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster and elected their oldest Master Mr Anthony Sayer the first Grand Master. In 1720 George Payne was elected the 2nd GM and he wrote the General Regulations of e Free Mason. The third Grand Master the Reverend Dr John Theophilus Desaguliers ordered the Rev Dr James Anderson to write The Constitutions of the Free-Masons containing the History, Charges, Regulations, and of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity. This was submitted to GL in 1722 and approved by a Grand Lodge committee. This work was reprinted in Philadelphia in 1734 by Benjamin Franklin, who was that year elected Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania. It was also translated into Dutch (1736), German (1741), and French (1745).

Important questions arise: 
How was it that news spread and many men travelled to central London to meet and decide to start this GL?
Secondly: Why would diverse lodges want to be governed by a London based GL?

One conspiracy theory is that it was the Hanovarian ruling class that pulled the strings in the background to secure a protestant grip on London and England. 
At the start of the 1800’s HRH the Duke of Kent was Grand Master of the Athol GL and his brother HRH the Duke of Sussex was GM of the premier GL. This facilitated the joining together and forming The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) which we know today.  However, there was considerable unrest when this governing body insisted that every masonic lodge would use the same ritual and obey the same rules and regulations.
References
Anderson, J. 1723, The Constitutions of the Free-Masons, "For the Use of the Lodges" in London and Westminster
Hibbard, W., 2016 “THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN BRITAIN IN 1717
ITS INFLUENCE ON THE FORMATION OF THE FIRST GRAND LODGE”, in Transactions of the Research Lodge of Wellington, May 2016
Roger, L. M., “English Speculative Freemasonry: Foundation and Empire”, in: Transactions of the Masonic Study Society, Vol. LXXIV
Page 1 of 4




The Origins of Freemasonry - Some of the theories explored

By V.W.Bro.M.I.McGregor, PGLec., District Education Advisor Southland District

Part 1 - The beginning of the Speculatives.

There are a number of theories as to the origins of Freemasonry.  One thing we know for sure is that, in 1717, four existing London lodges created the Grand Lodge of England but they were soon joined by a goodly number of other lodges scattered widely throughout England.  At least one of the original London lodges was largely operative at the time and probably others too, but it is generally believed that all the Lodges contained a number of non-operatives and that they were the dominant group by 1717.  These non-operatives formed a group within the Lodge known as the “Acceptance”, or “Accepcon”, men whose membership of the Lodge had nothing to do with the stonemason’s craft.  In other words, craft qualifications were not required of them as a condition of acceptance into the lodge but they had to swear an oath of allegiance and obey the laws and regulations nevertheless.

Much the same situation applied to Scotland except that, in 1717, the Scots lodges were almost all still mainly operative.  The craft of stonemasonry was particularly strong in Scotland because just about everything was built of stone.  What’s more, the Scots trade guilds had never been suppressed, as they had been in England.  The Scots masons were under Royal protection, especially after 1601, when King James VI himself was made a member of the Lodge of Perth and Scoon.  Some Scots lodges could produce minute books dating before 1500.  Nevertheless, in spite of their decidedly operative emphasis in 1717, the Scots lodges had long been admitting non-operatives and, encouraged by their English brothers, were warming to the idea of a Grand Lodge of Scotland. 

There is no doubt that the Freemasons Lodges grew out of the stonemason’s guilds or companies of old.  Among other proofs, this is proven by the fact that the Grand Lodge of England, and later Scotland, adopted the ancient constitutions of the operatives as the foundation constitution of the new Speculative Freemasonry.  The founding of the Grand Lodge of England, followed by Ireland and Scotland, marked the point when the operative masons handed over control of the Craft to the Speculatives on condition, however, that the constitutions be preserved.

The first ‘company’ of the operative craft was formed in London in 1395 after a demarcation dispute highlighted the need for some organization, rules and regulations.  From then on, lodges were formed throughout England along the lines on the London company.  Those in the towns adopted the guild system, but some of the country lodges were less formal.

It remains a matter of conjecture as to why non-operatives were either invited to join, or sought to join, operative stonemason’s lodges.  From the point of view of the operatives, it would have been advantageous to extend honorary membership to men of influence in the community for the purpose of protection and to have an advocate for their interests.  Membership would also bring in some useful money at a time of general decline.  One can well surmise that these honorary members may have recommended further members from amongst their friends and acquaintances, especially if there was a need to ensure that all within the group were loyal to each other, hence thorough scrutiny, means of recognition, oaths of allegiance and penalties for breach. The stonemason’s lodges already had this mechanism and were thus a ready-made system of meeting places throughout the country which could be used by an exclusive group of like-minded men pledged to secrecy and mutual support and protection. 

But – what were these early Freemasons like-minded and secretive about?   It is of great significance that Speculative Freemasonry came to light during the Renaissance and the more or less parallel Religious Reformation, during the 16th.century and the first half of the 17th century.   The Renaissance, which started earlier than the Reformation, was an expression of humanism, a rationalist outlook attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.  It resulted in a cultural movement, ‘Renaissance Thought’, which turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought.  The study of the ‘Liberal Arts and Sciences’ was central to Renaissance humanism.  Humanism tended to centre on the individual and, in particular, the philosophy of doing one’s best in this life and becoming a polymath, rather than concentrating on achieving ‘Salvation’ in the next.  The humanists believed in Free Will.

Although some theologians saw no conflict with humanism, most were concerned with matters of Original Sin, Free Will and Redemption and humanism was regarded as a dangerous distraction.  In any event, the Christian world was turned on its head by Martin Luther.  Luther was an Augustinian monk, lawyer and lecturer in philosophy at Wittenberg University.  In 1517, Luther preached against the selling of Indulgences and, on October 31, he nailed his theses on church reform to the door of Wittenberg's Castle Church.  Luther was declared a heretic by the Church of Rome in 1518 and excommunicated in 1521.  Although Luther had aimed a church reform rather than creating a new church, that’s the way it ended up.  By Luther’s time, the Church was already in dire need of reform and many could see the logic in Luther’s reform demands and felt aggrieved by the intransigence of the Church of Rome which seemed intent on persecuting the messenger, rather than heeding the message.  On the other hand, there were those who felt that Luther had gone much further than mere reforms of canon law.  Luther had preached Redemption “through Faith alone”, which negated Redemption through Faith and good works.  He had also preached against the whole theology of Purgatory and the purchasing of indulgences.  Even more significantly, Luther’s theology on Free Will argued essentially that man had the capacity of free will to do evil, but could not achieve Salvation through acts of free will, this could only be achieved by Faith alone and God’s saving grace.  John Calvin went further with his theology, which was that man was inherently sinful (depraved) but that this state was predestined and beyond his control and that only an “elect” few could be saved by God’s saving grace.

            There was a significant difference in the ‘English Reformation’ in that King Henry VIII made himself supreme governor of the Church in England and by virtue of refuting Papal authority, created the Church of England.  In Henry’s day the Church of England remained theologically Catholic but introduced some Protestant reforms.  It became officially Protestant for the last time during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I from which point on the Church of England was, and is, in its own terms, an autonomous Protestant Catholic Church, if that makes sense.  However, because the English, later British, monarch is the governor of the Church of England there was an insistence on “conformity” to its beliefs and ways and those who believed otherwise, such as Roman Catholics and non-conforming Protestants, ran the risk of persecution.  However, within its own ranks, there was wide divergence in the Church of England, from the Arminians who were close to the Church of Rome and the Puritans who were close to Calvin.  This begged the question as to what was, and what was not, “conformity.”

            Throughout the 16th century and onwards, there was little attempt at reconciling theological differences.  Instead, theologians pored over the Bible in every greater detail and the different theologies grew further apart and more schisms were created.  In truth, many of the differences were hair-splitting and had little to do with scripture.  Henry VIII, an unbridled tyrant, brought in several laws intended to establish “conformity” and persecuted – usually executed – both Catholics and Protestants who disagreed with his version of religion.   Queen Elizabeth hated bigotry and extremism and tried to turn the Church of England into a church which would suit everyone but she failed to win over the Roman Catholics and the Calvinists.  King James tried to carry on Elizabeth’s work but again failed to rein in the extremists.  In Europe, decades of hostility between the Catholics and Protestants culminated in the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648) which saw many massacres and the slaughter of one third of the German people.  The English Civil War (1642 – 1651) was fought between the Arminian (High Church) faction of the Church of England and the Puritan faction of the same church, with the Catholics supporting the Arminians and the Presbyterians supporting the Puritans.

            As for the effect of the Reformation on the Renaissance, it was impossible that the new Renaissance freedom of thought could be confined for long under the thraldom of medieval Catholicism, but neither could it be cramped by the dogmatism and intolerance of the early reformers. The Reformation, which was a direct outcome of the “New Learning”, was destined to deal the Renaissance an almost fatal blow, for the religious wars which plunged Europe into chaos and barbarism for so many years checked and ruined much of the great work of the Renaissance.  In England the universities suffered terribly during the religious persecutions.  Many of the great libraries were confiscated and burnt, the study of the classics ceased and the “New Learning” was almost forgotten.  However, just before the start of the Thirty Years War, a German secret group calling themselves ‘Rosicrucians’ issued a proclamation (Fama) calling for reform of religion and science, very much a plea to all men of learning and the princes to unite in carrying on the spirit of the Renaissance.

             It is no coincidence that the first concrete records of Speculative Freemasonry in England refer to events during the English Civil War.  On 20 May 1641, Sir Robert Moray, was initiated into the Lodge of Edinburgh in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at that time occupied by the Army of Scotland in which he was a general.  The two deacons at the initiation were the Duke of Hamilton and Alexander Hamilton, general of artillery.  Moray was well known to Charles I and Charles II, and the French cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin. He attended the meeting of the 1660 committee of 12 on 28 November 1660 that led to the formation of the Royal Society, and was influential in gaining its Royal Charter and formulating its statutes.

            Elias Ashmole, the famous antiquarian, was initiated in the midst of the English Civil War into an apparently non-operative and possibly "occasional" lodge at Warrington in the diocese of Chester on 16 October 1646. Ashmole's diary records how: “I was made a Free Mason at Warrington in Lancashire with Colonel Henry Mainwaring (a Parliamentarian) of Karincham in Cheshire; the names of those that were then at the Lodge, Mr Richard Penket, Mr James Collier, Mr Richard Sankey [a Catholic], Henry Littler, John Ellam, Richard Ellam and Hugh Brewer.”  From what we know of the men he mentions, they were from both sides of the religio-political spectrum.  The Warrington lodge was at least partly operative.

            There is little hard evidence as to what the early “accepted” speculative Masons stood for, but it is possible to surmise that they stood for the same principles as we do today.  They were more than likely humanists who wanted to preserve the spirit of the Renaissance and make advances in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.  They were also moderate and tolerant in their religious beliefs, politics being intertwined with religion in those days.  More particularly, they were men who believed in the freedom of the individual to think and believe as he would, within the bounds of moral law.  That said, moral law, as enshrined in the Bible, was above religious division.  On the basis that the moral law could be agreed upon by all men, of whatever creed, Freemasons extended the hand of friendship and Brotherly Love to each other.  As well as that, charity was regarded as one of the most important expressions of the belief in the Brotherhood of Man. Freemasonry was a plea for Humanity in an age of judicial genocide and cruel intolerance in the name of religion.

            The need for secrecy was self-evident.  Wherever a person lived in the 16th and 17th centuries, whether Catholic or Protestant, Lutheran or Calvinist, the ruling religious and secular authorities were deeply suspicious of anyone who appeared to hold views which did not “conform” and the chances of being branded a “heretic” were high, as were the penalties – death, confiscation of property, etc.  Nonconformity was often branded as “treason” as well as “heresy.”  Although the Church of England theoretically allowed freedom of thought, but insisted on conformity of ritual, by the time of the Civil War friction between the Arminian faction and the Puritans amounted to extreme intolerance on the part of both.

            With their means of proof, secret signs of recognition, oaths of allegiance and penalties for breaches of the oaths, laws and regulations, the operative lodges provided a perfect infrastructure for the Speculative Masons. The operatives also had degrees, only two in those days, being ‘Entered Prentice’ and ‘Fellow Craft.’     

            That is the start of Speculative Freemasonry as we know it but there are several theories about the origins of Freemasonry in the distant past.  Some of these will be examined in the next article.

Note:  The spirit of the Renaissance resurfaced and revived into the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ at the beginning of the 18th Century.  The Grand Lodge of England was created in 1717 to preside over a movement imbued with the spirit of enlightenment.




Two Great Dangers That Await You

The following article is taken from the Editorial of Northtalk” – the news letter of District No. 1 Northland New Zealand prepared and published by WBro John MacDonald.


Two Great Dangers 
In the first Degree every newly initiated Brother is told,
after being brought to light, that he has just escaped two great dangers. There are two other dangers that beset us as Freemasons of which we receive no warning, yet are as equally deadly to Freemasonry as an organisation: they are COMPLACENCY and APATHY. 
The Oxford Dictionary defines these two words thus:

Complacency (n) A feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

Apathy (n) Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. 

Translated into “Kiwi” English: complacency = look how good I/we am/are now or were back then. apathy = “she’ll be right” or “someone else will do it”. 


After the post WW 2 boom our Lodges were full to overflowing with Brethren and candidates. With standing room only it was quite common for new Lodges to be formed to accommodate the numbers. For example Lodge Wainuiomata No 379 founded in 1954 spawned a daughter Lodge Orongorongo No 440 in 1972. Both Lodges met in the same small town, same building, but on different nights. Both these Lodges are now closed as are all but one of the Lodges that used to meet in the Lower Hutt area. 


Complacency and apathy have played a significant part in the closure of  Masonic Lodges and indeed all “men only” organisations. These two factors, companency and apathy, are probably more to blame than the changes in social attitudes to serving and consuming alcohol which for hundreds of years were the dominant attraction in these societies. Most had a public focus on member personal development, family care, community service, or sport - which are all laudable objectives even in the self-opinionated world of today. Achievements were ticked off by the number of photos in the newspapers, plaques on walls in public places, and long service badges pinned on lapel jackets, proudly worn on every possible occasion. All meetings, including AGMs, were well attended and there were often queues for the position of President and Vice President. Society rules usuallyeven insisted that Presidents and Committee members had to stand down after serving 3 years. 
Secretary’s post office boxes were full of new member applications and committee meetings had time devoted to approving these after suitable scrutiny in the approved fashion set out in the By-Laws. New members were welcomed in with a free drink at the bar which was then added to by the proposer, seconder, and various other friends and neighbours who made sure that they were present for the occasion. The “new member” was often “poured into” a car and driven home to his long suffering wife who had a meal sitting on the stove on top of a pot of steaming water with the pot lid over the plate. 


After the complacency came the apathy. With everything “humming along” and W.Bro Ivanhoe doing a great job as Secretary and W.Bro Scrooge McDuck doing a great job as Treasurer why would anyone else want to take the job at the next election of officers. W.Bro Woodchop has been Tyler for 25 years and knew every face in the District, so why would anyone want to tbe Tyler while he was happy to do it? Did anyone ask him if he would like to be in the Lodge room during meetings on a cold winter’s night rather than preparing the tables in the refectory? How often did the Lodge hold a clean-up Saturday? You couldn’t see the cobwebs if you didn’t look up or the dust lying everywhere. Because there were not many social functions, how often were the toilets given a proper cleaning? What about building maintenance? Getting a bit short of money in the bank so let’s defer that for a while shall we? Cracked window facing the street? Yeah! We must get around to getting that fixed shortly? And then of course there is always some delightful, well know person  “Mr Sum One Else” who will come to our aid when all else fails. Sorry. Not today he won’t. He is not politically correct anymore. 
Are these two dangers present in your Lodge? If they are do something NOW because they very quickly become terminal illnesses. 

Fraternally 
WBro John MacDonald
District Education Advisor and Editor NorthTalk 

 




Useful Sayings

My thanks to VW Bro Graeme Martin GLec in the Southern Division for the following Masonic Quips

Audi, Vide, Tace (Hear, see and be silent) – the motto of the arms of the Grand Lodge of England, adopted at the Union of 1813, instead of “Relief and Truth” which had been used by the “Moderns”.

Athelstan – King of England 925-941, According to the legends of the Craft he granted a charter to masons to hold an assembly every year.

Broken Column – the emblem of the fall or death of one of the chief supporters of the Craft.  Some lodges in the UK use a charity box representing a broken column.

Masonic calendar – most of the Masonic rites reckon the date from some event in their traditional history.  1. Craft date add 4,000 to vulgar era e.g. 1999 A.D. = this year is 5998 Anno Lucis, 2. Royal Arch add 530 = this year is 2529 Anno Inventionis, 3. Ancient and Accepted Rite add 3760 or after September 3761 = this year is 5759 Anno Hebraico.

The Old Charges – several old manuscripts which generally have three parts, first an introductory prayer, second the history of the Order commencing at the time of Lamach and ending with the era of Athelstan 926 A.D. and third the particular duties, regulations and observances which the Craft in general or masons in particular were expected to observe.

Fellow Craft – Originally mentioned in the Shaw Statutes of 1598 in which the Fellow of the Craft and Master are used as synonymous terms.  An apprentice was expected to serve 14 years and pass examinations before he could be made “Brother and Fellow in Craft”.

Eligibility for nomination – did you know that the Grand Master, Grand Chaplain and Grand Organist do not need to have achieved the rank of Past Master?  Rule 126(a)  BoC.

The significance of the Golden Fleece and the Roman Eagle – contrary to popular expectation the Flemish Guild Wool Merchants had as their symbol the Golden Fleece and the German Merchants had the Roman Eagle.  These were direct competitors to the English Merchants.  It is unlikely the Masons knew much of classical history when the devised the ritual of investiture.

“Free” in Freemason – The following have been suggested as derivatives; masons were: 1.  Free to pursue labours without interference, 2. Were free men and not slaves, 3. Guilds could not enforce apprentice rules over them and could work where they liked, 4. They worked on free stone, which could be cut or carved in any direction rather than simply cleaved.

“So mote it be.” – so may it be the word mote is derived from Anglo Saxon “motan” which has the general meaning “to be allowed”.  This differs from “amen” which is an expression that we all agree with what has been said.

The opening and closing hymns – are not provided for except by custom in the consecration Ceremony.  Odes have no doctrinal reference and are not part of the Ritual.

Belief in God is required of every initiate, but the conception of the Supreme Being is left to his own interpretation.

When visiting a lodge in America some lodges have a supply of the plain white apron needed and the members and visitors do not need to supply their own.

In some USA Lodges the Master wears a hat in Lodge as a symbol of his authority and it is only removed during prayers and when the name of the Deity is mentioned.




We Need Your Help

Keeping this website lively needs new questions to be asked by masons like you. Questions that need someone to research and answer in a short article.  

We also need questions for our quizzes.

So, please let me know of interesting questions we can use in our monthly quizzes and as a basis for research.

Send them to me at drgeorgeallan@gmail.com

If you want to write and submit an article, or you know of a good one written by someone else please contact me at the same e-mail address, and let me know about it. Then we could get it published on this site for everyone to see and share in the knowledge. 

Fraternally Yours,

George Allan




Calling All Recent Masters and Wardens

Are you a relatively new WM, SW or JW of your Lodge?

Are you likely to be WM, SW or JW of your Lodge next year?

The Education Team in your Division are planning workshops  to help Masters and Wardens share best practice, and thereby gain in confidence for running their Lodges. It will last for 3 hours or so, and be held in a geographic location convenient to you.  You will learn about your duties and ways to deal with difficulties in Lodge and committee.

Are you interested? Then contact me by e-mail on drgeorgeallan@gmail.com

Remember to include your Lodge name and location (Division and District) your current Lodge Office




Calling All Master Masons

Are you interested in improving your masonic performance?

Do you want to learn the signs, token and words correctly?

Do you want to get your masonry right and thereby develop your confidence?

Lodge of Instruction is a teaching and training ground where Master Masons can learn their Masonry correctly according to the New Zealand book of Ritual. It is a Master Masons' Lodge, no EAs, FCs because all three degrees will be practiced. 

MMs can volunteer to learn a role or Charge in a degree and perform that role at the next meeting under the guidance of the Preceptor V.W.Bro. George Allan and his two assistants who will give friendly guidance. One assistant Preceptor guides floor work, the other guides the words and phrases used. We will give you encouragement and help you build your confidence in performing Lodge work.

The Lodge of Instruction will be held every month, tyling at 7:30pm to be finished by 9:00pm. It is the place where Master Masons can practice their movements around the Lodge.

If you are interested in improving your masonry, finding out why we do the things we do, and having a go - please e-mail George Allan at drgeorgeallan@gmail.com