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THE FREEMASONS
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George Allan on Education
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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-line in 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 March 2017

Our thanks go to WBro John MacDonald the District Education Advisor in District No. 1 for this multiple-choice quiz.

By the way please note the term District Education Advisor because there is no official District Office for Education - nor is there an official Lodge office for education. The Mason doing the education job at District or at Lodge level is an advisor - hence the change by the Board of General Purposes. And now to the quiz - you are given several alternative answers to each question and you have to select the answer you think is correct.  Enjoy discussing these questions and answers with others .... and make a daily advancement:

Q1.  A motto frequently found on Masonic jewel and used in Masonic documents  is Audi, Vide, Tace. Translated into English it means:

 a)  I came, I saw, I conquered

b)  Listen, Watch, and Learn

c)  Hear, See, be Silent.

Q2. The first Masonic Lodge meeting in Australasia was held in Sydney in the year:

a) 1803

b) 1820

c) 1843.

Q3. I know this was in last month's quiz but it's important so here it is again - the badge of a Freemason is:

a)  the Square and Compasses

b)  the All Seeing Eye

c)  the Lambskin Apron

Q4. Beauty is said to be symbolically one of the three supports of a Lodge. It is represented in a Lodgeroom by:
a) the Corinthian column

b) the Junior Warden

c) both the above

Q5. The colour black is used in Freemasonry to represent:

a) Eternal Darkness

b) Grief

c) Horror

Q6. The name of one of the pillars which stood at the entrance to King Solomons temple as given in scripture as Boaz. This name represents:

a) Strength

b) Wisdom

c) Piety

Q7. An applicant for admission into Masonry is called a candidate. This word is derived from the Latin word candidatus and literally means:

a) clothed in white

b) an honest and upright person suitable for admission to an organsiation

c) a person waiting at the door for admission to an organisation

Q8.  In Speculative Freemasonry cement as a symbol represents:

a) that brotherly love which binds the Masons of all countries in one common brotherhood

b) the sturdy construction and longevity of Freemasonry throughout the world

c) the tie that binds Freemasons together in peace, love, and harmony.

Q9. A Chapiter is:

a) a section in the Book of Constitution

b) upper-most part of a column, pillar, or pilaster, serving as the head or crowning

c) a section or division within the Volume of the Sacred Law.

Q10. There are only two occasions when a man is allowed into a Masonic Lodge without an apron when that Lodge is opened in due form. Name the circumstances in each case.




SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND

by WBro Harvey Lovewell Queensland, Australia

The making of a Freemason consists of a continuing course of education, of training, and of character forming. While it may be accepted that it is an innermost desire, followed by obligations that makes one a member of the Craft, yet in a truer form and better sense, a man is never a Freemason until he truthfully and loyally lives up to his obligations. And he cannot do that until he understands them, and eventually knows their scope and real meaning.

Freemasonry can very well be divided into many phases. Its landmarks, its customs, its constitution and its laws, just to mention a few, if studied and mastered, can provide a more interesting course for the Master Mason seeking Masonic knowledge. Its historical background can provide in interesting program of investigation to the Member attracted to a desire for research.

One peculiarity about Freemasonry is that it will stand investigation. The deeper the research, the more extensive the knowledge of its hidden art and mysteries, the more highly it is appreciated. A member of the Craft who merely takes his degrees in a listless, careless sort of manner, and then remains as just a spectator at Lodge meetings, may hold to the opinion that Freemasonry differs little from other societies. To the contrary, the Master Mason who delves deeply into Masonic literature takes a lively interest in every part of the Ritualistic and Lodge Work, and learns the origin, meaning and moral bearing of its symbols, cannot possibly fall into such an error. To him Freemasonry has a refining and elevating influence not to be found in the ordinary run of organizations.

The philosophies of Freemasonry, when discovered and then accepted and practiced, provide that simple but profound solution to the problems of human relationships.
May it be accepted that Freemasonry is a way of living to the Master Mason who is interested enough to appraise and value the wealth that is his, and his alone, by virtue of his Masonic Membership. The best informed Mason is the Mason who reads and studies. Consequently, if we want Freemasonry to be of practical usefulness and cultural attainment, we, as Freemasons, must not neglect our Masonic reading, our Masonic studying and our research for more Masonic Light.




The V S L - which one to use ?????

My thanks to WBro Graham Morgan District Education Advisor for District 21 for the following.

Reference to Coil's Masonic Encyclopaedia details the following under the entry Volume of the Sacred Law (P.674):

The Pentateuch or the Old testament of the Hebrews,

The New Testament of the Christians, (although some would include the whole bible),

The Koran of Islam,

The Zend Avesta of the Persians,

The Tripitaka of the Buddhists,

The Rig Veda and other Vedas of the Brahmins,

The Tao Te King of the Taoists of China,

The Bhagavad-Gita of the Hindus, 

The Book of Mormon of the Later Day Saints.

So, if you have a brother of any of the above faiths attending a meeting, your Lodge should display an open copy of his VSL from the above list to make your Masonic meeting just.




The Spirit of Freemasonry

Have you ever thought that Freemasonry as it is today may have lost some of its original spirit?

In my Grandfather's day and in my father's day the general public looked up to a man who was a Freemason. He was regarded as a pillar of society and, indeed, that term "Pillar of Society" was often used, but no more is it used. It may be regarded as old fashioned and most things regarded as old are treated with little more than contempt these days. Our society has changed so much in the last twenty years and it is still changing. New words are replacing previously well-known words to such an extent that some of our elderly don't understand modern speak (and this is an example if you see what I mean).

Is it any wonder that Freemasonry is struggling in a modern world of change? Well, it may come as a shock to learn that Freemasonry is not struggling in some countries of the world. Young men are queueing up to join. Waiting times are anything up to three years, and initiation is only after tough and strict examinations of a man's background, family and business connections to ascertain his credibility and character. In these countries the "spirit" of Freemasonry is alive and well, men enjoy being together in spirit as well as physically. This has nothing to do with religion. A wise old priest once told a group of us not to confuse spirit with religion and the reason he gave was that religion is man-made whereas spirit is something quite, quite different.

So, my questions for you are these:

What was that original spirit of Freemasonry and .... what is that spirit today?  How can you and I rebuild the spirit of Freemasonry in the days to come relevant to the here and now?

VW Bro George Allan PG Lec 

Chairman of Natioan Masonic Education Committee




Mouth-To-Ear Mentoring

The following article comes from Bro Ron Gale and describes the Mentoring form of Learning and Teaching Ritual in many North American Constitutions.
As explained to me recently by the Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association of North America (MSANA) ‘Many Grand Lodges have mouth-to-ear which simply means the Grand Lodge has not approved printing the ritual’. Ten U.S. Grand Lodges do not have ritual ciphers or plain text ritual books and prohibit their members from having them.
I have had the pleasure, opportunity, and good fortune to have visited a number of the Lodges in such Constitutions across North America, and as far away as South Korea (whose ritual practice follows that of California) over a number of years.
I found their ritual rendition to be identical and ‘word perfect’ in its accuracy and, every bit as important, refreshing in its delivery. It seemed, in a sense, to become ‘alive’.
One such meeting in South Korea, about 40 years ago, remains freshly in my memory as the most enjoyable, exciting, and educational meeting I have ever attended in my 60 year membership of the Craft. My impressions were, and remain, so vivid that I have written to successive Grand Masters outlining this experience.
To maintain the accuracy of their repetition of the ritual their system necessitates and inculcates the very importance of understanding the meaning and objective of each word and phrase in each and every charge.
Lodges in such Constitutions appoint a "mentor" to shepherd and assist each individual candidate, the Master appoints an education (ritual) chairman and committee in his Lodge to assist each class of candidates ... "mouth to ear" is usually a "one on one" review and repetition to establish an understanding of what transpired during the degree and a follow-up to determine the individual's understanding, learning and proficiency. 

As one Worshipful Master explained to me, ‘we look upon each degree ceremony as a ‘Masonic play’ in which all the officers and brethren ‘perform’ for the benefit of an audience of ONE, the Candidate’. 
Their Masonic mentors are usually Past Masters who, having ascended through the entire officer chairs of the lodge, are very knowledgeable in not only Freemason ritual, but Freemason history, Masonic Lodge etiquette and Lodge operations. 
The most obvious point to be discovered in a study of any Ritual is that it is a teaching system by which a student may be taught and when the student has learned, the student may then become a teacher, always with a constant result as the objective.
Help the ritualist grow in poise; composure and intellect, then surround him with fraternal love and affection for he will then be your brother.
Lodges have a tendency to select their best ritualist when it comes to the election of a new preceptor. 
The ability to do something well has little or no relevance to the ability to help others reach the same standard. Good preceptors create learning and guide their pupils within them.
RITUAL, if we can simplify it, is the performing of certain acts in order to demonstrate some mystery.
Nothing builds attendances and attracts visitors more than the ritual of our ceremonial being delivered, not just word perfect, but with the subtleties and nuances that paint a word picture of the lessons imbedded in the charges.
It is my very strong belief that maintenance of the high quality of the standard of ritual in North America has played a significant part in the very much slower decline in their membership. 
The time-honoured way to learn Masonic ritual is by listening to it during lodge meetings and studying to memorize it.
It is not just a matter of remembering the ritual words by rote and being able to remember and then recite them……the skill of a good ritualist lies in how he delivers it. To do that you have to study each word and phrase and interpret what the message is that you are intending to convey to the candidate through that particular charge.
The benefit of a ‘one-on-one’ mentoring system is that it enables an experienced mason to gauge how your delivery could be received by a candidate and whether you were getting the right method across.
Where you do not have a mentor, one of the fastest and best approach is for interested members and/or progressive Lodge Officers to form and join a Ritual Club...or Ritual Team. 
Masonic districts may even constitute one lodge or a designated body of members who solely perform degree work and Masonic funeral ceremonies for other lodges in their district
Lodges within a district could also form what is called a Warden's Club. The Warden's Club may consists of Junior Wardens, Senior Wardens, Worshipful Masters, Past Masters, Ritual Team members and any other lodge member who wishes to attend just to watch, listen and learn.
My own personal method was to walk around the local oval and read the charge aloud, over and over and over again, varying emphasis and expression from time to time to gauge my delivery, and the way that I emphasised a particular phrase to illustrate the lesson within the charge that had been devised to enlighten a candidate.
RW Bro Ronald L Gale PSGW (Member of the Grand Lodge Ceremonial Team 1970/1979)




We Need Your Help

Keeping this website lively needs new questions to be asked by masons like you. Questions for our quizzes and questions that need answers. So, please let me know of interesting questions we can use in our monthly quizzes.

We also need questions that you need answers to so send those to me as well please 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




This is the Craft Masonry Education Website for all Freemasons in New Zealand. Welcome.
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 below to visit my archives page; my "Articles to Read" page; and my "interesting links to explore" page.