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 email@example.com and through this webpage we will find answers for you.
Our thanks go again to WBro John MacDonald the District Education Advisor in District No. 1 for this multiple-choice quiz.
You are free to download this quiz and use it in Lodge or putside Lodge amoungst other Freemasons. Enjoy discussing these questions and answers with others .... and make a daily advancement:
1. According to ancient tradition, the temple of King Solomon was destroyed in 587 BC by
a) Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Chaldees
b) Hiram, King of Tyre
c) Jehoiachin, King of Babylon
d) Cyrus, King of Persia
2. The column of strength which supports a Lodge is of the Grecian Order
3. A visitor to a Lodge who is not known to any of the Brethren may be proved by
a) production of a letter of Introduction from his own Lodge
b) production of his Grand Lodge Certificate
c) strict trial, lawful information or due Examination
d) a nod and a wink from a well known Brother
4. During the 18th and 19th Centuries there existed a number of different Grand Lodges in England. The actual number of these was
5. In the Second Degree the celestial and terrestrial globes on the tops of the pillars suggest
b) Brotherly Love
d) Freemasonry universal
6. The Goose and Gridiron was an alehouse, in St . Paul's Church Yard, London famous masonically because
a) it was there that the first quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge of England, after the revival of 1717, was held on the 24th of June, 1717
b) it was there that the the two Grand Lodges of the Ancients and the Moderns agreed to join together in 1717.
c) it is the site on which Freemasons Hall stands today in London
d) it was there that the first meeting to form the first Grand Lodge was held.
7. High Twelve in Freemasonry symbolises
a) time to return to labour
b) time to retire for an afternoon nap
c) time to go from labour to refreshment.
d) time to go home at the end of the day.
8. The pillar know as Jachin which stood a the entrance of King Solomon’s temple . This pillar is sometimes called
a) the pillar in the East
b) the pillar of establishment
c) the pillar of strength
d) the pillar in the West
9. In the Bible and in Freemasons tradition Jephthah is famous as
a) a prophet in Israel
b) telling King Solomon to cut a baby in two and give half each to the two women who claimed to be the mother of the child
c) opening a window so that a bee would settle on the real rather than the artificial flower given to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba
d) leader of the Gileadites in their war against the Ephraimites
10. Every Masonic Lodge has or ought to have as furnishing a total of
a) three jewels
b) four jewels
c) six jewels
d) seven jewels
11. A lewis is found on the tracing-board of the Entered Apprentice Degree. It symbolises
a) lifting - as in lifting one’s eyes to the heavens while in daily prayer
b) strength - a builder is enabled to lift the heaviest stones with comparatively ease
c) binding - as with a lewis the heavy stone is bound to the ropes and pulleys lifting it
d) the future - as in new members.
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.
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 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.
WBro John MacDonald
District Education Advisor and Editor NorthTalk
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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?
A 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to include your Lodge name and location (Division and District) your current Lodge Office