Having presided over the first Entered Apprentice degree work of 2013, it is my pleasure to welcome into the ranks of the Craft Brothers Christian Gonzalez, Ronald Robert Nelson and Dr. Niko Olavi Vahamaki. I wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the following brothers who played their roles with the excellence that is always expected and achieved by dedicated brethren: Brother James Outlaw, Steward; Brother Martin Thomas, Junior Deacon; Brother PM Charles Spears, Senior Deacon; Brother PM Henry Chambers, Junior Warden; and Brother Christian Sherbert, Senior Warden. RW Brother Charles Weickhardt sat at the Treasurer’s desk in the absence of Brother PM Johnny Harvey. An especial thank you is rendered to Brother Terrell Altman, PDDGM, who provided yet another splendid lecture and charge to the new brethren.
It has been brought to my attention and I have also observed that some brethren of Harmony Lodge, as well as visiting brethren, occasionally ignore the guidelines pertinent to dress and behavior of all freemasons. Therefore, it behooves the brethren to attend to the following relevant extracts from the Ahiman Rezon 275th Anniversary Edition, pp. 181-82:
Behavior of Free Masons
As Members of a Lodge
Every brother ought to belong to some regular
Lodge where he resides, and should always appear therein properly clothed, and in clean and decent apparel, subjecting
himself to all its By-Laws, and the general
Free Masons should perform their duty without
murmuring or mutiny, nor leave the Lodge until the labor is finished. They must avoid all unbecoming modes of
expression, and call each other Brother,
both within and without the Lodge.
Behavior in the Lodge While Open.
While the Lodge is open for work, no brother
shall hold any private conversation, nor talk of anything foreign or
impertinent to the work in hand; he shall not interrupt the Master or Wardens,
or any brother addressing himself to the chair; nor act with levity while the
Lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn; but every brother shall pay due
reverence to the Master, the Wardens, and all his fellows.
There is no need to name brethren or embarrass
anyone who has allowed his better judgment to wane. Let the above serve as a reminder to those of
you who know who you are to reflect and recall that however unfortunate it may
be, one’s outward appearance and manner often give observers pause.
In addition, I have been asked to remind the
brethren, in the most friendly manner, to attend to the following instruction,
also from the Ahiman Rezon, Code of the
Grand Lodge, p. 391:
Of Petitions for Degrees, Balloting and
6. If any
brother shall disclose to any person whomsoever how he voted on a petition, or
accuse a brother of casting a black ball [cube],
or shall disclose the rejection of a candidate to any person but a Master
Mason, he shall be guilty of unmasonic conduct, and be liable to be dealt with
accordingly; and if a visiting brother shall make such a disclosure, he shall
thereafter be excluded from visiting the Lodge so rejecting the candidate, and
his own Lodge shall be notified of the fact.
Whenever a rejection shall occur
this section shall be read.
It is not an easy task to generate readable copy for this newsletter. It takes a lot of time and energy. Would any brother like to share this task, I would be happy to receive your offering. Anything of interest to the brethren, whether anecdotal or historical, informational or humorous, is worthy of sharing and would make a valuable contribution to the newsletter. Please do not be shy! Send me your copy. Someone you know may have done something memorable and worthy of reporting, masonically valuable and honorable, etc. Tell us about it in your own words; inquiring minds wish to know! Thank you.
April is a busy month; please take a good look at the calendar and plan your days accordingly.
Howard R. Harris
In my Masonic journey over the past few years I have come across many informative and enlightening works. The following poem by Will Allen Dromgoole, while not a Masonic writing, I believe reveals the heart of what we as people and especially as Masons should be doing every day to help our fellow man. I hope you find it inspiring.
An old man going a
at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and
deep and wide.
Through which was
flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed
in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream
had no fear for him;
But he turned when
safe on the other side
And built a bridge
to span the tide.
man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will
pass this way;
You’ve crossed the
chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this
bridge at evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
followed after me to-day
youth whose feet must pass this way.
chasm that has been as naught to me
that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
Christian E. Sherbert
Something for Everone,
Advertise your fraternal affiliation proudly! The Harmony Lodge jewelry cabinet is OPEN FOR BUSINESS. From bumper stickers to lapel pins and anything in-between, all you have to do is ask your Senior Warden. Cash, check or money order, they’re all good (no plastic – sorry). If you don’t see it, ask and it shall be rendered unto you via catalog order or a quick look in the cabinet. We have Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite and Eastern Star paraphernalia. Prices, unfortunately, reflect current inflationary trends. [Ed.]
Your Worshipful Master has just laid in a supply of bumper stickers which are proving very popular among the fraternity:“Real Men Wear Aprons.” The stickers include an apron graphic overlaid with the Square, Compasses and G all in blue. These bumper stickers sell for $5.00 and support the Low Country Masters & Wardens Club Scholarship Fund. Please see me to purchase your bumper sticker. Thank you for your support!
If you have not been observing your birthday celebrated on our Happy Birthday list near the end of this newsletter, please call or send me an email and I will include you in that list. Just the month and day; I don’t need the year. [Ed.]
Why are Masonic rituals not the same in all States?
Freemasonry came to the United States from several different sources (England, Ireland, Scotland) and its spread westward formed Grand Lodges from lodges which sprang from the thirteen original colonies. These admixtures of rituals produced variations which were occasionally increased by actions of Grand Lodges acting on recommendations of Grand Lecturers and Ritual Committees. In the early days of Freemasonry in the United States many travelling lecturers brought their own conceptions of the true Masonic work to far areas and taught these.
All rituals are correct. What a Grand Lodge approves as its ritual is correct for its lodges. No rituals in the United States contradict each other; they vary in words and details, not in essentials.
What is legal (or lawful) Masonic information?
Legal or lawful Masonic information can be obtained in three ways: Legal Masonic information that A. is a Mason is attained by (1) sitting in lodge with him; (2) when he is vouched for by someone with whom a brother has sat in lodge; and (3) when he passes an examination before a committee appointed by the Master (or the Grand Master).
A letter from a friend introducing Brother A as a Mason is not legal Masonic information. The real Brother A may have lost the letter and it may be presented by a stranger. No brother is at liberty to accept an avouchment that a man is a Mason by talking over the telephone with one who knows him to be a Mason. Unless in his presence, and that of the man vouched for, no one can know that the Mr. A spoken of over the telephone is the Mr. A in mind.
Only by strict adherence to these principles can Masons be sure that no cowan or eavesdropper sits in their lodges.
[One Hundred One Questions About Freemasonry, The Masonic Service Association, 2003]
Howard R. Harris
Newsletter Editor & WM