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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well it looks like one of the best ideas for Canadian Masonry has come to a temporary end. Canadian Masons in the know where subscribed to a servcie called Canmas. It was a great service where old masonic papers were revived and masonic questions answered by sharing via e-mail with Masons across the country.

Yesterday I was advised that Canmas was coming to an abrupt and sudden end. Someone had reported it as spam to a spam service, thus causing a lot of problems for the administrators of the service. Takes only one person to wreck a good thing. It definatly wasn't spam. It was a voluntary subcribed list that was tyled by a great guy in British Columbia.

Within minutes of gettign this news though... A new Yahoo group was formed to fill the void. If you were subscribed to Canmas and didn't get switched or you are a Canadian mason that wants to be informed, drop a comment here. I'll make sure your set-up. If you are a new subcriber... please advise your lodge. This is a tyled group...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What Have You Done?

What have you done as you've journeyed through life
To aid someone weary or worn with the strife,
Of the battles he's fought or the races he's won.
I ask you again, what have you done?
Have you, as you travelled done all that you could
To practise the teachings of true brotherhood?
Did you lift up the fallen or comfort someone?
Again, may I ask, just what 'have you done?
Have you, when walking along life's weary road,
Having seen some poor fellow with too big a load
Offered to aid him and done all you could?
I don't know if you did, but that's what you should.
Well, your conscience will answer the question, my friend,
And you will be happy or sad in the end.
It's not yet too late, ere life's race be run,
To earn for yourself, "Thou hast well done."

Published in Masonic Bulletin-September 1951

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Check This Out...

I have some great ideas brewing for some new posts and some material building up to transfer to the blog but not enough time at this moment to switch it over.

With this thought in mind I thought I would introduce you to my other blog that covers my other interests. It is updated more frequently. Why not come visit and see some of my photos?

In the meantime I'll work on some great new masonic material for this site.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Summer Break...


I must apoligize that I have not been diligent in posting new material lately. Perhaps this points to an area we can focus on. If you are a member of a lodge does your lodge meet all year round or do they recess for the summer months? If they do recess... do you still hunger for masonic acitivity or do you just forget about masonry until the summons for the next meeting arrives and you wonder where the months have gone?

Please reply in my comment area of this blog. I will also accept links to papers/opinion in other blogs pertaining to this topic.

Your thoughts are appreciated and perhaps we can profit and share in a meaningful discussion...

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Knife and Fork Degree

The Knife and Fork Degree is of ancient origin and honorable history. Records of this degree are found in the most Ancient Manuscripts. It already was ancient when the first Grand Lodge was constituted in 1717.
The three principal tenets of this degree are Faith, Hope and Charity. We have FAITH in the Stewards, we HOPE that faith is well founded. And sometimes have to exercise CHARITY towards what is set before us.
Some of the secrets of this degree, found in the written portion of our unwritten work are communicated from hand to mouth, but the more important secrets are not to be found in the refreshments. You can't make me believe that any Brother will sit through three or four hours of a Lodge meeting merely for what is served at the Refreshment board.
The REAL SECRETS of the DEGREE are to be found in the companionship around the festal board; the banter between Brethren, the opportunity for the development of friendships; the word from one Brother to make the gathering think; the word from another Brother to
make the gathering smile, the good fellowship, the wholesome, enjoyable, profitable rubbing of shoulders with those with whom we wish to associate, with whom we wish to become better acquainted. - Masonic Mercury".
Published in Masonic Bulletin-BCY-September 1952

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Easterlings

Published in Masonic Bulletin-BCY-April 1956
Westminster Abbey, the sublime church in which monarchs of Eng­land have
been crowned, and also in which so many of England's mightiest men have been entombed, is very old, for the main body of it was erected by Henry III
during the 25 years from 1245 to 1270, and the structure was designed by
some of the greatest Masters of Masons England ever knew, and the work was
done by Freemasons silently and cautiously chosen from over England, France,
and Scotland. William Morris wrote of it that It is a building second to
none amongst all the marvels of archi­tectural beauty produced by the Middle
Ages. Like all such build­ings, its beauty is convincing and sets criticism
During the centuries a Master Mason has had custody of the build­ing and has preserved a day-by-day account of goods and money re­ceived or used. A portion of these accounts, selected from the earliest, was printed in facsimile. A copy is in the Iowa Masonic Library. Here and there in it are notes made of the expenditure of certain sums spent for "easterling" boards. What were these boards? What meant "easterling"? To find the answer a Masonic student must make a long detour through the oldest and most historic tract of geography in the whole world.
On the East of England lies the North Sea, a Stormy barrier between island people and a nearby contin­ent. That sea extends an arm northward along the west coast of Denmark, bends around the head of that peninsula, and then breaks it­self into channels along the east side of Denmark, where it enters the Baltic Sea, which extends vast­ly northwards into the heart of Scandinavia, and sends an arm into the midst of Russia. At the en­trance to the Baltic stands a tri­angle of the three ancient cities that formed the basis of the Han­seatic League: Copenhagen in Den­mark; Stockholm in Sweden; Oslo in Norway.
In the period when Henry III began Westminster Abbey certain forest men from the eastern regions of the Baltic brought to England in small ships costly fine lumber, ob­tainable nowhere else. They had for their use a walled enclosure outside the London gates called The Steelyard. The men them­selves were called Easterlings, and that name, by one of the romantic accidents of history, is still in uni­versal use in England as the world "sterling," which is a contraction made by long use of "easterling"; it came to denote genuine, pure silver and thus was the standard for the English pound sterling, and for sterling silverware.
The Freemasons working in the Abbey made sketches or plans with a crayon or pencil, and required a wood that was smooth and yet was soft enough for marks on it to be easily erased. It was the Easter­lings who furnished the wood, and did so for centuries, for which reason the boards were called "easterling boards." They were an early form of our own Trestleboard or Tracing Board. -
Courtesy, Iowa Bulletin

Credit given to:
Ron Bushby
Mt.St.Paul 109
Kamloops, B.C.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Great Website - Humber Lodge

I was surfing last night and wanted to find out why a lodge would advertise on the web for people to visit their site. I mean really... it is a lodge website afterall... what is the big deal. I clicked on one of the many Google ads for "Toronto Masonry Lodge" and wham I had "instant gratification".
The Humber Lodge website is unlike any other lodge website I have ever been to. If you know of others this good please tell me about them in the comments to this article. Instantly there is a great intro video to start and then after that you are drawn into a very well made website that is fun to surf. I must admit I have not been to through the whole site yet... I will be going back when I have more time. Honestly I spent at least half an hour on the one site. One point of interest that I would like to draw your attention to is the documentary on Masonry that is cleverly hidden in the site. After the intro if you look at the menu at the top of the site you will see an icon to the far right of the menu, looks like two faces. This link will open up one of the best documentaries on Masonry I have seen a quite a while. I'm a little biased however as much of it was done in my jurisdiction and one of the members of my mother lodge is a focal point of the documentary. If you do watch the documentary you may see Wes M. who is a member of my lodge.
Final conclusion is that if you are reading this article you are either a Mason or you are interested in the craft we call Masonry and you owe it to yourself to visit the Humber Lodge website. You will not be disappointed....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Masonry defined

I found this reference to Freemasonry in Wikipedia. Worth a look for the curious...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Skype and Fellowship

I'm always big on increasing the fellowship in the masonic fraternity. I kind of stumbled into Skype through my business research, looking for a way to cut my long distance costs. Well I started using Skype and now I'm a big proponent. This software is free and really has great potential. A few fellow masons and I have used this now to talk to each other for free and we made the comment to each other that we should bring this to the attention of others. I'd also like to point out that until the end of 2006 you can even call within US and Canada for free to landlines and cell phones, no long distance. While this has great benefit for business and domestic long distance budgets I feel it will help to bridge gaps and encourage greater fellowship amongs distant brethren. Send me a comment if you have any questions or would like me to add you to my contact list for Skype.
You can also click here to download Skype
I look forward to hearing from you... I have successfully talked to people in other parts of Canada and the US and one in Sweden and I'm eager to try a conference call between a few people across North America.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Masonic Witchhunts

by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
"A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry"

As we all know, a Masonic Lodge is supposed to be an honorable
institution where Brothers are equal and enjoy harmony.
Unfortunately, the harmony can be disrupted when two or more Brothers
don't see eye-to-eye on something. Theoretically we are supposed to
respect the opinions of all Brothers, right or wrong, and let it go
at that. Basically, we agree to disagree. But it is sad when Brothers
use the fraternity to push their own agenda and besmirch the
character of anyone opposing them.

When I was Worshipful Master of my Lodge a few years ago I was often
challenged by my antagonists in the Lodge. I resisted the temptation
to lower myself to the level of my detractors and endeavored to rule
and govern the Lodge fairly. Whereas I could have dealt with them
harshly, the worst I ever did was gaveled one of them to sit down
during a lengthy discussion (which occurred only once).

Thanks to my business, I have been fortunate to see quite a bit of
the world, meet a lot of people, and have dealt with a lot of
corporations. A lot of people haven't had such experiences and, as
such, when they become head of a nonprofit group, such as a
Worshipful Master, it represents the pinnacle of their career. And
because of this, they become inebriated with power. As I tell all
incoming Worshipful Masters, Masonry is a volunteer organization. The
Master is a benevolent dictator who should be mindful of his
constituency. It is a privilege to sit in the East, not a right.
Without the support of the Craft, nothing will happen, regardless of
how power hungry you might be. Nonetheless, not everyone shares my
view on this and often use their term of office as a reign of terror.
I have seen more and more of this happening recently in the
fraternity. For example, what happened to the Grand Lodge of
Minnesota over their recognition of the Grand Lodge of France a few
years ago can best be described as "dirty-pool." The facts were not
accurately reported and the officers of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota

There have also been recent reports in other Grand jurisdictions
where the Grand Lodge officers have used their office to bully their
constituents, and to expel or suspend members over trumped-up charges
without the benefit of a Masonic trial. This is not Freemasonry as I
understand it. I have also seen Worshipful Masters and other Brothers
from craft lodges suspended due to political paybacks or because
someone simply didn't like the person. Its pretty scary when we see
Brothers digging up dirt on other Brothers, back stabbing,
fabricating distortions of the truth, and twisting the interpretation
of our rules to suit our personal needs,

Freemasonry is a multicultural, multi-denomination institution, with
Brothers who possess a wide variety of personal and professional
interests and who live under different socioeconomic conditions. It
should therefore come as no surprise that we won't always love all of
our Brothers. However, we should respect their right to exist and
treat them with the same dignity we afford all Masons, in a uniform
manner. This fraternity, which was founded on some rather sound
fraternal principles should prohibit such "witch hunts" from
occurring. Anything less is sheer hypocrisy. Freemasonry is not a
place for character assassination or to conduct some personal
vendetta. It only tarnishes our credibility as a noble institution.

How often have you heard someone say about a person being elected to
Master, "Well, its only for one year."? A lot can happen in one year.
Reputations can be ruined, Brothers can be suspended or expelled, and
life in general can be made miserable. This is why I still have a
problem with the manner by which we elect our officers. I am most
definitely not a fan of people "rotating through the chairs."
Instead, we should allow nominations and be allowed to ask about the
candidate's qualifications and motivation for seeking an office.

As the fraternity struggles with membership and finances, I would
remind you that now is not the time for alienation or estrangement,
but rather how we can best work together as a cohesive unit. We need
more Freemasonry and less Masonic Mafia tactics. Finally, I have only
one suggestion for those who believe in political domination and
control over a nonprofit organization: "Get a life." -

Keep the Faith.

Article reprinted with permission of the author and "FreeMason

Monday, May 22, 2006

The First Step

As this is the beginning I think it only fits to explain how one would begin to become a "Mason" or member of the Masonic Fraternity, often called Freemasonry.

The rule is to be one you must ask one. We Masons have a funny rule that is basically understood universally. The rule is we do not go out and directly solicit membership. That being said many jurisdictions have recently begun to promote the lodge in order to increase it's membership. It is therefore unlikely though that you will see a sign-up table to join this group.

A person who is interested in joining must apply for memebrship at a local lodge. If you seek memebership it would be recommended that you talk to your friends and see if any of them are masons. It is always great to have a referral and someone to talk to about all the things you are about to encounter on the journey through masonry. I'm sure your friend would be very excited by the idea that you want to join the lodge and will get you an application then handle it through the proper channels to get you on your way. If you do not know someone to ask then I would suggest looking up a local lodge or the Grand Lodge in a phone book. Many of the Grand Lodges now have websites as well and you can send a message to them via e-mail. They can then match you up with a local lodge.
At a later date I'll add a link here that gives contact info for Grand Lodges.

Perhaps it would be good to explain in this post that to be a mason you must possess certain qualifications. As the web covers the planet I should advise you that these qualifications may vary in certain jurisdictions in the world but in my jurisdiction and the other one's I travel
in the qualifications are as follows:

  • Being a man
  • Freeborn (this will be explained in another post sometime and it often misinterpreted)
  • Of lawful age
  • Well recommended
  • They must also believe in a supreme being (we do not differentiate between religions as long as they believe in a supreme being, they being christian, jewish, muslim, etc...)

Once you have completed an application your application will be read in lodge and it in order will be sent to an investigating committee for further investigation. The level of investigation will vary by jurisdication but what they try to assess are your intentions to join and if you are worthy of membership. In my jurisdiction we rarely see an application go unrecommended, but in other jurisdictions they may be more stringent or selective. I can't speak for everyone.

The investigating committee would return to Lodge and report their findings. The Lodge would then vote on the application and if the vote is favorable the candidate will be contacted.... (note the individual is no longer an applicant, now they are a candidate). That is the first step in Masonry explained.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

North-east corner

This blog is starting in the North-east corner of the Web.... More content shortly.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Friday, March 03, 2006

E-Bay "Buy It Now" page for MASONIC ITEMS

A listing of current "BUY IT NOW" Masonic items for sale on E-bay. No Auctions... Get what you want now at THAT price!