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Showing posts with label masonic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label masonic. Show all posts

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The New Masonic Site

Many of you may be aware I've been on vacation for a few days, but my partner in crime, Bro. Greg Stewart (aka Masonic Traveler) has been hard at work implementing a project he and I dreamed up and started a few months ago.
As of today you can find my new content posted over at Not only will you find me but you will find a cadre of other writers and my weekly masonic podcast Masonic Central.
With the new move I am refocusing my energies on discussing technology and it's uses for masons and their organizations. My new column will be called Masonic Tech. You can link directly to my articles by selecting the Masonic Tech category at the top of the homepage or click here. I should have some fresh content there shortly... I'm still a bit behind from being on vacation. In the meantime make sure you click through and check out my new "web digs".
I'm sure you will find Greg, myself and our team of gifted columnists will keep you reading fresh content regularly. Visit the site today...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is Twitter the future of Masonry?

As many of you know, I am not only the blogger here but I host Masonic Central with Greg Stewart.  Masonic Central is a weekly podcast focused on Masonic issues and interests.

In our first show of 2009 (click to download) we discussed the plans for the new year and tackled the changes masonry may have to face.  One item that was discussed was the use of technology to reach the new generation of masons.  Fred Milliken, author of the Beehive blog suggested Twitter may be a great tool for this.  Well I don't think it's the solution to our problems but I have been Tweeting lately and want others to try it and be able to find fellow masons on the service.

With that in mind, I have started a Freemason Twitter group.  All you Tweeters can find it at When you get there just ask to join and sign in with your Twitter account. 

Oops... You mean you don't have a Twitter account???  

Head here and find out what it's about.  Don't ask me to explain.  It's free and you will either love it or hate it, but give it a try just so you can tell your "younger hipper" friends that you did it.  I honestly don't think it is the answer to Freemasonry, but it's a great tool to keep in touch and get your message out.

So you signed up for Twitter and hey you even signed up for the group I mentioned above.  Well how about getting some other friends to Twitter with.  You can find me at "dbk" and I have a second account JUST for the masonic podcast "masoniccentral".  One more guy you can follow is "masonictraveler"  I'm sure Greg will not mind me saying so... 

Have fun Twittering with Masons and the world.... Let me know how it works for you.

PS - If you like it, I recommend a third-party software such as tweetdeck to enhance your Tweet'ing experience.  But start with the basics first... Tweetdeck is a Beta.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Arizona Pioneer Francis A. Shaw Masonic Archive

Here is a whole collection available on eBay for an avid masonic collector.

I'm a bit surprised to find such a large collection such as this and they are not putting it in auction format.  It's a fixed price, Buy It Now item.

Check out the listing and take a look at the letters in the various photos.  They will definately remind you of a bygone era in Masonry and society in general.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Masonic Central talks with Brothers Paul Bessel and Jerry Samet

Tonight should be a great show at Masonic Central!

Date: Sun, August 31, 2008
Time: 09:00 PM EDT
Click here to join the call or just listen along

We talk with Paul Bessel and Jerry Samet. Paul is a prolific author and web publisher of the Masonic website as well as of many papers, and books, and Bro. Jerry is a Past Grand Master of Washington D.C, Past International Gran Master of DeMolay, creator of the Grand Master's class and champion of eliminating bigotry in Masonry.

We look forward to talking about some of the specific topics of masonry today, including past (and present) segregation in Freemasonry and their work in integration and broadening recognition of Prince Hall, the success (or failure) of the of modern Grand Master Classes , infamously known as "One Day Classes", and some discussion on how to make Masonry interesting and more enjoyable to modern membership if it is to survive. It's going to be a great program and one not to be missed!

Looking to talk on our program?
You are welcome to dial in. During our taping you can dial in directly at (724) 444-7444 and when asked use Call ID: 19162.

We are often asked about equipment for Voip. I've included a budget headset below. I've not used this headset but it looks fine.

Plantronics .Audio 50 Headset

We also have many of our active panel calling in via Skype. I recommend spending the $3 a month for the US/Canada Plan. It's a long distance bill killer as I call it. And you can call in to the show with it.


I hope to talk to you soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Masonic Central with Jennifer Emick of

Join me tonight in my other endeavour over at Masonic Central. Tonight we feature Masonic Central with Jennifer Emick of She is the columnist for alt.religion. She has written about masonry. Listen in or participate as we uncover her thoughts on masonry.

The show starts at 9:00 EST. Log in and you can ask questions live or wait till it's done and download the show to listen at your own time.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prince Hall recognition in Ontario

Great news!

"At the 153rd Annual Communication in Toronto, on Wednesday July 16 and
Thursday July 17, the Grand Lodge in Session voted to recognize the
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons,
Province of Ontario and Jurisdiction."

"...the Grand Master announced that the
Grand Lodge now fully recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in
Ontario, the same as all other recognized Grand Lodges, the members
present rose in a unanimous standing ovation."
Quoted from Peter Renzland, Toronto, Ontario. in the CanadaMasons Yahoo Forum.

This was a long time in the works and took a few years to work out. I would like to extend my congratulations to the brethren who works on this amendment over the years. I'm told it's not as easy as it sounds, once you throw constitutions and perhaps some politics into the mix.

I think that leaves only one Grand Lodge jurisdiction in Canada to recognise Prince Hall lodges, which would be the newest Grand jurisdiction of Newfoundland and Labrador. I'm told they are close to making the same motion however. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Author of "One Mountain, Many Paths" will be on Masonic Central tonight!

Join me as I co-host this Sunday July 13th, 2008 at 9PM EST/6PM PST for an interview with author and Freemason Patrick Swift.
Patrick is the author of "One Mountain, Many Paths" which is billed as "A spiritual companion or gift for family and friends, One Mountain, Many Paths is filled with uplifting quotes from the sacred texts of all of the great religious traditions..." Dr. Patrick Swift is a member of George Washington Lodge 285 in New York, NY & Highland Park Lodge 1150 Dallas, TX. He holds a faculty appointment at NYU Medical Center where he works as a psychologist. Prior to his career in healthcare, Patrick studied to become a Jesuit priest and completed the Ignatian 30-day silent retreat. He has studied Eastern Philosophy and meditation as well as completed a pilgrimage to India on a 75-day trip around the world. A witness to the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 who cared for some of the victims, Patrick is a passionate advocate for interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance. It stands to be an interesting Conversation.

You can visit the Masonic Central website for more info on this show and future shows.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

1878 Masonic Walking Stick

I found a neat item today. A piece of Masonic Folk Art. This one is worth a look. There are lots of pictures supplied. It looks like a piece suitable for a museum. A bit pricey for anyone looking for a working walking stick but if you are looking for a distinguished look for your entry into the lodge room next month, perhaps this is the item you need.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Masonic Central

Come check out the newest masonic podcast to hit the web. Next episode will be featuring Tim Bryce as our guest speaker. If you can't make the live version then just wait and download it so you can listen in during your own time. All episodes are also available on iTunes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ad Astra Lodge's Last Meeting at Freemason's Hall, Halifax, NS

It's been so long since my last post. I'd like to make a quick post tonight and remind all my brethren that there is an open invitation to my lodge's last meeting in the Grand Lodge building in Halifax, NS (Freemason's Hall). After which the building is sold to a developer and we are moving to a new hall... soon-to-be renovated from a catholic church. I guess that will be done over the summer.... June's meeting has to be held elsewhere, under dispensation.

The meeting starts at 7:30 pm and it will be a Lodge of Education. I'm told the Grand Master of Nova Scotia will be present in a non-official capacity.

As e-mailed to me... here is the nights agenda...

We are pleased to announce that the "Whither Are We Directing Our Steps"
part of our program will be presented by
Brothers Steven Foley, John Fawcett and Dion Randell.
It concludes with the examination of a Stone Mason, in Scotland, (as recorded in the year 1700)
as he requests entrance to a Lodge.


We Invite You
to visit with us at our last meeting
in Freemasons Hall, Barrington Street, Halifax.
21 May 2008

Join us for an evening of Education and Fun!

The Grand Master
Most Worshipful Brother Daniel G. Campbell

is joining us - an unofficial and informal visit.


A presentation by three Fellow Craft members of our Lodge
Brothers Steven Foley, John Fawcett and Dion Randell.
The topic is "Whither Are We Directing Our Steps?"

The Liar's Club hosted by that master performer
our Brother N. Kent Clarke.

A wee session during which there will be available
an opportunity for everyone to state his viewpoint!

We look forward to welcoming you!

I would love to see as many of you show up as possible.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Antique Violin from 1878 inlayed with Masonic Symbols

Today I found this item by looking at my own blog. Funny perhaps but on the left hand column up near the top I have the most popular items in eBay with "masonic" in the title kept auto-updated. Even if I'm away it will keep my readers kept in the loop. A good reason to check back.
Back to topic, today I looked and saw an unusual violin in the top three. I thought to myself, "Why a a violin from the late 1800's inlayed with the square and compass and a few other masonic symbols. It is a real piece of art. The wood itself is bird's eye. Pretty spectacular.
It might not be in the best shape but from my point of view, if you collect masonic items and have any interest in violins, it will probably be the best one you will ever see from this time period, if not the only one.

Antique Violin with Masonic Inlay - click here -

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How to make your Lodge Happy for $6.95 and Retain Members, An IDEA

I am in the middle of organizing and setting up a domain for my lodge. I never thought such an easy task would be so well received. I'm been playing footsy with this idea for a while. Last night I simply went in and bought the domain for my lodge at my own expense. Not really a big deal at the $6.95 it cost me. That being said, the simple action and ability to take it past that has delighted the few brethren who I have informed already of my actions and plan. Now that I have the domain I will create a lodge e-mail address for each member, with chat and lots of extra features. This will help put a smile on many a lodge members faces and give them something to play with. Now my lodge has a new value proposition for it's members. The reason this solution came up however was that we were looking, and I was tasked, to find an application that would allow the members to collaborate on our educational papers. It is a project our lodge is proud to undertake and we have even received public praise from the Grand Master for our educational efforts.

I could hold the secret to all the steps I will take and keep it for myself but I'd rather share it. As always, if you have trouble just drop me an e-mail.

Step by Step Instructions for You to Bring this value to your lodge Too!

  1. Head over to a reliable Domain seller. (Disclosure: The link provided goes to my domain site LinkStorm but feel free to go anywhere you want. I can assist you better if you run into trouble though if you use mine. I've received negative comments in the past for pushing my own services so I'm listing a few others as well because people seem to have issue with me promoting my own businesses on MY OWN blog at times.) Other reputable domain hosts are: GoDaddy and NetFirms
  2. Once at the Domain Site run a search for your lodge name, then run small changes to it till you get one that is available and you like it. I recommend sticking with a .com if you can because they are pretty inexpensive and easier to remember.
  3. Buy the domain. IMPORTANT!!! Make sure wherever you buy your domain from that they give you "Total DNS Control". Some don't so please watch for this. You don't need any of the extra stuff they try to upsell you with after that.
  4. OK now you have the domain. The fun begins. Head over to Google Apps.
  5. Sign up for Google Apps with the new domain name.
  6. Follow the directions given by Google Apps to set-up your account. Running into trouble? Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. I'll always help a brother as long as they are understanding of my time and they listened to me in step 3 about DNS Control.
  7. You now have a full e-mail and collaborative solution set-up for your lodge, company or organization.
  8. Enjoy your efforts and the smiles from the brethren, especially the younger ones who never thought their lodge would enter the 20th century, let alone the 21st.
Some ideas after this is established would be to utilize the new Google Sites option. Give each committee a site where they can discuss and collaborate with each other from home. Great for your finance committee (sharing spreadsheets), social committee (sharing whatever they share), special projects... etc...
The shared calender is great as well for making sure everyone knows when events are on and for scheduling those all important lodges practices (and tee times).

The sky is the limit.

My next and last warning is that this strategy will cause you to dedicate some time to setting things up but I think you will find, for the first time ever perhaps, that people will be willing to step in who have some technical knowledge. They will just be glad someone has implemented this on their own accord.

There are lots of dreamers out there but it takes only ONE do'er sometimes just to get things done! For less than ten bucks and a few minutes of your time today you can become a do'er too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

eBay Quick Search for Masonic Items

Want a nice box like this for your webpage? Just choose the "copy this widget" link at the bottom of the box and paste it into the HTML of your page. Great instructions are provided from that point to assist you. If you get into trouble... Send me an e-mail and mention you are a mason. To keep robots and the like from e-mailing me I keep my e-mail as a link on the left side of my page up near the top. Just click and send... or if that is confusing, leave a comment. They all get to me eventually as an e-mail and if you have something in a comment you don't want published, just let me know. All comments on this page are always personally approved by me to keep the "trash" i.e. spam and hate mail, to a minimum.


It's been a while since my last post. I wanted to start with something a bit more regular just to make it easy to get back into the flow again.

Here is an interesting ring design that I liked. It is a skull ring that looks very clean and perhaps even conservative.

click here for skull ring listing

Friday, November 23, 2007

What makes a Lodge "Regular"?


I'm doing research for a lecture on "What Makes a Lodge Regular". Each member of my small lodge(about 50 members and the website has/uses limited resources and is managed by one of our "most experienced" brethren) has been asked to take a topic from a list and prepare a lecture for a lecture series. We will probably get about 15 different lectures from this exercise.

As mentioned my topic is explaining what makes a lodge "regular". I thought this would be a good side-topic from my usual. Is your lodge considered regular? What would make a lodge not "regular"? Do you have any examples of lodges that are not considered regular or under great debate?

I would really love to hear from the knowledgeable brethren out there on this topic. You can leave a comment here or send me an e-mail directly by using the link up in the left hand side that says "e-mail me". It's located right below the Most Watched eBay items.

I look forward to all your comments and wisdom.

Also I just started another blog on another topic... feel free to check it out Mobile Office Journal. It's for anyone working at home or on the road.... good for entrepreneurs also.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Masonic Clay Tavern Pipe Found in Shipwreck

I could help but post one more today. I found this great masonic pipe. It was found in a shipwreck. The post mentions the Atocha but I see no information to back-up that claim. If it was the Atocha it would be a real treat. The Atocha was a Spanish Treasure ship, was it not? To find an item such as this on a Spanish ship I can only imagine being a bit out of place... Please correct me if I'm wrong.
The pipe itself has the square and compasses on it.... I see the sun and an eagle with a shield on the other side. I find the eagle a bit odd as well but look forward to a more knowledgeable person to educate me a bit on whether this is truly out of place or perfectly proper the the claimed time-frame and wreck.
None the less this item is fascinating and I'd love to have it myself... but I will let my readers have this one if they want.

Click here to go directly to the eBay item

1862 Newspaper on eBay with interesting Masonic article

Great item today... I think it is a great read. Sure to intrigue many readers. It speaks of publishing the masonic ritual word-for-word. I'm sure this was quite an issue in the mid-1800's. The seller of the newspaper has scanned the article for our reading pleasure. You will have to skip through the article on the Mormon ball to get to the masonic article, however both are interesting. This seller specializes in many antique papers. I've snooped around his items before and found lots of interesting articles, such as reference to the War of 1812, WWII, the Revolution and even Pirates. I like these type of items because you can see how the news was reported at that time and it provides a different perspective than reading about it in text books and reference websites.

Take a look and let me warn you that reading these old papers can be a bit addictive.

Click here to go directly to the eBay item

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Painting/Photocollage of Grand Lodge in Brighton England with King Edward VII

Here is a neat item to check out. It is a photo collage of Grand Lodge in Brighton, UK. The Grand Master at the time was King Edward VII. The painting requires some restoration but for a collector I think this would be a great piece to grab, and for the curious it is really interesting to check out the pictures. From what I understand the artist paints the background and then overlays actual photographs onto the scene.

The painting contains several members of royalty and is taken in the Grand Dome in Brighton, UK. The seller estimated the time of this work to be around 1910.
I love seeing items like this. They allow a picture back in time for us to see another period in masonry. Take a look at the mode of dress and the architecture of the building. Beards were definitely more popular back then.
Click here for the eBay listing

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Antique Masonic Skull Ring From Mexico, MUST BE SEEN

Good day everyone! I was browsing today, as usual. I came across this neat looking ring that I thought may be of interest to a few.

The seller is located in the Netherlands but they are charging a flat international shipping rate of $11. This is a good deal for international shipping.

Here is how the seller describes the ring:




I have edited some of the posting for length... For the full thing please Click here for the eBay listing

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prison art limestone carving, Masonic & tobacco motifs

I found this item very quickly today. It is definitely one-of-a-kind masonic folk art. I would encourage you to take a look at the item even if you are not interested in buying something like this. I was amazed that someone was able to carve something like this, especially given they were in prison. It is assumed that the prisoner was a fellow brother and carved it as a gift to the Deputy Warden. I'm not sure of the age but the thought behind this carving is remarkable. I wonder if these two men smoked together?
Masonic Prison Art on eBay