By ancient custom the King was always covered while his subject’s heads were never covered in his presence. The American custom of the Master of the Lodge wearing a hat as a symbol of authority is apparently a result of that ancient custom.
When Brothers Richard E. Byrd and Bernt Balchen flew over the North and South Poles, they dropped a Masonic flag on each Pole. Then, in the 1933-35 expedition, Brother Balchen placed his Shrine Fez on the North Pole.
“3 Times 3”- In ancient times the Entered Apprentice was alone prevalent amongst the generality of our Lodges; for no Brother could be passed and raised except in the Grand Lodge, and few availed themselves of the privilege. Hence they only had one sign, one token and one word and these three constituted the honors. But, the members of the Grand Lodge had three signs, three tokens and three words, therefore, three times three were appropriately termed the Grand Honors.
Of the early American Astronauts, John Glenn, L. Gordon Cooper, Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Thomas P. Stafford, and Donn F. Eisele were members of our “Gentile Craft.”
The Baltimore convention of 1840 moved all Lodge business from the first to the third degree. Most all Lodge business elsewhere throughout the world is conducted in the first degree!
The first registered livestock brand in Montana was the Square and Compasses dating back to before May 25, 1872 when brands were first registered. It is still in use today.
In 1952, eighty-nine percent of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices were Freemasons.
Originally, Ghiblim was a name for stonecutters. Over many generations it changed to Giblim, Gibalim, Chibbelum, Jublime, Jubelum, Jabalem, and finally to Jubelum.
A Lodge is opened, by its Master, in “Due Form” meaning according to ancient usages and customs, the laws and ritual of its Grand Lodge.
A Grand Lodge is opened by the Grand Master in “ample form” meaning he has the power and authority to deviate from the common ritual to save time.
Masonic dates are written “A.L.” for “Anno Lucis” or “In the year of Light” which is 4,000 years plus the current year. (i.e. the year 2001 written Masonically would be 6001.) This is because the practice has followed the ancient belief that the world was created when God said,”Let there be Light!” 4,000 years before Christ.
Brother “Buzz” Aldrin, a member of Clear Lake Lodge #1417 in Texas, when he stepped onto the surface of the moon, he carried a special deputation from his Grand Master to claim the moon as being in the territorial jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas. It is named “Tranquility Lodge No. 2000, A.F. & A.M.
In 1987, President Ronald Regan (not a Mason) was awarded honorary membership in the Scottish Rite Bodies and in the Shrine. Masonic Jurisprudence did not and does not condone these actions. Only Master Masons may hold membership in any Appendant Body.
On April22, 2002, Masonic Lodges in Ohio initiated, passed and raised a total of 7,734 Masons in a one day class. Of these, 4,956 witnessed only the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite, but became full-fledged Scottish Rite Masons the same day. 550 of the 570 Lodges in the state participated in this event.
A Lodge may not be adjourned for any purpose. No member has the authority to present a motion for adjournment since that would usurp the Master’s power. A Lodge must be in one of three conditions: closed, open and at work, or at refreshment.
The Obligation and the Oath: The Obligation is a promise made by the candidate to the members of his Lodge and to the Fraternity. The oath is the “So help me God!” that follows the Obligation.
The word “Freemason” appeared for the first time in the Statutes of England, dated 1487 and the term Master Mason first appeared after the name of William Orchard of Magdalen College in 1479.
“To that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.” This is the exact wording used in Hamlet, Act 111, Scene 1 by William Shakespear(not a Mason). “Bourn”, meaning “boundary” is now an obsolete word except in literature and Masonic ritual.
In China, about 300 B.C., Mencius wrote, ”A Master Mason, in teaching his apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of Wisdom, must also make use of the compasses and the square.” Additionally, in a book called “Great Learning”, 500 B.C., we find that “A man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do unto him; and this is called the principle of acting on the square.”
In 1920, Gate City Lodge #522 in Kansas City, Mo met every day of the week except Sunday to confer a record 1,107 degrees, averaging 21 degrees a week.
For the enjoyment of all my Brothers.
RW Jay Austin