GLA: Promoters of the Art


GRAND LODGE OF ALBERTA BULLETIN
VOL 54, NO. 9, NOVEMBER 1989

PROMOTERS OF THE ART

In every age, Monarchs themselves have been promoters of the art; have not
thought it derogatory from their dignity to exchange the sceptre for the
gavel, have patronized our mysteries and joined our assemblies.

King James I, also James VI of Scotland, was the son of Mary, Queen of
Scots, and was proclaimed King of England when his mother was forced to
abdicate in 1603. Although she was a Catholic, James remained through his
life, a staunch Protestant. Under his patronage, a group of scholars
prepared the authorized version of the Holy Bible which is also known as
"The King James Version" in his honour.

He was initiated into Freemasonry in the Lodge of Scoon and Perth No. 3
under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, in 1601, and became a Fellow of the
Craft, but could progress no further as the Master Mason Degee had not yet
been established. His reign ended in 1625.

Ken Stocks,
"Creating a Masonic Thematic Stamp Collection"; 
The Tasmanian Mason, Vol. 1, No. 8, March 1989.

PAST GRAND MASTERS

The Past Grand. Masters of Alberta met for dinner in Red Deer on September
5 for a time of fellowship and also to become better acquainted with the
Grand Lodge Officers. The M.W., The Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Master
and Senior and Junior Grand Wardens were all present.

This is the second meeting of the Past Grand Masters: the first being held
last fall. There was no set agenda for the meeting, and the group enjoyed a
dinner and a relaxed time of fellowship. It was generally agreed that such
meetings should be held once or twice a year. Another dinner will be
planned for the spring of 1990.

Submitted by M.W. Bro. J. Collett, PGM.

PICKED UP IN PASSING

The late W.Bro. Bill White, a Charter Member of Lodge Renfrew No. 134 in
Calgary, set a standard of dedication and ritualistic perfection that would
be difficult to beat.

As a young man he worked with the railway company during the early days of
Canada's West. He was frequently moved from place to place across the
Prairies during his employment. This separated him from his Lodge even as
early as the period of his initiation ceremonies.

Not to worry; Brother White didn't ask for postponements or search for
excuses for delay. He used to travel over twenty miles just to prove up his
work. One might ask, What's so unusual about that? Well, the unusual part
was that he made the long trip both ways by pumping a heavy railroad hand
car alone all the way to his Lodge, and he made his return in the blackness
and cold of a winter's night.

That was dedication! Do they make them like that any more?

By the way, when asked about the difficulties of night travel in this day,
Bill White said that the only danger he considered was that due to the
presence on the right-of-way of prairie porcupines. He pointed out that
they were in the habit of climbing onto the track, and a fifty-pound animal
such as that lying unseen on the track could throw the whole machine off
the rails. . . at risk to life and limb of both porcupine and operator.

Proceedings of Fiat Lux Lodge of Research No. 1980.


FROM THE NOTICES SOME MEN

Some men take a stand,
Others hide their head in sand. 
Some men stand straight and tall, 
Others seem to stop and fall.
Some men see in darkest night, 
Others never see the light.
Some men see need for change, 
Others fear to rearrange.
Some men seem born to lead, 
Others never see the need.
Some men seek truth in thought, 
Others wonder but stand for naught. 
Some men always take a chance, 
Others seem afraid to dance.
Some men preach the gospel truth, 
Others think this is uncouth.
Some men look before they leap, 
Others follow like unthinking sheep. 
Some men see each little tree, 
Others only forest see.
Some men seek the cause,
Others only live by laws.

Are you the one that sits the pole, 
Or do you take a leading role?
Do you watch the world drift by,
Or do you let imagination fly?

We know we can't all leaders be, 
Some must watch while others see.

Palestine Lodge No. 46, April '89.

The Travelling Mason 

The Grand Master of Colorado visited every one of the 147 Lodges in his
jurisdiction. In doing so he travelled 36,000 miles, apparently in his own
car. He spent only $1,500 of the funds of his Grand Lodge. (Proceedings of
Grand Lodge of Alberta;,1938, p. 10, Appendix.)


From Afar 

Our greatest danger is that we become so absorbed in the mechanics of
Freemasonry that we forget its real meaning.

Freemasonry was founded to serve a human need. Are we losing sight of this
human need as we become absorbed in its formalism?

Our Lodges should be centres of inspiration in the interest of good will
and Brotherliness. They should be the central force that will stimulate the
spirit to inspire men to become more vital and constructive in the life of
their communities.

Let us see to it, then, that they do not just become mills for the making
of Masons; that they are not more concerned with the conferring of degrees
than the inculcation of the spirit of Freemasonry in the life of the
candidate, and through him, in the life of the community.

M.W.Bro. W.J. Burris, P.G.M., Texas. Quebec Masonic Journal, Vol. 2:1,
Summer 1989.


FROM THE PAST MEMBERSHIP

Some time ago one of our leading Masonic journals held a prize contest
asking the best possible answer to the question, "What does my Mastership
mean to me?" In the two hundred or more replies submitted the following was
judged the best:

A high honor, honored [sic] by the traditions of all time, and superlative
in its dignity; a grave responsibility, that my authority shall be wisely
exercised, and that my conduct shall increase, rather than diminish the
dignity and happiness of my office - a joyous opportunity, to give
willingly of my best in thought and deed to the service of mankind, that
true Brotherhood may become more of a reality and less of a platitude and
by such services to be greater value to my fe llow men and to myself as
well - these are the things that Mastership means to me."

Grand Lodge Bulletin, March 1945.

Lodge Discussion Topic

What are we doing for our widows and orphans this Christmas and throughout
the year? Is it enough? Should it be changed?


QUOTATION OF THE MONTH
SUCCESSFUL OFFICERS

"If a brother in sorrow or trouble or perplexity instinctively turns to a
Lodge officer for comfort or counsel, and finds them, there is a successful
officer even if he cannot make a glib speech or recite his ritual with
fluent perfection. If the impact of the Lodge on its members and on the
community is wholesome and helpful, its officers are a success however
unspectacular their performance."

Masonic Craftsman


QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What is "eleemosynary and where is this word used?

Answer to September's Question

Two responses were received to the Question of the Month published in the
September Grand Lodge Bulletin: "Where is Joppa and what is its current
name?"

Joppa was a small biblical seaport and is still located about 50 km
northwest of Jerusalem on the Mediterranean Sea, and was an old Canaanite
city in the 15 century B.C. The town named Joppa can also be found just
northeast of Baltimore, Maryland as well as in southern Illinois in the
U.S.A.

Sometimes also written as 'Jaffa'. it now forms part of the city known as
Tel Aviv - Yafo, in the state of Israei. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and
in 1950, the neighbouring area of Joffa Jaffa, Yafo) became part of Tel
Aviv.

Tel Aviv is the second largest city in Israel and is the cultural, social
and commercial centre of the state.

It was from Joppa that Jonah departed for Tarshish and was swallowed by a
giant fish (Jonah 1:3, 14 and it was the place where Dorcas was raised to
life by the prayers of Peter (Acts 9:36-41). Joppa was also the destination
of one of the groups of F.C. who were attempting to determine the fate of
H.A., and consequently found his murderers.

Submitted by W.Bro. A. James Friesen, I.P.M. Hinton Lodge No. 178 and
W.Bro. Stan Wheatley, Jubilee Lodge No. 173.

Masonic Anecdote

One of the better Western movies of past years was 'HIGH NOON' featuring
the late, great Gary Cooper. It seems to have exerted a strong influence on
some people.

Evidence to support this conclusion was provided by the Junior Warden of
Lodge Renfrew No. 134 G.R.A. who developed, and found it hard to break, an
odd habit.

Until he managed to kick this habit, whenever the Master asked him 'How
stands the time?", the only answer he could think to give was "High Noon."

From the Proceedings of Fiat Lux Lodge of Research No. 1980.

Proverb of the Month 

Do not forget little kindnesses and do not remember small faults.

Chinese Proverb


FROM THE NOTICES
THE COMMON POOL

Deep in the poppies of Flanders field,
At the close of a gory day,
With prayers said - and courage steeled 
Three dying soldiers lay.

On the breast of one was the York Rite Crest 
On another, just the Compass and Square, 
While the stiffening hand of the other pressed 
The Scottish double eagle en flare.

All-for-one and one-for-all
Each had fought for his country's good.
They smiled as their Blood formed a Common Pool, 
They smiled - for each understood.

Thomas Willing Hicks

Wetaskiwin Lodge No. 15
November 17, 1988

From the Notices

A man doesn't 'Join Masony.' It as an act of will; a- deep desire to be
more than an 'ordinary man' and be willing to undergo close scrutiny of
character. This act of will, his own free will, is the indication that
something within has responded to a desire to 'become' a Mason. No one
asked, suggested, begged or promised some kind of inducement.

Rev. R.E. Anderson. Indiana. 
Summit Lodge No. 30


EXCERPTS FROM
A CRITIQUE OF FREEMASONRY'S CRITICS

By V.W.Bro. J. Roberts

I am certain that none of us labours under the illusion that what goes on
in the Craft is not known to others. All of that which is written in
rituals, as well as our oral tradition is available from the nearest public
library. Not all information is correct, but it comes close though. Where
did it come from? Masonry has always been blessed - or cursed - with its
disgruntled ex-members, for whom any previous obligations are
inconsequential, and as Stephen Knight so clearly indicates, they will
stretch the t ruth into a lie and what they produce is a caricature of
Freemasonry - a parody of the real thing. Our obvious response is to say
nothing to critics of this kind, for they will not listen anyway. However,
when there are families that are divided because of this false publicity
and there is strong urging on the part of a family to have a Mason leave
the Craft he dearly loves, then it can become a real problem. And sad to
say, more than one Mason has left the Craft to keep peace in the family. H
.L. Haywood sa ys that there are many theories that have been put forward
to discredit Masons - all the way from being assassins or Mayan Indians in
disguise, or have taken Druidic obligations - (whatever they are) - and
Haywood says that despite the multiplicity of backgrounds, the critics all
have one point in common: "that they ask a Freemason to believe that
Freemasonry was never itself - but was always something else in disguise".
What we as Masons need to do is to get that message across to the loved
ones of Masons who are under pressure, i.e. we are a fraternity. It's not
easy, but we ought to give it a try!

Lest We Forget!

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-slivered wings; 
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, 
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee


John Gillespie Magee was killed in action at the age of 19 on December 11,
1941 while serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Despite his young
age, he was a Brother. He was also the son of the Rev. and Mrs. John Magee
of Washington, D.C.

A strong call of duty and adventure took him to Canada to fight before
America became involved in the war. Yet, despite the horrors of war, he
never lost his sense of wonder and his faith.

Magee's poem, High Flight, joins In Flanders Fields by (another Brother)
Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian Expeditionary Force
(1914-18) to rank among the best poems to come out of the two world wars of
this century.