Masonic Musings

John P. Scherger, PM

Wordy Masons The number of words in the questions and answers, opening and closing, floor work and lectures of all three Virginia Masonic Degrees is reported to be 31,951.

Parliamentary Law which usually governs persons assembled in any organization does not govern a Masonic Lodge.

Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, was made a Mason at Sight by the Grand Master of Illinois. Lodges he formed had their Charters arrested for irregularities.

The Constitutions of Masonry says in part: "If a Brother do you injury, or if you have any difference with him about any worldly or temporal business or interest, apply first to your own or his Lodge to have the matter in dispute adjusted by the Brethren. And if either party be not satisfied with the determination of the Lodge, an appeal may be carried to the Grand Lodge and you are never to enter into a law suit, till the matter cannot be decided as above. And if it be a matter that wholly concerns Masonry, law suits are to be entirely avoided, and the good advice of prudent Brethren is to be followed, as they are the best referees of such differences." and so forth. (Para 6, Section IV.)

In the 13th and 14th centuries, when Freemasonry was in the process of being formed, England had two languages. One was Norman- French, the other Anglo-Saxon. To make sure of understanding, word pairs — words of similar meaning from each language — were often used. This usage explains the redundancy of expression in many places within the Masonic ritual with phrases such as "duly and truly," worthy and well-qualified," "free will and accord," "parts and points."

Prince Hall, born in 1735, Bridgetown, Barbados, British West Indies is considered the founder of Black Freemasonry in America. He became a clergyman in Cambridge, Massachusetts and served in the American Revolutionary War on the side of the Colonies. Made a Mason, along with 14 other black men, in a regular military Lodge of Irish Register, Boston, Massachusetts in 1775.

Deacons of a Lodge: To the Senior and Junior Deacons, with such assistance as may be necessary, is entrusted the examination of visitors. It is their province also to attend on the Master and Wardens and to act as their proxies in the active duties of the Lodge, such as the reception of candidates into the different degrees of Masonry, and in the immediate practice of our rites. Deacons in Masonic Lodges are first mentioned in the Schaw Statutes of 1598-99, indicating equality of rank with that of Warden. Irish references to Deacons are found in 1727 and 1723, but the Grand Lodge of Ireland did not adopt the office until 1811 . The first English Lodge reference to Deacons is found in 1734.

Question: Was Winston Churchill a Freemason or not?

Answer: Yes, he was. He was initiated in the United Studholme Lodge No. 1591 on May 24, 1901, was passed in July and raised on March 25, 1902. As the modern style proposal forms did not come into use until World War I we are unfortunately unable to know who were his proposer and seconder.

Three months before his Initiation he had taken his first seat in Parliament as the Conservative member for Oldham, Lancs and a great and busy career was opening up before him. Nevertheless he continued as a member of tKe Craft in regular attendance until July 1912 when he was charged, as First Lord of the Admiralty, to 'put the fleet into a state of instant and constant readiness for war, in case we were attacked by Germany.' Other matters were henceforth to absorb his time and energies.

— Harry Carr

QUESTION: Were there globes on the two pillars on the porch of Solomon's Temple?

ANSWER: The Old Testament description of the building of Solomon's Temple includes two pillars, named Jachin and Boaz, on the porch of the Temple (I Kings 7:21). on each chapiter or capital atop the pillars was a bowl (I Kings 7:41), probably used for the burning of incense or oil. A metal network covered each bowl and may have given the impression of a globe.

There have been many explanations of both the pillars and the globes. The Masonic interpretation of the globes obviously has to be a modern one, made at a time when the concept of a round earth had been established. According to Charles Clyde Hunt, the first published account of the globes being on the pillars was made by William Preston in the 19th century. Preston called one globe terrestrial and the other celestial, maintaining that together they symbolized the universality of Freemasonry. Hunt has also summarized their Masonic meaning:

"The globes symbolize the great truths that man is a citizen of two worlds, the material and the spiritual, the earthly and the heavenly, the temporal and the eternal, and they teach US to so regulate our lives that when we pass from the earth, the terrestrial, it may be to that other and better world, the celestial."

QUESTION: Why do we use Holy St. John? Was he a Freemason?

ANSWER: The Holy Saints John have been a part of Freemasonry for centuries. The ancient guilds or trade unions of England each had its patron saint. The patron saint of the hatters, for example, was St. Clement; St. Crispin was the patron saint of the shoemakers. The patron saint of the stonemasons was St. John the Baptist.

When Speculative Masonry evolved, St. John the Baptist understandably became the patron saint of the Freemasons. He was a man of humility and virtue, a man who steadfastly kept his obligations to God, principles that are upheld in the teachings of the Craft.

The feast day of St. John the Baptist is June 24 and was celebrated annually by Masons in Scotland and England. In 1725, the feast day of St. John the Evangelist on December 27 became the annual feast day of the Grand Lodge of England. St. John the Evangelist, like St. John the Baptist, is a patroll saint of Freemasonly. He embodies not only the brotherhood of man, but is the "bringer of light," that which is the deity within each man. Neither of the Holy Saints John was a Freemason.

In colonial America, Masonic elections were frequently held twice a year on the Holy Saints John Days.

Cornerstones in our Nation's Capitol laid Masonically include: The Smithsonian Institution, by President Polk on May 1, 1847; The Southern Railway Company office building in 1929; Jackson Hall in 1845; The National Education Association Buiiding; The Army War College Building, foot of 41/2 Street, S.W., with Brother and President T. Rooseveit participating, 1903, as he did at the House of Representatives Office Buiiding on April 14, 1906; House of the Temple, A. & A. Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, SJ, 1911; The Washington Monument, July 4th, 1848. When the monument was completed in 1884, further Masonic ceremonies were performed in 1885; The U. S. Capitol, 1793, by Brother George Washington, President of the United States of America and Master, Alexandria Lodge No. 39. A second Masonic cornerstone laying occurred when President Millard Fillmore officiated at the ceremony for the extension to the original edifice. A third ceremony was held in the 1950's, with President Eisenhower officiating.

Grand Master Matthew Lyle Lacy, II, recommended to our Grand Lodge that the liaison established between the Grand Lodge office and the various Councils of the Boy Scouts of America be continued and strengthened to the point that no Eagle Scout in Virginia fails to receive recognition from this Grand Lodge for his achievement. Also of note is the effort by the Southern California Research Lodge, Brother K. H. Grace, assisted by Milwaukee Chapter No. 27, National Sojourners, Inc., to compile data on how many of the Craft attained the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.

The first Masonic cemetery was established in Fredericksburg and is immediately adjacent to the former law office of the second Masonic President, James Monroe.

William Howard Taft was the first Masonic President to be made a Mason at sight. He was raised by the Grand Master of Ohio on February 18,1909. He affiliated with Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, Cincinnati, Ohio, and subsequently was elected an Honorary Member, Crescent Lodge No. 25, Cedar Rapids, lowa.

During the Atlanta Campaign, in the War Between the States an Illinois ge neral saw a small white apron nailed to a cabin door. The woman of the house informed the general that the apron belonged to her husband who was serving in the Confederate Army, and he had told her she should let the Federals know she was a Mason's wife and that she would be protected.... And she was.

In English Freemasonry, The Grand Festival on Saint George's Day, April 23, celebrates the Articles of Union uniting the Antients and Moderns.

On May 6, 1833, President Andrew Jackson assisted Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 in laylng the cornerstone of the monument to Mary, mother of George Washlngton.

St. John's Chapel, Edinburgh, Scotland is said to be the oldest Masonic Lodge Room (1736) in the world. The oldest known Lodge Room in the U.S. is situated in Prentiss House, Marble head, Massachusetts (1760). The oldest Masonic Lodge Building is the Lodge Hall of Royal White Hart Lodge No. 2, Halltax, Northings, North Carolina (1771).

Turcopolier: Currently an officer in the Douncil of Kadosh, A. A. Scottish Rite. Name derives from 'Turcopolis', a kind of horse or troop of cavalry during the Crusades. The Turcopolier commanded a cavalry of medieval Knights Templar and was third in rank among the officers in the Knights Hospitallers.

Master: The chief officer of a Lodge of Freemasons. Thus, the correct name of the head officer of a Lodge is MASTER, not WORSHIPFUL MASTER. WORSHIPFUL is merely a word of respectful address. Simply put, the title of the position is MASTER, and only when you address the Master do you say WORSHIPFUL MASTER. A Lodge is officered by a Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, etc. (See Section 1, concerning a Lodge and its government, Constitution of Masonry.)

Yellow Jacket and Blue Breeches: An early term arising from the fact that compasses were commonly made of brass legs with steel points. Brass legs were the yellow jacket and the steel points were the blue breeches. In some Irish Lodges, Masters were expected to dress in a yellow coat and blue breeches with white stockings.

Box Master: An old Scottish name for the officer, also known as Almoner.

Bourn: "to that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns." Taken directly from Hamlet, Act 111, Scene 1. The obsolete word bourn means boundary.

Senior Warden: Second officer in the symbolic Lodge and in some of the appendant bodies, though, in the Knights Templar Commandery, he is the 4th. The office does not exist in the Royal Arch Chapter. Originally the two Wardens of the symbolic Lodge were stationed in the West.

Deacons: Before the Deacons were created in the 18th century, the Senior and Junior Entered Apprentices occupied the places later occupied by the Senior and Junior Deacons. The Senior Entered Apprentice was stationed in the South and the Junior Entered Apprentice in the North.

S&C Branding Irons: The first cattle brand registered in the Montana territory in 1864 was the Square and Compasses used by the Poindexter and Orr Ranch The Koch Industries, which still uses this brand, donated one of their branding irons to the Grand Lodge of Montana. (Courtesy, S. M. L. Pollard's new compilation entitled: "At Refreshment".)

Moon Lodges: In the 18th and to some extent in the l9th century the almanac was a common household guide and Freemasons who, like others, measured their time and activities by it. Lodge by-laws often fixed stated meetings at or just before or after the full moon. The fixing of meetings around the night of a full moon served a practical purpose, especially in rural communities, by providing illumination to guide members to and from Lodge. Meetings were fixed on Saturday thereby relieving the members from arising early the next day.

Tardiness: Brethren who are always late think punctuality is a thief of time.


Various Jurisdictions around the worid have at different times decreed "lawful age" to be from eighteen in some Jurisdictions to twenty-five in others. The age of "dotage" apparently has never been established, for the good physiological reason that it varies in individuals.

In Operative days, the question of "lawful age" no doubt had a practical aspect, since it involved the abiiity to perform sometimes strenuous and often hazardous work. A young boy would be admitted to apprenticeship so that by the time his seven years' indenture was up, he would be about twenty-one or so. In the "period of Transition," when non-operatives came to be admitted into the erstwhile Operative Lodges, the practical questions of "age and non-age" would obviously not apply in the same manner as the working Masons.

Then, finaily, came the strictly "Speculative" period, when (as in St. Andrew's Lodge, in Glasgow, Scotland) Operatives were in the habit of being "incorporate" equally with "theoreticai Masons who do not practise and work as journeymen." In this Lodge, which was set up in 1741, five years after the Grand Lodge of Scotland had been constituted, it was enacted that persons under fifteen or above forty years of age were inadmissable for membership.

— (From The Cabletow, Hawaiian Lodge No. 21, F. & A.M.)


Blessed are you who find excuses not to attend your Lodge, for you are my mainstay.

Blessed are you who profess to love Freemasonry but can't stand your Brother, for you show your true self.

Blessed are you who have no desire to support your Lodge for you are easy prey for me!

Blessed are you who feel the cable tow is for others for you demonstrate your true feelings.

Blessed are you who are easily offended and won't support your Lodge, for you are truly my friends.

Blessed are you who cause dissension, for you are my helpers!

Blessed are you who say "Masonry is my rellgion" but attend neither your church nor your Lodge for you don't understand either.

Blessed are you who are preoccupied with the Worshipful Master's and officer's mannerisms and mistakes, for you will be distracted and get nothing out of the meeting.

Blessed are you who wait to be invited to your own Lodge, for you make my work easier!

Blessed are you who say you know nothing of what is going on in your Lodge but neither read your monthly bulletin nor attend communications for you demonstrate how much you really care.

Blessed are you who are always delinquent with your dues for that puts extra burdens on the Worshipful Master and that keeps him from doing other things.

Blessed are you who show no enthusiasm for Freemasonry to outsiders for you are causing the world to say, "Freemasonry is failing," and that makes my work easier!

— George W. Farley


the immortality of the human spirit!
the dignity of the individual
the value of good deeds
the worth of character
the dream of a better tomorrow
the beauty of the family
the grandeur of faith
the glory of brotherhood
the love of Country
the need for education
the vision of better things
the joys of sociai ties
the rich reward of work
the happiness found in service
the ultimate triumph of good over evil in our world
...and the list could go on and on.

— Lansing B. Harmon, Jr.


In the debate by the Church of England Synod on Freemasonry, the critics did not have the honesty to mention that during the last three or four years the Church has accepted $100,000 (pounds) from the United Grand Lodge of England for repairs to their crumbling cathedrals For Westminster Abbey $25,000 (pounds) was contributed, and $5,OOO to each of the following: Southwark, Wells, Blackburn, St. Asaph, Lichfield, Hereford, Winchester, Newcastle, Salisbury, St. Albans, Truro, Llandaff, St. David's, Carlisle and Chichester.

The Daily Express (Leading British newspaper)