MASONIC Digest Wednesday, 5 Jan 1990 Volume 2 : Issue 1
Introduction: Gilbert Maymon. (also Irving Berlin)
Toasts and Pledges
CT recognizes Prince Hall
How public should we be about Masonry?
Good news from Budapest.
Announcement: 32nd Lodge of Instruction.
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those of my employer, or of any Grand Lodge.
Date: 4 Jan 1990
From: Peter Trei (email@example.com)
I'd like to wish everyone on this list a happy New Year, and hope
you all had a very merry Christmas (or however you pass mid-winter).
We are now up to at least 42
readers, plus however many read this
on the DEC NOTESfile. I like to send issues out every week, and do so
if I get a reasonable amount of material.
I've included a local announcement in this issue. Are people
interested in seeing this kind of thing? Many of our readers are in
MA, and may be interested in open installations, table lodges, and
lodges of instruction, etc.
Date: 3 Jan 1990 14:10 EST
Subject: Introduction: Gilbert Maymon. (also Irving Berlin)
Dear Brother Trei:
My name is Gilbert (Gil) Maymon.
I am an MTS at Bellcore in Red Bank, NJ. (An associate of Charlie
Hildebrand). I was raised to the sublime degree of MM in East
Providence< RI (Rising Sun # 30) in 1951 and am now a member of
Caesarea #64 in Keyport NJ. I am an active member of the Northern NJ
Valley of the Scottish Rite and was honored in 1983 to recieve the
33rd degree in Milwaukee. I have served the Rite as Thrice Potent
Master and I am now the Second Lt. Commander of the Consistory. I am
a senior Demolay (Loyalty Chapter, Riverside, RI) and am a Chevalier
and Legion of Honor.
I congratulate you on getting this thing going; I think it can be
a great boost to spreading the light of freemasonry.
I am preparing a paper on our late brother Irving Berlin for
presentation at the Scottish Rite valley. I am interested in any
information regarding the masonic aspects of this famous american's
Best wishes for the new year to all my brethren, wheresoever
½PT - Welcome to the list, Brother Gil. Because of your query
concerning Irving Berlin, I assume that you wanted your letter
published. I think there was an article in a recent Empire State Mason
which you might find helpful.
For the non-Masons reading this, the "(Ancient and Accepted)
Scottish Rite" is one of the associated bodies of Freemasonry. These
groups confer their own degrees which expand upon the lessons taught
in the three "Blue Lodge" degrees. The "33rd degree" is confered only
upon Masons who have done great service to the Craft. The titles of
the degrees and offices are quite colorful.|
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 89 12:53:06 EST
Subject: Toasts and pledges
A very small, but important, point -- after which I will admit
that perhaps we have wandered afield; and will do my part towards
letting this matter drop.
} Date: Wed, 6 Dec 89 17:23:27 -0500
} From: steven Gatton
} Subject: Re: Toasting Her Majesty the Queen
} When Border Cities Lodge of Windsor, Canada, visits us for Table
} Lodge (tyled EA Lodge with dinner) we always (the Americans, that is)
} propose a toast to the Queen, and the Canadian visitors always propose
} a toast to the U.S. President....
} I have never really understood why the Canadian Prime Minister is
} not toasted as well. Apparently he is just the current politico in
} office, and the real head-of-state is the Queen.
Ah, the British Navy, now -- they understand something that most
USAmericans do not.
I have been told by an attendee that at joint formal dinners,
each toasts the other's Head of State. The Americans rise to toast
Her Majesty, the Queen; and the British rise to respond with a toast
to The Constitution of the United States of America.
That document, and *not* the current Chief of the Executive
branch, is the Head of State of the USA. That, in some sense, is the
whole fundamental point of our founding. (I have referred to it
elsewhere, as the world's first software Head of State.) We ought no
more be saluting the President, than the Chief Justice of the US.
Anyway, a recent very scientific poll showed not one citizen out of a
zillion (a very small zillion, I guess :-) understood this. Sigh.
½pt - I like this idea, but this thread has wandered very far from
Masonry, and from here on my filter on it will be turned *very* high|
Oh well... we're having a Table Lodge (GM willing) in March, and
I'll bite my tongue and do the Prescribed Thing. (Brethren on this
mailing list are invited attend as my guest, and watch me do so --
Please contact me first to make the usual arrangements.)
ÝGary L. Dryfoos Ý "Cigarettes! Cigarettes!
ÝARPA/Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Ý American thru and thru!
Ý UUCP/Usenet: ...mit-eddie!athena.mit.edu!dryfooÝ The Truest Taste of Freedom
Ý Phone: (617) 253-0184 / (617) 825-6115 Ý Is Cigarettes and You!"
Ý USPS: E40-342g, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139Ý
Date: 26 Dec 89 22:34:36 EST
From: Steve Mesnick / Steffan <70166.1402@CompuServe.com>
Subject: CT recognizes Prince Hall
Over Christmas weekend, I was in Rhode Island, and I happened to
read the latest copy of "Rhode Island Freemason" which contained a
very interesting article. It seems that the neighboring Grand Lodge of
Connecticut has recognized the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Connecticut.
AF&AM Masons in CT can visit PH lodges in CT, and vice-versa.
Obviously, this has serious implications for RI Masons, whose
Grand Lodge does *not* as yet recognize Prince Hall. The immediate
dilemma is this: what does a RI Mason do when he finds himself
visiting a CT AF&AM lodge at which CT PH Masons are present? The
official word from the MWGM of RI is "for now, we aren't going to
worry about it". Hmmm.... Now, upon reflection, it occurs to me that
this situation can't be unique. Albeit all US and Canadian Grand
Lodges recognize each other, some recognize the odd foreign GL that
some others *don't*. So, if Massachusetts Mason on a business trip or
vacation in Ruritania (which let's say, is recognized by GL/Mass) may
find himself holding Masonic communication with a visiting Mason from
the GL of Podunkistan (which GL/Ruritania recognizes but GL/Mass
doesn't) ½pt: What should he do?|. I wonder if there is any sort of
standard procedure for dealing with sort of situation. Comments?
Bro. Steven Mesnick
Junior Warden, Ocean Lodge AF&AM
½PT - I have not checked with GL on this, but my feeling (confirmed
with a PM of my lodge) is that you have no problem if you are both
visiting a lodge whose GL is recognized by your GL. You have agreed
to abide by the rules of the GL in whose jurisdiction you happen to
be. If you are in a Ruritanian lodge, Ruritanian GL rules apply, and
you can happily sit with your Podunkistan brother.
In the absence of a clear jurisdiction, I would fall back on the
policy of my "mother lodge", ie, the lodge in which I was raised.
There are lots of situations like this, where what is regular
under one GL is irregular under another. For example, in many American
jurisdictions, it is an absolute rule that the lodge's charter or
dispensation must be physically present in the lodge room during all
meetings. In Massachusetts, where some lodges are well into their
third century, the older ones may keep their charters in bank vaults
for sake of preservation. Should a Texas Mason refuse to visit a
Massachusetts lodge which does this? Of course not! |
From: Peter Trei (email@example.com)
Date: 4 Jan 1990
Subject: How public should we be about Masonry?
Over the past thirty years or so, Masonry in America has been
suffering from a substantial decline in membership. It's not a problem
of brothers deciding to leave the Craft, but rather a matter of not
having enough young initiates to replace those who leave us for the
Celestial Lodge above. The mean age of Masons in New York State is now
65. I'm sure that the situation is similar in other states. In
Massachusetts we're finally increasing the number of initiations per
year, but we've a long way to go.
½I don't want to give the impression that Masonry is an organization
of old men - in most lodges the core group of active members is much
younger. Still, at 32, I am definitely a "young" Mason.|
Why has this happened? I can think of the following reasons:
Before WWII, people could not just sit down in front of the tube
- they had to find other ways to spend their free time. This was the
heyday of the movie palace, town meetings and many other forms of
social activity and amusement. An evening in lodge not only provided
participatory entertainment, it was also generally considered
eminently respectable. Social activities in general have declined in
the past thirty years - Masonry is not the only institution hurting
In the earlier part of this century, Masonry was kept much more
in the public eye. Masonic newspapers and magazines were available at
most newstands, and the regular papers carried announcments of
meetings and accounts of special events. Masons participated publicly
as Masons at social occasions. Since WWII we have become much more
private. Today, it's hard for an interested layman to find out about
Masonry, much less assure that the average man knows what we are. I've
encountered many false notions, including (but not limited to):
"It's only for Jews."
"It's the enforcement wing of the Catholic Church."
"It's an anti-clerical freethinkers cabal."
"Catholics can't be Masons."
"Every Pope has been a Mason."
"You can't ask to join - you have to wait until *they* invite you." (common)
"They're all Satanists, and/or have strange mystical knowledge."
"It's very expensive and exclusive - a rich man's club."
and most astonishing of all:
"The Freemasons don't really exist: they're a myth cooked up by
Another aspect of this is the tendency of Masonry in general not
to react to outside criticism, even to correct errors of fact. We
practically invented the term "no comment". This allows popular
misconceptions to spread and become entrenched.
What should we do?
Clearly we need new blood. I am certainly NOT going to suggest
that we should start to solicit membership. Short of this, the best
thing I can think of is obtaining a somewhat higher public profile,
while making sure that the public's view of us is an accurate one.
This was one of my goals in starting this mailing list. I had
gotten tired of seeing the same nonsense trotted out again and again
in alt.conspiracy, talk.religion.*, and soc.religion.christian (where
there is a discussion underway right now). It was clear that there
were a lot of people who wanted and/or could use good information.
I don't have any universal solution - but I'll tell you what I
do. I don't hide my Masonry. I wear a ring (with a gold symbol on
black onyx - you can see it across a room). I sometimes wear lapel
pins. I have a symbol on my car and a small one in my office. I don't
hesitate to mention Freemasonry in casual conversation if there is
reason to do so. I invite friends to installations and other open
events. Most important of all, if someone asks me a question, I bend
over backwards to give them a timely, accurate, and interesting
answer, without revealing anything which should be concealed.
We have too much to offer men of good will to hide our light
under a bushel.
I'd like to ask brethren on this list their feelings on this
From: Peter Trei (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 5 Jan 1990
Subject: Good news from Budapest.
The new issue of Empire State Mason says that the Grand Lodge of
Hungary relit its candles for the first time since WWII this past St.
ESM has a long lead time, and I wonder if Masonry has been
re-established in any other of the recently democratized Eastern Bloc
From: ASGARD::JPETERSON "James A. Peterson"
Date: 3-JAN-1990 15:08
Subj: Announcement: Lodge of Instruction.
P R O G R A M
The 32nd LODGE OF INSTRUCTION
MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 1990 7:45
WILLIAM SEWALL GARDNER LODGE, LOWELL
= FORUM LEADER =
R.W.RALPH B. DUNCAN
= TOPIC =
"TRIVIAL PURSUIT OF MASONIC FACTS"
½PT - A "Lodge of Instruction" is a special lodge meeting held monthly
in each district where a speaker delivers a lecture on some topic
related to Masonry.|
End of MASONIC Digest