From the East
Greetings from the East,
I pray that you and yours are well.
We welcomed four new brothers into our lodge last month. A few who had been waiting for over a year to be initiated. They came together as their strong voices recited the entered apprentice’s obligation. It was both refreshing and humbling to hear.
Brothers we have a motion that is laying over for a final vote in our May stated meeting to amend our bylaws and move our meeting place to the York Rite.
In honor of our last meeting in the Joppa Masonic Temple we will have a catered meal. Beginning at 6:30 pm, opening the lodge at 7:30. Please plan to join us for this meeting. I ask that you RSVP to the Junior Warden, Brother Paul Parker, before the 6th of May. We have obligated for 20 meals and don’t want to leave anyone out.
I look forward seeing you soon and more especially in the lodge at our next stated May 11th.
From the South
Greetings from the South!
The origin of the columns and their significant use, has been altered through the centuries of freemasonry. We know that the current rule is to raise the senior warden’s column when the lodge is opened and to lower the junior wardens. When the lodge is closed or at refreshment, the junior warden raises his column and the senior warden lowers his. This also makes it easy for the brethren to determine the status of the lodge workings and enables them to observe the proper protocols.
Mystery surrounds the origin of the columns, what they represent, and when they became standard practice in the lodges. There is no mention of the warden’s columns in any material prior to approximately 1700 when King Solomon’s Pillars began to appear in Masonic writing and ritual documents. It appears that they were first introduced somewhere between 1730 and 1760. The columns are said to represent Boaz and Jachin, the two columns at the entrance to King Solomon’s Temple.
There has been comparatively little written about the Warden’s columns and their uses to show when they were allocated to those officers. The use of the columns is not a mysterious symbolic act; it is just a simple means to indicate silently to entering Brethren the status of the lodge.
From the West
As Spring is finally here! May includes some key Masonic events for some very famous Masons.
On May 1, 1865, then Major William McKinley, while serving as a Union officer in the Civil War, received his Entered Apprentice Degree in Hiram Lodge #21 – Winchester, Virginia. McKinley witnessed an exchange between a Union doctor and a wounded Confederate soldier engaging in what he called, “Brother Masons.” McKinley famously stated, “if that is Masonry…I will take some of it myself.”
On May 5, 1851, future President Andrew Johnson also took his first step in Masonry receiving his Entered Apprentice Degree in Greenville Lodge #119 – Greenville, Tennessee.
On May 12, 1932, the bicentennial year of President George Washington’s birthday, President Herbert Hoover formally dedicated The George Washington Masonic National Museum in Washington, D.C.
On May 18, 1958, Harry Truman, a past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, received his 50-year Masonic service award.
Finally, on May 24, 1901, Winston Churchill received his Entered Apprentice Degree in Studholme Lodge #1591 in London, England.
I think it is refreshing to know that no matter how famous or important a fellow brother’s life may be, their Masonic journey was very similar to ours.