Friday, July 22, 2016

‘Follow me: Freemasons walking tour’

I probably shouldn’t even post this—I learned of this New Jersey event just now, practically accidentally through social media, so I’m sorry for the too late notice. I believe registration was closed yesterday, although tickets seem to remain available still. I don’t know how, where, or if the lodge has publicized this at all, but here’s the word from the Morris County Tourism Bureau:

The Freemasons in Morristown
July 23, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Masonic Lodge

Jacob Arnold’s Tavern on Morristown Green
George Washington was among 68 officers in attendance at a December 27, 1779 Masonic meeting held in Morristown at Jacob Arnold’s Tavern celebrating the Festival of St. John the Evangelist. The American Union Lodge was meeting locally to select a grand master, and General Washington was one of the choices. It is estimated that of the 10,000 officers who served during the Revolution, 2,000 were Masons.

The Freemasons formed their own local lodge, Cincinnati No. 3, in the early 1800s. Many of the most prominent residents throughout the town’s history have been members. Here’s a chance to tour their building (c. 1931) on Maple Avenue with Masons and view the displays and artifacts in their onsite museum and library which opened in 2015.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the “secret society” of the Masons, here’s your opportunity.

Saturday, July 23 at 1 p.m. The tour will be held at 39 Maple Avenue, Morristown. Tour size is limited to 30. Cost: $15. Metered parking is available on adjoining side streets.

The Summer 2016 Historical Walking Tour Series from the Morris County Tourism Bureau is being generously sponsored by AAA Northeast and Whole Foods Market, Morristown.

The Morris County Tourism Bureau is a Destination Marketing Organization that positively affects the economy of Morris County by promoting the area’s exceptional historic, cultural, and recreational opportunities by providing services to residents, business travelers, and tourists.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

‘CANCELLATION: Masonic Stamp Club of New York’

After posting yesterday about the George Washington Masonic Stamp Club’s latest news, it occurred to me to have a look at the website of the other Masonic stamp club I know, and I found this sad announcement of the pending controlled demise of the Masonic Stamp Club of New York:

Click to enlarge.

It’s a sorry sign of the times that speaks to, yes, the shrinking of Masonic membership, as this announcement notes, but also to the indifference of society beyond the lodge doors toward philately. And frankly, the U.S. Postal Service does neither itself nor anyone else any favors by producing too many stamps today that lack artistry and that pander to short-term attention to fads.

I happen to be one of those few Freemasons who recognize the need, justifications, and advantages of Masonic groups voluntarily closing down. Look at one of those diagrams of the “Masonic family tree” and see where you’d start pruning. And where you might stop. The Sciots was founded in San Francisco to help Masons recover from the earthquake and fire that destroyed the city. Why it exists eleven decades later, and has spread to locales far beyond California, is beyond my abilities to explain. (I’m always picking on the Sciots—and offered a small joke at its expense yesterday in The Past Bastard comments—but there are others worthy of being taken off life support.)

But a stamp club is something that ought to appeal to all kinds of people. To collect stamps is to collect art. A collection may be as large or small as desired, just as a stamp club can be intimate and portable as its members please. Participation requires no formal education; collecting imparts an education. It’s not necessary to spend much money; depending on what is collected, there could be great value to have in the future. Philately is a pursuit one may enjoy solo; it also lends itself wonderfully to a club setting. To see this club—the Masonic Stamp Club headquartered in New York City—go dark is to witness a eulogy that laments much more than the decline of interest in a hobby. It is a cancellation of what was a cultural cornerstone in our society.

Monday, July 18, 2016

‘Freemason Sibelius and his Opus 113’

The George Washington Masonic Stamp Club will meet in September in Baltimore. The keynote speaker for the meeting will be Walter Benesch, past president, who will discuss “Jean Sibelius: The Great Finnish Composer and Mason and the Strange History Behind His Opus 113.”

From the publicity:

George Washington Masonic Stamp Club
Meeting at the Baltimore Philatelic Exhibition
Saturday, September 3
1 p.m.

Wyndham Hunt Valley Inn
Salon C
245 Shawan Road
Hunt Valley, Maryland

Summer 2016 message from the President

For those who missed the Annual Meeting in February, it was a delightful meeting.

There were four new candidates for the Degree of Philately. This was followed by our election. Yours truly was re-elected President for another two years. Our new First Vice President is Ralph E. Olson. Dr. Rudy Krutar continues as our Second Vice President. John Allen and Sherrill Watkins continue as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. Michael Aulicino was re-elected as our Cachet Maker-Cover Chairman. But what is good, we now have an official Assistant Cachet Maker, Casey Polowitch. Hopefully Casey will be ready to take over at the next election in 2018. It is always great to see our younger members step up to help out.

Our summer meeting will be at BALPEX on Saturday, September 3 at 1 p.m. in Salon C. The program will be Part Two of last year’s presentation on Jean Sibelius, the great Finnish composer and Mason, but this talk will be on the strange history behind his Opus 113—his “Masonic Opus.” You will hear brief excerpts, and learn one of the strangest histories of any musical composition, including why the Grand Lodge of New York holds the copyright. There will be the traditional door prizes and sale items. Your President is attempting to lessen his collection, so there will be several valuable binders offered to Club members.

BALPEX is held at the Hunt Valley Inn. There is plenty of free parking and a quality restaurant in the hotel, with other restaurants down the road. If there is enough interest, we may go as a group for an early dinner at around 4 p.m. I want everyone to have enough time to review the exhibits at BALPEX, to talk to the vendors, and add to your collections.

Remember, the Club depends on new members, so talk up the George Washington Mason Stamp Club at your lodge and other Masonic bodies. If you don’t have an application, click here.

The next Annual Meeting will take place Sunday, February 27, 2017 at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

‘Metro Masonic webmasters conference to be planned’

The Digital Square Club of New York enjoyed a successful conference during St. John’s Weekend in Utica last month. Masonic webmasters and other online publishers met in person and by teleconference to learn from each other about the nuances of online communications.

Courtesy Thomas J. Fuzia
I wasn’t there (I don’t know if bloggers meet the criteria), but it seems the real highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the new Digital Cornerstone Award to RW Ron Steiner, who has labored long in helping New York Freemasonry with both public relations and encouraging the use of the web years ago, when hardly anyone in the fraternity knew how to maintain a competent web presence for their lodges. Congratulations, Ron!

Ken Stuczynski, webmaster of Grand Lodge and chairman of the Communications Committee, reports the likelihood of another conference in the Metro area later this year or early 2017 specifically to help the region in most need. (You’d think lodges in the media capital of the world would be more hip, but maybe that’s not the case, although Stuczynski does praise “incredible, cutting-edge work” being done here.) Stuczynski and Grand Master Jeffrey Williamson will speak. I’m sure others will too. I will attend that one.

The Digital Square Club website is being revamped too.

Monday, July 4, 2016

‘Don’t Be a Sucker’

Listening to the radio for some Independence Day rock & roll, the program currently tuned in mixes an occasional odd sound bite amid the tunes, including a minute or so of a U.S. War Department film titled “Don’t Be a Sucker.” Released in 1943, and revised after the war, this short partially explains how the Nazis rose to political power in Germany and drove the country to ruin in the Second World War. The story is told by a Hungarian-born university professor (Paul Lukas) who had fled Europe for the United States in the nick of time, and became an American citizen.

After an introductory segment explaining how political rabble rousers are akin to con men in their common strategies for duping the public, the film uses one character’s membership in Freemasonry to make the emotional connection for the viewer to realize that bigot demagogues typically are talking about them when blaming society’s ills on members of ethnic, racial, and religious minorities. “What’s wrong with the Masons? I’m a Mason,” the startled onlooker wonders before reappraising his opinions on American society.

Freemasonry is an odd choice of vehicle to cross that bridge, but that’s how it is in “Don’t Be a Sucker.”

It has been a number of years since Bro. Sal Corelli was mentioned on the Magpie, and I figure these photos he sent me five days ago would be perfect to share on Independence Day.

Sal was in Queens, New York and visited the site of the 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair, which boasted an impressive Masonic pavilion, some of which remains standing.

I close this Independence Day edition of The Magpie Mason with a look at Bro. George Washington: General of the Continental Army, President of the United States, and Freemason.

Courtesy Sal Corelli

Courtesy Sal Corelli

Courtesy Sal Corelli

If the likeness of Washington looks familiar, it is because the sculptor who created it was a prolific replicator of Washington in bronze. New York artist Donald De Lue’s other Washingtons stand at the New Orleans Main Public Library; the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia; Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey; the Masonic museum in Lexington, Massachusetts; Mariners Church in Detroit; the Masonic Home in Indianapolis; and elsewhere.

Gotta go! The Nerds are playing some little suburban town soon, before the fireworks.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

‘2016 Esoteric Book Conference’

The organizers of the Esoteric Book Conference have announced their plans for 2016. The eighth annual will be in Seattle on September 10 and 11.

Regular Magpie readers will recognize names of some of the presenters, sponsors, etc. Click here for all the news.

‘The buzz about The Beehive Club’

There is a Freemason named Burx, who recently relocated to Idaho from Virginia, bringing with him an idea for Craft Lodge education he calls The Beehive Club. On May 16, he discussed this practice on The Masonic Roundtable.

He describes it as a study group he had introduced at Herndon Lodge 264 in Virginia where the brethren would devote two hours per month to various topics. No membership dues, no meeting minutes, no fuss, no muss—just discussion to profit everyone in attendance. But no sideliners either. Eventually, all who attend participate in the talks to contribute to the common stock of knowledge. On occasion there even is room for Apprentices and Fellows to keep them engaged and on the path.

Click here to listen. The chat gets moving at the 15-minute mark.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

‘Much Ado about Threefold Center’

The Anthroposophical Society’s Hudson Valley campus, the Threefold Educational Center, hosts an amazing variety of programs aimed at infusing spiritual values into the arts, education, and community life, and the gentle people there have been doing it for 90 years.

While I have been enjoying the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s 30th season already this summer, I’m going to make time for this Threefold presentation too. From the publicity:

Babbling Brook Players Present
Much Ado About Nothing
by William Shakespeare

Sunday, August 14 at 6 p.m.
Admission: Free
($20 suggested donation)

Green Meadow Waldorf School, Rose Hall
307 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, New York

Come spend an evening with Rockland County’s own Babbling Brook Players and a cast of characters that are sure to make you laugh and feel great in one of Shakespeare’s best comedies of love that triumphs over any gossip and mischief.

Courtesy Babbling Brook Players

Sponsored by Threefold Educational Center and the Green Meadow Waldorf School.

‘Scottish Masonic 2° in NYC next week’

Just because it’s July don’t mean there’s nothing cool going on in Freemasonry in New York City.

Mariners Lodge 67 in the venerable First Manhattan District will host brethren from Lodge Greenock Kilwinning XII, from the arguably even more venerable Grand Lodge of Scotland, July 13 for an exemplification of their Scottish Fellow Craft Degree and the customary awesome Mariners Festive Board. And, remember, Scottish Freemasonry has no standardized rituals, so there is no guessing what we will see here.

From the publicity:

You are cordially and fraternally invited to the Lodge’s upcoming Special Communication and Maritime Festive Board.

Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m.
Masonic Hall
Doric Room, eighth floor
71 West 23rd Street

Work of the Evening: Exemplification of a Scottish Fellow Craft Degree by Lodge Greenock Kilwinning XII.

This meeting is open to Master Masons and Fellow Crafts only. Black Tie for officers and Black Tie or Business Formal for Brethren.

Captain Cook had yet to discover the Antipodes, and Culloden was still eighteen years away when the first meeting of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No. XII was held in the hostelry of vintner Robert Moor on The Feast of St John, on 27 December 1728. No. XII was represented at the institution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland at Mary’s Chapel, Edinburgh, on 30 November 1736. The lodge received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland on 12 October 1737, with the number on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland based on the date of the first meeting of the lodge.

In the two hundred and seventy-five years and more of its existence, Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No. XII has been proud to count among its members aristocrats, captains of industry, provosts, ministers of religion, servicemen, tradesmen, magistrates, butchers, clerks, lawyers, and many others from all walks of life. All have had but one aim in view: to promote the fundamentals of our order—Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

Maritime Festive Board Menu: Seared Flank Steak, Garlic Chicken, Slow-Roasted Marinated Pork Shoulder, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Chopped Salad, Buttermilk Biscuits, Assorted Cannoli, Sodas, Water, Wine, and Flowing Bowls of the Infamous 19th Century Mariners Punch.

Cost of the Festive Board is $35, plus transaction fees. Click here to purchase a reservation via the Mariners Lodge web portal.

(More than a quarter of the available seats are sold out already as I post this on Saturday morning, so don’t delay! Special dietary concerns can be accommodated.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

‘Brand new Masonic tarot deck’

The pollination of Masonic symbolism to tarot cards has intrigued me for a number of years. Both systems of symbols have venerable histories, coming into their own at approximately the same time (eighteenth century), and sharing in common influential personalities (Waite, Levi). When an artist marries the two traditions, the results can be noteworthy.

Before continuing, let me restate that for Magpie purposes, tarot cards are not for fortune-telling, but their symbols are useful for meditative and contemplative purposes—and not necessarily only when the cards bear Freemasonry’s symbols.

It’s certainly okay if you’re an experienced and well traveled Freemason who doesn’t know much about tarot cards. I’m no expert. But it is a quirky topic that I promise will engage you if you study it, as tarot definitely is “a peculiar system…illustrated with symbols.” Tarot decks of the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith variety, that do not even speak directly to Freemasons, nonetheless offer many images recognizable to the initiated eye.

Tarot decks that deliberately do consist of Masonic symbolism on the major arcana cards have been around for a while. Actually, you can find tarot cards with just about any theme depicted. There is a brand new Masonic deck published just this month by Lo Scarabeo in Torino, Italy.

Artist Patricio Diaz Silva of Chile has created 3x5 cards that put images from the Masonic lodge into the tarot milieu, and they’re beautiful. Seventy-eight cards, with the minor arcana cards being unillustrated. I think his concept of Masonic life is formed by what one generally might term “Continental Masonry,” meaning there are Scottish Rite and Templar images, plus women wearing aprons.

The following photos are copyright © Patricio Diaz Silva 2016, and are found on the web. The deck is available via Amazon and other on-line retailers.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

‘Angel Millar lecture at Livingston Masonic Library next month’

Bro. Angel Millar will present a lecture July 28 on “Freemasonry and Traditionalism in the East and West” at the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York.

7 p.m. on the 14th floor of Masonic Hall, at 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Millar is a Masonic researcher and author whose books include Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition and The Crescent and the Compass. He is a member of The American Lodge of Research as well.

Don’t forget RW Bro. Jean-Luc Leguay’s lecture tomorrow night. And be sure to check out the library’s newly redesigned and more functional website.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

‘Summertime Stories’

We’re about 24 hours into summer, and if you are looking for things to do in the coming months, keep the School of Practical Philosophy in mind. School’s out until September, but it offers various lectures and programs, including the Summer Stories. From the publicity:

We often hear the phrase “You are not your story!” and with just a little self-reflection we know that it is true. Yet, stories also can point the way to self-knowledge and bear witness to acts of heroism, transformation, and true love. They can awaken the desire for knowledge and truth, arouse the sleeping giants within us and, perhaps most importantly, make us laugh at our foolish antics and grandiosities. In fact, with an attentive heart, hearing stories can change your life.

Please join us for our series of summer evenings filled with tales of the great masters that provide humor, direction and good company for the journey.

Friends and family are welcome.

Four Tuesdays: July 12 and 19, August 16 and 23

Time: 7 p.m.

Place: 12 East 79th Street, Manhattan.

Tickets, at $15, which includes refreshments, may be purchased on-line.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

‘Livingston Masonic Library on the radio’

Last Sunday, WFDU broadcast an interview with the librarian and the curator of the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York.

Click here to listen to the 30-minute chat.

Every Mason should visit this amazing resource, if you can. Hours are:

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

That’s the 14th floor of Masonic Hall, located at 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

‘Grand Master Sardone. Has a nice ring to it!’


Congratulations to Bill Sardone, a brother New York Freemason, on becoming today the new Grand Master of DeMolay International, one of the youth groups within the Masonic family.

Photo: Bill Sardone, at right, joined by MW Bill Thomas, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York and his wife, Susan Taylor Thomas. Courtesy Gill Raoul Calderon.

Friday, June 17, 2016

‘The Masonic Society brings the school to you’


Masonic Society School
announces pilot course

The Masonic Society School is proud to announce its pilot course, The History and Philosophy of Freemasonry, with historic readings, online video commentaries on the readings, and a discussion forum. The course will take place online October 17-December 19, 2016. Click here.

The readings and nine video commentaries will include:

  • overview of the early operative masons
  • formation of the Grand Lodge of England and its constitutions
  • Masonic jurisprudence
  • practice and nature of Masonic initiation
  • Freemasons at the time of the American Revolution
  • anti-Masonic movements
  • women in Masonry
  • Rosicrucian and Egyptian influences in Masonry
  • spiritual nature of Masonry
  • and more

Students and the instructor will have a private forum for discussing the readings and commentaries.

The course is open exclusively to Masonic Society members. A video introduction and registration form, as well as information on joining the society, are available on the society’s website.

The instructor of the course will be Michael R. Poll, owner of Cornerstone Book Publishers. and a New York Times bestselling writer and publisher. He is a fellow and past president of The Masonic Society, and a fellow of the Philalethes Society.

‘See Eleven Beatus on Tuesday’

In other Jean-Luc Leguay news, word comes from Bro. Francis Dumaurier of a special night planned for Tuesday in his lodge.

Special presentation of “Eleven Beatus”
by Bro. Jean-Luc Leguay
Tuesday, June 21 at 6 p.m.

l’Union Française Lodge 17
Masonic Hall
71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan
French Doric Room, 10th floor

The lodge will host Bro. Leguay for a presentation of “Eleven Beatus,” the work created by the Master Illuminator in tribute to those killed on September 11, 2001.

Leguay, already a famous choreographer and director of several great theaters and operas in France and Italy, developed a passion for the art of manuscript illumination, a tradition dating to the eighth century. He started to study in 1980 with a hermit in southern Italy, who taught him the craft secrets of this sacred art that incorporates symbolism, colors, and geometry.

After he had learned to master the skills necessary to select the proper parchment materials, the techniques of making his own colors from organic sources, and the art of painting his subjects, the artist gradually began to dedicate his life entirely to this craft when his teacher passed away in 1990.

More biographical details, as well as splendid examples of his work, can be seen here.

“Eleven Beatus” will be on display for all to see while the artist introduces it from his own personal perspective. There will also be other masterpieces on display as well as a copy of the amazing 64-page manuscript of paintings that enlighten the theme of “Initiation.”

Bro. Leguay is a Mason at labor in Giordano Bruno Lodge 181 under the Grande Loge Nationale Française, and his presentation will be in French. All present will have the opportunity to shake his hand, view the masterpieces, and receive one of the souvenir tricolor coins which were recently minted for UF17.

The meeting will be tiled but the Great Lights will be lowered to the First Degree in Masonry during his presentation so that Entered Apprentices and Fellow-Crafts may attend.

A post-meeting three course dinner with wine will follow on the 15th floor in the French style of our very own Executive Chef, W. Daniel Monneaux, DSA. The cost will be a minimal, all-inclusive $40 (cash only) per person. Reservations for this dinner are required, and can be made with the lodge secretary here.

‘Celebrating a historic grand master’

Magpie file photo
Bust of Daniel D. Tompkins at the church.
I didn’t know this was an annual tradition, but the Freemasons of Tompkins Lodge 471 in Staten Island do conduct a graveside memorial service at the final resting place of their lodge’s namesake, Daniel D. Tompkins, marking the anniversary of his birth—and they will do so today.

Daniel D. Tompkins was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York; Governor of the State of New York; the first Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; and the sixth Vice President of the United States.

Click here for more information and photos of a past commemoration.

Today’s event will be led by Worshipful Master Justin Mack, with lodge brethren, beginning at 6 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, located at 131 East 10th Street in Manhattan.

Magpie file photo
The gravesite of Daniel D. Tompkins.

Tompkins was born June 21, 1774 in Scarsdale, New York, and died June 11, 1825 in Tompkinsville, New York.

‘New Light on the Gormogons’

Maryland Masonic Research Society will host its Annual Festive Board August 1 in Columbia, Maryland. RSVP here before July 20. From the publicity:

Seating is limited. Please confirm your attendance via e-mail before sending your check. $45 per person for dinner (includes beverage and gratuity). Cash bar at 6:30 and dinner at seven.

Distinguished Presentation:

“New Light on the Gormogons”

by S. Brent Morris

The Gormogons suddenly appeared in London newspapers in 1724 as a rival to the Freemasons both in exclusivity and antiquity. It had been thought they disappeared in 1732, but new evidence including a previously unrecognized 1733 London play—show that their reputation persisted until the end of the 18th century.

Morris is a Past President of the Maryland Masonic Research Society, Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076, current managing editor of The Scottish Rite Journal, and author of numerous books and articles on Freemasonry.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

‘Now on sale: Freemasonry on the Frontier’


Tickets to The Masonic Society’s Fall 2016 Conference, titled “Freemasonry on the Frontier,” scheduled for October 7 to 9 in California, are available now via eventbrite.

Click here for the ticketing options. Click here for all the info about the conference.

From the publicity:

Featured Speakers

Friday Evening:

Samuel Langhorn Clemens: Brother Samuel Clemens was made a Mason in 1861, at Polar Star Lodge 79, St. Louis, Missouri. His many literary works (often published under the pen name Mark Twain) include “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (set less than 135 miles from the site of this conference) and Roughing It, an account of Clemens’ life and travel on the Western frontier.

Clemens’s appearance is made possible by WB Jefferson H. Jordan, Jr., immediate past grand master of Masons in New Mexico and an authority on Clemens’ life and work. He is past master of Temple Lodge 6, Albuquerque, past district deputy grand lecturer for two years, and past district deputy grand master.

Saturday Morning:

Mark A. Tabbert: “George Washington and the Masonic Frontiers of the 1700s”

Worshipful Brother Mark Tabbert has served as curator of the Scottish Rite National Heritage Museum, and currently is director of collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. He is past master of Mystic Valley Lodge, Arlington, Massachusetts, and Lodge of Nine Muses 1776, Washington, DC. He is a full member of Quatour Coronati Lodge 2076, London, and a member of the Society of Blue Friars.

Tabbert is the author of American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities; Museum and Memorial: Ten Years of Masonic Writings; and, with William D. Moore, Secret Societies in America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism.

He is working on three books on George Washington and Freemasonry-related topics.

Saturday Evening:

John Bizzack: “The Expansion of Freemasonry into the West: The Pivotal Role of Kentucky, 1788-1810”

Worshipful Brother John Bizzack is a 25-year veteran of the Lexington (Kentucky) Police Department and, more recently, Commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Training for the Kentucky Justice Cabinet.

Bizzack is a member of Lexington Lodge 1, where he serves as the Education Committee chair and coordinator of the Masonic History and Study Group. He is author of several books and numerous papers on leadership, criminal investigation, and organizational management, as well as five books, along with dozens of publications, about Freemasonry. He speaks nationwide on the criminal justice system, critical thinking, and Freemasonry.

John Cooper: “Freemasonry and Nation-Building on the Pacific Coast: The California Experience”

MWB John Cooper is a past grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of California, having served for almost eighteen years when he retired in 2008. In 2013-14 he served as grand master of Masons in California. He holds a Ph.D in education from Claremont Graduate School, and before becoming grand secretary, he held various teaching and administrative posts in the public schools of California.

A Mason since 1964, Cooper served as master of James A. Foshay Lodge 641 in Los Angeles, and is both a 33º Mason in the Scottish Rite, and a Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honor in the York Rite. His primary interest in Freemasonry has been the history and philosophy of the Craft, and he has published numerous papers on Freemasonry. He has served as master of both Northern and Southern California research lodges, and currently is president of the Philalethes Society.

‘Illuminating Livingston Library lectures’

Courtesy Jean-Luc Leguay

The Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York will launch its 2016 lecture series next week with a Freemason’s presentation on manuscript illumination. From the publicity:

2016 Lecture Season Begins
Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m.
with Jean-Luc Leguay,
world renowned master illuminator

The Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York is proud to announce the first lecture of the 2016 Lecture Season will be given by Approved Master Illuminator, artist and writer, Bro. Jean-Luc Leguay.

Leguay began studying the art of manuscript illumination in 1980, learning this ancient tradition from a Franciscan hermit in Southern Italy. Illuminated manuscripts are those in which there are decorations added to the text, such as along the borders, in the beginning letters of paragraphs, and in miniature illustrations.

When his Master died in 1990, Leguay became one of the few keepers of the traditional Italian knowledge. He is the first layman of this tradition, which dates to the eighth century, and he was taught the knowledge of symbolism and sacred texts, as well as the arts of colors and geometry.

Illumination is the art of giving light, and illuminators, like the builders of cathedrals, are geometers, or those skilled in the mathematics of geometry. Illumination contains a secret geometry which leads to a metaphysical understanding of the ancient art. The images convey the sacred and offer a path into the mysteries of mankind’s origin.

The main focus of the lecture will be a parchment painting by Leguay which gives tribute to those lost during the attacks of September 11, 2001.

For the Masonic fraternity, the concepts of light and geometry are central to ritual, and, as Jean-Luc Leguay is a Brother Freemason, this lecture will touch on topics that will be of great interest to Freemasons, to those who are interested in Freemasonry, to those interested in the rare knowledge of illumination, to ¬those who have a love of art, and to those touched by the tragedy of 9/11.

Join us at Masonic Hall for this first in a series of exciting and “illuminating” lectures! The free lecture begins at 5:30 p.m., and white wine will be served.

Please RSVP here. Write RSVP in the subject line of the e-mail, and your name and contact information in the body of the e-mail.