Monday, April 6, 2020

‘Masonic Society Journal 48’

      

The cover of the Spring 2020 issue of The Journal of the Masonic Society shows the Egyptian Room of Freemasons’ Hall in Dublin, the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Listen, I’ve been telling you to join TMS for twelve years, so if you’re not reading The Journal, see a psychiatrist, okay?

Issue No. 48 (Spring 2020) of The Journal of the Masonic Society is hitting members’ mailboxes now and, while Editor-in-Chief Michael Poll doesn’t do “themes,” this issue seems to follow a line of thought.

In his inaugural message, the Society’s new president encourages the reader to take on Freemasonry like a discipline to study and master. It’s an activity. While every member of the Masonic Society obviously has a desire to learn about his fraternity, the next simple step is to undertake even a modest personal investigation into what it all means. “Every answer found within Freemasonry begins with a question,” he writes. “Did you know that you can look up an answer to a question you have?”

Writing from his desk, Editor Poll asks “Is Freemasonry a Moral Philosophy?” Such thinking, he says, “is understood as a component of philosophy dealing with ethical questions of living and interacting with others.” He quickly decides that, yes, the Craft does impart a moral philosophy, citing the Hiramic legend as the obvious example, but he concludes our Order’s shortcoming is in how we teach the lessons but promptly jump to something else. “It is like having a glass of fine wine and gulping it down in one large mouthful.” But there is no easy fix either, he explains. “We should recognize that integrity is more than a word and that Freemasonry is far more than a club. We should become what our teachings say we should be.”

Secrecy, Ciphers, Codes, and Hermeneutics

My fellow New York City Mason John Beatty of Schiller Lodge 304, professor emeritus at Brooklyn College, invites us into the world of “Secrecy, Ciphers, Codes, and Hermeneutics.” In addition to explaining the differences among these systems, Beatty walks us through the process of making sense of their workings—and does so in a fun and engaging style that brings in examples from literature and film to illustrate what he means. There are reasons why Masonic codes have been discarded, but Masonic symbols endure. Read his findings to find out more.

Masonic Society Founding Fellow and former Board member Mark Tabbert is director of collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Virginia, and in these pages he illumines the “Lighthouse of Freemasonry.” This beacon is the Memorial itself which, Tabbert recounts, is modeled on the lighthouse of Ostia of ancient Rome, but serves the Craft today as “the light of George Washington’s character, the light of Freemasonry…the light that calls good men to be better.” Mark’s essay is of special interest to Ohio Masons, as he provides a history of how the Memorial was highly cherished and supported by the brethren of that state.

My friend W. Bro. Marty Bogardus, senior warden of New Jersey Lodge of Masonic Research and Education 1786, treats us to a think piece titled “The Tipping Point of Freemasonry,” which takes an unflinching look at the danger that could befall any of us, should the function of our rituals lose their urgency, in our minds, and become mere form. “To rekindle our love affair with Freemasonry, we must continually witness the conferring of every degree through the eyes of one who has just knocked at the door of Freemasonry.” Amen, brother.

Bro. Mark St. John, senior warden of Urim (what a name!) Lodge 111 in Louisiana, reveals to us “The Ashlars of the Temple,” which is full of lessons describing the realities of life in the fraternity. Just as there are obvious differences between rough stones and hewn, and between ashlars used for constructing exterior walls and interior walls, so too are there differences among Free and Accepted Masons themselves. “It is important that a Brother find his place and be given the ability to excel, all while acting by the character shaped for him by our ritual and lessons.” (I wish someone had been there to advocate for me like this 20 years ago!)

The taboos inherent in updating Masonic classic books are overcome by The Journal’s Book Reviews Editor Michael Moran and Bro. Seth Anthony, both of Pennsylvania. Using a book from 1985 titled The Exemplar: A Guide to a Mason’s Actions written by then Pennsylvania Grand Master William A. Carpenter, the brethren cited the methods they employed to make the text sound right to the modern ear, and listed a number of specific revisions they made in that process. Success was achieved by respecting the original writing, while also bringing additional cooks into this editorial kitchen. Good for them on enhancing an existing educational text for today’s Masons!

In the Travel section, Masonic educator par excellence Michael Poll tells us of his recent trip to a Grand Lodge of Alaska communication. (The Masonic Society’s third president was MW Bro. Bo Cline, past grand master of that jurisdiction.) Michael was invited to speak there, but he listened a lot also, concluding that this grand jurisdiction is doing what the thinking Mason would want. In music, he says, “you can hit all the right notes and keys, but without feeling, it’s empty… [and] I felt something very strong in the Grand Lodge of Alaska.” You can trust Mike on this onehe is a descendent of Beethoven, and he once jammed with Chuck Berry!

TMS Founding Fellow and Masonic éminence grise Tom Jackson of Pennsylvania also was in Alaska with Mike, and the text of his speech to the grand lodge rounds out the features of this issue of The Journal. If you’ve ever heard Tom speak or are familiar with his writings, you know candid commentary and brotherly tough love gird his presentation. In “Masonic Education: Looking to the Future,” tells us again that education is key to making Freemasonry in the United States stable and viable. It is learning that builds the foundation of the useful individual Mason, and it is the learned individual Mason who makes the lodge that will be there for the next generations, and that lodge will benefit the world. “Historians are finally acknowledging the influence that our Craft has had on some of the greatest leaders that the world has ever known at a time when we are failing to educate our own membership of this influence,” Jackson admonishes. “Instead of trying to raise our standards and to improve our image in society, we continue to reduce our standards and to lower the requirements to become a Mason and to remain a Mason.”

“This world truly needs an organization based upon a foundation of the philosophical purposes of Freemasonry,” he adds, concluding on a hopeful note. “If we are deserving of our heritage, then we must undertake a program of educating ourselves and our membership.” (I am envisioning every member of the Masonic Society saying “So mote it be.”)

There are regular features rounding out this issue of The Journal. The full-page calendar of Masonic events takes us through the end of spring, from research lodge meetings across the nation and abroad, to conferences, Masonic Cons, and Esotericons all over—but, of course, I bet everything has been postponed due to the pandemic. In photography, TMS Second Vice President Gregory Knott leads us on a tour of the International Peace Garden, located at the geographic center of North America, and shows us the Masonic sights there. On the back cover, Journal Art Director John Bridegroom treats us to a close-up shot of a Commander Noah collar jewel. (If you don’t know what that is, you should join the Society!) And in the very insightful book reviews, look for critiques of new books by Alain de Keghel, Walter Willets, Louie Blake Sarmiento, and R. William Weisberger. In “News of the Society,” Chris Hodapp and I share what we were able to glean from the recent Masonic Week activities in Virginia. Lots of great photos, and to make a long story short: It looks like members of the Masonic Society are ascending to the leadership posts of these quirky Masonic groups!

It’s the best 45 bucks you’ll spend in Freemasonry. Click here.
     

Sunday, April 5, 2020

‘Gordon Davie, R.I.P.’

     
Magpie file photo

Prestonian Lecturers Gordon Davie, John Wade, and Trevor Stewart, September 2009.

Bro. Moises shared on Facebook the sad news of the death today of Bro. Gordon Davie of the United Grand Lodge of England, and a Past Prestonian Lecturer. I met him only once, but he made an impression.
  
Magpie file photo
Bro. Gordon Davie
Hard to believe it’s been more than ten years since, but in September 2009 there was a very special event that Bro. Rob and I put together in New Jersey. Collaborating with Bro. Trevor Stewart, we arranged a banquet at which Trevor and two other Prestonians took turns at the lectern while we lucky ones supped on a five-course feast. We called it the Prestonian Gala. You can see a little more about that here.

Anyway, between the serious discussions of historical importance both Trevor and Bro. John Wade brought to light, Davie gave us the story of the early days of the Grand Stewards Lodge with some wonderfully hilarious factual details.


Magpie file photo
It was a great night thanks in large part to Bro. Davie. I wrote it up for an early issue of The Journal of the Masonic Society. This photograph of the jewel of the Prestonian Lecturer, that I use repeatedly here on The Magpie (and that many others have borrowed), is of Gordon’s jewel.

Alas, my brother.


Davie was a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati 2076, whose website says:


Gordon Davie was initiated into the Chelsfield Lodge, No. 6405, Province of West Kent in 1964. He became Master of Chelsfield Lodge, No. 6405, in 1964, and has been Master of the following lodges: Lodge of Regularity, No.91 (1988); West Kent Masters Lodge, No. 5778 (1998); Founder & PM of Good Neighbour Lodge, No.83789 (1984); Helios Lodge, No.8311 (1987); West Kent Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge, No.8565 (1976); Fiennes Cornwallis Lodge, No. 9279 (2000); West Kent Lodge of Charity, No.9610 (1999); and Lodge of St Julian, No.5076. Appointed Provincial Grand Steward (Kent ), 1969; Provincial DGDC, 1973 (West Kent), Provincial DC, 1977-8 (West Kent), APGM, 1988-93 (West Kent); AGDC, 1978; PSGD, 1988. Nominated Grand Steward by the Lodge of Regularity, 1988, and Secretary to the Board of Grand Stewards, 1988, he was Cornwallis Lecturer, 2004, and Prestonian Lecturer, 2005.
    

‘Time To Toast meet Tea At Three’

     
Courtesy chairish.com

I heard a brother of grand rank got a little wobbly and needed to be helped into a chair at the proposal of this gesture, but it’s for a worthy cause. Thanks to a good brother Mark Mason in Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, we have Tea at Three now.

Time to Toast (#TimeToToast) arrives when the hands on the clock form the angle of a square at the nine o’clock hour, and Tea At Three (#TeaAtThree) does likewise at, yes, 3 p.m.—scandalously an hour ahead of conventional tea time—but, again, it’s for the noble and glorious purpose of Masonic solidarity at this time of forced absence.*

Now I’m inspired to announce something for the 9 a.m. hour. Hmmmmm. Yes! Nic at Nine (#NicAtNine). We all shall light our pipes, or whatever is handy, at nine o’clock in the morning. Some suggestions:




Photos courtesy Pipes & Cigars


*There is no truth to the slanderous rumor that Freemasons dial 998 for special responses during emergencies! Just wanted to put that out there.
     

Saturday, April 4, 2020

‘Masonic librarians to go electric for annual meeting’

     
The president of the Masonic Library and Museum Association announced today that a web-based virtual meeting will take the place of the physical annual meeting scheduled for September.

Who knows if it’s a premature decision? The announcement is to allow travelers ample opportunity to cancel flights and hotel bookings. The event had been planned for September 11 through 13 at Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It is our plan to hold an electronic meeting to conduct the business of the organization,” said Brian Rountree in his April 4 letter to the membership. “At this time, it is hoped we can arrange to host a meeting on Saturday, September 12 at 3 p.m. Central time.”

Bro. Rountree, MLIS, is grand librarian of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba.
     

Thursday, April 2, 2020

‘2020 Prestonian Lecture book now available’

     
The book of the 2020 Prestonian Lecture was published a few days ago, and now is available for purchase via Amazon.

A System of Morality: Aristotle and English Masonic Ritual by George Boys-Stones can be had in Kindle format and as a paperback. From the publicity:


English Freemasonry defines itself as a “system of morality,” but what does that phrase mean? This new study traces it back to the work of William Preston (1742-1818), who argued that Freemasonry teaches a philosophical approach to virtue. According to Preston, the rituals of Freemasonry are designed to lead the initiate through the ethical thought of Aristotle. His view proved popular, and was decisive in shaping the ritual approved for use by the United Grand Lodge of England shortly after its formation in 1813. Almost all English lodges, and many others throughout the world, still use a ritual derived from this one, and, perhaps without realizing it, continue to pay silent testimony to Preston and to Aristotle in their work.


I had Bro. Boys-Stones booked to present his Prestonian Lecture next month at my lodge in Manhattan and my research lodge in New Jersey, but Coronamania intervened. We’ll get those events rescheduled. In the meantime, I’m getting this book!

Every year, the United Grand Lodge of England selects a worthy brother to serve as the Prestonian Lecturer; in this capacity, he travels the jurisdiction to deliver his lecture in lodges and other venues. Sometimes they travel abroad. This tradition was commenced upon the death of William Preston in 1818 with a bequest to the new grand lodge, and has continued uninterrupted (excepting the years of the Second World War) since.
     

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

‘Weird Fact Wednesday: Solomon and the iron worker’

     
Iron Worker and King Solomon by Christian Schussele, oil on canvas, 1863. On display at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, near the Masonic Temple.

The subject of this edition of Weird Fact Wednesday isn’t genuinely weird, but there is a good story about it.

There is an artwork titled Iron Worker and King Solomon that you probably are familiar with. It originated as a painting by Christian Schussele of Philadelphia, who created it in 1863 for one Joseph Harrison, a renowned builder of railroads. (Schussele died in New Jersey in 1879.)

The 1996 edition of Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia says this painting is owned by Joseph’s great grandson, John P.S. Harrison, who was raised a Master Mason at Holland Lodge 8 in New York City on November 26, 1935. Without checking with the lodge’s secretary, I’ll assume Bro. Harrison is deceased.

But, in 1889, says Coil’s, “John Sartain, America’s most famous etcher, made a 25 by 36 inch etching of the picture for the Harrison family,” and “he did another 18 by 25 inches for William M. Bradley & Co. of Philadelphia, who sold prints for a number of years.” The Philadelphia Print Shop Ltd., which offers one today for $600, puts the date at 1876 and says:


“Harrison’s fortune was made in steel manufacturing, so the [painting’s backstory] had a special significance to him. The symbol of the iron worker was also an important one for the industrial northern states, whose heavy manufacturing capability allowed the North to win the Civil War and preserve the Union. This striking print is one of the best examples of John Sartain’s mezzotinting, and it is a classic American image.”


Later, the plate was sold to Macoy Masonic Supply Co. in Virginia, says Coil’s, “who continue to sell a great many prints.” I think this is how many of us today know the image. It also had been published, with a lighthearted modification, in the quarterly publication of New Jersey Lodge of Masonic Research and Education 1786 for years. The Library of Congress makes a photo of the print available here.

So, what is the story conveyed by the painting?

Joseph Harrison, the steel and railroad magnate, compiled a book in 1868 for private circulation titled The Iron Worker and King Solomon. The copy the author personally inscribed and gave as a gift to the artist Schussele can be viewed in Google Books via the Pennsylvania State University library system, which itself received the book from the Class of 1932.

Harrison writes of a “Rabbinic legend” that tells the story of a blacksmith who crashes the celebration party thrown after the completion of King Solomon’s Temple. I have to admit I do not know the origins of this legend—maybe the Talmud—but this is the story on which the painting is based:


And it came to pass when Solomon, the son of David, had finished the Temple of Jerusalem, that he called unto him the chief architects, the head artificers, and cunning men working in silver and gold, and in wood, and in ivory and stone, — yea, all who aided in working on the Temple of the Lord.

And he said to them, “Sit ye down at my table, for I have prepared a feast for all my chief workers and artificers. Stretch forth your hands, therefore, and eat and drink and be merry. Is not the laborer worthy of his hire? Is not the skillful artificer deserving of honor? Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn.”

And when Solomon and the chief workmen were seated, and the fatness of the land and the oil thereof were upon the table, there came one who knocked loudly upon the door, and forced himself even into the festal chamber. Then Solomon the King was wroth, and said, “What manner of man art thou?”

And the man answered and said, “When men wish to honor me, they call me Son of the Forge, but when they desire to mock me, they call me Blacksmith; and seeing that the toil of working in fire covers me with sweat, the latter name, O King, is not inapt, and in truth I desire no better.”

“But,” said Solomon, “why comest thou thus rudely and unbidden to the feast, where none save the chief workmen of the Temple are invited?”

And the man replied, “Please ye, I came rudely because the servant obliged me to force my way; but I came not unbidden. Was it not proclaimed that the chief workmen of the Temple are invited to dine with the King of Israel?”

Then he who carved the cherubim said, “This fellow is no sculptor.”

And he who inlaid the roof with pure gold said, “Neither is he a worker in fine metals.”

And he who raised the walls said, “He is not a cutter of stone.”

And he who made the roof cried out, “He is not cunning in cedar wood, neither knoweth he the mystery of uniting strange pieces of timber together.”

Then said Solomon, “What hast thou to say, Son of the Forge? Why should I not order thee to be plucked by the beard, scourged with a scourge, and stoned to death with stones?”

When the Son of the Forge heard this, he was in no sort dismayed, but advancing to the table, snatched up and swallowed a cup of wine, and said, “O King, live forever! The chief men of the workers in wood and gold and stone have said that I am not of them, and they have said truly. I am their superior. Before they lived, I was created. I am their master, and they are all my servants.”

And he turned himself round and said to the chief of the carvers in stone, “Who made the tools with which you carve?”

And he answered, “The Blacksmith.”

And he said to the chief of the workers in wood, “Who made the tools with which you hewed the trees of Lebanon, and formed them into pillars and roof for the Temple?”

And he answered, “The Blacksmith.”

Then he said to the artificer in gold and ivory, “Who makes your instruments by which you work beautiful things for my Lord, the King?”

And he answered, “The Blacksmith.”

“Enough, enough, my good fellow”, said Solomon. “Thou hast proved that I invited thee, and that thou art all men’s father in art. Go wash the sweat of the forge from thy face, and come and sit at my right hand. The chiefs of my workmen are but men. Thou art more.”


And so the painting depicts the iron worker seated at the right of the king’s throne, the place of honor.

Anyway, Coil’s reports that Holland Lodge’s Harrison loaned the painting to the Union Club of the City of New York and that it is on display there. Last October, I asked the librarian there about it, but she says the club has no record of it. Turns out that Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts acquired it, I think in 1990, thanks to money donated by an anonymous benefactor. We can see it exhibited there.
     

Monday, March 30, 2020

‘Square snuff stuff’

     
Courtesy apronsandtools blog
Auctioned at Christies just about a decade ago was this snuff box. The description reads: The cover painted with Fortuna holding a cornucopia and leaning against a column inscribed Le grand Art de se taire, Masonic instruments at her feet, within a gilt line and band border, the sides with figures, carriages and buildings in parkland landscapes, the base with three birds perched on a rocky outcrop supporting a triangle below the inscription Trois au veritable, the interior of the hinged cover painted with a Mason in a tricorn hat wearing and holding Masonic symbols, with further instruments strewn at his feet, in a draped portico before distant classical buildings, the interior of the box richly gilt (slight wear to base and to gilt border of cover) 3¼ in. (8.3 cm.) wide overall.


All this talk of Kipling reminded me to share some photos of Masonic-related snuff paraphernalia. Snuff is a powder form of tobacco—not for everyone, but appreciated by those who historically could not smoke at work: coal miners, sweatshop seamstresses, munitions makers, etc. It also was a favorite among the upper classes who didn’t have to work at all, so go figure. It is taken in minute quantities, gently, through the nostril.

I’m happiest with my pipes, but snuff will do “in a pinch.”

On display in the Museum of Freemasonry this month in the “Phases Exhibit” was this snuff handkerchief made in the 1870s. Hard to imagine using this for its intended purpose, namely expelling tobacco-infused mucus at high velocity from the nose, but maybe its preserved condition proves it never was put to use. “Phases” shows various ways Freemasonry uses sights in the heavens for some of its symbols—or it did until two weeks ago when the museum closed due to the virus.

Courtesy Museum of Freemasonry

I don’t know if this brand name has anything to do with the Craft, but Square snuff is available without time travel. One reviewer online says this:


K and B Auction Co.
This is no doubt the smokiest American scotch snuff I have had to date. It comes in a plastic container with a snap down lid that keeps it fresh. It is dry and very fine milled typical of most scotches. I would say that it has a high nicotine hit and a moderate burn, followed by a nice mesquite campfire scent. It reminds me of Bruton snuff but is a darker brown with more smoke flavor. A slow and gentle pinch for a beginning snuffer, this can easily make you cough. Square is an occasional snuff for me and one of my favorite scotches. I highly recommend it if you enjoy a strong nic hit with heavy smokiness.


And finally, there are snuff boxes. Stylish snuff-takers pocket their powder in tiny containers of all kinds, and don’t be surprised if the brethren prefer their snuff boxes ornamented with familiar designs.

Courtesy Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s sold this box in a lot 50 years ago that fetched nearly the £1,800 anticipated. The enameled snuff box dates to c.1765. From the description: rectangular, the lid and sides colorfully painted with Masonic symbols and a temple against a purple sky, within raised gilt flowers and scrolls, gilt-metal mounts, probably Birmingham.
9.2cm., 3⅝in. wide ; 6.5cm. 2½in. wide.

Courtesy Steppes Hill Farm Antiques

From the description at Steppes Hill Farm Antiques: An extremely rare and unusual 18th century silver trick opening Masonic Snuff or Patch Box, of oval form with flush hinge, the lid bright-cut engraved and set with applied Masonic symbols, including the sun, the moon, a beehive, a set square and compass etc. The Set square has to be pushed forward to unlock the interior mechanism which has three pins locating into circular metal wheels to lock the lid. The base with bright-cut engraved border and presentation inscription – “J.S to R.Banks.”

Sold - £4,950.00


Two more beauties, courtesy Lyon & Turnbull.

     

Sunday, March 29, 2020

‘A ritual in all things.’

     
Bro. Rudyard Kipling
There are a number of reasons why Freemasons should appreciate Rudyard Kipling more than we do today. Of course he was one of Masonry’s great literary figures. He was one of literature’s great smokers. His stories often are so gloriously politically incorrect, one might wonder if such a time had been possible once.

Kipling published “In the Interests of the Brethren” in 1918—a time of disasters: the Great War, the worldwide influenza devastation, the bloodshed of Bolshevism. As you can see in the graphic below, it will be the subject of a reading and discussion done over the web to help keep up the fraternity’s spirits during this most unusual period of absenteeism. (Reason No. 4,267,822 why the Grand Lodge of New York is the center of the Masonic universe in the tri-state area.)

Click here for the text of Kipling’s story.

Click to enlarge.
     

Saturday, March 28, 2020

‘MRF in Detroit this August’

     

This time it’s safe for me to say it—got into some trouble the last time—so make plans to travel to Detroit in August to enjoy the 11th annual Masonic Restoration Foundation symposium at The Masonic.

The MRF will release registration information and all that stuff soon. I guess after Corona-mania subsides.
     

Thursday, March 26, 2020

‘On the Square board game coming soon!’

     

I wish I could report the arrival of this game on the market so you could amuse yourselves in small groups during this period of social distancing, but On the Square is still being developed, and a pending Kickstarter campaign will get it into production soon.

On the Square is the first board game slated for production by a company founded by two Freemasons in the United Kingdom. Matthew & Michael Limited is their game design and production studio, founded last year. Perhaps in keeping with the Masonic number three, another Mason, a specialist printer in Lancashire, will bring this game to fruition. In addition, a percentage of the profits will go to the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

The specs of On The Square include:


  • Suitable for 2-4 players, with 5-6 player expansion available
  • Play is between 25 and 45 minutes for 4 players
  • Suitable for ages 14 and up


How do you play? From the publicity:



Prototypes of the game board.
On the Square is an augmented roll and play game with unique mechanism. Play as an officer of the lodge setting up for a ritual, and collect the tools of each degree to become Master.

On the Square is a new game based on the mysteries and secrets of Freemasonry. Lots of playability, multiple characters, and unique game mechanisms add an exciting strategic edge to traditional roll and move game. Superbly designed and illustrated, quality components, robust and well tested.

On the Square is a traditional, easy to understand and exciting game. You play as one of the six senior officers of the lodge to collect the tools of the three degrees while advancing through the game in the proper steps. Look out for gavel knocks and go on the square to reach the goal of Worshipful Master.


The gavel strikes! The Worshipful Master commands that you prepare yourself properly to enter the lodge in the correct degree and advance by the proper steps, taking your rightful position in your officer seat.

As the lodge door opens and you are admitted by the Tyler and Inner Guard, you must progress around the lodge, through each of the three degrees. Collect the tools of your degree to show your progress, and collect the secrets and mysteries of each officer of the lodge.

During your time in the lodge you are required to obey all the summonses from the secretary and heed the advice of the seniors. Visiting brethren will be on hand to help you progress.


At times, you will have the opportunity to go “on the square” and use your tactical skill, whilst moving in the proper form, to advance. From time to time you will have the opportunity to introduce a new candidate to the lodge, it is your duty to guide him thoughtfully throughout, and when you have completed your journey, you must immediately take your officer’s seat and you can become Master of your lodge.



I will report the progress of On the Square here on The Magpie Mason.
     

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

‘York Rite to return to New York’

     
Courtesy Jeff Day/Lodgical
Where else but in New York would the York Rite hold its conferences? Last September, the Northeast Conference was hosted in Albany, and this September (11 & 12) it will take place at Tarrytown. Details are still to come, but save the date.
     

‘Calling all quarantined artists’

     
While you artists are cooped up, aching for creative release, why not consider entering this contest via the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania? Phone 215.988.1912 for entry information. From the publicity:


The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania is sponsoring an art contest for amateur or professional artists, 18 and older, to submit original entries. All artwork must display a visual interpretation of some aspect of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, whether it be philosophical, historical, scientific, social, fraternal, charitable, architectural, etc.

Entry deadline is Thursday, August 6. Jury selection will be announced Friday, August 28. Gala to be held Friday, October 2.

The Grand Exhibition will be available for public viewing October 6-31, Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.