Friday, July 10, 2009

Cushite at labor

Senior Warden Rob Morton, Sovereign Master David Lindez, and Bro. Steve rally around the altar at the Hunter Estate, the private home where Cushite Council No. 474 held its first meeting July 3.

An interesting development in New Jersey Freemasonry is the current proliferation of AMD councils. If you are not familiar with the Allied Masonic Degrees, it is an honorary, invitational fraternity within the York Rite. Membership is predicated on Royal Arch membership, and the AMD is supposed to be devoted to research and education, and the preservation of a corpus of very interesting degrees that long ago were worked in lodges, but later were discarded, and finally were collected under the authority of the AMD.

Anyway, two AMD councils are being set to labor in New Jersey, with talk of a third on the way. DaVinci Council is forming in central Jersey, and Cushite Council No. 474 held its ceremony of constitution and first meeting last Friday. The third council is in an embryonic phase in north Jersey, but I’m sure it’ll come together and begin functioning soon.

You might recognize the name Cushite. In the Bible, Cush was the son of Ham. He and his people inhabited the land called Cush, which we know today by its Greek name Ethiopia. In Freemasonry, Cushite Lodge was to be a lodge set to labor in Newark, New Jersey in 1870. The Grand Lodge denied the petition for a warrant. The brethren aiming to form Cushite Lodge instead organized Alpha Lodge No. 116, whose Worshipful Master today is W. Bro. David Lindez, the Sovereign Master of the new Cushite Council.

(I won’t attempt to summarize the history of this process, which is very complicated, involves race relations, and has been told by more competent writers. A quick Google search will yield GLNJ proceedings and other trustworthy sources of this exciting time in 19th century Masonic history.)

I think just about all of Cushite Council’s brethren come from Alpha Lodge and Alpha Chapter. But there was one special guest at this first meeting last Friday: Bro. Balvin came all the way from North Carolina, making John Candy’s travels look like a hansom cab ride in comparison.

Cushite AMD Council plans to meet in a local restaurant, returning Masonry in one respect to its tavern roots. “Eat, drink, and be Masons,” I always say.

The first paper presented in this new council was presented by Bro. Steve, who spoke on the symbolic and numerological significances of the number 27. Citing Biblical, Pythagorean and other esoteric sources, Steve linked the permutations of the three-fold number to various elements in Masonic ritual and symbol. Well done!

Next up was the Sovereign Master’s paper on the August Order of Light. Also very enlightening.

All in all, it was a great start for a council that will be productive for many years.

I feel a verse is imminent!

Deity was invoked,
and incense was lit.
Masonry was worked,
and whiskey was sipped.
Cigars were smoked,
and Balvin finally made it.

Bro. Balvin joins V. Lindez in the East of Cushite Council.

1 comment:

Will Highsmith said...

Congrats on your new Council! I was admitted into Cassillis Council No. 2A this week. They don't practice any of the Rituals, but I was able to purchase Ritual Book No. 1.