The marriage of colleges and universities to Freemasonry is a subject dear to me, not for the penchant for making more Masons, but for the proximity to education and culture. It’s a natural partnership that we do not see nearly enough. My own dream is to found Perstare et Praestare Lodge (to perservere and to excel) No. 1831 to meet in one of those beautiful townhouses along Washington Square North, but I digress.
Meanwhile in Massachusetts, Boston University Lodge has two events upcoming that you should know about, one this month, and the latter next spring. From the publicity:
As part of the Alumni Weekend events, we have asked Aimee Newell, Director of Collections at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, to give a presentation. The event is open to the public. A social period will follow the presentation.
Called “the badge of a Freemason” in Masonic ritual, the fraternity’s apron was adapted from the protective aprons worn by working stonemasons during the 1600s and 1700s. Still worn by members today, the apron remains one of the iconic symbols of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library has more than 400 aprons in its collection, dating from the mid-1700s to the present; and made in the United States, England, China, and other countries. Aimee Newell will share examples of aprons from the Museum’s collection, telling stories about their manufacture and use and highlighting new discoveries uncovered in her research for The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library (published in 2015). A book-signing will follow the talk. Books will be available for $42.45 (tax included).
Aimee E. Newell previously worked as the Curator of Collections at the Nantucket Historical Association and as the Curator of Textiles and Fine Arts at Old Sturbridge Village. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Amherst College, a M.A. in History from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the lead author of Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection (2013), and the author of The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library (2015). Newell writes and lectures frequently on American Masonic and fraternal history.
It’s a no-brainer. If you are in or near Boston, get there.
Next year, the lodge will endeavor something novel and massive: the academic conference. Details will be forthcoming, but save the dates March 31 through April 3, 2016 at the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the North American Masonic Academic Convocation. (Yeah, let that phrase sink in for a minute: North American Masonic Academic Convocation.)
Thursday, March 31—Kick-off lecture on Boston University campus.
Friday, April 1—Social outing.
Saturday, April 2—Convocation, break-out sessions, and dinner.
Sunday, April 3—To be determined.
Details are promised to come soon.
The lodge’s 90th anniversary will arrive October 8. Many happy returns, brethren! Many happy returns!