Monday, January 28, 2013

‘St. Patrick’s No. 4’

There are plenty of blogs out there devoted to Freemasonry, but it can be more fun reading blogs from outside the fraternity that occasionally focus on Masonry from their perspectives. It’s usually history.

The New York History blog, a collaborative effort of twenty writers catering to history professionals and other history lovers, published some research this afternoon on St. Patrick’s Lodge No. 4 in Johnstown, New York written by Ms. Wanda Burch, Vice President of Friends of Johnson Hall and former site manager of Johnson Hall State Historic Site.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

‘A mystic tie?’

The Masonic Society’s club tie is available for sale!

Note the quills and the TMS emblem. The color looks great too. (No, its not the same as I.R.A.s tie.)

Also available as bow tie. Click here for the TMS store to place your order.

‘Livingston Library lecture’

The Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library will host its next lecture February 25, when Bro. Patrick Craddock will present “Admit Him If Properly Clothed: The Evolution of the Masonic Apron in America, 1740 to the Present.”

Patrick, of course, is The Craftsman’s Apron.

This lecture is open to Master Masons, Fellows, and Apprentices from lodges under or in amity with the Grand Lodge of New York.

The library is located on the fourteenth floor of Masonic Hall, at 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.


‘As Above, So Below’

On Saturday at 6 p.m., New York Open Center will host the opening reception of an art exhibit titled “As Above, So Below,” featuring works by four artists conveying their conceptual interpretations of geometry. This is related to a lecture series NYOC will present next month titled “Sacred, Symbolic, and Creative Geometry.”

From the publicity:


Sharon Ligorner, Karl Lorenzen, Luisa Sartori and Kenneth W. Walker

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Exhibition Run: January 26 to February 23

Free and open to the public.

Join us on Saturday, January 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. for the group art opening reception of As Above, So Below. Each artist explores, through their artwork, the mathematical and geometric constants that are woven into the very fabric of all life with the recognition that this order provides an interface between the visible and the invisible world.

Strongly influenced by nature’s patterns and geometry, Sharon Ligorner allows the process of change; building up, burying, and scraping away, to inform her paintings.

Sharon Ligorner, Watersign #24, oil and silkscreen on glass, 1995, 8x14.

Karl Lorenzen’s body of work utilizes the Flower of Life motif to illustrate the vocabulary and alphabet of Sacred Geometry.

Luisa Sartori, Untitled 1, graphite and oil on prepared paper, 2010, 14x17.

Luisa Sartori’s collection of drawings and paintings reflect the artist’s fascination with the construction process of decorative patterns that ultimately opens the way for more complex patterns and forms to emerge.

Kenneth W. Walker’s paintings revolve around the nature of monumentality. Employing the triangular form, he creates visually oscillating structures that refer to domestic interiors, architecture and spirituality.

As Above, So Below is curated by Lola C. Shepard.

Click here for information and registration for the lecture series.

New York Open Center is located at 22 East 30th Street in Manhattan.

‘Your brother will rise again’

A lot of positive things are happening in New Jersey, among them the creation of a “new” lodge in the Camden area.

This edition of The Magpie Mason borrows its title from the Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 11, when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. There are different interpretations of these verses, one of which posits how Jesus in fact did not restore physical life to a four-day-old corpse, but instead brought to light a man living in darkness. Another suggests Jesus returned to community/brotherhood a man living in exile.

There has been a lodge in Camden, New Jersey named Lazarus Lodge 001 at labor under something called United National Masons. Full name: The United National Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Free Masons of the World, 33rd and Last Degree and Order of Eastern Stars, Inc., headquartered in North Carolina.

Currently located near our Valley of Southern New Jersey in West Collingswood, Lazarus Lodge, through certain personal contacts, expressed an interest in affiliating with the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Last December 17 came the dispensation needed to create Lazarus Lodge under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, with our Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens serving as the Master and Wardens of this lodge, which will meet in Haddonfield, where our Rising Sun Lodge meets. On Saturday, February 2, Grand Lodge will convene a one-day class to initiate, pass, and raise the men from Lazarus, “healing” them (although that is not a term we use), and preparing them to begin new Masonic lives as New Jersey Masons. This will take place at USS New Jersey Lodge No. 62 in Cherry Hill.

Throughout 2013, the brethren of Rising Sun Lodge will teach the Lazarus Masons the rituals, jurisprudence, etiquette, etc. of their adopted grand jurisdiction. At a certain point, Lazarus will take up permanent residence inside the Camden Performing Arts Center, and New Jersey Freemasonry will have a lodge inside Camden for the first time, probably, in decades. Its warrant will be issued when Grand Lodge meets in April.

Cheerful best wishes and congratulations to all involved.

Monday, January 14, 2013

‘Sunday Morning on CBS’

Courtesy Mo Rocca/Twitter
Word comes from Bro. Piers of the taping today of a segment on the George Washington Inaugural Bible that will be broadcast Sunday, January 20 on CBS between 9 and 10 a.m.

The program, aptly titled Sunday Morning, sent correspondent Mo Rocca and a crew to Masonic Hall, where the priceless historical artifact was displayed on the altar of the Grand Lodge Room.

The bible is owned by St. John’s Lodge No. 1, several of whose brethren were on hand to explain this singular VSL’s amazing history, like Worshipful Master Piers and Bro. Conor Moran.

Click here for a little more info on this bible.

Magpie edit: Click here to see the broadcast.

Friday, January 11, 2013

‘Pennsylvania Academy’


I would love to attend – it’s been three or four years since I last visited the Academy – but New Jersey Council of Deliberation will meet that very day, and I am obligated to be there. You should go though. Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge will be brought to order Saturday, March 16 at Elizabethtown.

Click on the agenda to enlarge it. Looks like a great line-up. Enjoy!


‘The Quarry Project’

For months throughout the Masonic world there was whispering of the initials T.Q.P. among the knowing and the curious alike.

“What is it?”

“I don’t know, but I want in!”

Then the Dummies blog broke the news last week and directed much traffic to the website of The Quarry Project, and as of today, registration for attending this groundbreaking conference and for the recommended hotel accommodations are accessible on our webpage. Click here to check out this singular occurrence scheduled for September 27 to 29.

The Quarry Project is a joint effort by The Masonic Society, the Masonic Library and Museum Association, and, our host, the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, and will be three days of valuable instruction in all facets of research, education, writing, publishing, curating, organizing, archiving, displaying, and other ing’s that most of the Masonic world takes for granted, but that cultured Masons – like readers of The Magpie Mason – recognize as essential to preserving and sharing our heritage.

There’s no sense in copying information from the webpage, so to see the agenda, click here. For registration, click here.

This conference is not just for us eggheads, but is intended to educate everyone who wants to be productively engaged in the transmission of Freemasonry’s archives and material culture to future generations. Yes it’s true that Masons make Masons, but in addition to what can be imparted only by the grip and by mouth-to-ear instruction is a vast wealth of accumulated knowledge and wisdom, and amassed artifacts, records, and ephemera – and somebody has to keep it together!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

‘ALR: January 30’


The American Lodge of Research will meet Wednesday, January 30, a Special Meeting for our October meeting that was canceled by Hurricane Sandy – so expect a blizzard on the 30th. That is at Masonic Hall: 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

‘Artist Ari exhibit’

Bro. Ari Roussimoff will have his recent paintings exhibited in Masonic Hall, the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of New York in Manhattan, in March.

The exhibit, “A Traveling Artist: Russian Soul, American Magic and the Light of Freemasonry,” will be held March 12-19 inside the French Doric Room on the tenth floor, and will be open to the public from 2 to 8 p.m. The opening of the exhibit will be Tuesday the 12th at 6 p.m. Other of Roussimoffs works can be seen inside the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library, on the 14th floor of Masonic Hall. Click here to see those paintings when the artist brought them to the Big Night at the Little Inn a little more than four years ago.

Masonic Hall is located at 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Hiram's Apron by Ari Roussimoff.

See symbols but do not expect allegory in Ari’s images. He is a builder of bold colors and vivid likenesses that cannot be misunderstood. His paintings do tell stories, but I think it’s safe to say the stories are not open to interpretation, and are narratives Ari shares with his audience.

Definitely make a point of seeing them for yourself.

‘MRF this August’

W. Bro. Paul C. Smith in New Hampshire shares the following news about the Masonic Restoration Foundation’s 2013 conference. Check out this line-up of speakers!

MAGPIE EDIT: Click here for more information and to register.

My Brothers, I had made it a point to release some of the details of our upcoming MRF Fourth Annual Symposium, which will be held August 16-18 in Manchester, New Hampshire. While we are working on a website and graphic layouts and the like, I wanted to keep my word and share with you our session breakouts and presenters, as well as our keynote speaker. So without further ado, please allow me to share!

“The Middle Chamber: The State of Observant Masonry Today”
W. Bro. Andrew Hammer 

“The Magic of Masonry: Pathways to Apotheosis”
W. Bro. Kirk White 

“Visionary Leadership: How to Achieve your T.O. Goals”
W. Bro. Robert Herd 

“Admit Him If Properly Clothed: The Evolution of the Masonic Apron in America”
W. Bro. Patrick Craddock 

“Recapturing the Educational Legacy of Traditional Observance”
VW. Bro. Piers A. Vaughan 

“A Survey of the Creation, Rise, Progress and Future of the Masonic Restoration Foundation”
W. Bro. Mark Tabbert 

“The Potential for Advancement of Masonic Knowledge in the Age of New Media”

“Remove Not the Ancient Landmarks: A Classical and Traditional Vision for Lodge Observance”
W. Bro. Shawn Eyer 

And our Keynote Speaker: RW Bro. Thomas Jackson, Past Grand Secretary of Pennsylvania, etc.

This is not all that’s in store for you in Manchester, but I hope it has sparked your interest!


Friday, January 4, 2013


W. Mohamad Yatim is on the road again. He has five dates so far on his winter speaking tour of the central New Jersey area.

Monday, January 14 at Theodore Roosevelt Lodge No. 219 (82 Elm St. in Carteret), speaking on “The Chamber of Reflection.” (Open to Apprentices and Fellows.)

Monday, January 21 at USS New Jersey Lodge No. 62 (1201 Berlin Rd. in Cherry Hill), speaking on “The Myths Behind Who Killed Hiram Abiff.” (Master Masons only.)

Friday, February 1 at Hightstown-Apollo Lodge No. 41 (535 North Main St. in Hightstown), speaking on “Masonic Membership Promotion and Retention.” (Open to Apprentices and Fellows.)

Monday, February 25 at Cincinnati Lodge No. 3 (39 Maple Ave. in Morristown), speaking on “Freemasonry and the Mystic Schools of the East.” (Master Masons only.)

Tuesday, March 5 at Loyalty Lodge No. 33 (1912 Morris Ave. in Union), speaking on “The Myths Behind Who Killed Hiram Abiff.” (Master Masons only.)

‘Q.U.E.S.T. 33’

Those guys in Queens are at it again. They keep saying Freemasonry is an educational institution! Oh wait, that’s New York. They do that there.

QUEST XXXIII will take place March 9. That is the 33rd annual event hosted by Queens United Education Seminar Today. I think this is the year I’ll make an effort to attend. Been saying that for several years, but I really would like to be there this time. Read those fliers below. The mentions of “The Power and Passion of Freemasonry” undoubtedly are references to the book of that name by the late Bro. George Peter, a really valuable read. (Look for my book review in The Journal of the Masonic Society shortly.)


Thursday, January 3, 2013

‘Tom Jackson to speak in Union’

Magpie file photo
Bro. Tom Jackson—the irrepressible, outspoken, dauntless idol of American youth—will be the very special guest speaker next Tuesday at the Stated Meeting of Northern New Jersey Council Princes of Jerusalem.

You know the brother. I don’t even want to attempt to identify him by listing his countless credentials, except I’ll offer the most obvious: Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Executive Secretary of the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges, and Founding Fellow of The Masonic Society.

The Council meeting will open at 7:30. Open to 16° Masons only please.

The Council meets at Loyalty Lodge No. 33 at 1912 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey. Visitors should their AASR identification. Regalia isn’t necessary, but feel free!

‘Book of Ezekiel’

This just in:

Bro. Ezekiel Bey will be the guest speaker at Mariners Lodge No. 67 next Wednesday when the lodge holds its January Stated Communication and Festive Board at Masonic Hall in New York City.

Bro. Bey will speak on the subject shared in his new book The Hour Glass: African-American Freemasonry in the State of New York, 1812-2012. Last year indeed was the bicentenary of Prince Hall Masonry in New York, but notice that title doesn’t say Prince Hall, so I suppose author Bey records Masonic doings within and without the apartments of the PHA temple.

Reservations are a must. Click here to book your seat, and I hope to see you there. (Regular Masons under or recognized by the Grand Lodge of New York only please.)

‘Coming to DeWint House’

This reproduction of The Unfortunate
Death of Major Andre
in the museum of DeWint House.
The George Washington Masonic Historic Site at Tappan Committee has announced its plans to celebrate the birthday of Bro. George Washington next month. This of course concerns DeWint House, the historic property in Tappan, New York owned and operated as a historic site and museum by the Grand Lodge of New York.

On Sunday, February 17, the committee will host a luncheon just around the corner at The ’76 House. The food there is excellent, and the cost per person is only $25. That will begin at 11:30 a.m. Only fifty (50) seats have been set aside, so make your reservations now. Leave me a note (not for publication) in the comments section, and I’ll reply with the contact info. Then, at 2 p.m., a performance will be staged in the Carriage House at the DeWint House grounds.

From the publicity:

Rendezvous with Treason: The Andre-Arnold Conspiracy

Mr. Gary Petagine as Major General Benedict Arnold, and Mr. Sean Grady as Major John André present an interpretative performance of the infamous conspiracy between these two men. A major part of this story took place in Rockland County, ending in Tappan with the trial and finally the execution of André. Worshipful Brother and General George Washington used the DeWint House as his headquarters during the court martial proceedings, including the signing of the major’s death warrant. Mr. Petagine and Mr. Grady are Master Teachers for the Living History Education Foundation.

Totally unrelated, but in other Washington New York news, click here for an interesting announcement concerning many artifacts from the Revolution.