Thursday, April 29, 2021

‘The ALR and YOU, Part II’


I’ll close out a pretty inactive month of April with the encouraging news coming from The American Lodge of Research.

Twenty-four hours ago, a Zoom meeting was co-hosted by Grand Master Bill Sardone, Junior Grand Warden Oscar Alleyne, and ALR WM Henry Abel to announce plans and to listen to ideas concerning returning the lodge to its urgent and prestigious labors.

1. There will be elections and installations of officers on June 29 at Masonic Hall. If I understand correctly, there will be an infusion of new leadership. I do not know any names of who may become involved in moving the lodge forward. Henry did state he doesn’t want to be Master for the rest of his life, and he will step aside.

2. Improving communications with the lodge’s brethren and with the fraternity at large is a vital goal. For years there has been no website, no social media presence, and, to my knowledge, contact only with a limited number of ALR members. Fair enough, perhaps, since there haven’t been any meetings either.

3. It wasn’t defined in detail, but there is to be a kind of working relationship with the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library. As you know, the library has maintained a longstanding monthly schedule of popular lectures. There is a lot of logic in the two institutions collaborating on projects of mutual interest. If I’m not mistaken, the library and the lodge were created by many of the same Masons way back when, so we’re close family.

Surely other things to do will arise as progress develops. For my part, I volunteered to assist with reigniting The ALR’s social media activity. (I do that for other lodges and Masonic groups, including New Jersey Lodge of Masonic Research and Education’s Faceypage.) I also made myself available to the fledgling officer line. I had served in the Deacons’ chairs for a total of three years long ago, and with 19 years of experience in New Jersey’s research lodge, and as president of the Masonic Society, maybe I can help there. I definitely would want to discuss making a few logistical changes to The ALR.

We’ll know more in two months.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

‘Raise your glass to Horus Lodge’

With all the gods of ancient Egypt that were connected to the brewing and drinking of beer, it’s unexpected how the Masonic Craft Beer Society would inherit Horus Lodge, but that’s how it shook out.

Named, warranted, and consecrated in 1906, the lodge met in various London neighborhoods before settling into Great Queen Street in 1942, according to Lane’s Masonic Records. Numbered 3155, the lodge is among the founders of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and also is a Hall Stone Lodge.

The MCBS announced yesterday that Horus 3155 is now the official lodge of the society. Two meetings a year, on third Saturdays in May (Installation) and October (Regular Meeting), at Freemason’s Hall.

Membership is open to brethren from outside the United Grand Lodge of England (providing, of course, your grand lodge is in amity). Dues and fees, including dining fees, are stated here.

Every meeting shall feature the wares of a different craft brewery. Maybe they’ll be able to arrange something with these guys in California.

Courtesy MCBS

Best wishes to you, brethren! Vivat!

Friday, April 16, 2021

‘Our last lunar lodge’

Courtesy Steven A. Rubin

Under the Grand Lodge of New York, there have been several lodges named for Revolutionary martyr Joseph Warren; up the Hudson in Rhinebeck, there is at labor Warren Lodge 32–our last “moon lodge.”

Of course human progress has obviated all need for lodges to await the light of the Full Moon to convene, which makes Warren 32 a portal to our past, replete with lantern lighting for the lodge Opening.

As Rhinebeck is a hundred miles from Masonic Hall, I haven’t visited yet. Still, I bet a moon lodge today is not mere quaintness, nor stubbornness, and certainly not an affectation. I have been reading a lot of New York Masonic history lately, to the exclusion of everything else, and it’s surprising how many appealing traditions have been lost to changing times or changing rules. Meeting on or about the night of the Full Moon is a tradition that defies orderly convenience in favor of a thoughtful nod to the spheres in the heavens. (Does your smartphone’s calendar app report the lunar cycles?) To be accurate, Warren meets on the Thursday preceding the Full Moon.

Courtesy Steven A. Rubin

In his very enjoyable newsletter The Craftsman, Grand Treasurer Steven Rubin has been championing Warren Lodge, and he reports today that those of us who do not have the good luck to be at labor there still can support our last moon lodge another way. Warren offers a “Midnight Rider Subscription.” At $32 annually, a Mason receives the lodge newsletter, a handsome certificate, and, of course, a lapel pin that will identify you as a Mason who knows his waxing gibbous from his waning crescent.

Visit Warren’s Faceypage to read more and for contact info.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

‘Philly temple on TV’

Courtesy Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania

I’ll be sure to update this when the broadcast date is known but, in the meantime, it has been announced that WHYY has been recording in the Masonic Temple on North Broad Street for an upcoming episode of Movers & Makers.

The program consists of feature stories about local cultural places and events, and the people behind them.

Courtesy Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania


Saturday, April 10, 2021

‘Live respected and die regretted’

Associated Press
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, died yesterday at Windsor Castle, just two months shy of his hundredth birthday.

Rather than try to compete with, or expand on, the many eulogies and other good thoughts prompted by the death yesterday of Bro. Philip Mountbatten, I think it best to forward to you Bro. David Staples’ summation, as expressed to the BBC earlier today.

Staples is the Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England.

Courtesy Met GL
Click to enlarge.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

‘Bringing the Dead Sea Scrolls to life’


I had a feeling the recent discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls fragments would inspire more Lawrence Schiffman lectures, and so it has.

Register here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

‘Blue Lodge, the Masonic video game’

Courtesy Three Lights Studio

I know nothing of video games, gaming, that whole culture, but let me tell you about Blue Lodge, the new game for Freemasons. It was rolled out recently, and what I find interesting is how it is tiled—as in off limits to the public.

What a concept.

As the player, you become Adam, a young Entered Apprentice, who journeys forth to become a Master Mason, but to play, your grand lodge first must contact Three Lights Studio to enroll and join this gaming community.

I wonder if the creators thought that through. I mean, I see resistance by grand lodges to support the GWMNM’s digitization project, and that service is somewhat self-serving for the grand lodges. But I digress.

Click here to read more about it. And here’s a well made, if not exactly informative, video: