I wonder how many Brothers may realize the impact of that
right for a Master Mason in having the ability to visit a Master Mason’s Lodge
in a foreign jurisdiction, or what that statement truly denotes. “To work in
foreign countries and earn a Master’s wage.”
In the days of the operative Mason, before speculative
Freemasonry was organized in 1717, it is taught to us that an operative mason
was taught the trade of a stone mason by becoming an apprentice to a
journeyman. After his apprenticeship was over and he had mastered his trade, he
was given the password and grip to prove he was a journeyman to other
stonemasons. He was therefore free to travel to foreign countries and earn a
wage. The grip and password weeded out those who had not mastered his craft
from gaining employment under false pretense. Thus, the integrity of the trade
“The Freemasons worked according to a set of rules and
regulations of their own, centuries old, among them being Landmarks, and such
questions of organization or of work arose in any given Lodge were settled
according to those rules; and since the same rules were in force wherever
Freemasons worked, and each Apprentice and Fellow was under an oath never to
violate them, it was this body of rules which gave its unity and consistency to
a Fraternity which had no national organization or national officers. And until
the fourteenth century, they did not even have permanent local organizations,
and which at the same time preserved its rules and trade secrets in the memory
of its members and taught them to Apprentices by word of mouth.”- [The Masonic Trowel]
Because the stonemason was able to travel away from his
homeland in his protected trade, it enabled him to learn differences in how he
labored compared to other workman in other lodges in other countries. Although
basic knowledge was similar, the application of formation of cathedrals had
small differences from one area to another depending on the architect and his training.
The structure was engineered with the basic principals of weight distribution
with right angles, horizontals, and perpendiculars. But, the sculpture and
layout varied according to the vision laid out on the trestle board for each
building by the designer.
A humble master, who always sought to better his skill,
enjoyed traveling. It allowed him to expand his skills by obtaining knowledge
of techniques that were different than the ones he had already mastered. So, by
traveling, versus staying in one area his whole career, he could better
appreciate the potential of the creativity that dwelled inside him. He could
better express his ability and individuality by the reflection of his
collective intake of the many ways of creating a masterpiece he witnessed in so
many other different places.
We, as speculative
masons, are afforded the same ability and privilege. Through our system of
defining regularity and establishing recognition with foreign jurisdictions, we
are taught how to prove ourselves as master‘s of our speculative trade. The
continued use of passwords, grips and add to that signs and dues cards, allows
us the opportunity to visit other Lodges throughout the world and experience
the differences in ritual and the varied personalities of different Lodges.
This experience of visitation benefits us in many great ways
through the use of reflection. The journey of betterment of a man in the
application of the lessons we learn in Freemasonry is only possible when he
reflects on his past experiences in life with trusted others and compares them
with the ideals of what he envisions himself to become. But, if he only exposes
himself to only his Lodge and the members contained therein, the reflection of
his behavior is biased. There will come a point when you will realize that
there is no outside input to test if any changes in your thoughts or actions in
being a mason are within bounds of ALL mankind.
Although we are not
stonemasons, roughing designs out of stone with the physical tools of this
tradesman, we continue to shape our spiritual self with the symbolism of the
tools this workman used. Each Lodge uses the application of symbolism in ever
slightly different ways. It may be the way that a lecturer might deliver a
charge, or the passion a Worshipful Master who gives an obligation that might
charge you to make a change in yourself that had not occurred to you before.
You may share some insight of what a certain meaning in Freemasonry may mean to
you. A more experienced Mason may happen to point out something that hadn’t
occurred to you. Or, you may teach an older Mason something he had not thought
of before by the benefit of fresh perspective.
All of these examples of the ability to share thoughts and
experiences for the purpose of becoming a better man are made possible by Lodge
visitation. We must not allow ourselves to become comfortable in staying within
the confines of just our Lodge. It truly limits our exposure to great learning
and expanded fraternal friendships. To travel in foreign countries IS to visit
other Lodges than your own. To earn a master’s wage is to gain knowledge and
experience due to visiting these other Lodges and reflecting on the shared
information in your visit. This enables you to gain a more rounded insight into
your own thoughts and actions. Which, the result of an improved self is
benefited not by just yourself, but your relationship with your family, friends
and even your co-workers.
Remember, the vary
nature of a Lodge is for like minded men to come together for the purpose of
the promotion of shared thoughts and ideas in a trusted confined space. To know
that you can share your opinions with strangers, of whom actually aren’t
because we are all bound by the same obligation of assistance to a worthy
Brother Mason, is one of THE most valuable privileges a Master Mason can take
So, the next time you are out of town on a business trip and
find yourself flipping the remote in your hotel room, find the local Lodge and
give them a call to visit. You might find, as I often do, that the fraternal
bond of being a Freemason allows an instant connection with Brothers you have
never met before. It seems that every time I visit another Lodge, I meet
Brothers for the first time that feels like I’ve known them forever. And before
long, you like I, will find a Brother, a friend and a home away from home in
every place you visit. For no good man is ever traveling alone.
The brethren of Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM would like to thank the following local companies and nonprofit organizations for thier hard work, donations, and contributions they made during a recent project to add a new sign and flagpole to the exterior of our lodge for better visibility on Veterans Blvd in Tupelo, Ms.
The detailing and covering of the sign was completed by Fastwrapz, Josh Smith - General Manager and team.
A new flagpole, U.S. flag and Mississippi flag were placed behind our sign in order to further enhance the exterior of our lodge. This new addition was donated on behalf of Woodmen of the World Tupelo Lodge 130, a Fraternal Nonprofit Benefits Society. The presentation was made by Arnie Cade, Field Representative with WOW and Vice President of WOW Lodge 130. Arnie is also a Master Mason and member of Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM in Tupelo.
Special recognition also needs to be given to Bro Derik Rushing, Bro Ray Stanford, Bro Wheeler Pulliam, and Bro John Davidson, for the donation of thier physical labor and valuable time to ensure that this extensive project came together.
We hope that you will find time to ride by and see our new addition for yourself and if you are a Mason in good standing, we would love to have you visit our lodge.
In order to keep all its subscribed members up to date, the Grand Lodge Internet Committee sends weekly emails with the most recent event updates and additions. Here is a list of Masonic Events for this week:
Monday, 01-28-2013 - (06:00 PM - 10:00 PM) - Master Mason Degree - [GM], West Point No. 40 - West Point, MS
Monday, 01-28-2013 - (07:00 PM - 09:00 PM) - Entered Apprentice Degree, St. Albans No. 60 - Columbia, MS
Tuesday, 01-29-2013 - (06:00 PM - 08:00 PM) - 50 Year Pin Presentation - [GM], John P. Byrd No. 629 - Pearl, MS
Tuesday, 01-29-2013 - (06:00 PM - 08:00 PM) - District 29 Mini School, Orange Grove No. 635 - Gulfport, MS
Tuesday, 01-29-2013 - (06:00 PM - 10:00 PM) - Master Mason Degree, Circle No. 638 - Madison, MS
We would like to welcome Brother John Ryan Porter to the fraternity! John Ryan is now following in the footsteps of his Grandfather, who was also a Master Mason in Mississippi.
John Ryan is a native of Woodland, Ms and lives in Anchor, Ms. which is located near Houston. He is the son of Charles and Paula Porter, also of Anchor and attends ICC, majoring in Nursing. John Ryan is active in his local church, enjoys hunting and playing baseball.
The Entered Apprentice Degree was conferred by HOUSTON MASONIC LODGE NO. 67 F&AM, CHICKASAW COUNTY - MASONIC DISTRICT 8, Houston, MS, which reports to the Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM, in mid December 2012.
We look forward to this new brothers progression through the degrees and will be notifying our brethren of the dates for his Fellow Craft and Masters Degrees.
Congratulations brother on taking the first step in Masonry and welcome!
We wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope that you will positively promote the true principals of Freemasonry throughout your life as many others have done before you.