Rudyard Kipling 1865—1936
It was a joy to learn of the good remarks made by everyone regarding our first issue of the magazine and we have consciously made the promise that the publications will be three a year. We will endeavour to collect material and publish in the future in Spring, Autumn and Winter. The material for this type of publication ought to come from yourselves and not as in the past a record of the Grand Lodge Meetings. The success is yours. Please let us have your news and your views; how your lodge is responding to our new approach.
Since the last publication we have seen the Lodges taking a summer session but before that happened our exciting news of a new venue was established. The Grand Master, Grand Secretary and Grand Director of Ceremonies went to meet the Grand Secretary of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons and were shown over the premises. We will have our first meeting there on the 18th September 2016 which the BGPs agreed will be a Special Grand Lodge Meeting for all members to come along and be part of at our first meeting in the new Temple.
The Meeting brought together all the degrees especially the younger members of the lodges and W.Bro. Marie our youngest W.M. chaired the drama which the younger members from Lodges took part and acted in the Chairs of the W.M. Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Senior Deacon and Junior Deacon and Inner Guard. The Master Masons and Fellow craft masons performed a ‘dialogue of the work of the Offices of a Lodge’. The platform for this meeting was to gather younger brethren together to meet and to work as a wider group than just the Lodge to which they belong.
It was good to see the drama unfold and to see the representatives of the Lodges working in unison as though they had always been as one group. The Temple we are working in has an inspirational aspect and for the first meeting the atmosphere enhanced the Meeting. Following this inspired meeting tea was served in the Refectory and we were joined by ten interested candidates for the London Lodge. The Brethren were intent to meet the new
candidates and the whole atmosphere was positive for the well being of the future.
You will find at the front of this edition a letter from the Queen’s Chief Clerk in response to our letter of birthday greeting to her Majesty. An important historical letter to cherish.
Lodges will be submitting separate items of interest and from the review of these reports a surge of candidates will be upon us during the next year and we will need to raise our target for extra meetings in 2017 in order to achieve the call for joining.
The dates of meetings for the Grand Lodge Quarterly meetings, BGPs., BChB., and Lodge meetings are included in this edition.
Now that summer is almost over we start back at meetings with energy and enterprise to restart the Masonic year of our masonry with faith, fidelity and goodwill.
Jeanne Heaslewood, Grand Secretary.
Note: Due to the breakdown of our Printing outlet, the Magazine No. 2 was not available and this is now settled and we are publishing Magazine No. 2 and circulating within the next two weeks. The Winter No.3 Magazine will be published during the month of December bringing the promised editions and circulated up to date.
LETTER FROM BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Deputy Grand Master R.W. Bro. Roger Davis
The son of a ship’s engineer and a maternity nurse Roger was born and raised in South Gloucestershire. He is, at 63, one of the younger senior Grand Officers of the Order.
Having served 26 years in The Church Lads’ Brigade (later Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade) as both a member and a leader Roger joined Freemasonry in 1998, becoming Worshipful Master of his Mother Lodge, Radiant Star No. 3, in 2006. Following the founding the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry For Men and Women in 2001 he served two threeyear terms as Grand Steward followed by a term as Grand Sword Bearer and one as Grand Superintendent of Works. He was invested as Deputy Grand Master in February 2016.
Roger has worked in the computer industry since 1973 starting as a mainframe operator for a large supermarket chain and graduating after two years to the programming department. He still works in I.T. in a consultancy role.
In the mid 1970s Roger spent two years working in the Channel Islands where he was a keen member of the Jersey Aero Club. He still occasionally flies when the opportunity arises and has recently been seen taking part in aerobatics over the Gloucestershire countryside.
Roger’s interests are still quite varied. As an amateur zoologist he spent four years working in his spare time as a volunteer for Bristol Zoo education department teaching young people about animals and conservation. As a part of this work he took part in a conservation program in Ecuador spending nearly a month in the Amazon rain forest.
Another of Roger’s passions is rifle shooting. Having been a member of Dursley Rifle and Pistol Club for over thirty years he readily acknowledges that he was a better shot in the past.
Roger is also the webmaster of the website of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women which also carries the official magazine of the Order.
In January 2017 Roger will be representing the Grand Lodge at the Grande Loge Européenne de la Fraternité Universelle meeting in Paris where he will deliver a talk on the founding of the first Grand Lodge in England marking its three hundredth anniversary year.
Augmented by the love, patience and understanding of his partner Heather it is Freemasonry that takes priority over Roger’s other interests and as a firm believer in the importance of the excellence of ritual performance he is often heard to remark, ‘It’s like everything else in life, you get out what you put in.’
Roger sincerely hopes that all members will get a lot out of Freemasonry.
Lodge Golden Spiral No. 2 A Personal View
I entered Freemasonry as an Entered Apprentice some twenty years ago and was unsure what it entailed. I then joined the new Order with everyone in 2001 feeling this to be an Order with Integrity and true to Masonic principles.
I must admit the so-called hidden aspects of Freemasonry was a draw to me as I believe it is to many other prospective Masons.
I now realise that the so-called Hidden Truths of Freemasonry cannot be told. They are hidden because they are different for each person. What is a “Eureka” moment for me will mean nothing to a fellow brother and vice-versa.
As I have progressed, I now see masonry as a system that incorporates many diverse belief systems. You can study masonry as a philosophy of life, as part of your own religious beliefs, as a study in ritual and symbolism in all its myriads of meaning or as pure brotherhood and philanthropy.
I ask myself what makes brethren in a Lodge travel long distances eight times a year or more to a meeting? It is not just to open Lodge ritually, perform a ceremony, close Lodge and go home. It is far more than this.
You can sum it up as Brotherhood in its purest sense. A diverse group of people from different walks in life and beliefs, but drawn together in that bond which is much more than friendship. An indefinable ‘something’ that makes your Lodge a ‘Temple to Humanity’ whenever you meet.
Fifteen years on and I am still learning and developing in character and hopefully becoming a better Mason.
A maxim oft quoted: ‘In necessary things Unity, In doubtful things Liberty, In all things Charity’.
The heart of Lodge Golden Spiral.
WHY BECOME A FREEMASON by Bro.Radha Burnier, Most Illustrious G.M.
A Person can become a Freemason if genuinely interested, has a desire for knowledge and a sincere wish to render himself more extensively serviceable to his fellow creatures. These are criteria which have to be remembered.
We learn the Masonic lore, not just in order to have more knowledge but because we can be more prepared to be of service to fellow creatures. It is not merely to fellow human beings that one wishes to render service, but to all creatures, because they are known to be fellows on the journey upwards. The Mason must therefore have a humane mode of living. He must be tender and considerate to the well-being of plants, animals, birds and fishes, and any other form of life with which he comes into contact. This by itself makes him without any other qualification a philanthropist. His attitude towards all living things is benign, considerate, and careful of their progress.
In this context he must also regard all his fellow human beings, whether they follow the moral and spiritual laws and way of life or not. All beings are learning little by little how to live. Our own life must be an example of value to them. Often we do not remedy the faults of others by pointing a finger at them, but by showing through our own behaviour a different way of living and acting. In literature, we find characters who have an elevated outlook and therefore are able to achieve what others cannot do. The Buddha, for example, converted by his very presence and attitude a wrongdoer who came to kill him.
Wisdom is the product of knowledge of the right kind. When a person has wisdom he has the power to acquire whatever knowledge is necessary to put that wisdom into action at the right moment. We all act, but to a large extent the action is blind; it does not have the effect of bringing about the betterment of oneself or of the people we want to help. It is said that with the best of intentions there were some who were part of revolutionary action, which promoted what later proved to be atrocities and injustices. This was because they had the intention to do what was good, but neither the understanding nor the patience to act in the right way. Action is not always effective, although it may not seem so at the moment to those who do not understand.
To learn to act wisely one has to be patient, and not expect other people to change first. The effort to bring about a change in oneself must start first. Many of the lessons that we learn by the symbolic method in Masonry have to do with the subtle quality of change for the better. We learn it by study, by practice, and of course by right intention at all times.
Report on the Solstice Meeting June, 2016.
This year the theme for the Grand Lodge Solstice Meeting was a deliberate move away from ceremonial work to a work-orientated meeting. This was to enable the membership the opportunity of considering and debating some of the regulations which the BGPs were considering might impede the future of the growth and of modernisation to suit future generations. Following the Ceremonial Opening of Grand Lodge, the Grand Master, M.W.Bro. Shirley Ellick spoke of the importance of the opportunity given at this meeting to encourage the members to seriously consider the consequences of each of the groups’ findings. The Grand Master said that this opportunity provides the membership with their input to the future of Lodges and the regulations of the Order.
Three groups were appointed and with their group leader spent an hour debating and considering the serious import of their answers. Their findings have been submitted by the group leaders and a shortened form of answers are quoted here for the interest of all the membership. The full findings will be considered by the BGPs in their future deliberations.
Group One. Question for debate. Should appointed Officers learn the words of the ceremony by rote? (a) If not should it be stated which parts could be read? (b) Will changing the learning process affect Masonic discipline? The Group comprised of two senior Grand Officers, a PWM and a M.M. It was agreed by the group that all ritual should be memorised and show dedication to the craft. It was agreed that learning words would lack understanding if the meaning was not explained. It was also agreed by the majority that it was an important part of the discipline of masonry to learn as much as was possible of the ritual and its meaning. It was stressed that taking a further role in the Lodge should be only possible if the present role was understood and spoken words remembered. The majority vote was that the consideration of the group was that brethren should be encouraged to learn the ritual from the beginning of becoming a Mason. The second part of the question was answered through the discussion.
Group Two did not take place and Group three undertook the question. Question for debate. Is it necessary to Officer the Lodge by diligently following the present regulated system of I.G., J.D., etc. until the S.W’s chair is reached which generally takes 5 years? The group spent the time discussing the various aspects of the Lodge Committee and its responsibilities; some members felt that they should be told of items discussed at committee level. It was generally agreed that there should be a structure and rules - there is a need to go through the floor work and gain experience to achieve understanding in five years; it was questioned whether three years would be applicable to gain the Chair of K.S. this was answered by “what is ready”. Many questions and feelings were expressed during the debate which showed that the original question given to Past Masters might be answered in a different manner . The leader of the group said that the questions arising from the subject given worked well in engaging members to work and get to know each other. The feed back from the group reiterates the present regulations of the Constitution and the five year ruling as a Master Mason.
Group Four discussed the difficult question of money; the Grand Master pointed out that the Annual Grand Lodge fees are less than paid for children to belong to groups such as Brownies, Guides and other groups. The Grand Lodge fees are set by the number of members. The Lodge Subscription is the responsibility of the Lodge members and must cover the outgoing expenses. The group agreed that monies were required to be found to send our Grand Master and ambassadors abroad and to establish our Order and also to organise the work of our permanent Office and continue the work of the BGPs and Grand Lodge; but at the present time, it is the Grand Master, and Senior Grand Officers who have loyally established the Grand Lodge in European countries and this at their own expense.
It was agreed that the afternoon Solstice was meaningful and the brethren enjoyed stating their position with regard to the questions.
On The Level
R.W.Bro. Peter Rendall, Lodge Radiant Star No 3.
During the 18 plus years that I have been a Freemason, I have many times overheard Brn say ‘..We’re all supposed to be ‘On the Level’ in Masonry, so why is there a hierarchy, why does there have to be Grand Officers and why does so-and-so strut about like he/she owns the place, just ‘coz they’ve been given a Grand Officer’s rank?’
It’s a question which I feel that we ‘more experienced’ Masons (I hesitate to say “Senior”) should endeavour to answer as often as we can.
So, what do we mean when we say that we are “All on the Level” in the Craft? Simply this; we are all equal in the eyes of the G.A.O.T.U.; A person of noble birth, a member of royalty or a business owner can be a member of a Lodge where their staff are officers, even W.M. There is no distinction between class or creed in a Lodge; no social status.
Rudyard Kipling, the famous Victorian writer was a Mason and wrote several well-known masonic poems. His poem ‘The Mother Lodge’ describes the ‘level’ admirably. He writes that his Mother Lodge* was comprised of fitters, a Station Master, a Commissar, a shopkeeper, an Accountant and a draughtsman. They were from different religions as well: Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian Protestant and Catholic. All were treated as equal in the Lodge whilst having different status in their outside life.
Look at it another way: a Masonic Craft Lodge is a bit like a workers’ cooperative-everyone in turn gets the chance to be the Managing Director (W.M.).
Let’s look at the need for ‘hierarchy’. Simplified, Lodges need a governing body to look after their overall needs, produce Constitutions and make decisions for the general good of the Order. The governing body is called ‘Grand Lodge’. Masons who gain experience in the Craft may be ‘elevated’ to Grand Lodge Officer status and play their part in the administration of the Order by bringing information about decisions etc made at Grand Lodge, back to their own Lodge. But just because a Mason now has a dark blue apron and lots of gold braid, they are still in the Craft and whilst they are due some respect for the job they now do, they are still ‘on the Level’.
Likewise, a Mason who is not only a Grand Lodge Officer, but also has achieved other levels in other degrees, remains ‘on the Level’ with their fellow Brethren. Sadly, in Masonry as in ‘outside life’, it’s not unusual for a person who has been ‘promoted’ to feel that they now have ‘rank’ and that people should recognise this. Who has known someone who has been promoted to supervisor and now feels they are ‘better’ than their fellow workers? It’s the same with Freemasonry; there is always someone who feels they are now better than their fellow Brethren and has little to do with them at Festive Boards or other Masonic occasions, preferring instead to mingle with Masons of similar ‘rank’.
It’s human life, sadly. We try to change this attitude in Masonry: We exhort the G.A.O.T.U. to help us with the exhortation ‘…to the Perfection of Humanity…’ at ceremonies and in the Obligation of the First Degree where it refers to the ‘…purely external advantages of Rank and Fortune…’ But we don’t always succeed. It’s the duty of all Grand Lodge Officers to pass on the benefits of their experience to newer Brethren, and to ensure that those external ‘advantages’ of rank and fortune stay external. It’s what’s inside that counts.
*For your interest, Rudyard Kipling (born 1865 in India) was initiated into Freemasonry in 1886 at Lahore, India. His Mother Lodge was Lodge of Hope and Perseverance No 782. He was Initiated by a Hindu, Passed by a Muslim and Raised by an Englishman.
Oration for Phoenix Lodge No. 11
The Phoenix, a mythical bird found in fables for thousands of years, is able to regenerate itself reputedly every 500 years and is associated with the sun. It is a beautiful bird endowed with feathers of gold, red and purple with a nimbus that has 7 rays and because of the purple hue is thought to be associated with royalty.
As it lived for so many years it is associated with the belief to be very wise. It is very strong and its strength allows it to carry enormous weights, whilst its nature brings a tear drop or the touch of a wing miraculously brings healing. The happiness in the sound of its song is sweet and beautiful.
The Phoenix then is a representation of Masonry. The fable has been in existence for more years than is known and its regeneration will aspire the Lodge to grow in strength with every new Entered Apprentice and can be liken to the regeneration of a Lodge each time a new Worshipful Master is installed in the Chair of King Solomon. It also represents wisdom, strength and beauty, the three columns on which a Lodge rests. Also the Master in the East, who represents the rising sun.
The Phoenix also represents the Mason himself, being shown the light and moving on through the wisdom gained by knowledge and steady advancement through the degrees of Masonry in the Lodge. Steadily continuing to find the beauty in all and the strength to maintain the ideals set by the choice of the name of the Lodge.
In Consecrating and Constituting a new Lodge which we have chosen to call Phoenix, its members have chosen to be amongst the number ranged throughout the world under the banner of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women. The ideals given to us by the beautiful song of the Phoenix will be taken forward gaining strength and wisdom.
Coincidently like the bird, this Lodge is associated with Royalty as we meet in the same temple where a Royal Masonic Lodge has been meeting for several hundred years and hosted such great Masters as Edward Jenner and it was regularly visited by The Prince of Wales who became George IV.
This Lodge is Consecrated and Constituted today on a sound foundation of Masonry following the principles of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women.
May Lodge Phoenix grow and flourish, working in harmony with one another, striving for personal improvement and fellowship and make a contribution to the community in which it is situated.
HISTORY OF THE APPRENTICE CLOTHING FOR INITIATION.
Whenever there are plays or pictures of modern day Masonic initiations they are misconstrued particularly in the method of the clothing for the ceremony. It is perhaps time to ask why the ‘garb’ of the Initiation has become so misconstrued.
The physical preparation of a Candidate for Initiation is in close accord with tradition, but unfortunately it must be admitted that the meanings of the some of its details are not now fully understood. The Tyler, who should be an experienced craftsman well able to ensure, both by his knowledge and his personality, that the Candidate enters upon his preparation in the right spirit.
In the ceremonies connected with the mysteries of Masonry as much care was taken with the preparation of the Candidate as with the Initiation that followed.
Mackey quotes the Talmudic Baracoth, which insists that ‘no man shall go into the Temple, with his staff, nor with shoes on his feet, nor with his outer garment, nor with money tied up in his purse. The Minutes of some English Lodges between 1770 and 1809 indicate that their Candidates wore dress of an especial style. Some of these minutes have a quaintness all their own, as, for example, those of Lodge Percy of London, meeting at the Three Tuns, Cross Street, Hatton Garden, which record in 1795 ‘Wee order’d a pair of flannel Drawers to bee made for the use of the Lodge’. In 1775, the Marquis of Granby Lodge, Durham, No. 124, had ‘one pair of Fustian Drawers’ ; in 1788 the Anchor and Hope Lodge, Bolton, No.37 had ‘one pair Trowsers linen’; in 1812, the Lodge of Felicity, No.58, had ‘Sundry Cloathing, i.e., five flannel jackets, four pr. draws, five pr. slippers’.
The special arrangement of the Candidate’s dress, taking three particular points in their well-known order, is thought to have been designed (1) possibly to ensure that the Candidate conceals no weapon of defence or offence,(2) by uncovering the heart, in view of the well nigh universal tradition that the
Candidate’s fervency and sincerity; (3) as evidence of the Candidate’s humility, perhaps the greatest of all the qualities that freemasonry sets out to teach.
The Candidate is deprived of moneys and of ‘everything valuable’ before he enters the lodge, so that, emblematically, he is received into masonry poor and penniless, In 1730, or earlier, the ‘Lectures’ included the following:
Q. And pray how much money had you in your pocket when you was made a Mason ? A. None at all.
Bernard E. Jones writes -It can be well understood that Candidates for the mysteries, all through the ages, have been required to be blindfolded, and it follows naturally that in every mystery, including freemasonry, the hoodwink is an emblem, not only of secrecy, but of the darkness that vanishes in the light of initiation.
Milton’s words, ‘What in me is dark, illumine; what is low, raise and support’, should be the prayer of every Candidate, whose physical darkness symbolises his spiritual ignorance. Plato said that ‘the ignorant suffered from ignorance, as the blind man from want of light’.
Here is part of the catechism of the eighteenth century: Q. Why were you hoodwink;’d ? A. That my heart might conceal or conceive, before my eyes did discover. Q. The second reason, Brother ? A. As I was in darkness at that time, I should keep all the world in darkness.
The more we study the question of the Candidate’s ‘slipshodness’ the more we are likely to believe that this item of the Candidate’s preparation was not casually introduced, but, on the contrary, possessed originally very great significance. Unknotted garments and the unlatched shoe, or missing shoe, carried too much importance in ancient and medieval folklore for any other conclusion to be possible.
Continued from page 8
In old Scottish days every knot in the clothing of the bride and bridegroom was carefully loosened before the wedding ceremony; afterwards, the couple separated, each with their attendants to retie the knots, the whole company then walking round the church
The slipshod condition is usually associated with two ancient Jewish traditions, the one providing the suggestion that the slipshod condition is a gesture of reverence, and the other that it is the confirmation of a covenant.
With regard to the first of these, the reference is to the well-known story of Moses and the burning bush, in which ‘the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush’; and Moses received the command ‘Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground’.
The Jewish tradition is to be found in Ruth iv, 7-9, where we learn that to unloose the shoe and give it to another person was a gesture of sincerity, of honest intention, a confirmation of a contract that had been made between the two parties. The inference to be drawn from this is that the Candidate’s slipshod condition is in itself a token of fealty or fidelity.
From this we may conclude that the Initiate then wore a slipper belonging to the lodge, just as he does today. It is to be noted that in many American lodges the third-degree Candidate is ‘barefoot’.
The Cable Tow. It is probable that in some of the ancient mysteries the cable tow, or halter, was the means by which the Candidate was led, symbolically in a state of bondage, through part of the ceremony. Everything points to the wearing of the cable tow as being an indication of the Candidate’s submission to the will of the Master and his lodge. Indeed, in a ritual of the early 1800’s, the Initiate refers to the cable tow as ‘this humbling power’.
The wearing of the cable tow may be thought to be at variance with the fundamental tenet that the Candidate must be a free man. Although the halter in this case signifies only bondage to a state of
ignorance, we feel that the Irish and the Bristol workings offer an acceptable symbolism in this regard, the Candidate wearing the sign of servitude only until he is about to take the Obligation. Then it is removed and thrown contemptuously on the floor behind him, the Conductor, in the Irish working, informing him that naught but a free man may be made a freemason.. Bernard E. Jones, 5th Impression of the 2nd Edition, Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium.
In the Order of The Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women Gt. Britain, the preparation of a candidate is considered a very important part of the ceremony; it is usual that a Past Master prepares the Candidate by also reading the paper on the Preparation of the Candidate. The Candidate then reading the pamphlet prepared to enlighten him/her at that time.
The clothing then, is not all that different from ancient times, except it is designed to be acceptable for men and women who choose to join an Order where men and women work equally or as is said, on the level together.. Therefore, it must be that the clothing for such an Order in practical terms is as close as possible to the ancient times of clothing worn by the first initiates in the Masonic Orders in England generally before the second world war. In Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women the clothing for initiation, fellow craft and Third degree is known as ‘Pilgrim clothing.’.
“What in me is dark, illumine; what is low, raise and support”
A look at the history of the Ancient Ceremony of ‘Making a Lewis’ ‘MAKING OF A LEWIS’ CEREMONY – HISTORY MAKES A SON OF A MASON A ‘LEWIS’
A look at the history of the Ancient Ceremony of ‘Making a Lewis’
‘MAKING OF A LEWIS’ CEREMONY – HISTORY MAKES A SON OF A MASON A ‘LEWIS’
How did ‘lewis’ come to mean the son of a mason? Quotes from Bernard E. Jones Freemasons Guide and Compendium, who answers the question with a number further questions; in fact he provides deviations on the word lewis as given as far back as 1676 when the word was used to describe a device used in architectural work . In France the meaning was quite different. Apparently French masons of the Compagnonnage fraternity, used louve, possibly because a louve depicts a she-wolf and the grip of the lewis might be likened to the grip of a wolf’s fangs. Later in the course of time the device of steel wedge came to be known a louveteaux, the plural form of the tools. (The literal meaning of the French meaning literally ‘male wolf cubs’.) It is not known exactly when the English speculative masonry adopted the French masons symbol and louveteaux became ‘lewis’ which in itself is speculative.
Jones conjecture of Anderson on behalf of English speculative masonry, took the emblem from the French. Louveton and louveteaux and became ‘lewis’; the male wolf cub’ became the ‘eldest son of a mason’; so that whereas the cub had received its sustenance from the fraternity, the lewis was now expected to sustain his parents. Anderson garbled the French emblem with a Scottish term and by conjoining them brought about a new and attractive symbol.
The tide turned when Her serene Highness Augusta,( the wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales, who was initiated into masonry on November 5, 1737) was near to the birth of the child and the Prince second name was ‘Lewis’.
The name of Lewis was not well known in England until late 1730’s but it does not follow that there was anything new in the privileges which came to be afforded to the eldest son of a mason .
In Scotland in the seventeenth century a member’s eldest son, or the husband of his eldest daughter, was excused on entry from the need to make the customary gift of apron and gloves to every member; There was a custom in the old guilds for a Master’ eldest son to have passage into the fraternity eased by the reduction or remission of fees. This did not apply in England.
In 1739 it is reported by Jones that the word ‘lewis’ has been bestowed on a mason’s daughter. The Minutes of an old Lodge meeting in that year were reported as “Our Brother Delarant presented the lodge with a bowl of punch on his having a Lewisa born, and her health was drunk in due form” “To all our royal and loyal, great and little Lewises wherever dispersed, not forgetting the Luisas.”
“To be made a Mason before any other person, however dignified by birth, rank, or riches, unless he, through complaisance waives this privilege.”
The Lewis then as a symbol is appropriately considered to be of strength –it is a double symbol, as its name now is given to the son (or daughter) of a mason. The Lewis duty being to bear the burden and heat of the day, that his parents may rest in their old age thus rendering the evening of their lives peaceful and happy. This double symbolism is mentioned in some old catechisms, but the usual Craft ritual does not refer to it, although the device has a place in Mark masonry. From the lateeighteenth-century catechism comes the following:
Q. What do we call the son of a Freemason? A. A Lewis.
Q What does that denote? A Strength. Q How is a Lewis depicted in a Mason’s Lodge? A As a cramp of metal (now used as a Lewis set at the side of the S.W.) Q. What is the duty of a lewis to his aged parents? A. To bear the heavy burden and heat of the day; so as to render the close of their days happy and comfortable. Q. His privilege for so dong? A. To be made a Mason before any other person, however dignified by birth, rank or riches, unless he, through complaisance waives this privilege.
These were obviously from the questions and answers ceremonies, throughout the earlier days of masonry and which are now locked in antiquity and sadly are not performed in many Grand Lodges.
The well known concept of the eldest son of a mason becoming a Lewis and following in the footsteps of his father, is welcomed into his father’s Lodge at 18 years of age. The privilege of being named as a Lewis is the honour given as well as the entrance into the Lodge also as the first of initiates if more than one.
Bernard E. Jones in his Compendium of Masonry quotes several instances of ‘The Lewis’ as a Symbol and an appropriate symbol of strength; likening it to the Lewis of the Lodge rather than the structure of a wooden Lewis used in the Lodge as a tool for understanding the work of a builder.
During the eighteenth century there are reports of a Lewis receiving a curious jewel as well as the involvement in the ‘curious fable of Hiram Abiff. Jones quoted from an obvious ceremony. Which goes on through several other questions and answers until arriving at the questions and answers which really set the seal of relationship between father and son in the special answer of: To be made a Mason before any other person, however dignified by birth, rank, or riches, unless he, through complaisance waives this privilege. Through the length of days over time immortal some ceremonies have been lost in antiquity but are spelt out in certain terms by Jones et el.
In this Order of Freemasonry, the sons and daughters are equal and as such come to the Lodge
to be made Lewis’s as a privilege taking part in a beautiful ceremony laid down some many years ago, reviving the sense of something happening to the son or daughter of ‘our’ Mason.
The honour of a son or daughter of any age becoming a Lewis and following in the footsteps of his father or mother, is welcomed into the Lodge at 18 years of age. The privilege of being named as a Lewis is the honour given as well as the entrance into the Lodge and like the quotations from well known researchers the Lewis is the symbol of strength to his/her Masonic parents. On the Continent many versions of the ceremony of acknowledging the son and daughter of a mason takes place at any age and is also acknowledged within the Temple of the Lodge.
The ceremony then is much the same but in the manner of our times. The overtones are similar but the value is of hope for the son or daughter of a mason valued as growing up in a Masonic way of life.
The Ceremony is solemnly carried out with the father (mason) or mother (mason) being met at the door of the Temple by the W.M., D.C. and Deacons of the Lodge. With suitable ceremonial wording the procession moves to the S.W. who presents appropriately an Oak leaf depicting strength. Then the J.W. offers a white rose for beauty and purity of life for the future. The W.M. providing the son or daughter with a small lamp to depict hope that it will be a beacon of the light in the life of their parents. The I.P.M. culminating the gifts with a silver jewel in the symbol of a pentagram and the brethren of the Lodge becoming their protectors or friends until they come of age and are able to choose whether they follow to become a mason in the footstep of mother or father.
The Lewis Ceremony has culminated in the long history of Masonic ‘Lewises’ and with hope to maintain the sacredness of the desire of the Masonic parents to assist their children to learn and understand the principles of masonry though out their lives.
Historical Facts of The Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women, Great Britain.
At the request of the several Brethren it has been considered that a short datal history of the events from the founding and inauguration of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women would be helpful especially as difficulties and gossip are occurring regarding where and when this Grand Lodge was founded. The Grand Lodge was inaugurated on the 18th February, 2001 (6 weeks from leaving Le Droit Humain British Federation of International Co-Freemasonry).
2001. The Honourable Fraternity of Freemasonry led by The Grand Master, M.W.Bro. Eileen Gray, MBE., graciously supported the authority for a new Grand Lodge to be founded and warranted. The Grand Master of the HFAF was in attendance at the inauguration of TGLFM&W held on the 18th February, 2001.
2002. Representing the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women, the Grand Secretary, R.W.Bro. Jeanne Heaslewood, Assistant Grand Master and the Grand Director of Ceremonies, V.W.Bro.Valerie Coles, travelled to India at the request of the Most Puissant Grand Commander of the Indian Federation of International Co-Freemasonry, Le Droit Humain, The V.Ills.Bro. Radha Burnier, 33rd degree. Both airfares and hospitality was donated for both brethren to travel and live in the European quarters of Adyar for just over a week, in order to advise the MPGC of India and senior representatives of many other countries, the manner in which the Grand Lodge was organised by the previous nine members of Le Droit Humain in Britain. This was the important issue for the Representatives of India and other countries where Freemasonry was strong through the influence of the Theosophical Society to enable them to consider and create a Grand Lodge with headquarters in India. The result of the Conference held over a week led to the creation of the Eastern Order of International Co-Masonry and founded secondary Grand Lodges embracing India, New Zealand, North America, Brazil and other South American countries as well as South of France. All immediately severing connections with the French Mixte Order of Le Droit Humain.
2005. A request was received from Bulgaria, Eastern Europe for assistance to provide advice and organise a Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women in Bulgaria. M.W.Bro. Jeanne Heaslewood, Grand Master and the Founder members of GHLF4M&W Great Britain enabled a Grand Lodge to be founded and inaugurated in Sofia, Bulgaria in May, 2005. The Grand Conclave having been formed to serve the Brethren of the Grand Lodge the opportunity to continue their previous work in the Higher Degrees The Very Illustrious Bro. Radha Burnier ,33rd Degree and Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Eastern Order, travelled to London from India especially to invest the 33rd Degree upon the Founders of GLF4 M&W.
The Founders having held the 32nd degree in the previous Obedience, received the 33rd and last degree from The Very Illustrious Bro Radha Burnier, 33rd degree and Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of The Eastern Order of International Co-masons in London on the 13th July 2003 which importantly created a Supreme Council for the Grand Conclave.
This action assisted to acquire the important last degree in Freemasonry and has enabled the Grand Lodge to fulfil its objectives of providing Brethren and candidates with the ability to continue to study and enjoy the mysteries of the Masonic degrees from Entered apprentice to the Supreme Council of the 33rd and last degree of Ancient and Scottish Rite.
Grand Secretary. April, 2015.