February 23 On this date in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle received his 2nd degree.
Initiated: February 18, 1909. Brother Taft was made a “Mason at Sight” within the Body of Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, Cincinnati, Ohio, by Grand Master Charles S. Hoskinson. His father and two brothers were also Members of this Lodge. Brother and President Taft addressed the Brethren, saying, “I am glad to be here, and to be a Mason. It does me good to feel the thrill that comes from recognizing on all hands the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.”
Initiated: February 18, 1909. Brother Taft was made a “Mason at Sight” within the Body of Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, Cincinnati, Ohio, by Grand Master Charles S. Hoskinson, in an Emergent Lodge called together for the purpose. His father and two brothers were also Members of this Lodge. Brother and President Taft addressed the Brethren, saying, “I am glad to be here, and to be a Mason. It does me good to feel the thrill that comes from recognizing on all hands the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.”
At five O’clock in the afternoon Grand Mast Charles S Hoskinson personally administered the obligations and esoteric instructions. That evening Taft witnessed the Master’s degree conferred by Kilwinning Lodge No.356, of Cincinnati, which elected him to membership April 14, 1909.
Crescent Lodge No.25, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, elected him an Honorary Member June 5, 1918. On April 22, 1909, he visited Temple-Noyes Lodge No.32, at Washington, D.C., of which his close friend and aide, Major Archie Butt, was a member and for whom, after the Titanic disaster, Temple-Noyes Lodge held an elaborate Memorial Service which Brother Taft attended as one of the Chief Mourners.
He visited the famous American Union Lodge No.1, at Marietta, Ohio, June 15, 1910; Alexandria Washington Lodge No.22, on Washington’s birthday, 1911; May 9th of the same year he posed for a picture in Washington’s Masonic regalia at the White House; May 13th he visited St John’s Lodge No.1, Newark, N.J., to help celebrate its 150th anniversary; on December 27, 1914, he addressed the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and on June 5, 1918, he spoke to Crescent Lodge No.25 of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Brother and President Taft visited the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on the occasion of a Special Communication held in the Masonic Temple (One North Broad Street), on March 12, 1912.
February 11 On this date in 1988, a group of masonic leaders met with President Ronald Reagan; the Grand Master of DC presented him with a certificate, and the Scottish Rite and Shrine made him an honorary member of those bodies.
FREDERICK THE GREAT HELPS A BROTHER’S WIDOW
Frederick the Great, a Mason without any doubt, while in a jewelry shop in Potsdam, Germany, observed a middle-aged woman exhibiting an article of silver having certain Masonic symbols, possibly a Past Master’s jewel. She was trying to borrow money on it. She said she had come to this particular shop to avoid the usurers and because the owner of the shop was a Mason. The jeweler told her that he was not in the pawnbroking business and couldn’t make the loan.
Another person in the shop asked her many questions concerning the jewel, whose it was, how she had possession of it, etc. The man offered to buy the jewel and kept raising the price. When they had come upon a number that would get her out of debt he discovered he had no money in his pocket. He then disclosed to the surprised woman that he was the King.
Fredrick shook his staff at the jeweler and told him that he was not fit to be a Mason and threatened to file charges against him. The following morning the woman went to see Fredrick and the palace and he instructed her to return whenever she was in need of help.
May 24 On this date in 1901, Sir Winston Churchill received his 1st degree in Studholme Lodge #1591, London.
Churchill was a very public figure, But Yasha Beresiner has discovered the very private Freemason
Freemasons take pride in having men of stature as members of the fraternity. But have Masons at times attributed too much significance to the Masonic association of these great men? Maybe more than the famous people themselves have done? Winston Churchill was the greatest British statesman in recent history. In 1901 he became a Freemason. What induced him to join the fraternity? How active was he as a Freemason? What part did Freemasonry play in his life?
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on 30 November 1874 and educated at Harrow. At the time of his initiation into Studholme Lodge 1591 on 24 May 1901, Freemasonry was a fashionable social pursuit.
The election of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) as Grand Master in 1875 gave a huge impetus to Freemasonry. As the Prince of Wales, he had been an exceedingly popular Royal and Grand Master, and brought with him a host of other Royals and aristocrats who gladly joined the Craft.
It was not by accident that the promising young Winston was introduced to Studholme Lodge in London.
John Studholme Brownrigg, Provincial Grand Master for Surrey, whose prominent family gave its name to the new Lodge, consecrated the Lodge on 31 January 1876.
In 1881 the Lodge moved from Surbiton, in Surrey, to London, and the summonses read like a Who’s Who of the aristocracy and social elite.
The guest list for the Lodge’s 21st Installation Banquet in 1897 includes 17 Members of Parliament, including the Lord Chancellor, and numerous Lords, Earls, Knights and high-ranking members of the armed forces dispersed throughout the dining room.
The Lodge records give the date of Churchill’s initiation as 24 May 1901 with his address as 105 Mount Street, his age as 26, and his occupation as a Member of Parliament.
Charles Clive Bigham, Viscount Mersey, whose entry in the Studholme Lodge register, next to that of Churchill, has caused some confusion about his taking his third degree in Rosemary Lodge, gives an insight into the scene on the day.
In his autobiography, published by John Murray in London in 1941, A Picture of Life 1872-1940, he states on page 188:
… that month I was initiated as a free mason at Studholme Lodge (1591). While waiting for the ceremony I walked round and round Golden Square with Winston Churchill, another candidate …
Within two months, on 19 July, Winston was passed to the second degree, and on 5 March 1902 he became a Master Mason, all three ceremonies being conducted in Studholme Lodge.
An unfortunate communication in 1955 by the then librarian of Grand Lodge, W I Grantham, to his counterpart in Iowa, USA, has led to the erroneous reports that Churchill was raised in Rosemary Lodge No. 2851.
This occurred because the Studholme Lodge register has the name Geoffrey C Glyn above, and Charles Clive Bigham below that of Churchill.
Further along the line against both these names is the entry ‘Raised in No 2851, 11th Nov 1901’. This entry was also wrongly attributed to Churchill.
His raising was by special dispensation applied for by the Lodge secretary, Henry James Fitzroy, the Earl of Euston, Provincial Grand Master for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, and conducted by the Master, J C F Tower.
At the same meeting, Ferdinand John St john was initiated and the brethren dined at the Cafe Royal, as was customary for the lodge.
Studholme Lodge amalgamated in 1959 with United Lodge No. 1629 to form United Studholme Lodge, and amalgamated again in 1976 with Alliance Lodge No. 1827 to attain its present status as Studholme Alliance Lodge, retaining its original number 1591.
May 1 On this date in 1865, William McKinley (U.S. President 1898-1901) received his 1st degree in Hiram Lodge #21, Winchester, Virginia.
WHY PRESIDENT MCKINLEY BECAME A MASON
When General Horatio King asked William McKinley how he happen to become a Mason he explained: “After the Battle of Opequam, I went with our surgeon of our Ohio regiment to the field where there were about 5,000 Confederate prisoners under guard. Almost as soon as we passed the guard, I noticed the doctor shook the hands with a number of Confederate prisoners. He also took from his pocket a roll of bills and distributed all he had among them. Boy-like, I looked on in wonderment; I didn’t know what it all meant. On the way back from camp I asked him:
“Did you know these men or ever see them before?”
“No,” replied the doctor, “I never saw them before.”
“But,” I persisted, “You gave them a lot of money, all you had about you. Do you ever expect to get it back?”
“Well'” said the doctor, “If they are able to pay me back, they will. But it makes no difference to me; they are brother Masons in trouble and I am only doing my duty.”
“I said to myself, If that is Freemasonry I will take some of it for myself.”
May 3 On this date in 1886, Rudyard Kipling received is 2nd degree.
RUDYARD KIPLING AND THE CRAFT
Rudyard Kipling, the famous English author, was born in India of English parents. He was educated in England but returned to India in 1880. He was initiated in Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782, Lahore, Punjab, India in 1886. A special dispensation was necessary as he was only twenty years and six months at the time. When he took the degrees, there were four Holy Books upon the alter representing the dominant religions in the area. Upon his rising he was immediately elected secretary; and he prepared the minutes of that meeting himself.
Many years later he wrote: “I was secretary for some years of Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782, E. C., Lahore, which included Brethren of at least four creeds. I was entered by a member of Brahmo Somaj, a Hindu; passed by a Mohammedan; and raised by an Englishman. Our Tyler was an Indian Jew. We met, of course on the level, and the only difference anyone would notice was that at the banquets, some of the Brethren, who were debarred by caste from eating food not ceremonially prepared, sat over empty plates.”
May 5 On this date in 1851, Andrew Johnson (U.S. President 1865-1869) received his 1st degree in Greenville Lodge #119, Tennessee
17th President of the United States of America (1865-1869)
16th Vice-President of the United States of America (1865)
(Lodge records lost during the Civil War) Initiated: May 5, 1851, Greeneville Lodge No. 119, Greeneville, Tennessee.
Brother Johnson is supposed to have been a Chapter Mason but the name of the Chapter and date of exaltation are unknown; was Knighted in Nashville Commandery No.1, Nashville, Tennessee, July 26, 1859, and, the First President to become a Scottish Rite Mason, received those degrees in the White House June 20, 1867, from Benjamin B. French, 33 Deg. and A.T.C. Pierson, 33 Deg., both active members of the Supreme Council, S.J.
He participated in five cornerstone layings; the monument to Bro. Stephen a Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, September 6, 1866; Masonic Temple, Baltimore, Maryland, November 20, 1866; Masonic Temple Boston, Massachusetts, June 24, 1867; National Cemetery, Antietam, Maryland, October 17, 1867; and Masonic Temple, Washington, D.C., May 20, 1868. To attend this ceremony he gave leave to all Masons in government service, and President Johnson marched on foot in the parade as a Master Mason.
At the cornerstone laying of the Baltimore Temple some one suggested that a chair be brought to the reviewing platform for him. Brother Johnson refused it, saying: “We all meet on the level.”
He died July 31, 1875, and was buried with full Masonic Honors by Greeneville Lodge No.119, R.W.G. C. Connor, Deputy Grand Master of Tennessee conducting the services in the presence of four Lodges and Coeur de Lion Commandery No.9 of Knoxville, which performed the Templar service.
Military Governor of Tennessee, 1862-1865.
The Magnificent George Washington Masonic National Memorial Part 1 of 2
On a recent trip to Washington, DC I stopped by the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. This grand edifice was established in 1910 with the formation of the George Washington Masonic Memorial Association by Freemasons across the United States.
WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of both the Scottish Rite, and the York Rite, and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club in Champaign-Urbana. He’s also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts–an Eagle Scout himself; he serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois A. F. & A. M. as their representative to the National Association of Masonic Scouters.
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
R.W.B. Michael H. Shirley
One of the joys of reading history is discovering moments that illuminate something in the past, especially about a person’s character. Prominent men and women leave a trail of public and private papers, and historians comb through them, hoping to flesh out stories of great and important events. But it’s the little things, the mundane, that are often the most fruitful.
Harry Truman, as County Judge, Senator, Vice President, President, and Grand Master of Masons in Missouri, left behind a vast library of documents. His correspondence in particular is worth reading, and one letter he wrote on March 10, 1941, tells something of his attitude toward the caliber of men he called “Brother.” It seems that an Entered Apprentice was wearing the square and compasses about town, and the lodge secretary, concerned about this breach of Masonic practice, wrote the Grand Master to ask what he ought to do about it. Truman replied as follows:
“A fellow is misrepresenting the facts, of course, when he wears a Square and Compasses when he has not yet finished the first three degrees. Usually a little reasoning convinces these fellows that they are not helping themselves nor the Fraternity by being forehanded and over enthusiastic. I have had the same experiences at home, and I am sure that if you will tell these fellows just exactly what they are doing, they will stop it.”
It’s not often that so short a document can illustrate one man’s intelligence, easy authority, and basic decency, but this one does it. In three sentences, he affirmed that the secretary was right in his understanding of Masonic practice, informed him that correction was called for, and exemplified the gentle, respectful, and personal nature of the correction required. It’s a brilliant bit of writing, in a real voice that’s recognizably Truman’s, and thoroughly Masonic. It assigns no motives other than enthusiasm, and assumes the intelligent good will of all involved.
Harry Truman was not naïve: he knew evil existed, that there were bad men in the world, and that force was often necessary. But he preferred to start from a position that assumed decency and trust, for he knew if he did not then neither decency nor trust would be achieved. It’s a lesson of history, contained in one short and routine letter, from a too-busy Grand Master and Senator to a lodge secretary: Harry Truman was a Mason to his marrow.
R.W.B. Michael H. Shirley is the Assistant Area Deputy Grand Master for the Eastern Area for the Grand Lodge of Illinois A.F. & A.M. He is the Past Master of Tuscola Lodge No. 332 and Leadership Development Chairman for the Grand Lodge of Illinois. He’s also a member of the Illinois Lodge of Research, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. He’s also a member of the newly-chartered, Illini High Twelve No. 768 in Urbana-Champaign. The author of several articles on British history, he teaches at Eastern Illinois University.
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- August 2011