Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ye Antiente Order of Corks

At the Masonic Week held each year around the DC area there are many degrees and honors conferred and bestowed. One of those that I attended was Ye Antient Order of Corks, often referred to as "The Corks". This degree is considered to be a fun and social degree. This group is open to Master Masons who have also advanced through the Royal Arch or have served as Warden or Master of a Blue Lodge.

The name and principle logo of the order is a cork stopper seen primarily with wine bottles, and is often seen with a corkscrew inserted at an angle. Members are required to carry a cork in their pockets and if requested by another member need to be able to produce it on demand. If one is incapable to produce the cork, then he must pay a fine, which can be paid to the Treasurer of his Lodge to be used for charitable purposes.

It is unsure where the ceremony of this degree originated, but what records do exist are in the hands of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England. This however does not prove that the degree originated with this body, only that the records are currently in their possession. The ritual today is a satirical in nature and based around the era of Noah and the great flood. The intent is for members to have some fun while raising money for children's charities.

Titles of the officers vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In England the titles have a naval twist, but in America the Corks fall under the Allied Masonic Degrees and have two head officers: Grand Bung of the Americas and Grand Bung of the USA. These two are assisted by other appointed officers. While this body is open to those who meet the above mentioned requirements, it falls under the authority of the Allied Masonic Degrees in the USA.

References

1. Hochberg, J. (2014, February 19). Appendant Bodies. Retrieved from The Masonic Trowel: http://www.themasonictrowel.com/Articles/apendent_bodies/general/appendant_bodies.htm

2. Ye Ancient Order of Corks. (n.d.). Retrieved from Allied Masonic Degrees: http://www.alliedmasonicdegrees.org/cork.htm

3. Ye Antient Order of Noble Corks. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_Antient_Order_of_Noble_Corks

4. Ye Antiente Order of Corks. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA: http://www.allied-masonicdegrees.org/corks/

1 comment:

  1. I once dreamed of becoming Grand Bung. I have a lot of bung in my heart.

    Jay

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