Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, and Samhain to all my Brethren wheresoever dispersed


Friday, October 28, 2016

A Decade in Kappa Sigma

It was on this day in 2006 that I was initiated into the Kappa Sigma fraternity. I had joined Freemasonry during the Summer of 2006 and some of the Brethren in my Lodge were alumni of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. They knew that I was going to be starting college in the Fall and encouraged me to join Kappa Sigma. My class started out large, but dwindled down to just 10: Steve, Rudy, Paul, Marcus, Michael, Abe, Ed, Bruno, John, and myself. The Fall Semester of 2006 was filled with some great adventures and these guys are closer than Brothers and will be for all our lives.

I've had quite the journey living in the Chapter House and serving the Chapter as House Manager, Grand Treasurer, and Grand Procurator. Now I am happy to support the newly reformed Kappa Rho Chapter as an Alumnus.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Daughters of the Nile

One of the women's auxiliary groups tied to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (often referred to as Shriners International) is the Daughters of the Nile; the other is the Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America. The Daughters of the Nile is a fraternal organization found throughout the United States of America and Canada.

The Daughters of the Nile is open to women who are 18-years of age or older, and who are related by birth or marriage to a Shriner, Master Mason, or Daughter of the Nile, is a majority member of a Masonic youth group for girls such as the Rainbow Girls or Job's Daughters, or who was a patient at a Shriners Hospital for Children®. 

The Daughters of the Nile was founded in 1913 in Seattle, WA. In late 1905, the Afifi Shrine (Tacoma, WA) formed a women's auxiliary called the Daughters of Isis, but this group only lasted until 1908 when it was disbanded by decree of the Imperial Potentate. In the same year the Daughters of Isis was founded, Shriners in Seattle formed Nile Temple. Many Shriners of Nile Temple had belonged to Afifi Shrine and their wives formed the Isis Club, but had disbanded in December of 1912. Under the direction of Mabel R. Krows, 12 ladies (all wives of Shriners) came together on February 20, 1913, to discuss forming a club similar to Zuhrah's Ladies in Minnesota. They formed the "Ladies of the Nile" with Mabel R. Krows elected as their President. As no record of the ritual of the Daughters of Isis had been kept the Ladies of the Nile sought out Charles F. Whaley to write them a new ritual which was completed by August of 1913. This club continued to meet over the next several months approving the rituals written for them, the Constitution and By-Laws, paraphernalia, and all pertinent matters. Starting on September 18, 1913, Mabel R. Krows started giving the obligation to the members. 

On October 16, 1913, they changed their name officially to Daughters of the Nile as Noble Whaley referred to the ladies as "My Daughters" and "Nile" as this new order pertained to Egypt. The order started to spread and each Temple has a name and a number according to when they were constituted. The first Temple is Hatasu Temple #1 in Seattle, WA; Hatasu was the first known Egyptian Queen in ancient Egyptian history. It became apparent that a governing body was needed and it was decided that the members of the original Ladies of the Nile were to become Founders of Daughters of the Nile, forming the Supreme Temple of the Daughters of the Nile. They decided to allow all Queens, Past Queens, and Princess Royals as members of the Supreme Temple. On November 21, 1913, they elected Levelia K. West as the first Supreme Queen and the rest of the Supreme officers. Today the order has spread and there are roughly 30,000 members in 144 cities.

The philanthropy of this group is the same as Shriners International, the Shriners Hospitals for Children® through the use of two permanent endowment funds: The Daughters of the Nile Foundation and the Canadian Trust, to which the Daughters of the Nile contributes over $2-million a year. In addition, they also sew clothing and quilts as well as provide toys, books, games and other educational/recreational items for the children’s use.

The Daughters meet in Temples and fall under the governance of a Supreme Temple. The Temple is composed of the following officers:
Queen
Princess Royal
Princess Tirzah
Princess Badoura
Princess Recorder
Princess Banker 
Princess Marshall
Princess Chaplain
Lady of the Keys
Lady of the Gates
Princess Nydia
Princess Zulieka
Princess Zenobia
Princess Zora
Princess Zuliema
Princess Musician
Attendant
The Supreme Temple is composed of the same officers with the honorary title of "Supreme" attached to the officer title. The Daughters of the Nile are known for wearing a distinctive tiara for special events and ceremonies. To find a Temple near you please visit the Supreme Temple website: http://www.daughtersofthenile.com/org_list.htm

References

1. About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from Nydia Temple No.14: http://www.nydiatemple.com/aboutus/

2. Daughters of the Nile. (n.d.). Retrieved from Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/dotn.html

3. Daughters of the Nile. (n.d.). Retrieved from Amara Shriners: http://www.amarashriners.org/daughters-of-the-nile.html

4. Daughters of the Nile. (n.d.). Retrieved from Arlington Lodge No.438: http://arlingtonlodge.org/daughters-of-the-nile/

5. Daughters of the Nile. (n.d.). Retrieved from Freemason Information: http://freemasoninformation.com/what-is-freemasonry/family-of-freemasonry/daughters-of-the-nile/

6. Daughters of the Nile. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sphinx Shriners: http://www.sphinxshriners.org/daughters-of-the-nile.html

7. Krows, M. R. (1951). My Memoirs of Daughters of the Nile.

8. Ladies Organization. (n.d.). Retrieved from Shriners International: http://www.shrinersinternational.org/en/shriners/ladies/nile

9. Lotus Temple No.7. (n.d.). Retrieved from Duluth Masonic Center: http://www.duluthmc.org/don/

10. Shriners. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shriners#Membership 

11. Who are the Daughters of the Nile. (n.d.). Retrieved from Supreme Temple of the Daughters of the Nile: http://www.daughtersofthenile.com/about_who.htm

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Masonic Week 2017

The 2017 Masonic Week schedule has been published. The 2017 Masonic Week will be from February 9th to February 12th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Crystal City, and includes the following groups: the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon, Masonic Order of Athelstan, Universal Craftsman Council of Engineers, Order of Knight Masons, Society of Blue Friars, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest, Allied Masonic Degrees, The Royal Order Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America, The Masonic Society, Rectified Scottish Rite (CBCS), Ye Antiente Order of Corks, Grand College of Rites, the Philalethes Society, Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor, Masonic Order of the Bath, and the Operatives.

Thursday, February 9th, 2017
7:30 AM - Trinity Chapel #2, St. Thomas of Acon (Members Only, Tunic, Mantle, Cap and Belt required for admission) 
10:00 AM - Grand Council of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon of the USA (Members Only, Tunic, Mantle, Cap and Belt required for admission) 
12:00 Festive Board (Acon Members and the Ladies only) 
1:30 PM - Potomac Court #107 of the Order of Athelstan, Province of USA 
3:00 PM - Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan
4:45 PM - Grand Council of the Universal Craftsman Council of Engineers
6:30 PM - Social Hour 
7:00 PM - Banquet of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan (Members Only) 
9:00 PM - Allied Masonic Degrees Ceremonies of Installation Installed Sovereign Master
Friday, February 10th, 2017
7:00 AM - Breakfast sponsored by Convent General KYCH
8:00 AM - Grand Council Knight Masons, USA
9:00 AM - Ladies Breakfast 
11:00 AM - Society of Blue Friars
12:00 PM - Luncheon sponsored by Knight Masons
1:15 PM - Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest, Grand College of America
3:30 PM - Royal Order Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America (first three grades)
6:30 PM - The Masonic Society (All Masons and ladies are welcome) 
6:30 PM - The Great Priory of America (CBCS) 
9:00 PM - Ye Antiente Order of Corks
Saturday, February 11th, 2017
7:00 AM - Breakfast sponsored by York Rite Sovereign College
8:00 AM - Grand College of Rites of the USA
9:30 AM - Nine Muses Council #13 (All AMD Members Welcome)
10:30 AM - Allied Masonic Degrees
12:00 - Luncheon sponsored by The Philalethes Society 
1:30 PM - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America and the Grand Conclave of the Secret Monitor 
2:00 PM - Ladies Afternoon Tea 
4:45 PM - Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor 
6:00 PM - Social Hour 
7:00 PM - All Masonic Banquet
9:00 PM - Masonic Order of the Bath
Sunday, February 12th, 2017
08:30 AM - Washington Monument Assemblage of the Operatives (Open to all members I° to VII°)
09:00 AM - Lodge of Menatzchim V° (Open to members of the V°, VI° & VII° only) 
10:30 AM - Lodge of Harodim VI° (Open to members of the VI° & VII° only) 
12:30 PM - Operatives Brunch




Saturday, October 8, 2016

Roadtrip!

It has been one long weekend that took me to Montana and back home in 37-hours. The purpose of this trip was to visit the Montana College, Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, and initiate several new members into the Society. 

The first leg of my trip took me to Twin Falls where I jumped in another Brother's vehicle and then drove all the way to Billings. Then the next morning I took part in the first official meeting of the Montana College. I along with other members from Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho initiated a group that will serve as the founding officers of the Montana College. I had the pleasure of serving as Celebrant (the presiding officer) for the grade of Zelator (I°) and assisting in the other 3-grades. Then after some lunch, it was time to head back home.

The total trip was 1264-miles (2034.2-km) and over 18-hours of actual driving. The drive was beautiful though as Autumn in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana always provides a spectacular show by Mother Nature. Now it's nearing midnight and I'm exhausted, so time for bed.


The Cornerstone

By R J McLaughlin


We have laid the stone all truly with a craftsman’s care
We have tested it and tried it by the level, plumb and square
We have made a firm foundation for our children’s children toil
And empty poured the vessels of their corn and wine and oil

What further is remaining save stone on stone to rear
That soon the finished building in its glory, shall appear?
What more to do than giving to this pile its latest touch
And a Voice that stirs the stillness makes this answer, “There is much.”

“There is work to do my brothers, wrought of neither stone nor steel
And never dome nor tower can its majesty reveal,
For this the nobler labour, ere his toil can make it whole
Must be preformed in darkness in the master craftsman’s soul.”

“There are works of loving kindness and of charity and good
And a structure to be builded with the stones of brotherhood
For this mighty temple fabric is an empty, mocking shell
Unless within there be built a shrine of souls as well.

Take heed then master craftsmen, when this temple shall arise
With its brave and gleaming towers pointing grandly to the skies
Let yourselves compose the structure, let yourselves the temple be
That shall stand in great proportions until all eternity.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine is more commonly known as the Shriners and is a fraternity "based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth." The Shriners are known for their red fezzes, participation in parades, and support of the Shriners Hospitals for Children®. The Shrine has been described as "Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without rudeness and jollity without coarseness." As of 2000, in order to join the Shrine, one must be a Master Mason in good standing. Previously one needed to be in either the York Rite or Scottish Rite to join the Shrine.

The history of the Shriners goes back to New York City and four men: Dr. Walter M. Fleming, William J. Florence, Charles T. McClenachan and William S. Paterson. Dr. Fleming conceived the idea to start a fun fraternal order for Scottish Rite or York Rite Masons (though in 2000 those requirements were dropped). Fleming first made the proposal to Florence, who would be key in the founding rituals of the Shrine, before approaching the other two. The idea for an Arabic themed group came from Florence who had attended a party of an Arabian diplomat while in France. They gathered up support with 13 Masons interested in forming this new group and on September 26, 1872, they officially formed the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America. The first Temple was named Mecca and Dr. Fleming was named as its first Potentate. The spread of this new order was slow and after 4-years there was only 43-Nobles. It was with the formation of the Imperial Grand Council, a national governing body, that caused the Shriners to prosper. The Imperial Grand Council was formed on # #, #, in New York City, with Dr. Fleming named as the first Imperial Grand Potentate. Please note that in 1886, the Imperial Grand Council met in Cleveland, OH, where it was decided to drop the word "Grand." The first meeting was brief, but established its headquarters, or Grand Orient, in New York City; appointed officers and honorary members of the Imperial Grand Council; established committees; established fees for chartering new Temples, per capita assessment, and for initiation; established the membership requirements of the Shrine; and chartered four new Temples throughout New England. Over the next couple of years, the Shriners started to expand, but would experience momentous growth starting in the late 1880s, spreading to the Midwest United States and into Canada. Up to this point the Shrine had no single, unified philanthropy; Shriner Temples each generously supported local and national charities. In 1919, Noble W. Freeland Kendrick proposed the idea of a philanthropy that focused on children and at the 1920 Imperial Council meeting he made a motion to “establish a Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children.” Noble Kendrick became known as the "Father of the Hospital System." Like all of Freemasonry, the Shrine enjoyed years of large growth following World War II as soldiers looked to continue the camaraderie they experienced in the military. Today there are around 200 Temples all over the world with thousands of clubs, hundreds of thousands of members, and 22 Children's Hospitals across North America, South America, Europe and Southeast Asia.

The basic unit of the Shrine is the Temple. Every Temple has a clearly defined geographical territory which are often very large (my Temple covers the bottom half of the State of Idaho). Smaller units and clubs may be formed to assist the Temple in keeping fellowship with Nobles that may live great distances from the Temple. Clubs and units can take the form of bands, motorcycle units, clown units, drama clubs, parade units, standard guards, cooking clubs, tech clubs, and so on. Members of the Shriners are referred to as "Nobles." Temples are ran by an elected group of offices known as the Divan which is composed of the following officers:
Potentate
Chief Rabban
Assistant Rabban
High Priest and Prophet
Oriental Guide
Treasurer
Recorder 
Chaplain
Director
Assistant Director
1st Ceremonial Master
2nd Ceremonial Master
Marshal
Captain of the Guard 
Outer Guard(s)
The Imperial Divan (formerly known as the Imperial Council) is the international governing body of Shriners International. The Imperial Divan is composed of similarly named officers, but with the addition of the honorary title "Imperial" attached to the position. The Imperial Potentate serves as the presiding officer and as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Children's Hospitals.

The most noticeable icon of the Shrine is the distinctive red fez that all Shriners wear. The red fez is decorated with the black tassel, the name of the Temple, and the crescent & scimitar, sphinx head, and star. Its name derives from the place where it was first manufactured, Fez, Morocco. The fez was selected as a part of the Arabic theme of the Shrine. The scimitar is emblematic of the members, the backbone of the fraternity. The crescent is emblematic of the fraternity and philanthropy of the Shrine. The sphinx stands for the Imperial Divan, the governing body of the Shriners. The star is emblematic of the children helped by the Children's Hospitals. Sometimes attached to the emblem of the Shrine is the motto "Robur et Furor" meaning "Strength and Fury."

As stated above, it was by the effort of Noble Kendrick that the Shriner's Hospital were established. He was inspired after a visited a Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Atlanta, GA. He campaigned heavily for the establishment of an official Shriner philanthropy during his tenure as Imperial Potentate. Once the resolution to establish the Shriner's Hospital for Children® had passed, a committee was selected to determine the site of the hospital, but it was soon concluded that one hospital would not work and that a network of hospitals was needed throughout North America. By June of 1922, the cornerstone was laid for the first Shriner's Hospital for Children® in Shreveport, LA. As more hospitals were built across North America, the philanthropy expanded the mission to include medical research and education of medical personnel. Today the Shriner's Hospitals conduct research in every area of care, including orthopedic disorders, burns, spinal cord injury treatment, and cleft lip and palate; the Shriner's Hospitals are particularly known for treatment of burns and orthopedic care. The Shriner's Hospitals have become well known for their burn research and many of the standard practices used in burn centers across the US originated in the Shriner's Hospitals. The Shriner's Hospitals are institutions in such high regard that nearly every pediatric orthopedic specialist in the US does a rotation at a Shriner's Hospital. Through this charity around one million children have been treated at one of the 22-hospitals in the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

References

1. History of the A.A.O.N.M.S. (n.d.). Retrieved from Phoenix Masonry: http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/History_of_the_Shrine.htm

2. History of the Imperial Council Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America. (1921). Retrieved from Phoenix Masonry: http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/history_of_the_aaonms.htm

3. How The Organization Works. (n.d.). Retrieved from Cairo Shriners: https://www.cairoshriners.org/uc/

4. Join Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from Medinah Shriners: http://medinah.org/joinus.htm

5. Shriners. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shriners

6. Shriners Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ararat Shrine: http://www.araratshrine.com/membership/faqs/dictionary/

7. Shriners International – Shrine – A. A. O. N. M. S. (2010). Retrieved from Freemason Information: http://freemasoninformation.com/what-is-freemasonry/family-of-freemasonry/shrine-a-a-o-n-m-s/

8. What is a Shrine Mason? (n.d.). Retrieved from Aleppo Shriners: http://alepposhriners.com/aboutus.html

9. Who are the Shriners? (n.d.). Retrieved from Shriners International: http://www.shrinersinternational.org/Shriners