Friday, October 23, 2020

Update on Masonic Week 2021

Well, with the unease still remaining about COVID-19, there are a number of changes to 2021 Masonic Week. Most of the meetings will be held virtually, but some have postponed until a later date while a few are still deciding what is to be done. It should be noted that the following degree conferrals have been canceled until the Masonic Week 2022 or conferred locally: the Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord, the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri, the Worshipful Commander Noah, the Installed Supreme Ruler, and Ye Antiente Order of Corks


Thursday, February 11th, 2021

  

08:00am - Trinity Chapel No.2, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon (TBD if going virtual)

10:00am - Grand Master's Council, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon (TBD if going virtual)

12:00pm - Festive Board, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon (TBD if going virtual)

12:00pm - Grand Officer and Grand Superintendent meeting for the Grand Council of the AMD USA (Virtual meeting)

2:45pm - Potomac Court No. 107, Masonic Order of Athelstan (Virtual meeting)

4:30pm - Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan (Virtual meeting)


Friday, February 12th, 2021

 

  

9:00am - Grand Council of Knight Masons of the USA (Virtual meeting) 

1:30pm - Grand College of Rites of the USA (Virtual meeting)

3:15pm - Council of the Nine Muses No.13, AMD (Virtual meeting)

7:00pm - The Masonic Society Annual Meeting (Virtual meeting)

9:00pm - Masonic Order of the Bath (Virtual meeting)


Saturday, February 13th, 2021

 

11:00am - Philalethes Society (TBD if going virtual)

12:00pm - Philalethes Society Luncheon (TBD if going virtual)

1:30pm - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA (Virtual meeting)


Postponed Events

 

Grand College of America, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests - postponed until May

Washington Monument Assemblage - Postponed until Regional meetings

Lodge of Menatzchim V° - Postponed until Regional meetings

Lodge of Harodim VI° - Postponed until Regional meetings


Unknown Changed Events

   

Masonic Order of Pilgrim Preceptors

Grand Chapter, Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor

Society of Blue Friars

Great Priory of America of the Chevaliers Bienfasants de la Cite Sainte (CBCS)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Visit to Ohio

For the last week, I've been in the Buckeye State (Ohio) for work near Lake Eerie. I was fortunate to be in the area when the Sandusky City Council of Royal & Select Masters of Ohio met. At this meeting, they presented one member with a 25-year pin and two with their 50-year pin. In attendance was also the Grand Conductor of the Council (and also the 4th Arch Inspector) for the Grand Council of Ohio and the newly installed Most Illustrious Grand Master of Ohio. It was my first official in-person activity as Most Illustrious Grand Master of Idaho and it was in another state. After a quick meeting, we adjourned for some coffee and snacks where my Ohio counterpart and I chatted for a bit. I'd like to thank the Companions of Ohio for their hospitality.

Since it was being conducted electronically this year, I also attended the Northwest York Rite Conference while I was still in Ohio. For the Cryptic Masons session, I was on only briefly due to the workday and timezone differences. By the time the afternoon session kicked off with Royal Arch Masons, I was off of work and was able to attend. Among several other notable items, it was announced that I would serve as the 2020-2023 Northwest Regional Deputy General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, International. The following day was devoted completely to Knights Templar where, among other things, it was announced that one of my best friends will serve as the 2021-2024 Northwest Department Commander for the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, USA. The next 3-years will be very exciting for me in the York Rite of Freemasonry.

Now I'm back home working on my next work trip.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Words & Phrases: Council

The next article in the Words & Phrases series is on the word "Council." This term is used in several concordant and appendant bodies within the Masonic family. The term in Freemasonry often indicates a basic organizational unit, but can also be used within a degree or as a name of a national/international governing body.

The word "council" is defined as an assembly or meeting of individuals for the purpose of consultation, administration, governance, discussion, or advice. "Council" is rooted in the Latin word "concilium" which translates as "a gathering of people." Councils can take the form as a permanent legislative group such as a "city council" or a temporary convention such as with ecclesiastical councils (i.e. Vatican Council).

With Freemasonry, a Council indicates a local chapter or basic organizational unit for a variety of concordant and appendant bodies such as a Council of Cryptic Masons in the York Rite, a Council Thrice Illustrious Masters (or Order of the Silver Trowel), a Council of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross (a degree within the Commandery of Knights Templar), a Council of Kadosh in the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, a Council of Knight Masons, a Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees, and the High Council within the Swedish Rite. There are some degrees within groups like the Scottish Rite, Ancient Toltec Rite, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, and the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis that use "Council" to describe their assembly. There are also some governing bodies that use the term "Council" in Freemasonry such as with the Supreme Council of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, High Council of the Masonic Order of the Bath, and High Council of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis.

References

1. Council. (n.d.). Retrieved from Etymology Online: https://www.etymonline.com/word/council 

2. Council. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council 

3. Council. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/council 

4. Cryptic. (n.d.). Retrieved from Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/cryptic.html 

5. Mackey, A. G. (1897). Manual of the Council. New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

John Dee

While there is no record that he was a Freemason, I find John Dee to be a fascinating character. Born amidst the political and religious turmoil of 16th century England, Dee would be known as a mathematician, alchemist, astrologer, geographer, occultist, possible Rosicrucian, and adviser as well as likely spymaster for Queen Elizabeth I. It is said that "Dee straddled the worlds of science and magic just as they were becoming distinguishable."

John Dee was born on July 13, 1527, in the Tower Ward of London, the only child of Rowland Dee, a minor courtier to King Henry VIII, and Jane (or Johanna) Wild. In 1535, he was educated at the Chelmsford Chantry School (now one of the locations of King Edward VI Grammar School) before he attended St. John's College (Cambridge) in 1542; he would go onto earn a Bachelors and Masters.

In 1546, he was one of the founding Fellows of Trinity College located in Cambridge. In 1548, he traveled to Continental Europe and studied at the University of Louvain. By 1550, he was in Paris giving lectures on Euclid and mathematics. He became friends with several scholars to include famed cartographer Gerardus Mercator. 

In 1551, Dee traveled back to England where he devoted his studies to alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy. In 1553, King Edward VI granted him the rectory of Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire. The next year he was offered a readership in mathematics at the University of Oxford, but turned it down. He also worked training navigators and promoted British imperialism through naval power; some believe he was the first to coin the term "British Empire."

In 1555, Dee became a member of the Worshipful Company of Mercers. For those unfamiliar, a mercer is defined as "a dealer in textile fabrics, especially silks, velvets, and other fine materials."

Later that year he was arrested on charges of casting spells against Queen Mary I. These charges would be expanded and included treason against the British Crown. He represented himself and was exonerated, but still had to meet with the Catholic Archbishop Bonner for his examination. Whatever was involved with this examination, Bonner and Dee became close associates.

After the death of Queen Mary in 1558, her half-sister Elizabeth ascended to the throne of England. She sent for John Dee and asked for his advice to calculate the best time for her coronation which occurred on January 15, 1559.

Dee would continue to serve as an adviser to Queen Elizabeth I and own a riverside house at Mortlake near London. At this residence he amassed the largest library in England for the time; he had over 4,000 books and manuscripts while the Oxford library only had less than 400 in its collection and Cambridge's 451 in theirs. While it was a private library, he made it accessible to scholars. He also built an alchemical laboratory to further his studies on the subject. His library was so impressive that the Queen herself traveled to Mortlake simply to see the library. Queen Elizabeth and other nobility would give their patronage to Dee, but he never achieved financial independence so it is assumed that his library was built through gifts from patrons.

In 1564, Dee wrote Monas Hieroglyphica (The Hieroglyphic Monad), an exhaustive Cabalistic and Hermetic tome on the interpretation of a glyph of his own design, meant to express the mystical unity of all creation. He dedicated the book to the Holy Roman Emperor in an effort to gain more patronage, but it didn't work.

In 1570, Dee wrote a new mathematical preface to Henry Billingsley's translation of Euclid. This preface introduced the public to the signs of addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (x), and division (÷).

In 1577, Dee published General and Rare Memorials which was about navigation and Dee's vision of a maritime empire. He believed that England could become an empire through this naval supremacy and advocated that they needed to colonize the lands of the New World. Some argue that Dee saw Elizabeth as a new Arthur with him as her Merlin, and that a British Empire would be a new Atlantis as it colonized the New World. Some believe that Dee influenced Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe.

Maybe it was the frustration with limited patronage as well as seeing the religious turmoil ripping through Europe, but Dee started seeking ways to communicate with angels. He wanted to find a way to heal the rift between Catholic and Protestant Christianity.

He hired a number of scryers and crystal-gazers to serve as an intermediary between Dee and the angels, but were unsuccessful or unsatisfactory. Then, in 1582, he met Edward Kelley (also known as Edward Talbot), a medium who was around 28-years his junior. Through Kelley, Dee had several conversations with angels and which resulted in the discovery of the Enochian or angelic language.


It was also around August 1582 that John Dee is said to have met Francis Bacon, who would be a philosopher, statesman, a possible Rosicrucian, and an accomplished author.

Starting in Fall 1583, in search of another royal patronage, Dee and Kelley traveled to Continental Europe. They first met with a Polish nobleman named Albert Laski who was the Count Palatine of Siradz. This endeavor failed as Laski was poor and out of favor with the Polish court. They traveled throughout Europe meeting with King Stefan of Poland and Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. While in Prague, Dee was made a Doctore of Medicine.

If it was not for his affiliation with Queen Elizabeth, he may have been given patronage by the Emperor, but they mistrusted him as they believed that he was a spy for England. It is said that he signed his letters 007 which inspired the James Bond books by Ian Fleming who used 007 as Bond's codename.

By 1586, Dee lost favor in the Holy Roman Empire and was banished due to condemnation by the Roman Catholic Church, but he took refuge with the Count of Bohemia where he resided for nearly 2-years. In 1587, the relationship between Kelley and Dee degraded after Kelley said that angels had ordered them to share their wives. Kelley would go on to serve as an alchemist for the Emperor, but would later be arrested for failing to make good on his promises. Kelley would die in February 1593 during an attempt to escape from prison.

In 1589, he returned to England and found his Mortlake home vandalized and looted. That year also saw a plague spread through London which took the life of his wife, Jane, and five of their children. He started back up his alchemical studies and experiments, but he never attained the Philosopher's Stone.

Around 1595/96, Dee was appointed by the Queen as Warden of Christ's College in Manchester. With the decline of Catholicism in England, this college had bee re-organized as a Protestant institution with a Royal charter in 1578. This turned out not to be good for Dee as he was constantly at odds with the other Fellows of the College who despised him. While he didn't resign from this position, he returned to London in 1605. By this time, Elizabeth had died and James I had taken the throne of England and Scotland who didn't give any support or protection to John Dee.

John Dee spent the final years of his life in poverty, even after he sold off many of his possessions to support him and his daughter, Katherine, who took care of him in the end. He died sometime between December 1608 and March 1609 in Mortlake. He is said to have been buried at the local Anglican church, but both the record and gravestone are missing today. Dee was survived by two of his sons and one daughter; he had been married three times and had eight children.

References

1. A Hermetic & Rosicrucian Timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved from Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: http://www.golden-dawn.com/eu/displaycontent.aspx?pageid=71- 

2. Cooper, D. W., & Gerald, L. (n.d.). A Bond for All the Ages. Retrieved from Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning: http://www.sirbacon.org/links/dblohseven.html 

3. Dee, John (1527-1608). (2020). Retrieved from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/John_Dee.aspx 

4. Feingold, M. (n.d.). John Dee. Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/155467/John-Dee 

5. Harrison, D. (2016, August 20). John Dee and Edward Kelley; Conversing with the Angels. Retrieved from Dr. David Harrison: https://dr-david-harrison.com/freemasonry/john-dee-edward-kelley-conversing-angels/ 

6. John Dee. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee 

7. John Dee - Astrologer to the Queen. (n.d.). Retrieved from Biblioteca: https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bb/john_dee.htm 

8. John Dee. (2015, March 01). Retrieved from Under the Tudor Rose: https://engelskhistoria.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/john-dee/ 

9. John Dee was the 16th century's real-life Gandalf. (2015, February 19). Retrieved from bOINGbOING: http://boingboing.net/2015/02/19/john-dee-was-the-real-life-mer.html 

10. Lee, P. (1996). About Dr. John Dee. Retrieved from The John Dee Society: http://www.johndee.org/DEE.html 

11. Westfall, R. S. (1995). Dee, John. Retrieved from The Galileo Project: http://galileo.rice.edu/Catalog/NewFiles/dee.html


Saturday, September 26, 2020

2020 General Grand Council


Well, today the 47th Triennial of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International met via Zoom. It was a long, but fruitful day that I spent with a close friend and Brother who also is the Junior Past Illustrious Grand Master of Idaho, General Grand Ambassador to Idaho, and Chairman of the Cryptic Jurisprudence Committee.

Among other items of business, the General Grand Council approved to issue charters for five new Grand Councils of Cryptic Masons: of Central America, Peru, Paraguay, United States of Mexico, and Venezuela; which will be constituted at a future date.

Sixteen Companions received the Columbian Award to include a Past Illustrious Grand Master of Idaho and a friend. This award takes its name from Columbia Council in New York which was an epicenter and the Mother Council of Cryptic Masonry prior to the establishment of Grand Councils and the General Grand Council. The Columbian Medal is the highest award one can receive from the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International. The Columbian Medal is a medal awarded to an outstanding Cryptic Mason for service to Masonry.

I'd like to congratulate Most Puissant Companion David A Grindle on presiding over a successful international meeting that was done electronically and had over 460 Masons attending. He, his officers, and his sessions committee did an amazing job. I congratulate David on his Cryptic career as a Past Illustrious Grand Master of Idaho, General Grand Recorder, and then General Grand Master. He is a very involved Freemason around the world and is in several concordant and appendant Masonic bodies. Had it not been for the restrictions in place due to COVID19, he would have installed me as Most Illustrious Grand Master of Idaho back in April. David has been a mentor for me and has been very influential in my Masonic career.

I'd like to congratulate Monty Glover on being elected the new Most Puissant General Grand Master of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International. I wish the best of luck to him and all of the newly elected and appointed General Grand officers in the upcoming Triennium.

The Most Eminent Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA said it best when he said that we are blessed with our current technology which allowed us to meet virtually during this pandemic which could not have occurred even 10-years ago.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Grand Lodge of Idaho

Today the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge AF&AM of Idaho met and held the 153rd Annual Communication. The officers and a limited few essential Brothers were allowed in the Lodge room while everyone else observed and participated via Zoom. Only the reports of the Grand Master, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary, Board of Custodians, Jurisprudence Committee, and Accounts & Finances were read and approved. Finally, we elected the officers for the 2020-2021 Masonic year. All other committee reports were in the advanced proceedings and resolutions were tabled until next year.

I'd like to congratulate now Jr. Past Grand Master, Steven L. Hall, on his year in the Grand East. He served as Grand Master of Cryptic Masons when I was Grand High Priest, and he and I spent a lot of time traveling together. We also discussed much about his plans when he would be Most Worshipful Grand Master. His year started out strong, but then COVID-19 came into the world and halted Masonry worldwide. He had to make many hard decisions and I didn't envy the burden he carried on his shoulders.

Now we have a new Grand Master of Masons in Idaho and I wish him the best of luck. At his installation, Grand Master Steven Zimmerman announced his plan to start reopening Freemasonry in Idaho which will also allow for the reopening of the rest of the Masonic family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Masonic Giant

If I were to ask a Mason to list notable authors, I'd probably be given the following names: Albert Pike, Albert Mackey, Manly P. Hall, A.E. Waite, Chris Hodapp, Brent Morris, Robert Gould, Carl Claudy, Robert Macoy, Ray Denslow,  Art de Hoyos, and W.L. Wilmshurst. Many Masons don't know or recognize the name Harold Van Buren Voorhis who was an extremely influential Mason, historian, and author; a proverbial "Masonic Giant."

Harold V.B. Voorhis was born on January 3, 1894, in Red Bank, NJ. After high school, he attended Cooper Union College and Columbia University Teachers Extension. He worked for a number of years as a chemist for Bull & Roberts in New York City and even served in the US Navy during WWI.

He was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on June 1, 1920, in Mystic Brotherhood Lodge No.21 (Red Bank, NJ) and served as its Worshipful Master in 1937. He was also a Past High Priest and Past Grand Historian of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New Jersey, Past Grand Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of NJ, Past Eminent Commander and Past Grand Historian of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of NJ, 33° and member of the Committee on History in Supreme Council 33° of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, Fellow of the Philalethes Society, member of the Order of the Eastern Star Past Grand Preceptor (1951) of the Grand College of the USA of the Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, Past Great Chancellor (1968) of the Great Priory of America of the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte, and a number of other groups that will be discussed further.

Voorhis was one of the original "Innovators" who helped establish the Grand College of Rites and served as its first Grand Registrar and its third Grand Chancellor. Voorhis had been elevated by Henry Parsell to the 97° in the Rites of Memphis & Misraim before the Sovereign Sanctuary of the USA surrendered its charter to the Grand College of Rites.

After he took over as Commander-General (1939-1957) of the Masonic Order of the Bath, he started holding its meetings at Masonic Week, where it still meets today. Voorhis would serve as the Most Venerable Sovereign Grand Master of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees for the USA from February 1943 to February 1944.

In 1946, he became Vice President of the Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., and would serve in that position until 1970. He was a prolific Masonic author covering subjects such as Masonic Rosicrucianism, the Order of the Eastern Star, Knights Templar, Royal Order of Scotland, Red Cross of Constantine, the Scottish Rite, and the Allied Masonic Degrees.

Voorhis was responsible for reviving the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis. Voorhis helped start the New Jersey College in 1931 where he first served as Secretary before becoming its Chief Adept in 1932. He would go on to help establish several other Colleges. He served as Junior Substitute (Deputy) Supreme Magus from 1940-1948, Senior Substitute (Deputy) Supreme Magus from 1948-1950, and Most Worthy Supreme Magus from 1950-1979; the longest-serving Supreme Magus.

Voorhis was a key player in the formation of the Grand Council of Knight Masons for the USA. Prior to 1967, the USA fell under the jurisdiction of the Grand Council of Ireland. For a time there were 2-provinces and Voorhis served as one the Provincial Grand Superintendents. Eventually, the two provinces would be merged into one and Voorhis was the sole Provincial Grand Superintendent until 1967. Over the next 17-years, he grew the Knight Masons on an average of 75 new members each year. In February 1967, having the support of the Grand Council of Ireland and the support of American Knight Masons, the Grand Council of Knight Masons for the USA was formed and Voorhis was elected its first Most Excellent Great Chief.

He passed away on May 23, 1983, and left behind his mark on American Freemasonry.

References

1. Denslow, W. R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons - Volume IV. Richmond: Macoy Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/10,000_famous_freemasons/Volume_4_Q_to_Z.htm 

2. Hanttula, D. (2017). The Masonic Tour Guide - Vol.1. 

3. Harold Van Buren Voorhis. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Van_Buren_Voorhis 

4. Jordan, D. L. (2002, May 15). A History of Knight Masonry in the United States of America. Retrieved from MasterMason.com: http://www.mastermason.com/StPatrickCouncil/a_history_of_knight_masonry__in_.htm 

5. Marples, J. A. (2015). The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, Blossoming yet Thorny. Retrieved from Nebraska College, SRICF: http://www.masonic.benemerito.net/msricf/papers/marples/2015-06.marples-brotherhood.rosy.cross.blossimng.yet.thorny.pdf 

6. Shute, J. R. (1975). The Innovators. Retrieved from Grand College of Rites: http://grandcollegeofrites.org/innovators/ 

7. Voorhis, H. V. (1952). Masonic Organizations and Allied Orders and Degrees. Red Bank, NJ: Press of Henry Emmerson. 

8. Voorhis, H. V. (1983). A History of Organized Masonic Rosicrucianism.

Monday, August 31, 2020

I Remember My Father

 Today marks 2-years since my Father passed away. I sit here in California working and I've started writing down everything I remember about him. This doesn't nearly encompass everything he was, but it is what I wish to share:

I remember him working multiple jobs to support his wife and kids. 

I remember him carrying me when I broke my arm in elementary school. 

I remember watching horror movies with him and Laura then scaring Laura while we cleaned GeriKens. 

I remember him saving me when I thought I was stronger than the river's rapids. 

I remember him giving me my first beer and so many more over the years. 

I remember every hunting and camping trip to the Cabin. 

I remember him teaching me to ride motorcycles and encouraging me to get back up when I fell. 

I remember his stories and jokes, many of them inappropriate, but hilarious. 

I remember his wrath when I messed up and stepped over the line...which was a lot. 

I remember him teaching me Pinochle when I was sick and the countless games we played over the years. 

I remember the look of pride on his face when Laura was sworn in as a police officer. 

I remember how he melted when his grandchildren were born. 

I remember the look of fear in his eyes when Laura and I deployed to Iraq, and the relief when we were returned I remember the values and lessons he passed on, some were harder to learn than others. 

I remember the last words we spoke to each other. 

I will cherish every good memory and reflect upon the bad ones. 

I miss you Dad and God knows what I would give to just hear your voice one more time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Sights and Places: Dayton Masonic Center

Another beautiful Masonic building lies in the State known as the "Mother of Presidents". Lying near the Great Miami River in Dayton, Ohio, the Dayton Masonic Center stands a very impressive structure sitting on a large property that is beautifully landscaped. It was built by an association established by 14 Masonic groups. It took nearly 3-years to complete using around 450-workers total (many of whom were Masons themselves) and, today, would cost around $40-million. The ground was broken on July 20th, 1925, the cornerstone was laid on May 19th, 1926, and the building was opened on April 1st, 1928.

Prior to this building, the Dayton Masons were located at a renovated Lutheran church that they purchased in 1903. In 1913, there was a massive flood that damaged their old Lodge room so they were looking for a new location. That and they were also running out of space to accommodate every Lodge and Masonic groups. They purchased land that was higher up and safe from floods in the form of the Stoddard Mansion; the Stoddard family was a car manufacturer that went bankrupt and had to sell the mansion.


The building measures 265-feet long, 190-feet wide, and 80-feet high. It is composed of steel, cement, and stone. The stone includes 55,000 cubic feet of Bedford Stone as well as 15,000 cubic feet of hard limestone and marble from Vermont, Alabama, and Tennessee which took 20 train carloads to transport. The marble was used for the interior floors, wainscotings, partitions, and stairways. The building was designed to incorporate Grecian-style architecture. Land was later purchased that was converted to a parking lot that can hold roughly 250-vehicles


Entry Hall

The Dayton Masonic Center houses a number of impressive rooms to include the Schiewetz Auditorium which has 1500 seats. This auditorium would be used for large initiation ceremonies for groups such as the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.


Entrance to the Auditorium


View of the stage


View from the stage

For use by the York Rite, specifically the Knights Templar, there is the Templar Room which is covered with rich colors and woodwork and can seat up to 200.


The Templar Room

They have a number of Lodge rooms, but I am only showing you one which has been described as the most beautiful in the building.


A Blue Lodge

It also holds a library that I think is beautifully furnished.



The last room is the Ballroom which is used for a number gala events and can be rented out for a number of public or private events.


The Ballroom prepared for a wedding

I hope one day to visit this location and get a tour.

Reference

1. Dayton Masonic Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton_Masonic_Center 

2. Dayton Masonic Center Video Tour. (2018, April 22). Retrieved from Freemasons for Dummies: https://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2018/04/dayton-masonic-center-video-tour.html 

3. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from Dayton Masonic Foundation: http://daytonmasonicfoundation.org/history/ 

4. S2: The Masonic Temple. (n.d.). Retrieved from Decoding Dayton: https://indigo.life/decoding-dayton/the-masonic-temple/ 

5. The Dayton Masonic Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.daytonmasoniccenter.org/

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri

As I mentioned in my first article on the Allied Masonic Degrees (AMD), is an invitation organization composed of detached degrees and honors, one of which is known as the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri. The Red Branch of Eri is said to be an ancient order that was established in Ireland that was passed down through the generations before being housed within the AMD. This order exists "within the bosom of the Grand Council and is a Chamber thereof" and is considered the pinnacle of the Allied Masonic Degrees. It is important to note that there is a slight difference between the English and American orders. The American confers this order for meritorious service while in England a member needs to be a VIº in the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia before they are eligible.

The degrees embodied in the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri are: 

Man-at-Arms or Associate, Red Branch of Eri (ARBE)
Esquire or Member, Red Branch of Eri (MRBE)
Knight or Knight Red Branch of Eri (KRBE)
Knight Commander or Knight Commander Red Branch of Eri (KCRBE)
Knight Grand Cross or Knight Grand Cross Red Branch of Eri (KGCRBE)
Knight Supreme Grand Cross or Knight Supreme Grand Cross Red Branch of Eri (KSGCRBE)

Councils may elect a Brother a Man-at-Arms (ARBE) for exceptional service to their Council and who are not presently holding an elected office. Each year, a Council may elect up to two Brothers who hold office in a Council to the rank of Esquire (MRBE). For distinguished service to the AMD and having membership in the AMD for 7-years, each year a Council may honor up to two Brothers by investing them with the rank of Knight (KRBE). For those Brothers who have served or are currently serving as Sovereign Master of an AMD Council, they can be elected to be invested with the rank of Knight Commander (KCRBE). The rank of Knight Grand Cross (KGCRBE) is available for those Brothers who are Present or Past Grand Officers of the Grand Council. The rank of Knight Supreme Grand Cross (KSGCRBE) is for those Brothers who currently or have served as the Most Venerable Sovereign Grand Master of the Grand Council.

Like the Blue Lodge, the Red Branch of Eri presents the legendary history of the order and a series of lessons for the candidates being invested with the rank of Man-at-Arms, Esquire, and Knight. The ranks of Knight Commander, Grand Cross, and Supreme Grand Cross are not exemplified.

The basic organizational unit is known as a Faslairt and represents an encampment. Per the Constitution of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA, only Knight Commanders may preside over a Faslairt or serve as a governing official. Tradition holds that the Senior Knight Commander presides over the Faslairt which is composed of the following officers:

Commander or Chieftain
Ard Brehon
Ard Cruimthear
Ard Ollam
Four Bards
Master of Ceremonies
Captain of the Guard
Herald or Bollasain
Standard Bearer
Sword Bearer
Sentinel
Trumpeter
4 Knights

NOTE: 'Ard' and 'Knight' are used synonymously, though 'Ard' actually means 'High.'

The Jewel of the Order is a white Salem Cross having a red branch in leaf superimposed thereon, but not all wear this jewel. Each degree wears a slightly different regalia. Men-at-Arms (ARBE) wear a blue and white sash and their jewel is that of a red cross over a green wreath (see Fig 1). 

Fig. 1

Esquires (MRBE) wear a sash of green, white, and blue and their jewel is a green Templar cross suspended from a blue ribbon (see Fig 2). 

Fig. 2

Knights (KRBE) wear a yellow, green, white, and blue sash; a pocket jewel that depicts the motto "Erin Go Bragh" a circle surrounding a harp with an 8-pointed star; and they wear the jewel of the order suspended from a green ribbon (see Fig 3).

Fig. 3

Knight Commanders (KCRBE) wears a sash of red, yellow, green, white, and blue; the same pocket jewel as Knights do; a gold Latin cross with clovers adorning it; and their jewel is a Patriarchal cross surmounted with a crown (see Fig 4).

Fig. 4

Knights Grand Cross (KGCRBE) wear a sash of black, red, yellow, green, white, and blue; a pocket jewel that depicts the motto "Erin Go Bragh" looped around a Patriarchal cross embossed upon a style of a Maltese cross; and they wear the same jewel as Knight Commanders (see Fig 5).

Fig. 5

Knights Supreme Grand Cross (KSGCRBE) wears a pocket jewel that depicts the motto of the order which surrounds a Salem Cross surmounted with a cross, and a collar from which a Salem cross surmounted with a crown is suspended (see Fig 6).

Fig. 6

According to legend, the Red Branch of Eri traces its history back to ancient Ireland. An ancient book known as 'The Annals of the Four Masters of Ireland' tells of the Knights of the Collar of Eri as instituted by King Eamhium and his eight princes over the armies of the four provinces of Ireland, i.e.: Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connaught. In these ancient times, there seem to have been multiple knighthoods and this order seems to be an amalgamated descendant of those knighthoods.

As to the modern history of the order, Worshipful Brother F. G. Irwin, of Inhabitants Lodge No.178, received the order in 1858 from the O'Donnell family who had passed it down father to son. W:.Bro. Irwin would go onto restore and reorganize the order in England under the aegis of the Grand Mur-Ollamham; the name "Mur-Ollamham" translates as "College of the Learned." Bro. John Yarker of England would preside over the "English Revival Order of the Red Branch of Eri" and whose ritual is currently used. In 1933, John R. Shute and William M. Brown, both Past Sovereign Grand Masters, obtained permission from England to establish the order in the US.

References

1. Article XX, Constitution. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Council, Allied Masonic Degrees, USA: https://www.amdusa.org/downloads/AMD.Constitution.Draft.pdf 

2. Dominic, J. (2016, October 31). Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri. Retrieved from Doylestown Lodge 245: https://www.doylestownmasons.org/royal-order-of-the-red-branch-of-eri/#:~:text=Legend%20says%20that%20the%20Royal,Ireland%20possessed%20highly%20developed%20literature. 

3. Moore, T. (1835). The History of Ireland. Paris: Baudry's European Library. Retrieved from https://highlander.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Thomas-Moore-History-of-Ireland-Vol-1.pdf 

4. Red Branch of Eri. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Council, Allied Masonic Degrees, USA: https://www.amdusa.org/degrees/RBE.html