Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Online Poll!


Brethren,


First and foremost let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas (belated) and a Happy New Year. Sorry my Christmas greetings are late, but my Christmas this year was particularly merry despite the economy!


At any rate, I'm researching a paper and need your help. I've spent the last several weeks trying to understand the attitudes of the various Christian churches towards Freemasonry. Then I realized I really didn't understand the general Masonic attitude towards religion. I know what our ritual says, but what do we do in our everyday lives?


To help answer that question, I've devised a poll at the Thai Freemason site. I'd greatly appreciate it if you could drop by for a few minutes and answer some questions. Don't worry, your answers will remain private, but I will post the final results here for all to see.


Thanks for the help and hope you have a spectacular 2009!


Jim:.



Visit http://www.thaifreemason.com/

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Welsh Bigotry

I was a bit alarmed by this article from the Wales Online website. An apparently qualified applicant was turned down by the Welsh First Minister, Rhodri Morgan simply because he was a Freemason.

According to Mr. Morgan, "My concern derived from the salience of freemasonry, reflected in debates in the standards committee and the Assembly as a whole."

It's sad to see that leaders are so easily influenced by salacious rumors and gossip from the internet and the vapid nonsense of books like "The Brotherhood".

All I want for Christmas is some common sense in this world!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

St John's Day

Brethren all,

We're getting ready to see yet another reminder of why being a Freemason in Thailand is a wonderful thing. For the past few years, two lodges from two different Grand Lodges (and languages) have joined together to celebrate the Feast of St John the Evangelist.

Lodge St John, No 1072 SC is the kingdom's oldest lodge. They hold their annual elections every year on St Johns Day. R.L. Star in the East, No. 1600 GLNF is the kingdom's newest lodge and the world's only English speaking GLNF (French) lodge. Star and the other GLNF lodges hold a table lodge on both St John Days each year.

In recent years, both lodges have celebrated together. This year, the joint celebration will be on December 29th at the Lodge St John Masonic Hall in Bangkok. The evening will start of at 18:30 with the Lodge St John elections and will be followed by the actual festival downstairs led by Star in the East at 20:30.

I've been to a few of these events and I've always enjoyed them. Its a wonderful evening of Masonic fellowship, good food, good wine and lively discussion.

If you're in Bangkok and would like to attend, please contact the Star in the East Secretary for cost, menu and details.

Jim:.


Visit www.thaifreemason.com

150 Years of Singapore Freemasonry

Brethren all,

Well, it looks like our brethren down south are celebrating 150 years of the Craft in Singapore. We congratulate them on this impressive feat! Anyone who's ever visited the lodge there can attest to the beautiful facilities and warm welcome extended to visiting brethren.

Check out a couple of articles in the local and regional press on the anniversary.

Jim:.

Visit www.thaifreemason.com

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baan Dada Charity

Brethren all,

This just popped into my Inbox, so I thought I'd let you know about it. If you or your lodge would like to support this program, please contact them directly.

Jim:.
----

Dear Thai Freemason,

My name is Marni Gilbert, I am a New Zealander who is currently volunteering at Baan Dada Children's Home in Sangklaburi, Thailand.

Baan Dada is a shelter for displaced Mon, Karen, Burmese, and Thai children. We provide them with an education, the stability of three meals a day, and a loving environment. We are also involved in many community livelihood projects, such as a fish raising project, a goat lending project and an eye care program. Please see our website for more details about our home and what we have accomplished. www.baandada.org

At the moment we are trying to fundraise for a vaccination program. In the target areas (21 villages) the children have not recieved vaccines for over 2.5 years. Our target start date for this program is January 2009.

For one child to be vaccinated for life, it takes only 480 Thai Baht. That is approximately 14.00 US dollars. The target number of children for 2009 is 2607. the program will provide Diptheria-Tetanus-Pertusis Vaccine, Oral-Polio Vaccine, Measles Vaccine, and Tuberculosis Vaccine.

If you, your organization, or anyone you know of would be interested in sponsoring a child to be vaccinated, or any part of this program, please email us and we will send you the project proposal. It is possible to donate online, through our website http://baandada.org/donate/ Remember, any amount , big or small, will make the difference! Your support is greatly appriciated, by us and the thousands of children we will reach with this program.

Sincerely Marni Gilbert -- www.baandada.org

----

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Life Goes On

Despite all of the chaos and frustration currently going on in the kingdom, it seems our brethren are made of sterner stuff. As of this writing, lodge meetings are still being held.

Brethren are advised to stay vigilant and if the situation deteriorates, then check with your lodge secretary prior to the meeting. Do not put yourself at risk to attend a meeting. Use the good sense God gave you!

Jim...

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Working Tools of an E-Mason

Brethren all,

I'm blatantly stealing this from someone who blatantly stole it from someone else and posted it at Freemason Hall. FH is a rather good Masonic discussion forum. Please stop by if you have some time.

The Working Tools of an E-Mason

I now present you with the working tools of an E-Mason.
They are the mouse, the keyboard, and the modem.

The mouse is to move within the desktop. The keyboard to input data. And the modem to publish in cyber space.

As we are not online, as computer nerds. But rather as Free and Accepted E-Masons. We use these tools to obtain more Masonic light and to show us the meaning and value of E-Masons.

And thus we apply them...

The mouse teaches us to keep within the bounds of the screen. A square wherein which we all meet on the level.

The keyboard is to show us that communicating will lead us to a better understanding of each other and the rest of the mankind.

The modem to teach us that even when we are alone, or in the most remote part of the globe, we may meet and gain sustenance and support from each other and thus gain more light, from our Ancient and Honorable Fraternity.

So Mote it Be...


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Monday, October 27, 2008

Mark Lodge Banquet

Brethren all,

The Premier Mark Lodge in Phuket are getting ready to host a "White Table" Banquet at one of the nicer spas. You're invited to enjoy great fraternal company and enjoy this wonderful opportunity to entertain spouses or significant others.

Non-masons are also welcome to attend.

Dress code is dinner jacket or evening dress.

Please contact Bro. Scribe if you would like to attend.


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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Temple Hall Preserved in Pakistan

Brethren all,

Some very good news from Pakistan. A 150 year old Masonic Temple has been saved from the wrecking ball in Karachi, Pakistan. The building is currently home of the Sindh Wildlife Department.

From the article:
The history of the building reveals that the Freemasons used it as a meeting place till the late eighteenth century. In 1820, it was converted into a Masonic Temple but in 1880, it was again converted into Lodge Hope. The office bearers of the time installed marble nameplates, revealing the history of the building and these plates are still in place.

The building was declared a protected heritage site in 1994, but still just missed the wrecking ball. So, let's be thankful that this apparently beautiful structure with such a rich history in the Craft has been saved.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Breakfast Anyone?

Brethren all,

In what I think must be a first in Masonry, I'd like to announce the formation of possibly the world's first breakfast lodge. United Press Lodge 134 in lovely Riverton, Western Australia will hold its annual installation of officers and final night meeting on Saturday, 1st November. Thereafter, the lodge will meet as a "The Premier Breakfast Lodge" offering brethren a unique opportunity to participate in Masonry in the morning and still get the chores done and errands run in the afternoon. Seems like a great alternative that may catch on in other places.

Brethren interested in attending the installation meeting or a breakfast meeting after that should contact Bro. Brian Haffenden.


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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Phuket S&C Club

From my Inbox (please note the change of venue):

Dear Sir & Brethren,

The next Square and Compasses lunch will thus take place at the Aspasia at 12;30hrs on Saturday 30th August, 2008.

Lunch menu

FRESH CRAB DELIGHT

Puree of avocado and potato salad, bound with an orange and basil mayonnaise with tomato green scallion salsa of water cress

LIME CAMPARI

Crème de menthe and lime confit

~~//~~

OVEN ROASTED RED SNAPPER

Olive tepenade, roasted fennel, fennel & potato puree complimented by red pimento sauce and oriental ratatouille

~~//~~

CHOCOLATE TOWER

White chocolate whisky, orange chocolate kahlua, Dark chocolate grand Marnier topped with mascarpone & pistachio floss

~~//~~

A choice of tea or coffee

Price
Thai Baht 395
(THB 350 net + THB 45 Dining Fund).
Nearly all drinks will be discounted

Tropical regards

Mike



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Monday, August 18, 2008

Bogus Masons

Some interesting things have fallen into my Inbox of late. Of course we all know that our Grand Lodges recognize or do not recognize other Grand Lodges. I've always considered this partly the interesting tapestry of global Masonry and partly an overly-bureaucratic nightmare.

This recognition allows us to visit almost all of the lodges in Thailand and many around the world. This same system however prevents us from visiting the only Prince Hall lodge in the kingdom. Hopefully that will change one day.

But no matter how cynical my view of the process sometimes becomes, I now have a greater appreciation for it. This link provides some background on a disturbing practice found in America. A number of bogus lodges have sprung up. These lodges are focused on attracting African-American members who would otherwise be joining a legitimate Prince Hall lodge.

Some of these lodges and Grand Lodges are started by disgruntled or expelled members. Others however are started by con-men in an attempt to build pyramid schemes for self-aggrandizement. These bogus grand lodges go by several different names and include International, Prince Hall Origin lodges or the even more grandiosely named Nuwaupian Grand Lodge AF&AM International.

Though the names differ, they share a common trait. They fill the minds of their members with lies by telling them that they alone are the true Masons. They alone have access to secret knowledge not known by Prince Hall or "white" Masons. They limit their members access to books, papers and other sources of knowledge.

It is perhaps an important reminder that we as individual Masons must continually strive to educate ourselves and learn more about our Craft. Not only is knowledge power, but it frees us from tyranny.

Jim..


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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Calling All Up-Country Masons!

Brethren all,

We're eagerly looking for Masons in the following areas:

* Chiang Mai
* Khon Khaen
* Kho Samui

We've received emails from a few brethren in these places who are looking to start an English speaking lodge. If you are a brother in one of these cities (or know of someone), please drop me an email.

Best regards,


Jim...


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Friday, June 27, 2008

5 Things You Didn't Know

This interesting website tumbled into my Inbox today. It's an interesting look at Freemasonry from an outsider's perspective. And when I say outsider I don't (this time) mean whinging, lunatic fringe perspective.

Its interesting and suitable to pass on to your friends and relations who may be interested in the Craft. Who knows. Maybe you'll learn something too!

www.AskMen.com.


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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Idiots


Well, another in a long line of uninformed, idiotic celebrities has gone public with his views on the Craft. This time its Coors guitarist, Jim Coor. In an unintentionally humorous interview, the anonymous guitarist (famous for being the only guy in the band) alerts us of his impending move into politics.

Seems Jimmy boy knows that only by being in politics can he fight the scourge of Freemasonry, the EU Lisbon Treaty and of course, GM foods. Regaring the Craft, Coor said, "Tony Blair is a 33rd degree Freemason. That's fairly common knowledge. The Queen is grand patroness of the World Freemasonry. Silvio Berlusconi is a high level Freemason. President George Bush is a member of the Skull and Bones, the Yale secret society, which is an off-shoot of the Freemasons."

Oh ... and he knows 9/11 was an inside job -- presumably by the Freemasons. That explains all those Shriner mini-cars outside the towers. I'm surprised he forgot to mention the Illuminati or the Bildeburgers.

Sorry to sound sarcastic, but I've had it with these uneducated, ill-informed idiots making dramatic pronouncements on issues without any understanding of them. If he was seriously concerned about an issue, maybe he should do a little reading -- and not just conspiracy web sites with black pages and red type.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Excellent Report from India

Brethren all,

I was trolling through the internet and found this very nice news report on the Grand Lodge of India (one of our friendliest neighbors) on You Tube. Check it out.

Visit www.thaifreemason.com

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Premier Siam Lodge of MMM

Brethren all,

Just like to remind everyone that Mark Masonry is alive and well in Phuket. As mentioned recently by Bro. Ken Ferguson:

"The only EC Mark Lodge in Thailand. Consecrated on 28th January by the Grand Master HRH Prince Michael of Kent this unattached Lodge meets in Phuket, during the months of July, September and November. The Lodge has its own website www.premier-siam-lodge-of-mark-master-masons.org"

The website is pretty cool. It allows different levels of entry based on your relation to the lodge. Take a click and check it out!

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Tracing Board

Brethren all,

I'm not entirely sure how this happened, but I seem to have published another version of The Tracing Board, the newsletter of the Thai Freemason. I blame a couple of brothers who forwarded a couple of good articles that I wanted to share with the rest of you.

If you are a subscriber, check you Inbox. It should be there. If you are not a subscriber, but you are a Master Mason from a regular constitution with an email account, please feel free to drop me a line and request a subscription. Provide all the usual details and then I'll get you on my list.

I'd like to say there'll be another issue out next month ... or next quarter, but let's just see how it goes!

Best regards,

Jim


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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Support Your Cub Scouts

All,

Just received a great email from the local chapter of the Cub Scouts. If you don't know, the Cub Scouts is part of the Boy Scouts of America and is open to all boys ages 7 to 11. Cub Scouts accepts all nationalities. Their aim is to develop strong character, train on international citizenship, develop physical, mental and moral fitness and reverence to their chosen religion.

It is a family program where parents, leaders and the organization work together to achieve the purposes of Cub Scouting. Our local pack has 56 scouts from over 20 countries including Thailand.

The scouts are in desperate need of funds to pay for supplies and outings. If you would like to donate to the Cub Scouts in Bangkok, please send an email to David. He'll let you know how to donate.


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Kipling Night

Brethren all,

Thailand's oldest lodge, Lodge St John will hold their annual Kipling Night at their next regular meeting on Wednesday, May 28th. Lodge will tyle at 18:30 and the Kipling Night should start around 19:45.

Kipling Night is an annual event at Lodge St John and is held in honor of the great English Freemason and author, Rudyard Kipling. The evening usually consists of great food, drink, fellowship and a few rousing renditions of Kipling's poetry.

All regular Freemasons are welcome to attend both the meeting and harmony. Non-Masons may be invited to the dinner to get a taste of the Thai Masonic life. Remember, non-Masonic visitors must be registered with Bro. Secretary well before the event. So get cracking!

Please contact Bro. Secretary with any questions.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bro. Kancharid Disabaedya, R.I.P.

Brethren,

It is with great regret and sadness that I announce that W. Bro. Kancharid Disabaedya passed to the Grand Lodge Above on April 27, 2008. It took me too long to write this announcement because the news was so shocking and disheartening.

Bro. Kancharid was Past District Grand President of the Board of Stewards (Scottish) and Past Master of Lodge Lane Xang, No. 1632 SC.

His cremation was held May 6th. The Scottish lodges in Thailand sponsored an evening at the Wat and a lodge of sorrow was held.

Kancharid was a member of several lodges in Bangkok and knew many of the Masons in Thailand. As anyone who knew him can attest, he was always quick with a smile and a laugh. Also in his stint as Junior Warden at Lodge St John, he consistently told the worst jokes I've ever heard.

Kancharid and I shared a special bond. We attended the same small university in the US. Everytime we got together we would share anecdotes and stories of our respective times there (though they were twenty years apart).

His death reminds us of the lessons in our degrees. Death will surely come. We know not when, where or how. However we had better be prepared for the eventual day when we hope to finally meet our maker.


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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oration Returns


I was pleased to see that UGLE have authorized the office of Orator at least at the Provincial and Grand Lodge levels. This is a concept well known in continental lodges and may be found in the French and Dutch lodges in the kingdom.

The concept is sound. One brother is responsible for creating (or at least finding) a Masonic subject for discussion. This is especially interesting in Dutch lodges where they will set aside some meetings to focus not on ritual around a lodge, but discussion around a table. The speaker may be any one from the lodge. I've witnessed brethren in Amsterdam sitting around a conference table with stern looks of concentration on their faces. Some take notes. All are engaged. At the end of the lecture, a brief pause and then a flurry of questions. The speaker stands at the lecturn, carefully thinking about each question and then answers. It's brilliant!

But the point of the Orator is not to astound with his brilliance, but rather to poke us in the side; get us away from our dinners and cocktails; and make us think about something. That is after all, why we are called Speculative Masons, isn't it?

Now that UGLE have led the way for "Anglo-Saxon" Masonry, I can't wait to see Orators in all of the lodges in Thailand. This will only benefit the Craft in the kingdom.


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Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Master Mason -- Original Poem

Brethren all,

Just received this today. Its a poem written by a brother from my mother lodge. Although he's hit some rough times lately, he finds comfort in our brotherhood.

Jim...


A MASTER MASON

MAKING GOOD MEN BETTER!
WITH HONOR WE PROCLAIM IN DIAPASON,
FOR EVERY WORD, SYLLABLE, OR LETTER
DEFINES THE DUTY OF A MASTER MASON.

A SECRET HANDSHAKE AND A SECRET PASS,
BUT A TRANSPARENT REPORT OF SOCIAL DEVOTION,
OUR RITUAL IS AN INTELLECTUAL MASS,
WITH BROTHERLY LOVE AND WORTHY EMOTION.

OUR TOOLS ARE PRESERVED BY ETHICS AND PRIDE,
THE OATHS WE TAKE WITH OUR OWN LIFE,
THE SUPREME BEING IS OUR TRUTHFUL GUIDE.
WE FEAR NO DANGER! WE FEAR NO KNIFE!

WARS, DISASTERS AND FAMINE
RELIEF AND SUPPORT COME FROM A LODGE.
WHOEVER WANTS TO REVIEW AND EXAMINE,
HISTORY IS OUR WITNESS THAT WE NEVER DODGE!

FAMOUS OR OBSURE, RICH OR POOR,
BROTHERS ARE BROTHERS UNTIL THE END.
FOR JUSTICE TO BE SERVED WE MUST ENDURE!
FREEDOM IS A RIGHT WE NEED TO DEFEND!

(c) John D. Apostolopoulos


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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Workman Unashamed

I have long loved Kit Haffner's books on Freemasonry in Asia. He's a quick witted, succinct writer with a gift for making what is often very dry history come alive.

Christopher "Kit" Haffner was a long time resident and Freemason in Hong Kong. He joined lodges in the English, Scottish and Irish constitutions and eventually was elevated to the title of District Grand Master (English).

Previously to buy one of his books, you needed to go to Zetland Hall in Hong Kong. Now however, they appear to be popping up on the web in greater numbers.

Kit's final book on Freemasonry is Workman Unashamed. In it, he refutes Christian arguments against the Craft with skill and wit. And its a shame, really. Such was the extent of the anti-Masonic bigotry in his church, that he had to completely resign from the Craft in order to take a ministerial post. Please be sure to check out Kit's final work on the Craft he loved so well.


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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Do Masons Hate God?

One of my roles as the tyrannical webmaster of this site, is to continually monitor traffic sources to make sure I've got the right meta tags to help people find the site in search engines. Most people find our site by using some combination of "Thailand, Freemason, Bangkok" and "Pattaya". However there are some interesting searches that result in people stumbling over us.

One recent search from the UK was "Do Masons Hate God". That shocked me. I've been a Mason for ten years and know a bit about the history, philosophy and intent of our organization. I've had the great fortune to meet and befriend everyone from the newest Entered Apprentices to sagest Grand Masters all over the world. Never have I met a Mason who could be described as hating God.

Recreating this search reveals excellent sites like mine (grin) as well as very informative sites from various Grand Lodges.

Unfortunately it also reveals the extent to which some people believe we are part of a great, global, Satanic conspiracy to control the world and/or destroy a specific religion. Many of these idiots seem to be using the same playbook. That would be some combination of the Taxil Hoax and Stephen Knight's The Brotherhood. These lies have been refuted so many times that I need not go through them again here. But the point is that there are people out there so insecure about their beliefs or their situation in life that they're looking for the someone to blame. Masonry is a big, fat target given our global reach and the celebrity of some of our members. Also the fact that we allow men of different religions to join our order seems to be a direct attack on certain religious fundamentalists.

As for me, I'm proud to be a Mason. I'm proud of the history of our order and the fact that we were the first organization that allowed men of different religions to meet and befriend each other. I'm overjoyed when I travel to a foreign country and am able to find good men in the lodges there. I love the beautiful lectures of our degrees which promote candidates to study their chosen religion and stand in awe at the majesty of our creator.

So to answer the searcher's question, "do Masons hate God?" No.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lodge Ratanakosin Regular Meeting

Brethren all,

The fine brethren of Lodge Ratanakosin, No. 1833 SC will hold their regular meeting on 19th May 2008. The meeting will be held at the Lodge St John Masonic Hall in Bangkok and will be followed by a Festive Board.

Lodge Ratanakosin is unique in that although it is a Scottish Constitution lodge, it is the only lodge in the world that opens and closes in Thai. That makes it a "must-see" for any Masonic Tourist.

Jim...


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Monday, March 17, 2008

Star in the East Regular Meeting

Brethren,

There's still time to attend the March regular meeting of R. L. Star in the East, No. 1600 GLNF. The meeting will be held 21st March at 18:30. Please contact the secretary for details.

A fraternal agape will follow the meeting for the low price of THB 700. A paper on Masonic symbolism will be discussed.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lodge Ratanakosin Regular Meeting

Brethren all,

Just received notice of the March meeting of Lodge Ratanakosin, No. 1833 SC on 17th March 2008 at the Lodge St John Masonic Hall in Bangkok. Tyling will be at 18:30 sharp and will be followed by a Festive Board.

Please contact Bro. Secretary for more details


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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lodge St John Regular Meeting

Lodge St John, No. 1072 SC, Thailand's oldest lodge will hold its regular meeting on 26th March at the Lodge St John Masonic Hall. Tyling will be at 18:30 prompt and will be followed by a festive board.

Please contact Bro. Secretary for more details.


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Thursday, January 31, 2008

One for the Ladies!

As I was bouncing around the web site of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, I was delighted to find that they too get oddball questions. So many of these have come from women interested in Freemasonry that they now have links to the British International Order of Co-Masonry and the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons

Both of these are long-standing, respectable organizations promoting the Craft among women. By all accounts the Masonry they practice would be considered "regular", but they are not recognized by mainstream Freemasonry.

As far as we know, there are no female Masons or related organizations operating in Thailand at this time. But if there were...do they have Gentlemen's Nights?


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Light of Siam Stated Meeting

Brethren all,

Light of Siam Lodge will hold their stated meeting on Saturday, 26th January 2008 at 3:30pm in Phuket. The harmony following costs THB 2000 and includes refreshments.

Please contact Bro. Junior Warden if you intend to visit.


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QCCC on the DaVinci Code

Brethren all,

In Volume 116 of the transactions, Bro. R. A. Gilbert wrote an intersting review of this nearly five year old book. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown remains an international bestseller, that despite its inaccuracies has generated significant interest in Freemasonry.

The review picks apart Brown's errant theology and history to reveal many of the inaccuracies at the heart of the novel. Bro. Gilbert is quick, accurate and to the point.

Why bring this up now? Well, with Brown's upcoming novel focusing on Freemasonry, I'm sure we'll see many of the same canards and falsehoods reused. It would be useful for the brethren to be knowledgeable enough to respond effectively!

The article is available on the QCCC website. Just click the da Vinci Code once you get there.


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Monday, January 7, 2008

Erasmus Anniversary

Congratulations to the brethren of Loge Erasmus, No. 297 NC on this their second anniversary. The brethren have worked exceedingly hard to establish the loge and develop new Masonic traditions in Bangkok.

Brethren will celebrate at their meeting on 12th January where they will have a special guest.

The brethren will also pass the Chalice of Hope on to Lodge Baden Powell in Melbourne, Australia.


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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Masonic Symbolism in the Magic Flute

Brethren looking for an excuse to visit Singapore might consider heading down over on Saturday, 26th January. Lodge Saint Michael, No. 2933 EC will conduct a seminar on "Masonic Symbolism in Mozart's Magic Flute." The seminar will be held at Freemasons Hall, 23 A Coleman Street, Singapore at 14:00.

Please contact your lodge secretary for details.


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