Friday, June 26, 2009

Masonic Etiquette

Brethren all,

One of my most vivid memories in lodge was the first time I visited a Scottish lodge in Hong Kong. As a very new Mason coming from a small, suburban Chicago lodge, I was overwhelmed by the size and pageantry of the meeting.

That was also my first Burns Night and of course, my first taste of haggis. At dinner, we went through the various toasts including a toast to the visitors. The D of C had previously asked if I would respond on behalf of the twenty or so visitors on hand for the Burns Night. Unwittingly, I agreed.

A lengthy and witty visitor's toast was made. The brethren stood and toasted us and then it was my turn. I stood. Raised my glass and said, "Thank you." Then promptly sat down. Amid the puzzled laughter, the D of C ran over and said that I should probably say a bit more. Having never heard a response to a visitors toast, I was clueless what to say. I nervously stood and mumbled my way through another few sentences of praise for this or that. It was a disaster.

Luckily for you, District 124 of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and ACT in Sydney, Australia have provided a very useful Masonic Etiquette Guide. This is an interesting and comprehensive guide to how one should act in lodge and at the festive board. It was written with Australian Masonry in mind, but you may apply the principals to any of the lodges in Thailand or elsewhere for that matter.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Morgan: The Book!

Brethren all,

Since I unintentionally lifted an entire article from another site without any sort of acknowledgments, I thought I should at least shamelessly plug the book.

A podcast interview with the author, Bro.: Stephen Dafoe is available here. The interview starts at around eight minutes into the program.

Now, go buy it!


Monday, June 15, 2009

The Morgan Affair

Brethren all,

I received an interesting email over the weekend from my dear friend Bro.: Eddy Norris in South Africa. Its a review and summary of a new book coming out entitled, Morgan:The Scandal That Shook Freemasonry.

The book provides the latest information on a cold case that nearly destroyed Freemasonry in America. Was William Morgan killed by Masons because he was publishing an expose of the Craft's ritual? Or was he simply deported to Canada in a deal worked out between American and Canadian Freemasons? Was the Masonic Governor of New York somehow involved?

The review of the book may be found here.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Freemasonry and the French Revolution

Brethren all,

I just received notice of an interesting exhibit taking place in London from 1st July to 18th December 2009 on Napoleon's influence on French Freemasonry.

The exhibit will be at Freemasons Hall on Great Queens St and will showcase how Napoleon's campaigns in Egypt "touched the popular and Masonic imagination and
encouraged the use of Egyptian architecture and motifs in the decoration of Masonic aprons and documents. Examples of these will be on show together with French ceramics of the revolutionary period, including a double handled Sèvres porcelain cup and saucer and medals celebrating the role of Napoleon’s family and associates in freemasonry."

Other items on display will be aprons and regalia used by French prisoners of war. Interestingly the exhibit will also include a sampling of the anti-Masonic literature which began appearing at that time.

If you're going to visit ol' Blighty this year, then make sure to make this one of your stops. Click here for more information.