The 2020 Florida 191st Annual Grand Communication Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, per the order of Most Worshipful Grand Master Westerman in a notice from 4/25/2020. Details may be found on our Face Book page – www.facebook.com/groups/287240141331190/
PRIVATE EVENT FOR FRATERNAL FUND – Adults Acrylic Pouring
Class – Join us to learn the basics of fluid art as you pour, drip,
mix, and splatter to your heart’s content to create a contemporary and
unique piece of Florida artwork. Completed pieces need about 48 hours to
cure and may be picked up the same week!
Class is approximately 45 – 60 minutes.
State of Florida shape is 18″ tall
Class is a bit messy, we provide aprons, but please wear clothing that you are comfortable in if there is a mishap.
***Bring a clean (label and cap rim removed) wine bottle or small glass jar for a Residual Pour!
Our Ladies’ Night Dinner on Monday night was a big success. This is a regular event to honor and cherish our Ladies that support us and our Masonic Home friends and families. Great food – a big thank you to the Past WMs Pitts’ Claude and Steven and current WM Chris Webb. Good times and fellowship for our guests from the Masonic Home and for our Brothers’ families. Thanks to everyone for coming out.
We started out with a delicious steak, potatoes, & toasted rolls dinner, (thank you Worshipful Masters Chris Webb and Steven Pitts). The meeting turnout was good. We had two brothers (Lee & Jim) go through the FellowCraft Degree Monday night, Jan 27th at our Lodge. We were fortunate to have Worshipful Master Pat Lynch and two other Masonic brothers from Gulf Beach F&AM Lodge attend the ceremony. Year 2020 is starting out to be a good year!
Pilgrimage Day will be Saturday March 17th here at the Masonic Home, 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Come out and enjoy the afternoon with your Brothers, family and friends while enjoying Book Sales, Arts & Crafts, Games, Music, Entertainment, Car Show and BBQ Cook-Off.
All are welcome, so if you know someone who is interested in Free Masonry, invite them to come out and see our Beautiful Masonic Home.
It is our sad duty to report that B William Richard West passed away. There was a memorial service held at the Lodge for his many friends. The Brothers of the Lodge held a Masonic Service during this memorial for B West. Please keep B West’s friends in your prayers during this sad time.
It is our sad duty to report that B Laurence Upham passed away. Please keep B Upham’s family and friends in your prayers in this sad time.
A Brother being met on a stormy night wading from Lodge and ridiculed for the unnecessary exposure, sent the following 14 reasons for his conduct, says the Michigan Masonic World:
- Because the by-laws of my Lodge and the character of my engagements as a Mason make no exception for stormy evenings.
- Because I expect the Worshipful Master to be there I should be surprised if he were to remain away on account of the storm.
- Because if his hands should fail through weakness, I should have great reason to blame myself, unless I sustain him by my presence and good wishes.
- Because by staying away I may lose the instruction which would do me great good.
- Because my presence is more needed on those evenings when there are but few, than when the Lodge is full.
- Because whatever station I may hold in the Lodge, my example must influence others. If I stay away, why not they?
- Because on any important business, bad weather does not keep me at home.
- Because among the crowd of pleasure seekers, I see that bad weather does not keep the delicate female from the ball, the party or the concert.
- Because among other advantages, stormy evenings will show me what foundation my Masonic attachment is built. It will prove how much I love Masonry. True love never misses an appointment.
- Because those who absent themselves from the Lodge because it is too warm, too cold or t0o stormy frequently absent themselves from the fairest evenings.
- Because an avoidable absence from the Lodge is an infallible evidence of Masonic coldness.
- Because there is a special promise that where two or three are gathered together in God’s name, He will meet them.
- Because such yielding of surmountable difficulties prepares for yielding to those merely imaginary, until thousands never enter the Lodge, and yet think they have good reasons for neglect.
- Because I know not how many more evenings God may give me, and it will be poor plea for affectionate remembrances which I crave as a Mason, that I slighted my last Masonic evening on earth.
An article from the Michigan Masonic World reprinted in the Builder Magazine in 1925.
The following is a non-Mason’s assessment and view on modern Freemasonry and its history. This is a well-written article by Margaret Kohut, written in August 2006, essentially examining ‘Fact vs. Fiction’ surrounding Freemasonry:
“Members of the order of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons are generally referred to as “Freemasons” or simply as “Masons.” Although this fraternal order has existed for centuries, interest in Freemasonry was sparked by Dan Brown’s novel ‘Angels and Demons’ which was written before The ‘Da Vinci Code’. Rumors about the Masons have always been controversial; some based in fact but misunderstood and taken out of context, and some that are strictly whimsical fantasy. The Masonic order is perhaps the most misunderstood organization in known history – except by its own members.
This article focuses on the facts of Freemasonry and dispels the myths of secret conspiracies and strange, sinister rituals. Drive through any town of decent size, and you will see a welcome sign that depicts the square and compass with the letter “G” prominently displayed in the middle. This sign informs a visitor that a Masonic Lodge exists in the area, and tells the visitor that he has Brothers available for aid of any type, or an opportunity to meet like-minded fellow Masons.
Most Masons wear some sort of identifying symbol; a ring, watch, necklace, or shirt displaying the square and compass. Masons recognize each other also by “passes, signs and grips;” certain spoken words, gestures and handshakes known only to Masons. A Master Mason takes a vow never to reveal to “outsiders” the nature of the passes, signs and grips. Yes, the Freemasons are a secret society. But “secret” does not equal”sinister” although many people assume this fact without evidence.
There are very specific reasons for the secret nature of Freemasonry; throughout the centuries, Masons have been persecuted by religious groups, political organizations and world leaders because of their opposition to tyranny and closed-mindedness. Adolf Hitler attempted to wipe out Masonry in Europe and the Masons were forced to hide their affiliation with the order. Masons have also been nearly exterminated by the Vatican and European monarchs. The reason for their secrecy was survival, and the practice continues today merely out of tradition. A Mason today will tell you anything you’d like to know about their fraternal organization except the signs, grips and passes, which are never written down in any form or repeated to non-Masons.
What does that square and compass mean? These are two working tools of actual masons; those who build structures, walls, brick and stone work, carpentry, etc. Their symbolic meaning is the “construction” of a society, a community, a nation, a religious faith of any nature, and a family. The requirements to become a Mason is that you are (1) male (2) of legal age (3) free-born, and (4) you believe in a Supreme Being, whom the Masons refer to as the Great Architect of the Universe. The square and compass symbolize structure, fairness, tolerance, “right-thinking” and tolerance of others’ beliefs. The “Gil stands for either God or Geometry. Freemasonry is not a religion, as some myths have it. The nature of your Supreme Being is entirely up to you; Masons welcome every religion and faith regardless of ethnic origin or nationality.
The legend of the beginning of Freemasonry lies deep in antiquity with the building of King Solomon’s temple in 1000 B.C.E. This legend has it that the architect and primary builder of the temple was Hiram Abif, an accomplished stonemason of the highest order. In that age, master craftsmen like Hiram Abif did not reveal the secrets of their craft to anyone who was undeserving of this knowledge. After the temple was completed, three men, called the “three rufians”, Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum demanded that Hiram reveal the secret of his talents as a master craftsman. Hiram Abif refused to reveal this information and was murdered by the “three J’S.” Upon Hiram Abif’s death, the real word (i.e. password) of master masons was lost.
Keep in mind that this was a time when few people were literate, and in some places a written alphabet did not exist. Therefore, signs, passes and grips weren’t written, but spoken or physically demonstrated. Hiram Abif is often referred to simply as “the widow’s son” among Masons; a promise requested from a Mason from the widow’s son is a very serious matter; it should never be asked for lightly, and, if made, must never be broken.
In the 1666, after the Great London Fire destroyed the city, master craftsmen were in great demand, especially to re-build St. Paul’s Cathedral. Craftsmen began to meet together for fellowship in pubs and coffeehouses to exchange ideas and methods and how they could assist in restoring London to its former glory. Recalling the legend of Hiram Abif, the first Grand Lodge was formed in 1717 and elected Anthony Sayer as the first Grand Master. Freemasonry was born! One article cannot possibly cover the entire history and practice of Freemasonry; only a general outline is presented here. Masons never call attention to themselves or actively recruit members. The slogan “2B1 , Ask1” (To Be One, Ask One) is literally how men become Masons; if they wish to know more about Masonry, all they need do is ask a Brother to have all their questions answered with the exception, of course, of the signs, passes and grips which are not taught to any man until he is “raised” as a Master Mason.
In brief, Masonry consists of three “degrees” of the Blue Lodge: the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft, and the Master Mason. The Blue Lodge degrees are kind of like having an undergraduate college degree; you can stop there and enjoy full membership in the Craft, or you may choose to pursue additional knowledge through the three advanced Masonic degrees of the Mystic Shrine, the York Rite, and the Scottish Rite.
The Shrine is a branch of Masonry that has two objectives: having fun and fellowship with other Nobles, together with the very serious task of financially supporting the 23 Shrine Hospitals for Children throughout the nation. Shriners contribute to a yearly budget of over 6 billion dollars to provide free care to crippled or burned children. State of the art medical care, and absolutely no charge regardless of the complexity of the child’s care. No other fraternal organization in the world comes close to the Shrine Hospitals in philanthropy and medical excellence. The appendant organization for female relatives of Shriners,
the Daughters of the Nile, exist to support the Shrine’s work in caring for children by helping to raise funds, making toys, crafts of all kinds, holiday gifts etc. for the hospitalized children.
The Scottish Rite and its 32 degrees, focuses on “right living,” moral and ethical values, and service to others. It enhances teachings of the three degrees of the Blue Lodge. It enriches a Brother’s understanding of the lessons of Masonry so that he may put those values into action in his own life, his community, his family and the religious faith of his choice. In the Scottish Rite, Masons learn the “word that was lost” by the murder of Hiram Abif. A man who wears the symbol of the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite, the double-headed eagle, has proven himself to be moral, ethical, and responsible, a Prince of the Royal Secret.
In the York Rite, the three highest degrees are devoted soley to Christianity. The ultimate degree in the York Rite is the designation as a Knight Templar; these Masons are referred to as “Sir Knight” and their ceremonial dress includes a
plumed hat, white gloves, and a silver sword engraved with the Knight’s name. The Templar legend is intertwined with Freemasonry; it is patterned after the nine original Knights that were dispatched by the Vatican to give safe passage to
Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Lands. Since the ownership of Jerusalem was in dispute between Christians and Muslims, these pilgrims were often murdered on the roads as infidels by Muslim assassins. The Templar Knights grew in number, taking up residence at the site of King Solomon’s Temple; they were reputed to be the fiercest warriors of their time, and they also grew wealthy and powerful in their own right. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, King Phillip of Spain and Pope Clement the Fifth ordered the mass extermination of the Templar Knights all over Europe; this is tl1e origin of our superstition about Friday the 13th. Many Templars were killed, and their leader, Jacques DeMolay, was burned at the stake. The surviving Templars went underground in order to survive. Today, a Sir Knight takes an obligation to defend the faith of Christianity and to conduct themselves in a manner commensurate to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is a serious, solemn obligation that is never taken lightly. No Mason is pressured to become a Knight Templar or adopt the Christian faith.
Several myths about Masonry persist despite proof that they are not based on facts. Freemasons have no interest in dominating others through a New World Order. In fact. Masons are forbidden to discuss politics of any kind while meeting in the Lodge to prevent discord among the Brothers. There is no such thing as a Masonic Illuminati, a sinister make-believe organization that also seeks world domination and the destruction of organized religion. Masons do not worship Satan. The controversial and misunderstood writings of Brother Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, refer to “Lucifer” only as an allegory of enlightenment; the name literally means” morning star” and has nothing to do with Satan worship. When confronted with this myth, Masons smile and remind their accuser that the very first self-striking matches were called “Lucifers.” Does that mean that the inventor of the match was a Satanist? Masons are not “a bunch of rich and powerful men” as is mistakenly thought. Men from all walks of life and all economic status are Masons; all Brothers are equal, and leave their money, their status, their religion and their politics at the door of the Lodge. All are “on the level” quite literally; a Masonic Lodge is built with that concept in mind.
The leader of a Lodge is voted into office by the Brothers and is referred to as the Worshipful Master. Contrary to the myth, this doesn’t mean that the Master himself is worshipped; it means that he, above all Brothers of the Lodge, must be the most worshipful of the Great Architect and Masonic tradition. Satanic “magician” Aleister Crowley was not a Mason, although he claimed to be. For over a century, the myth has persisted that Jack the Ripper was a Mason and was either imprisoned or killed by his Brothers to prevent him from killing prostitutes on the streets of London in 1888. There is no conclusive evidence that Jack was a Mason. Likewise, Freemasons did not found the Nazi party; this is certainly evident as Hitler either killed or imprisoned every Mason he could find because they opposed his “final solution” of genocide. In fact, many Masons were interred in concentration camps because of their outspoken defense of the Jews.
Finally, despite the myth that Masons are disemboweled and their tongues cut out if they reveal the secrets of the order, this is just plain silly. The obligation of secrecy. and the ritualistic penalty for violating it, is symbolic, not actual. Masonic obligations are spoken before the Lodge members, while the candidate is “hoodwinked” (blindfolded) with his right hand placed upon the open Bible and the square and compass. Only after taking his obligations is the hoodwink removed, ushering the Brother into the Light. Violation of obligations may result in very severe penalties, including expulsion from the order.
The truth about Freemasonry is that it is a benevolent fraternal organization that exists to personify role models of decency and honesty among their fellows, Masons or non-Masons. They are intensely patriotic, devoted to their families, and seek opportunities to provide service and aid to others. The truth is that women cannot be Masons; this is an organization of men who band together with other men of like-thinking. Some organizations that call themselves Masons do admit women as full members. A “real” Mason, however, takes a solemn obligation never to accept a woman as a Mason. Masonry, however, is very much a family endeavor.
The Order of the Eastern Star consists of Masons and their female relatives, who provide service and aid to their community, teach lessons of moral living such as fidelity, devotion to family, self-sacrifice for the good of others, faith in God, and loving charity towards others. Masons aren’t “women haters.” On the contrary, they treat their spouses with devotion, fidelity, honor and kindness. Masons refer to their wives as their “Lady,” and other Masons treat her with great respect. In a very big way, the wives and daughters of Masons receive the benefits of Masonry through the protection and love of their husbands and fathers.
The truth is that Masons are devoted parents; the Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters and DeMolays are organizations for the daughters and sons of Masons so that they might learn the ways of “right livingII as well as providing a supportive, positive peer group. Remember that “2B1, Ask1.” ”
“WHAT’S HE GOTTEN HIMSELF INTO THIS TIME?”
It may seem a light-hearted way to ask the question, but still it’s a question many women have when their husbands decide to join the Masonic Lodge. In spite of the fact that we’ve been around for hundreds of years, many people don’t know that much about us, even people whose fathers were Freemasons.
So we’d like to tell you a little more about the Fraternity your husband is joining. Especially, we’d like to tell you about some of the benefits YOU will get from Masonry. It may be for men, but our Ladies get a lot from it, too. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
WHAT IS HE GOING THROUGH? HOW DOES HE ACTUALLY JOIN MASONRY?
There are three degrees or stages of membership: (1) Entered Apprentice, (2) Fellow Craft and (3) Master Mason.
Masonry takes many of its terms and symbols from the craft guilds which built the great cathedrals and castles of the Middle Ages. The beginning craft stonemason, just starting to learn the skills he would need, was an Apprentice, entered on the rolls of the guild. That’s where the name comes from.
He will have to learn some memory work before he can take the next degree. Since that material is not written, he’ll have to learn it from another Mason, and that may take him some time away from home. As soon as he is ready, he’Il go to a meeting of the Lodge and show them that he has learned the material. A little encouragement from you can make all the difference here. For most men, this first memory work is the hardest. He can learn it, millions of us have. If he gets discouraged, we’d appreciate it if you’d remind him that he really can learn it. After the first couple of sessions, it gets much easier for him.
The Degrees are learning experiences. There is nothing silly or frivolous about them. They talk about the duty we owe to God, to our families, our country and ourselves. They teach the importance of self-development, patience and self-control.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SECRETS?
Really, there are very few “secrets” in Masonry, and they relate to ways a man can prove he’s a Mason to another Mason. We keep those secrets because a Mason will do almost anything to help another Mason or his family. He earns the right to that help because he promises to give that help to others. But there are no secrets about the teachings or values of Masonry. After your husband receives the Master Mason Degree, he can obtain a Monitor, which sets forth the teachings in the same words he heard. You’re perfectly welcome to read it.
HOW MUCH OF HIS TIME IS MASONRY GOING TO TAKE?
That’s up to the two of you. In most cases, It depends upon the man’s age. Generally, older men have more time to give than younger men. It may be only a few hours a year, or it may be many hours a week. Masonry, itself, doesn’t take much time, but many Masons find things they really like to do. Some serve as volunteer drivers, taking crippled children and their parents to Shrine Masonic hospitals in other states where they are treated free of charge. Some decide they want to be officers, and that takes a tittle more time, just as it does with any organization.
And then you may decide you want to participate in some of the family dinners, picnics, outings and other activities of the Lodge. Each family tailors Masonic involvement to its own needs and wants.
WHAT DO THE REST OF US GET OUT OF IT?
Masonry offers a lot to the family. In fact, there are several Masonic organizations for both women and men. The Order of the Eastern Star, with one of the most beautiful rituals around, is one. So are the White Shrine of Jerusalem, the Order of Amaranth, the Social Order of the Beauceant, and several others. If you have children, there are Masonic Youth organizations. For boys, 13-21, there’s the Order of DeMolay. For girls there is Rainbow and Job’s Daughters. These organizations can be important to your children. Not on]y do they offer a chance for your children to be with others in a structured anti supervised activity which teaches ethics and morality, they also teach social skills, leadership skills, and self-development. All that can be reassuring in these days of drugs and teenage pregnancy.
And Freemasonry offers benefits to you, too. If you need help, at home or in a strange town, that help is as near as the nearest Mason. There are literally thousands of cases in point. Suppose you have car trouble when you’re traveling cross country. You don’t know who to trust in that town to fix the car and not cheat you. Find a Mason (Lodges are listed in the phone book) and tell him you’re the wife of a Mason. He’ll do everything he can to help you.
ARE THERE THINGS MY HUSBAND CAN’T TELL ME ABOUT MASONRY?
Very little. We ask him to keep secret the words of the obligation and the memory work, because that’s one of the major ways we have of recognizing another Mason. We ask him not to tell anyone who isn’t a Mason about the grips, passwords, and other means of recognition. But he can tell you anything you want to know about the teachings, the values, the ideals and the structure of Masonry.
CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MASONRY IF I WANT TO?
Sure! We’re happy to give you all the information you want. Your husband may not be able to answer all your questions yet–it takes a while to learn. But feel free to write to the Grand Secretary, P.O. Box 1020, Jacksonville, FL 32201 about any questions you have. We’ll have a Brother answer your letter personally, and do our best to answer your questions.
(c) Grand Lodge of Florida, F. & A.M.
If he is interested in joining, have him download and fill out a petition and bring it in to us, so we can meet him personally!