25 June 2008

It's working...Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part, Happy to Meet Again...

From our website.

The idea of St. Andrew's Lodge No.34 was created in June of 2001 on a trip to the United Kingdom. A group of Shrine-Masons from Utah traveled to England and Scotland and participated in what was some of our first experiences of UK Freemasonry. When we returned to Utah we sought a way to relive those experiences including the "Festive Board" in a similar fashion. Shortly thereafter at the annual Grand Lodge of Utah Communication St. Andrew's Lodge No.34 was constituted. St. Andrew's Lodge No.34 is unique in that it was the first lodge in Utah constituted under the occasional lodge legislation and it meets but 4 times a year. Burn's Night in January. Tartan Day in April. St. John's Day in June and for our patron Saint we meet on St. Andrew's Day in November. We adhere to a dress code. Those who have Scottish attire we encourage you to wear it and those that do not it is expected that you follow the UK model and wear Morning Suit or Black Suit, white shirt and black colored or tartan tie. White aprons are provided for visitors and as a member you are encouraged to purchase your own UK variety Master Mason apron. We encourage you to attend and reservations are a must for the Festive Board.

I am pleased to say it's working. St. Andrew's in it's infancy was a degree team lodge of sorts. We were called upon (mostly at the last minute) to fill in for parts not yet met in our sister lodges when they were performing a Master Mason Degree. That "role" quickly became old as it was hard for a lodge of PM's and PGL officers to run about the state with all our other responsibilities not to mention vocations and familes to perform at the drop of a hat and perform well.

In the last two and a half years I am pleased to say we have come very close to the original concept of "the household of the faithful" with a short well run meeting and a great meal inclusive of liabations, toasts and brotherhood. The meetings get better every time and November looks to be great with petitions ever coming in. Oh and not to get to far away from our orgins we will be doing some interesting degree presentations this Fall.

That's all...

J. Liley IPM
St. Andrew's Lodge No. 34

18 June 2008

George Washington is Dead, Deal with it...

No offense to the memory of a great Mason but follow me here as in reference to my prior post.  I am from back East.  I was born in Boston and raised in New Jersey.  Washington's retreat from New York was 5 miles from my house.  Every other town is Washington this or Washington that.  Great man and leader who deserves such honors.  I have many books on the man and love the history of that time in our country.

I did not join Freemasonry because of George Washington.  I did not join Freemasonry because of some long dead actor, politician or preacher.  Frankly I was reading about Scottish history,  my own familiar lines within the Fraternity (Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Uncle) and my friend was a member of Wasatch Lodge No. 1 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Another friend I had spent many times with asking many questions of was also a Mason at that time in Acacia Lodge No. 17 also of Salt Lake City, Utah.  I joined because of what I had learned from what I had read and had asked and because of my friends. That's it.  Now Brother George and the like are part of us all Masonically speaking, but when an 18 year old lad asks me about Freemasonry and I tell him "George Washington was a Mason".  There is a disconnect for the uninitiated.  "You know the dude on the dollar".  Afterwards it makes more sense to him, before not much.  This quote is from my Oration this past February 2008 at Grand Lodge.  I think it makes the point.

Yesterday is today and history is NOW.
If you look around this room you will see new and seasoned members.  Between us all, are not gaps of time but an indisolvable chain of Friendship and Brotherly Love.  A link if you will to the Past brought to the present to the NOW.  Knowledge, stories, experience, hopes, fears and dreams.   Both young and old “we” have been and are NOW part of a many centuries old Fraternity.  “We” are the caretakers and protectors of the household of the faithful.  And while “we” cannot claim credit for Freemasonry’s Glorious Past “We” everyone one of us here in this room today are responsible for what Freemasonry will be in the Future.  This Fraternity, it’s culture is unmatched by any other endeavor in today’s society.  “We” as “Freemasons” need to embrace the ever-changing opportunities given to us.  “We” need to evolve without disregarding our history and traditions so that “we” can insure that our Fraternity will return to the forefront of our modern society.

That's all...


Freemasonry's Quandry?

When you search the Internet and look at what is promoted as historical information as to the Craft of Freemasonry you will inevitably finds references to "famous" Masons. If they are so famous why then do "we" have to tell you? As I see it in this "long bridge" from the "olde guard" to us the "newbies" there is this nostalgic want of the past. Where the actors of the silver screen and the captains of industry were Masons. Dude. That's gone. Yes on the rare occasion "we" can still lay claim to a politician or a company President or a current "war hero". But the day when our ranks had a goodly percentage of those fellows is for the time being gone. What "we" have now upon the transitional bridge are those fellows of everyday life and of everyday everything. The recent article in the LA Times (see link) was much touted but honestly I have seen this in my own home lodge for many years. "We" the representatives of everyday men are at the end of the bridge waving bye-bye to Clark Gable, John Wayne and President Truman. "We" may achieve these worldly things of prestige or fame in our lifetime and like Albert Pike the Esoteric Poster Boy "we may" in what "we may become" shall reside on some list someday somewhere on somebody's Internet Machine... That's it....