Archive for August, 2013

Yesterday was a very emotional day.  A good friend’s father passed away last week,  and his funeral was yesterday.  To me,  he wasn’t just my friend’s dad…  He was also my Brother. 

Worshipful Brother Errol Thomson died tragically driving home from visiting a nearby lodge.  Having obtained the rank of Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Africa,  Errol was  well known and loved by all. 

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A proud Mason and a loving husband,  father and grandfather,  Errol epitomised what Masonry is.  A gentle soul who loved the outdoors,  he took great pleasure in teaching new Masons in our ancient Craft,  and I grew to respect him more every day.

In the English Constitution,  a newly installed Master traditionally would have 3 Past Masters present the working tools for the 3 degrees in Masonry. 
I was honoured to have Errol present the 2nd degree working tools at my installation,  who accepted my request without hesitation.  Being from a different constitution,  Errol had to study the English ritual,  which he did with great gusto.

The funeral was attended by a wide range of Brethren,  who had the opportunity to bid farewell to our Brother in traditional Masonic ways.  

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A pure lambskin apron and a single white glove placed upon the coffin,  with a large sprig of Acasia placed upon them. This symbolism marking one of the most important times in the history of Masonry and an honour bestowed by Brethren to their fallen Brother. 

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With the sign of Reverence,  I chose from a basket an Acasia sprig  and placed it alongside the countless others as a token of memories never to be forgotten.

I close this blog with a poem written by an unknown Mason at the funeral of a Brother.

Farewell my Brother and may your dear soul rest in peace in the Grand Lodge above. 

There gathered a throng of the bold, the brave;
They stood around a Brother’s open grave;
Such were the words their leader said, As they sadly bent o’er the sleeping dead:

“Brother! round thy home, thy hearth,
Desolation spreads its dearth;
When the evening birds rejoice,
They thou lov’st will miss thy voice;
Wife, and sisters, bright eyed sons,
They, the lone, and weeping ones;
They, the loving, and the fair,
Brother, they will miss thee there!

“Brother! when yon manly throng
Raise the hymn and swell the song;
When they strike each full-toned string,
To the lay they’re wont to sing;
Will they miss one swelling tone?
Will they think of one that’s gone?
In the hallowed house of prayer,
Brother, they will miss thee there.

“Brother! we have laid this night
Thee beneath the mountain’s height;
We have stood beside thy grave,
We have wept, who could not save.
Shall the world mark us with scorn?
Brother, it is thee we’ve borne.
Shall the stranger mock the tear?
Brother, we have touched thy bier.

“By the vows that passed the night
Of thy new inaugural rite;
By our own, our hallowed sign,
By the love that still is thine;
By the heart and by the hand,
Of our own beloved band;
By the tears which bright eyes shower,
Brother, we are here this hour.

“Shall we wait thy coming feet,
When our noble Lodge shall meet;
Shall we stay to hear them fall;
Shall we wait our Brother’s call?
No! for thou art far away,
From the world, and with the clay;
And may we who still remain,
Stand prepared for Death’s last pain,

“When the sun and moon are fled,
And the graves shall yield their dead;
When the mystic spell is broken,
Of the secret softly spoken;
When the chariots fill the air,
Brother, may we meet thee there!
When the earth’s firm walls are riven,
Brother, may we meet in Heaven!

Author unknown

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