Archive for August, 2016

Farewell Uncle Bill

Posted: August 12, 2016 in Masonic

I awoke this morning with very sad news. Worshipful Brother Willis Barrie had passed away.

At my initiation in Freemasonry at Victory Lodge many years ago, Uncle Bill (as he was affectionately known) was the Tyler of the Lodge. Being exceptionally nervous, having absolutely no clue what I was in for, seeing Mason after Mason walking past me into the Lodge, only making the nerves worse.

Once all the Brethren were inside, whilst hearing the opening ode being sung, Uncle Bill came to me with a reassuring smile, and told me to change into the initiate clothing. He took me to the Lodge room door, blindfolded me and knocked on the door  with the heavy door knocker.

The door opened, and Uncle Bill announced me, as I entered, he gave me a squeeze on the arm, and whispered, “relax and enjoy” LOL, took me a few moments to realise what he said that very heavy Scottish accent.

Uncle Bill made my time at Victory Lodge very enjoyable, with his many anecdotes and Scottish antics.


I got to experience a brilliant depiction of the “address to the haggis” at the   Brakpan Burns evening, the Scottish Lodge he belonged to.

 

 

The Old Tyler
By Rob Morris

It was a happy thought
To have these gavels wrought
By the old Tyler, for the honored Craft
Though placed without the door,
To make the Lodge secure,
You know him as a bright and polished shaft.

How many a year he’s stood,
Old Schreiner, brave and good,
And guarded you while secret works went on!
How many a Brother’s dead,
Since first his honored head
Was seen amongst you in the early June.

Can you forget him? No
His earthly form may go,
His kindly smile be hidden in the sod
But when those gavels ring,
Fond memories they will bring
Of the old Tyler gone to rest with God.

Then let his gavels sound
At every annual round,
And when you hear them think of him that gave
‘Tis but a fleeting day,
And then the Craft will say,
The Lodge has joined old Schreiner in the grave!

A knock will yet be heard,
The sheeted dead be stirred,
With all that are and have been we shall rise
Oh, may each Brother come,
Thus summoned from his tomb,
And share eternal glory in the skies!

So as a final final toast to an old friend.. “happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again”

 

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New blood in Orphic Lodge

Posted: August 2, 2016 in Masonic, Uncategorized

Masonic growth has been on a decline worldwide over the last few years. In my opinion, we have caused this internally, and it’s up to all Masons to re-build the Fraternity with young enthusiastic candidates in their respective Lodges.

Historically, Freemasons were forbidden to recruit in anyway, and the requirement was for those interested to approach a Mason he know well and discuss the potential of joining the Craft. Fathers would usually encourage their sons to join, however, with the strict restrictions in place, couldn’t explain too much of what Masonry was.

This has resulted in a decrease in membership in my generation and especially the current one, as our respective generations are more cautious to join something they do not understand or obtain the relevant information to make an informed decision.

Fortunately, this has been recognized with all Grand Lodges worldwide, and amendments to the respective  Constitutions are allowing recruitment and Masons being more “open” about the Fraternity.

Bringing in young blood is crucial to Fraternal growth and in line with that focus, our District have introduced ,University Scheme Lodges and active recruitment project aimed at young students.

Our Lodge have open evenings, as posted by my sister, Jeanette, A Night with the Freemasons, where we are able to explain what Freemasonry to non-masons and attract potential candidates.

Through being able to speak openly about my Masonic passion and the journey I have taken thus far, I have been honored by initiating four close friends and colleagues into Masonry as the Worshipful Master over the past few months.  Being a Past Worshipful Master, I was able to conduct the ceremony personally, which made the evening even more special.

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Unfortunately, due to a stigma attached to Masonry by ignorant/uneducated persons, family members and work colleagues, many Masons still need to remain incognito