Archive for the ‘Masonic’ Category

King Solomons Chair..Chapt 2

Posted: October 27, 2019 in Masonic, Poem, poetry

As many of my family and friends know, Freemasonry is a very important aspect of my life. In addition to my District duties, I also belong to multiple Masonic Lodges and Chapters.

My mother Lodge, Orphic Lodge, District Grand Stewards Lodge, Vrede Lodge, Orphic Royal Arch Chapter and Composite Rose Croix Chapter. A specialist lodge dedicated to Police and Emergency Services, Vrede Lodge welcomed me with open arms, and I found fraternising with like minded serviceman fulfilling. In addition to the usual Masonic requirements, there is one additional pre-requisite to join Vrede…. you must be either a current, or ex-police officer and to boost the membership, we have now opened the doors for membership by current and ex-emergency services.

fullsizeoutput_188a

I was honoured to the elected by the Brethren of Vrede Lodge to lead the lodge into the new year, and this week, was installed as the Worshipful Master.

fullsizeoutput_1870

…Jubilee memorial jewel and collarette worn by the Worshipful Master…

I was last in the Chair in 2011 in Orphic Lodge (https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/a-surreal-experience/) and surprisingly, even though it has been 8 years post that surreal experience, and having attended over 120 Installations as a District officer, I found being installed again felt the same.The poem I wrote in February 2011 remains apt to this day. ( https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/king-solomons-chair/

Thank you to my fellow Brethren who have placed their trust in me to lead the Lodge into 2020. It’s going to be a great year !!

End of a Masonic Year

Posted: October 6, 2019 in Masonic

Yesterday marked the end of yet another year in the calendar of the District of SA North, under the United Grand Lodge of England. On the 1st Saturday of October each year, the District Grand Master invests his new officers for the year, some being first appointments, and others being promotions.

Screen Shot 2019-10-06 at 18.06.17

This year was no different. Always the highlight of the year, where all the Lodges in the District come together, whether to be Johannesburg or Carltonville, Louis Trichardt or Nelspruit, Botswana and Swaziland, and even a contingent as far as Mauritius.

kr4XZnMmRu6JWVKnmAbzlQ_thumb_27bb

The annual meeting gives us an opportunity to meet up with Brethren from far and wide, laugh and joke and have some serious interactions.. but, defininately a main attraction before the meeting starts….shopping!!

…yes, even us men love shopping….

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27d3UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27ceUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27c8kY9ZfmdLT4ShkMmW5llbqA_thumb_27c5quumoiKNR5aVWsbFtkwcPw_thumb_27cc

And then the seriousness began, and the investiture of Active District Officers were invested.

oK5v15%KRXCcRglQ1yr7Mg_thumb_27be

I was honoured to be retain my position in the Royal Arch as District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and receive a promotion to District Junior Grand Deacon in the Craft. 

WftrWFosQXiHpRgjtWfHKA_thumb_27ea

 

A very busy year ahead, of which I’m looking forward to.

Time to get back into things

Posted: September 18, 2019 in accident, Family, Masonic

Someone very close to me commented the other day that I haven’t blogged recently. Why haven’t I? Well, my excuse is that I just haven’t got to it, or had nothing to post about, or life has been too busy to take the time to blog.

Blogging has always been my release mechanism, and making excuses merely exasperates my mental well being, which to be honest, is not in the best place. So I have been working more and more during my off time (well, don’t really have off time due to my responsibility at work, and the fact I’m on 24 hr call, and masonic lodge commitments have been taking a lot of my time in the evenings.

Personally, I feel like in an emotional roller coaster, and my masonic commitments and a supportive shoulder are keeping this time bomb from exploding, but a short fuse it is.

 

Work? well, many an hour have been spent on this incredible machine with a great team of fellow dedicated Emergency Care Practitioners and Advanced Life Supports paramedics, going out day in and day out, saving lives.

A cliche some might think or say,  but truly saving lives. Flying out to and airlifting the most critical patients and transporting to Centers of Excellence, one feels an amazing feeling of accomplishment and pride, making a positive difference in someone’s life.

                      

And so, I’ve committed myself to get my mind and body right. Back to gym, supplements, eating right, blogging frequently and getting my personal life and mind back on track.

 

Yesterday was the annual AGM for the District of SA North under the banner of the Grand Lodge of England. A prestigious day in our district, where Masons are appointed and promoted in both active and past rank. I have been an active District Officer  for 3 years https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/my-journey-continues/ and this year’s appointment took me in a different direction.

This year I was honoured by being appointed as the District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies for the Royal Arch.

        

 

To explain a bit more, as this is entering a new avenue of Masonry I haven’t discussed before.

Pure Ancient Freemasonry consists of three degrees, Entered Apprentice (1st Degree) Fellowcraft (2nd Degree)  and Master Mason (3rd Degree).A Mason must have obtained his 3rd Degree to be eligible for the Royal Arch.

The Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem completes the learning as a Master Mason.Historically, it is the complete story of Jewish History during some of its darkest hours, when Jerusalem and the Holy Temple is destroyed and the people of Israel are being held captive as slaves in Babylon. Symbolically, the Royal Arch leads us from a practical to spiritual journey of self development and knowledge.

Just as the Square and Compass is the symbol of Craft Freemasonry, the Triple Tau is that of Royal Arch Masonry.

The tau is the nineteenth letter in the Greek Alphabet. The triple tau of Royal Arch Masonry consists of 3 T’s linked in the centre joined at their base.The name Hiram Abiff appear in the Phoenican language with the same letters “H” and “T” as they do in English. As such, the Triple Tau takes on the interpretation of the initial letters in Hiram Abiff’s name. (A very significant individual our learnings)

A triangle is a simple shape in geometry that has taken on great spiritual significance and symbolism. The triangle was revered by ancient nations as containing the greatest mysteries, and as a symbol of God, denoting a triad of intelligence or a triad of deity.  The triangle is also a symbol of divine union, representing the attributes of deity : omnipotence (all powerful), omnipresence (eternal) and omniscience (all knowing).

To explain more will ruin the experience of any potential RA candidates reading my blog. Suffice it to say, having journeyed through the Royal Arch, from candidate to the Principal Officer positions over the past 10 years has been an enlightening experience, and being appointed as an Active District Officer is an honour, and one I look forward to over the next year.

My Masonic journey has been one of self fulfilment, complete with reflection of my spiritual, moral and social virtues, and, whilst I’m not a perfect man, I strive to be a better one. I look back at who I was before I took my first step into the Craft, and can honestly say, I would not be the man I am today without my Brethren who have guided me, taught me and mentored me these past 12 years.

The Craft is my second family, and through each Degree and step I’ve taken, I’ve delved into it with gusto and absorbed the information and teachings like a sponge in the sea of knowledge. As explained when I obtained the 18th Degree , the ceremony being one of beauty and thought-provoking warmth, much cannot be revealed.

Since that momentous occasion, I have grown into more auspicious positions, having been the Master of my Craft Lodge, Principle Officer in the Royal Arch and Most Wise Sovereign of my Rose Croix Chapter. The latter being the prerequisite for my future promotion.

These achievements, promotions in the District, from Steward to District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and all the Masonic knowledge and rich history learnt could not have prepared me for what I experienced yesterday.

The ceremony being conferred to the 30th Degree was indescribable. As I tried to explain to my fellow Illustrious Brethren during the Festive Board, it was nowhere near what I expected, it was thought provoking, mind blowing and jaw dropping. . and…WOW!!

IMG_5290

The collarette and beautiful hand crafted sash worn in the 30th Degree

True to my Masonic obligation, the experience itself will not be revealed, except to say I am truly honoured by this conferment, and, most especially now, intensely  proud to be a Freemason.

Over the past year, I’ve developed a taste for whisky. For many years my thought of whisky was one of diesel fuel, however, this changed a year ago after a friend won a quality single malt in a raffle at an open evening we held at my Masonic Lodge.

A deep breathe and preparing to expel the vile liquid, I took a sip of a 5-year old Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, and immediately felt this delicious, warm honeycomb gold fluid flowing down my throat.

Having dispelled my youthful drinking sprees many years ago, I’m not one to drink  at home or in a social environment. One glass of red wine would suit my evening.At times, even a glass of wine tends to be too much.

I finally found the perfect sundowner, which minimal quantity provided relaxation and stress relieving downtime. I have tried different versions of whiskies, from single malts to various blends and distilleries. From cheap to expensive, I’ve found my favourites and those that could pass off as Jet Fuel.

When Hillbrow Lodge hosted a Whisky tasting evening, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. An incredible evening, complete with a 3 course meal, had us pairing 3 Single Malts with various types of chocolates, under the guidance of our District’s resident whisky connoisseur, Simon Knutton.

IMG_4132 Expert knowledge and experience had our small group of Masons, wives and guests enthralled with the history of whisky, the methods of distilling and tasting Simon’s choice of “The good, the bad and ugly”

IMG_4133

My favourite of the three, was the Glenkinchie.  Matched perfectly with white chocolate, adding a creamy sweetness to the fresh fruity and oak palate.

IMG_4297

In 1837, the Glenkinchie distillery was founded in the  south of Pencaitland, drawing its waters from the Lammermuir Hills in East Lothian. Marketed as ‘The Edinburgh Malt’, the Glenkinchie distillery is just fifteen miles away from the city.

After the main course, we were treated to the Ardbeg. From where we were seated, as the glasses were filled on the presentation table, we could smell the strong aroma of fruity peat with a hint of vanilla.

IMG_4129Paired with dark Orange chocolate, my mouth was overwhelmed with sweet vanilla and lemon and lime, with a smokey caramel after-taste.

Dessert served, with the ambiance in the room bubbling with newly formed  whisky enthusiasts, the 3rd whisky was presented.

IMG_4281

Aberlour’s long-running A’Bunadh range, matured exclusively in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks and bottled at cask strength.

Simon explained that Aberlour sits at the base of the rugged mountain range, Ben Rinnes. Nestled in the village of the same name, the distillery was founded by Peter Weir and James Gordon in 1826, though Peter was to pull out a year later. The village lies on the Lour Burn, which converges with the River Spey just 270 metres from the distillery. The 6th century Celtic saint St Drostan, baptised local chiefs in the distillery’s water source.

Whisky experts describe the nose as Jamaican Ginger cake, chocolate buttons, a kick of black pepper and sugary coffee.

Me?… well, It reminded me of Christmas Cake!

Now this whisky is aptly referred to “the ugly” by Simon. No, not the taste, as it had a delicious sweet palate with flavours of chocolate and rum soaked rum. Its the staggering 60% alcohol/volume content that makes this a very slow sipping sundowner.

A big thanks to our host, the Worshipful Master of Hillbrow Lodge, and the insightful talk and presentation by Simon Knutton.

My journey continues

Posted: October 2, 2016 in Masonic

And so my Masonic journey continues. This time last year, I received my first appointment as an active District officer for the District of South Africa North at the 2015 Annual meeting

This year has been an awesome as a District Officer, having gone to many lodges I normally wouldn’t have gone to, and met extraordinary Brethren from all walks of life. This is one of the aspects I love in Masonry,  all men are equal, regardless of stature outside.

The 2016 Annual Meeting was no less exciting. With the English Constitution Tercentenary coming up in 2017, plans are beginning to unfold preparing for the celebrations worldwide, including here in South Africa. The Annual Meeting was an ideal place to start, by selling  shirts with the improvised emblem.

img_2904-2

 

The Annual Meeing is open for all Masons with the rank of a Master Mason and above, and an opportunity for all to buy new regalia, gloves, lapel pins and many other items…

img_2903

img_2881

Before the Craft Annual Meeting, the District Royal Arch Chapter invests the officers for the ensuring year, which attracts many very senior Grand Officers from the respective constitutions recognised by the English Constitution in South Africa, being Scottish, Irish and Grand lodge of South Africa.

img_2902-2

img_2901-2

..The District Second Grand Principle Officer , waiting for the proceedings to start…

 

img_2928

..The ceremony being coordinated with authority by my mentor E.Comp. Vaughn Williams…

And so it came time for the District Grand Lodge to invest the new officers for the year.

img_2927

(photo courtesy of W.Bro Epstein)

I was honoured by the Right Worshipful District Grand Master with a promotion to District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies

img_2898-2                   img_2899-2

fullsizerender-2

I’m very excited with the new year starting, in my new position as Distr. Ass. ADC, representing the District at Lodge Installations and assisting the District ADC in conducting the installations.

A great year ahead, and congrats to my fellow Brethren with their promotions.