Sunday, May 31, 2009

Order in the House

note from the Librarian:
During a recent visit to the South Australian Grand Lodge I found it very interesting to see the mention of UGLQ`s R.W.Bro Goding in their magazine.

It has often amazed me that when I speak of the wonderful articles in our magazine written by Bro.Goding, many have never taken the time to read them. It appears he has the attention of some in South Australia with his comments.

Article from the South Australian & Northern Territory Freemason

Autumn Edition 2009
By M.W.Bro Graham Bollenhagen
Grand Master

It was 12 months ago that the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland presented to each of the other Grand Masters a personal copy of a booklet entitled "Order in the House", prepared by his Special Envoy, Greg Coding PAGM. Later in the year in Sydney, Bro Goding was invited to give an overview of his presentation at a meeting of Australasian Grand Masters.

An offer was made for Bro Goding to bring his important address to each of the other Grand Lodges. We accepted this offer and a couple of weeks ago, Bro Goding gave a fluent address to a number of Freemasons in Adelaide. The focus of his message is on the retention of our existing members and how success has been achieved by:

• giving attention to our personal conduct (the need for perfect harmony). Bro Goding stated that "If a Lodge is in trouble, it will be the biggest single problem";

• as well with the implementation of the improvement of other Lodge activities (the business side of our meetings, ritual and festive boards).

His information applies to Freemasonry generally and as we heard Bro Goding's comments and experiences with Queensland Lodges, there was an immediate recognition from our own local experiences.

The messages were blunt. There were some statements that may have even make a few uncomfortable, especially if they were prepared to look in the mirror.

It is planned to record a future presentation by Bro Goding and in the next few months, a team of our brethren will be established and this team will bring Bro Goding's message to Lodges. They will facilitate discussion on the contents and also provide support and advice to Lodges in their endeavours to achieve the objectives of this very important presentation.

We all need to work together to overcome these problems, which have the potential to adversely affect our membership retention programme.

I thank MW Bro Graeme Ewin, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland for affording this opportunity to our Grand Lodge and I particularly thank Bro Greg Goding for forsaking his personal and business obligations to come to Adelaide and share his important message.

Links to articles on this site written by R.W.Bro Goding:

So whose problem is it anyway?
The World is a completely different place
Meetings made easy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It is because it is!

The authors Preface from the book "Masonic Problems and Queries"
by Herbert F. Inman

A comment on the task confronted by the inquisitive new member to Freemasonry in his search for Light.

1001 Common Masonic questions and answers in A-Z format
Library #: M00_HER
Publisher: A.Lewis
Published year: 1933
Pages: 247

DURING a long and varied experience as Preceptor of several Lodges of Instruction the present writer has been the recipient of a bewildering multiplicity of inquiries from his younger Brethren-inquiries by no means confined to matters connected with Ritual and Ceremonial but covering a vast range of subjects embracing Masonic History, Symbolism, Jurisprudence, Biography, Etiquette, and so on ad infinitum.

It is noticeable that the number of such inquiries tends to increase with each passing year a sure and healthy sign that the never-ending flow of recruits to our worldwide Fraternity consists of Brethren imbued with an earnest desire for knowledge.

It is to be feared that in some directions this laudable yearning for information meets with scant encouragement; yet surely such encouragement is due to the younger Brother who doggedly declines to accept the evasive statement that a thing is "because it is," and who wants to know the why and the wherefore thereof. Have not we all been reminded, when invested with our Master Mason's badge, that it calls on us to "afford assistance and instruction" to our Brethren?

Socrates has observed that "rhapsodists and even poets" have "no definite knowledge of the things they so powerfully represent." Perchance the philosopher's observations might be applied with equal force to-day to some members of our great Masonic Brotherhood, even to some who have won to positions of eminence in the Craft and other Degrees.

To whom is the Masonic novice of an inquiring turn of mind to look for "assistance and instruction" if not to his seniors in the Fraternity which has admitted him to its great and invaluable privileges? Meet the tyro's inquiries with those evasions which are, more often than not, no more than a cloak to conceal one's own lack of knowledge, and his ardour may receive an irremediable setback. Encourage him by endeavouring patiently to provide the information of which he is in search, and one may do much to create in him a craving far further learning which will carry him forward during his no-vitiate along the fascinating path of Masonic study, multiplying his usefulness, until the novice becomes an active and industrious member of our Order.

With a subject the ramifications of which are as vast and illimitable as those of the Science of Freemasonry, it would be seeking something in the nature of a miracle to expect even the most erudite Brother to be qualified to answer off-hand all the inquiries arising in the minds of the apprentices. Haw, then, can a humble, hard-working Preceptor who certainly makes no claim to be numbered among the pundits, aspire successfully to cape with the deluge of questions showered, upon him from time to time in his Lodge of Instruction? Is he to seek safety in evasion, or to let the matter end with the blunt answer "I don't know"'?

There is another way-to. find out.

The Preceptor is - or should be - sufficiently experienced to know how and where to seek reliable information. It will mean the sacrifice of a certain amount of time, but one has the consolation of knowing that satisfactory results are assured.

Many years ago the compiler of this volume resolved upon a practice from which he has never departed; whenever he has been "floored" by an inquiry from a younger Brother (it has happened many times) he has promised to "find out," and has forthwith started on the trail of the desired information. At times the task has entailed a good deal of laborious research, but, if the results have been helpful to others, they have been equally beneficial to the writer. By such research one adds to one's own store of knowledge.

It was while poring over voluminous notes collected from various sources during the search for replies to different inquiries that the idea originated of producing a book which, while convenient in size, might yet contain sufficient information to solve some of the multifarious problems constantly arising in the minds of inquiring Brethren.

It is frankly admitted that this volume is not intended for advanced Masonic students, but rather as a modest Handbook for the guidance of the younger Brother who has little opportunity - and possibly still less inclination - to explore ponderous works of reference in his search for enlightenment.

The preparation of such a Handbook gave rise to many obvious difficulties, not the least being the decision as to the most convenient form in which to present the material contained therein. It is hoped that the method finally adopted, of arranging the items in strict alphabetical order, will enable the reader instantly to locate any desired subject.

Another obvious difficulty was to compress the necessary material into reasonable limits; many subjects disposed of in a few words could with advantage be extended to several pages. In this connection it may be said that if the brief information provided on any subject is sufficient to inspire a Brother to pursue his investigations further, then the Author's object has been achieved. That object was not merely to provide concise replies to the questions asked, but rather to foster a desire for individual research on the part of the reader.

Limitations of space, again, precluded the mentioning in the context of the many sources from which the various items of information have been derived. The Author owes grateful acknowledgment to such eminent historians as

R. F. Gould
A. G. Mackey
W. J., Hughan
William Preston
Henry Sadler
George Oliver
E. L. Hawkins
J. T. Lawrence
Dudley Wright, and many others.

Conscientious effort has been made to verify all statements of fact; but the amount of labour involved in compiling the book has been far greater than may be apparent at a casual glance. If imperfections are detected the Author will welcome suggestions from his Brethren, so that if future editions are called for such imperfections may be corrected.

H. F. I.
November 1933.

Friday, May 8, 2009


from the book "Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike, 1871

Toleration, holding that every other man has the same right to his opinion and faith that we have to ours; and liberality, holding that as no human being can with certainty say, in the clash and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it, so everyone should feel that it is quite possible that another equally honest and sincere with himself, and yet holding the contrary opinion, may himself be possessed of the truth, and that whatever one firmly and conscientiously believes, is truth, to him - these are the mortal enemies of that fanaticism which persecutes for opinion's sake, and initiates crusades against whatever it, in its imaginary holiness, deems to be contrary to the law of God or verity of dogma. And education, instruction, and enlightenment are the most certain means by which fanaticism and intolerance can be rendered powerless.

Roman Catholic

note from the Librarian:

As a Roman Catholic Freemason in a Mother Lodge with other Catholic members, I find this 1911 comment regarding Scottish Masonic Jurisprudence an insight into the changes that have occurred in both the Catholic Church and Freemasonry since its writing.

from the book "Digest of Scottish Masonic Jurisprudence"
compiled by R.E. Wallace James, 1911

A Roman Catholic is not by reason of his religion rendered ineligible for the degrees of Masonry. Is it, however, wise to accept him when, no doubt, he will be obliged, when death is imminent, to renounce Freemasonry?

Freemasonry does not undertake to interfere with any man`s religious belief, provided he believes in God, the Supreme Intelligence; but the Pope, and through him the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church, have denounced the Masonic Fraternity, and forbidden any of its member joining the same. On this account, if the applicant is a Roman Catholic, I should deem it advisable to not receive his application.

He may feel that the decree of the Pope should not control his private actions, that being a man he is entitled to join any organisation he desires, and that he is not bound to the confessional; but on the other hand he takes a vow with us that he will not reveal our secrets. This vow brings him in direct conflict with his church, and it is a serious matter for a man born and brought up a Roman Catholic, and even though he may have drifted away from his religious views not to make confession when sickness and liability of death comes; and we ought not to allow a man to be placed in a position where he will in the ordinary course of events prove faithless to his church or violate his vow.

A petitioner for the degrees of Freemasonry who is a Roman Catholic should be informed that the policies and rules of his church prohibit his taking such a step; that the vows of Freemasonry will not permit him to divulge Masonic secrets at confession or elsewhere; if he is then willing to promise allegiance to the Order, `religious belief` does not constitute a basis for rejection.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


from the book "Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike, 1871

A free people, forgetting that it has a soul to be cared for, devotes all its energies to its material advancement.

The citizens copy after the State, and regard wealth, pomp, and luxury as the great goods of life. Such a nation creates wealth rapidly and distributes it badly. Thence the two extremes, of monstrous opulence and monstrous misery; all the enjoyment to a few, all the privations to the rest.