Thursday, September 15, 2016

Entered Apprentice Degree - Wed Sept 14, 2016

Last night was a wonderful night of firsts for many of the men of Harmonie Lodge.  For our 7 new Entered Apprentices it was their first step on the lifelong journey in Masonry.  They were also the first brothers to fully go through the NorthStar process.   The brothers found the process very helpful and rewarding.

Lewises aren't new at Harmonie, but are always a special occasion and one of our members proudly witnessed his son initiated.  Harmonie initiated it's first mason under the age of 21.

We also had 3 volumes of sacred law on the altar; The Holy Bible, the Quaran and the Torah, belonging to one of our initiate's grandfather and had a rich history in it's own. Our District Deputy Grand Master the RW Daniel Di Nitale read from Brother Rudyard Kippling's poem 'The Mother Lodge' - pointing out that one of the beauties of Masonry is that it unites men of different backgrounds.

For many of our young officers, it was their first opportunity to preform degree work they did admirably carrying on Harmonie's tradition for ritual work.

We welcome our new brothers and look forward to laboring with them in the quarries.

The Mother Lodge

THERE was Rundle, Station Master, 
An' Beazeley of the Rail, 
An' 'Ackman, Commissariat, 
An' Donkin' o' the Jail; 
An' Blake, Conductor-Sergeant, 
Our Master twice was 'e, 
With im that kept the Europe-shop, 
Old Framjee Edu1jee.

Outside - " Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!
Inside - 'Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

We'd Bola Nath, Accountant,
An' Saul the Aden Jew,
An' Din Mohammed, draughtsman
Of the Survey Office too;
There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
An' Amir Singh the Sikh,
An' Castro from the fittin'-sheds,
The Roman Catholick!

We 'adn't good regalia,
An' our Lodge was old an' bare,
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks,
An' we kep' 'em to a hair;
An' lookin' on it backwards
It often strikes me thus,
There ain't such things as infidels,
Excep', per'aps, it's us.

For monthly, after Labour,
We'd all sit down and smoke
(We dursn't give no banquets,
Lest a Brother's caste were broke),
An' man on man got talkin'
Religion an' the rest,
An' every man comparin'
Of the God 'c knew the best.

So man on man got talkin',
An' not a Brother stirred
Till mornin' waked the parrots
An' that dam' brain-fever-bird.
We'd say 'twas 'ighly curious,
An' we'd all ride 'ome to bed,
With Mo'ammed, God, an' Shiva
Changin' pickets in our 'ead.

Full oft on Guv'ment service
This rovin' foot 'ath pressed,
An' bore fraternal greetin's
To the Lodges east an' west,
Accordin' as commanded.
From Kohat to Singapore,
But I wish that I might see them
In my Mother-Lodge once more!

I wish that I might see them,
My Brethren black an' brown,
With the trichies smellin' pleasant
An' the hog-darn passin' down;
An' the old khansamah snorin'
On the bottle-khana floor,
Like a Master in good standing
With my Mother-Lodge once more.

Outside - Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!'
Inside- Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Masters Travels:

Recently, I had to take a business trip to Houston, TX and Baton Rouge, LA. When I was informed of the dates that I would be traveling, I consulted the websites of the Grand Lodges of Texas and Louisiana and was able to find a Lodge that met in each city that corresponded with my travel dates

On August the 4th, 2016 I visited Reagan Lodge No. 1037 in Houston, TX. (

The Lodge was having its first communication with its new Master, W :. Stewart Anderson, after a tour of the building we sat down to a dinner of homemade brisket with all the trimmings, true Texas cuisine at its finest!

 W :. Stewart Anderson on the right and Yours Truly on the left. 

Later that same week, my travels had taken me on a 5-hour drive to the East where I visited St. James No. 47 in Baton Rouge, LA. ( St. James is a Lodge with a great history and has been in operation since 1844 save for a short period at the end of the Civil War. 


While visiting, I was granted the opportunity to observe a proficiency examination, a Brother was turning in his Fellow Craft in preparation for his Master Mason Degree, later that evening I was also fortunate enough to see First Degree conferred.  While the work does differ between Grand Jurisdictions, it is still similar in many ways and this makes visiting other Lodges a learning experience. 

As I stated earlier, the Lodge did not meet for a short period at the end of the Civil War.  War being what it is brings great disruption to many things.  Unfortunately, during that period the Lodge itself was looted and some of its history was lost to the ages. However, one of the older Past Masters showed me something that many members of this Lodge that were present did not even know what  they had in plain sight.  At  the Junior Wardens station we have this gavel brake.

And underneath, we have an inscription.

This was looted by Union troops at the end of the war when they occupied Baton Rouge, it was recovered close to 60 years later by a Lodge #9 in Pennsylvania and returned to its home! 

On the left, W :. Jeffrey Maynor and Myself on the right.

Brothers, as a Master Mason it is your right to travel to other Lodges whether locally or when in a different country or state.  It is always a learning experience and your Brothers are waiting for you when you get there.  There are no strangers in Freemasonry, just Brothers you have not met yet.  

A few words of advice when traveling out of your Jurisdiction.  If you have advance notice of a trip and you will have time to visit a Lodge or concordant body, always contact the secretary ahead of time.  You can easily find this information on either that Jurisdictions Grand Lodges website, or on the Lodges website if they have one.   Also, you can obtain a certificate of good standing from your Grand Lodge as well, this piece of paper can save you and the Lodge that you are visiting a great deal of time.

W :. Benjamin Kaminski
Master, Harmonie No.699