Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Mother Lodge

There was a Rundle, Station Master,
An' Beazeley of the rail;
An' Achman, commissariat,
An' Donkin o' the jail.

An' Blake, cunductor sergeant,
Our Master twice was ‘e,
With ‘im that kept the Europe shop,
Old Framjee Eduljee.

Outside "Sergeant!
Sir! Salute! Salam!"
Inside "Brother"
an' it doesn't do no ‘arm,

We meet upon the level
an' we parted on the square,
An' I was Junior Deacon
in my Mother Lodge out there.

There was Bola Nath, accountant,
And Saul, the Aden Jew,
An, Din Mohammed, draughtsman,
Of the Survey office, too.

There was Babu Chicekerhitty,
An' Amir Singh, the Sikh,
An' Castro of the fittin' sheds,
A Roman Catholic.

We ‘ad n't good regalia,
An' our Lodge was old an' bare;
But we knew the ancient landmarks,
An' we kept ‘em to a hair.
An' looking on it backwards,
It often strikes me thus,
There ain't such things as ‘eathen now,
Except, per'aps, it's us.

For monthly after labor
We'd all sit down an' smoke
We durs'nt give no banquets
Least a brother's caste were broke.

An' man on man got bukkin'
Religion an' the rest,
An' every man comparin'
Of the God 'e knowed the best.
So man on man got started,
An' not a beggar stirred
Till mornin' waked the parrots,
An' that dam' brain-fever bird.

We'd say't was very curious,
An' we'd all go ‘ome to bed
With Mohammed, God, an' Shiva,
Changin' pickets in our ‘ead.
Full out of Gov'ment service
This wanderin' foot ‘ath pressed
An' bore fraternal greetin's
To the Lodges East and West.

Accordin' as commanded,
From Ko'at 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 white and brown,
With the burlies smellin' pleasant
An' the ag-dan passin' down.

An' the old Khansannah snorin'
On the bottle-Khana floor,
Like a Brother in good standing
With my Mother Lodge once more.

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

Rudyard Kipling

Saturday, July 23, 2011

German Table Lodge

Part of our Lodge’s German heritage is the annual hosting of a Table Lodge. A few other Lodges in Erie County hold similar events, but only Harmonie Lodge presents an unparalleled feast of traditional German (Bavarian) food, drink, and music. The Table Lodge is a time for our brethren to feast and toast to the health of our Lodge, our Brethren, and our Fraternity. Unlike the usual Festive Board, the Table Lodge is modeled after early Masonic meetings in Europe and America, which were literally held at the table. These types of meetings were standard practice for many of the colonial Masons of early America, and were common in the homelands of our founding members. While this type of meeting fell out of fashion around the turn of the 19th century in favor of a more formal meeting, many continental European lodges maintained this tradition. It is from contacts that our brethren made in German lodges that this tradition has been brought to our home in Buffalo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Craftsman’s Journey

As a man with little family
And ne’er the guts to dare
The turning point turned out to be
Parting upon the Square

My heart had heard the Architect
Though this ashlar was rough fare
So I approached the Masons’ Lodge
And knocked what door was there

I was taken by the hand
With no reason to beware
And then I observed the light
Three flicker and three flare

Then I was properly educated
As my mind was so far bare
I took the craftsman’s journey
And I walked that flight of stair

At long last I was made a master
And death held no despair
But my travels were just beginning
The progress is for e’er

So I advanced from a lowly start
Taking seats as was fair
With the hopes I may one day be worthy
Of sitting in Solomon’s Chair

Through this I stay ever mindful
That titles are only a snare
For what good is a Master
That no longer lives with love and care?

Yet through it all vice still hounds me
Clawing at my soul’s lair
Though now I keep it in due bounds
For I am Hiram’s heir

I’d always had Baal’s Bridge wisdom
But I knew not from where
‘Til my Brothers gave me Light
And bid my actions Square

– Bro. Ryan S. Bonnett