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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes February 2012

First Masonic College In Oregon

 Some 70 Masons from 40 Lodges convened in Cottage Lake for the First Annual Masonic College of the Grand Lodge of Oregon. This represents 34 per cent of all the Lodges in Oregon.

 It was a full weekend of food, fun, fellowship -- and learning -- which, according to the Oregon Masonic News, was "a rousing success."

 Senior and Junior Wardens and Senior Deacons were brought together for an educational experience to better prepare them for the journey to be Masters of their Lodges.

 Twelve different breakout sessions, including major presentations on Planning Your Masonic Year, Installation Procedures, Effective Leadership, and the Future of Masonry, were held.  A "Lodge of Disarray" program was the Friday night highlight.  A schedule for the ladies was also part of the weekend.

 At the Saturday evening banquet, the guest speaker was Jordan Kent, a former star athlete at the University of Oregon, who provided insight into following your dreams and the pursuit of excellence.

Anachronisms in the Masonic Ritual?

        The word, "anachronism," means "an error in chronology; especially: a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other . . ."

        There are several anachronisms in our ritual.  In one of the degrees, an instrument not made until hundreds of years after the time of King Solomon (the striking clock) is used.

        The Celestial and Terrestrial Globes on the tops of the pillars are "out of time" as the world was considered flat during the period of our ritual setting.
"Print, paint . . . or engrave" is an anachronism because printing and engraving were unknown until after the 14th century.

(Source: The Virginia Masonic Herald)

Masonic Mystery: Death Of Meriwether Lewis

 Meriwether Lewis, best known for his leadership of the Lewis and Clark expedition, set out for Washington, DC, from St. Louis in October, 1809, as governor of the Louisiana Territory.  While traveling through Tennessee, Lewis and his small entourage stopped at a local inn for the night.  Hours later, Lewis was dead from gunshot wounds.

 According to historian Ellen Baumler's article, "The Masonic Apron of Meriwether Lewis and the Legacy of Masonry in Montana," there were no eyewitnesses, so the circumstances of the death remain a heated debate.

 "While many scholars insist that Lewis committed suicide, there is ample evidence to suggest murder," Baumler writes.

 Baumler cites a story passed down through the Lewis family, that says Lewis had his Masonic apron with him on his journey, possibly even in his pocket when he died.  His silk and linen apron was decorated with hand-painted Masonic symbols, including the two pillars, an hourglass, and the all-seeing eye. But the apron's most notable feature might be the bloodstains on the front.  In the 1970's, lab tests identified the stains as deer blood and human blood, which has not been linked to Lewis.

 Two other incidents are reported by Baumler.  In 1848, when the State of Tennessee initiated plans for a gravesite memorial, Lewis' body was partially exhumed so it could be identified and examined by the memorial committee.  At the same time, the committee determined the cause of death to be assassination, though no reason for that judgment was given.
 The second incident was in 1928, when an accidental exhumation of Lewis' remains revealed what appeared to be a bullet hole in the back of Lewis' skull.

 Though a request was made in 1996 to exhume and examine Lewis' remains, the National Park Service denied it.

 While the facts about his death might never be known, there is no doubt about Lewis' importance in American and Masonic history. 

 Brother Lewis received his Master Mason Degree in Door to Virtue Lodge, No. 44, in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1797.  Today, Lewis is memorialized with a monument along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee.  The apron passed down from one Lewis generation to another -- and from collector to collector -- is now a treasured possession of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Montana Museum. 

(Source: California Freemason, Oct/Nov, 2011)

Warren G. Harding, On Freemasonry:

 "I have been a better citizen for being a Mason. There is nothing in Masonry that a free, religious and just American could not be proud to subscribe to, and be a better citizen for so doing."


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