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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes October 2012 

Program To Help Homeless Veterans

The Masonic Service Association is cooperating with the Veterans Administration in its effort to eliminate homelessness of military Veterans by 2015.

In early January 2011, it was reported that more than 65,000 veterans were homeless, and while this number has been decreasing, MSA agrees with the VA that this total is still "unacceptable."

MSA is helping by trying to spread the word.  If you are a Veteran in need of assistance, or if you know a veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, there is help available. 

The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline, toll-free, is 1-877-424-3939.  Make this call if you know of someone in need.  Also, go to for more information and other assistance in organizing local programming for this effort.

Veterans nationwide are eligible for comprehensive, coordinated access to health care, housing, employment, education, job counseling and training, and justice system assistance and benefits.

Remember, the words "homeless" and "Veteran" should never be used together.


Bearers Of Burden 

      The Bible's II Chronicles 2:18 enumerates the bearers of burden at the building of King Solomon's Temple, but whoever translated that into the Masonic ritual as 70,000 Entered Apprentices was wide of the mark in understating the place an Entered Apprentice occupied among the Medieval Freemasons.

      An Entered Apprentice might be not only a skillful stone squarer but also an artistic carver of freestone to make the moldings, borders, ogees, ribs, volutes, and decorations of all kinds, or even a sculptor providing human and other figures to fill niches and other places in a cathedral.

      At the other extreme, he might be a practical engineer who was able to estimate the comparative thrusts of stresses exerted by two counterbalancing forces, or the strength of an arch.  He was simply less skilled than a Fellow of the Craft.

(Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia)

Wisconsin Lodge Adopts A Platoon

Ancient Landmark Lodge #210 in Ashland, Wisconsin, has adopted a platoon serving in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Army TF Helicopter Gunfighter platoon is part of an Apache Helicopter Flight Company.

There are 35 soldiers in the platoon, including one female.  While the military supplies the basic necessities, the platoon is not supplied with what we at home would consider basic items, such as homemade cookies, which the Lodge provides with each shipment it makes to Afghanistan.

The Lodge also sends stationery, vitamins, chap stick, hand lotion, socks, candy (to give as treats to local children), laundry detergent, peanut butter and jelly, playing cards, car and motorcycle magazines, batteries, beef jerky, and energy bars.

One of the Lodge members is the Superintendent of Schools and he had the third grade students write letters to the soldiers.  The Lodge sent 140 of the letters to its adopted platoon.

(Wisconsin Masonic Journal, September, 2012)

Question: why such repetition?

Why does the ritual use so many repetitions, as in "duly and truly," "worthy and well qualified," and so on?

Several "word pairs" in Masonic ritual make interesting studies: "duly and truly," "worthy and well qualified," "free will and accord," "parts and points," "hele and conceal." At first glance, it may seem that these are so arranged only for emphasis.

In Middle English writing, especially in the 13th and 14th Centuries, when Freemasonry was in the process of formation, England had two languages -- Norman-French and Anglo-Saxon.  To make sure of understanding, word pairs were much in use, a word of similar meaning being taken from each language.

The apparent redundancy of expression in a number of places in Masonic ritual may be traced back to these Middle Ages.

The perpetuation of such usage now, when clarity of thought and understanding might be served as well with one word, is one of many proofs that Freemasonry delights to cling to the ancient and venerated because it is venerated and ancient.

(Masonic Service Association, "One Hundred One Questions About Freemasonry."

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