Sunday, June 17, 2007
In the 17th century it was calculated that according to the Bible, the Creation of the world has happened exactly 4.000 years before Christ. That was taken as a zero year for the masonic calendar. Today it’s 6007 A.L., or Anno Lucis – The Year of The Light.
Still – different masonic bodies have different time measurements.
Scottish Rite Masons count the time using the Jewish calendar. In order to get the proper year, add 3.760 to the current year. Also, a curiosity is that the year starts in September.
Royal Arch Masons – count the time from the time when the second Temple was started by Zerubbabel. They call it The Year of The Discovery – Anno Inventionis (A.I.). Add 530 to the current year.
Knights Templar's era starts with the formation of their order in 1.118, and it’s called Anno Ordinis (A.O.) - The Year of The Order. According to their calendar, today is year 889.
Aruba is one of the world famous places for vacations. Apparently it’s not only a place for rest, but also a place for work. Masonic work that is. In the small island in the Dutch Antilles, there are three working lodges. The first one was El Sol Naciente #113.
Masonry in Aruba started in the beginning of the 20th century with the arrival of the English Engineers who supervised the gold mining on the island. There wasn’t a lodge, but there was a Masonic Club. Arubans also joined the club, being members of the Lodge Igualdad #653 in Curacao. It took many years before they managed to receive a charter for their own lodge. The Lodge El Sol Naciente (that was the name of the Masonic Club too), received light on November 15, 1920 from the Grand Lodge of Netherlands. In its long years of existence this lodge was working in Spanish, English and Dutch. Has seen its membership rise to 167, and drop to just 8 active members, changed the meeting location several times and survived the hard times for the Dutch Masonry during the WWII.
Today, it is active and vibrant, and carries the Masonic message and values in this small piece of Caribbean Heaven.
They can be contacted by e-mail:
by regular mail:
Lodge El Sol Naciente# 113 East of Aruba
Chartered under the Grand East of the Netherlands
Cumana 26, Oranjestad, Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
P.O. Box 187
Or check their web-site:
El Sol Naciente #113
One of the youngest Grand Lodges in the world is the one in Macedonia.
It’s hard to trace the history of Masonry in Macedonia, because the country was under foreign rule for a very long time and changed its rulers couple of times before it got partial independence after the WWII and full independence in 1991. What is known for sure is that there were lodges working in 19th century, created by the europen diplomats and businessmen who lived in the country. The “Young-Turks” revolution, that changed the Ottoman Empire and initiated the modern day Turkey, started in the lodges that were situated there, and one of the most respected lodges today in Istanbul has the name “Macedonia”.
Evidences of masonic influence are present in some old buildings and churches, with the square and compasses or the All Seeing Eye present in paint or carved in stone.
The official start of masonry in this small, but historicaly important country, that has a biblical “certificate”, was in 1995, when a group of 8 honorable men became masons in the lodges in Yugoslavia (today – Serbia). Soon after that, their number rose to 21. The attempt to create a lodge in Macedonia was interrupted by the change of situation and the relationship between the Grand Lodge of Yugoslavia and the rest of the masonic world, so bringing light in the country was delayed in order to avoid irregularities.
Masons who were already initiated, started contacts with the UGLE and in 1997 were accepted as members of lodges in England. Soon after, the first Macedonian Lodge was formed – Lodge Skopje (the name of the capital city). Two other lodges were also formed under UGLE – Unity and White Dawn. The road for opening an independent Grand Lodge was paved.
In October 2005, high representatives and officers from the United Grand Lodge of England came in Skopje and brought light into the Grand Lodge of Macedonia. It was an extraordinary rear moment - the second time in 100 years that UGLE has done that.
Since then, a number of mutual recognitions and contacts started with lodges all over the world. One more lodge was opened – Morning Star. The total number of masons in the country is currently almost 100 (on a total population of 2 milion). An interesting fact is that the first Macedonian Lodge that was opened – Skopje, still works in English, in honor of its Mother Lodge – UGLE.
You can contact them:
web: www.glm.org.mk (the web-site is with an excellent design, but the English version is still under construction)
R.Macedonia, Skopje 1000
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Another good thing about this web-site is that you can make your own contribution by writing on the topics that are still missing.
Lodge Merton is located in Oatlands, in Australia's island State, Tasmania.
What is interesting about this lodge is that the meetings are in daytime - on the second Saturday of each month except January, June, July and August, at 2.00 pm. The normal Lodge attire is a lounge suit (or coat) and tie.
Lodge Merton was originally formed at Campbell Town in Tasmania's Northern Midlands. The first initiative on creation of this lodge was on October the 17th. 1921.
Freemasonry had existed in the town prior to this date, and although records are vague, it is known that the Lodge of Faith, 992 E.C. was established there in 1881 after transferring from Launceston. The first meeting of the Lodge of Faith in the town was held on the 2nd. March of that year at the Caledonian Hotel. The Lodge met on the full moon. An uphill struggle saw it lapse in 1886. For thirty five years there was no further Masonic activity in Campbell Town.
Lodge Merton, 39 T.C., was consecrated on Saturday 22nd. April, 1922. Lord Carrington Lodge, 22 T.C., of Fingal was the sponsor Lodge.
If you are ever traveling south, you can contact them through their web-site.
Freemasonry in Bulgaria has it's roots in the 1860's. Around that time the first Bulgarians were initiated in lodges abroad - Romania, Turkey, France, England...
After the liberation from the Turkish occupation, first Bulgarian lodges were created. One of the founders was Ivan Vedar - the first Bulgarian to be initiated in Masonry. It's noted that even the first king of the country - Alexander Batemberg was a mason.
Still, a long time passed before the Grand Lodge was created - 1917. The number of the masons in 1940 is around 240.
In 1941, the parliament of the country adopted the Defense of The Nation Law, which basically prohibited the existence of the Lodge. Since the communist regime that ruled Bulgaria after the war, was against this fraternity, Freemasonry was laid to rest until 1992, when few Bulgarians were initiated in Lodges in Germany, and few in Yugoslavia. Several Lodges were created in the country.
By the end of 2000, there were two Grand Lodges in the country. One - enlightened by The United Grand Lodges of Germany, the other - by the Grand Lodge of Yugoslavia.
These two lodges united in 2001 - creating the United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791
Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. Being a musical child-prodigy, he toured the country with his father, Leopold and sister Maria Anna for years. His ability to play complex compositions from memory, to play blindfolded, and ultimately to compose were some of the many musical gifts he had. He worked many years for the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg and then moved to Vienna, the imperial capital and a major cultural centre, working as a freelance composer and musician, though continually seeking a formal appointment at an aristocratic court. Mozart broke with his father when he married Constanze Weber, a singer from a family of impoverished musicians, against Leopold's wishes. He died at the age of 35.
Mozart composed a number of masonic pieces. When his father received his masonic Second Degree Wolfgang wrote "Fellow Crafts Journey (Op. K468) to honour the occasion. For lodge Zur Wohltatigkeit he wrote "Opening Ode" (Op. K483) and Closing Ode (Op. K484) His last masonic work was written for the dedication of a masonic temple in Vienna on November 15, 1791. The masonic influence and symbolism was present in his operas Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute.
During his life, this incredible genius and one of the most gifted musicians that ever lived, wrote a number of symphonies, operas, concertos, masses and his final Requiem.
Initiated: December 14, 1784
lodge Zur Woltatigkeit
Passed: January 7, 1785
Raised: before April 22, 1785
Lodge Zur Wahren Eintracht
Friday, April 20, 2007
Almost every Grand Lodge in the world has their own web site.
One of the best and most informative is the one belonging to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. Simple and classy design, easy to navigate. Lots of information, history, contacts, resources…
Pay special attention to the “History” link – I found amazing articles there.
Although his father and brother were both masons, he had such a hatred for the fraternity, that it’s hard to describe it with words. The legend says that in his youth he even wanted to petition a lodge and his own father said about him: “If you petition, the first black ballot will be mine…”.
In July 1936, he began the civil war in Spain declaring that he will liberate Spain from Communism and Freemasonry (no-one has yet figured out what the connection between the two is! J ).
Where ever his army won a battle and occupied a town or a village, everyone that was identified as a mason was expressly sentenced to death and shot on the spot. His soldiers were eliminating anyone who had any contact with masonry, sometimes killing whole families. Lodges were burned, properties confiscated. Reportedly, some were even hurled into working engines of steam trains. By the end of 1937, every single mason in the territories under Franco’s rule has been murdered.
Although there were only little over 5.000 masons in Spain before the war, there were 80.000 people accused of being masons or having Masonic ties.
After the war, the same situation continued and even family members of masons could be punished for allowing their relative to strain from the right path. Freemasonry ceased to exist in Spain, until late in 1974. In 1975, the King Juan Carlos introduced democracy back in the country and lifted the ban on the Craft. The Grand Lodge of Spain was established on November 6th, 1982.
In this issue I want to write about The Far North Lodge #199.
Well – the name says it all!
The Lodge is located above the Arctic Circle and is the most northerly Lodge in the Western Hemisphere.
The home town of this unusual lodge is Inuvik, North West Territories, Canada. It was instituted in 2003. You can contact their secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you also visit the official web site of the town of Inuvik. A lovely small town in the far north that enjoys 56 days of twenty four hours of daylight (late June, July and part of August) and has 30 days without sunlight mostly in the month of December. Temperatures there vary between –56 C in winter (yes, minus fifty six Celsius!), and up to 31 C in Summer.
The beginning of Masonry in Spain dates back to 1780’s, and has a rich history, but the civil war of 1936, interrupted that cycle. As I wrote above, Franco tried to destroy masonry in this country. He killed, tortured, arrested almost every mason in the country and managed to put the craft asleep. But not for long. In 1974, while he was still alive, few lodges were formed, and after his death, in 1975, masonry came out in the light of the day again. The Grand Lodge of Spain was formed in 1982 and today has 148 lodges. Their web-site is www.gle.org and their contact is:
August 6, 1881 - March 11, 1955
One of the most important discoveries of the 20th century was the penicillin. The man who discovered it, was a fellow Mason, one of the most respected men of his time – Alexander Fleming.
Born at Lochfield near Darvel in Ayrshire, Scotland on August 6th, 1881. He attended St. Mary's Medical School, London University. Served throughout World War I as a captain in the Army Medical Corps.
In 1928, while working on influenza virus, he observed that mould had developed accidently on a staphylococcus culture plate and that the mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. He was inspired to further experiment and he found that a mould culture prevented growth of staphylococci, even when diluted 800 times. He named the active substance penicillin. That discovery has changed the modern medicine and saved milions of lives.
In 1945, he received the Nobel Prize for medicine.Alexander Fleming was initiated in 1909, at Sancta Maria Lodge #2682 in London and was also a member of Misericordi Lodge #3286, also in London. He was a Past Junior Grand Warden of UGLE.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Many world leaders, politicians, presidents and members of royal families were masons. Just to name a few:
Africa - King Hassan II of Morocco was one, today president Idriss Deby of Chad, Denis Sassou N’Guesso of the Congo, Mamadou Tandja of Niger, Gnassingbé Eyadema of Togo, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, and Omar Bongo of Gabon are Freemasons.
In England - the Grand Master is usualy a member of the Royal Family. Currently it's Prince Edward, Duke of Kent.
In Sweden, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf is the High Protector of the Swedish Order of Freemasons.
In USA, although many of the founding fathers as well as following presidents were masons, the last one who was a member of The Craft was Gerald Ford, who died recently. That means that there was no masonic leadership in the highest office in US for over 30 years.
In order to join the Internet Lodge, you have to be a mason first. If you are interested in joining them - check the how-to page.
The beginnings of the Freemasonry in Sweden date back to 1735. The Grand Lodge of Sweden was established in 1760, and it was recognized as a National Grand Lodge in 1770 by the Grand Lodge of England.
The Swedish Lodge has established a Freemasonry system on a Christian basis, and has 10 degrees.
Freemasonry in Sweden has continued to develop under leadership of their Grand Masters, all of them belonging to the Royal House since more then 200 years.
To learn more about their history and The Swedish Rite – click here.
The mail adress is:
Svenska Frimurare Orden
(Swedish Order of Freemasons)
Nybrokajen 7, 2 tr
SE-111 48 STOCKHOLM
And the e-mail is: email@example.com
(November 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910)
When Samuel was 12, his father died of pneumonia, and at 13, Samuel left school to become a printer's apprentice. After two short years, he joined his brother Orion's newspaper as a printer and editorial assistant. It was here that young Samuel found he enjoyed writing.
On a voyage to New Orleans down the Mississippi, the steamboat pilot, "Bixby", inspired Clemens to pursue a career as a steamboat pilot, the third highest paying profession in America at the time, earning $250 per month ($155,000 today). He became a licensed river pilot in 1858.
Clemens' pseudonym, comes from his days as a river pilot. He used different pen names before deciding on Mark Twain. He signed humorous and imaginative sketches "Josh" until 1863. Additionally, he used the pen name "Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass" for a series of humorous letters. He maintained that his primary pen name, "Mark Twain", came from his years working on Mississippi riverboats. It is a river term which means two fathoms or 12-feet when the depth of water for a boat is being sounded. "Mark twain" means that is safe to navigate.
Missouri was a slave state and considered by many to be part of the South, but it did not join the Confederacy. When the war began, Clemens and his friends formed a Confederate militia (depicted in an 1885 short story, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed"), and joined a battle where a man was killed. Clemens found he could not bear to kill a man, and deserted. His friends joined the Confederate Army; Clemens joined his brother, Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada, and headed west.
Twain began to gain fame when his story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County" appeared in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. Twain's first book, "The Innocents Abroad," was published in 1869, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 1876, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in 1885. He wrote 28 books and numerous short stories, letters and sketches.
In 1909, Twain is quoted as saying:
I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.Mark Twain passed away on April 21, 1910.
TUESDAY.--Been examining the great waterfall. It is the finest thing on the estate, I think. The new creature calls it Niagara Falls-- why, I am sure I do not know. Says it LOOKS like Niagara Falls. That is not a reason, it is mere waywardness and imbecility. I get no chance to name anything myself. The new creature names everything that comes along, before I can get in a protest. And always that same pretext is offered--it LOOKS like the thing. There is a dodo, for instance. Says the moment one looks at it one sees at a glance that it "looks like a dodo." It will have to keep that name, no doubt. It wearies me to fret about it, and it does no good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like a dodo than I do.
WEDNESDAY.--Built me a shelter against the rain, but could not have it to myself in peace. The new creature intruded. When I tried to put it out it shed water out of the holes it looks with, and wiped it away with the back of its paws, and made a noise such as some of the other animals make when they are in distress. I wish it would not talk; it is always talking. That sounds like a cheap fling at the poor creature, a slur; but I do not mean it so. I have never heard the human voice before, and any new and strange sound intruding itself here upon the solemn hush of these dreaming solitudes offends my ear and seems a false note. And this new sound is so close to me; it is right at my shoulder, right at my ear, first on one side and then on the other, and I am used only to sounds that are more or less distant from me.
FRIDAY. The naming goes recklessly on, in spite of anything I can do. I had a very good name for the estate, and it was musical and pretty-- GARDEN OF EDEN. Privately, I continue to call it that, but not any longer publicly. The new creature says it is all woods and rocks and scenery, and therefore has no resemblance to a garden. Says it LOOKS like a park, and does not look like anything BUT a park. Consequently, without consulting me, it has been new-named NIAGARA FALLS PARK. This is sufficiently high-handed, it seems to me. And already there is a sign up:
My life is not as happy as it was..."
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
It's a perfect place for a non-member to learn the basics about The Craft, but also an extensive source of information and contacts for members and researchers.
One of my favorite features on this web-site is the Letters page, where very curious questions are answered every month.
Also, make sure to visit the Guest Book, and check the Correspondence Requests, as well as the Essays, Articles and Questions page for more in-depth information.
One of the most interesting ones is the dress code. While in Canada and US we are used to wearing dark business suits (except for the officers who wear tuxedos), with a tie and no gloves - in other parts of the world, the rules are different.
Here are some interesting facts that I've learned from Brothers from abroad:
The suit should be black (preferably a tuxedo), with a black cylinder hat and white gloves.
Depending on the Grand Lodge (The United Grand Lodges of Germany are consisted of five Grand Lodges), the dress code is different. Most of them wear black suits, and some of the lodges have a rule that all the members or at least the master of the lodge wears a cylinder hat. White gloves are mandatory.
Morning coat, a black tie, white gloves. (I heard that the black tie was introduced as a mourning sign for the brethren that lost their lives in the First World War).
South Africa & Namibia
Some of the lodges in these countries have a very interesting dress code - white tuxedo!
If any of you can give us comments on this topic, or even send pictures of a proper Masonic Attire in his Lodge, please do so!
is over 100 years old. It's home is one of the most beautiful Temples in the Greater Toronto Area - the Annette Street Temple (or West Toronto Temple).
With over 200 members, some of which are masons for over 60 years, it's an amazing place to learn and work. The fact that there is also a great number of fellows who are under 35, makes this Lodge unique and vibrant.
If you wish to get in touch with them, please use the contact form on their web-site.
has over 60.000 members belonging to 595 lodges. It was formed in 1855, in Hamilton. If you want to learn more about it’s history – click here.
The mail address is:
Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario
363 King Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,
And the e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
(January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796)
Robert Burns was a poet and lyricist. National poet of Scotland and celebrated worldwide. He was the pioneer of the Romantic Movement and after his death became inspiration to the founders of liberalism.
Burns’ youth was passed in poverty, hardship and labor. He had little regular schooling and got much of what education he had from his father and a tutor who taught him Latin, French and mathematics.
In 1783 he started composing poetry in a traditional style, using Ayrshire dialect. Also, collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. One of the most famous and popular poems in history were written by him – “Auld Lang Syne”, often sung at New Year’s Eve, “A Red, Red Rose”, “A Man’s A Man for A’ That”, “To a Louse” and so on… “Scots Wha Hae” served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of Scotland.
Robert Burns was initiated into Lodge St.David Tarbolton on 4 July 1781, when he was 22. He was passed and raised on 1 October 1781. Later, his lodge became dormant and he joined St.James Tarbolton Kilwinning #135.
He was very active as a mason. On 27 July 1784, Burns became Depute Master, a position he held until 1788, often honoured with supreme command. He had a real passion for freemasonry and believed that true Masonic friendship cannot be disassociated from the Lodge room. He must have been a very popular and well-respected Deputy Master, since there were more lodge meetings and more attendance during the Burns period, then at any other time.
In early 1787, he joined lodges in Edinburgh, where he was also very respected and in the books was recorded as a “poet”. Edinburgh Freemasons sponsored the publishing of his poems and spread his name and fame across Scotland, England and abroad.
He spent months touring Scotland, first the south and then the High Lands, visiting Lodges and becoming an honorary member of a number of them. His works in this period are strongly influenced by the Craft. Many of them can be considered Masonic Hymns. In every single one of his works there is a call for brotherly love, relief, truth. Here is a perfect example for that:
A Man’s A Man For All That
Is there for honest poverty
That hangs his head, and all that?
The coward slave, we pass him by -
We dare be poor for all that!
For all that, and all that,
Our toils obscure, and all that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gold for all that.
What though on homely fare we dine,
Wear course grey woolen, and all that?
Give fools their silks, and knaves their wine -
A man is a man for all that.
For all that, and all that,
Their tinsel show, and all that,
The honest man, though ever so poor,
Is king of men for all that.
You see yonder fellow called 'a lord,'
Who struts, and stares, and all that?
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He is but a dolt for all that.
For all that, and all that,
His ribboned, star, and all that,
The man of independent mind,
He looks and laughs at all that.
A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and all that!
But an honest man is above his might -
Good faith, he must not fault that
For all that, and all that,
Their dignities, and all that,
The pith of sense and pride of worth
Are higher rank than all that.
Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth over all the earth
Shall have the first place and all that!
For all that, and all that,
It is coming yet for all that,
That man to man the world over
Shall brothers be for all that.