From The Masonic news magazine of the District Grand Lodge of Bombay and Northern India
The Working Tools of a Steward
W.M. (the lecture is usually assigned to a Past Master who has previously shown a high degree of competence in the art of Stewardship) By command of the Junior Warden and with the kind permission of the Worshipful Master, I now present and explain to you the Working Tools of the Steward. These consist of the Knife, the Fork, the Goblet and the Common Gabble.
The Knife is to cut off all knobs, excrescences, etcetera, from any-thing Edible, Digestible, or Comestible, so that the said part or parts of anything Edible, Digestible, or Comestible may be rendered fit for the jaws of the expert workman.
The Fork is to convey the material so prepared and to place it between the two rows of pillars situated at the porch way or entrance, somewhat below the temple. You will notice that the Fork has several points or prongs. At first, all are exposed, but soon all are hidden, and the number of times this is done to the minute denotes the progress you are making in the Science.
The Goblet is to hold whatever the steward may feel disposed to contribute, which will be thankfully received and faithfully applied. It is only to be used when there is One and ONLY ONE Worshipful Master of the Lodge present. If you can see TWO, you are making too much progress in the Science.
The Common Gabble is used to cheer and edify the workmen while waiting
for the material. Also, it is used for ornamenting, adorning, embroidering and embellishing our speech, so that, as visitors, we may say of the Worship Master and his Officers (however they may work!) “O Wonderful Masons.”
The peculiar sign of the Office of Steward is call the “aleing sign”or sign of repletion. It is given by a distinct pressure on the middle two buttons of the vest, or any buttons on the jacket if the vest is not present, and it denotes plenty.
But as we are not all operative, but sometimes very speculative Masons we apply these tools to our morals. In this sense the Knife teaches us to keep our portion within due bounds. The Fork teaches us to estimate and determine the limits and proportions of our distended structure. The Goblet makes us all to tell the Truth with a freedom of expression that is at once surprising and illuminating. The Common Gabble tells us of goodwill and fellowship.
Thus, let our Knives be cutting, but not our Gabble. Our Forks held in check but not our digestions. And our Goblets filled with the Spirit of Brotherhood and Benevolence.
Submitted by David Elms, P.M., Secretary