From The East

Brethren,

The month of April marks our month to support our public schools. A free and accessible public school system was first established by Freemasons in the United States. An excellent history of public education can be found in this article: http://www.thelaudablepursuit.com/articles/2015/2/2/masons-and-public-education 

Sadly, our public education system is often criticized and under attack by those wishing to either “dumb down” the system, or customize it in ways to suit their [political] needs. Here, you may find that I am very opinionated that we should “take our educational system ownership back” into our own hands. Two articles addressing the issues faced by the public education system can be found here (both of which agree that not only do the people within the public educational system work extremely hard to accomplish their goals, but also that we must be aware of the direction our school system is taking and ensure that we guide it in the right direction ourselves, rather than allowing external entities change it).

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may94/vol51/num08/City-Schools-Under-Attack.aspx

The operative phrase in the first article is, “the problems of city schools are the result of our failure to place school reform inside of a broader vision of social and economic justice and our unwillingness to engage in the kind of political activity necessary to realize that vision”. http://www.slp.org/res_state_htm/pub_ed.html

In the second, the statement, “…[the people] should unite in defense of their class interests based on the understanding that education … exists to create another generation of workers to sell their labor to the … owners of industry—but only as they are needed. Only under socialism, where the means of production are owned and operated collectively by [the people], will education be free of the fetters of a decaying social order.”

The second, being a bit more “politically charged”, still rings true if we take into account that we, the people, must work together to engage in political activity to create that change, (essentially reiterating the first statement).

Sincerely and Fraternally,

David Patterson, PM
Peninsula Masonic Lodge #168

From The West

To all Brethren and our Masonic Family,

In Freemasonry, we search for Light and Truth. Among the tools provided to us are our working tools and the seven liberal arts and sciences.

By use of the Plumb, Square and Level, we can make all things upright, square and perfect. Geometry teaches the physical truths of the earth. Why do we refer to Geometry as the first and noblest of sciences and as Sacred? These are a few reasons: the strength and beauty of the spider’s web, the intricate snowflake and crystalline structures, and the powerful, overarching and magnificent rainbow which reminds us of God’s promise that we will never again flood the Earth. Our own DNA and cellular structure is yet another example of omnipresent wisdom far greater than ours. This Divine Wisdom, order and science are essential to life itself. We are taught in Freemasonry to pay attention and to reflect on these demonstrations.

Arithmetic enables all men to be honest, and is integral to Geometry. We see the number three everywhere. It is demonstrated in Lodge by our three degrees, the three great symbols of the First Degree, the symbolic Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, the Three Great Lights, the three lesser lights, the three pillars, the three steps to the dais. We teach the orderly progression form a point to a line, a line to a superfice and a superfice to a solid. What is a solid but a perfect whole? There are three dimensions of length, breadth and height, defining all material existence. Liquid solid and gas are the three forms of matter. Three is in Faith, Hope and Charity, which are Wisdom, Strength and Love. We are body, mind and soul. Time is defined by yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Freemasony gives us this solid base for our journey to the Light, to Perfection, to that House not made of human hands. Our Supreme Being, God, is the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and is our Creator, Redeemer and Preserver. We are told to place our trust in God as we journey. A study of Arithmetic, Geometry and Astronomy enable us to see the world around us as it was created, and thereby we learn how to walk and act through life so that we might win our race. Right acts follow right thoughts, right life follows right acts, and blessedness and eternal joy follow right life.

To this Mason these are the reasons why we teach and study these lessons so that we ultimately find Light, Truth and Redemption.

Fraternally
Dennis Mahoney PM

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon be beauty. Think big.”
Daniel Burnham, Architect of the Chicago Masonic Temple, 1891

From The South

Brethren,

In the month of April there are several days set aside for celebration and commemoration, but the day most famous all over world would be April 1. – April Fool’s Day.

Some Biblical scholars have expressed the belief that the origins of April Fool’s Day may go back to the Genesis flood narrative. The London Public Advertiser of March 13, 1769, printed: “The mistake of Noah sending the dove out of the ark before the water had abated, on the first day of April, it was then thought proper, whoever forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by sending them upon some pointless errand similar to that ineffectual occurrence.

In 1686, John Aubrey, natural philosopher, folklorist and writer referred to the celebration as “Fooles Holy Day”, the first British reference. On April 1, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”.

In my opinion, the best April Fool’s Joke of all time is The Spaghetti-Tree Hoax – a broadcast on April Fools’ Day 1957 by the BBC, showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family “spaghetti tree”. At the time spaghetti was relatively little known in the UK, so many Britons were unaware of how it was made; so a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees. The BBC reportedly told them to “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best”.

Decades later CNN called this broadcast “the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled”.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Hjalmar Nilsen