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  1. Today
  2. KT Sword

    My good friend and brother Jon is correct, it is just a dampener. There is in my Province, the practice of returning swords to the hilt with a distinct sound, preferably in unison, mostly not! A dampener would defeat this, I would say keep the felt pad safe so should you need it, you have it.
  3. Resignation or drop out of Wardens

    I have heard a lot of people say they are worried about being able to do the Master's role, partly because of the amount of ritual to memorise. Do we place too much emphasis on the aspect of memorisation of our ritual? For example, why do we ask someone to repeat an obligation, give them that obligation and expect them to remember what they have just promised to keep? Another reason why members drop out is the time they are expected to give to Freemasonry might be more than work and family can allow as they progress. I believe all of this was covered in the past, but it does require revisiting regularly. If we do not, as an Organisation, adapt we will not survive. It is all very well saying we have survived for 300 years already and will survive a lot longer yet, but the World is changing and has changed more in recent times and at a faster rate. Organisation. From the word Organism. A living, changing thing.
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  5. KT Sword

    I'm not in KT but it is probably as a 'dampener' between hilt and scabbard
  6. KT Sword

    Probably sounds like a stupid question but what is the little red felt pad on a sword blade (KT), just below the hilt, for?Is it just for protection during shipping after manufacture and can be discarded thereafter, or should it remain in place?The reason I ask is that I have recently joined KT and during my first full meeting the thing keeps falling off and I'm concerned about losing it.Should I consider some way of fixing it in place if it is necessary or can I just forget about it?Also, any other tips for sword maintenance? The kit for KT was expensive so I want to ensure I take care of it properly.
  7. I've stolen this from Bill Hosler's (a member here for some years) BLOG here: http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2017/12/my-brothers-wife.html because it is very relevant and a reminder that it's not just the Almoner's duty to look out for the Widows and Orphans of a deceased brother! Read on brethren: My Brother's Wife “Because she is my brother’s wife.” my dad said to my mother in a quiet, firm voice. “No, she isn’t.”, my mother said in the voice she used on me when I was in trouble “She is just the wife of some guy in that lodge of yours.” The house was still except for the argument which my Mom and dad were having in the kitchen. I was sitting in our living room across from an elderly lady, who sat on our sofa. She looked like someone’s grandma except, she looked really tired and sickly. I wasn’t sure if she was crying into the handkerchief she held in her shaking hands over the words my mom and dad were saying or if it was something else that had this poor old lady upset. All I knew was at the tender age of ten, it was something that shook me to my very core and something I knew I would never forget. ~~~~ Earlier that day, I was in the car with my father as he was driving into town to buy my mother’s Christmas present. The inside of the car was toasty warm and comfortable as I snuggled into the leather car seat. Dad was busy streaming Christmas music through the car from his smartphone. The setting sun made the snow flurries look like they were magical elves dancing in the air as our car navigated the snowy roads to the local mall. I was awakened by my Yuletide fantasy as I felt dad slowing the car as he made a turn down an unfamiliar long driveway. As Dad put the car in park, I looked at our destination. “I decided I need to make a stop before we get to the mall.”, he said as he started to remove his seat belt. I removed my seat belt and opened the door to follow him. As we walked up to the house I began to get scared. This place we were at looked like a haunted house. The paint on the house was peeling off and I could hear the wind banging one of the houses shudders back and forth against a broken window. The wind was also blowing the limbs on the leafless trees surrounding this poor old house. I couldn’t understand why he stopped at some scary place like this. I mean, it was Christmas Eve, not Halloween. I took my dad’s hand and hid behind him as he knocked on the house’s door. After several minutes the door opened slowly. Standing at the threshold was this little old lady. The poor lady had a confused look on her face and I’m sure if I was a little older I would have noticed she had a cautious look as she said in a frail voice “Can I help you, sir?” “Mary, you may not remember me but my name is Lee Hamilton, I’m a member of Norman’s Masonic lodge.” Mary smiled frailly “Please come in.” I could feel the wind blowing through the house as we entered into the building. “I’m sorry it’s so cold. I’m not used to having guests.” Mary said as I sat down on a broken chair. “The furnace went out about a year ago and I haven’ been able to afford a new one. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to put one in any way. One of these days a good strong breeze will blow the house down anyway.” Mary said in a quiet voice. “It’s not too bad, I cover up with lots of blankets and it makes the place nice and cozy.” she said. My father seemed shocked at the state of her home “I wish I knew you were having problems with your heating. Did you ever try to contact the lodge?” Mary looked down at her lap “I did a few years ago when I still had a telephone.” I tried, but no matter what time of day or night I tried to call I always got an answering machine. Sometimes I would leave a message but no one ever called me back. I figured it had been so many years since my Norman passed away the members didn’t remember him anymore so I gave up.” I read in the paper that the lodge was busy raising thousands of dollars to give scholarships to high school kids and other fundraisers to buy glasses for children. I just assumed they were too busy helping others in the community than to worry about me." Mary began to get choked up and reached for an old handkerchief. Tears feel down the elderly ladies face as she continued “I get along ok. I get some money from Social Security every month and I have a part time job as a cashier at a small grocery store. The job is a blessing because my employee discount on groceries makes my food stamps last nearly the entire month. Luckily it’ Sonny’s about a mile away so it isn’t far to walk to get to work. I can’t drive anymore so I walk. Sometimes the manager of the store will drive me home. He also carries in my groceries.” I was really getting nervous because I could see tears starting to fall from my Dads eyes. Dad always seemed like such a big, tough guy I never thought anything could make him cry. In a quiet voice he said, “Mary, what are you doing for Christmas dinner?” Mary raised her head, trying to hide her emotions “Well the kids are so busy they can’t be here this year. They all have their own lives and my Grandchildren. They all live so far away I imagine they won’t make it. They haven’t been here for years now. I think they forgot about me.” Her hands were shaking as she continued “ I don’t need a lot. I have a brand new jar of peanut butter I’ve been saving and saltine crackers. At my age, you don’t need a lot to live on”. Mary began staring off into space. I’m not sure if she was trying to convince herself what she was saying was real or whether she was thinking about a Christmas time along ago and a time of happier memories. Dad used the sleeve of his coat to wipe the tears from his eyes. You could tell he was trying to steady himself as he found his voice. “Mary, there is no way I’m leaving you here in this condition. Please gather some clothes together and come spend the holiday with us. I won’t take no for an answer. We have plenty, actually more than we really need. You are welcome to stay with us.” ~~~~~ I could hear my folks still discussing the current situation as Mary rose from our couch and slowly started walking toward my parents who were in the kitchen. “Please, Mister Hamilton, please take me home. The last thing I want to do is cause a family to fight, especially on Christmas Eve. I’ve lived in that house in its current condition for quite a few years. I want you to have a happy Christmas. One thing this old lady has learned through many years of living is once your family is gone all you have left is memories and they should be happy memories.” I noticed my mom began to sob as my Dad said: “Mary there is no way. I could never have a happy memory of this Christmas if I knew you were freezing in an unheated house living on crackers.” Dad continued “To be honest I’m actually ashamed of myself for waiting all these years to visit you and not upholding my Masonic obligation to you and now I wonder how many of our widows who we have allowed to live in such a state. Especially when we have raised tens of thousands of dollars to fund projects which have nothing to do with our Masonic obligations. You are going to stay here in our guest room until we can figure out what it will take to fix your house and make sure you never want for food or shelter ever again.” Everyone in the room looked at my mother for her decision. Even at my young age, my mom felt bad at the thought of sending this woman back to her shack with no food. “Well,” mom said in a quiet voice, “I can see that this means a lot to Lee and we have plenty of room and definitely more than enough food for all of us. I have to say please stay.” Tears ran down the faces of both women as they embraced. “I bet you could use a nice warm bath and then we will get you some clean clothes. I hope you like roast chicken, I’ve been cooking all day.” The old lady smiled “I do and it would be an honor if you would let me help you cook tomorrow.” Later that night I was hiding at the top of the stairs trying to stay awake long enough to get a glimpse of Santa Claus. Mom and dad were in the living room staring into a roaring fire in the fireplace. I saw Dad lean over and kiss my mother’s cheek. “What’s that for?” Mom said with a smile on her face My Dad smiled and said “For allowing Mary to stay here with us. I know that couldn’t be easy for you.” “It wasn’t but I could see if your face how important it was to you and I couldn’t, in good conscience send her back to a place that sounds so horrible. I just hope you can help her.” “I only have one regret.” Dad said. “In all of this excitement with Mary I never got your Christmas gift.” He added with a slight hesitation. Mom just snuggled into Dads’ shoulder “That’s okay babe. I’m a lucky girl. I have everything I will ever need or want. Just having a good, caring man like you is gift enough.” Mom added “I do have one question. What made you stop by her house in the first place?” Dad took a deep breath “Honestly, I can’t tell you why. I was just driving down the road and then all of a sudden this voice told me to stop the car and pay a visit to Mary. Maybe it was Norman sending me a message from the Grand Lodge above.” my dad said with a chuckle. Over the next few weeks the members of the lodge inspected Mary’s little home and sadly the place was so disheveled, it could not be saved. The lodge, with Mary’s consent, arranged for her to have a room at the Grand lodge’s Masonic home. Mary thrived in her new environment. She gained weight from the nutritious food served to her and she developed a glow as she met new friends and lived the rest of her life in a safe, warm environment with plenty of love and happiness. Finding Mary living in such a disheveled condition acted as a wakeup call to Dad's little lodge. Dad used to the lodge’s next stated meeting as “The night the lodge quit making Masons and began to practice Freemasonry.” Dad would always say, “There was a lot of apron gazing that night as the Brethren hung their heads in shame. Especially from the row of Past Masters who not only knew Mary’s husband but never thought to check on his widow, and all the other lodge widows for so many years. Needless to say, the Brethren worked hard and each took a solemn vow (Or reaffirmed their original Master Mason obligation) to care for each other’s widows and orphans. ~~~~~ “Johnny, were ready to start.” the Master of the lodge said to me as I heard the old tune “Solemn strikes the funeral chimes”. Standing here at my father’s coffin brought all those memories of that Christmas back to me from so long ago. I was told by the lodge I didn’t have to be a part of Dad's Masonic memorial service. I just felt like I should be there, following in his footsteps as a member of his lodge. Standing here holding Dad's apron and a sprig of evergreen reminded me of my new obligation to my own mother, as well as those other ladies. I just hope Dad is looking down and smiling at me, as the man that Freemasonry taught me to be
  8. PGL of Antrim Officer in Court

    It is always a shame when somebody lets us down so badly and I've no doubt the conspiracy freaks will leap on this as another example of "Masonic" malfeasance. I think it is important to remember that there are many professions and callings where members fail to live up to the high principles supposedly inherent therein. From the Police to Doctors and Nurses, from Priests and Nuns, to Politicians and Judges. When people go wrong it is not because they are policemen or doctors etc, but despite being in that office, calling or profession. Shipman did not murder all those patients (including my wife's Uncle and his wife) because he was a doctor, but despite that calling. Just as this individual did not steal because he was a Freemason but despite his membership of our Organisation which is founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue. Masonry is pure and incorruptible. Sadly some of our members are not. It has happened before and sadly will again. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth when it does though.
  9. PGL of Antrim Officer in Court

    Although the sentencing process is now is concluded the Province of Antrim and Grand Lodge have much explaining regarding Murphy signing an unmasonic charge sheet to oust members who were asking financial questions. link to BBC news reporting..... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-42341926
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  11. Scots KT/ Stella Templum

    I first heard about them in Richard Baigents "Temple and Lodge". Now don't get me wrong, Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh were probably led up the garden path several times, but they were quite adamant this group exists and had some sort of Masonic historical info. Googling, I found this from '89 http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/11930075.Scottish_crusaders_and_the_Freemasonry_link/
  12. Scots KT/ Stella Templum

    I am Past Preceptor/Prior of Threave Castle Preceptory No 160, Province of Dumfries and Galloway, but no I haven't heard of it.
  13. Are any Scottish KT Brethren aware of Stella Templum? Apparently a body of lore giving an alternative history of the KT in Scotland?
  14. Just got it today! Nice article but I would have loved to see modern orders mentioned as well. No order such as Golden Dawn or OTO that have a grade where they make masons (according to them...) are mentioned.
  15. Yes, that's the one. Mine arrived last week.
  16. None of those associations exist in England & Wales (UGLE-land) I believe GLoS has some OES chapters
  17. You mean the AQC that we should receive around this time?
  18. There’s an interesting article on quasi-masonic organisations in the current AQC.
  19. Hello!

    A warm welcome from Scotland (even if we are expecting hurricanes and "thunder snow" by the end of the week).
  20. Hello!

    Welcome to the forum.
  21. It just seems odd to me. But it's probably because I grew up with OES being part of the Masonic family. To be clear I have no interest in the OES.
  22. It is quite clearly stated that it is proscribed because it requires a Freemason to act in his capacity as a Freemason at their meetings which are not Masonic. Of course if anyone had tried to export those other Orders to England they would have been considered as to whether they require a Freemason to be present as a Freemason at their non-Masonic meetings?.
  23. Why the Order of Eastern Star? It doesn't claim to be a Masonic lodge, doesn't confer any of the three degrees, and allows women to join. The same could be said for Order of the Amaranth, White Shrine of Jerusalem, Rainbow Girls and Jobs Daughters.
  24. I can think of a couple that fall under c) Groups claiming to be Masonic which Grand Lodge believe to be irregular which aren't listed Regular Grand Lodge of England Grand Lodge of All England Until recently I thought both had died out but I saw something online the other day that suggested that RGLE at least was still operating and trying to gain ground in the US Wayne
  25. Every few months would be enough I guess. The major ones are always around. If they have identified those that have been around for a while it would make sense to say which are them then. I probably think OTO is one of them, but strangely enough there is plenty of UGLE people there...I've actually met a Brother that is in a very dark "order" and I've tried to find out how to report him. Long story short, it seems to me that nobody cares and I was quite disappointed to hear responses such as 'everybody have their own interests'...
  26. U.G.L.E. list of quasi-masonic organizations

    But surely, a proscribed quasi-masonic organisation is still proscribed even if it is no longer extant? A Wiki-type page would be ideal.....
  27. How often? Daily? Weekly? That's the problem they're here one minute and gone the next! They've identified those that have been around for a while.
  28. Thank you Trouillogan. I just find it weird that they tell us not to join certain organisation but they don't tell us which ones. I know that the list of quasi-masonic organizations is in constant changing but perhaps they should made a list and update it regularly...?
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