Canterbury Cathedral To Host Service For Freemasons After Receiving £300,000 Donation
Canterbury Cathedral is hosting a service to “celebrate” 300 years of Freemasonry after receiving a donation from the Masons of £300,000.
The Duke of Kent, who is the Grand Master of the Freemasons, will be among those attending the special service of thanksgiving on 18 February.
The service next Saturday lunch time will last more than three hours during which the Cathedral is expected to be full of Freemasons.
The service comes after freemasons in Kent, Sussex and Surrey sought to raise £200,000 for the Cathedral in an appeal which ended on 31 December.
In fact, the appeal, in aid of the restoration of the North-West Transept in the Cathedral, raised £300,000.
The Duke of Kent, who is also a patron of the Canterbury Cathedral Trust, will be the guest of Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, the Dean of Canterbury, who will be taking the service.
Also in attendance will be the heads of Freemasonry in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Asked whether the service was linked to the donation, a spokesperson for the Cathedral said: “Indeed.”
The Cathedral was also open about this in an “invitation on behalf of the Masonic Province of East Kent”, which states: “Freemasonry has been pleased to support Canterbury Cathedral for many years, helping to fund essential repairs to the building, and the training of a number of apprentice stonemasons. To mark this three hundred year celebration, a major donation of £300, 000 has been made jointly by the Freemasons of Sussex, Surrey and Kent, to support the restoration of the Cathedral’s North West Transept. Three hundred thousand, to mark three hundred years.”
The Cathedral added that a “capacity attendance is anticipated”.
The Masonic Province of East Kent has more than six thousand Freemasons and 184 lodges.
A spokesperson for the Archbishop of Canterbury declined to comment and referred queries to the Cathedral.
Freemasons donate three bikes to South London Blood Bikers
14TH FEBRUARY 2017
Story by Freemasonry Matters
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Masters Masons in London has donated three motorcycles to SERV Surrey & South London, who provide quick delivery of essential blood and blood products between hospitals overnight.
The Mark Master Masons donated a Yamaha FJR1300 named Mark and two Triumph Tiger 800s named Keystone, and Mallet and Chisel.
Hugh Terry, Chairman of SERV S&SL, commented, “We’re very grateful to The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Masters Masons for the generous donation of these three motorbikes which will be a very valuable addition to our fleet of vehicles.”
Terry continued, “Being able to add these to our fleet will help us to continue providing the best service to the hospitals in our region. Most of our volunteers use their own bikes, paying for their own fuel, maintenance and other costs. By providing our volunteers with alternative motorbikes they can save wear and tear on their own machines but more importantly we can expand our service.”
SERV Surrey and South London was set up in 1981 to transport emergency blood products over night free of charge to free up funds for patient care and other facilities within the hospital.
David Ashbolt, Provincial Grand Master for London in the Mark Degree, added, “The service that the SERV Surrey and South London volunteers provide is an essential service and, at the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Masters Masons, we’re proud to be able to support the charity with the provision of these three motorbikes.”
The School of Freemasonry, an online video course school by Dr.Mark Koltko-Rivera has opened!
“Who can enroll in The School of Freemasonry™?” Anyone can enroll. You do not have to be a Freemason to enroll.
Shriners Hospitals for Children’s “Healing Power of Love” race car paint scheme, designed by Shriners Hospitals for Children patient Hailey Randal, was unveiled today! On Saturday, July 2 Shriner and #NASCAR driver David Ragan will drive this very special race car at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 in Daytona. Be sure to watch to see David race the Shriners Hospitals car to victory! #Lovetotherescue
Source: Shriners International
Yorkshire Air Ambulance – New Helicopter Unveiling Tuesday 7th June 2016.
Story by Masonic Province of Yorkshire, West Riding
New Helicopter Unveiling Tuesday 7th June 2016
Yorkshire Freemasons were pleased to attend the unveiling of the new Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) at their Nostell Priory base on Tuesday 7th June 2016.
Amongst a large group of fellow Sponsors and Patrons which included the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, Mayor of Wakefield, Geoffrey Boycott, Gaynor Barnes, nmany commercial organisations and businesses.
The Charity Chairman Peter Sunderland (formerly ‘Harmony’ lodge) gave a warm comprehensive welcome and thanks to all – particularly mentioning Yorkshire Freemasons.
The new helicopter had been carefully selected and bought from Germany at a cost of £6 million. We need two ! the first was paid for and we had all most paid for the second. It costs £ 12,000 a day to run and averages 3 emergency flights a day. This amounts to £4.4 million a year the equivalent of £1 per person living in Yorkshire at the moment. YAA has the lowest administration costs of any of the Air Ambulance services at 15% which was due to the careful management and numerous voluntary contributions.
The new Helicopter will last for 25-30years and is capable of Night Flights which will give a 30% increase in flight operations and as it is a more efficient aircraft there will be no increase in overall costs. It can fly for much longer and has rear door access.
Our Masonic Logo is on both the two rear doors…
Geoffrey Boycott spoke to thank all the Volunteers – ordinary folk doing their bit for the benefit of others, All those involved with the actual work of the Helicopter, the Sponsors and everyone attending but in particular Peter Sunderland for all his efforts.
Peter and his wife had been at Oxford when the new helicopter arrived from Germany and she said poignantly, ‘I wonder how many lives it will save’. That we cannot say but the existing Helicopter has saved well over four thousand !!!
This is thanks to numerous donations but Yorkshire Freemasons should be proud that their contributions are supporting this wonderful Charity.
Masonic Lodge will open courthouse time capsule May 28
By Pamela Sleezer/American Press
The DeRidder Masonic Lodge # 271 announced it will open the time capsule found in the cornerstone of the Beauregard Parish courthouse next month at a public event.
The opening is slated for Saturday, May 28 at 2 p.m. and will be held in the open area located adjacent to the courthouse where the historic Sartor Building once stood. In following with the Mason tradition, the Louisiana Grand Master will have the honors of unveiling the capsule’s contents.
The Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce has assisted in setting up the event, and executive director Lisa Adams is hoping for a large turnout.
“We know that is Memorial Day weekend, but it is the only time that the grand master can be here to open the capsule so we are just hoping that the holiday will make it an even more special event,” she said. “I think it’s going to be very exciting to see what this copper box holds.”
The capsule was originally placed in 1914 when the courthouse was first built, and was found earlier this month as workers began moving the foundation pieces during expansion construction
According to Ronnie Jackson, past master at the DeRidder lodge, it is Masonic tradition to donate the northeast cornerstone when government or community buildings are being built across the nation, with many found throughout Washington, D.C.
Some other DeRidder buildings that possess Masonic cornerstones are Beauregard Memorial Hospital and the DeRidder High School.
Heavy metal can rock world record for London Marathon runner Dave Cooke
A father is hoping to break a world record – but may well break himself in the process.
You may have spotted Dave Cooke running up and down Princes Road, Dartford, in full chain mail, looking as if he’s just returned from the Crusades.
But, rather than training for a battle, the 38-year-old is getting fit ahead of running in this year’s London marathon, on Sunday, April 24.
To make things a bit more interesting he is attempting to complete the 26 miles wearing almost 20kg, or 44lb, of metal.
The father-of-two, from Coller Crescent, Dartford, has previously completed six marathons.
Three were over consecutive weekends for the Forces Children’s Trust and this time he is supporting the London Air Ambulance, which supports the other emergency services up to the M25 and in Dartford.
The record Guinness World Record for the marathon being run in chain mail was set by Michael Dodd, from Essex, who ran it in five hours, 49 minutes and seven seconds in 2014.
Mr Cooke said: “At the moment I’m just hoping I get through it. It’s the first time I’ll have run a marathon in any kind of fancy dress. The suit is very heavy.
“The fastest I’ve ever run a marathon was five hours 15 minutes. So If I can do this in five hours 45 and just beat Michael to the world record I’ll be really happy.”
The operations manager at a secondary school keeps active and is also a volunteer coach at Greenwich FC, where his son plays.
He added: “I chose the air ambulance this time because it gets no government funding, but it is a crucial service which makes a massive difference.
“I’m also a Freemason and a £2 million donation has already been given to the charity by the London Freemasons, so I’ve already been doing things through that.” So far Dave has raised £600, but is hoping to collect nearer £2,000 before he runs
Writing and photograph by Bro. Steven E. Crane
150 year re-dedication of the Kansas State Capital building by the Grand Lodges of Kansas. Beautiful interwoven joint ceremony by MW Grand Lodge of Kansas AF&AM and the MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Kansas AF&AM.
Letter from Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Maine, A.F. & A.M. Addressing the Sexual Orientation Controversy Involving the Grand Lodges of Georgia and Tennessee.
Many of you certainly have heard about the recent events involving the Grand Lodges of Georgia and Tennessee. For the benefit of those who have not, in short, they have decided to exclude men from being masons in their jurisdictions based on their sexual orientation. As a result, some Grand Jurisdictions have taken the action of withdrawing recognition of Georgia and Tennessee.
I believe that discrimination runs contrary to our beliefs as Masons, that Masons unite men of every country sect and opinion. I have recently read the opinion of the Grand Master of Washington, D.C., an ordained minister, who feels as I do that this action, imposes one set of religious values on the entire Craft. Masonry has always been a place where a man’s faith does not matter, so long as he believes in one ‘Supreme Architect of the Universe’. We need to remain an inclusive society and not an exclusive one.
Brethren this is my position on this subject. I am not, at this time going to unilaterally issue a judgement that the Grand Lodge of Maine remove recognition. We have a Grand Lodge session coming up in a few weeks, where the Committee on Fraternal Relations will offer a report which will cover this topic, along with their recommendation. We will have the opportunity to discuss this issue at that time and then vote as a body.
In the meantime, I pray that we remain the society of tolerant men that we have always espoused to be and that the actions of these two Grand Lodges do not set up a rift that threatens all that we have professed for generations.
Your Friend and Brother,
David A. Walker
Grand Lodge of Maine, A.F. & A.M.
GulfNews.com, the most widely read newspaper and online site in English in the Middle East, with a daily paid circulation of over 108,000, and an online audience of 3.5 million unique [views] every month has published about Freemasonry:
There exists in parts of the Arab world an undisclosed number of individuals who belong to a highly clandestine organisation called the Freemasons. While they operate freely in some other parts of the world, this organisation has been banned in a number of Arab countries because of its dubious agendas.
The Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium has suspended relations with the Grand Lodge of Georgia.
Georgia Freemasonry outlaws homosexuality in its ranks
FBI arrests man planning mass shooting at Masonic Temple (Jan 27, 2016)
Freemasonry was spared much mourning today as FBI agents apprehended a man plotting to kill people at a Milwaukee Masonic Center. I praise our law enforcement agencies and investigators for doing a great job!
With cause to celebrate, fraternally,
Phoenix St. John
The John J Carton Lodge #436 & MMCF donated this bench to the Clare County Veterans Park.
Centennial Re-Enactment of the laying of the cornerstone at the Oklahoma State Capitol
The Centennial Re-Enactment of the laying of the cornerstone at the Oklahoma State Capitol was well attended according to the Brothers of Mustang Masons Lodge 407. These pictures from the Lodge’s Facebook page are of the Grand Lodge Officers and MW Ridge Smith re-enacting the ceremony.
History Made In Texas Freemasonry
A Historical event in Texas Freemasonry took place on Friday, November 13, 2015. For the first time Brethren from Local Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Texas visited a Grand Session of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas.
Masons and Companions accompanied by family members of the province walking through the Streets of York in Full Regalia from the Minster to St Saviour Gate following the annual provincial Service (UK).
ARNOLD PALMER, 33º & GOURGAS AWARD RECEIPIENT~
Golf legend Arnold Palmer, and Donald “Doc” Giffin, his assistant for 49 years, were invested with the DeMolay Legion of Honor on Thursday, September 24th at Palmer’s home office in Latrobe, PA. Both men are 50-year-plus Masons and “Doc” is a 70-year Senior DeMolay of Fidelity Chapter, Crafton, PA.
These two gracious and generous men have long supported Westmoreland Chapter in Greensburg and the youth programs of the 30th Masonic District. The ceremony was conferred by ISC Deputy Member Rodney E. Boyce, with the assistance of ISC Grand Treasurer Emeritus, Samuel C.
Williamson, RWPGM. SMC Adam Pritchard led an expert team of state officers in presenting the flower tribute to the new Legionnaires.
Both men spoke with great humility about this meaningful ceremony. Palmer, always competitive, jokingly insisted that his white cordon and medallion was bigger than Doc’s red cordon and medallion. After the ceremony, he gave a tour of his office and trophy room, and stood for individual pictures, which will be printed and signed for each participant. Palmer has been honored by thousands of organizations for his charitable giving, his sportsmanship, and his character.
Not just a celebrity, Arnold Palmer’s spotless reputation and character make him a perfect example of the kind of man and Mason we want to associate with our Order. In the Legion of Honor Ceremony it says that “the International Supreme Council now becomes your endorser.” By accepting the HLOH, Arnold Palmer is entrusting HIS spotless reputation to US.
Bro. Mason shot
It is with a heavy heart that I report that the New York State lawyer who has been shot and on the news was a Brother Mason. Below is an excerpt from an article on The International New York Times.
New York State Lawyer Shot in Head Is Praised for His Drive
By WINNIE HU and KATE TAYLORSEPT. 8, 2015
In a life full of milestones, Carey W. Gabay went from picking up litter on Bronx streets as a teenager to being president of the student government at Harvard.
Mr. Gabay’s easygoing personality and relentless work ethic earned him an Ivy League education and a lucrative career in corporate finance law. He later turned to public service as a lawyer for the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. He married three years ago and was looking forward to having a family.
Mr. Gabay, 43, was shot in the head early on Monday in a burst of violence as he joined thousands of revelers in Brooklyn for J’ouvert, a predawn celebration that is a prelude to the annual West Indian American Day Parade. He was a bystander in what the police said was possibly a dispute between rival gangs. He remained in a coma in critical condition on Tuesday at Kings County Hospital Center.
Benjamin Mueller and Nate Schweber contributed reporting, and Alain Delaquérière contributed research.
Happy National Teddy Bear Day to our very own Fezzy, the Love to the rescue ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children 9/9/15
The Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia recently held a wreath laying ceremony at The National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. The national memorial is dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II.
Special Order No. 4
To the Potentates, Officers and Members of Shriners International, fraternal greetings:
Attention has been drawn to the political debate over the Confederate Battle Flag in the wake of the recent incident in Charleston, SC. As a result, in my opinion, as Imperial Potentate, I believe it is in the best interest of the Order and the Nobility that no temple, unit, club or member of Shriners International shall display in any form the Confederate Battle Flag or any image that reasonably can be construed as a reference to the Confederate Battle Flag.
Under the circumstances, it is my opinion, as the Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, that the following order with respect to the Potentates, Officers and Members of Shriners International should be, and hereby is issued.
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by § 206.5(a) (1) and (5) of the bylaws of Shriners International, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG PROHIBITION
No Noble (in his capacity as a member of Shriners International) or club, unit, organization of Nobles or affiliated or appendant organizations of Shriners International, shall display any Confederate Battle Flag or any image that reasonably can be construed as a reference to the Confederate Battle Flag in Shrine or Civic Parades, Temple activities or in Shrine or non-Shrine public appearances.
No Noble (in his capacity as a member of Shriners International) or club, unit, organization of Nobles or affiliated or appendant organizations of Shriners International, shall participate in non-Shrine public appearances in which a Confederate Battle Flag or any image that reasonably can be construed as a reference to the Confederate Battle Flag is expected to be displayed by the organizer, promoter or by those in control of the premises or facility of the non-Shrine event.
Dated this 10th day of August, 2015
Jerry G. Gantt, Imperial Potentate
Jack H. Jones, Imperial Recorder
8/12/2015 Bro. Eden C. Reeves II, Assistant Grand Secretary, Past Master Amos Lodge No. 10, Grand Lodge of Liberia visits Pride of Mt. Pisgah Lodge No. 135, Dallas, Texas – Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas
Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle in San Francisco cornerstone ceremony
July 3–5, 2015, the George Washington Masonic Memorial was lit in red, white, and blue to celebrate Independence Day!
For the State House Time Capsule-Cornerstone Ceremony Grand Master’s Address (Massachusetts) click here!
Cornerstone Rededication Ceremony for the Missouri State Capitol Building performed the Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge of Missouri and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri.
Yesterday, July 4th, 2015, Masons from across Missouri participated in a Cornerstone Rededication Ceremony for the Missouri State Capitol Building performed the Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge of Missouri and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri. For one day the Masons of Missouri were united, there was no us or them but simply Missouri Freemasons!
North Carolina’s Rededication at the state capital.
North Carolina’s Rededication at the state capital. Prince Hall and AF&AM Grand Lodges Presiding. Good to see brothers coming together! June 13, 2015 was the celebration of North Carolina’s Capitol building’s 175 anniversary.
Joint cornerstone laying between the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri F&AM and the Grand Lodge of Missouri AF&AM.
(Reposted from Phoenixmasonry) Yesterday July 3rd, 2015 in Jefferson City there was a joint cornerstone laying between the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri F&AM and the Grand Lodge of Missouri AF&AM. It’s historic and we are not sure this has been done in any other state. Thank you Brother A.D. Grimes for these amazing photos!
Alchemy for You
Ancient craft to create gold inspires soul-searching at Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
July 1, 2015 – by Gary Singh
With a fiery red-orange backdrop, the ancient art of alchemy now comes alive at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. One entire room showcases this ancient art of transformation through various displays, text panels and even a replica of a medieval alchemist’s workshop. A wealth of info explodes all at one time, so it can be overwhelming—as with life itself—but the dirt is in the details, so to speak.
Some background: In ancient days of yore, alchemists toiled away in their laboratories, claiming to search for methods of converting base metals into gold. Endless amounts of symbols, diagrams and texts emerged from those processes. Although their terminology contributed to the development of modern-day chemistry, people still argue over the degree to which the alchemists’ methods were allegories for spiritual, mental or psychological processes. That is, when they spoke of “converting lead into gold,” were they serious, or was it a metaphor for transpersonal growth? When they talked about “distilling away the contaminants,” or “washing away the impurities,” were they referring to actual chemical processes, or was this really about fine tuning one’s own personal path (i.e. boiling away the bad elements in order to sculpt a more stable psyche)?
As early as 1500, the Rosicrucians were among the first to reiterate alchemical terminology toward a more spiritual and evolutionary direction. At least that’s what Dennis Hauck told me a few years ago. He was the one who helped design the alchemy exhibit, now open to the public after years of deliberation.
Right now, the fiery-red-orange backdrop of the exhibit pulls one into the experience. Right away, visitors read an introductory explanation of alchemy and its origins in the Emerald Tablet, authored by Hermes Trismegistus, who is often interconnected with Thoth, the Egyptian god of science. From there, the fusion of western science and spiritual processes evolved all the way up to the modern conception of alchemy. Something about the ancient green hue of that tablet interacts with the red-orange-ness of the rest of the exhibit. I can’t say how, but I just felt it.
And in the rest of the exhibit, one finds seven elaborate displays depicting the seven phases of alchemy: Calcination, Dissolution, Separation, Conjunction, Fermentation, Distillation and Coagulation. Each display features a main text panel, an image representing the phase in question, plus physical objects related to the phase along with additional explanatory texts offering more insight into the process.
In one case, we learn that Calcination, the first step in alchemical transformation, is a process of decomposition in which a substance is reduced to ashes or powder by heating, drying or crushing it. On a personal level, this step seeks to get beyond ego and personality to reveal one’s true identity or soul.
In another example, Conjunction is a step in which two different compounds are merged to create an entirely new substance by melding, bonding, compounding, amalgamation or precipitation. On a personal level, Conjunction might be viewed as a marriage of opposites, eventually leading to a more whole and integrated being.
As one experiences the displays, reading everything in order, it is impossible not to imagine ways in which alchemy might apply to one’s own journey—personally, creatively or both.
The whole process, on a micro level, could easily manifest itself as the realization of any sort of balanced inner space where opposites do not conflict with each other. If you happen to harbor a punk rock aspect of yourself that seemingly can’t coexist with the easy-listening aspects of yourself, or if your urban self can’t coexist with your suburban nature, then alchemy can help. With the aid of the seven phases, you can fine-tune your inner space in order to resolve conflicting elements, on your way toward becoming a more whole and integrated person.
Don’t think your Black Flag records are incompatible with your Jim Nabors records. You don’t have to get rid of anything. They can coexist, thanks to a few thousand years’ worth of transpersonal work now illuminated by the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.
Great News from Texas!
Prince Hall Grand Master Wilbert Curtis is in the middle with the top hat on and to his left (our right) is the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM GM Jerry Martin together at the Prince Hall Grand Session June 25-25, 2015. A historic fraternal exchange.
A historical day in Texas Freemasonry. It was 140 years in the making but it came to fruition. MWPGM Jerry L. Martin of GL of Tx was received and fellowshiped with the brothers of MWPHGL of Tx. Also in attendance was RWSGW Quincy Gant of Washington D.C., MWGM Walter Gulley of Florida, RWGSW Gonzalez of Minnesota. Not pictured was MWGM Cleveland Wilson of Arkansas and Bishop Rodney McFarland of Louisiana.
PGM Martin and I agree that it should have happened a long time ago but it was done on God’s time…..
Foundation stone ceremony of the Masonic Polyclinic in India
M.W. Bro. V.J. Masurekar laid the foundation stone of the Masonic Polyclinic at village Khokhna 70kms from Kathmandu and he also consecrated Lodge Capital at Kathmandu in Nepal on 20th June 2015. W.Bro. Bhupinder Vikram Singh is the founding master and W.Bro. Ananad Pathak is the founding secretary.
M.W.Bro was accompanied by all the four Regional Grand Masters under the Grand Lodge of India in a beautiful and unique consecration of its kind.
MORE GOOD NEWS FROM TEXAS
(reposted from Phoenixmasonry) Troy A Cousin reports:
It is both an honor and a privilege to be in the midst of another historical moment between the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas and the Grand Lodge of Texas as Most Worshipful Jerry L. Martin, Past Grand Master and now honorary member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas, represented the Grand Lodge of Texas at our 140th Grand Communication. Regular Freemasonry is alive and well in the Great Country of Texas!!!
HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE TODAY: June 26, 2015
Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Jerry Martin of the Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M., addresses the 140th Grand Session of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas, F. & A.M. This marks the first time in history that both Grand Lodges sat in a regular session together. Let the healing begin!
298 years ago today, June 24th, 2015, 4 London lodges met at the Goose & Gridiron and formed the 1st Grand Lodge in the world. Full Story Here.
This news story was published on The Guardian and reposted to Freemason Information.
In an elaborate ceremony steeped in tradition, a time capsule dating to 1795 was returned on Wednesday to the cornerstone of the Massachusetts Statehouse, with a set of 2015 US mint coins and a silver plaque added to its contents for a future generation to discover.
A procession of freemasons marched up Beacon Hill as a fife and drum corps, clad in Colonial garb, played on the statehouse lawn. Military units stood at attention and a 19-gun salute was fired, all part of an effort to approximate the historically documented atmosphere of 4 July 1795, when the newly built cornerstone was drawn by 15 white horses from Boston’s Old South Church, across Boston Common to the construction site for the new state capitol.
On that day, the then Massachusetts governor, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere, then Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons, presided over a ceremony in which the time capsule was first deposited into the cornerstone.
During Thursday’s ceremony, Governor Charlie Baker joked that Adams is today better known to many people as a beer-maker than a key Revolutionary-era figure. But he said it was humbling to consider that the original capsule was placed just 15 years after Massachusetts adopted its constitution.
“What makes this time capsule so unusual is it’s not an interpretation from a historian, it’s not a passage in a text book, it’s the story that our predecessors from that Revolutionary time wanted us to know and understand,” Baker said.
The original container included an engraved silver plaque, a medal in honor of George Washington and a set of coins including one believed dated to the mid-1600s.
The capsule was removed in 1855 during construction of a new wing of the building. Its contents were transferred to a sturdier brass box and new items, including coins and newspapers, were added. Rediscovered last year during a water filtration project, the box was gingerly excavated from the building and later opened by conservators at the Museum of Fine Arts.
The latest contents, not revealed until Thursday’s ceremony, were a 2015 US mint coin set – including dollar coins of Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson – and a silver plaque commemorating Thursday’s event.
As was the case in 1855, the contents were placed in a new container, this one made of stainless steel with an oxygen-free interior to prevent deterioration.
The secretary of state, William Galvin, who presided over the ceremony with Baker and Harvey Waugh, current Grand Master of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Masons, said it could be hundreds of years before the box is opened again but when it is, “the history we made today will be fondly remembered.”
Groups of invited schoolchildren, wearing T-shirts that read “Time To Go Back”, watched the ceremony along with state workers and curious tourists.
A version of this article originally appeared on VICE France.
Freemasons like to keep details of their secret society secret, but according to one Mason I spoke to a while ago, the group has been gaining popularity among younger people since the early 2000s.
My Mason gave several reasons for this. Today’s 25- to 35-year-olds don’t have the same sense of civic belonging their parents and grandparents had, with many of the old establishments—churches, social clubs, steady jobs you could count on for decades—gradually eroding. No wonder an established society like the Freemasons holds appeal with its multitude of symbols and lore.
A French fashion designer I’ll call “Cécile” is one of those younger Masons at 34 years old. She says that Masonic rituals give her “the satisfaction of really sharing something deep with other people.” I sat down with her to discuss her sister status in that French Masonic Lodge.
VICE: What attracted you to Freemasonry?
Cécile: This is a personal journey, a quest. Curiosity isn’t always rational. I got the idea to join when I was about 25 years old, but I knew that I had nothing to contribute back then. I didn’t have the confidence. Later, I met an integrated member of the lodge and I was very much attracted to his way of being and speaking. I was sucked in.
How does one go about joining the Masonic community?
To apply, I had to write a personal statement. After that, I was given a test meant to determine whether or not I was both open-minded and moral. This was a way for the lodge to spot potential—to see whether a person is in line with the values of the community.
The lodge’s community spirit is very strong. That’s something I like—it connects me with people who share similar desires. I’ve never been attracted to Freemasonry for networking reasons. Helping each other in life should exist beyond the boundaries between lodge members and secular citizens, and instead span all of society.
What are the people from your lodge like?
They come from all sorts of different social backgrounds and span all ages. Their behavior, their tastes, and their lifestyles make up the lodge’s patchwork, if you will. I’d say the average age is about 47. Most of my brothers and sisters are much older than me. When I joined, I noticed that there were very few people around my age. I’m still the youngest and I’m 34.
Nowadays, lodges are more eclectic. They are open to people from different walks of life. Each person’s political and religious affiliations may differ from those of others but everyone has to respect “the rules of the game.” As the saying goes: “Never discuss politics or religion with friends.”
What do you think young French people make of Freemasonry?
A lot of people think it’s satanic or a sect or something. They have the wrong idea about it because of different things they saw on TV or the internet or whatever. I can’t count how many weird rumors I’ve heard about us.
How is it to live with these beliefs in a modern-day secular society?
I guess you could say that I have a sort of spiritual intimacy with my brothers and sisters. I leave my personal worries outside of the lodge. In the same way, I don’t discuss my Masonic interests with family or friends.
Has your relationship with those who are aware of your membership changed in any way?
No, absolutely not. But my lifestyle has changed, as well as my interests. Dancing and drunken nights just became less and less appealing to me. I calmed down and focused on other things. I still have the same friends but we hang out in a different way than we did before. I’m driven by other desires now, desires that give me serenity. But I’ve only been in the lodge for a year, the best is yet to come. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more. It’s all part of the Masonic secret.
Can you say what happens in there? How often do you make it to the house?
Everything is quite ritualistic. We spend our time discussing a variety of philosophical topics. We study symbols. My lodge is primarily focused on all things philosophical. Others are more focused on society.
I take part in the ritual twice a month. The official minimum frequency of visits is actually just that—twice a month. It’s good to be diligent, both for oneself and for others. Regular attendance is a cornerstone of the Masonic values.