Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Memory of Departed Brethren

Recently, I had been visiting a local graveyard here in Halifax, as it was the anniversary of the Titanic sinking, and a large number of those who perished on that horrible night are buried here, so as I drove through the Titanic Graveyard in Fairview, I noticed a tombstone in the graveyard, not part of the titanic dead, but elsewhere in the graveyard, it was the resting place of a Brother who layed down his working tools and went to the Grand Lodge Above,
The picture to the left is the tombstone I came across in the Fairview Graveyard, and I don't know what it was about standing by this tombstone but I was so moved.
I decided one day I would visit a graveyard in Halifax which was the resting place of a well known Brother from Nova Scotia, the grave site of Alexander Keith. I managed to locate the resting place of Alexander Keith, and also noticed that in this graveyard, there were MANY departed Brethren here, and I decided at that moment as I saw alot of Masonic tombstones that I would pay my respects to as many departed Brethren from this graveyard and visit as many of their resting places as I could.
I am now on a quest to visit as many Brethren as I can here in Nova Scotia. I brought my Digital Camera with me to the graveyard with me so I can take pictures of these tombstones, and pay my respects to these Departed Brethren.
The picture to the left is the gravesite of Alexander Keith.
For those unfamiliar with Alexander Keith, he was Mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, three times, and was a member of the Legislative Council for 30 years.
Alexander Keith was also a prominent member of Freemasonry.
Hon. Alexander Keith
Provincial and District Grand Master
Grand Lodge of England, 1840-69
Provincial Grand Master
Grand Lodge of Scotland 1848-66
Grand Master of Masons in Nova Scotia 1869-73


Alexander Keith died in Halifax in 1873, he is buried at the Camp Hill Cemetary across from the Public Gardens.

This post is dedicated to the memory of all those Departed Brethren who have put down there working tools and passed on to the Grand Lodge Above..

Well Done Good and Faithful Servant

Rest In Peace Brothers....

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Freemasons Hall, Halifax Nova Scotia.











Freemason's Hall had been the home of several Masonic Lodges, and other Masonic bodies, as well, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, was also located in the Barrington Street Freemason's Hall Building.




Brethren throughout Nova Scotia, were sad to hear of the news that Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, could not afford the Insurance for the building, and they would need to find another building to house the Lodges that had met in Freemason's Hall.




On the 21st of May 2008, I had attended Ad Astra Lodge's #130 during their last meeting in Freemason's Hall.




I had been speaking with a Brother that I work with at Halifax Airport, and I had told him I had wanted to attend a Lodge that night and he had told me that Ad Astra would be meeting, and so I made the trek after work to the Freemason's Hall and I am very glad that I was able to visit Freemason's Hall. It was my first and my last time in the building, while Lodge was on hold until the gavel sounded in the East, I decided to explore as much of the building as possible. Although I could not go very far, I was still awestruck by the beauty of this wonderful building.




With this visit being my First and Last visit to the building I wanted to commemorate my visit and I snapped a couple of pictures of the Lodge room.




I will provide later a History of the Freemason's Hall on Barrington Street as soon as I can find some information about it :D




Monday, December 15, 2008

A Higher Duty?

Greetings Brethren;


I would like to welcome you back to my newest topic of thought. On the 23rd of November, a Brother from a Masonic Website in which I haved signed up to, posed a question to other members of the website and the question he posed was this;


"Do we as Masons owe a higher duty to our fellow Masons than to our fellow humans?" I would like to thank the Brother who posed this question, as earlier I had wanted to leave a response, but I was unable to put it into words at that moment, so I would like to put into words, what I am thinking as to this question, but first, imagine this.


You pass an individul who is sitting outside a shop downtown and is asking for change so he/she can buy medications that they can otherwise not afford. Do you simply look away? Do you stop to give this person some change? What if this person is wearing a Masonic Ring, or a Masonic ballcap? Would your willingness to help this person change?


As Masons, we are taught to the tools of moral and ethical principles to serve mankind, we are men of goodwill who seek to make ourselves better than we were, not better than others.

So, as Masons, do we owe a higher duty to our fellow Brethren then we do to our fellow Humans? After seeing several replies to this question on the online forum I stated above, I have read other people's replies, and had time to think about this question.
My answer is this;
A higher duty? I would not say a higher duty, but I feel we should have a higher respect for our fellow brethren, but we should also be reminded under the tenet of Brotherly Love, we are to regard the human species as one family, the children of one Almighty parent. We are all occupants of the same planet, and as Masons, we were taught to aid, support, and protect our fellow humans, whether they are Masons or not, of course, I would be more tempted to aid or assist one who was a Mason, Mason's Widow, or a member of a concordant body, but I wish to treat all people the same, as I would like to be treated the same way.
I take pride in being able to drop a few dollars into a charity jar at work, or being able to buy someone's coffee without them knowing who I am, or even buying someone less fortunate a small lunch and handing it to them rather than give them some change.
Brethren;
I would like to ask you, how often do you help a member of society who is not on the Level? This being the Holiday season I would like to ask you help brighten up someone's day and offer to buy them a coffee, a lunch, or just chat with them. Remember your obligations Brethren, and look well to the East Brethren

Happy Holidays Brothers

Monday, December 8, 2008

Decline in Membership in the Fraternity and Beyond

I was recently looking at the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia and they have available, to members of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia website, a graph of the membership trends from 1998 to 2003.I have posted this graph for you all to view, I have been searching for a little more accurate information, but this was the most I could find.
It would seem that the number of new Brethren being raised has been going down each year, with only 89 new Masons being raised in 2003.

Being a fairly young Mason, I find myself wondering what can be done to promote interest in Masonry to the younger generation.

In September of 1906, a Masonic Fair was held at the Halifax Armouries, the city lodges, the two Royal Arch Chapters, and the Scottish Rite, and the Knights Templars all had booths of various kinds.
The fair had entertained thousands of individuals during the time the fair was held and at the end of the fair and after the money was counted, it had brought over 17,000 dollars into the treasury.
I think something of this sort held today would be a wonderful way to allow those who are not Brethren to see what we are all about and to obtain any information that they may be interested in, and if interested maybe receive a petition for initiation.
I think more has to be done to promote Freemasonry, events such as Open Houses once a month where the public can come in and see how the Lodge works and meet some of the Brethren.
In my opinion, I feel that one of the main reasons contributing to the decline of membership in the Craft is as the older Brethren are laying down their working tools and being called up to the Grand Lodge above, we are not replacing them with new Entered Apprentices.
Brethren, the working tools to save this Craft are in our hands. Masons will have to think outside of the box, and apply new techniques and methods to get Masonry relevant to the 21st century.

Look well to the East Brethren.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cornerstone Dedication Ceremony


On the 25th of October, 2008, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Cornerstone Dedication Ceremony for the new Freemason's Hall building which our prior Freemason's Hall was sold as the previous site was much to expensive and after finding a suitable site, previously a church, Grand Lodge had started to fix up and reassemble the building to suit the needs of the Masonic Lodges that would be meeting inside.
The ceremony was started off by a large parade of all those who would be taking part in the official ceremony, and those who would be on the side lines watching the ceremony.
I was unfortunate in that I was unable to be in the parade as I had been working in the morning and made it in time for the cornerstone to be laid.
I was very impressed with the turn out of Brethren, and non-masons who attended the very important event.
There were groups from OES, and even a DeMolay Chapter from New Brunswick had come out and attended the ceremony.
After the Cornerstone was laid, there was a Meeting held inside the new building, those Brethren and visitors who were not apart of the actual meeting was able to sit down in an adjacent room and watch the meeting on CCTV. A large screen was put up and the meeting was broadcast to the people in the room on the screen.
After the meeting was over, all Brethren and the visitors were invited to stay after and socialize and enjoy Fraternal Companionship and the Master of Masons, even bought a 24 pack of Keith's (Of course) and placed it in the kitchen for those who were seeking a cold drink.
I would like to thank the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia for putting on a wonderful ceremony. It was absolutely fabulous.
Everyone involved did a wonderful job, and I truly enjoyed being able to socialize with other Brethren from all over the Country.
We were even able to have in attendance, a relative of the great Alexander Keith. For those Brethren, who do now know who Alexander Keith was, he was Mayor of Halifax three times, and was a member of Legislative Council for 30 years. In 1820 Alexander Keith founded the Alexander Keith's brewing company. Alexander Keith is best known for his involvement with the Freemasons, he was provincial grand master for the Maritimes under the English authority in 1840, and under the Scottish Lodge in 1845, he later became Grand Master of Nova Scotia.

This was my first time attending a Cornerstone ceremony and I was very impressed. Again, I would like to thank the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia for a job well done.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Introduction


Greetings Brethren;
My name is Glenn Williston, I am a Master Mason who is a member of Cornwallis Lodge #95 under the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
I have been a member of the Craft since I was 21 years old. I became a member of the Fraternity after a former supervisor had noticed a book I was reading "The Hiram Key" by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas.
We had talked for awhile, and I had expressed my interests about the Knights Templar and the various theories that exist about the Templars and a little later on, my supervisor had asked if I would be interested in filling out a petition for initiation into the Freemasons, I filled the petition out and handed it back to him and the rest is history.
During my process into joining the Craft, I found out from my father that my Grandfather was a dedicated Mason, until his passing to the Grand Lodge Above, and as he had gotten older, he was not able to attend lodge, he was made an Honorary Mason.
I then found myself at Lodge for my first time to go through my First Degree.
A few months down the road, I found myself at my Lodge to receive the Third Degree, in which I was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.
After the ceremony, myself, and the other Master Masons that were raised at this ceremony had the honor of getting a speech from Grand Master of Masons in Nova Scotia, Roger Ellis Eisner, who passed on to the Grand Lodge Above last year, after he spoke with us, he handed us a pin that has a square and compass on it and features the Bluenose.
I am so glad that I have chosen to join the Masonic Fraternity, I have met many great people since I have joined and made many friends.
Stay tuned to my Blog as I will be posting Blogs when I get the itch to post something.

I intend to use this Blog to put my thoughts on all things Masonic into words.

So long for known Brethren;
Glenn Williston