The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2011

North Carolina Mason

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Page 2 From the editor’s desk The subtle knot of the mystic tie You can never know for sure what a person values simply from their behavior. Perhaps we cannot even be confident of our own values. Burnie Batchelor died in late January of this year at age 85. I knew Burnie only for the last few years of his life. Burnie was arguably Ra- leigh’s foremost photographer in the second half of the last century. Of the skilled portrait- ist, News & Observer columnist A. C. Snow said, “You couldn’t get married in Raleigh unless Bur- nie took you picture.” Burnie was born in Nashville, NC and joined Morning Star 85 there when he turned 21. Just a few years later, he moved to Raleigh to open his studio, and he moved his lodge membership to Hiram 40 in 1952. All the reports we hear are that Burnie was never active in the lodge. He was what Masons call (sometimes derisively) a “card carrier.” From the outside, one might think that he held his membership in low esteem. But, are we sure? He suffered dementia in his later years, but continued to get around well and enjoyed rid- ing around and going out for meals. His nurse would drive him about and do what she could to satisfy his whims. The Grand Lodge office, not far from his home, was a regular stop for them. Burnie would come in the building as his nurse explained that he was concerned about his membership status. We would reassure him that everything was fine and that his lodge sec- retary was a good one who would make sure he was in good standing. He was always smiling and was appreciative when we told him he was in good standing. Though Burnie may never have been active in the lodge, it was clear that while more and more things were taken from him as his demen- tia advanced, Freemasonry clung to a place of importance. No matter if he fully understood his concerns, there was frequent evidence that his membership in the lodge was special. There are Masons every year in North Caro- lina who get their 50-year membership awards who have hardly attended lodge since their rais- ing. Some offer that this says something bad about Masonry — that it offers nothing of suf- ficient interest to get the member back. But, what other organization do we know which would see such faith. What club has men pay dues for years when they never cross the threshold again after joining. What it says is that there is something extraordinary going on with our fraternity. There is something so striking about joining and being associated with Free- masonry and the other Freemasons in our com- munities, that we feel the need to carry it with us even in the face of inactivity. We feel that need even when others do not know our association. The nearly subconscious connection to the Craft can be strong, perhaps stronger than we know. I often wondered if Burnie’s insistent visits to the office told more than even he knew himself in his younger, cogent years. Do each of us carry some stronger tie of which we are seldom conscious? Does it lie there waiting for awakening if only we dwell upon it for a few moments more? The North Carolina Mason May/June 2011 Coming up next issue The North Carolina Pig Jig entered its sixth year in May. More people ate pig cooked by more teams than ever before. In our next issue, we’ll have a look around the Pig Jig and find out how things turned out for the teams and for the charities the event supports. What’s a Christian to do? By George P. Weister I am occasionally asked questions about Freemasonry and Christianity. I had an interest- ing series of email visits with a brother. He couldn’t understand how I, as an evan- gelical born again Christian, could pray and not invoke the name of Christ. The fact is, I do in my personal prayers, or when I know that all of those who hear my voice are Christians, or when leading in a Christian worship service. Using general terms like “Grand Architect of the Universe” helps transport the hearer into the arms of his/her own deity. I do not pray in the name of the deity of another religion. It seems obvious to me that Freemasonry was established by Christians, but it was created with a view toward tolerance that exceeds the bounds of Christian belief. While the scriptures we use in our degree Waste not GREENSBORO — P. P. Turner 746 brought disposable aprons when they hosted Grand Master Ledford’s district meeting in April. They were leaving when Master Ross Geller noticed that the aprons seemed to still be in pretty good shape. Waste not, want not. They couldn’t resist stopping and saving the aprons for another occasion. Green and thrift are Masonic virtues. The 60-degree compass By Jack L. Abrams Do you know why the compass is opened at 60 degrees on the volume of the Sacred Law and Masonic emblem? The reason is the equilateral triangle always has been sacred. The sum of all angles of any triangle is equal to two right angles or 180 degrees. Each of the equal angles of any equilateral triangle is equal to one-third of the two right angles (180 divided by 3 equals 60) which is 60 degrees. The compass thus set at 60 de- grees alludes to the equilateral triangle and if the two points were united by a straight line, it would form one. Our ancient brethren placed the equilateral triangle itself on the altar. The compass opened at 60 degrees has been substituted. Furthermore, if a circle of any size be drawn, a chord (a line segment that joins two points on a curve) of 60 degrees of that circle will be equal to its radius and the compass so set will divide the circle into six equal parts. The points thus made, with the one in the center, consti- tute the mystic number seven. The six external points if joined by six straight lines, will form the hexagon within the circle, one of the perfect circles. Or, if we unite these six points in another way, we have union with the point within the circle. This is the most sacred emblem of Pythagoras, known in all ages as the seal of Solomon by which he bound the Genii that rebelled against God. From the February 2006 Trestle Board of Ionic Composite 520, by way of The Southern Califor- nia Research Lodge. BOTTOM LINE, from page 1 cott (1726-after 1779). Calcott was the first “roving” or traveling Masonic lecturer. In 1769, he published the first book which pur- ported to explain the purpose and character of Freemasonry, that is, its composition and substance, as distinguished from the older, printed constitutions and various ritual exposures. His book, published in London, was titled, A Candid Disquisi- tion of the Principles and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, together with some Strictures on the Origin, Nature, and Design of the Institution. The contents of the book, while not written in a lively nor easily understood style of prose, even for that comparatively formal time period, never- theless helped to illustrate the somewhat dry and rather sparse character of Masonic philosophy that existed within the rituals at that point in time. Calcott’s book was extremely popular in its time, and was reprinted several times; both in England, and in what was soon to become the United States. It is interesting to note that Calcott was the first author to NORTH CAROLINA The Mason (USPS 598-260) is published bimonthly by The Grand Lodge of AF & AM of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608. Third class postage paid at Oxford, NC 27565. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The North Carolina Mason, School Of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, Oxford, NC 27565. include the phrase, “every moral and social virtue” in the Mas- ter’s closing prayer. He was the first to discuss the story of the Ephramites at the River Jordan, the world of Pythagoras and the Egyptian philosophers, it was he who was the first to point out “that in all ages the right hand has been deemed the seat of fi- delity,” and added the language of “the two right hands joining.” Calcott also was the first to relate the custom of removing the shoe in the book of Ruth as being testimony in Israel, the charge to the lodge that there should be no discussion of religion or politics, that Masons are to subdue their passions and improve in useful knowl- edge, and was the first to mention that it was, “the internal, and not the external, qualifications” that make a man a Mason. All of these varied aspects of our current ritual’s language came out of Calcott’s book, although he probably borrowed some phrases from one or more versions of the Old Charges and Anderson’s Constitutions. Brother Calcott traveled widely and lectured throughout the entire British Isles, and even came to the American colonies for a Grand Master Lewis R. Ledford Board Of Publication Gary R. Ballance Don E. Bolden Thomas A. Pope Jr. John A. Sullivan Hugh K. Terrell Jr. Editor Ric Carter short period of time to teach and lecture. It is not widely known today that Rev. Brother Calcott even taught his versions of the three degree lectures to several prominent early American Masons, including: Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, and Robert Livingston. Just three years after the publication of Calcott’s book, another notable treatise was published by a London Masonic lecturer and avid Freemason; one who was, perhaps, the most influential of all the eighteenth-century English lecturers: William Preston (1742- 1818). Preston was born in Scotland, came to London in 1760 as a young man, while serving as a printer’s apprentice. He eventu- ally became a very active and well-known Freemason there; being involved in both the Grand Lodge, as well as quite a large number of London Lodges working in both Modern and Antient ritual — and serving as a master in some of these. In time, he determined to take the best of all of the various ritual styles of working and expositive lectures that he had heard and compile these into a book. The Virginia Masonic Herald, Fall 2008 by way of Fraternal Review THE MISSION OF FREEMASONRY IN NORTH CAROLINA IS TO RAISE THE MORAL, SOCIAL, INTELLECTUAL, AND SPIRITUAL CONSCIENCE OF SOCIETY BY TEACHING THE ANCIENT AND ENDURING PHILOSOPHICAL TENETS OF BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, AND TRUTH, WHICH ARE EXPRESSED OUTWARDLY THROUGH SERVICE TO GOD, FAMILY, COUNTRY, AND SELF UNDER THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD WITHIN THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN. Good quality pictures, whether color or black and white, are essential for suitable reproduction. The right to reject any submission not suitable for use is reserved. Pictures will be returned to the sender only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Submissions and other correspondence should be sent to the editor at PO Box 6506, Raleigh, NC 27628 or Each North Carolina Mason is a subscriber to The North Carolina Mason. If you know a member who is not receiving the paper, please send us his full name, his complete address and the name and number of his lodge. Masonic widows receive The Mason free upon request. Subscriptions are available to others at a rate of five dollars per year. Subscription inquiries and address changes only should be sent to: The School of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina 27565. Reproduction of articles by Masonic organiza- tions is permitted with proper credits. Opinions expressed are not necessar- ily those of The North Carolina Mason, the Grand Lodge, or Board of Publication. work are from the Old Testament, which we share with those of the Jewish faith, there are also scriptural allusions in our work to the New Testament as well. Hearing the Master’s voice proclaim, “Well done good and faithful servant” is a New Testament concept, but the notion of an afterlife is common to most world religions. Members of the Knights Templar take an oath to Jesus Christ, and are the only truly Christian organization in Freemasonry. There seems to be a parallel between the founding of Freemasonry and the founding of our nation. Just as it is clear that our nation was found- ed primarily by Christians and upon Christian principles, it was open to people of all manner of religious belief or unbelief. Religious tolerance was not experienced by most of the colonists in their homeland, but it was to be a founding prin- ciple of the new nation. In this same way those early fathers of our fraternity also saw the advantage of creating an organization of men based upon morality and a belief in deity without requiring a belief in one particular faith. They wanted to reach across the divides that often separate and compartmen- talize us and create an organization that unites men of high standards. A unique view of this can be found in Jim McNabney’s Born In Brotherhood, a well re- searched book that takes the facts of Freemason- ry’s involvement in the creation of our country and brings them to life. If every Freemason you know is a Christian, it doesn’t mean that Freemasonry is a Chris- tian organization. If all of the members of your lodge are Christians, it doesn’t make your lodge a Christian lodge — it is simply a lodge made up of Christians. Your lodge, the grand lodge, the Lions Club and the United States Senate all have chaplains and prayers, but they aren’t Chris- tian groups. They are simply groups that have chaplains and prayer. A Christian Mason is a Mason who also happens to be a Christian, as is a Jewish Ma- son or a Muslim Mason. A Masonic Chris- tian is one who in his Masonic degrees makes a specific oath to Jesus Christ, as do members of the Knights Templar. Freemasons are mea- sured by the square, the level, and the plumb, not by the Cross! Previously published in Indiana Freemason by Indiana Grand Chaplain George P. Weister, 2010. Your articles and NC Mason Deadlines Issue Deadline January/February .............................. January 1 ..........................................February 1 March/April ................................... March 1 .............................................. April 1 May/June .........................................May 1 ................................................. June 1 July/August ....................................... July 1 ...............................................August 1 September/October ........................September 1 ......................................October 1 November/December ......................November 1 ....................................December 1 Got something you want to say? Have an announcement to make or invitation to get out? If your lodge never gets mentioned here, appoint yourself lodge reporter, and keep us posted on what you guys are doing. Got suggestions for features? Requests for information? We don’t have the space for everything, but we’ll make every effort to take care of those things with the broad- est interest across the state. The dates below will give you an idea of when you need to get timely matters to us. Approximate Publication Date Ric Car ter photo Ric Car ter photo

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