The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...

masonic matters


by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

Anzac Day

How do Masons meet? How do masons act? How do they Part?

Inchoate membership

“Fixed Lights” of a Lodge

Anzac Day

As I mentioned in the last Masonic Matters April 25th is Anzac Day. Anzac Day is a day Australians set aside to honor the Anzac Forces who fought and died on the Gallipoli Peninsula in the First World War. “Anzac” stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The Anzac forces landed on Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 where they engaged the enemy, and that campaign carried on in battle for Eight Months. The casualties were 33,000, including 8,000 new Zealanders and 7,000 Australians. Out of the 10,000 New Zealanders who fought at Gallipoli 3,000 lost their lives and 5,000 were wounded, there were also over 7,000 Australians who were killed or wounded. All this in an Eight-Month Battle. So you can see why April 25th is set aside as Anzac Day to honor the War Veterans.

April 25th was first recognized as Anzac Day in 1916. I’m, told a typical Anzac Day Service would begin with Hymns and Prayers, and an address by a Speaker on the history, and significance of Anzac Day, the Laying of Wreaths, and the signing of the National Anthem. Not unlike the services put on here by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars for Memorial Day, and Veterans Day.

Out of the War on Gallipoli came something that is called “Anzac Biscuits.” These are great cookies that the Soldiers of the Anzac Forces had for snacks, and something sweet, while on the line and in camp. There are a couple of stories on how these cookies came to be. One version is that the women “Back Home would make
them and sell them to raise money for the assistance of the veterans when they returned home. And when they were purchased many of the cookies, if not most of them, were sent to the Anzac Troops by their Families. Another Version is that the Army Cooks made them out of the materials they had on hand in camp.

One thing that both versions of the legend of the Anzac Biscuits have in common is that the Anzac Biscuit is a Tough Cookie that is made out of simple ingredients. Being that the Anzac Biscuit was a Tough Cookie, it could be packed and shipped from “home” to the front and get there in fairly good shape even if the package
was not handled to gently. Also, for the other version of the story is that, being a Tough Cookie made from Simple ingredients that an Army Cook would have on hand, a Soldier could put some of the Biscuits in his pocket and pack and carry it with him in battle and when time permitted he could have a snack of something
sweet that would still be in tact, and taste good.

Well no matter which story of the origin one might have a preference for, the Anzac Biscuit is a Great Cookie that is enjoyed by all. So I thought I would give you the recipe so that you could make it for your family, or maybe make some to take to Lodge to share with the Brethren as a snack at the close of Lodge. It really is not
too difficult to make, and they are good. Here’s the recipe.

Anzac Biscuits

Serving Size : 24

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup regular oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup stick margarine -- melted
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons golden cane syrup (such as Lyle's)
2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325º.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Add margarine, water, and syrup; stir well.
Drop by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325º for 12 minutes or until almost set.
Remove from oven; let stand 2 to 3 minutes or until firm.
Remove cookies from baking sheets. Place on wire racks; let cool completely.

Serving Size: 1 cookie

NOTES : We found these cookies were much better when made with golden cane syrup such as Lyle's. Cane
syrup is thicker and sweeter than corn syrup and can be found in cans next to the jellies and syrups, or in stores
specializing in Caribbean and Creole goods.
If you are unable to find Lyle’s Golden Cane Syrup you can make your own. I will tell you that these cookies
are much better with Cane Syrup than with light colored Corn Syrup.

Cane Syrup

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
In a heavy saucepan put 1 Cup Cane Sugar and 1 Cup of Water. Over low to moderate heat stir until all the
sugar is melted -- and the mixture is clear. Constantly stirring bring to a boil and boil for 6 minutes, stirring all
the while, or until the syrup is thickening, and reduced in volume somewhat. Remove from heat and pour into a
jar, cover and refrigerate.

Well there you have a good recipe to try and a little information about Anzac Day.

How do Masons meet? How do masons act? How do they Part?

Here is something that I find kind of interesting. In the Prestonian Lectures it is said that Masons met on the Square, and hoped to part on the Level. The Ritual by Thomas Smith Webb made a change and Masons were told that they met on the Level, and parted on the Square.

In 1843 the Baltimore Convention made another change by adding that they acted by the Plumb. It is said in Coil’s that the National Masonic Conference that met at Baltimore for the purpose of establishing a uniform Ritual did not contribute much to the Ritual that was of much Permanent Value. Well it did add the bit about acting on the Plumb, and that is still here so that is something that the Baltimore Convention did that was of some permanency.

The Plumb, the jewel of the Junior Warden, in the Scriptures in the book of Amos it says the Lord stood on a wall made by a Plumb Line. The Jewel however is not a Plumb Line, have you ever wondered just exactly what the Jewel is when you looked at it either on the Junior Wardens Pedestal, or on the Junior Warden himself?

It’s a Plumb Rule. “The Plumb Rule is a board, having a plumb line attached near one end, so that when it is held up vertically against an upright, the line will lie along the mid-line of the board, or Rule, thus affording a straight edge which is perpendicular, or vertical, making the use of the Plumb Line on a building or a pole more accurate and permitting the drawing of a vertical line thereon.” Coil’s

We all know that at the conclusion of the ritual of the Third Degree that the new Master Mason is to sign the by-laws of the Lodge, and I’m sure that we all know that in some instances this step has been omitted, most likely because someone just forgot to have it done. How important is it, that all Master Masons of the Lodge have signed the by-laws? Pretty important.

Inchoate membership

In the book Masonry Defined it has a question about “Inchoate membership.” Do you know what that is? Well let me help with the answer.

“Membership in the Masonic Fraternity is inchoate until perfected by the initiate, [he does this] by affixing his signature to the by-laws.” So just because a Fellow Craft has begun and then completed the Third Degree, and thus becomes a Master Mason, he does not automatically become a member of the Lodge. A Master Mason might choose not to perfect the Degree and become a member of the Lodge.

For instance, he might think he would rather become a member of a different Lodge, and by not signing the by-laws he remains in the condition of un-affiliation, and therefore he may petition another Lodge for affiliation.

When a man is made a Master Mason he acquires a claim to membership, but he does not become a member until exercises his claim by putting his signature to the By-laws of his Lodge. Therefore it is important that when a man becomes a Master Mason, and also when a Mason is elected to membership as an affiliated, or plural, member of the Lodge that he sign the by-laws of the Lodge. In this instance we don’t want mistakes, or forgetfulness to rule.

With all the activity of the One-Day Classes, and all the many Lodges that have had Candidates in them, I wonder, but hope, that all of these new Master Masons have signed the By-laws of their Lodge either at the end of the One-Day Class or at the next Stated Communication of their Lodge.

“Fixed Lights” of a Lodge

Some time ago I wrote about the “Fixed Lights” of a Lodge. They were windows placed in the South, West, and East, which have in more modern times been replaced with Electric Lights. (By the Way, in visiting Lodges all over – Chisago Lodge in North Branch, Minnesota is still the only Lodge I’ve noticed with absolutely no electric light in the North. There are ceiling lights in the East, West, and South, but not the North. Take a look around when you’re visiting a Lodge and see if they have “Fixed Lights.”)

Sometimes the “fixed Lights” – “Lights of the Lodge” are confused with the “Three Lesser Lights” as far as the placement is concerned. The “Lights of the Lodge” are fixed East, West, and South, but the “Lesser Lights” aren’t. The “Lesser lights are and can be arranged around the Altar in various ways, there are rarely any ritualistic directions as to their arrangement, and in Minnesota there isn’t.

To quote Coil’s: “The Symbolism of the Lesser Lights would not tolerate fixing them in the East, West, and South, for they represent the Sun, Moon, and Master, who, of course, are not so stationed.”

So the “Lesser Lights” can be almost anywhere around the Altar in more than one configuration, and everything will be just fine.

back to top

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014