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A Catechism for Social Intermingling

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

Dear Brethren,

I got a pleasant surprise in the mail the other day – a ‘Beer Schooner.” I remember my Dad ordering a Schooner of Beer occasionally when I was a kid, and he always got a big smile when the Server (Bar Maid in those days) would set it on the table for him. I don’t know who ordered the Schooner for me, it came directly from ‘Newcastle Brown Ale, I’ve asked around and so far have not found the person who ordered it for me. If the person who did is reading this – Thanks! It’s a fine Schooner and it works great. Anyway, because of the gift, I remembered something from the April 1971 Philalethes magazine, which I thought you might like to see. So here it is, enjoy!

A Catechism for Social Intermingling
Data sent by Norman C. Dutt, F.P.S.

Q. How were you first prepared to be a Steward?
A. My coat and shirt sleeves were rolled up and a corkscrew was placed in my hand.

Q. What is a corkscrew?
A. An instrument fashioned like a Winding Stairs up which our Ancient Brethren ascended to receive their BEER.

Q. Where did they receive it?
A. In a convivial room above the chamber.

Q. How did they receive it?
A. In tanks and half tanks.

Q. Why in this peculiar manner?
A. In tanks, because of the reliance they placed in the mildness of the Brew in those days and in half tanks because they knew full well they could be replenished.

Q. Name the two advertisements that hung on the door of the chamber.
A. That on the left, “Tooth” and that on the right “Toohey.”

Q. What are their separate and conjoint significance?
A. The former denotes “Good Health,” the latter “Happy Days” and when taken together, “INSTABILITY.”

Q. What is Beer?
A. A peculiar product of chemistry veiled in mystery and illustrated by labels.

Q. How is it usually depicted?
A. By a couple of hops near a barrel of water.

Charge: Seeing you are properly prepared to be made a Steward, I will now proceed to entrust you with the secrets of a Steward.

You will bring one bottle of Beer in your left hand, your corkscrew in your right – so – you will now fill the tank in front of you – so – you will invite me to drink deep, wish me good health, happy days, and repeat at frequent intervals, always remembering that it is your duty to see me to my bed chamber and make apologies for me if necessary.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014