Freemasons Lodge 363 – Trestle-board April/May Issue – 2020 – Vol 3.
We have a great issue this time around in which we’ve combined our April and May Trestleboards to give you plenty of content that will not only keep you well informed but keep us all connected.
As you know and are living through the COVID-19 pandemic it has become increasingly harder to stay connected on a human to human level. While we have phones, video conferencing applications, instant messengers and texts the ability to give someone a hug, shake their hand or look them in the eyes and give the proverbial head-bob are all but nonexistent.
You will be proud to know that as a Lodge #363 has been working hard to keep vigilant during this crisis. If you have not received a phone call from one of our lodge officers, you will shortly. Our commitment to our members has sparked a calling campaign. Our goals are to make sure you and your families are doing ok and that if you need anything, we can take action. Our D12 deputy has informed us that the “Red-Tape” has been all but removed for lodges to help in any way we can.
It’s here that we start this April/May Trestleboard. “To Help Out In Any Way We Can”.
So, have fun reading, be safe and stay positive.
We’ve got some unofficial masonic stuff planned
Starting on April 28th
Freemasons Lodge #363 will have a 30min.
reoccurring weekly Wednesday meeting
To Join The Microsoft Teams Meeting Use This Link
Coffee Talk for April & May
by WM Damon Sanchez
I’ll start off by saying thank you to all the brothers who helped to make this issue of our Trestleboard a success.
I hope is that reading through the articles below it inspires others in the lodge to write content also.
As stated above the membership calling campaign is pretty close to being wrapped up and while we compile the results from the officers I can tell you there are common stories running through a lot of the conversations.
Some of us are working from home, some of us have taken some time off, others have experienced lay-offs or fer-lows but the common thread is the balance of life itself.
How we deal with the changes and adapting to what’s happening around us, the work life balances, and attempting to leave room in it for the craft. Hearing these commonalities strikes a chord in my own heart because I’m constantly struggling to make time for what’s important.
I love the Idiom or old saying “What I was looking for was right under my nose” because it makes me think of the Masonic Working tools. The idea that they are presented to us when we first become Masons, and as operative concepts they make sense but the speculative aspects of the tools continue to unfold to us throughout our time in the craft.
The 24 inch Gauge is one of my favorite working tools to contemplate. It’s the working tool in which we are taught to properly divide our time.
It’s interesting that the division of time can have so many philosophical applications.
One could argue a perfectly balanced application of time would benefit anyone. To have a harmonically balanced life would mean that our actions would take longer to accomplish, as we would focus our time as incremental adjustments throughout the day. Leaving us with the fruits of our labor in perfect accord with God, Family and the Craft. Using the same mind set one could contemplate what happens if we upset the perfect balance and devoted unbalanced time towards activities.e
The promotion of all three divisions of time unbalanced into a singular purpose would allow one to focus all his efforts towards accomplishing a singular goal. We’ve all been in situations like this, where concentrating all efforts on a singular action yields quick results. As an example, I needed to build a fence in my back yard and for a week straight I bent all my efforts on achieving this goal.
Symbolically if you looked at the gauge like this it could look like a magic wand, a singular stick or a straight line none-the-less a powerful tool for creating things… But with the price of neglecting other aspects of life. Is this helpful… Well, yes incredibly helpful sometimes a Mason needs to use all his energy to forge paths in life.
Does one want to do this all the time? No, obviously but it is helpful to understand that balance is not always possible. Life oscillates into various forms just as the 24 inch gauge has the ability to take on different shapes.
A fun thought experiment is then to establish what shapes the gauge can take on.
I sketched some of the shapes below, an interesting aspect about the shape are that you could add the extra strong or weak sides based upon the doubled up fold. All of the Lodge of Perfection or Zelda fans out there will notice the Delta or Tri-Force symbolically representing the balance.
Once you document all of the shapes the gauge can take on you’ll have what has been known through out history as the Pig-Pen Cipher or better known by another name the “Masonic or Templar Cipher”.
The cipher is believed to be an ancient cipher and is said to have originated with the Hebrew rabbis.There is evidence that suggests that the Knights Templar utilized a pig-pen cipher” during the Christian Crusades.
I’ll let the reader do their own research here as at this point things get tremendously interesting.
I recommend reading Hidden Codes & Grand Designs – Secret Languages from the Ancient Times to Modern Day as a starting place if these ideas sound interesting… You won’t be disappointed.
That’s all for now, I’m looking forward to staying connected with everyone and seeing everyone when the lights come back on.
Are You a Traveling Man?
by PM Mike Reindl
This past November, my lady Deb and I took a “Bucket List” trip to London to chase attendance at 2 special concerts (for us) at Royal Albert Hall. So, what does that have to do with the two of us flanking a Beefeater? Well, one of the first site-seeing excursions we took part in was a visit to the Tower of London https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_London.
Basically the Tower of London is “Game of Thrones” in 16th and 17th Century London. As part of the tour of the Tower of London, we had the unique opportunity to meet the gentleman above, Scott Kelly. He narrated our tour of the various buildings and sites at the Tower of London fortress. He regaled us with stories of torture, execution, and thirst for power among the British Royalty with a unique, albeit macabre sense of humor totally befitting of a Brit who maybe watched one too many Monty Python episodes.
Throughout his narration, I couldn’t help being impressed with his public speaking confidence and overall demeanor. Something seemed “familiar” about him. As I observed his narration, I thought to myself – “What a great gig to do in one’s later years. Be a narration guide for interesting attractions.” Little did I know how wrong I was.
At the end of his tour, Mr. Kelly explained his role at the Tower of London. He was a Yeoman or Beefeater, the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London and the Queen when she is in public. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeomen_Warders. All “beefeaters” are retired from the Armed Forces of Commonwealth realms and must be former warrant officers with at least 22 years of service. They must also hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. Since their formation, there have been 411 Yeoman. Mr. Kelly was number 409. He and his family actually live on the Tower of London property full time. This was NOT some “retired guy who does these tours on weekends or in his spare time.” Still, there was something familiar about him, just in how he carried and presented himself.
Mr. Kelly offered the opportunity to have a picture with him after the tour. But by the above picture, it’s obvious Deb and I took advantage of the offer. As I was waiting for the person before us to finish their picture with Mr. Kelly, I was convinced he was a Brother Mason. As we approached for the picture, I shook his hand and asked him if “he was a traveling man.” Immediately the regular handshake in which we engaged changed to something recognizable in the darkness as well as the light. As he changed our grip, his response to my traveling man inquiry was, “I am, we all are.” It seems all yeoman/beefeaters are members of the Craft. My speculation had been verified and Brother Kelly and I shared a brief by spirited conversation about Masonry. The beginning of our London adventure could not have began any better. It was a great reinforcement of the universality of our Craft and the good things for which it stands.
Here’s to you Brother Kelly.
Thank you for a wonderful experience!
The Masonic Sash
by Fernando Topete
First off, What is a sash?
A sash is a large and usually colorful ribbon or band of material, worn around the body, draping from one shoulder to the opposing hip, or running around the waist.
Masonic sashes have been in use in Freemasonry as a sign of honor, achievement, and dedication to the craft since the inception of modern Freemasonry. The sash is worn over the shoulder and across the chest, and were as varied and customized as the aprons made by and worn by brethren.
The practice of wearing a masonic sash to lodge has been for the most part a defunct practice here in the states, many other countries still wear the sash as part of their regalia, and it looks stunning. While we have many lodges here in the states that don’t adhere to a dress code policy when meeting for stated business, other countries (and quite a few US masonic jurisdictions) have a VERY strict dress code. It is more common than not for lodges to mandate their members to dress in dark suits, white gloves on (to hide jewelry or status), an ornate masonic sash, and a masonic apron.
A Shout Out to a Past Master on Social Media – Done Right!
Written by WM Sanchez to PM Jasen Groves
Over the last few months there has been a push for all of us to “go digital” and communicate through tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Reading the content of fellow Masons, friends and family we can’t help but notice sometimes the polarization in some of the content being posted… People sharing a part of their mind, emotions and experiences in this new medium is like casting a stone for good or ill at the proverbial sounding board for all to read.
When you read what I just wrote, understand and internalize this you realize there’s just as much positive and negative reactionary physics at play when we communicate online as there is offline.
As a Mason on social media… Ask yourself… if the emotional hate-rant about someone hoarding toilet paper posted to Facebook was the right thing to do?
As a Mason on social media… Ask yourself… is the reposting or commenting of an inflammatory political rant, about a Republican or Democrat actually solving the problem… or making it worse?
So, I say all of this because throughout the COVID-19 crisis, PM Jasen Groves has been posting content to Facebook, that instead of pushing us apart has been pulling us together. whether it is music, or a thoughtful comment, or a 9PM toast it has a positive impact.
Thank you brother.
A Toast! to PM Jasen Groves!