The Bee Hive
Freemasonry, in many cases, is now in the hands of Millennial Masons and Millennial Masons are not settling for “this is the way we have always done it.”
Last month (February 2108) we featured the interview of Brother Rhit Moore – HERE. Brother Moore, barely 40 years old, told us that Millennials in Freemasonry seek value and that they are seeking something MORE. In their pursuit of something more with a value the worst thing you can do is waste their time, he says. Brother Moore also gave us what his Lodge has done to become vibrant, successful and growing.
This month we feature another Millennial Mason, 34-year-old Brother Justin Jones. Brother Jones tells us it doesn’t have to be this way. He tells us that he entered Freemasonry with high expectations into a Lodge where both his Grandfather and Father still belong. But after completing his Master’s work he left Freemasonry in disillusionment. Only by the constant urging of his father did he return.
You might remember if you followed Brother Moore’s story, that he too left Freemasonry only to return at the urging of his father. In Brother Moore’s case, he returned to be inspired by the work, and in Brother Jone’s case he returned to be inspired by the writings of many like-minded Masons who had traveled his journey, especially the publication Laudable Pursuit. He became a sponge for the writings of those who showed the way to Masonic improvement.
Both these Millennial Masons talk about the disconnect with the way Lodges were run by Masons their grandfather’s age. Youth, by nature, has vigor and drive to set the world on fire and Age tends to say – been there done that and let’s not rock the boat but keep doing things the way we have always done them. This is a natural clash. The older generation is resistant to change. However, change is life, and he who desires to freeze the world in its present state forever will soon find himself alone and cut off from the rest of the world.
This Masonic withdrawal from the world and its change are what is primarily responsible for the dwindling number of Masons in the USA. It leads to Lodges that Jones tells us really don’t do anything. They don’t want to do anything. They gather for boring business meetings and the fellowship of coffee and stale donuts after which they leave as fast as they can. Or they turn themselves into a Service Club financed by fundraisers to keep dues low. Instead of concentrating on how to make good men better they become the servant of the profane.
Jones tells us this about Masons from years gone by:
“When we volunteered our time we didn’t do it in our aprons. We didn’t wear our jewels to the city council meeting, and we didn’t pass out petitions at the church potluck. Still, people knew these men were Freemasons, and it was witnessing these community leaders embody the noble tenants of our fraternity that often compelled many to turn in their petitions.”
Into that milieu stormed Brother Justin Jones.
Once his eyes were opened to the possibilities of what a Masonic Lodge could be, he has not stopped in his quest to inform any and all who will listen that it doesn’t have to be this way.
In his Blog post “The Lesson Of The Garden Club” and his video “Why I left Freemasonry” we can see the frustrations of the Millennial Mason and why many leave as fast as they are initiated. In his three-part Blog series on Lodge Culture, he lays out how to change the deadly spiral Freemasonry finds itself in. He talks about Lodge Mission Statements, vision, and goals. He explains the difference between a Lodge’s Climate and a Lodge’s Culture and recounts the experience in his first Lodge where as Master he changed the Climate but not the Culture. Jones is a firm believer in continuous improvement that a Lodge must continually reassess where it is going and what it is accomplishing.
He tells us,
“Continuous improvement requires buy-in from the majority of stakeholders, a goal to strive for, and a way to measure progress. In our organization we often see leaders making important decisions with no buy-in from the membership and goals are often general or non-existent”
Some of the titles from Jones’ other Blog posts will give you an idea of where his thoughts are:
- The Chamber of Refraction
- Dues That Still Don’t
- Beginning With The End In Mind
- Masonic Improvement: Creating A Vision and Goals
- The Progressive Line, How It Can Improve Your Masonic Lodge (Or Not)
- Millenial Apprentices: The Next Revolution In Freemasonry by Samuel Friedman
- Simple Concepts That Will Improve Your Masonic Lodge
- 2 Thoughts On Continuous Masonic Improvement
- The Importance Of Having A “Why” For Freemasons and Masonic Lodges
- A Look At The Past: The Lost Art of Masonic Retention
Jones is not just influenced by Masonic writers. Stephen Covey inspires him. And he recently posted these thoughts on his Facebook page:
I’m currently rereading “Laudable Pursuit” (read it here http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/Laudible%20Pursuit.pdf) and this quote really resonated with me:
“The harder we have to struggle for something, the more precious it becomes.
Somehow, in sacrificing, we prove to ourselves that what we’re
seeking is valuable. This holds true when we’re pursuing membership.
Sacrifice locks commitment. As people strive to make it through rigorous selection standards and work to prove their worthiness, they persuade themselves that being a part of the group matters.
Initiation rites – like high walls and narrow gates of entry – build
commitment to the group through making acceptance hard to come by.
Being allowed to join becomes something special. An achievement. A privilege. And it creates a sense of exclusiveness.
Belonging doesn’t count much if almost anybody can drift in or drift out of your group at will. If it’s easy to join up, then leave and return, only to leave again, commitment can be hard to find.
Initiation rites also create a common bond of experience that unites all who make it through the ordeal. A strong sense of “we-ness” comes from having gone through a common struggle. This identification with the group
Finally, stiff criteria for admission cause the weak-hearted to de-select themselves. They opt out after weighing the costs. For them, the rights of membership aren’t worth going through the rites of Initiation.
People with low commitment never get inside.
The greater the personal investment in getting accepted, the more one builds a stake in the organization. This means you should make membership a big deal. Let people pay a price to join.
That guarantees commitment at the outset, and also makes it easier to build commitment later on.
Make membership hard to come by, and commitment comes naturally.”
— Price Pritchett
Firing Up Commitment For Organizational Change
(Pritchett & Hull Associates, 1994)
Brother Justin Jones in the embodiment of what Milleniallial Masons are expecting from the Craft. Take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.
How is your Masonic Lodge doing?
Is it dying? How many candidates have you raised in the last year? Have you analyzed what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right?
How is your retention? Do you raise Brothers that never come back? Or are they gone after about three months?
Are you raising Masons that shouldn’t be there just because you hastily gave them a petition? Are you raising Masons who are applying before they are ready to accept what it means to be a Mason? Are you raising Masons that do not fit into the peace and harmony of your Lodge? Do you have a really good Investigating-Petitioning process that screens out those that won’t fit and those who will quit?
Do you have a good mentoring system, not only for those who are going through the degrees but Master Masons in their first year and beyond if needed?
Meet Brother Rhit Moore who suffered through three meltdowns of his Lodge before he got wise. Brother Moore will explain to you what he and other committed members of his Lodge implemented the fourth time around to create a successful Lodge. He will explain how his Lodge raises 20 to 40 new Master Masons every year who stay.
Brother Moore doesn’t have a magic wand. He learned what needed to be done the hard way. But he and other members of Fort Worth Lodge learned from their mistakes and kept on trying. Now they have a system that works for them and Fort Worth Lodge is in a new renaissance.
Maybe you need to watch the video above!
Perhaps you remember from previous articles Sister R. Lucille Samuel, Grand Princess Captain of the Lone Star Grand Guild, Heroines of the Templars Crusade of Texas, PHA Texas. Well, Sister Samuel has moved on to found the Margaret A. McDow Grand Court, Ladies Of The Circle Of Perfection, Texas PHA. In her new position, she serves as Royal Grand Perfect Matron.
As The 1st Royal Grand Perfect Matron, she is responsible for chartering 7 LOCOP Courts in the cities of El Paso, San Antonio, Ft Worth, Houston, Dallas, Killeen, and Austin.
I have been republishing Sister Samuel’s annual Allocutions for a while now. She always has such insight into leadership.
This time Sister Samuel told her Order that Leaders have a Vision and so should we all. They don’t just see, they have a plan. They have a map. They have a goal.
Don’t get lost. Don’t get off track. The road ahead may be rocky and full of pitfalls sometimes so know who and what you can depend on to implement your vision.
Never look back. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” ~ Ralph Lauren
“When you have a vision, you make believers out of dreamers.” ~ Frederic L. Milliken
”Where there is no vision the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18
In the long run men hit only what they aim at. ~ Henry David Thoreau
SPARE WHEEL OR STEERING WHEEL!
R. Lucille Samuel
Royal Grand Perfect Matron
Psalms 37:5 – Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Have you ever been driving along and all of a sudden your tire goes flat? Hopefully you were able to pull over on the side of the road in a safe manner without any accidents or injuries. So either you call for Roadside Assistance or if you are mechanically inclined you change your tire with the spare in your trunk or under your vehicle. Of course you expect the tire to be full of air and ready for use. You depend on it.
Many times in life we depend on someone or something like that spare tire. The problem often times is that you only use that spare wheel when you are in trouble or need assistance. Do you ever check that wheel to ensure it is ready or serviced? Do you even know where that spare wheel is located? How many of us depend on prayer when you need a spare? You never pray or pick up the Bible until you need help. I am not saying that any of us are perfect and we should live in church. Church is not where prayer is it is in your heart. Such as friendship. Some of us claim to be our brother and sister’s keeper. How often do you converse with them? How often do you pick up the phone or send a message just to check on them. Not just when they are sick or in need but just to say hello. But when you need that spare wheel you expect them to jump when you call. Have you ever wondered why the windshield of a car is so large and the rear view mirror is so small? Our past is not as important as our future so you should focus on looking forward and not behind you.
You have to remember although that spare tire is not used often it is needed. Value your close friends and treat them with kindness because all things in life are temporary. Just because your life is going well remember you will have speed bumps along the way. Friendships can end like the blowout of a tire. Remember God determines who walks into your life. It’s up to you to let them stay or walk away.
The steering wheel directs our path in life. It is our navigation and allows us to avoid danger in our paths. You need both hands at all times. If you remove your hands you lose control. Sometimes temptations along the way grab our attention and we tend to swerve on the road. We must stay focused to reach our destinations. Many of us rely on the GPS System to direct us. We trust this system to get us where we need to be. Sometimes you may be in an area where the GPS system does not work and your signal is lost. If you are unfamiliar with the area you are lost.
Don’t allow this to happen to you in the Masonic Organization. I was once told the only thing worse that than losing your eye sight is your vision. We can become complacent and lose all sight of what is important. If you run into a wall don’t give up figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it. As a leader you must keep both hands on the steering wheel and navigate the Order. When you lose your vision it is time for a new Driver. You will never have passengers if you can’t control the wheel.
The task of a leader is to get your people from where they are to where they have not been.
In closing I ask that we all remember “The easiest thing to be in the world is YOU. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t allow them to put you in that position
I am often asked, not only by the public at large but even by some Masons, how does Masonry make good men better? A large proportion of Masons, after a lot of errs and ahs, will finally come out with something like, “Well we do a lot of charity.” A more sophisticated answer would be that Masonry has a peculiar system of morality which, if followed, cannot help but make good men better.
The problem is that after being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason many Brothers are left on their own to figure out how to exactly accomplish this improvement.
Has anybody set up a school to teach Masons on how to apply the virtues of Masonry to their daily lives? Maybe sporadically here and there, there is such instruction but nothing large enough or popular enough to be noticed by the majority of Masons on a nationwide basis.
Originally starting out as contemplative exercises or practices like prayer, meditation, breath work, chanting, and visualization, Dunning expanded his concept into a primer for those seeking to utilize Masonic symbolism and teachings in a way that is practical, accessible, inspiring, and profoundly transformative.
CONTEMPLATIVE MASONRY is a much-needed resource for Masons seeking to undertake the challenging and rewarding work of deep self-knowledge and self-improvement. Dunning provides Masons with a unique system of practices derived directly from the Degrees of Craft Masonry, without reliance upon other religious, spiritual, or esoteric traditions. He also shares the valuable wisdom and insights that come from decades of personal experience with contemplative practices.
Chuck Dunning has been a Master Mason since 1988, and his mother lodge is Haltom City-Riverside #1331, in Haltom City, Texas. He is also a member of Albert Pike #162 in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and also belongs to a number of Masonic research societies. In the Scottish Rite, Chuck is a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, Director of Education for the Guthrie Valley in Oklahoma, and a Class Director for the Fort Worth Valley
in Texas. In 2012 he became the founding Superintendent of the Academy of Reflection, which is a chartered organization for Scottish Rite Masons wanting to integrate contemplative practice with their Masonic experience.
Chuck has been engaged in various forms of contemplative practice for over three decades. In his career in higher education and mental health, in
Masonry, and with other groups and individuals, he facilitates and teaches mindfulness, meditation, and imagery to enhance peoples’ experiences of life in many ways. Chuck holds a master’s degree in counselor education and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, both from the University of North Texas.
Dunning tells us that Masonic ritual steers Masons into becoming contemplative.
He says early on in the book:
“Our tradition tells us that Speculative Masonry ‘leads the contemplative to view with reverence and admiration the glorious works of creation, and inspires him with the most exalted ideas of the perfections of his Divine Creator.’ It should be recognized that this passage distinguishes the contemplative Mason as one who is guided by the Craft to be more reverent, admiring, and inspired than one might otherwise be.”
“A true contemplative uses the faculties of the psyche as a collection of fine working tools. One learns to employ those tools with the proper measures of force and precision in order to more fully reveal the wisdom, strength, and beauty in whatever matter is chosen. One thus makes of oneself a true philosopher, a literal ‘lover of wisdom.’”
Later he goes on to explain the importance of contemplative practice in making good men better.
“There can be no doubt that a comprehensive and functional psychology is inherent to Masonry. We have seen that our tradition provides us with profound clues and useful information about the structure, dynamics, and health of the psyche, as well as guidelines for holistic maturation and rich rewarding relationships. All of this has been to expand upon the realization that Masonry’s greatest purpose is to assist its members in transforming their lives into wiser, stronger, and more beautiful reflections of the Great Architect’s designs for the human soul and society.”
Echoing my earlier complaint, and I am not the only one Coach John Nagy concurs, that Freemasonic Institutions need to take a bigger part in the life application of its virtues and peculiar system of morality, Dunning has this to say:
“It is one thing to grasp the philosophical basis of an esoteric approach to Masonry, but as with other esoteric pursuits, there should also be a practical dimension. In other words, in order to fully engage Masonic esotericism, we should include practices that are especially fitting in the Masonic milieu. It is therefore interesting, and perhaps frustrating to some of us, that our tradition encourages such things without offering much explicit technical guidance. This fact has undoubtedly contributed to the somewhat popular notion that Masonry is meant to lead to another system of esoteric thought and practice. However, it can be argued that there are elements of our ritual and its teachings that strongly suggest actual practices which require no special knowledge of other traditions or specific systems.”
Half of the book is devoted to the philosophical foundation for contemplative Masonry and the other half is actual contemplative exercises Masons can perform. These exercises are the basis for the life application of Masonry, that sought-after explicit technical guidance. And they are transformative.
But what really sent me into contemplative bliss was the conclusion that Dunning comes to. That is the answer to the question where does this all lead. What will be the end result of this transformation?
It all starts with one of the best quotes from the book:
“It is the position of this book that the Lost Word is indeed the deepest and most profound mystery of the Masonic art, as well as the greatest wage of a Master Mason.”
And then the conclusion:
“Through the practice of Freemasonry, and particularly through a contemplative practice of Freemasonry, we can become more aware of the presence of the Divine within ourselves, and in our lives and around us and become a more capable servant because of that awareness.”
“The most important way that this manifests in the life of a Mason is in how loving he becomes once he recognizes that the Divine is in himself, the Divine is all around him, that the Divine is in his Brothers, that the Divine is in every human being. That is one of the most powerful catalysts for a life transforming experience of love.”
“Love is at once the prime motive force, the most desirable sentiment the most admirable action, and the worthiest product of our work.”
Chuck Dunning founded the Academy of Reflection within the Scottish Rite and is its first leader. This newest addition to Scottish Rite practice was
chartered by the Guthrie Valley in Oklahoma and is now spreading to other Valleys throughout the United States. It is a place for the formal practice of contemplative Masonry.
The Book CONTEMPLATIVE MASONRY is published by Stone Guild Publishing – http://stoneguildpublishing.com/
And the book Contemplative Masonry: Basic Applications of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Imagery for the Craft (Revised & Expanded Edition)
. Anyone interested in contacting Chuck about speaking engagements or contemplative workshops may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1994 Wor. Fran Foster attended a very special event in his community. The Mt. Rushmore flag came to town, and many scouts, Masons, community leaders and just plain people gathered to celebrate the occasion and help raise and lower the flag. Also, there to record the occasion was local cable TV, Continental Cable.
Foster took a moment to ask Continental Cable Program Director Paul Joia if he could get air time for one Masonic show. Joia said I will do you one step better; I will give you a permanent time slot if you can put together a regular show.
So was born “What It Means To Be A Mason,” recorded at the East Bridgewater – Whitman Cable TV studio in Southeastern Massachusetts. Many Masons from the Brocton Masonic District came to help produce this show under the supervision of Program Director Joia who taught us all how to operate all the equipment, especially the cameras.
Each show different Brothers would step up to the plate to produce this show. For the first two shows, Foster asked Wor. Richard Cusick, Master of Paul Revere Lodge, and Wor. Frederic Milliken, Master of Plymouth Lodge, to be the guests and talk about what it means to be a Mason. After that Foster got guests from every Masonic Body, Masonic Library, The Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and even three Grand Masters.
Foster produced 28 What It Means To Be A Mason Cable TV shows. Although now over 20 years old they are timeless and the quality excellent.
The show selected above is an in-depth look at the Massachusetts Masonic Child Identification Program (CHIP). When the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts added tooth imprints to its Child Identification program, it produced the premiere child identification inside and outside of law enforcement in the state. Now it had a video, fingerprints, tooth imprint and DNA for total ID coverage. This is still the number one community outreach program of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
All 28 of the Masonic TV shows Fran Foster produced are available for viewing here: http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/what_it_means_to_be_a_mason.htm
These Masonic TV shows were produced from 1994-1998 and include a number of different topics chosen to educate the general public.
Wor. Fran Foster was a pioneer in the field of Masonic TV and he is the model for those of us who are in the Masonic video business today. It is only fitting and proper that he should now receive the national recognition which he so richly deserves.
Masonic filmmaker Tristan Bourlard and his groundbreaking global film, Terra Masonica, interviews on Phoenixmasonry Live! Special appearance by The Prince Hall Think Tank co-host, Dave Gillarm, who is featured on the film.
I have often wanted to see Freemasonry in foreign lands, to travel and enjoy the Craft around the world. Unfortunately, I do not have a budget that will accommodate my desires.
Yet I have just made this wonderful world-wide excursion through Freemasonry from the comfort of my home, thanks to Tristan Bourlard’s movie, Terra Masonica.
I traveled near and far. Here in the United States I was able to visit the oldest Lodge in America. Have you heard of St. John’s Cemetery in Pennsylvania that has been reclaimed from the jungle? That is a story in itself.
Starting in the Mother Lodge Number Nothing in Scotland I toured the U.S.A., South America, the South Pole, the North Pole, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Ukraine and India. I was actually able to be at the installation of a new Worshipful Master of the Mother Lodge of Scotland and to see the joy of the whole community expressed at this event.
These travels showered me with the history and MEMORIES of Freemasonry here and abroad. There was, in Phoenixmasonry’s Live Interview, the appearance of special guest Brother Dave Gillarm from Mt. Pisgah Lodge No 53, Columbus, Georgia, The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Georgia. He recounted having Bourlard live with him while filming Georgia. The Memory came when Bourlard filmed a woman, over 100 years old, who was present at Martin Luther’s King’s speech given at Gillarm’s Lodge in 1958.
Masonic Memories continued when Bourlard filmed in Jerusalem and we saw shots of King Solomon’s Temple from a different angle. The there was the persecution of Freemasonry in Spain under Franco exposed. We learned about Estela Lodge No 1, Antonina Village in Brazil that purchased slaves in order to set them free.
The chance to experience Fin Del Mundo, The End of The World Lodge in Antarctica and Hele Bjorn, the Lodge at the North Pole, Grand Lodge of Norway was a once in a lifetime visit.
Terra Masonica shows us places where practicing Freemasonry is still difficult. In Mali, Africa and in the Ukraine we visited places where Masonic Meetings were held in secret locations or met under armed security.
Above all we learn about the Universality of Freemasonry. Bourlard recounts that one of his purposes in making this movie was to break down the barriers that exist in Freemasonry and to bring Brothers together. Realizing that there is a big Masonic World outside your Lodge is a step in that direction. The roofless, walless Masonic Temple in the wilds of Parana Brazil was built by a Mason who was tired of all the bickering and who wanted a place for Freemasons of any Jurisdiction to meet. In India we witnessed Freemasonry dedicated to educating young people and teaching them how to interact with people of different cultures and beliefs.
Bourlard reports to us that while many parts of the World, such as North America, are lamenting a marked decrease in Masonic membership, Freemasonry is doing well in France and Germany and growing by leaps and bounds in Brazil and India. He predicted that the Grand Lodge of India would be the largest Grand Lodge in the world in just a few years.
Many stories have been left behind in this brief account of this Masonic journey across the Globe. One thing is for sure. While we look at Globalization taking place in civil, political, religious, economic and entertainment undertakings, we should not overlook the fact that Globalization is taking place in Freemasonry also. And Terra Masonica is just the movie to educate you and thrill you on this subject.
You may view Terra Masonic on ITunes. Soon it will be available for purchase on Amazon. Right now you can buy it here: http://www.matsol.info/
Brother Tehuti Evans is a member of Redemption Lodge No. 24 MWPHGLDC. He is currently Secretary (and Past Master) of the David A. McWilliams Sr. Research and Education Lodge and also Grand Historian and Archivist for the Grand Lodge and Secretary and Keeper of the Seal and Archives for Jonathan Davis Consistory No. 1, ASSR,S.J., PHA.
Evans studied at Howard University, Federal City College, the University of the District of Columbia and Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts where he pursued his doctoral studies.
Evans is a well traveled veteran of the Air Force where he was a military engineer and a decorated Vietnam War veteran.
Biography of Alonzo Tehuti Evans
In 1984 brother Evans became Director of Operations for International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, (ITI) in Washington DC and in 1986 he became a educational consultant with KJ Associates of Silver Springs, Maryland.
Brother Evans was a founding member of the University of the District of Columbia Alumni Association in 1978 where he served as its Chairman of the Board of Directors 1979-86 and as a member of the Board of Trustee of the University of The District of Columbia from 1988 -1992.
Since 1993, He has worked with several Washington DC study groups out side of the campus environment, working to bring such African scholars as Doctors Ben, John Henry Clark, Dr. Van Sertima, Charles Finch, Francis Welsing, Neely Fuller, Tony Browder and many others to the greater Washington area for lectures and discussions on issues pertinent to African and African-American history and social development.
Brother Evans was The Dean of the School of Behavior and Social Sciences for the Washington Saturday College at Howard University from 1997-1999.
In 1995 Brother Evans was a co-founder of, and the resident scholar at The House of Khamit Book Store and Cultural Shop, which was located on historic Georgia Avenue in Washington, DC.
Brother Evans counts his tour of Egypt in 1998 with Dr Yosef ben-Jochatumn, the most preeminent Black scholar of Egyptian history, as one of his top life experiences. Saying of the tour, “Touring with a master scholar opens ones eyes unlike any other educational experience.”
Evans has lectured as a main presenter for the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization (ASCAC), as well as several mainstream American universities such as the University of Massachusetts, University of Maryland, Wayne State University, The University of Chicago, Morgan Slate University, Temple University and Howard University.
Among his current interests include serving as the Resident Agent and member of the Board of Directors for the Mignon L. I. Ford Foundation which he says is his most satisfying. The foundation is an Ethiopian/American organization committed to continuing the legacy of a great Family which migrated to Ethiopia in the 1920’s and established the first co-educational school for Ethiopian children.
Today Brother Evans is retired but still travels and lectures at schools, colleges, and community centers around the United States. He sits on the board of directors for the The Phylaxis Society.
We last visited Patrick Craddock in June of 2013 with an article on Freemason Information that you can see HERE. Since that time Craddock has increased his product line.
While he may not make all his accessories personally they are his design. Everything on Craddock’s Site for sale has been personally designed by him and for him. They cannot be found elsewhere.
“Throughout the early 1990’s to 2009, Patrick produced aprons in the evenings and on weekends as a sideline business. From a hobby born of necessity, The Craftsman’s Apron has become the foremost purveyor of quality Masonic regalia in North America. Today our aprons are worn in twenty-seven States and two foreign countries. In addition to our aprons we have increased our product line to include custom ties, Lodge banners, cuff links, t-shirts, officer jewels and collars.”
Of course, Craddock’s mainstay is still his handcrafted, hand painted aprons. A large portion of the aprons Craddock makes are custom designs special ordered. Whether you want to design your own apron or just give Craddock some of your favorite Masonic symbols and let him work with them to make a one of a kind creation, you will be hard pressed to find anybody else in the United States that can do that for you.
Craddock also delivers lectures, most often a power point presentation of the Evolution of the Masonic Apron in the United States. He travels to many Jurisdictions to their Grand Session and he is available to speak anywhere upon request.
Phoenixmasonry Live Interviews Dr. Bro. David Harrison
Genesis of Freemasonry
Yes, the founding of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 is discussed. But even more revealing, we learn some fascinating history of the players involved and their philosophical pursuits.
Prominent in the discussion is Elias Ashmole, the first recorded English Speculative Freemason to enter into an unknown Lodge in Warrington, Lancashire, in 1646. Warrington is Dr. David Harrison’s Lodge.
Other interesting players in this formation of English Freemasonry and its development are Dr. John Theophilus DeSaguliers, Dr. John Anderson, Sir Christopher Wren, John Dee, Sir Robert Moray, Francis Bacon, Inigo Jones, Isaac Newton, Alexander Pope, Thomas Paine, Jonathan Swift, William Preston and many others. Of all of these perhaps Dr. John Anderson and his “Book of Constitutions,” and Dr. John Theophilus DeSaguliers who wrote and inserted the Third Degree into Masonic ritual, stand out the most.
Weaved into all the personalities of this era of English Masonic development was the philosophical schools of thought that influenced Freemasonry and the schools of study that linked onto the Craft.
So we learn about Kabbalism, Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism and Druid culture. The schools of the Occult figured prominently into the development of
English Freemasonry – astrology, numerology, magic, alchemy, necromancy to name a few. Balancing this was the influence of science and Natural Philosophy.
Then there was the almost worship of architecture and the fascination with the dimensions of King Solomon’s Temple. This gave rise to the cult of Palladian Architecture and the attempt to make St. Paul’s Cathedral a representation of Solomon’s Temple. Dr. Harrison also provides his reader with a deep discussion of Masonic symbolism and how symbols changed over time. Featured prominently in all the philosophical, architectural, political, occult and religious discussions and influence on Freemasonry was The Royal Society. Many early influential Freemasons were also members of the Royal Society.
Although Lodges were prohibited from engaging in politics, still the machinations of everyday life played into the story of Freemasonry. Thus we see how the political interaction of Royalists, Parliamentarians, Jacobites, Whigs, and Tories influenced who had the upper hand in decision making within the Craft.
Not to be forgotten is the book’s treatment of the ever changing world of Freemasonry. So we learn of the battle between the Antients and the Moderns, The York Grand Lodge and The Wigan Grand Lodge. The coming together, the reconciliation of English Freemasonry in 1813 which resulted in the United Grand Lodge of England culminates the story.
Here we have a book that is well done, very complete and that covers most everything you ever wanted to know about the who, what and where of the rise of English Freemasonry. It is by far the best factual rendition of how English Freemasonry bloomed and became everybody’s Mother Lodge. Do not miss adding this to your Masonic Library.