FROM THE PILLAR OF WISDOM
Brethren & Ladies:
Magna Carta is Latin for Great Paper. The Magna Carta as known today was written as Magna Carta Libertatum, or Great Charter of Freedoms. In June of 1215 King John of England was caused to submit and grant certain rights to the lower ruling class at Runnymede. However, the Charter was only valid for no more than three months. It was reissued in 1216, 1217 and in 1225 it was confirmed and became the law of the land interpreted by Parliament and enforced by the courts.
It required King John to surrender his will to legal procedures protecting his subjects whether free or fettered from arbitrary rule and binding the king also to the rule of law limiting his powers. There was precedent in English history in some respect that King Henry I in 1100 voluntarily stated what his own powers were to be under the law, his problems being that he did not have clear title to the crown and was the method of his gaining support to ascend the throne.
The Magna Carta during the Medieval Period (13th to beginning 17th centuries) in practice did not limit the power of English kings and was largely forgotten. No mention is made of the Magna Carta during the conflict known as the War of the Roses, coupled with the power of the Tudors from 1485 – 1603. William Shakespeare’s “King John” makes no reference to the Magna Carta as one of the important events of his life.
It remained for the Puritans, lawyers, and Parliament of the 17th Century in their contest with the Stuarts to resurrect and interpret it in the founding of liberty under law to become an obstacle for arbitrary power.
As the Puritans began migrating to the New World they also brought with them their ideas in political philosophy that human rights, individually or collectively, are not to be destroyed by arbitrary and despotic government; the law of the land is supreme and inviolable and must be respected, and that no individual or government may transcend law. Perhaps it is no coincidence that not far from the shadow of Plymouth Rock the “shot heard round the world” and the events leading to our own Constitution and Bill of Rights traces its roots.
To this day, it should be noted that three of the Magna Carta’s Chapters, though amended, stand on the English Statute books: 1, 13 and 39 with 40.
Clint Black, PM, Master
FROM THE PILLAR OF STRENGTH
My guess is very few of us have been through Mendocino California, just north of San Francisco along the California coast. It is there above the now Savings Bank of Mendocino County; Time and the Maiden, described in our third degree lecture, adorn the top of the building.
But, did you know it was carved from a single piece of redwood and who carved it? Here is the story of how it came to be, or as the late Paul Harvey would say “the rest of the story”.
Eric Jensen Albertsen, an American of Danish birth, gave his occupation as “laborer” when he applied for admission as an Entered Apprentice to Abell Lodge No. 146 of Ukiah, CA in 1862. Less than four years later, Albertsen was elected the first Master of Mendocino Lodge No. 179 at Mendocino, CA, and assigned the task of erecting a suitable building to house the lodge. For several years he toiled on the job alone, or with only an occasional helping hand. Mendocino lies on a promontory which juts out into the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most westerly points of the continental US, situated in the heart of the redwood lumber empire.
The Masonic Temple which Albertsen the “laborer” erected has been one of the town’s principal landmarks since 1866. The distinguishing features which set the building apart include an unusual group of statuary, a focal point at the top of the building. The statuary includes two figures, the virgin weeping and father time, together with the hourglass, the broken column and the scythe. The figures are approximately ten feet in height and all the statuary is hand carved out of California by Albertsen, the “laborer”.
The broken column which he carved was truly symbolic of the artist who carved it, for Albertsen died in Mendocino August 20, 1872 at the age of 37.
Abell Lodge 146 and Mendocino Lodge 179 both still exist today.
From Vignettes in Masonry, the Royal Arch Magazine.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Kyle Dau, PM, SW.
FROM THE PILLAR OF BEAUTY
Timely excerpts from Brother Pike.
“The press is the great sower of falsehood. To slander a political antagonist, to misrepresent all that he says, and, if that be impossible, to invent for him what he does not say; to put in circulation whatever baseless calumnies against him are necessary to defeat him, ---these are habits so common as to have ceased to excite notice or comment, much less surprise or disgust.”
“There was a time when a Knight would rather die than utter a lie… No profession of an opinion not his own, for expediencies sake or profit, or through fear of the world’s disfavor, no slander of even an enemy; no coloring or perversion of the sayings or acts of other men; no insincere speech and argument for any purpose, or under any pretext, must soil his fair escuteon.” (1)
YESTERDAY OR TODAY?
“Government should not foster the strong at the expense of the weak, nor protect the capitalist and tax the laborer. The powerful should not seek a monopoly of development and employment; not prudence only and the expedient for today should be appealed to by statesmen, but conscience and the right: justice should not be forgotten in looking at interest, nor political morality neglected for political economy: we should have national housekeeping instead of national organization on the basis of right.” (2)
WHAT IS RIGHT?
“There are certainly great evils of civilization at this day, and many questions of humanity long adjourned and put off. The hideous aspect of pauperism, the development of vice in our cities, tells us by their eloquent silence or in inarticulate murmurings, that the rich and the powerful and the intellectual do not do their duty by the poor…”
“A sentence is written against all that is un just, written by God in the nature of man and in the nature of the Universe, because it is in the nature of the Infinite God. Fidelity to your faculties, trust in their convictions, that is justice to yourself; a life in obedience thereto, that is justice toward men. Nor wrong is really successful. The gain of injustice is a loss, its pleasure suffering. Iniquity often seems to prosper, but its success is defeat and shame. After a long while, the day of reckoning ever comes, to nation as to individual. The knave deceives himself, the miser, starving his brothers body, starves also his own soul, and at death shall creep out of his great estate of injustice, poor and naked and miserable. Who so escapes a duty avoids a gain. Outward judgment often fails, inward justice never…” (3)
WHAT IS MAGIC?
“Magic is that which it is; it is by itself, like the mathematics; for it is the exact and absolute science of Nature and its laws.” (4)
Morals and Dogma p. 579
(2) Morals and Dogma p. 836-837
(3) Morals and Dogma p. 837
(4) Morals and Dogma p. 841
Authored by Sincerely and Fraternally,
Steven Laurvick, Jr. Warden
The Allen’s baby shower last month was sooo much fun. Baby Allen has a good start with all the cute clothes and toys. He also received two adorable hand made blankets made by our own Ms. Covert and Ms. Lynn. What talented ladies! Also a special thanks to Ms. Achenbach for all her work and the clothes line decoration, which was quite unique.
The Shrine camping trip is scheduled for June 5 thru June 7. A sign up sheet will be passed around at the April and May Stated Meetings for the pot luck on the 6th. In the large lodge room, time to be determined. All lodge members and their families are invited to the pot luck or any time during our stay, even if you are unable to camp overnight. Please come join us! Let the Master know how many in your party since hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided. In addition to the Saturday fishing outing with John Gamache, PM, the craft project and the treasure hunt, Dave Haslim has volunteered to be our chef for a scrumptious Sunday pancake breakfast. Come all and enjoy!There is still room for three families in the dorm, so let the Master know if you are interested. Reminder for those staying in the dorms and cabins to bring your own bedding and towels.
Until next month,
IN BUILDING FOR A BETTER TOMORROW
Grand Master Larry Adamson has designated April as Public Schools Month with the theme “In Building for a Better Tomorrow”.
The Grand Master encourages all California lodges to demonstrate their support of public education by holding special public recognition events honoring teachers and administrators of our public schools. Grand Master Adamson reminds us that the leaders of tomorrow are the students of today and only by a strong community support can we expect our public schools to provide the tools and skills our future leaders will require. In these times of financial stress on the public schools it is all the more important for us to be aware of what is going on at the local and state levels.
Grand Lodge of California opened in the ladies powder room!
Nov. 10, 1928 – Culver City, CA – Special Communications for laying the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple. The lodge room was so full that the Grand Master had to retire with his officers to the powder room to open Grand Lodge. The Tyler had a difficult time.
One California Chapter of Royal Arch Masons has furnished four governors to the state: J. Neely Johnson, Milton S. Latham, Ramualdo Pacheco and Hiram W. Johnson all were members of Sacramento Chapter 3. Catalina Lodge 524 of California at one time had an “Official Clock Winder”.
Meeting in the low vale. On April 10, 1936, Winnedumah Lodge 287 of Bishop, California held a meeting on the floor of Death Valley, 270 feet below sea level, the lowest spot on the continent. 50 lodges from 10 states were represented.
Your items of Masonic Education and general interest are always welcome and earnestly requested. Just be sure to have them to me no later than April 20. You may contact me by telephone 760-751-3469.
Fraternally, Dick Covert, PM Editor
APRIL STATED MEETING DINNER MENU
Bake Mahi Mahi
Assorted Hot & Cold Beverages
Pineapple Upside down Cake
FROM THE SECRETARY’S DESK
PLEASE If you are not on the permanent dinner reservation list, call at least two days prior to Stated Meeting. We are always delighted to see you at Stated Meeting and dinner, but it can be difficult accommodating everyone who shows up without notice. Cost of dinner is $10.00 each. Brethren on the permanent list should call if they are unable to be with us for dinner. Please remember also to keep us advised of address and telephone changes. Mail returned by the USPS due to incorrect address costs your Lodge a hefty fee.
Fraternally, John S. Gamache, PM, Secretary
K. Brian Waterman
William Mathis, PM
ECHOES FROM THE PAST
Milton Humphrey MM 4-22-54
Willard Meyer MM 4-17-56
Claude Woods MM 4-29-58
Donald Harding MM 4-24-73
Donald Dibler MM 4-18-78
Samuel Jones MM 4/12/79