프리메이슨, 홍익인간!

Not too long ago, I learned about the ancient Korean concept of Hongik Ingan, which means “to live and work for the benefit of all mankind.” This caught my attention right away, as the aim of antient Freemasonry is also self-improvement for the benefit of society: “to build a better world by building better men to work in their own communities.” In researching more on this idea, the parallels I found between Hongik Ingan and Freemasonry were astonishing.

얼마 전에 저는 “널리 인간을 이롭게 한다”라는 뜻을 갖는 홍익인간이라는 고대 한국 이념에 대하여 배우게 되었습니다. 이는 바로 저의 관심을 끌었습니다. 왜냐하면 고대 프리메이슨의 목적이 “더 훌륭한 사람들을 만들어 그들이 자신들의 공동체 안에서 활동하여 더 나은 사회의 건설”이라는 사상으로 자기 발전을 통해 사회에 기여한다는 것이기 때문입니다. 이러한 사상에 대하여 더 알아봄에 있어서, 홍익인간과 프리메이슨 사이의 유사 관계는 저를 놀랍게 하였습니다.

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Throughout Korean history, despite all religion and politics, this universal principle of Hongik Ingan has survived as a foundation for the Korean people, much the same way Freemasonry has survived over hundreds of years – due to it also being neither religious nor political, but universal.

마치 수백년 간 프리메이슨가 종교나 정치적인 것이 아닌 보편 사상으로 살아남은 것과 같이. 많은 종교적, 정치적 변화가 있었음에도 한국의 역사에서 홍익인간이라는 보편 사상은 한민족의 중심 사상으로 살아남았습니다.

Objectives under the ideals of Hongik Ingan include helping all people perfect their individual characters, developing the self-sustaining ability to attain independent lives, acquiring the qualifications of democratic citizens, participating in the makings of a democratic state, and promoting the prosperity of all humankind. Similarly, Freemasonry is an organized society of men, symbolically applying the principles of operative masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building, while also being big promoters of democracy and charity.

홍익인간 사상의 목표는 개인의 기계 증진, 자립된 삶을 살 수 있는 능력 함양, 민주 시민으로의 자격을 갖추며 민주 국가를 만드는 것에 참여하는 것 그리고 모든 인류를 위한 공리 증진에 있습니다. 비슷하게 프리메이슨는 석공술과 건축학의 원칙을 건축물의 과학과 예술의 특징에 상징적으로 적용시키고 민주주의와 자선을 알리는 남성들의 조직입니다.

As Hongik Ingan helps those who seek to develop their individuality through a well-rounded and wholesome character development, so does Freemasonry place emphasis on the individual by strengthening their character, improving their moral and spiritual outlook, and broadening their mental horizons.

홍익인간 사상이 균형잡히고 총체적인 개성을 통한 자아실현을 강조하는 것과 같이 프리메이슨 또한 도덕적 영적 성장과 정신적 영역을 넓히는 것을 통한 개인의 개성 강화, 그리고 이에 따른 자아실현을 강조합니다.

Hongik Ingan demonstrates creativity with a solid foundation in basic knowledge in skills, and helps to explore opportunities based on an extensive intellectual knowledge and skills in diverse academic fields. Likewise, Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives, while also studying the seven liberal arts and sciences throughout the noontime of their life, when they have reached the zenith of their strength, and in the fullness of their powers are actively engaged in the pursuit of knowledge.

홍익인간은 근본되는 지식에 기반한 기술에 의한 창조성을 강조하며 다양한 학문 분야에서 광범위한 지식과 기술 기반한 여러가지 기회들을 탐구하는 것에 도움을 줍니다. 마찬가지로 프리메이슨들은 진실을 위해 분투하고 높은 윤리성을 필요로하며 그들의 삶에서 높은 경지에 오르는 것을 목표로 합니다. 또한 중년시간 동안 인문학과 과학을 공부하며, 자신들의 전성기에 그들은 지식을 찾는 것에 모든 힘을 다합니다.

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The values of Hongik Ingan are firmly grounded on a sound understanding of culture, and in this way, Koreans also understand the importance of harmony. The ancient landlords and peasants of the Old Choson Dynasty also understood this, and as a result were also relatively harmonious with each other. Freemasons are men from every race, religion, and political belief. They come from all professions and walks of life, but are drawn together to support each other in the journey of self improvement. Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.

또한 홍익인간 사상의 가치는 문화에 대한 건전한 이해에 근본합니다. 그리고 이와 같은 의미에서 한국인들은 harmony의 중요성에 대하여 인식합니다. 조선 왕조 시기에 사회 각 계층들은 비교적 조화롭게 살아갔습니다. 프리메이슨들은 여러한 인종, 종교 그리고 정치적 믿음의 배경을 갖는 남자들입니다. 그들은 여러한 직업적 배경과 삶의 배경을 갖고 있습니다. 그러나 이들은 자기 발전을 향한 여행에 있어 서로 지지합니다. 모든 진정한 프리메이슨들은 타인의 의견과 행동에 관용과 존경을 보여주며 다른 존재들에게 친절함과 이해를 갖고 행동합니다.

With the help of a well-established, participatory democracy, people who follow the principle of Hongik Ingan contribute to the development of the community they reside in, much the same way Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.

이것은 마치 프리메이슨들이 자신 뿐만 아니라 모든 공동체에 걸쳐 자선적인 기여와 봉사활동의 노력 그리고 개인들의 공여로 자선과 타인에 대한 관심을 갖도록 가르침 받는 것과 같이 성숙한 참여 민주주의 도움으로 홍익인간의 가치를 따르는 사람들은 자신들이 살고 있는 공동체의 발전 기여합니다.

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Chae, Jap. (2007). “Hongik Ingan” & Modern South Korean Society. Korean Historical Controversies. The George Washington University, Washington D.C.

International Bureau of Education. (2006). Republic of Korea: Principles and general objectives of education. World Data on Education. Geneva, Switzerland.

Kim, Jae-woong. (2011). The Practice of Hongik Ingan: Lives of Queen Seondeok, Shin Saimdang, and Yi Yulgok. Diamond Sutra Recitation Group. Seoul, Korea.

Lodge Han Yang #1048  S.C. (2004). A Masonic Introduction. Seoul, Korea.

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2nd Quarter Update

April

Elect Lady of the East Chapter sold funnel cakes at the CYSS Month of the Military Child Community Fun Fair on USAG Yongsan.

The Scottish Rite held their Spring Reunion and Conferral. Six new Masters of the Royal Secret received the degrees.

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Pusan Lodge held an Entered Apprentice degree for Bros. Hans and Simon.

apr 23 (2)

The Widow’s Sons went on a ride and hung out at the Caffe Bene in Songtan.

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Lodge Han Yang held a Fellow Craft degree for Bros. Valiant, Greg, Marc, and Mike.

apr 27

May

Lodge Harry S. Truman held a Cinco de Mayo event at the lodge building in Noyang-ri.

Lodge Han Yang held their annual Mother’s Day BBQ at MP Hill on Yongsan USAG.

may 14

Lodge Harry S. Truman sold chili dogs at the One Heart Festival in Pyeongtaek.

The Widow’s Sons traveled to Japan and did a ride in Tokyo over the famous Shibuya Crossing

The Hon. George Stillwell presented some awards to the cadets at Seoul American High School.

Presenting the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Award to Cadet 1SG Maria Snodgrass, 25 May 2016 at Seoul American High School.

Presenting the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Award to Cadet 1SG Maria Snodgrass, 25 May 2016 at Seoul American High School.

Presenting the National Sojourners Award to Cadet Major Molly Rogelstad, 25 May 2016 at Seoul American High School.

Presenting the National Sojourners Award to Cadet Major Molly Rogelstad, 25 May 2016 at Seoul American High School.

Lodge Han Yang held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Marc, Valiant, and Greg. Bro. Keith Innes also returned to visit the lodge; he is currently active in Australia.

Pusan Lodge held a Fellow Craft Degree for Bros. Hans and Simon.

may 28

Lodge Han Yang had their annual Memorial Day Visit to the Foreign Cemetery in Seoul.

June

Elect Lady of the East Chapter had a farewell gathering for Sis. Von.

june 9

The Scottish Rite met and Bros. Kevin, Carlos, and Eel Hee received their Master of the Royal Secret certificates.

Lodge Harry S. Truman held an Entered Apprentice Degree for Bro. Jon.

june 16

Lodge Han Yang had a visiting EA from Warren Lodge #147, Grand Lodge of NY, F&AM, and also a visitor from Lodge Zur Kette no 430 in Munich under the United Grand Lodge of Germany. There was also a farewell for Almoner Bro. Kurt.

June 22

Lodge Harry S. Truman also held a Fellow Craft Degree and farewell for Bro. Ricardo.

june 23

Elect Lady of the East Chapter also had a farewell for their Worthy Matron, Sis. Dakia.

june 24

II Corinthians Lodge held their District Session and St. John’s Day Observance.

Pusan Lodge held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Hans and Simon.

june 25

II Corinthians Lodge also held a Family Day Barbecue.

june 25 (4)

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On Adoniram

It is interesting that Adoniram is such an important figure in the higher degrees, yet is never mentioned in the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, or Master Mason rituals.

In the Bible he is named as the overseer of the levy in the forests of Lebanon:

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He sent them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men per month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, and then spent two months at home. Adoniram was supervisor of the work crews.

– I Kings 5:14

In the York Rite’s Royal Master degree, he has a conversation with his companion and mentor, Hiram Abiff, in which he is informed that in the event of Hiram’s death, the secret word can be found in the temple’s vault:

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Adoniram then said, “Suppose one of you three, even you yourself should be removed by death prior to that event, how then shall I receive it?” After commenting on the subject of death, Hiram Abiff with a significant gesture replied, “If I die, it will be buried there.”

Hiram Abiff informs Adoniram that his search is not yet complete, instructs him that in due time he will receive his reward, and returns him to the clay grounds to continue his labors. Not long after, Hiram Abiff is murdered.

In the Scottish Rite’s 5th degree, Perfect Master, Adoniram conducts Hiram Abiff’s funeral ceremony and recites some commemorative poetry:

Our ancient Brethren whelm’d in grief,
Lamented their departed chief!
Let us, his pupils long revere
A name to memory so dear – as Hiram Abif.

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In mystic rites our Lodge displays
its sorrows and its fadeless praise:
Long may the sweet acacia bloom,
And garlands fresh adorn the tomb – of Hiram Abif.

In the 8th degree, Intendant of the Building, he is appointed Superintendent of the Work, to help carry out the completion of the temple along with four other young and eager Intendants of the Building, to whom Hiram Abiff communicated the arts and sciences that he learned in Egypt and the East.

Adoniram is then made chief architect and successor to Hiram Abiff in the 12th degree, Master Architect, owing to his having gained superior knowledge and skill:

Also to assure uniformity in the work and to reward the superior skill of Adoniram, the son of Abada, Solomon appointed him to be Chief Architect of the Temple, with the title of Master Architect. Adoniram was invested with that office as sole successor and representative of the deceased Master Hiram. This, of course, created him a Grand Master, the equal, as such, of Solomon and Hiram, King of Tyre.

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It should be noted, however, that even though Adoniram was now on equal ground with King Solomon and Hiram, King of Tyre, he did not yet receive the Master’s Word for it was agreed upon between them and Hiram Abiff that the word would never be given unless the three of them were present and the temple was completed.

In the 13th degree, Royal Arch of Solomon, Adoniram along with two Intendants of the Building not only discover Enoch’s crypt, but also the treasure he had left there:

Adoniram then descended. and passing through three more openings, reached the ninth apartment. As he reached it, his companions dislodged some rubbish above, which, falling upon him, bruised him and extinguished his torch; and he then discovered, in the center of the apartment, a luminous triangular pedestal of white alabaster, hollow, and lighted by an undying fire within;

13 and upon which sat a cube of agate, into one face of which was sunk a plate of gold, thickly encrusted with precious gems that glittered in the light; and enameled on the plate the Ineffable Name of Deity; as the same had been placed there by Enoch, the patriarch.

Adoniram is taught the meaning and pronunciation of the Ineffable Word and is made a “perfect mason”, a term which reappears in the installation ceremony of certain lodges, and refers to the time when he was presented by King Solomon to the Queen of Sheba:

Adoniram thereupon approached the illustrious monarch and his distinguished guest, and would have prostrated himself at his royal master’s feet, but King Solomon prevented him by taking hold of him, saying, “Rise, perfect mason.”

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Thus, Adoniram teaches us to remain content and that in due time we shall receive our reward; to encourage the timid, to repress the forward, and to reward the worthy; that the ablest, wisest, and best of every nation should be its leaders; and that we should seek knowledge from pure motives with zeal and devotedness. He is, in essence, the pattern and exemplar of all Installed Masters.

 


De Hoyos, Arturo. (2007). Scottish Rite Ritual: Monitor & Guide. The Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction. Washington, D.C.

Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Iowa. (2001). Royal Master. Des Moines, IA.

Hutchens, Rex R. (1988). A Bridge to Light: A Study in Masonic Ritual & Philosophy. The Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction. Washington, D.C.

Johnston, E.R. (1930). Masonry Defined. National Masonic Press, Inc. Shreveport, LA.

Jones, Edgar. (1994). Adoniram: A Hypothesis. From “The Ars Quatuor Coronati Circle of Correspondence Works Vol. 107.” London, UK.

Mackey, Albert G. (1873). Adoniram. Excerpted from “Encyclopedia of Freemasonry Vol. I.” Philadelphia: Moss & Company.

McClenachan, Charles T. (1914). The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co.

Newell, Barry. (2013). Adoniram. The Traveling Templar, Boise ID.

Unknown. (2001). York Rite. The Masonic Trowel.

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1st Quarter Update

January

Lodge Harry S. Truman held a Fellow Craft degree for Bro. Ian.

jan 7

MacArthur Lodge held their annual installation of office bearers. Bro. Ben was installed as Worshipful Master.

jan 23 (13)

Pusan Lodge held an Entered Apprentice degree for Bro. Jacob.

jan 23 (15)

Lodge Han Yang held a Master Mason degree for Bros. Roy, Eel-Hee, and Sunghoon.

jan 27

Lodge Harry S. Truman also held a Master Mason degree which was followed by a Burns Supper.

jan 30 (10)

The Widow’s Sons participated in the Yongsan Road Dragon’s Annual Polar Bear Run.

The Seoul Shrine Club met on Yongsan Garrison and elected their new officers for the year.

jan 30 (3)

February

The Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Han Yang, along with a small deputation, visited II Corinthians Lodge #96, Prince Hall Affiliated, Washington and Jurisdiction.

feb 5

Lodge Han Yang also had an Entered Apprentice Degree for Bros. Marc, Mike, and Greg.

feb 10

Bro. Keith returned his Fellow Craft proficiency at MacArthur’s regular stated meeting.

feb 16 (2)

Truman Lodge held an Entered Apprentice Degree for Bro. Harold.

feb 18

Lodge Han Yang got together at Little Cuba to enjoy some cigars and rum.

feb 20

Lodge Han Yang also said farewell to Bro. Lex, who had supported the lodge for several years.

Along with the District Grand Master of the Far East and Bros. Derek and Julien, I attended the 2016 International Scottish Masonic Conference in Penang, Malaysia. The District Grand Lodge of the Middle East held their Centenary Re-dedication, and I had the pleasure of meeting Bro. Charles, the Grand Master Mason of Scotland.

feb 27 (5)

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March

As a way to inform traveling brethren of our presence, Lodge Harry S. Truman erected a banner outside the main gate of Osan Air Base, at the entrance to the Shinjang Shopping Mall.

Mar 3

The Right Worshipful Master of Han Yang played a very gracious host to Brethren visiting from the Grand Lodge of Japan.

Lodge Han Yang also did an Entered Apprentice Degree for Bros. Bertie and Valiant. Brethren especially enjoyed meeting visiting Bro. Darran from Danycoed Lodge #8127 EC, Caerphilly, Wales UK, who gave a very spirited and well done charge for the degree.

The Seoul Shrine Club made a contribution to the 2016 Seoul American High School Girls Athletic Sport Banquet.

mar 10

The Scottish Rite held their annual installation of officers.

Truman Lodge got a piano! The secretary is learning the songs to be used during ceremonies.

Truman Lodge also held a St. Paddy’s Day Party and Past Master’s Dinner.

Lodge Han Yang elected Bro. Sangmin as the new Worshipful Junior Warden.

mar 23

And finally, Pusan Lodge held a regular business meeting as well as a 1st degree practice which was supported by visiting brethren.

mar 26

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Masons & Social Media

At the Regular Communication of the Grand Lodge of Scotland held on Thursday, 14th June, 2012, the Grand Master Mason in his Report to Grand Lodge referred to the misuse of E-Communications:

Recently, the attention of Grand Lodge has been drawn to a number of instances where misuse has been made of various forms of E-Communication, such as E-mails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Inappropriate and offensive material has been sent via these systems. In such cases, Brethren who are responsible for the circulation of the aforementioned material, may be subject to disciplinary procedures as set out in the Constitution and Laws of Grand Lodge. There may also be legal implications involved in sending out inappropriate or offensive material.

Only recently last year has the Grand Lodge of Scotland stepped onto the social media stage, creating both a Facebook page and Twitter account in an effort to attract more members. This is an excellent way to pass on education and information about upcoming events. However, referring to the quote above, we as Freemasons always need to exercise the utmost prudence in what we post and share while we represent the craft online.

One example of this would be posting photos from a masonic meeting or event. If someone doesn’t want to be tagged or have their picture posted online you should respect their wishes. A few years ago when Lodge Han Yang launched its Facebook page, several brethren from the lodge stayed away from it because they wanted to keep their membership secret. Being in a country like Korea where Freemasonry is often misunderstood by the public, their wishes were quite understandable. However, even if Freemasonry were fully accepted in this country they’d still be entitled to their privacy. Even several older, traditional brothers (especially in the UK) would prefer that the whole organization be kept private, and refuse to engage in any social media related to the craft.

Candid shots are another thing to take into consideration. If you’re constantly posting photos of lodge brethren drinking alcohol instead of doing charitable works, perhaps the public would assume the lodge is simply nothing but a drinking club. Essentially the idea here is to remember that we are associating whatever we post online with the fraternity, so there can be great potential to either help it or to hurt it.

And then there is what we post as individuals, within the world of masonic social media – whether that be in a forum, group, page or tweet. If you have a masonic symbol as your profile picture, or it’s of you in regalia, and you begin posting your political and religious opinions, a non-mason might think that opinion is representative of the fraternity in some way.

I’m not saying you can’t talk about politics and religion on social media, of course you can. It’s not a tyled lodge. Such a thing simply doesn’t exist online. This is also why you should never engage in an online conversation that will violate your obligation (even if it is labeled as “tyled”). There’s no way to know whether whoever it is you’re talking to (or whoever is reading) is a recognized brother or not, so it’s best just to stay away from those conversations altogether.

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Another thing to consider is language and conduct. There are many times when we engage in debate online, and with brothers as well. The key thing to remember here is to maintain harmony and refrain from making personal attacks. On the masonic Facebook page that I manage there was one recent incident where a brother was upholding the constitution of his Grand Lodge and everyone else was ganging up and bullying him. This situation could have been avoided if everyone just used a little more professionalism and rhetoric.

I think a good rule of thumb is that we must all subdue the three ruffians that are buried within our hearts – the priest, the politician, and the mob. Yes we have opinions and we are entitled to them, and I will fight to the death to defend a brother’s right to express those opinions. But somewhere a line needs to be drawn between harmony and discord, because after all – we are not warriors, but laborers:

The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.

– Joseph Joubert

 Committee on Masonic Research and Education of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Minnesota. (1986). Standard of Masonic Conduct. Short Talk Bulletin.

Creason, Todd E. (2014). Freemasonry and the Pitfalls of Social Media. Illinois, USA.

Gross, Jeremy (2012). The Necessity of Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic. Massachusetts, USA.

Johnson, Robert (2015). Social Media is Killing Freemasonry. Illinois, USA.

P.G. Secretary (2012). E-Communications. Regular Communication of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

Ratcliff, John W. (2008). What’s this $#!+ about Masonic Harmony? Lake St. Louis, Missouri.

Stewart, Kirsty (2015). Scottish Freemasons Join Facebook and Twitter. Deadline News, Scotland.

Unknown (1927). The Ruffians. Short Talk Bulletin, Masonic Service Association.

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4th Quarter Update

On October 6th, MacArthur Lodge held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Pavao and Formosa.

Oct 6

On October 10th, Elect Lady of the East Chapter helped with Yongsan Garrison’s Fall Festival Fun Run.

On October 17th, the Widow’s Sons held their 6th annual Task Force Smith Memorial Ride.

Oct 17

On October 24th, Lodge Pusan held an Entered Apprentice Degree in the Korean language for Bro. Cho.

Oct 24

On October 28th, Lodge Han Yang held a Fellow Craft Degree for Bros. Tom, Eel-Hee, and Roy.

Oct 28 (2)

On October 31st, Lodge Pusan hosted a dinner for the Brothers of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Group.

Oct 31 (2)

Also on October 31st, Lodge Han Yang did their annual Halloween Fundraiser for the Raphayel House, a home for severely mentally and physically handicapped children in Seoul.

On November 3rd, MacArthur Lodge and the Scottish Rite had a going away dinner for Bros. Jim, Dexter, and the Hon. Carl.

On November 14th, the Scottish Rite held their Fall Conferral for Bro. Han.

Nov 14

On November 20th, I attended the installation of Keystone Chapter No. 354 on the Roll of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, at the Scottish Rite Temple in Manila, Philippines.

Nov 20

On November 21st, Lodge Harry S. Truman held their annual Thanksgiving Pig Roast.

Meanwhile at my mother lodge, a presentation of a cheque for the sum of 1200.00 dollars was made to the Kingston Elementary School for their Robotics program. Markland Lodge #99 AF&AM along with the Grand Lodge of Masons in Nova Scotia supported the program.

The presentation took place on Monday November 23 at a regular lodge meeting in the Masonic Hall in Kingston. The cheque was presented by Rob Butler The Junior Warden who was in charge of the fund raising drive and Richard Haynes the Worshipful Master in front of several masons of Kings, Annapolis and Digby county’s.

The Teacher and students accepting the cheque were Mr Nick Baskwill and Bradon Bushell, Cameron Fowler, and Evan Brake.

Nov 23

On December 3rd, I attended the installation of Lodge Star in the East No. 640 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Yokohama, Japan.

Dec 3

On December 5th, the Illustrious Joe received his 33rd Degree from a team of 33rd Degree brothers who came from Tokyo. Dinner was held afterwards at the Hartell House.

On December 10th, Elect Lady of the East Chapter held a going away party for Sis. Felicia, PM.

Dec 10

On December 12th, Lodge Han Yang visited the Hoesim Children’s Welfare Comprehensive Town Orphanage and distributed Christmas gifts to the children there.

On December 19th, Lodge Han Yang held their annual Christmas party at Little Cuba in Sinchon.

On December 20th, Lodge Harry S. Truman visited the Song Yook Orphanage in Songtan and distributed Christmas gifts to the children there.

 

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The Noahchite Legend

In learning about the birth of the “High Degrees” I found it very interesting that the first mention of a raising actually wasn’t the Hiramic legend that most masons are familiar with.

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In fact, in an old masonic manuscript dated back to 1726, commonly referred to as the Graham manuscript, it is the body of Noah that is raised by his three sons, who were in search of a valuable secret:

We have it by tradition, and still some reference to scripture for it caused Shem, Ham and Japheth to go to their father Noah’s grave for to see if they could find anything about him to lead them to the valuable secret which this famous preacher had…  For I hope all will allow that all things needful for the new world was in the Ark with Noah.

Now these 3 men had already agreed that if they did not find the very thing itself, that the first thing that they found was to be to them as a secret…  They not doubting, but did most firmly believe that God was able and would also prove willing, through their faith, prayer and obedience, to cause what they did find to prove as valuable to them as if they had received the secret at first from God Himself at its headspring.

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So [they] came to the grave, finding nothing save the dead body almost consumed away. Taking a grip at a finger, it came away…so from joint to joint…so to the wrist…so to the elbow…so they reared up the dead body…and supported it…setting foot to foot…knee to knee…breast to breast…cheek to cheek…and hand to back…and cried out ‘Help, Oh Father’…  As if they had said ‘Oh Father of Heaven, help us now, for our earthly father cannot’…  so laid down the dead body again and not knowing what to do…  so one said:  ‘Here is yet marrow in this bone’ and the second said:  ‘But a dry bone’ and the third said: ‘It stinketh’.   So they agreed to give it a name as is known to free masonry to this day…so went to their undertakings, and afterwards works stood. Yet it is believed that the virtue did not proceed from what they found, but from faith and prayer.

– Graham Manuscript, 1726

After further study, I discovered that the early masons even considered Noah as a masonic patriarch of sorts. He is mentioned in passing in the Regius manuscript of 1425-50, and again in the Cooke manuscript of 1450 which makes reference to the “Sons of Noah” discovering two pillars after the flood, on which were inscribed the arts and sciences:

Kindly knowing of that vengeance, that God would send, whether it should be by fire, or by water, the brethren had it not by a manner of a prophecy, they wist that God would send one thereof, and therefore they wrote their sciences in the 2 pillars of stone, and some men say that they wrote in the stones all the 7 sciences, but as they had in their minds that a vengeance should come. And so it was that God sent vengeance so that there came such a flood that all the world was drowned, and all men were dead therein, save 8 persons,

 And that was Noah, and his wife, and his three sons, and their wives, of which 3 sons all the world came of, and their names were named in this manner, Shem, Ham, and Japhet. And this flood was called Noah’s flood, for he, and his children, were saved therein. And after this flood many years, as the chronicle telleth, these 2 pillars were found, and as the Pilicronicon saith, that a great clerk that was called Pythagoras found that one, and Hermes, the philosopher, found that other, and they taught forth the sciences that they found therein written.

– Cooke Manuscript, 1450

Probably the most prominent reference to Noah would be in the Constitutions of 1738, which refers to all masons as “Noahchida”, the ark as a masonic building, and Noah and his three sons as grand officers:

A Mason Is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law as a true Noachida..

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..NOAH, the ninth from Seth, was commanded and directed of God to build the great Ark, which, tho’ of Wood, was certainly fabricated by Geometry, and according to the Rules of Masonry. NOAH, and his three Sons, JAPHET, SHEM, and HAM, all Masons true, brought with them over the Flood the Traditions and Arts of the Ante-deluvians, and amply communicated them to their growing Offspring.

– Anderson’s Constitutions, 1738

The old constitutions even mention the seven Noahide laws, but actually there is no connection between Noahides and Noahchida. One is a Jewish philosophy and the other is a poetical reference to Freemasonry. Of course, the Noahchite legend eventually succumbed to the Hiramic one, but I found it interesting that the earlier masons used Noah as an attempt to create an older lineage.

References

Colavito, Jason (2015). Tubal Cain and the Musical Pillars of Wisdom. Albany, New York.
De Hoyos, Arturo (2007). The Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide. The Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction. Washington, D.C.
Eddie, A.R. (2014). Two Pillars. The Masonic Trowel.
Jeffery, R (1990). Noah and Freemasonry. Booval, Queensland.
Mackey, Albert G. (1878). Encyclopedia of Freemasonry Vol. II. Philadelphia: Moss & Company.
Madhavan, Chakravarthy Sampath (2012). The Hiramic Legend: Whence & Wherefore. Grand Lodge of India.

September Update

On September 3rd, Lodge Harry S. Truman held an Entered Apprentice degree for Bros. Damone and Chris.

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On September 5th, Rose of Sharon Chapter held an Advancement, Acknowledgement, and Exhalation. We gained nine new companions and essentially doubled our membership. This is a big feat, especially considering the chapter was on its last legs for the past few years.

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On September 9th, Lodge Han Yang presented a plaque to Bro. Augusto for his continued support and allowing us to use his restaurant, Little Cuba for private events. He was also made an honorary member of Han Yang.

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On September 10th, Lodge Pusan had their installation of officer bearers. Bro. Ashley was installed as Right Worshipful Master.

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On September 11th, Rose of Sharon Chapter held their installation. Comp. Rich was installed as 1st Principal.

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Also on September 11th, Lodge Harry S. Truman held their installation. I was installed as Right Worshipful Master.

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On September 12th, Lodge Han Yang held their installation. Bro. Kevin was installed as Right Worshipful Master.

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Also on September 12th, Elect Lady of the East Chapter participated in a Community Fun Fair at USAG Yongsan.

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And on September 19th, MacArthur Lodge held their Annual Family Picnic.

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Summer Update

On July 4th, Brethren from Lodge Han Yang and Lodge Harry S. Truman attended the re-installation of Bro. Martin Thomas as District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Far East Scottish Constitution in Hong Kong.

On July 11th, Lodge Han Yang held a Committee of Enquiry as well as a Meet and Greet for prospective candidates at the new 3 Alley in Itaewon.

11059907_682518948546705_3718322455239825573_nOn July 17th, MacArthur Lodge held a Master Mason degree.

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On July 25th, Pusan Lodge held an Entered Apprentice Degree.

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On August 6th, Lodge Harry S. Truman held a Master Mason degree for Bro. Ethan.

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On August 9th, Lodge Han Yang held a General Committee meeting at Little Cuba.

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On August 22nd, the Widow’s Sons held a meeting at the lodge building in Pyeongtaek.

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And on August 26th, Lodge Han Yang held an Entered Apprentice degree for Bros. Roy, Eel Hee, and Jay.

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Bi-Annual Update

January

The Scottish Rite held their Annual Installation.

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Elect Lady of the East Chapter participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Walk on Yongsan Garrison.

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Lodge Harry S. Truman held a Master Mason Degree and their annual Rabbie Burns Night.

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MacArthur Lodge held an Entered Apprentice Degree.

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February

Lodge Han Yang held their annual Valentine’s Date Night.

Lodge Han Yang also held an Entered Apprentice Degree for Bros. Pierre, Sung Hoon, and Tom.

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March

Lodge Han Yang held their annual St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser for the Give Out Love Orphanage.

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Lodge Han Yang also held an Entered Apprentice Degree for Bros. Jared and John.

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Elect Lady of the East Chapter held a bake sale and raffle outside the Yongsan Post Exchange.

MacArthur Lodge held their Annual Installation with Bro. George being installed as Worshipful Master.

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II Corinthians Lodge held a Zumba Fitness and Dance Night for the local kids on Yongsan Garrison.

April

Lodge Harry S. Truman held a Master Mason degree for Bro. Jean Mel.

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The Order of the Easter Star PHA Washington and Jurisdiction held their Far East District Session.

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The Widow’s Sons had a meet up at the lodge in Pyeongtaek.

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Lodge Han Yang and Lodge Harry S. Truman held a joint Fellow Craft Degree.

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May

Lodge Han Yang held it’s annual Mother’s Day Picnic.

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The Scottish Rite held their Spring Conferral.

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MacArthur Lodge held their Annual Masonic Awareness Night.

Lodge Harry S. Truman held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Cory, Dominic and Craig.

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Lodge Han Yang observed Memorial Day and visited the foreigner’s cemetery in Seoul to honor deceased brethren.

Lodge Han Yang also held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Jared, Tom, and Pierre.

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The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Southern Jurisdiction medal and certificate was presented to Cadet Jason Hyde during the Pass-In-Review ceremony at the Seoul American High School parade field. Jason is a 2nd year cadet, who is a dedicated member of the color guard, drill team and exhibition drill team as well as being an excellent student.

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Lodge Pusan held a Master Mason Degree for Bro. Nathan. Right Worshipful Masters from both Lodge Han Yang and Lodge Harry S. Truman were in attendance.

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June

Rose of Sharon Chapter held an Excellent Master and Royal Arch Degree.

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