Monthly Archives: June 2012

Third Degree and St John’s Feast

This past weekend we went back down to Pyeongtaek and raised Bro Neil to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.

Newly raised Bro Neil with The RWM and wardens.

Afterwards, we celebrated with a St John’s Day Feast.

We did it in Table Lodge style, where we had to ask permission to speak, use code words for certain things, and ask for dispensation to make new rules. The wardens were the enforcers. If we broke a rule we had to pay a fine, and we also paid for dispensation. All the money went to the orphanage in Vietnam. It was great fun.

RWM Pete and Wardens Bro Dennis and Bro Derek had a fun time imposing fines and granting dispensations.

We finally had the drawing for the summer raffle as well. We managed to raise over $5000 for the orphanage in Vietnam. Congrats to Bro Andre on winning the grand prize of $1000.

Bro Neil draws for the grand prize of $1000.

Surprisingly, I was lucky enough to get a door prize. A 50,000 won gift certificate good at Hal’s Burn Cigar Bar. I’m thinking of donating it to the charity event I’m organizing for the 3rd quarter.

Especially lucky considering I only had 3 tickets.

Once again, another successful event because of the great harmony exisiting between Lodge Han Yang and Harry S. Truman Lodge. Well done, brethren.

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Mark Master Degree and Mother’s Day BBQ

On Mother’s Day weekend we celebrated with a Mark Degree in the morning and a Mother’s Day Barbeque in the afternoon.

The day began at the USO where Han Yang was to put on it’s first Mark Degree in over 10 years.

The brethren gather at the USO in anticipation of the Mark Degree.

We were all very keen to put the Mark on, as several brothers had yet to receive that degree.

The room we used is really more of a classroom/conference room,
but being in Korea we usually have to make due with what we have.

There were a few hiccups here and there, but we managed to get 9 brothers marked.

The newly marked brethren pose with the axe and keystone. Poor Bro Kev.

After the Mark Degree we celebrated Bro Ralph’s 69th birthday (which makes him 70 in Korean!).

Bro. Ralph was also voted into Lodge Han Yang as an honorary member.

Newly made member Bro. Ralph cuts some birthday cake for the brethren.

After finishing up at the USO, we headed over to Green Apartments where the Mother’s Day Barbeque was held.

Several of the brethren enjoy some great food at the barbeque.

The barbeque was organized by Bro Dennis, who was more than happy to man the grill.

Bro Dennis masterfully grills up some burgers with his working tool.

This was Bro Danilo’s last day in Korea, so he was presented with a nice looking flask with the square and compass on it. And yes, it was fully charged.

RWM Pete looks on with envy as Bro Dennis presents Bro Danilo with his flask.

Afterwards everyone helped themselves to some more cake.

Another cake? Good work. Square work.

Another fine event pulled off by all of the hardworking brethren involved. Well done everyone.

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Visitation for Absent Brethren

Not long ago, we visited Yanghwajin Foreign Cemetery to honor past brethren of Lodge Han Yang.

Yanghwajin Foreign Cemetery is located in Hapjeong-dong, Seoul.

Yanghwajin Cemetery overlooks the Han River and was designated in 1890 as a site for foreign missionaries by King Gojong. The cemetery was also a victim of close quarters combat during the Korean War and war damage to many of the grave markers is quite evident. It is estimated that approximately 30,000 Koreans and 500 foreigners visit every year.

A lot of recently passed brethren are located in the Northern part of the cemetery, so we stopped there first to pay our respects.

RWM Pete leads us in a prayer commemorating those brethren who have been raised to the celestial lodge above.

Eventually, we met up with the Widow’s Sons – a local masonic biker’s club made up of members from different lodges in the area.

The Widow’s Sons pay their respects.

Not only one of the most prominent brethren, but one of the most prominent people buried at the cemetery is Bro. Ernest T. Bethell – one of the founders of Lodge Han Yang. He is number 2 in the roll book. One reason I greatly respect this brother is because he, like myself, always believed in promoting the masonic tenet of truth.

Bro. Bethell served as a spokesperson for Koreans under the Japanese colonial rule by launching Daehan Mail Shinbo (Greater Korea Daily News). Bethell staffed his paper with leaders of the independence movement and published articles that criticized and protested against the brutality of Japanese colonial rule. He was thrown in jail for sedition and died a year later in 1909 of cardiac enlargement. The monument that Koreans erected for him was defaced by the Japanese, but another one was erected near the original one in 1964.

After taking a walking tour of the entire cemetery, we all went out to eat. The Widow’s Sons certainly did make a lot of Korean heads turn as they pulled out of the parking lot.

Seung dreams of the day when not only he can become a Master Mason, but also a Widow’s Son.

It’s important to pay tribute to every deceased brother who has played a part in keeping Freemasonry alive and well for hundreds of years. As we follow in their footsteps, we pause, take a moment, and express our belief that our brothers still live, and that their graves are merely resting places for their mortal frames.

Brethren, shall we pause a while, and be of one accord
to note those who are missing from this, our festive board?
Shall we think of absent brethren, and take this drought of wine,
and hope that they do likewise, at the very stroke of nine?

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