Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Widow’s Sons

Recently, the Widow’s Sons celebrated their 2nd Anniversary by having a ride and BBQ.

The Widows Sons R.A (Riding Association) is a Masonic Riding Association comprised of Freemasons. The purpose of the Widows Sons is to provide a social and fraternal outlet for Freemasons who ride and desire to socialize and travel the open roads with their Brethren. The requirements to be considered for membership are to be a Master Mason from a recognized Grand Lodge. The recognizing body used by Grand Chapter Korea is Grand Lodge of Scotland.

– The Widows Sons Korea Grand Chapter

The stone triangle or pyramid represents the 3 degrees in craft Masonry. The 3 points of the triangle represent the 3 Lesser Lights or 3 Burning Tapers which are a part of the furnishings of every Masonic Lodge.
The All-Seeing-Eye within the pyramid represents the watchfulness of the Great Architect of the Universe. It reminds us that we are always being watched or observed, and to therefore govern ourselves accordingly while in public, or while in the company of our brethren.
Within the points of the triangle are symbols representing 3 Officers Jewels; the Square, Plumb,and Level. These working tools are also representative of the 3 Lesser Lights and their Masonic interpretations.
The Rising Sun at the apex of the pyramid is representative of the fact that there are Masonic Lodges in all points of the globe. It can truly be said that “the sun never sets on Freemasonry”. The sun also represents the Worshipful Master of each Lodge, so the sun is positioned above the pinnacle of the pyramid and above the Square, or Masters Jewel.
The wings represent personal freedom and liberty which is an ideal Freemasons have embraced since the beginnings of our ancient and noble fraternity. Wings are also a symbol which is much embraced by those who enjoy sport motorcycling, and is used in many motorcycle related logos such as Harley Davidson, just to name one example.
The words “Meet on the level & Part upon the square” were added to remind our non-riding brethren that the Widows Sons are Masons above all, and we should be greeted and treated as such. It is our hope that this will help our brethren to overcome any prejudices or preconceptions they may have regarding those who ride motorcycles. The phrase also stimulates the curiosity of Non-Masons who see our logo and may cause them to inquire about its meaning. This allows us to respond about its Masonic nature and inform them about Freemasonry and our fraternity.

The term “Widow’s Son” refers to Hiram Abiff, the principal architect of King Solomon’s temple. In the book of Kings, he is described as the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali who was the son of a Tyrian bronze worker, sent for by Solomon to make furnishings and ornate decorations for the new temple.

Freemasons also refer to themselves as “Widow’s Sons”:

The Freemasons call themselves the widow’s sons, because, after the death of our respectable Master, the Freemasons took care of his mother, whose children they called themselves, because Adonhiram had always considered them as his Brethren. (Chapron, 1812)

Hiram Abiff,
the original widow’s son.

The ride was done as a memorial for Task Force Smith.

The Task Force Smith Memorial in Osan

On July 5, 1950 an American task force of 400 infantry men moved into Osan to delay the North Korean Army from advanding further South until more American troops could arrive. Named after its commander, Colonel Charles B. Smith, the task force was successful in warding off North Korean forces for several hours before retreating south.

We remember the sacrifices made by about 150 American soldiers that were either killed, wounded or went missing.

The Widow’s Sons pay their respects at the Task Force Smith Memorial in Osan.

Chapron, E.J. (1812). Nécessaire Maçonnique. Chez Cauet.

Mackey, Albert G. (1878). Widow’s Son. Excerpted from “Encyclopedia of Freemasonry Vol. II.” Philadelphia: Moss & Company.

Task Force Smith. Wikipedia.

The Widows Sons – Korea Grand Chapter.

The Widows Sons – Nova Scotia Grand Chapter.

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The Lewis

The lewis is a tool used by operative masons to raise heavy blocks of stone:

It consists of three metal parts: two wedge-shaped side pieces, and a straight centre piece, that fit together (tenon). A dovetailed recess is cut into the top of the stone block (mortise). The two outer pieces are inserted first and then spread by the insertion of the centre – piece. The three parts are then bolted together, a metal ring or shackle is attached and the block is hoisted by hook, rope and pulley. By this means, the block is gripped securely. Once set in its place in the structure, the lewis is removed leaving the upper surface smooth with no clamp or chains on the outside to interfere with the laying of the next course. (Northup, 2008)

As we are free and accepted, or speculative masons, to us the lewis denotes strength and is also the term used for the son of a mason.

The Lewis Jewel is worn by the son of a mason,
and the number of bars represents a line of succession,
with a father’s or grandfather’s name engraved on each bar.

When I was invited to become a Freemason, I honestly didn’t know anything about it and at the time it didn’t really seem all that interesting to me either. Why then, did I become a Freemason? The answer simple.

I just wanted to hang out with Dad.

Bro Dad and I on the night of my initiation – April 25, 2005.

I can honestly say that Bro Dad and I have become best friends because of Freemasonry. It is a lewis’ duty to support his father especially towards the end of life. It is also a great privilege to be a lewis:

In this sense, then, the Lewis has a privilege in all Lodges; he is already known, by proxy at least, to the Lodge to which he applies, and there is a natural predisposition favorably to consider his application, and for the committee to judge him with mercy.

(Claudy, 1935)

Bro Richard D. Haynes is a Past District Deputy Grand Master
of Kings County,Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.

It’s the hope of any mason that his son will follow in his footsteps and join the craft. When I joined Bro Dad stressed the importance of lectures in degree work. He is known throughout the district for his memory work and is often asked to give lectures at other lodges doing degrees.

I really wanted to honor his work so I studied my ritual relentlessly to support and carry on what he does. We would go around to lodges in and outside the district giving lectures as a father and son team. I ended up learning a lot because of him:

From this natural hope of a Mason that his son will go where he preceded him, in turn to receive Masonic light and the happiness and education that may come from membership in a Lodge, has arisen the feeling in most Lodges, the stronger that it is not expressed in formal law, of interest in the boys of members. Lodges are not consciously influenced in their judgment of petitions from the sons of members by that fact, but Masons would be less than human if they did opt look with some indulgence on the young men who ask to follow in the path their fathers have walked. (Claudy, 1935)

Probably a defining moment in both our lives is when Bro Dad literally raised me to the sublime degree of a master mason. I will always be thankful to him for inviting me on a journey that has definitely made me a better man and in turn helped me to make other men better as well. I look forward to the day when I can go home and Bro Dad and I can both attend a meeting at our mother lodge together.

Markland Lodge #99 on the Registry of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. Installation 2012.
Bro Richard D. Haynes installed as master.

It’s a tremendous opportunity when father and son can both be masons. An opportunity for support and strength, “from generation to generation.”

“Again let it pass to the ROYAL lov’d NAME,
Whose glorious Admission has crown’d all our Fame:
May a LEWIS be born, whom the World shall admire,
Serene as his MOTHER, August as his SIRE.”

Northup, Robert. (2008). The Lewis Jewel Explained. Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.

Falconer, Don. (2008). The Lewis. Lodge Endeavor #429, The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales, Au.

Unknown. (1922). THE LEWIS OR LOUVETEAU. The Builder. National Masonic Research Society.

Claudy, Carl. (1935). LEWIS AND LOUVETEAU. Short Talk Bulletin. Masonic Service Association of North America.

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Give Out Love

One of the charities the lodge supports is the “Give Out Love” Orphanage located in Nangok, a tough working-class neighborhood in Seoul. One thing that makes this orphanage so unique is that attached to the side of the building is a drop box for babies whose parents can’t take care of them.

A “baby box” (L) is seen at Joosarang church as preacher Jeong Young-ran and two children, who were abandoned at the church years earlier and have been raised there ever since, go out for a walk in Seoul September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji (SOUTH KOREA)

Pastor Lee, who has a very inspirational story, runs the orphanage and the “baby box”, as it is commonly referred to as. He looks after about 20 or so children, including his own son.

South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak carries a baby, abandoned a day earlier at a “baby box” at his Joosarang church, to hand it over to ward officials as portraits of other abandoned children raised and adopted by him are seen on a wall of the church in Seoul September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji (SOUTH KOREA)

Back in the mid-1980s, Pastor Lee’s son was born with cerebral palsy and spent the first 14 years of his life in the hospital. While visiting his son, Pastor Lee would also visit with other parents in the hospital to counsel and encourage them not to give up on their disabled children.

The story of how Pastor Lee started to take in disabled children is a profound, sincere and heartfelt one:

One day, an elderly woman at the hospital asked Lee to take her paralyzed granddaughter. The bargain: If Lee said yes, the woman said, she would agree to convert to Christianity. He accepted the child, named Sang-hee, who still lives with him. Months after making the deal, the woman was dead.

A social worker then asked Lee to accept the brain-damaged daughter of a 14-year-old girl who drank and did drugs during her pregnancy. The social worker assured Lee the infant, named Hannah, wouldn’t live long.

Lee fed her through a tube, amazed at the child’s hunger to survive. Hannah lived six more years: “When she died, I cried so much, more than even when my own parents passed away.”

That’s when Lee vowed he would never turn away a challenged child. (Glionna, 2011)

Hannah, the brain damaged child who inspired Pastor Lee to open his home to unwanted babies, is buried under the little tree in front of the orphanage.

Recently, there’s been a sharp increase in the number of babies being left in the drop box due to a new law aimed at protecting the rights of children:

South Korea is trying to shed a reputation of being a source of babies for adoption by people abroad. It is encouraging domestic adoption and tightening up the process of a child’s transfer from birth mother to adoptive parents.

The law that took effect in August is aimed at ensuring adoption is more transparent and makes it mandatory for parents to register newborns if they want to give them up.

But the regulation aimed at seeing more thorough records are kept, though well intentioned, has sparked a surge of undocumented babies being abandoned, said Pastor Lee Jong-rak.

“If you look at the letters that mothers leave with their babies, they say they have nowhere to go, and it’s because of the new law,” Lee told Reuters. (Kim, 2012)

“This is a facility for the protection of life,” reads a sign outside the drop box. “If you can’t take care of your disabled babies, don’t throw them away or leave them on the street. Bring them here.”

The members of our lodge make regular visits to the orphanage to donate time, money and supplies as well. As Freemasons, one of our principal tenets is relief; we are taught that out of all the moral virtues, charity is one of the greatest.

Myself, Bro Jim and Bro Neil enjoy some time with the children while delivering some supplies.

Myself, Bro Jim and Bro Neil enjoy some time with the children while delivering some supplies.

RWM Pete is a big supporter of Pastor Lee and the orphanage. Because of his leadership we have raised a significant amount of funds to help out with this much needed charity. Pastor Lee is somebody we all believe in:

“The enormity of his mission hits you between the eyes. I don’t know anyone who goes there for the first time and doesn’t tear up,” said Peter A. Dietrich, an orphanage volunteer. (Glionna, 2011)

Bro Ronnie and RWM Pete collect funds for the
Give Out Love Orphanage during a St. Patrick’s Day event.

Recently RWM Pete met with some film makers who are doing a documentary about the “baby box” and offered the lodge’s full support. The film is still in post production and requires some more funds in order to be completed.

As Freemasons, we are taught to exercise the moral virtues, the greatest of which being faith, hope and charity (or love). So we wholeheartedly agree with Pastor Lee when he says:

Among faith, hope, and love, the best is.. love.

Pastor Lee and his son, Eun-man,
which means full of God’s grace.

On Saturday, November 10 we will be having a Whiskey & Cigar Night to raise funds for the Give Out Love Orphanage at Burn In Hal Lounge and Cigar Bar located in Itaewon, Seoul. See below for details. Hope to see you there!

Glionna, John M. (2011). South Korean pastor tends an unwanted flock. Los Angeles Times.

Kim, Daum. (2012). South Korea “Baby box” pastor says new law brings more babies. Reuters.

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And I Shall Stablish

Last night we had a first degree. We meet in the Seoul Club, but since we use a shared room, we always have to setup the lodge furnishings and pack up when we’re finished.

The Cheesman Room at the Seoul Club where we hold regular meetings.

We keep all our furniture in a display case that’s in a corner of the room. Everything is organized in such a manner so that we always know where everything is.

… its several parts fitted with such exact nicety, that it had more the appearance of the handiwork of the Supreme Architect of the Universe than that of human hands.

I’m not sure what it is about setting up the lodge room, the idea of preparing a place where brothers can meet in peace and harmony. If I’ve had a rotten day, it usually has a calming effect. It allows me to assist in opening the lodge with a sense of humility and an open heart.

We have 3 VSLs on our alter. One for Christians, one for Buddhists and one for Taoists.

The degree went off without any hitches and afterwards we had a very nice harmony.

Everyone has to humor the elderly at some point..

After regular meetings, guests who are interested in becoming Freemasons come and join us at harmony.

Charlie, it was good to see you again after so long.

Congratulations to Brother Steve on his initiation!

Good job bro. Now please, study your obligation.

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