Category Archives: FC

2nd Quarter Update

April

There was a Memorial Ceremony for Bro. Robert E. Ring, Past Master of MacArthur Lodge. His son and current Master of MacArthur, Ken gave the eulogy.

It was Bro. Augusto’s final meeting at Lodge Han Yang. He affiliated with the lodge a few years ago, and has now returned to the Grand Lodge of Cuba.

The District 10 Scottish Rite held their Palm Sunday observance.

Pusan Lodge held a Master Mason Degree for Bro. Joe.

Under the direction of a local charity group, Pusan Lodge also visited several retired and elderly citizens’ houses to provide required maintenance services for them.

Lodge Han Yang held an Entered Apprentice Degree for Bros. Remi, Georges, and Jacob.

Truman Lodge did a Mark Master Mason Degree for Bros. Nate and Jason.

The District 10 Shriners hosted one of their annual events on post.

The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington held their annual Far East District Session in Okinawa, where District 10 was in full attendance.

May

Truman Lodge held a Fellow Craft degree for Bro. Gary.

Truman also held their annual Cinco de Mayo event.

Louis R. Solomon #112 and Lion of Judah #94 held a joint Master Mason degree.

The Seoul Bodies Scottish Rite held their spring reunion and conferral.

Lion of Judah hosted a Mother’s Day Brunch.

Truman Lodge held a Fellow Craft Degree for Bro. Jameson.

Lion of Judah also supported the Army Field Support Battalion’s Family Day.

Han Yang held their annual Mother’s Day BBQ

Han Yang held a Master Mason degree for Bro. Hoon, and also welcomed Bro. Simon Emilenelech, PM of Lodge Solomons Pillars #59, Eilet, Israel.

Pusan Lodge said farewell to Bro. Sam, and welcomed the Stark Brothers. Bro. Charles also returned to the lodge after 15 years.

June

Truman Lodge held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Gary and Jameson.

Rose of Sharon Chapter held an acknowledgement and exaltation for Comps. Jason, Ben, and Ken.

Visiting Comp. Rob from the English Constitution also attended the meeting. Unfortunately he could not attend the Mark Affiliation and Excellent Master portions, since English Chapters do not work those degrees. But after taking a heling obligation not to reveal the passing of the veils, he was able to attend the Royal Arch degree.

Lodge Han Yang made their annual visit to Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery.

Seoul Shrine Club presented a scholarship check to SAHS graduate Juliann Patarini, winner of their essay competition.

The Widow’s Sons had a mini reunion at the lodge building in Pyeongtaek.

Guiding Light #95 held a Master Mason Degree for Bro. Doug and company.

The Seoul Bodies Scottish Rite held an education meeting.

Truman Lodge had a going away party for Bros. Harold and Ben.

Lion of Judah hosted a Father’s Day brunch.

Pusan Korea Lodge held an Entered Apprentice Degree.

And I also had a chance to present the traveling gavel to the Master of the lodge.

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The Historical Light Podcast

Recently I did an interview with Bro. Alex Powers, host of the Historical Light Podcast and Freemason from the Grand Lodge of Kansas. We discussed things like the History of Freemasonry in Korea, the activities of the Scottish Lodges, including our relationship with the Prince Hall Freemasons on the peninsula, and various other things as well. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

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1st Quarter Update

January

To kick off the new year, Bro. Stoney, Past Master of Lodge Harry S. Truman was in town visiting and presided over a meeting.

Bro. Kevin, Past Master of Lodge Han Yang, was on his way out of country and attended his final meeting.

Lodge Han Yang also visited Bro. Bob, who was in hospital.

The Prince Hall Masonic Bodies on Yongsan Garrison participated in the Martin Luther King March and Remembrance Ceremony.

Truman Lodge held a Fellow Craft Degree for Bro. Jason.

Rose of Sharon Chapter held a Royal Arch Degree for Comp. Chris.

Truman Lodge held their annual Rabbie Burns Dinner.

Han Yang held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Mike and Jay, while the Master of II Corinthians Lodge visited along with others.

February

II Corinthians Lodge held a Fellow Craft Degree which was attended by their DDGM and also brethren from Lodge Han Yang, who were reciprocating the recent inter-visitation.

MacArthur Lodge held their installation of officers. Bro. Ken was installed as Worshipful Master.

J.C. LOGAN Consistory No. 114 received a thank-you gift from the young men of Seoul American High School’s Mentorship Program, for the donation presented to them at the Martin Luther King Ceremony.

I was visiting my parents in Nova Scotia during February so I had a chance to visit some bodies.

I attended a Mark Master Mason Degree held by The Hiram Chapter No. 3 on the Registry of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Nova Scotia.

I also had a chance to visit King Solomon Lodge No. 54 on the Registry of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia (G.L.N.S.), established in 1784.

I also attended a meeting at Valley Lodge No. 90, G.L.N.S. during an official D.D.G.M. visit.

The class from the Scottish Rite’s last conferral received their diplomas.

Prince Hall Washington’s Holy Royal Arch held a Red and White Ball for Valentine’s Day.

After what seemed like an eternity, Bro. Nate finally affiliated with Truman Lodge.

Lion of Judah Lodge No. 94 of District 10 PHA Washington presented New Korea Club owner Mrs. Kim with a new BBQ grill, to be used for club and lodge fundraisers.

The District 10 Shriners held a Desert Conference at Camp Henry.

March

II Corinthians held a Master Mason Degree for Bros. Maurice and Christopher.

Comp. Rob affiliated with Rose of Sharon Chapter.

Elect Lady of the East Chapter held a bake sale for charity.

The Widow’s Sons went on a ride up to Seoul.

The Scottish Rite held their installation of Officers. Bro. Carlos was installed as Venerable Master.

Truman Lodge held a Master Mason’s Degree for Bro. Jason.

Lodge Han Yang held a Fellow Craft Degree for Bros. Hoon, UG, and Bert.

Lodge Pusan held a Master Mason Degree for Bro. Sam.

Lion of Judah Lodge held a Master Mason Degree as well.

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Universality within the Rose Croix

The chapter degrees of the Rose Croix are not only consistent in teaching absolute truths to all those who receive them, but also reinforces the very notion of universality itself in its underlying themes:

All the emblems, forms and ceremonies of Masonry are symbolical of great primitive truths, which each one is at liberty to interpret in accordance with his own faith. (Pike, 1857) 

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Here in the Southern Jurisdiction, good men of every race and every religious faith can receive all the Degrees of Scottish Rite Masonry. All our Degrees illuminate the mind and inculcate the virtues with but one object in view: the fraternal union of all good men working together for the benefit of the human race. (Hoyos, 2009)

In the 15th degree, King Cyrus frees Zerubbabel and the Hebrews from their Babylonian captivity, and grants them liberty of passage to the West so they may rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. The bridge with the initials L.D.P. represent this, but also symbolizes freedom of thought and religion (liberté de penser), which a Knight of the East should always defend.

To freedom of thought, freedom of the conscience, political, and religious liberty, the Knights of the East of old were devoted. The eagle is the symbol of liberty as the bridge spanning the stream is a symbol of the passage of an individual or a people from slavery to freedom, from servitude and subjugation to independence and nationality, from spiritual bondage to spiritual liberty. (Hoyos, 2009)

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In the 16th degree, the temple is completed, but not without its frustrations. As Princes of Jerusalem, we’re not building a physical temple, but rather a symbolic one, not only in our hearts but also throughout the world as a universal philosophy.

WE no longer expect to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. To us it has become but a symbol. To us the whole world is God’s Temple, as is every upright heart. To establish all over the world the New Law and Reign of Love, Peace, Charity, and Toleration, is to build that Temple, most acceptable to God, in erecting which Masonry is now engaged. (Pike, 1872)

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The pursuit of Masonry is to build the Symbolic Temple all over the world. To follow the path of Masonic Truth is to understand that the action of life is the arena for spiritual and moral improvement because all of life and the world is spiritual and moral. (Hutchens, 2006)

The remaining chapter degrees are less historical and more philosophical.

In the 17th degree, the candidate, who is weary of existing philosophies, repents and is baptized as a Knight of the East and West in order to prepare for the apocalypse, and in the end conquers and triumphs over evil. We are taught that the ancient religions of the East and West all contain the same basic truths: God is great, and good will ultimately prevail.

All the barriers that had formerly kept the nations apart, were thrown down; and while the People of the West readily connected their faith with those of the East, those of the Orient hastened to learn the traditions of Rome and the legends of Athens.

The Apocalypse or Revelations, by whomever written, belongs to the Orient and to extreme antiquity. It reproduces what is far older than itself. It paints, with the strongest colors that the Oriental genius ever employed, the closing scenes of the great struggle of Light, and Truth, and Good, against Darkness, Error, and Evil; personified in that between the New Religion on one side, and Paganism and Judaism on the other. The ideas and imagery are borrowed from every quarter; and allusions are found in it to the doctrines of all ages. (Pike, 1872)

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The great truths comes from the Zend – Avesta of the Persians, the Vedas of the Hindus, the writings of Plato and Pythagoras, from the ancient countries of Phoenicia, Syria, Greece and Egypt and from the Holy Books of the Jews. Masonry gleaned the truth from the error in these ancient doctrines and continues to pass it on. They are very simple and sublime lessons: God is one, immutable, unchangeable, infinitely just and good; light will finally overcome darkness, good conquer evil, and truth be victor over error. (Hutchens, 2006)

Finally, in the 18th degree, in searching for the Lost Word, the candidate ponders how to reconcile the existence of evil, and discovers the New Law of Love. At this particular juncture, we already understand that the symbols and lessons presented to us are not only truths to those who originally perceived them, but as absolute truths can also be applied to our own beliefs. We are also reminded of those universal virtues first introduced to us as Entered Apprentices; that faith begins where reason ends, that hope enables us to overcome evil, and that charity teaches us to be tolerant of other’s beliefs.

If anywhere brethren of a particular religious belief have been excluded from this degree, it merely shows how gravely the plans and purposes of Masonry may be misunderstood; for whenever the door of any one degree is closed against him who believes in one God and the soul’s immortality, on account of the other tenets of his faith, that degree is no longer Masonry, which is universal, but some other thing, that is exclusive, and accordingly Intolerant. (McClenachan, 1884)

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If any see in it a type of the peculiar mysteries of any faith or creed, or an allusion to any past occurrences, it is their right to do so. Let each apply its symbols as he pleases. To all of us they typify the universal rule of Masonry,–of its three chief virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity; of brotherly love and universal benevolence. We labor here to no other end. These symbols need no other interpretation.

When, lo, a voice, in the inconsiderable Roman Province of Judea proclaims a new Gospel–a new “God’s Word,” to crushed, suffering, bleeding humanity. Liberty of Thought, Equality of all men in the eye of God, universal Fraternity! a new doctrine, a new religion; the old Primitive Truth uttered once again! (Pike, 1872)

Men of all creeds can be accepted as Knights of the Rose Croix, equipped with these universal truths, to practice virtue in order to defeat evil.


Alleau, René: La science des symboles, Payot, 1976.

Arturo de Hoyos, Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor & Guide, 2nd ed., 2009

Rex R. Hutchens, A Bridge to Light: A Study in Masonic Ritual & Philosophy, 3rd edition, 2006

Koltko-Rivera, Mark E. (2009). Clue #18: The Christogram “INRI”New York.

Kulshrestha, Abhijita. (2013). The Mystical Tetractys. Karnataka, India

Lindgren, Carl Edwin, The way of the Rose Cross; A Historical Perception, 1614–1620. Journal of Religion and Psychical Research, Volume 18, Number 3:141–48. 1995.

McClenachan, Charles T. (1884). Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. New York: Masonic Publishing Co.

Pike, Albert: The Magnum Opus or Great Work, 1857 (reprint by Kessinger, Kila, MT, USA 1992).

Pike, Albert. (1872). Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Charleston, SC.

The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century 1590-1710, by David Stevenson (Cambridge University Press, 1988) xvii, 246 pages, index.

Zeldis, Leon. (2008). An Esoteric View of the Rose-Croix Degree. Herzliya, Israel.

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Crusty Ol’ Past Masters

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A certain Past Master had strolled over to the local pub to mentor a newly initiated brother. Being overly prompt as usual, he sat down at the bar and ordered a scotch to sip on while he waited for the apprentice. He actually didn’t really know the fellow all that well, but since no one else was willing to sign his petition it was left up to the Past Masters of the lodge as usual to do it, and to be perfectly honest he had grown quite tired of it.

He slowly took out one of his Havanas and cut the tip off, hoping the apprentice wouldn’t show. He had rather stayed at home in his den with a good text to study. Let the younger brothers take care of the lodge, he’d already had his turn. Becoming part of Grand Lodge certainly wasn’t something he was interested in. He joined the craft to improve himself in philosophy and esotericism, not become some big shot.

He reached into his pocket, grabbed his Zippo, and just as he was lighting up he noticed a long lost brother in the corner of his eye, sitting at the end of the bar. He wondered if he should go over and say hello. He hadn’t seen the fellow Past Master for a quite some time, and although he remembered him being extremely knowledgeable in the mysteries of the craft, he also distinctly remembered him being rather unapproachable. Not that it mattered anyway, for he had already been spotted and was being beckoned over.

The Past Masters greeted each other in the usual manner, sat down, clunk their glasses together, and shot the usual shit, inquiring into present affairs and reminiscing on days long past. Surprisingly, it was good to see each other again, and it seemed as though the two had much reverence for one another. Of course, the topic of Masonry eventually came up.

“So how’s your masonic journey coming along, Bert?”

The smile from Bert’s face gently faded. There was silence for a brief moment, as he stared into his 8 ball glass. “I’m finding it difficult to be involved with Freemasonry these days, Jim.”

This hadn’t surprised Jim in the slightest. He had heard the rumours. “Aw, I knew you weren’t happy with it. I’m feeling the same to be honest. Benign and without substance.”

More silence, as Bert finally took hold of his drink. He carefully swirled the scotch, intensely watching it, as if he were an alchemist on the verge of discovering the Philosopher’s Stone. “It could be something, if it had substance within its many members.”

Jim was somewhat intrigued by this. “Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Grand Lodge is a melting pot of petty politics and jealousy. Its whole district too.”

“Seems to have been infecting Freemasonry for a long time. Money and a committee of enquiry can get you anything these days,” Bert chuckled, as he finally took a sip. “Wrong members asking the wrong questions, and why? Because the lodge is dying for lack of funds. What else is to be expected?”

Jim knew all too well what Bert was referring to. “You’re spot on. Bums on seats, drop in quality of members. Seems like money is more important than quality.”

“Seems like..” Bert puffed on his cigar. “MacBride was spot on after all in his speculative Masonry.” He winked at Jim. “You and I are a part of those few PMs who know things and know what’s being discussed in ritual, yet we are the type that lodges filled with charlatans want to hush and force out once they get their hands on the reins.”

Jim realized this was turning into a bitch session, but he was so frustrated with the state of the craft himself, that he gladly welcomed it. “Absolutely. Like I say, Grand Lodge is a melting pot of Masonic hatred. Anyone who is actually a good Freemason and tries to understand the ritual is condemned.”

Jim wasn’t sure if Bert was really paying attention to him or not. He seemed more fixated on his scotch, continuously swirling it for a rather unnecessary amount of time. Finally a smirk popped up in the corner of his mouth while he closed his eyes and slowly shook his head. No sooner had he tapped his glass on the bar, than the remainder of the highland malt flowed down the hatch.

Having nothing to focus on anymore, Bert’s gaze finally met Jim’s. “Let them suffer the consequences that come from abuse of sacred things and their ignorance.” There was a strong sense of contempt in his voice. “Knowledge and practice of the spiritual mysteries requires that we, who know better, must withdraw to keep it sacred. Otherwise, we’ll also suffer heavily by continuing to be involved in those abuses.” He signaled the barkeep for a top up.

Lit Cigar resting on Glass of Whiskey and Ice cubes

Bert took his revitalized 8 ball in one hand, his stoked cigar in the other, leaned back in his bar chair and sighed. “Eventually, some will come to seek and find us out to rediscover what everything is supposed to be and why.” He winked at Jim once again. “Where was I first prepared to be made a Mason? In my heart, where it counts. Not in a Lodge surrounded by naive fools. Same as you. I’m still a Mason, but I’m offended to be called such by the sham of the human organizations that are becoming irregular and wrong. And hanging in there to ‘change them from the inside’ won’t work, it just corrupts us too. That be my thoughts on it,” he chuckled, as he puffed away on his stogie.

Jim couldn’t help but agree with Bert’s words. They both knew Masonry wasn’t original in many ways, from their copycat Noachite rituals to the likeness of the Druids and the constant references they made to the Knights Templar. After all, they were brothers of several other fraternities, including the Rosicrucians, Golden Dawn and the O.T.O. as well. Of course, Masonry was an amazing organization, but Jim and Bert both believed that brothers were told only half truths in the blue lodge. To them, being a part of those other orders helped them to understand why they did certain things in masonic ritual.

“It’s a habit,” Jim replied. “I wouldn’t say I enjoy it. We run a small study circle where we research forgotten orders and rituals. I get more from that than I do from Freemasonry.”

Bert nodded. “I did the same with my study of other Scottish rituals and comparisons. Found I didn’t want to go to lodge because I could predict everything,” he chuckled again. “Then again, study and practice of Kabbalah has a side effect of being able to instantly recognize and predict systems.”

Jim simply dismissed this notion. He really felt that despite being so wise, Bert could really be a pompous ass at times. He continued to try and make his point, “The thing that gets me, is that Freemasonry teaches us to look within. To assess our own faults and failings. ‘The internal not the external,’ that point within a circle – that’s us!”

Bert found it interesting that Jim had also woken up and was dissatisfied with the state of things within the craft. He could sense that his fellow Past Master was trying to figure out what to do. “Yep, yet you see everyone focused and discussing the crap on the outside, or dressed in their finery at their dumbass banquets, while faking the words of charity and remembering the poor,” he kept chuckling. “The outer actions defy and make liars of what takes place within the lodge.”

Indeed, the Past Masters felt that Masonry had become nothing more than a service club, whose mysticism had been removed, partly due to its many interactions with either the law or its members facing death. They knew the history of the Vatican, Hitler, and other instances which aimed to kill members; and that other groups had sprung up in Masonry’s shadows, being more discreet – ignorant masons all the while flaunting their jackets, para, and light on their bumpers. Personally, Jim and Bert loved all fraternal organizations. As Masons, they knew the importance of realizing that they did not birth this train of thought, but rather that they simply glorified and advertised it best.

Jim was beside himself. Even after all that nagging, whining, moaning, bitching, and complaining, he didn’t really feel much better. Such was life he guessed, as he chuckled. “You know Bert, I think we’ve gone far beyond the stereotypical realm of ‘Grumpy Past Masterdom.'”

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“Actually, I prefer the term, ‘Crusty Ol’ Past Master.'” Bert winked again. “I say do the same as done in every age when the mysteries were profaned, get mad. It seems to work best until honest seekers come after it again. I’ll probably be happy if I decide to leave the lodge.”

This disheartened Jim. He felt that Masonry needed someone as knowledgeable as Bert. “You know Bert, to employ and instruct the brethren in Freemasonry is the job of a master. It doesn’t say to ‘rage quit.'”

“Use it how you wish Jim, but how can one not rage against the dying of the light?” Bert winked once again. “I suppose we can disagree on this.”

Of course there was no problem with the crusty ol’ Past Masters’ disagreement. After all, that’s how they learned new things. Disagree, reconsider, contemplate, reconsider, so on, and so forth. They knew that at the end of the day, even if they disagreed, they’d still be able to shake hands and call each other brother, and both go home understanding more than they started with.

“I gotta go. Good seeing you again. You gonna stay a bit?”

“Yeah, I’m mentoring an EA. Should be here soon.”

“Ha, good luck with that.”

“I hear ya bro, I’m just not sure if I want to waste my time sharing sacred things to kindergarten kiddies anymore.”

They chuckled. With that, the Past Masters clunk their glasses together one last time, finished their scotches, and shook hands.

The departing Past Master nodded with a smirk on his face and turned to go. He paused and looked back. “I want you to know that you’re my brother, with or without some piece of cloth or number.” He sauntered out, unknowingly passing the newly initiated brother who had just arrived.

Now this baby faced apprentice was kinda stumpy and nothing save a bag of bones; he looked like he still belonged in junior high. Just barely old enough to be a mason.

The remaining Past Master motioned him over, ordered a couple more scotches, and slid one over to the apprentice while also offering him a cigar. “So Ben, how’s the studying going?”

“Well,” Ben cleared his throat, “I kinda feel overwhelmed. There’s the ritual and its symbolism of course, but I’ve also been trying to figure out why the masons put certain things in there.” He sounded like such a pipsqueak when he spoke with his mouse like voice. But despite that, the Past Master couldn’t help but notice the light in his eyes.

“Well Ben, I suppose I could point you in the right direction. You could try checking out texts like the Zohar, Hermetica, Book of the Dead, and Nag Hammadi to start with.”

“Oh, sure – I’ve already been looking into those.”

“I see. Well, if there’s anything you’d like to know specifically you can always ask me. For instance, why we knock on doors, why we invoke deity, why we face East.. you know, stuff like that.”

“Thanks, but I’m good,” Ben bluntly replied. “You know sir..” He paused. He was a little apprehensive. “Our ancient Masters, the Egyptian Hierophants, displayed their symbols and let them speak for themselves, leaving the initiates to study out their meanings. This they did upon the principle, that what is learned easily is not valued; and that little care is taken to remember an explanation which one can at any time have repeated to him.”

The little smart ass. The Past Master smiled. “Well then, I’d love to hear what you’ve learned so far. And please Ben, call me brother.”

Ben was a little embarrassed. “Sorry. Of course I’d love to share with you, but first..” He looked down at his drink. “If you really want to help, I sure could use some advice with a personal problem that I’ve been having in my life, brother..”

The Past Master was speechless. Suddenly, a flood of memories had rushed through his mind of when he was but an apprentice. He had almost forgotten that mentorship meant much more than teaching ritual, history, science, and the like. He was touched that Ben would come to him for advice.

They conversed on this and many other subjects, losing track of time and ending up much closer to each other than they had originally expected. At the end of the evening, the crusty ol’ Past Master had forgotten all about his anger, and felt revitalized in his duty to the craft. To think he had almost considered leaving, when there was so much labor to be done. He thanked Ben for his time.

“No Brother Pike, thank you. I’m really glad you’re my mentor,” replied Ben, as they shook hands and parted ways.

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3rd Quarter Update

July

Lodge Harry S. Truman held their annual Independence Day BBQ.

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Truman Lodge also presented plaques to The Duke of Tailors, Pak’s Mall, and The Clash for their constant support over the years.

Lodge Han Yang had a going away party for Bro. Lex.

Bro. Kevin met up with some of the Widow’s Sons in Ottawa.

Truman Lodge also held a Fellow Craft degree for Bros. Chris, Harold, and Jon.

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The Korean brethren of Lodge Han Yang got together for a family dinner.

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August

Lodge Harry S. Truman held a Master Mason degree for Bros. Ian and Jon.

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Lodges Han Yang and Truman held a joint Mark Master Mason degree.

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Rose of Sharon Chapter held an Acknowledgement and an Exaltation.

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Truman Lodge also held an Entered Apprentice degree for Bro. John.

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The Widow’s Sons rode over to the Harley Davidson shop and grabbed a bite to eat afterwards.

MacArthur Lodge held a going away party for Bro. Danny.

Truman lodge also held another initiation for Bros. David, John, and Gary.

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September

Lodge Pusan held their installation. Bro. Johan was installed as Right Worshipful Master.

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Rose of Sharon Chapter held their installation as well. I was installed as 1st Principal, Most Excellent Zerubbabel.

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Truman Lodge held their installation and for the second time, Bro. Chris was installed as Right Worshipful Master.

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Of course, Lodge Han Yang held their installation last. Bro. Kevin was installed as Right Worshipful Master.

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It’s also interesting to note that as a gift, Lodge Han Yang made a donation to the Korean Red Cross in the name of Bro. Martin, the Right Worshipful District Grand Master of the Far East.korrc

MacArthur Lodge held their Annual BBQ and Picnic.

Lodge Han Yang also held a Fellow Craft degree for Bro. Jay, while Bro. Greg visited from the Grand Lodge of Queensland.

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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.

apr 9

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.

apr 23

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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