Tag Archives: Master Mason

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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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.

aug-6

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.

aug-18

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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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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April Update

On April 5th, Bros. James, Vic, Jaila and Adam were raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason at Truman Lodge.

On April 12th, OES PHA Washington and Jurisdiction had their Far East District Session at the Dragon Hill Lodge in Yongsan.

And on April 26th, there was a joint Mark Master Mason Degree put on by Lodges Han Yang, Truman, Pusan and the Rose of Sharon Chapter as well. Thirteen candidates were advanced.

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Justice & Judgement

Part 10 of a 16 part series regarding morals and conduct.

justice

Justice holds a scale. The scale assures fairness in all actions. In the marketplace, a businessman gives fair value and a true accounting. But resting by her side is Justice’s sword. Injustice should meet swift and sure punishment.

– Bro. Richard D. Marcus, P.M.

We are taught that justice is “that standard or boundary of right which enables us to render to every man his just due without distinction”. We shouldn’t take things that we’re not entitled to, and we should give to others what is rightly theirs. For example, give credit where credit is due – don’t take credit for something you didn’t do, for that is the act of denying justice. As Freemasons, we must never deny justice.

This virtue is not only consistent with divine and human laws, but is the very cement and support of civil society; and as justice, in a great measure, constitutes the really good man, so should it be the invariable practice of every Mason never to deviate from the minutest principle thereof. (Sickels, 1868)

Justice determines what is right and what is wrong. The true Freemason will always do what is right, and act upright towards all others:

The exercise of this principle incites us to act toward others, in all the transactions of life, as we wish they would act toward us; and as, in a great measure, it constitutes real goodness, it is therefore represented as the perpetual study of an accomplished Freemason. Without the influence of justice, universal confusion would ensue; lawless force would overcome the principles of equity, and social intercourse would no longer exist. (Sickels, 1868)

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Usually justice is depicted as blind, indicating impartiality. But in Freemasonry her eyes are wide open. In the world of the profane, justice is impartial based on the laws of the land. In Freemasonry however, it always favors righteousness because it is based on divine law. Likewise, we should consciously act in an unselfish manner and be self-sacrificing to do and stand up for what is right, while at the same time acting honorably towards others. A man who demonstrates this virtue is of high moral character:

Justice consists in rendering to every man his due, and is a virtue which gives an especial nobility and excellence to the character. Justice, indeed, is one of the glorious attributes of God himself. (Paton, 1873)

Not only does justice imply a strict interpretation of divine law, but it also reflects the greater good of mankind. For the Freemason justice symbolizes equality. We should govern our actions, be openly judged by others and never lead them into deception. We should do things not because we have to, but because we want to and adopt a selfless attitude.

We must do what is right, fair, appropriate, and deserved – all without prejudice. To give someone another’s due simply because we favor them more is unjust. We also need to remember to always settle our debts. To give something that is deserved, not just in the material sense but also in a moral sense. Equity, honor and fairness should be constantly practiced when dealing with others. It’s easy to look for weaknesses and flaws in others, but rather we should look for the good in everyone and believe that they are honest and sincere in their actions. Justice is balanced, it is not critical nor does it detest evil so much as to disregard man. We should be upright in everything and deal with others in a just manner.

As Freemasons, we’ve all been charged to be upright and act justly towards ourselves, our brethren, and the world – thereby showing others that we and our Fraternity are honorable. Not only that, but justice will also bring about truth and peace – inner peace, communitarian peace, and peace on a much larger scale as well. We need to remember to live by our Masonic obligations and morals in all things, and allow them to guide us within and outwith the lodge.

It’s also important to note that we cannot make sound judgments based on loose information. If justice is truly to prevail, then the truth needs to be brought to light in an appropriate manner:

You can never get all the facts from just one newspaper, and unless you have all the facts, you cannot make proper judgments about what is going on.

– Bro. Harry S. Truman, date uncertain.

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You can’t really make an informed decision about any issue when you only hear one half of the story. As Freemasons, it’s extremely vital that we listen to and understand each other, educating ourselves before reaching a consensus instead of surrounding ourselves only with opinions that we agree with. Truths and solutions always lie somewhere in between two opposing sides.

Another good example of dispensing justice in lodge is that of the black cube. We have to remember that there’s a difference between doing what is right and doing what we would prefer to be done:

The black cube is a thorough test of our understanding of the Masonic teaching of the cardinal virtue Justice, which “enables us to render to every man his just due without distinction.” We are taught of justice that “it should be the invariable practice of every Mason, never to deviate from the minutest principles thereof.”

Justice to the lodge requires us to cast the black cube on an applicant we believe to be unfit.

Justice to ourselves requires that we cast the black cube on the application of the man we believe would destroy the harmony of our lodge.

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Justice to the applicant–we are taught to render justice to every man, not merely to Masons–requires that no black cube be cast for little reasons, small reasons, mean reasons.

And justice to justice requires that we think carefully, deliberate slowly, and act cautiously. No man will know what we do; no eye will see, save that All Seeing Eye which pervades the innermost recesses of our hearts, and will, so we are taught, reward us according to our merits. Shakespeare said, “O, it is excellent to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant!” (Claudy, 1929)

When in deadlock, it’s better to concentrate on what is agreed upon rather than arguing over different opinions in order to move forward. It’s really not all that hard as long as we use some common sense to do what is right and do no harm. If something is questionable, whether it is lawful or not – it’s better to simply just not do it. As Freemasons we are charged to always do right. Our ceremonies and rituals teach several virtues to the candidate who we believe to have basic moral character and whose heart is open to the reception of those lessons.

There are few tools we can use to teach justice and judgement. For example, the gavel reminds us to ever be mindful of knowing what is right and what is wrong:

gavel

The Gavel, we are told, represents the force of conscience, which, of course, is the voice of our own soul, or as our ritual puts it “the voice of nature” and the “centre from which we cannot err”. It is this inner voice that is ever ready to warn us when without it we would err. If we let conscience guide us, and are prompt to heed it, we will find its voice becoming stronger and clearer with every day of our lives; but, if we fail to heed it, failure becomes a habit, and its voice will eventually become so weak that it is barely audible, so that finally there is no warning at all and its owner becomes a really evil person.

Conscience, like the Gavel, will “knock off all superfluous knobs and excrescence’s” so that the rough stone of our character will become the Perfect Ashlar fit for the Temple. (Henderson, 1996)

And then there’s the plumb rule, which teaches us to act with integrity in all our dealings:

plumb

The Plumb Rule is the emblem of integrity, and with the man of integrity we can entertain no doubt. We know how he will act, and what he will do, because he stoops to nothing mean or petty, a debt of a few cents is just as sure to be paid as one of a thousand dollars; where his attendance is expected there he will be. The man of integrity is ruled by duty and loyalty, and will never take an unfair advantage.

The Plumb Rule consists of a weight hanging freely at the end of a line; the principle that actuates it is the influence of gravity. No matter where it is placed, it always points to the centre of the earth. So it is in the spiritual world, but here it points unerringly to God.

A man of integrity does not envy the wealth, the power, or the intelligence and good fortune of another, nor does he despise those less fortunate than himself. He harbours no avarice, injustice, malice, revenge, nor an envy and contempt of mankind, but holds the scales of justice with equal poise. (Henderson, 1996)

And Also the compasses, which reminds us to have balance in order to secure good judgement:

compass

They are not drawing, but measuring, instruments and their function is proportion and symmetry.  By means of the compasses, a distance of one side of a centre-line can be readily marked off on the other side of the line, and thus the designer is enabled to maintain balance and symmetry in his design.

Symbolically, a balanced viewpoint and a sense of proportion are essential attributes of good and sound judgment and of the mature, sterling character which is our Masonic ideal.

We are told in our ritual that the Compasses “remind us of His (God’s) unerring and impartial justice.”

The ideal Master Mason is a well balanced and just man, and one in whom, to quote Shakespeare, “mercy seasons justice.” (Croft, 1974)

Knowing right from wrong and having common sense is naturally inherent in people as divine law that was given to us from the Deity. Freemasonry helps us to understand and put into practice its lessons and precepts. Using common sense and doing what is right should be our constant rule and guide when exercising judgement. In this way we can set good examples for our brothers and inspire them to practice justice as well.

Remember that we are charged to “neither aggravate nor palliate the offenses of our brethren” and to “judge with candour, admonish with friendship, and reprehend with mercy.”

Black Hawk Masonic Lodge. (2001). Cardinal Virtues of Freemasonry. Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Claudy, Carl. (1929). The Black Cube. Short Talk Bulletin, Masonic Service Association.

Creason, Todd E. (2012). Freemason Wisdom: Harry Truman On Judgement. Danville, Illinois.

Croft, Phil J. (1974). The Compasses. Published in MASONIC BULLETIN, BCR.

Denny, M.M. (2007). Freemasons and the Four Cardinal Virtues: Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude and Justice. Yahoo! Contributor Network.

Grand Lodge of Texas. (2001). The Four Cardinal Virtues. The Masonic Trowel.

Grima, Michael. (2011). Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. Muskoka Lodge #360, Parry Sound, Ontario.

Henderson, Kent. (1996). The Working Tools. Excerpted from “Masonic Education Course.” Victoria, Australia.

Marcus, Richard D. (2001). What Fortitude Achieves. Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, USA.

McEvoy, Norman. (2007). Four Cardinal Virtues. Victoria, British Columbia.

Paton, Chalmers I. (1873). Freemasonry: Its Symbolism, Religious Nature and Law of Perfection. London: Reeves and Turner.

Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum and Library. (2001). Four Cardinal Virtues. Florida, USA.

Record, Allen W. (2008). Our Cardinal Virtues. St. George Utah Visitation.

Ronayne, Edmond. (1917). The Cardinal Virtues. Excerpted from “Handbook Freemasonry.” Chicago: Ezra A. Cook.

Sickels, Daniel. (1868). Great Tenets of a Freemason. Excerpted from “The General Ahiman Rezon and Freemason’s Guide.” New York: Masonic Publishing and Manufacturing Co.

Taine, W.H. (2005). The Seven Virtues. The Masonic Trowel.

Wojtas, Bill. (2011). Justice, Brotherhood and Truth. Chicago, Illinois.

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