True Secrets of Freemasonry

Those who become Freemasons only for the sake of finding out the secret of the order, run a very great risk of growing old under the trowel without ever realizing their purpose. Yet there is a secret, but it is so inviolable that it has never been confided or whispered to anyone. Those who stop at the outward crust of things imagine that the secret consists in words, in signs, or that the main point of it is to be found only in reaching the highest degree. This is a mistaken view: the man who guesses the secret of Freemasonry, and to know it you must guess it, reaches that point only through long attendance in the lodges, through deep thinking, comparison, and deduction.

He would not trust that secret to his best friend in Freemasonry, because he is aware that if his friend has not found it out, he could not make any use of it after it had been whispered in his ear. No, he keeps his peace, and the secret remains a secret.

Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs, Volume 2a, Paris, p. 33

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Grand Lodge Remembers a Past Grand Master

One of the benefits of being a Master Mason is the benefit of travel and visitation. Currenlty, I am on deployment in Charleston, South Carolina, a lovely, OLD city (as United States Cities go...) on the East Coast. Here is where the first lodge chartered in the United States holds their meetings: Solomon Lodge #1, Chartered by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1735, and holds their meetings in Orange Grove Masonic Center.

That center today hosted the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina in Franklin Lodge #96. One thing I have noticed recently, in my travels, is that the east coast lodges in the United States work a very different version of the ritual than that West Coast Lodges. This may have more to do with the Baltimore Convention than any "evolution" or "purity" of the ritual, since it appears that the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina did not attend the convention nor subscribe to its recommendations.

I mention this, because the opening ritual in the Third Degree is different from what I am used to, but also, in a strange way, very similar. Most Worshipful Gerald L. Carver, Grand Master and his grand line, together with the brothers from Franklin and Palmetto lodge opened the Grand Lodge in Ample Form and Pametto and Franklin lodge in due form. This means we had three of each officer at the stations. Very interesting.

They opened for the express purpose of the dedication and consecration of a Grave Marker for Past Grand Master, the Most Worshipful B. Rush Campbell, who served as Grand Master from 1860 – 1861. Most Worshipful Brother Campbell was a Past Master of Palmetto Lodge No. 19 AFM in Laurens. After opening the lodges, we adjourned to Magnolia Cemetery for the Grave Marker Dedication and Consecration ceremony.

It was a very moving day, and an interesting display of brotherly love and affection for a Past Grand Master who has been departed for almost 135 years.
May the blessings of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you do not mean Savannah, Georgia as the location of Solomon #1?

Theron Dunn said...

Quite Sure. Solomon Lodge #1 is in Charleston, South Carolina. That is what the register says... 1735 with a UGLE charter, the first in the United States, currently under charter by the Grand Lodge Ancient Free Masons of the State of Georgia.

Anonymous said...

My applogies Bro. I did not realize there was one in SC as well. I figured since Charleston is relatively close to Savannah that maybe you went to that one. Here is a link to the lodge website.
http://www.peninsulamasoniclodge.org/
Travelers_Corner/Solomon_Lodge__1/
solomon_lodge__1.html

Prexy said...

Uh, just a small quibble but how could this Solomon Lodge be in Charleston and under charter from the Grand Lodge of Georgia?
Also, if you go www.solomonslodge.org and watch the introduction it clearly states the information you gave in the post about being chartered in 1735 for the Solomon Lodge in Savannah.

Theron Dunn said...

I do not know about the lodge in Georgia. The lodge here, I am informed by the brothers, is the lodge that was chartered originally by UGLE in 1735.

Anonymous said...

Organized as a Masonic lodge February 21, 1734, it's first Worshipful Master was General James Edward Oglethorpe, English soldier, statesman, humanitarian and founder of Georgia who raised the Flag of England at Savannah on February 12, 1733.
Chartered by the Grand Lodge of England in 1735 as the Lodge of Savannah in ye Province of Georgia, Solomon's is the oldest continuously operating English Constituted Lodge in the Western Hemisphere. In 1786 the Independent Grand Lodge of Georgia was created and proclaimed by concerted action of Solomon's and the one other lodge then existing in the state. Solomon's was chartered as the first lodge of Georgia.

From eminent Masonic authorities we learn that Solomon's Lodge in Charleston is the oldest Masonic body in South Carolina. Solomon's Lodge received its charter from Lord Weymouth, the Grand Master of the Masons of England. In 1735, and recorded on the register of that Grand Lodge as No. 45, but on the Provincial register as No. 1. It was not, however, for some unexplained, reason organized until Thursday, October 28, 1736 when a meeting was held for the first time in the province of South Carolina

Theron Dunn said...

Thank you very much, you have given me good information, and something to research now. I have another month here, so I will see what I can find out, and will post that as a blog entry.

You have piqued my curiosity, thank you!

masontruth said...

Great article Brother Theron. Good to see that you are spreading Masonic Light and enjoying Masonic Fellowship. It is also encouraging to read of your positive Lodge experiences and of your travles. The Brethren send you a Masonic hug. Hurry up home and be safe.
Sincerely & Fraternally,
Manny Blanco,PM
Moreno Valley Masonic Lodge # 804
Moreno Valley, CA. G.L. of CA

Hal said...

As a Master Mason and SR 32 Mason I appreciate blogs and websites from brother Masons. Your Masonic readers will be interested to visit this blog post: http://www.cemeteryspot.com/blog/?p=119

Theron Dunn said...

I did a little research on the Solomon Lodge #1 in Savannah and the one in Charleston, and here is what I was able to find.

The charter for BOTH lodges arrived on the same ship. The brother with the charter that ended up in Savannah traveled overland, and opened his lodge, while in the interim, the brother in Charleston opened his lodge with the new charter.

Charleston, being the port when both brothers arrived, was closer for the Charleston brother, and hence his lodge opened (days it appears) before the one in Savannah, and there has been a good natured and brotherly competition between the two ever since as to which was the "first" chartered lodge opened in America.

Not having a dog in this hunt, I would favor simultanaity of provenance rather than arguing about days one way or the other.

And there you go.

Robert O'Reilly said...

My son Taylor O'Reilly is a mason who recently moved to Savannah Georgia. He is desperatley in need of work. He worked for me (I am also a mason 15+ years, past master) in my plumbing business. He is a quick learner, has incentive and iniative has worked as my apprentice. Does anyone have any knowledge of available work in any field?? Just trying to help him out while he is out pounding the pavement! He is 21, mature and ready to go. Please call him at 774-392-0868 or 774-238-2535 or email rizzie317@yahoo.com ANYTHING to help would be appreciated....

Robert O'Reilly

Robert O'Reilly said...

My son Taylor O'Reilly is a mason who recently moved to Savannah Georgia. He is desperatley in need of work. He worked for me (I am also a mason 15+ years, past master) in my plumbing business. He is a quick learner, has incentive and iniative has worked as my apprentice. Does anyone have any knowledge of available work in any field?? Just trying to help him out while he is out pounding the pavement! He is 21, mature and ready to go. Please call him at 774-392-0868 or 774-238-2535 or email rizzie317@yahoo.com ANYTHING to help would be appreciated....

Robert O'Reilly

Robert O'Reilly said...

My son Taylor O'Reilly is a mason who recently moved to Savannah Georgia. He is desperatley in need of work. He worked for me (I am also a mason 15+ years, past master) in my plumbing business. He is a quick learner, has incentive and iniative has worked as my apprentice. Does anyone have any knowledge of available work in any field?? Just trying to help him out while he is out pounding the pavement! He is 21, mature and ready to go. Please call him at 774-392-0868 or 774-238-2535 or email rizzie317@yahoo.com ANYTHING to help would be appreciated....

Robert O'Reilly

Robert O'Reilly said...

My son Taylor O'Reilly is a mason who recently moved to Savannah Georgia. He is desperatley in need of work. He worked for me (I am also a mason 15+ years, past master) in my plumbing business. He is a quick learner, has incentive and iniative has worked as my apprentice. Does anyone have any knowledge of available work in any field?? Just trying to help him out while he is out pounding the pavement! He is 21, mature and ready to go. Please call him at 774-392-0868 or 774-238-2535 or email rizzie317@yahoo.com ANYTHING to help would be appreciated....

Robert O'Reilly

 
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