Grand Lodge Office Staff to work from home beginning Friday, March 20th, 2020

Brethren,

Due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the State of Washington and in an attempt to help stop the spread of the virus, the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge Elected Officers have decided that the Grand Lodge office will be closed beginning Friday, March 20, 2020 until further notice. We will continue to work from home assisting the Brethren and Lodges.  However, this means that we will not be answering the phones at the Grand Lodge office and we will not be sending out orders for supplies and awards until further notice.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact either myself, Clayton LaVigne or Lynne Blaylock at either grandsecretary@freemason-wa.org; clayton@freemason-wa.org; or lynneb@freemason-wa.org.  Please be patient with the staff during these trying times.  We are all in this together and we will get through this together.  Remember that every human being has a claim on your kind offices. Please stay safe and healthy.

Fraternally,

Clint Brown

Grand Secretary

Freemasonry Around the World: Romania

Romania remains a mystery for most US citizens. Americans I speak to often only recognize it for romantic connections to Transylvania and the mistaken association to the Gypsies referred to as Romanis. Beyond these stories lays a country that has been a battleground between western and eastern empires throughout ancient history and in it’s more recent era was formed by a global community of intellectuals who had to sacrifice their lives for their civil rights and equal freedoms. The modern day country of Romania is only the current state of boundaries and people who’ve undergone many changes in governance and cultural revolution. Along with these changes Freemasons have ebbed and flowed through the fabric of its history. The list of famous Romanian Freemasons may not be household names here in the US, however a brief survey reveals a consistent theme of writers, philosophers, scientists, and politicians who were the most respected men of their time.

Records support that it was 1734 when Romania founded its first two Masonic lodges, which was only 17 years after the founding of the Grand Lodge of England. The two lodges, Loggia di Galazzi and Iaşi, were consecrated at a time when the country was still divided into the two Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The first Worshipful Master of Iaşi was the then-current reigning Lord of Moldova, Constantin Mavrocordat. For several decades Lords of the principalities would act as Masters or Brethren in the growing number of lodges. Many foreign dignitaries brought with them Masonry from surrounding territories and were among some of the most prominent members of the court until in 1777 the Turkish leadership, critical of Masonic egalitarian ideals, ordered the dethroning and murder of the then Moldovan Lord Grigore Ghica III. This marked the beginning of a new era in Romania where Freemasons were repressed, arrested, and convicted of crimes against the state. Many Masons were exiled or even executed in this period, however the Fraternity continued to inspire higher thoughts and greater deeds such as the efforts of Horea and Cloşca, who led the uprising that resulted in the abolition of serfdom in 1785 and was one of many events happening throughout Europe’s enlightenment preceding The French Revolution.

Even as Romania emerged from this dark period of Freemasonry in the early 1900’s, it can be hard to decipher the shadow of rumor from the light of truth. It’s stated that on the morning of the Paris Peace Conference in 1918, that sanctioned the internationally recognized union of Transylvania and Romania, that five members of the Romanian delegation became Freemasons or more ambiguously “received light” according to the minutes of the lodge workshop. This event is even more notable in consideration that Freemasonry had been suspended in neighboring countries including Hungary, its closest neighbor. Despite a revival of the brotherhood the most destructive event was yet to come when the Soviets imposed a communist regime in the country that outlawed Masonry and in 16 years from 1948 to 1964 shrunk the number of living identifiable Masons in the country from 1500 to a few hundred. The fraternity remained scattered and weakened until in 1990 The Grand Orient of Italy and The Grand Lodge of California with the assistance of the Grand Lodges of France and Austria reconstituted the first Romanian lodge leading to re-consecration of the Supreme Council of Romania, Portugal, and Poland in 1993. As a testament to the importance that Freemasons have had on the history of Romania, the then President of Romania, Ion Iliescu, made a speech in 2003 that declared once and for all the Fraternity’s lasting influence.

“…In particular, Masonry has contributed to the establishment of modern Romania and its unitary statehood. Yet, these facts were kept hidden in Romania for the last 50 years… In the context of globalization today, the future of a modern and civilized nation cannot be viewed outside dialogue. We need as many bridges as possible to facilitate cultural exchange. Freemasonry is part of this process. It is a communicating vessel for all the forces willing to work for the welfare of the Romanian nation, its development, and full assertion.” – Ion Iliescu

In today’s Romanian Fraternity there are similar requirements of candidates to those used here; Men age 21 and older (or 18 years if children of Masons) of any ethnic and religious background of good reputation, a belief in the immortality of the soul and in Divinity, generically called the Great Architect of the Universe, and the choice to join being of your own free will and accord. In contrast to the US, but aligned with many European lodges, is the request for a professional resume upon submission of an application. From the collected experiences of this author throughout European countries I’ve been convinced that this request is made to maintain the emphasis to bring men into the Fraternity who value education and action to support their promise to seek light and provide the duties of their kind offices to all.

Currently there are seven Grand Lodges operating in Romania, including a Grand Lodge for female Freemasons. To best understand which lodges we are in current Amity with please contact your Grand Lodge who can give the proper and recognized process for travel and Masonic correspondence.

WB:. Seann Maria, St. John’s Lodge #9

 

  1. https://www.masonicforum.ro/no-55/ruslan-sevcenco-the-history-of-masonry-in-moldova-1733-1812/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry_in_Romania
  3. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2644263
  4. https://www.galilei.hu/sajto/roman.html

Levi’s Uncles – Freemasons supporting the search for a cure to Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. An additional 10 million people — about one in every 31 Americans — are symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene.

When the Brothers of Washington Lodge No. 4 became aware that my son, Levi, has CF, and of the annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation GREAT STRIDES fundraiser, one Brother suggested gathering Masonic support of the worthy cause within District 19 for their Masonic “nephew”. Quickly thereafter, it was suggested that Freemasons participating in the event be identified as “Levi’s Uncles”.

Since 2011, Freemasons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Washington, Grand Lodge of Oregon, and Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction have participated in the event.

This year’s event will take place at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA on Saturday, May 13th. The event is on the Grand Master’s calendar, and we hope to see Masons from around the state in Vancouver this year.

The 5K walk follows a pleasant route beginning at the park and running along the waterfront of the Columbia River. Participants can walk all or part of the route, or simply enjoy the pleasant park environment.

If you are able to attend this family friendly event, you are encouraged to register as part of Levi’s Team at http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/Levis_Team_2017.

NOTE: There is no registration fee, nor is one required to fundraise to participate in the event.

You can learn more about CF and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at https://www.cff.org/

The Grand Standard of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington

The record of the 1877 proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Washington includes a report presented by Bro. T. M. Reed, for the special committee appointed to procure a Grand Lodge Banner, and Jewels and Aprons for the Grand Lecturer and Grand Chaplain:

To M. W. Grand Lodge of Washington:

The special committee appointed near the close of our last Annual Grand Communication, and authorized to procure a Grand Lodge Banner, having suitable design and inscriptions, for the use of this Grand Lodge, and also, to procure suitable Regalia and Jewels for the offices of Grand Lecturer and Grand Chaplain, respectively report that they have discharged the duties assigned them. Before purchasing the Banner your committee corresponded with various Masonic furnishing establishments in the East, and one of our members made it a special point while on a recent visit to San Francisco, and the Atlantic cities, to elicit such information as would aid the committee in the choice of a Banner of such style, quality and price, as would meet the desires and be alike creditable and pleasing to the Grand Lodge. Your committee flatter themselves they have succeeded, and feel assured the result of their labors will be satisfactory to the Grand Lodge. The Banner cost $150, to which add Express charges of $15.30 making a total of $165.30. It was manufactured at the well known establishment of J. D. Caldwell & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. The description of the Banner is as follows: Size 56×40 inches; double white silk ground; ornamented by blue top skirt, differing in style on either side; on front side, painted Grand Lodge Seal, solid gold device and lettering in back, the corners embellished and ornamented with appropriate scroll designs – blue on top skirting border, the word “ALKI” our Territorial motto. Reverse side – white silk ground blue top skirt, painted on body of Banner a large shield representing the lion, the ox, the man and the eagle, the shield encircled by a wreath of variegated colors. The words “Grand Lodge of Washington” encircling the whole device on reverse side. Two and a half inch gold fringe, with gold tassels around the margin of Banner and skirting; metal top piece, jointed staff, roller, gold cord and tassels, &c.

The Jewels and Regalia cost $34, including Express charges, bill for which, including the Banner, are herewith presented, the whole having been paid by the Grand Secretary, and charged in his incidental expense account.

Fraternally submitted,

J. R. Hayden,

P. A. Preston,

T. M. Reed,

Committee

Today’s Grand Standard retains many of the features described on the 1877 Banner.

The Grand Standard of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, F&AM of Washington measures approximately 25” wide and 42” long, and is rich in both color and Masonic symbolism. The rod upon which it is carried is nearly 94” long, inclusive of the 8” brass spear point at the top.

The art and science of devising, displaying, and granting armorial insignia and of tracing and recording genealogies is referred to as heraldry. The primary mechanism to display the heraldic devices is on an escutcheon or shield.iModern heraldry often adds a motto displayed on a ribbon.

Dexter and sinister are terms, which refer to the specific locations on a shield bearing a coat of arms. Dexter (Latin for “right”) refers to the right from the viewpoint of the bearer of the shield. Sinister (Latin for “left”) refers to the left from the viewpoint of the bearer.ii Similarly, chief and base refer to the top and bottom of the shield, respectively.

The obverse of the Grand Standard is a field of white, bearing the name GRAND LODGE OF WASHINGTON, a shield, a laurel wreath, and the square & compasses. Across the top of the obverse is a purple bib emblazoned with the word “ALKI”.

The shield of the Grand Standard consists of a lion on a field of red (Dexter Chief), an ox on a field of blue (Sinister Chief) an eagle on a field of white (Sinister Base), and a man on a field of blue (Dexter Base).

Royal Arch Masonry tradition teaches us that the symbols on the shield are representative of the “Four Living Creatures”, or the four principal tribes of Israel; Judah (the Lion, representing strength), Ephraim (the Ox, representing patience), Reuben (the Eagle, representing swiftness), and Dan (the Man, representing intelligence).iii

We read in the Volume of Sacred Law about the four living creatures in Ezekiel 1:5-11 and again in Revelation 4:7.

The colored fields upon which the symbols are placed also have Masonic meaning; red is representative of the regeneration of life, blue represents the vault of heaven and is a symbol of universal friendship and benevolence, and white represents purity and innocence.iv (York Rite tradition would have the Man on a field of purple, which is described as an emblem of union consisting of blue and crimson.)

The laurel is an emblem of achievement; and the laurel crown in Freemasonry is given to him who has made a conquest over his passions.v

The square represents morality, and teaches us to regulate our actions and harmonize our conduct by the principles of morality and virtue.

The Compasses represents virtue, and teach us to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds.

The motto, “Alki”, is a Chinook word meaning “by and by”. [“Alki” is also the Washington State Motto. Washington was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889, some 30 years after the Grand Lodge of Washington was established.]

Purple is in Freemasonry a symbol of fraternal union, because, being compounded of blue, the color of the Ancient Craft, and red, which is that of the Royal Arch, it is intended to signify the close connection and harmony which should ever exist between those two portions of the Masonic system. It may be observed that this allusion to the union and harmony between blue and red Masonry is singularly carried out in the Hebrew word, which signifies purple.This word, which is argamun, is derived from ragam, or rehem, one of whose significations is “a friend.”vi

The perimeter of the Standard is trimmed in gold fringe. The color gold represents light emerging from darkness, and wisdom.vii

The reverse of the Grand Standard is a field of white, bearing the seal of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge F&AM of Washington, crossed swords, and additional decorations presumed as ornamental. Across the top of the reverse is a purple bib emblazoned with the All-Seeing Eye.

Fraternally,

Gordon Johnson, Grand Standard Bearer

The seal of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge F&AM of Washington which consists of:

  • Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons
  • All-Seeing Eye (representative of the Great Architect of the Universe), under which is inscribed “Love”.
  • A Seaman holding an anchor (which is a symbol of hope) and an orchid (which is a symbol of strength), and the phrase “Exitus Acta Probat”, which means the outcome justifies the deed [Dexter].
  • A mosaic pavement (emblematical of human life) with three columns (which represent wisdom, strength, and beauty), three steps (which represent the three degrees of Masonry and the three principal stages of human life), the 47th problem of Euclid (inspiring Masons to be lovers of the arts and sciences), sun, moon, and comet (which perform their revolutions under the watchful care of the All-Seeing Eye) [Sinister].
  • Square and Compasses, under which is inscribed “In God is our Trust” and “Dec. 8, 5858” (Date on which our Grand Lodge was established).
  • Washington Territory

References from Volume of Sacred Law:

Ezekiel 1: 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. 10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces.

Revelation 4:7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

An Update From our Masonic Brothers in Brussels

.Dear Brothers of Washington, This morning I reached out to the Grand Lodge of Brussels, asking if any of our brother Masons or their families were harmed in yesterday’s terrorist attacks, and if the brothers from Washington could assist in any needs.

Both Facebook pages for Chevalier Ramsay Lodge Number 4 (the closest Lodge to the subway bombing), and the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium are managed by V.W.Bro. Michel Huyghebaert, who was kind enough to write the following update for us.

-Danny Done, PM Queen Anne Lodge 242.

“Dear Bro. Danny,

Here is some information about Lodge Chevalier Ramsay N.4.

Lodge Chevalier Ramsay N.4, was originally a military Lodge, consecrated by U.S. servicemen, under the Grande Loge Nationale Française in 1964 – when NATO was still located in Paris. In 1967, President De Gaulle invited all foreign forces to leave French territory, NATO moved to Brussels, and so did the Lodge in 1970.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.26.29 PMToday, our Lodge consists mostly of ex-pats working for various European institutions, NATO, lobbies, and businessmen. Our members are now from about 25 different nationalities. On our Altar rests the Holy Bible, the Torah and the Koran. On occasion, we’ve used other Sacred Books to obligate our members.

The Lodge is located on Rue Royale in Brussels, which is a very long avenue that crosses the center of Brussels, from East to West. On it, you can find Our King’s Royal palace, numerous governmental institutions, several churches, a synagogue, the Justice Department, the Museum of Fine Arts and the home of the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium, where our Lodge meets.

One of yesterday’s terrorist attacks took place at our national airport, called Zaventem. It is, in fact, the main airport in Brussels – and the biggest one in Belgium. The airport is located about 20 minutes away from the Lodge, and most of our members take it at least once a year, several times a month for some of us. The terrorists blew themselves up where everyone comes into the building. I understand one or more Brethren took a plane just before the attacks.

The second terrorist attack took place in a subway station that is right in the heart of the main European institutions. It is also at a crucial intersection between the only two metro lines. That single explosion caused as many casualties as the two bombs in the airport, as the terrorist blew himself up inside a subway car. That subway stop is only 5 minutes away by car to the Lodge building.Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.23.58 PM

Last week, a terrorist hideout was discovered by the police, which is only 13 min away from the Lodge by walk. Friday, they arrested one of the terrorists responsible for the Paris attacks, here too, only 10 minutes away. Bomb constructing materials, and several weapons have been found there.

Initially, there had been no report of Brethren or their families being victim of these cowardly acts. In that regard, we are very thankful, and our prayers are with the victims and their families. I’ve also not heard of any reports from the Grand Lodge, the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium. However, a widow of a victim became known to our Lodge in the days after the attacks, and is in need of financial relief. We have set up a GoFundMe campaign to support her: https://www.gofundme.com/tfwzcxw4.

Terrorism on this scale is a new thing for us, and we’ve never had to deal with this.

Yours fraternally,

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.29.17 PMV.W.Bro. Michel Huyghebaert. Past Master, Lodge Chevalier Ramsay N.4

More information about our Lodge, and its history, can be found at:

http://www.chevalierramsay.be/lodge-history/

We are also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChevalierRamsay4/

We will follow up as soon as we hear from Bro. Huyghebaert, as to any relief efforts we can contribute on an individual basis.

My Husband’s Masonry Enriches Our Relationship

By Norelle Done, wife of PM Danny Done of Queen Anne Lodge No. 242

My husband, Danny has been very active in his Lodge since he joined Freemasonry in 2009. Freemasonry has been a significant part of our lives, contributing not only an additional social circle to our lives, but also contributes an additional intellectually stimulating layer to our relationship.

I’ll give you an example…

Like any young, busy millennial couple, Sunday nights are oftentimes used to retreat with Netflix and a glass of wine. The other night, we were watching an episode of a comedy TV show called “How I Met Your Mother”, starring Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, and Neil Patrick Harris. It was an episode from season 7, where the characters are attempting to break up the relationship between Barney Stinson and his girlfriend, Quinn. The group’s antics are triggered after Barney tells his friend, Ted, that Quinn is a stripper by profession. Barney only tells Ted that fact after he swears to keep it secret, by raising his right hand and swearing with his left upon the “Bro Code”.

Here’s the screenshot:

Ted (at left) places his left hand on the “Bro Code” to swear to keep Barney’s (at right) secret.

At this point in the episode, Danny paused the show to comment on the scene and said, “You know, when presidents and other state officials take oaths, they put their left hand on the bible, and raise their right hand… in Freemasonry, we raise the left hand.”

Now, I should note that not only have we been married for 6 ½ years, but for the past 4 years we’ve owned and managed a business together. We work 12-hour days just a few feet away from each other. So it’s moments like these that I appreciate the input of knowledge that a) is not work related, and b) isn’t something we’ve talked about before. Intellectual, historical, and philosophical conversations stimulate and help build any relationship, and Freemasonry has spawned hundreds of conversations such as these over our years together.

In this particular instance, our conversation lasted just a few minutes, as we noted our individual knowledge of different methods of making oaths, salutes, and hand gestures in solemn situations. A few hypotheses surfaced between the two of us about the discrepancy of the use of raising one’s left versus right hand. However, the moment stood out to me as a minor epiphany; these side bar conversations are one of the reasons why I love that Danny is a Freemason.

By being personally connected to traditions and to an organization that dates back centuries, meanwhile still plays a significant role in our lives, we have a special opportunity among couples. It adds a layer of appreciation for pop culture and great conversations, and we’ve also been blessed with very different perspectives while we travel.

I venture to think the significant others of most Freemasons feel the same. While yes, sometimes I roll my eyes when Danny forgets that he already told me something that he finds interesting, or when he tells that one story about the Knights Templar at a party for the millionth time, I’ll always appreciate this added dynamic to our relationship. It’s a wonderful element brought to the table by the friendships we’ve made through Freemasonry, and also the infusion of relevant historical, philosophical and metaphysical ‘Easter eggs’ of knowledge that have become an integral part of our relationship, even in the casual setting of Sunday nights watching Netflix.

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

“RWB Ben Franklin” by WB Philip Rice

Presented by WB Philip Rice recently recorded in Franklin Lodge, No.5.  This presentation was produced at the request of the Masonic Research and Education Committee by Br. Dan Vorhees a member of Port Orchard Lodge, No. 98.  The presentation is one of several that WB Rice has created and presented around the Jurisdiction.  It was presented at the National Washington Memorial in Washington DC last summer during the Grand Masters trip to the Washington DC area.

Submitted By VWB Charles Compton, Jr.
Masonic Research and Education Committee 2016