Regular Meeting Of St. John’s Lodge No. 21 – 9 September 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Brethren,

The first Regular Meeting of St. John’s Lodge No. 21 since the COVID-19 restrictions went into effect in March 2020 will be held on Thursday, 9 September 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at the St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C.

Please note there will be some restrictions on this meeting. Here is an excerpt from the Regular Communication announcing this meeting:

“Brethren,

I am also taking this opportunity to explain to you the restrictions we have adopted at this time relative to the ongoing pandemic and Covid virus.  Attendance at St Johns Lodge , in keeping with the regulations set for attendance at Grand Master Official Visits, is restricted at this time to those Brethren who are fully vaccinated. This is not a punitive measure against unvaccinated Brethren, but a policy to ensure that unvaccinated Brethren do not contract the virus while attending one of our communications. It is also highly recommended that vaccinated Brethren consider wearing a mask while in the confines of the Lodge room.

It has been established in recent medical releases that the Covid variants can still be caught, carried, and transmitted by and to vaccinated people. In those cases, and depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine, a vaccinated person may have only mild and even undetected symptoms. But an unvaccinated person being exposed to the virus has a more serious result.

I will further tell you that this Covid response is being revisited by my Lodge to determine if there may be other options. At this time, however, the policy stated above is in force. The reopening of St Johns Lodge are subject to the orders of the Provincial Health Officer and any changes that may be made to the expected move to Step 4 of B.C.’s Restart Plan on September 7th, and any new and forthcoming direction from Grand Lodge in this matter.

Proof of vaccination will not be required. Brethren signing the porchbook are attesting to the fact that they have been vaccinated.

Therefore, any of you who feel that you cannot participate or attend the ceremony, please let me know. I will absolutely understand and accept your decision without question.

I thank you for consideration of this direction, and truly hope you all remain well and are able to attend.”

St. John's Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John's Lodge Historian)
St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John’s Lodge Historian)

 
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Brother Donald McLean – One Of Our Veterans

Deceased Brethren

Donald McLean (1870-1945) was a mine manager in Ladysmith in the early 20th century.

He enlisted, aged 45, in the Canadian army during the First World War, where he was in a tunneling unit on the Western Front.  He moved to Vancouver after being discharged from the Canadian army in 1918.

Corporal Donald McLean in Canadian military uniform, circa1916 (photo courtesy of Shannon Nadasdy)
Corporal Donald McLean in Canadian military uniform, circa 1916 (photo courtesy of Shannon Nadasdy)

Continue reading Brother Donald McLean – One Of Our Veterans

Regular Meeting of St. John’s Lodge No. 21 – 13 February 2020, 7:30 p.m.

The Regular Meeting of St. John’s Lodge No. 21 for February 2020 will be held on Thursday,  13 February 2020, 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C.

All Visiting Brethren are very welcome to attend. Please Contact Us for more information of needed.

St. John's Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C. (photo by St. John's Lodge No. 21 Historian)
St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C. (photo by St. John’s Lodge No. 21 Historian)
St. John's Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John's Lodge Historian)
St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John’s Lodge Historian)

Grand Master’s Official Visit To District 27 – 15 February 2020, 2:00 p.m.

St. John’s Lodge No. 21 will be hosting the Grand Master’s Official Visit to District 27 on Saturday, 15 February 2020 at the St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C.

Lodge will tyle at 2:00 p.m.

After the Grand Master’s Official Visit at St. John’s Masonic Temple, there will be a banquet at the Royal Canadian Legion, Ladysmith branch, 621 1st Avenue, in downtown Ladysmith.

Social hour will commence at the Royal Canadian Legion, Ladysmith branch at 5:00 p.m. The banquet will commence at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets for the banquet at $30.00 and are available through District 27 Lodge Secretaries.

St. John's Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John's Lodge Historian)
St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John’s Lodge Historian)

Here is a map showing the location of St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith:

Here is a map showing the location of the Royal Canadian Legion, Ladysmith Branch, 621 1st Avenue in downtown LAdysmith:

Here is a Google Street View image of the Royal Canadian Legion, Ladysmith Branch, 621 1st Avenue in downtown LAdysmith:

Masonic Education: The Angles In The Masonic Square And Compasses

At the Regular Meeting of t. John’s Lodge No. 21 on 9 January 2019, our Education Officer was asked about the correct angles in the Masonic Square & Compasses.

To answer that question for others who may ask in future, here is a diagram explaining the angles in the Square & Compasses:

The angles in the Masonic Square & Compasses.
The angles in the Masonic Square & Compasses.

 

Masonic Education: Albrecht Durer – St. John Devouring The Book

Our Education Officer came across this woodcut print by the German artist Albrecht Durer, circa 1498, depicting St. John Devouring The Book, as described in the Book of Revelation. The print originally appeared circa 1498 in Durer’s book, The Apocalypse.

Albrecht Durer print, St. John Devouring The Book, circa 1498 (Source: Royal Collection Trust)
Albrecht Durer print, St. John Devouring The Book, circa 1498 (Source: Royal Collection Trust)

Here is a short video posted on YouTube by the Clark Art Institute:

Here are some links to more information on Albrecht Durer’s St. John Devouring The Book:

Here are links to more information on Albrecht Durer:

Thanks to Vladimir Sterjovski for putting our Education Officer on to this print.

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Regular Meeting Of St. John’s Lodge No. 21 – 9 January 2020, 7:30 p.m.

The Regular Meeting of St. John’s Lodge No. 21 for January 2020 will be held on Thursday,  9 January 2020, 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C.

Among other business we will be Balloting on 3 Petitions for Affiliation.

All Visiting Brethren are very welcome to attend. Please Contact Us for more information of needed.

St. John's Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C. (photo by St. John's Lodge No. 21 Historian)
St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, B.C. (photo by St. John’s Lodge No. 21 Historian)
St. John's Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John's Lodge Historian)
St. John’s Masonic Temple, 26 Gatacre Street, Ladysmith, BC (photo by St. John’s Lodge Historian)

MASONIC EDUCATION: JOHN STEINBECK – EAST OF EDEN

MASONIC EDUCATION

At our October 2019 Regular Meeting, our Masonic Education Officer presented a paper on John Steinbeck and themes in his 1952 novel, East Of Eden

John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

John Steinbeck’s novel East Of Eden is centered around Genesis, Chapter 4.

Here are some online sources for the full Torah text of Genesis, Chapter 4:

    Here is the Torah text of Genesis, Chapter 4:
  1.    Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, and she said, “I have acquired a man with the Lord.”
    2.    And she continued to bear his brother Abel, and Abel was a shepherd of flocks, and Cain was a tiller of the soil.
    3.    Now it came to pass at the end of days, that Cain brought of the fruit of the soil an offering to the Lord.
    4.    And Abel he too brought of the firstborn of his flocks and of their fattest, and the Lord turned to Abel and to his offering.
    5.    But to Cain and to his offering He did not turn, and it annoyed Cain exceedingly, and his countenance fell.
    6.    And the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen?
    7.    Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it.”
    8.    And Cain spoke to Abel his brother, and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him.
    9.     And the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
    10.    And He said, “What have you done? Hark! Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the earth.
    11 And now, you are cursed even more than the ground, which opened its mouth to take your brother’s blood from your hand.
    12.   When you till the soil, it will not continue to give its strength to you; you shall be a wanderer and an exile in the land.”
    13.   And Cain said to the Lord, “Is my iniquity too great to bear?
    14.   Behold You have driven me today off the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from before You, and I will be a wanderer and an exile in the land, and it will be that whoever finds me will kill me.”
    15.  And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be wrought upon him sevenfold,” and the Lord placed a mark on Cain that no one who find him slay him.
    16.  And Cain went forth from before the Lord, and he dwelt in the land of the wanderers, to the east of Eden.Note that the title of John Steinbeck’s novel, East Of Eden, comes from Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 16.

    John Steinbeck’s novel focuses particularly on Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 7 but, before going into that, it is worth noting the implications of Genesis, Chapter 4, Verses 8 and 9:

    8. And Cain spoke to Abel his brother, and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him.

    9. And the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

    Cain obviously knew he had killed his brother Abel. So Cain’s denial, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” is clearly a lie. The fact that Cain lies about Abel’s murder implies that he knew what he had done was wrong, which in turn implies the existence of human conscience.After all, at this point in the Bible, God had not said that murder was wrong.

    So Torah scholars interpret this as meaning that, even without a Divine revelation that murder is wrong, human beings have a conscience which is able to determine the difference between right and wrong. This means that free will exists and people can choose to act in a moral manner. Freemasonry emphasizes the exercise of free will.

    But the key verse for John Steinbeck is Verse 7:

    7. Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it.”

    The first sentence is also translated by other Torah scholars as, “Surely, if you do right, there is uplift….”  In other words, doing good (i.e. right) is uplifting….

    The second sentence is also translated in the Torah as, “If you do not do right, sin crouches at the door….”

    This is about living a moral life. Habitually doing good (acting morally) leads to living a moral life and vice versa…i.e. Sin is waiting to take control of behaviour.

    This idea of habitual moral behaviour also appears in Aristotle’s Nichomachian Ethics:

    “We have become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts… It makes no small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or another from our very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference….”

    Aristotle (384-322 BC)
    Aristotle (384-322 BC)

    ´Note the connection here to the Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice.

    The idea of habitual moral behaviour also appears in Enlightenment works such as Adam Smith’s The Wealth Of Nations, published in 1776:

    “To become known as an honest merchant, one has to be an honest merchant…..”

    Adam Smith (1723-1790), author of The Wealth Of Nations (1776) and The Theory Of Moral Sentiments (1759)
    Adam Smith (1723-1790), author of The Wealth Of Nations (1776) and The Theory Of Moral Sentiments (1759)

    But the key passage in the Torah translation of Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 7 is:

    “Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it.[Italics added]

    That means that man CAN or MAY rule over sin through free will and, through free will, choose to live a good and moral life.

    ´In East Of Eden, John Steinbeck focuses on Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 7 by having a character called Lee, a Chinese-American man who reads Genesis, Chapter 4 Verse 7 and becomes obsessed with its meaning.

    ´Lee consults the King James version of the Bible, which interprets Genesis, Chapter 4, verse 7 as:

    ´If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. “ [italics added]

    ´This means man SHALL rule over, or conquer, sin.

    Note the key difference between the Torah (Man CAN or MAY conquer sin) and the King James Version (Man SHALL conquer sin).

    ´Lee then looks up Genesis, Chapter 4, Verse 7 in the American Standard Bible, which translates it as:

    “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”  [italics added]

Lee takes this translation to mean that God is ordering man to MASTER, or conquer, sin.

Note the key differences in these translations and their resulting implications.

The Torah says “CAN or  MAY conquer sin”;

´The King James Version says “SHALL conquer sin”;

´The American Standard Bible says “MUST conquer sin”;

´Faced with these three different interpretations of the same verse, Lee goes to San Francisco, where he consults the wisest sages in the Chinese community about the real meaning of the verse.

´The sages are intrigued and they spend two years studying the problem. They hire rabbis to teach them Hebrew so they can translate the original Hebrew text for themselves.

The sages conclude that the Hebrew word timsholin the Hebrew text means, “you MAY”, thus the passage means man MAY conquer sin, not SHALL or WILL conquer sin. This has significant implications for the idea of free will.

John Steinbeck explains the significance of this, through Lee, as follows:

´“What makes a man [i.e. what distinguishes man from animals]…A cat has no choice; a bee must make honey…[Man has a choice, and] these sixteen verses [of Genesis, Chapter 4] are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race…”

John Steinbeck concludes the novel East Of Eden with the word “timshol”, “you MAY”.

Here are some sources for further reference:

Some biographical documentaries on John Steinbeck;


John Steinbeck quotes:

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