The Try Square of Conscience

THE TRY SQUARE OF CONSCIENCE adapted by V.W.Bro Norman McEvoy from BROTHERS AND BUILDERS. By Joseph Fort Newton. The Holy Book lies open upon the Altar of Masonry, and upon that book lie the Square and Compasses. They are the three Great Lights of the Lodge, at once its Divine warrant and its chief working tools. They are symbols of Revelation, Righteousness, and Redemption, teaching us that by walking in the light of Truth, and obeying the Continue reading

The Trowel

THE WORKING TOOLS IN THE MASTER MASON DEGREE (Ancient Workings) Presented by V.W. Bro, Norman McEvoy Director of Masonic Education Victoria Columbia No 1 Grand Lodge of BC&Yukon (Canada) (2008) The Ancient Workings Ritual states “The Working Tools of a Master Mason are all the tools in Masonry indiscriminately but more especially the TROWEL” To begin, I will first provide you with the definition of the TROWEL as provided in The Continue reading

The Working Tools

The working tools in the Fellowcraft Degree, so it appears to me, the Square, the Level, and the Plumb-rule, are intimately related one with the other, and all concern themselves with one basic moral quality - honesty.  In the field of activity of the operative builder, architect, or engineer, these three implements are also intimately related one to the other, and concern themselves with a single technical quality - namely, accuracy, precision, Continue reading

The Skirret

THE SKIRRET. You are unlikely to discover the word “skirret” in any modern dictionary or encyclopedia - at least, not in the context with which we, as Freemasons, are familiar. It seems to have disappeared from the language of the operative builder.  But if the word has been forgotten, the instrument itself has not, and it is in as general use as ever. It is better known as the “chalk line” - a length of cotton string impregnated Continue reading

The Pencil

The Pencil, in the sense that it is the instrument of original design, is again demonstrably an implement of the architect or master-builder, the means whereby his inspired talents are set down for the instruction of the workmen and the guidance of the supervisors. On a recent visit to England, I saw, in a book, a copy of a beautiful drawing, executed in pencil on vellum, by the master builder Hans. V. Kohn, in 1442 - his design for the great Continue reading

The Compasses

Although the Compasses, together with the Square are said to “convey the abstract means and end of the science in the most clear and comprehensive Manner”, the symbolic significance of this familiar instrument of design is perhaps a little more obscure. To the schoolboy, the compasses is an instrument of two hinged legs, with a pencil on one end and a point on the other, which enables him to draw circles with a degree of accuracy he could not Continue reading

The Common Gavel

Presented by Brother Phil J. Croft, King David Lodge No. 93, West Vancouver, B.C. Grand Lodge of BC & Yukon (Canada) Pursuing the same metaphor, it might be said that the second great gift with which we are endowed at our birth is the gift of energy. Healthy children simply bubble and boil with it (as we grandfathers know all too well!) and if it be true that, in the words of our ritual, "labour is the lot of man", then it is also Continue reading

The Chisel

The Chisel, whose principal characteristics(so says our Ritual), are its smallness and its sharpness; what gift at our birth can we think of as corresponding in its nature to the “diminutive implement of exquisite temper”? Our Ritual itself supplies the answer-Perseverance, that human quality which says “try, try, try again”; which says “let’s have another go, next time the results should be better”; that very human quality in us which is Continue reading

The 24-inch Gauge

Presented by Brother Phil J. Croft ,of King David Lodge No. 93, West Vancouver, B.C. Grand Lodge of BC&Yukon (Canada) The first implement placed in the hands of the new apprentice, we are told, is the 24-inch gauge, or as we should nowadays say, the two-foot rule; that common implement in the hip-pocket of every working artisan. Its purpose, we are taught, is "to ascertain the extent of the work in which are about to engage, and to Continue reading

Working Tools in MM Degree (Ancient Workings) etc.

THE WORKING TOOLS IN THE MASTER MASON DEGREE (Ancient Workings) “The Working Tools of a Master Mason are all the tools in Masonry indiscriminately but more especially the TROWEL” In beginning, I will first provide you with the definition of the TROWEL as provided in The Lexicon of Freemasonry by Albert G. Mackey.  It is, in part, as follows; “An implement of operative Masonry, which has been adapted by speculative Masons, as the peculiar Continue reading

Working Tools of a Master Mason

THE WORKING TOOLS OF A MASTER MASON  The Working Tools of the Master Mason Degree, are the Skirret, the Pencil and the Compasses - characteristically and unmistakably the tools of the Architect, the Designer and the Master builder himself. THE SKIRRET. You are unlikely to discover the word “skirret” in any modern dictionary or encyclopedia - at least, not in the context with which we, as Freemasons, are familiar.  It seems to have Continue reading

Fellowcraft Working Tools

Fraternal Greetings Brethren In preparing this month's edition I have been grappling with the length of the paper I have chosen to share with you, feeling it was rather long , however, I have come to the conclusion that to split it would lessen it's message and impact on each and every one of us.  As such, it is now presented in its entirety. THE WORKING TOOLS - The working tools in the Fellowcraft Degree, so it appears to me, the Square, Continue reading

Chisel & White Gloves

Fraternal Greetings Brethren. Well here we are again at the start of a New Year, and in my Lodge, the start of a New Masonic Year, our Installation was on Jan. 5th. The topic this month is the “Chisel” and is the third Working Tool to be studied.  This paper was first presented in a 1972 lecture, however, 36 years later, I believe, it is still totally relevant. The Chisel The Chisel, whose principal characteristics(so says our Continue reading

The Common Gavel etc.

The Common Gavel. Pursuing the same metaphor, it might be said that the second great gift with which we are endowed at our birth is the gift of energy. Healthy children simply bubble and boil with it (as we grandfathers know all too well!) and if it be true that, in the words of our ritual, "labour is the lot of man", then it is also true that our God-given energy is the means whereby we accept that lot, and wield the Gavel of our Continue reading

The 24 inch Guage etc.

The 24-inch Gauge The first implement placed in the hands of the new apprentice, we are told, is the 24-inch gauge, or as we should nowadays say, the two-foot rule; that common implement in the hip-pocket of every working artisan.  Its purpose, we are taught, is :- "to ascertain the extent of the work in which are about to engage, and to compute the time and labor it may cost."  The first tool given to us as initiates, when we come forth Continue reading

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