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Algoma District Travelling Square

 

FIRST IN MILLENNIUM - May 04, 2000

   

PRESENTED TO: THUNDER BAY LODGE A.F. & A.M. No. 618 BY CONNAUGHT LODGE A.F. & A.M. No. 511

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO

 

While researching the Traveling Square, I discovered in a loose leafed notebook that accompanies the Square wherever it journeys, certain interesting facts about its origin and history which have gone unmentioned for some time.  So, since this is the first time the Square will be traveling in the new millennium, I thought it would be fitting to go over some of this information with you.

 

It appears that the Square first started its trek on May 12th, 1958 with a presentation to Superior Lodge No. 672 by Bro. James C. Scott with a quote stating “It is hoped that the Square may not rest in any lodge for too long, but be carried throughout the District to forward the cause of Masonic Education”.

 

The idea or concept of the Square was presented by Bro. Gavrel and many hands were active in the preparation of this symbol:

 

Wor. Bro. Smith took up the concept and paved the way with Grand Lodge while Bros Langtree secured the rude material, Wor. Bro. Law and Bro. Brennen made sure that the finished product was worthy to be used for its present purpose.

 

The Square was made in the shape of the old “Gallows Square” as it was believed that the gallows square hung in the centre of Lodge long before the letter “G”.  Also the gallows square is the original form of the Hebrew “ghimmel” which corresponds with our English “G” and therefore symbolizes the Fountainhead of all our knowledge as well as the Grand Science upon which Masonry is founded.

 

Accompanying the Square is a loose leafed binder in remarkable good shape considering there’s no mention of replacement in its 40 plus years of existence.  This binder is filled with all the topics of discussion which were passed on with the square during its presentations to the subsequent lodges.  Some of the titles to the topics were - The Four Tassels, The Wages of the Entered Apprentice, Polishing the Stone, Sounding Brass and Tinkling Cymbal, and many, many more.

 

On Oct. 5, 1971 W. Bro. Hearnden on behalf of W. Master Hanson of Connaught Lodge addressed Shuniah Lodge with a speech titled “Toward 2017 The Future of Masonry”.  He spoke about the how it would not be long before they marked the 21st Century and celebrated the New Year by turning over a new millennium.  And that the measuring of time may or may not influence the “tide of man’s affairs” or mark precisely any significantly changes be they historical, cultural or technological but it does provide convenient reference points from which we measure progress or change with respect to the present and from which historians, philosophers, science-fiction writers or politicians may extrapolate their visions of a glowing or gloomy future.  Some predictions that W. Bros Hearnden included in an excerpt from the book “The Technological Society” were by the year 2000: voyages to the moon would be commonplace, all food would be synthetic, the world’s population would have increased fourfold, disease as well as famine would be eliminated, and the problems of energy production would be resolved.  One of the most remarkable predictions concerned the transformation of educational methods; knowledge would be stored in electronic banks and transmitted directly into the human brain by means of coded electronic messages.

 

His comments on Masonry in the future were not as optimistic, fearing that the advances in technology would leave the Masonic Order behind as an aging institution of no worth to a society involved in the fast paced lifestyle that future technology would generate.  He believed the aura of secrecy and the unspoken promise of security would not be the future attraction to the Order as it was in the past and that more involved trends of recruitment and retention of members must be incorporated now.

 

The binder is filled with many stories of great interest, which made it quite difficult for me as I found myself reading over many of them while preparing this speech.  As well as the writing those old stained pages contain the many names of members who attended presentations such as this one and a list of distinguished presenters from the various lodges throughout the district.

 

So in conclusion and in keeping with tradition that the square not rest in any one lodge for too long, it is my pleasure to present The Travelling Square on its first journey of the new millennium to W. Bro. Jack Wallace of Thunder Bay Lodge No. 618 the oldest standing master in the first year of as new century.

 

Presented by W. Bro. Grant Poulin