Gold Token Night – May 11, 2018


A Gold Token is an award presented to a Mason in recognition of 50+ years of membership. It is a very special ceremony that honors our Brothers for their commitment and dedication in a half century of service to our Fraternity and to their communities.

As in any Lodge, a Gold Token night holds special meaning to both the members who are receiving the honor for their longevity as a Freemason, and for the Lodge. All Gold Token Night are an inspiration to its members as we honor the men who have dedicated their lives to our Lodges and Fraternity.

May 12, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Lafayette Events


Master’s Message – May 2018


A Century Of Health Care

One of Freemasonry founding tenets is charity. Giving back to the community is one of the basic supports of our institution. Every oath and degree references helping and assisting other members of society that need assistance. Members of our craft run blood drives, volunteer in soup kitchens, food banks, and other activities for those needing assistance. Are you aware that the Freemasons fraternity began forming hospitals for children in the early 1900’s? From a few small facilities in the southern United States, these hospitals are now found in several countries.

In 1913, a small group of Scottish Rite masons teamed with a group of physicians noted a need for a hospital for treating children with orthopedic conditions in Atlanta, Georgia. The original hospital, opened in 1915 could handle about a dozen patients at one time. Additional buildings were added over time and the hospital grew to handle 50 patients by 1920. The hospital changed its location in the 1970’s to the north side of Atlanta. The hospital merged with and is now managed by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

A similar chain of events occurred in Texas. In 1921, the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children opened in Dallas. The primary focus was treating children afflicted with polio. In time it expanded to treat other orthopedic conditions as well. This hospital continues to operate in the Dallas area.

In 1920, Shiners Hospital, based on the Scottish Rite Atlanta hospital, was conceived. Funding was raised through an assessment on the membership to create the first hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana. By 1930, twelve more Shiners hospitals opened throughout the United States and one in Canada. In 1945, a Shiners hospital opened in Mexico. Currently the Shiners Hospitals systems includes 22 locations.

Originally these hospitals treated patients for free. Based on real world situations, the hospitals now treat patients regardless of their ability to pay. Patient insurance, either public or private, are now accepted to maintain the hospital along with the continued donations received from their Masonic organizations. For over 100 years our fraternity has continued to operate these hospitals for those who need our help and assistance.

John C. Richards,
Worshipful Master

April 27, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Masonic Light


Lafayette Lodge at Rahway Food for Friends Soup Kitchen


 

On March 17, 2018, Brothers from Lafayette Lodge volunteered their time to help prepare and serve corned beef and cabbage at a local soup kitchen, Food for Friends at the First Presbyterian Church of Rahway. It’s always a good day to give back to the community that has been our home since we were established in 1824. Lafayette Lodge is proud to continue assisting Food for Friends at various times throughout the year!

March 29, 2018 at 7:50 am | Lafayette Events


Master’s Message – April 2018


Similarity – Universality

It has been my good fortune to travel around the world and meet people from different lands and cultures. I am always amazed at how similar we are. The mosaic pavement of good (and bad) exists in all societies. I thoroughly enjoy experiencing different cultures, traditions, and locations. When traveling however I am unconsciously drawn to what is similar to the east coast of the United States.

In a few short years, I have met a Kansas mason in New Orleans, a German mason in western New Jersey, an Indiana mason in China, and an Austrian mason in Peru. We had never met before but shared a bond that is unknown to a person outside the craft. We were excited to meet and shake hands because as Brothers we knew we shared our “way of life”. We knew we traveled the same path.

There are many religions across the county and the world. For those of us that live in this area of the United States we have the opportunity to experience many of them in some form or fashion. Common themes are shared among almost all of them; a supreme being, prophets relating the words of the supreme being, morality and sin. I have witnessed Masonic oaths taken on a Bible, Torah, Qur’an, and Bhagavad Gita. The only place I have ever seen these religions come together is in a Masonic lodge. This is possible, not because we are different, but because as masons, we know we are the same.

Similarities of people speak to the universality of masonry. When we enter another lodge for the first time, we look around and take note of what is the same as our Mother Lodge. We notice that it is not only the location of the chairs and alter, it is the sense of being home, safe and comfortable. We should thank our brothers for allowing us to enter but instead we are thanked for visiting their lodge and sharing their home. When we meet a Brother for the first time in the midst of society, we share that same sense of safety and comfort; a fraternal bond that crosses all geographical and philosophical boundaries.

John C. Richards,
Worshipful Master

March 29, 2018 at 7:41 am | Masonic Light


Master’s Message – March 2018


Sir Christopher Wren – The First Speculative Mason?

Sir Christopher Wren was a man of many interests and intellectual talents. After earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in science and mathematics from Oxford, he went on to make contributions in astronomy, astrology, agriculture, anatomy, applied mathematics and building architecture. As one of the founding members of what would become the Royal Society of London, Wren was able to debate and contribute to the discoveries of Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle and others. After his studies, Wren became a professor of Astronomy at Grisham College and later at Oxford. For nearly ten years, Wren continued to develop the Royal Society as a forum for the presentation and exchange of scientific and mathematical ideas and theories. Some of the era’s greatest minds conferred on topics like planetary motion, calculus, anatomical experiments and optics. His life’s direction changed after the great fire of London in 1666 destroyed more than half of the city. Christopher Wren was appointed King’s Surveyor of the Works and tasked with managing the City’s reconstruction. He held this position for nearly 50 years. Dozens of churches, libraries, and government buildings were constructed under Wren’s direction. Many of these structures are still in existence today and include Trinity College Library, Greenwich Royal Navy Hospital, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and Wren’s most famous work; St. Paul’s Cathedral. His experience with the craftsmen and their guilds entitled Sir Christopher Wren to become a speculative freemason with the St. Paul’s Church of the Fraternity of the Adopted Masons on May 18, 1691 – over 25 years before the formation of England’s Grand Lodge. Although not a craftsman himself, he was accepted among the brothers for his contributions to craft and society.

Sir Christopher Wren is buried in a simple grave in the basement of St. Paul’s. Markers placed shortly after his death read, “He lived beyond the age of 90, not to himself but for the public good. If you seek his memorial look around you.” A lifetime of work for the benefit of future generations

John C. Richards,
Worshipful Master

March 8, 2018 at 9:50 am | Masonic Light


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