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Masonic News & Views -- The Working Tools
April 02, 2012
Greetings Brother,

Freemasonry uses the working tools of operative masonry to teach its lessons, and it uses these tools as symbols to impress its lessons more indelibly upon the mind. If someone tells you that you should use your time wisely and to good purpose you will likely agree, but there is nothing in the lesson to give it stickiness in your mind.

On the other hand, if someone holds up a twenty-four inch gauge and explains that these twenty-four equal segments represent the hours in a day. And, that these twenty-four hours are to be divided into three equal parts. And, that in those parts are to be found eight hours for the service of God, eight for your usual vocations and eight for refreshment and sleep, then suddenly the twenty-four inch gauge becomes a lifelong reminder of the lesson to use your time wisely and to good purpose. This simple lesson is certainly a wise and serious truth and one that we should all take to heart, but like all things in Freemasonry the simple gauge has more to teach us.

What is a GAUGE?

A gauge is an instrument of standard measurement, such as a measuring rod or ruler for linear measurements. The idea that a man should make use of a standard of measurement in his life and work was a favorite theme with the Greek philosophers, who did not believe that a man should trust himself to luck, or be the victim of circumstances, or let his affairs go by accident. That theme stands close to the meaning in Freemasonry. A man can measure himself by rationing his hours; by setting his own skill against the corresponding skill of others; by setting up an ideal; by estimating accurately his own ability in order to avoid attempting what is impossible for him to achieve alone.

As an Entered Apprentice we are told that the common gavel is used in operative masonry to break off the corners of rough stones, but in speculative Masonry it is symbolically used to divest one's heart and conscience of all the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting the mind as a living stone for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. This too, is a great lesson and the gavel as its symbolic reminder is obviously a great choice, but why is it an appropriate symbolic working tool for the Entered Apprentice?

What is a GAVEL?

The gavel has two uses in Freemasonry. It refers to the small wooden mallet used by the Master and Wardens to rap on their pedestal in calling for attention or silence. The common gavel, or stone mason’s hammer, with a cutting edge on one side, is used to break off the rough edges of stones. Such a tool was convenient for giving a first rough shape to a stone, and for that reason it is an appropriate tool to put into the hands of an apprentice, who is a beginner, and who, at the stage of his initiation when he receives it, is in a position to do little more than begin the first rough fashioning of himself as he begins the work of becoming the man and Mason he wants to be.

Until next time, spread Light and delight wherever you go.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

Some source information from Missouri Handbook of Freemasonry, 2010.

Now, on with the news........................

Monday, April 2, 2012: United Lodge No. 5 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 2nd Degree of Freemasonry. Lodge will be duly Opened at 6:00 PM. All Fellow Crafts are invited in.

Thursday, April 5, 2012: The Ridgerunners Scottish Rite Club will celebrate Tenebrae (Extinguishing of the Lights) and the Feast of the Paschal Lamb with a Maundy Thursday service at Hazelwood Lodge No. 459 in Seymour Missouri. The Ridgerunners and Seymour Chapter No. 144 Order of the Eastern Star will provide a meal at 6:00 p.m. with the ceremony to follow the meal. The service and meal are open to everyone and all are invited to attend.
As Scottish Rite Masons we observe Maundy Thursday to honor its message and reconnect ourselves to its fulfillment. Fraternally, we love one another, and we extend that New Commandment the Great Master gave to all mankind, everywhere at all times. This is the meaning of Maundy Thursday. This is the message of Masonry.
Sunday, April 8, 2012: A service for Relighting the Lights will also be held at 2:00 p.m. Easter Sunday at the lodge hall in Seymour.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012: Friend Lodge No.352 will meet in Special Communication at the lodge hall in Sparta, MO for work in the 2nd Degree of Freemasonry. Brother Rob Turrentine will be presented for advancement to the degree of Fellow Craft. Dinner at 6:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, April 14, 2012: Friend Lodge No. 352 will meet in Special Communication at the lodge hall in Sparta, MO for work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry. Dean Jenks, who has been duly elected, will be presented for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry. Lunch at 12:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 1:00 PM.

Saturday, April 14, 2012: Anderson Lodge No. 621 will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of their Lodge Charter with a re-dedication and symbolic re-laying of the cornerstone. The Grand Master of Missouri Masons, MWB John W. Hess, will attend and the ceremony will be conducted by Grand Lodge Officers. The Lodge will be Opened as a Grand Lodge at 1:00 PM and the ceremony will commence at 2:00 PM. This event is open to everyone and all are welcome to attend.
Anderson Lodge is located at 600 West Highway 76 in Anderson, MO, and can be found on the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map.

Monday, April 16, 2012: United Lodge No. 5 will have work in the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry in conjunction with their Stated business meeting. Two candidates will be presented for advancement to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012: The Buckeye Ritual Club will meet at Central Crossing Lodge No. 674 located in Bridgeview Plaza in Shell Knob, MO, at 6:30 PM for fun, fellowship and education on our beautiful Missouri Masonic Ritual. This month's education will focus on Opening on the 2nd Degree, lost password, late arrival, Brother who leaves early, and Closing the Lodge. The Buckeye Ritual Club is centered in the 44th Masonic District of Missouri, but of course all Master Masons are welcome. The club will meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and will travel to differing lodges within the 44th District. Click here to see the 2012 schedule. Mark your calendar and plan on coming out to have some fun with your Brethren. The Buckeye Ritual Club is also on Facebook. Click here for the Buckeye Ritual Club Facebook page.

Saturday, April 21, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271, in Springfield, MO, will host a Concealed Carry Firearms class beginning at 9:00 AM at the lodge building, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO.

  • Cost for the class is a minimal donation of $75.
  • Participants must be 21 years of age
  • A Missouri resident
  • And, a U.S. citizen.
  • Each class member will need a minimum of seventy each of revolver and semi-automatic rounds.
  • You do not need to qualify using the weapon that you intend to carry concealed.
  • A limited number of weapons will be available to rent.
  • Class size is limited so a reservation is recommended.
Additional Information
Upon completion of the course you will receive a completion certificate signed by the instructor. You will need to present this certificate to the County Sheriff's office when you apply for the permit. There is a fee for the permit application, which varies by county but is approximately $100. This fee includes finger printing and the FBI background check.
Instruction will be by Jim Watson
For more information and to reserve your spot in the class please contact Joe Scola at 417-827-3958 or by e-mail at:
rampart713(at symbol)

Saturday, April 28th, 2012: An Evening with The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE)
Saint Louis Missouri Lodge No. 1 is honored to present The Degree Team of The United Grand Lodge of England. All Master Masons are invited to attend this Special Communication. The event will be held at Tuscan Masonic Temple located at 5015 Westminster Place, Saint Louis, Missouri 63108. There is a $40 per person registration fee which includes a catered dinner. Dinner will be at 7:00 and the program will commence at 8:00 PM. A suit and tie is requested. Some additional notes:

  • This is an electronically ticketed event with very limited seating, and is open only to Master Masons.
  • Each reservation must be listed separately to allow for verification of membership.
  • Please note that Tuscan Masonic Temple has several flights of exterior and interior steps, which are not serviced by elevators or other lifting devices, and might limit accessibility.
  • When you have completed your on-line registration you will receive an electronic confirmation.
  • Your credentialing packet will be mailed to you on or before April 15th.
  • Parking for this event is outstanding, and directions with additional information will be included with your credentialing packet.
  • For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Saturday, April 28, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will host a MoCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Masonic York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. At least 30 volunteers are needed to work this event.
For more information you may call the Lodge Secretary at (417) 425-0083. All volunteers must be signed up at least 12 days prior to the event.
For more information about MoCHIP please visit

Note the time change below:
Saturday, May 5, 2012: Friend Lodge No. 352 will host a MOCHIP
(Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the OTC Richwood Valley Campus located on Missouri State Highway 14 between Ozark and Nixa. This event will be in conjunction with the Christian County Optimist Safetypalooza. For more information on the Safetypalooza click here to visit the Christian County Optimist Web site.
To learn more about the MOCHIP Program click here to visit the Missouri Child Identification Program Web site.

Saturday, May 5, 2012: The Grand Master's C2A (Chance-to-Advance) One Day Class will be held today at the Masonic Complex in Columbia, MO. The day will begin with breakfast at 7:00 and the class will begin at 8:00 AM. This is an opportunity for all Missouri Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft Freemasons to advance to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Certain conditions do apply.

Saturday, May 12, 2012: Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422 will host a C2A (Chance to Advance) one day class to confer the 2nd and 3rd Degrees of Freemasonry on duly and truly prepared candidates for those degrees.
The day will begin with breakfast at 6:30, Registration beginning at 7:00 AM, Lodge will be duly Opened at 8:00 AM. The 2nd Degree and the first section of the 3rd Degree will be conferred before lunch, and the second section of the 3rd Degree will follow. The day will wrap up around 3:30 PM.

Saturday, May 12, 2012: The Missouri Lodge of Research continues the Truman Lecture Series with an enlightening presentation and discussion led by Masonic Scholar, Arturo de Hoyos. Worshipful Brother de Hoyos is the Grand Archivist and Historian for the Supreme Council 33rd Degree, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He holds the 33rd Degree and Grand Cross of Honor.
This event will be held at the Masonic Complex located at 6033 Masonic Drive in Columbia, MO. Lunch will be served at Noon with the presentation to follow.
Tickets are $20 and MUST be purchased in advance of the event. Purchase deadline is May 4, 2012 at 5:00PM - While supply lasts! Tickets will be mailed unless asked to hold them at the door. Get your ticket(s) by visiting the Missouri Lodge Research Web site.

As you can see there's lots of Masonry going on in Missouri. See the links below to keep up with the latest or to submit information for your upcoming meeting or event.

For more news of upcoming events and special communications visit the Upcoming Masonic Events page on

For a calendar of Stated meetings for many of the Lodges and Masonic bodies visit the Masonic Calendar page on

For help locating a lodge building visit the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map page on

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