Back to Back Issues Page
Masonic News & Views -- What is a Cowan?
January 16, 2012
Greetings Brother,

This week we're going to take a closer look at some of the terms and phrases we so often hear in Freemasonry, but don't often take time to consider their meanings. For instance...

What is the meaning of "Fraternity"?

Fraternity (from Latin, frater), brotherhood, refers to an association of men who act toward each other like brothers. This brotherliness is the society's principal purpose. In the early periods of the builders' craft, local masons had an organization of their own called a guild. The Freemasons were not tied down to a local organization, but were free to travel about, from country to country; therefore their organization was a fraternity rather than a guild, Freemasonry has been a fraternity from its beginning.

What is meant by "Initiation"?

The word initiation is one of the most profound words in the whole nomenclature of Freemasonry. To understand fully the word is almost to understand one-half of the philosophy of the Craft. It has always had the general meaning of making a beginning, as when a man makes his beginning in life by being born. In his book The Fundamental Philosophic Secrets Within Masonry, W.L. Wilmshurst describes the purpose of this initiation thus, "...the fundamental hypothesis and philosophic secret of Masonry is the solemn fact that God and the human soul are in essence a unity, not a duality, and the sole intention of our Initiatory system is, by instruction and discipline, to bring about in each of us the conscious realization of that unity."

What is a "Lodge"?

The word Lodge refers to a structure built for a specific purpose related to the workers in the building trade. The early Operative Masons erected a temporary building for their own use when they began a building and called it a lodge and men who met in it were also called a lodge. To this day Freemasons call the room specifically dedicated for Masonic ceremonies and meetings the lodge or lodge room, and the same name refers to the organization.

What is a "Cowan"? What is an "Eavesdropper"?

COWAN is an old Scottish word, meaning an ignorant Mason who puts stones together without mortar, or who piles rough stones from the field into a wall without working them square and true. He is a Mason without the Word; the Apprentice who tries to masquerade as a Master.
The EAVESDROPPER in ancient times was the would-be thief of secrets who listened under eaves of houses (there was often a space between wall and roof, for the purpose of ventilation). Because to hear he had to get close to the wall under the eaves, he was within the droppings from the roof if it rained-- hence, eavesdropper. In modern times eavesdropper is that bold man who forges a membership card, or finds one and masquerades as its owner; the man who has read a so-called expose of Masonry and tries to get into a lodge, in order to ask for charity or help. He is very rare, and few Tilers have ever met him!

Hope you enjoy this as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us. Amen.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

(Source information drawn from compilations by the Committee on Masonic Education, 2010)


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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012: Ava Lodge No. 26 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry. Brothers John Gunter and John Mergendahl will be presented for advancement to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Dinner at 6:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:30 PM. All assistance and attendance will be greatly appreciated. 407 N.W. 11th Avenue, Ava, MO.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012: Billings Lodge No. 379 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry. Dustin James Wells and Aaron Michael Brown, who have been duly elected, will be presented for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry. Refreshments at 6:00 PM and Lodge will be duly Opened at 6:30 PM.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012: Friend Lodge No. 352 will meet in Special Communication at the lodge hall in Sparta, Missouri for work in the 2nd Degree of Freemasonry. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012:Announcing the inaugural meeting of the Buckeye Ritual Club!This month's meeting will be held at Monett Lodge No. 129, 501 13th Street in Monett, MO, at 6:30 PM.
Interested in Masonic Ritual? Want to learn more? Just want to have some fun? Well, you've come to the right place. 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 learning our beautiful Missouri Masonic Ritual.
The Buckeye Ritual Club is also on Facebook. Click here for the Buckeye Ritual Club Facebook page.

Tuesday & Wednesday, January 17 & 18, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry, and invites all Missouri Lodges to bring their duly elected candidates for the degree of Entered Apprentice to join in and participate. Lodge will be duly Opened at 5:45 PM and there will be refreshments.

Thursday, January 19, 2012: Billings Lodge No. 379 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry. Brothers Bradley Wayne Porterfield and Aeron Michael Borich will be presented for advancement to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Refreshments at 6:00 PM and Lodge will be duly Openeda at 6:30 PM. Your attendance and participation is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, January 19, 2012: Henderson Lodge No. 477 will have work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry in conjunction with their regular stated meeting. Jonny Tillman, who has been duly elected, will be presented for initiation into the Mysteries of Freemasonry. Dinner at 6:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:30 PM. 127 East Center Street, Rogersville, MO.

Saturday, January 21, 2012: All Shrine Nobles, Masons, Prospective Masons and their Ladies are cordially invited to the East West Shrine Game Tailgate Party to be held January 21 in the lower level of the Shrine Center located at 601 St. Louis Street in Springfield, MO. Doors will open at 1:30 PM and Game Time is 4:00 PM. The $5 admission covers Free Camels Milk and a Tailgating Cookfest & Wing Competition which will include Burgers, Brats, Hot Dogs and Nachos.

Saturday, January 21, 2012: The Knights of Seven Chapter of DeMolay will have a Chili Supper fundraiser at the lodge hall in Sparta, 7702 State Hwy 14 East in Sparta, MO. Mark your calanders now and come help support our Masonic youth in southwest Missouri. Chili will be served from 4:30 to 6:30 PM, or until it's all gone. The Chapter is only asking for donations, and the money raised will be used to fund service projects and help the Chapter go to Conclave. They will also be selling sodas and bottled water for $1 to benefit the building fund for Friend Lodge #352 in Ozark. If you can't make it but would still like to donate to the Chapter or the Lodge contact WB Philip Wood at (417) 766-3135.

Monday January 23, 2012: Zabud Council No. 25 Cryptic Masons will have the honor of receiving Most Illustrious Companion George Merkle, Grand Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of the State of Missouri during his official visit. The meeting will be held at the Masonic York Rite Temple located at 1930 West Catalpa Stree in Springfield, MO. Dinner at 6:00 and the meeting will commence at 7:00 PM.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012: RWB Wayne Beach, DDGL 34, will instruct on Masonic Ritual at the Masonic York Rite Temple located at 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO beginning at 6:00 PM. Instruction will focus on conferral of the Blue Lodge Degrees.

Friday, January 27, 2012: Springfield Chapter No. 15 Royal Arch Masons will host the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill. Get your candidates and plan on being at the York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO, that Friday evening for good food and fellowship. The conferral of the Order will begin at 6:00 PM and there will be refreshments after...

Monday, January 30, 2012: Webb City Lodge No. 512 will host a Region 'F' School of Ritual Instruction. Dinner at 6:00 and instruction will begin at 6:30 PM. Instruction will focus on the second section of the 3rd Degree using twelve craftsmen. The Webb City Lodge building is located at 401 West Broadway Street in Webb City, MO.

Saturday, February 4, 2012: RWB Robert C. Floyd, Grand Lecturer of Missouri Masons will conduct a School of Ritual Instruction and Regional Round Robin Ritual Competition at Monett Lodge No. 129. Lunch will be available at 11:30 AM and instruction will begin at 1:00 PM. All Missouri Master Masons are encouraged to attend.
The Monett Lodge building is located at 501 13th Street in Monett, MO.

Monday, February 6, 2012: United Lodge No. 5 will host a Regional School of Ritual Instruction at the Masonic York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. Instruction will be conducted by RWB Tim Couch, Region 'F' Grand Lecturer and will begin at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, February 11, 2012: Monett Lodge No. 129 will host a MOCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the lodge hall located at 501 13th Street in Monett, MO.

Save the Date! Saturday, February 18, 2012: Webb City Lodge No. 512 will host the 97th Annual Washington's Birthday Celebration with Masonic Degree work by three different States. The 1st Degree will be performed by Grove Lodge No. 187 of Oklahoma; the 2nd Degree by Pittsburg Lodge No. 187 of Kansas, and the 3rd Degree by Webb City Chapter No. 119 Royal Arch Masons of Missouri. The 3rd Degree will be done in full costume and promises to be most impressive.
Webb City Lodge building is located at 401 West Broadway in Webb City, MO. and the event will start at Noon.

Saturday, February 25, 2012: Republic Lodge No. 570 will host a conferral of the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill beginning with breakfast at the lodge hall at 8:00 and the conferral of the Order at 9:00 AM. This is a fun and patriotic Order that also serves as a fundraiser for the hosting lodge. It is open to all Master Masons. For more information on the Sword of Bunker Hill visit WWW.SwordOfBunkerHill.org.

On March 17, 2012, the Valley of Joplin Scottish Rite Masons will hold a drawing to award a new Chevy Camaro plus other prizes to holders of the winning tickets. Each entry is just $50 USD and there will only be 2,000 entries sold. For full details and to get your tax deductible entry for the drawing visit WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM. or find us on Facebook and "LIKE" the page at Facebook.com/WinANewCamaro.
We're a long way from our goal so please help spread the word. We truly appreciate your assistance.
And yes, you're welcome to purchase as many tickets as you like until the last one is gone.

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.

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

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

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

Thanks for subscribing to Masonic News & Views. If you know someone who might also enjoy this newsletter just forward it to them or send them a link to the following page:
www.masonsmart.com/join-masonic-news-views.html


Back to Back Issues Page