Back to Back Issues Page
Masonic News & Views -- So, what is a Cable-Tow?
April 22, 2012
Greetings Brother,

Sorry I wasn't able to send out the News & Views last week. We had a CowChows family reunion, and after driving a thousand miles in two days I couldn't seem to get my head back in the game. I'm all better now, thanks.

When last we 'spoke' we were discussing the meanings of some of our Masonic words, and from some of the responses I received at least a few are enjoying this as much as I am. So, let's look at a few more...

What is a CABLE-TOW?

In Masonic ritual, the cable-tow is a symbol of a candidate’s connection with the world outside of Freemasonry before he takes the obligation. Some writers state that the cable-tow is symbolic of the umbilical cord, cut when love and care replace need for it as a means of growth and nourishment. The cable-tow is removed when the candidate becomes an initiate as he is then bound to the Fraternity by the stronger tie of his obligation. This symbolizes that the word of an honorable man is stronger and more binding than any material substance.

Ropes, cables, cords, strings, bonds, and thongs are interwoven with numerous religions and ceremonies. The length of a cable-tow is a nautical measurement that is almost universally now considered to represent the scope of a brother's ability.

How can there be such a thing as an Oblong Square?

Early in our Masonic teachings we are told that the form of a lodge is an oblong square. This statement seems to make no sense as a square can not be oblong in shape, until we remember that much of Masonic ritual uses ancient terminology.

Originally the word SQUARE meant any figure whose four corners were formed by right angles. Later the word changed to mean a figure as we know it, with four sides equal in length and with right-angled corners. The oblong square of olden days is recognized today as a rectangle.

Why do Masons use the term "Master"?

The word Master (from Latin magister, chief or leader, from magnus, great) means a man who is in a position of authority, as head of a household or institution. Related words are magistrate, magisterial, magnitude, magnum, master, mister, major, and majesty. In Speculative Freemasonry the word is the title of the executive head of the Grand Lodge and of the Lodge, and the name of the 3rd Degree. A man is the master of an art if he has complete rulership of his own abilities, and of the materials in which he works.

Why is the Master of the lodge addressed as “Worshipful”?

The word "worchyppe" or "Worchyp" is old English and means "greatly respected." In the Wycliffe Bible, "Honor thy father and thy mother" appears as "worchyp thy fadir and thy midir.” English and Canadian mayors are still addressed "Your Worship." In some of the Old Constitutions of Masonry there is the phrase, "Every Mason shall prefer his elder and put him to worship." "Worshipful," therefore, in modern Masonry continues an ancient word meaning "greatly respected."

Why does the Master wear a hat?

In ancient times it was customary for the chief dignitary to wear a crown or keep his head-piece on while those of lesser rank removed theirs. The Master’s hat is therefore a designation of rank.

I hope you have a good week, and the best way to ensure that you do is to spread Light and delight wherever you go.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

Some information sourced from the Missouri Handbook of Freemasonry, 2010.

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

Monday, April 23, 2012: Annual Election of Officers for Springfield Chapter No. 15 RAM, Zabud Council No. 25 Cryptic Masons, and St. John's Commandery NO. 20 Knights Templar will be held during the Regular Communication of the three Bodies. The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM and all York Rite Masons are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012: A Masonic and Military memorial service will be held in honor of Worshipful Brother Clayton P. (Shorty) Cooper. WB Shorty Cooper was a Past Master of Forsyth Lodge No. 453 and Father of WB Clayton Cooper, also a Past Master of Forsyth Lodge. The services will be held at 2:00 PM in Springfield National Cemetery located at 1702 East Seminole Street in Springfield, MO. All are welcome.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012: Friend Lodge No. 352 will meet in Special Communication at the lodge hall in Sparta, MO for work in the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry. Brother Thomas McInnish will be presented for advancement to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Dinner at 6:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM. All Master Masons are invited in.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012: Billings Lodge No. 379 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 2nd Degree of Freemasonry. Brothers Dustin Wells and Phillip Lucero will be presented for advancement to the degree of Fellow Craft. Refreshments will be served at 6:00 PM and Lodge will be duly Opened at 6:30 PM. Your attendance and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, April 26, 2012: Branson Lodge No. 587 will host a 43rd Masonic District School of Ritual Instruction to be conducted by RWB Tom Williams, DDGL 43. Instruction will begin at 6:30 PM, and all Master Masons are invited in.

Saturday, April 28, 2012: The Brethren of Bolivar Lodge No. 195 cordially invite you to a Pancake Breakfast to be held in conjunction with Bolivar's city-wide garage sale. Breakfast will be served from 6:30 to 11:00 and a donation will be greatly appreciated. Everyone is invited and all are welcome.
The Bolivar Lodge building is located at 301 South Killingsworth Avenue in Bolivar, MO.

Saturday, April 28, 2012: Mansfield Lodge No. 543 will host a Grand Lecturer's School of Ritual Instruction beginning at 10:00 AM. RWB Robert Floyd, Grand Lecturer of Missouri Masons, will conduct the school. All Master Masons are invited in.

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

Saturday, April 28, 2012: Strafford Lodge No. 608 will host a Concealed Carry Weapons class. For more information contact a member of Strafford Lodge.
The Strafford Lodge building is located on the NW corner of West McCabe St. & East Chestnut St. in Strafford, MO and can be found on the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map by clicking here.

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.

Saturday, May 19, 2012: Lamar Lodge No. 292 will host a Regional School of Ritual Instruction. RWB Tim Couch, Region 'F' Grand Lecturer, will instruct. Lunch will be ready at Noon and the school will begin at 1:00 PM. All Master Masons are invited in.
The Lamar Lodge building is located at 200 East 11th Street in Lamar, MO.

Saturday, June 9, 2012: It's time for the annual Good Times BBQ & Music event on the grounds of Sparta Lodge No. 296, 7702 State Hwy 14 East, Sparta, MO. Music will be provided by:

  • Uncle Fudd
  • Alta and Bob Courtney
  • The Lucky Boys
  • The music will begin at 2:30 PM so come early and bring lawn chairs.
The Good Times officially kick off at 3:00 PM and the menu will include Pork Tenderloin or Beef Brisket sandwich with fresh cut fries, baked beans, dessert, and tea or lemonade for a donation of $7.00 and kids under the age of 5 years eat for free. Things will wrap up around 6:00 PM.
There will be a small auction somewhere about the middle of the event. Several new hand tools and power tools along with various other items. Please plan on attending; don't forget mark this down on your calendar. Tickets can be purchased that day or you can call John Van Slyke to purchase in advance.

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

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:

Back to Back Issues Page