ISSUE 15, October 2005
Editorial
Historic: Nelson and Freemasonry
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's Speech
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Hurricane Katrina: Grand Charity Relief Chest
Royal Arch: John Knight
Masonic Embroidery: A stitch in time...
Travel: Walzing along the Danube
Specialist Lodges: Martial arts
Library & Museum: The two Freemasons' Halls
    Anniversary: Jersey's Liberation
Anniversary: Dorset's 225 years
Obituaries: Lord Swansea OSM
Pro Grand Master: Whither directing our course?
Charmian Hussey: A Mason's wife on Masonry
International: The Grand Lodge of Israel
Education: Sheffield's big plans
Education: Forthcoming events
Education: The Second Degree
Masonic Charities
Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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Above:
The Fellowcraft must not fall into the error of considering it a halfway station
    When the ‘Operative Mason’ came to the end of his Apprenticeship, and his record was good and had proved his proficiency under test, he was formally released from his bond and became known as ‘A Fellow of the Craft’. The term that Freemasons, as ‘Speculative Masons’ use of ‘Fellowcraft’ is actually a shortening of the expression, and a Freemason is termed a Fellowcraft after having passed to the Second Degree.
     During the ceremony the Fellowcraft assumes its Obligations and is subsequently registered in the records of the Lodge as such, and can now sit in either a Lodge of Entered Apprentices or a Fellowcraft Lodge.
     Because the Fellowcraft lies between the Entered Apprentice and the Master Mason Degree, he must not fall into the error of considering it a halfway station, a mere transition from one to the other.
     On the contrary, it has the same completeness, the same importance and definite purpose as each of the others. Unless the Fellowcraft clearly understand its teachings, he will not obtain a full understand of the secrets and mysteries of the Craft.
     The Entered Apprentice represents youth standing at the portals of life, his eyes fixed on the rising sun. The Master Mason is a man of years, already on the further slope of the hill with the setting sun in his eyes.
     But the Fellowcraft is a man in the prime of his life – experienced, strong and resourceful, able to bear the heat and burden of the day.
     The Degree is the opportunity for the Fellowcraft to equip himself so that he may prove to be adequate for the tasks of adulthood, which life will lie before him.
     The ceremony gives him at least three answers. The first is that the Fellowcraft must gain experience from contact with the realities of life that surrounds his existence.
     A man gains such experience only with the passage of time. Each day he comes into contact with facts, year after year, until at last through his senses of seeing, hearing and touching he comes to understand the world around him, and how to deal with it.
     The second answer is education. This is symbolised in the Second Degree by the liberal arts and sciences. Perhaps during the ceremony the Fellowcraft is surprised to hear what is said about grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy and wonders what such schoolroom topics have to do with Freemasonry.
     The explanation of these subjects, like so much in our Order, is that they are actually symbols signifying all that is meant by the word ‘education’. It is our training by others in skill and knowledge to do or to understand the world about us.
     The third answer is wisdom. Experience gives us awareness of the world at points of immediate contact; knowledge gives us competency for tasks in the arts, professions and all callings and vocations. However, a man’s life is not confined to his own immediate experiences, which is so conspicuous in passing through the Second Degree. Throughout, the ceremony is a symbol of wisdom.


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