ISSUE 19, October 2006
Historic: Rabbi and Mason
Travel: Morocco's exotic charm
Quarterly Communication: Address by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Working with Youngsters: The Grand Master goes fishing
Community Relations: Saying it with flowers
International: Spanish Freemasonry under the microscope
   Events: Grand Lodge Award; Royal Masonic Variety Show
Specialist Lodges: Masonry on the canal
Freemasonry and Society: A Churchman's view of Masonry
Education: Toast of the town and Events
Young Masons: The Universities Scheme
Library & Museum: The Freemasons's Tontine
Masonic Charities: The Grand Charity and NMSF and RMTGB and RMBI
Book reviews

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Flower Show delight Having visited the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, may I congratulate the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire for a wonderful garden? I thought it was a splendid way in which both to dispel some of the myths of Freemasonry and also inform and generate interest among the general public.

Jeff Auty
Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

(An article on the Cheshire Provincial garden appears on p28)

Sensible toasting
I broadly agree with Colin Pascoe (MQ, Issue No. 17) that the toasts could be shortened by making generic reference to Grand Officers and Provincial Grand Officers of Present and Past Rank (so as to distinguish them from those in the Grand Lodge above!) or London equivalent.
    This would avoid the rigmarole of naming them, which is what really takes most time. However, it would be a pity to abolish the toast to the Master, and his reply, which along with the toast to the visitors, is the centre-piece of the evening.
    For many, including myself when I was in the Chair, and then IPM, it was a rare opportunity to practice formal speaking among friends, and the confidence it gave me has been of inestimable value since in my business and non-Masonic life.
    The full toast list could be used at special occasions such as the Installation, or an official visit by Grand or Provincial Grand Officers, and perhaps at the anniversary of the Lodge’s consecration, the toast to Past Masters, Officers and Founders of the Lodge could be given.
    On a similar note, I think it would be sensible to keep within bounds (say a maximum of three or four and spread out between courses) the number of times the Master takes wine at the start of the meal.
    If overdone, this can be quite disruptive at a time when brethren are just sitting down to enjoy each other’s company.
    Why is it often the practice to take wine with members of the Royal Arch, of which I am a member, and not, say, with such as the Mark Master Masons and Knights Templar. If it is to be done at all, why not take wine with members of all other Masonic Orders recognised by Grand Lodge.

Nigel Blore
Billericay, Essex

Why repeat toasts?
I have followed with interest the recent debate regarding the formality of the toasts at the Festive Board. As current Master of my Lodge, it is evident that this is a matter on which we look to each other, and particularly senior Brethren, for guidance.
    Then there is the letter from Ken Connelly in which he rightly says that it is encouraging to demonstrate to new Masons, decorum, respect and acknowledgement of rank.
    This is the very reason we rise and greet brethren of senior rank with the appropriate salutes in Lodge, but do we really need to repeat it at the Festive Board, which should be the social end to a well-rehearsed and executed meeting?

Tony Pearson
Croydon, Surrey

Let’s enjoy ourselves
MQ, Issue No. 18 contains an article ‘Planning ahead for the Chair’ by Raymond Hollins. I have read the article very carefully and wish to give advice to those brethren whom it may concern: totally ignore nearly all of it.
    Masonry is supposed to be enjoyable – even fun. We are not an amateur dramatic society with members who can stand and deliver set pieces in a wooden, parrot fashion. We expect our senior members to be good, but not necessarily perfect, in their ritual. The odd mistake merely points out that we are all human.
    Festive boards are supposed to be sociable events, and wine-taking is often traditional and, in some Lodges with a specialised background, is looked forward to by visitors, many of whom attend because of the idiosyncrasies of the festive board.
    To advocate to junior brethren, with the stress of modern life, that they should spend ‘not months but years’ writing speeches just so they can shine at the festive board, is a sure guarantee that we will drive them away.
    I would rather carry on gently, guiding them along and enjoying their Masonic career more suited to the 21st century.

Harry Black
Solihull, West Midlands

Hele and thatching
I was interested to read Bro Russell Titford’s letter (MQ, Issue No. 18) on the question of “Hele or Hail.” My lodge – King Egbert No. 4288 – has traditionally used the pronunciation “heel”.
    From my limited researches there is good justification for doing so. In my early years as a Freemason I was intrigued by the word “hele,” having never come across it before.
    I found an application of the word in connection with thatching. To hele was the process of finishing off the eaves of a roof, preventing anything from getting underneath them. As Freemasons, we are aware of the word “eavesdropping.”
    The word “hele” is, therefore, logical in the context of “conceal and reveal.” And, when allied to harder materials, we understand the meaning of a Lodge being properly tyled.
    I believe Chaucer also used the word in the phrase “hide and hele things.”

Barry E Oakley
Stone, Staffordshire

   It’s Hail!
Russell Titford (MQ, Issue No 18) enquires when ‘hele’ started to be pronounced ‘hail’.
    It goes back a very long way. When I was initiated in 1955, my father, who initiated me, distinctly said ‘hail’, and since then in 51 years of Masonry I have never heard it pronounced any other way.
    More important, his ritual book, dated 1926, which I still have, has an explicit footnote against ‘hele*’, reading ‘* Pron. Hail’.
    The title page of the book reads: The Perfect Ceremonies of Craft Masonry. This may be considered as a correct edition of the working which was approved by Grand Lodge in 1814, and taught uninterruptedly ever since.
    This edition evolved some years later into the Emulation Ritual book, although the Emulation Lodge of Instruction itself did not produce a book until 1969. The compilers of that book are well aware there are differences in other workings. The Notes at the front explicitly say, “There are many other systems of working the Masonic ritual and many quite senior brethren take the view that the way they are used to carrying out the work in their own Lodges is the only correct way”.
    So it seems that in his Masonic career, Bro Titford has been mainly concerned with other workings – but ‘hail’ is nothing new.

Alan Hakim.
Havant, Hampshire

Hele and potatoes
I agree with Russell Titford (MQ, Issue No. 18). In the 1930s I remember hearing my father say, “I’ve got to hele in those potatoes.” I assumed he was referring to his heel. Many years later, when I became a Mason, I realised that he was saying ‘hele’.
    I have an old copy of Chambers Dictionary, in which the pronunciation is shown as heel or heal. Hele is also a hamlet near Taunton, and there is one in Exeter and Torquay.

Redvers Webber,

Emulation says 'Hail'
Further to the letter from Russell Titford in the July 2006 issue, I have just looked at two old ritual books: The Pefect Ceremonies of Craft Masonry for Emulation Workers dated 1938 and The Perfect Ceremonies of Craft Masonry, which was approved by Grand Lodge in 1814 and taught uninterruptedly ever since, dated 1926.
    In both cases it clearly states in the Rubic that it should be pronounced 'Hail', so it seems that in some cases this was the practice before 1959 when Bro.Titford was initiated.

James Jordan
Paignton, Devonshire.

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