A candidate is usually told prior to his
initiation the form of attire that he is expected
to wear for the occasion. I advised my
candidate that he would require a dark suit,
white shirt and white gloves.
To my astonishment, his seconder said
he could wear the traditional morning suit
so frequently worn by Masters, Past Masters
and senior ranks.
When I was introduced into
Freemasonry, I was informed by my proposer
that it was not considered etiquette to wear
such attire prior to being a Past Master.
However, the last few years have seen
something of a Masonic fashion trend.
To my knowledge UGLE does not offer
a dress code to guide us on this issue.
Bring ‘hele’ to heel
I have read with interest the various
comments made in recent letters to MQ
regarding the word ‘hele’ in the Craft
Obligation. In the Province of Leicestershire
and Rutland the booklet Guidance on Craft
“Although most books of ritual state that
the word ‘hele’ should be pronounced ‘hail’,
the correct pronunciation is ‘heel’ (Oxford
English Dictionary). It is an old English word
derived from the Saxon ‘helan’ (to hide or
cover or to conceal) and it is still used in its
practical sense by gardeners in many parts
of the country”.
The Oxford English Dictionary is quite
clear on this point and this pronunciation
is confirmed by Dr. E.H. Cartwright in his
book on Masonic ritual. Chaucer used the
word in the 14th century, intending it to
rhyme ‘conceal’ and ‘reveal’. Sadly, many
Masters seem slavishly to follow the
Emulation ritual these days.
Brethren who use the Internet can go
to Google and type in ‘Oxford Dictionary –
hele’ where they will find a full explanation,
giving the historical background to the word,
its use in the context of Masonry and why,
when and how the mispronunciation arose.
Perhaps we should also give some thought
to the poor candidate in a state of darkness
when he hears, in his unenlightened state,
that he has to ‘always hail’ (in modern
parlance meaning to call or shout), and
then is immediately charged with having
to conceal and never reveal!
It is a contradiction in terms and makes
no sense – no wonder the candidate gets
confused and bewildered. Perhaps some
thought should be given to this when the
Emulation ritual is next revised.
The first sight seen by most visitors traveling
to Alaska on a cruise is a small town called
Ketchikan. Opposite the cruise liner port
on the quayside is a Masonic temple (see
photo below). It made for an unexpected
and delightful reminder of the universality
I recently attended the installation meeting
of Sarastro Lodge in Vienna, which works
in English although many of its members
come from all over Europe.
I was warmly received and given a job –
Senior Warden! Secretary Christopher Jones
extends an invitation to brethren visiting
Vienna to attend the Lodge, which meets
fortnightly on a Thursday with the
installation meeting on a Saturday.
I can thoroughly recommend a visit –
and you might get a job – and the contact
is firstname.lastname@example.org and the Lodge
website is www.sastro-lodge.com
Your apology in the editorial (MQ, Issue 16)
regarding Masons who are not in the Royal
Arch was completely unnecessary. Most,
if not all Royal Arch Masons, would agree
that your original statement was correct.
How can a Craft Mason be ‘complete’
without knowing the ‘genuine secrets’?
Royal Arch fulfilment
In the editorial (MQ, Issue No. 16), the
editor considered that full membership
of Freemasonry should include being in
the Royal Arch. Quite so.
There is no need for an apology for an
unfortunate choice of words. Grand Lodge
recognises pure Masonry as the three Craft
Degrees and the Royal Arch – as did the
Antients Grand Lodge.
The completion of becoming a Master
Mason is found in the exaltation of a Royal
Arch candidate, wherein he will find
excellent companionship and spiritual
N C Curle
Web site created by Mark Griffin