True Masonic History Is Yours to Preserve and Make
By Wor. Keith MacKINNON, curator of the Cambridge Masonic Temple Masonic Collection
Bro. Major Atherton H Stevens Jr of the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry of Putnam Lodge, East Cambridge.
Masonic history comes to us from many different avenues, there is our lodge history, history of the several degrees, history of our beginnings, history of our buildings, history of our events and great undertakings, history of our deeper meanings, history of our artifacts, history of our Grand Lodges. But one history is sometimes overlooked and perhaps the most important of all our histories: the history of our Brothers.
This is the true history of Freemasonry. Remember when you took your degrees and a Worshipful Master presented and instructed you on the emblems of the third degree. One such emblem was The Beehive. It teaches us to give back to society, that we should be a useful member of society and to pass on knowledge and understanding. History is knowledge and further light, for light in Freemasonry comes in many different shapes and sizes. So why is our Brother’s history so important?
Because it is us, they are us, they made our fraternity, and they are our fraternity, which is the true history. A lodge is a certain number of Masons, and we as Massachusetts Freemasons should be very proud of our rich history and those that made it for us. But does it stop there? No, for we today will be the history of tomorrow, what we do today in our lodges and in the Fraternity will be looked upon decades, centuries down the road. It is amazing who we have had in our many Massachusetts lodges over the centuries.
Governors and ship captains, revolutionary soldiers and captains of industry, inventors and public servants, business owners and doctors, Ministers and Rabbi’s, actors and musicians. Our Massachusetts lodges are filled with such men that have given back to society, but have we forgotten them? Brothers today are preserving this fragile fabric of ours so our future generations of Freemasons will know who these Brothers were.
Preserve some of this fabric of your lodge, because he just wasn’t a Brother in your lodge, but a piece of Massachusetts Freemasonry history. They are our history, from Pittsfield to Boston, Amesbury to Provincetown and every city and town in between. These Brothers, we sometimes forget, are the true history of our fraternity, and the story continues today with the new generation of Freemasons joining our lodges.
Who knows what great good a Massachusetts Freemason will do for our society in 50 or 100 years or even a brother today in one of our many lodges? Record, Preserve, Inform and Pass It On. It is not that hard to do, and for the most part, it costs your lodge almost nothing.
Appoint a Brother or Brothers as historian or historians or a history committee. Research your Brothers as many lodges have done in the past, you may be surprised at what you will find.
Our Brothers are not just dues-paying members, but the very core of our Massachusetts Masonic history, we need to preserve that and Pass It On. Don’t become a drone in the hive, but someone that will add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding. Our true history, yours and mine, is OUR Massachusetts Freemasons!