This was going to be a post revealing the highlight of a Masonic visit on this date 100 years ago. A headline in the Boston Globe tells it:
MASONS GREET CY YOUNG. Mt. Carmel lodge of Lynn is Host of the Famous Pitcher, Who Also Motors Along the Shore.
This is where penuriousness strikes. You see, the newspaper site which tells the story requires a subscription fee. So I’m afraid you won’t be learning from me whether one of the all-time greats of baseball gave a speech on Masonic symbolism (or compared Past Masters to screwballs). Instead, you can read about Cy Young and Masonry here at the Southern Jurisdiction Scottish Rite website. And here is a post from another blog on the coincidences of Masonry and baseball.
Now that your friendly, neighbourhood Justa’s attempt at a blog post has been waylaid, what should I write? Well, let us muse upon the terrestrial globe on one of the pillars found in some Masonic lodges, and the universality it represents.
For the geographically-challenged out there, Lynn is in Massachusetts, and I had the great pleasure of meeting a brother from Massachusetts in Lodge yesterday afternoon. He’s a young man who is in The Harvard Lodge who was very complimentary of a portion of ceremonial work peculiar to western and central Canada I was requested to do at a local Lodge’s installation. At the Festive Board, the brother told a fascinating little story. He grew up in Iran, where his father was a Mason. As a boy, he realised “the dignity and high importance of Freemasonry” by the way his father conducted himself on Lodge nights. Due to well-known political circumstances in Iran, he and his siblings got out of Iran (his father did not), and came to Canada where the family was taken in by a Masonic brother who treated them as his own. The young man eventually moved to the eastern U.S. where he joined the fraternity that meant so much to him. He spoke of how he was now on a visit to Canada, came to Lodge that day and was treated like a brother by people he had never met.
The night before, one of my Lodges welcomed a visitor from Queensland, Australia. I was a little concerned we were neglecting him a bit because we were getting the lodge room and the refreshment area set up and the brother was at least a generation older than the members present (we have no active members over 55 and only a few over 40). Yet at the Festive Board, our new friend explained what a wonderful welcome he had received in a foreign country, how he fit right in instantly, and how privileged he was to be a Mason.
No doubt Freemasons reading this can relate similar stories from their own Lodges or their own visits in unfamiliar climes.
So, considering all this, my thriftiness in regards to subscription newspaper web sites has served some kind of purpose. For it has given you a chance to read little examples of the universality of Freemasonry and the brotherly love of its members—feelings, no doubt, expressed by a future Baseball Hall of Famer as the highlight of a visit to a Lodge in Lynn, Massachusetts one hundred years ago today.