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Established at Mordialloc Temple.
A simple but impressive ceremony marked the dedication of the second Holden Research Circle by V.W. Bro. Rev. W. Jennings, P.G.Ch., at the Mordialloc Temple on Tuesday evening, 18th March 1947.
OPENING (WBro.Tom Muggridge)
The Circle was opened by Wor. Bro. T. O. Muggridge, the President of the original Holden Research Circle, of Camberwell, with his various officers in their respective stations, by the recital of the Opening Prayer:-
"To Thy Glory, Almighty Architect, we labour the
better to unfold the beauties of Thy Godliness.
Grant us, therefore, the capacity to reflect the light
of Thy Divine Wisdom, so that, with a purified heart, we
may thereby be enabled to reveal that which is hidden,
to the Honour and Glory of Thy Holy Name"
and two readings from the Volume of Sacred Law:- Genesis 1, 1-4, and St. John 1, 1-5.
The motto of the Holden Research Circle, "Fiat Lux", was then declared, after which the General Secretary, Bro. R. O. Rosenhain, read the article, "Light", from the Masonic Encyclopaedia. The opening ceremony concluded with an item of harmony, "The Lord's Prayer", excellently rendered by Bro. E. P. Forbes.
HRC's Foundation, Dedication and Benediction (VWBro.Jennings)
Wor. Bro. Muggridge now introduced V.W. Bro. Jennings, P.G.Ch., and made mention of the great interest, help and encouragement extended by V.W. Bro. Jennings since the Holden Research Circle was first conceived, and it was with great pleasure that he handed to V.W. Bro. Jennings the gavel, with the request that he be pleased to carry out the ceremony of foundation, dedication and benediction of the Holden Research Circle, No. 2.
On assuming the chair, V.W. Bro. Jennings requested all the foundation members of the Holden Research Circle, No. 2 to form a circle around the Blazing Star, and from his position in the east he dedicated the Brethren to their high purpose in the following words, first of prayer:-
O Lord, our Heavenly Father, Architect and Ruler of
the Universe, who dost from Thy Throne behold all the
dwellers upon earth, direct us in all our doings with
most gracious favour, and further us with Thy continual
help, that in all our works begun, continued and ended
in Thee, we may glorify Thy Holy Name."
And then of dedication:-
"To the one true and living God and to this service
we dedicate this Holden Research Circle, No. 2, to the
enlightenment of the Brethren, also to the memory of
the Royal Solomon, under whose auspices many of our
Masonic mysteries had their origin."
So mote it be
The ceremony concluded with the Patriarchal Benediction:-
"The Lord bless thee and keep thee,
The Lord make His Face to Shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee,
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
So mote it be
Presentation of Foundation President and Vice-President
Resuming the chair, V.W. Bro. Jennings called upon Wor. Bro. Muggridge to present to him the foundation President of the Holden Research Circle, No. 2. Accordingly, Wor. Bro. A. H. Evans, P.M., Parkdale Lodge, No. 554, was presented, and V.W. Bro. Jennings placed Wor. Bro. Evans in the chair, and handed to him the gavel, as the remainder of the ceremony was in the hands of the President of' the Holden Research Circle, No. 2.
Wor. President Evans now called on Wor- Bro. Muggridge to present the foundation Vice-President, Wor. Bro. Gothard P.M., Parkdale Lodge, No. 554. On presentation, Wor. Bro. Gothard was requested to take his place in the East. Similarly the foundation Secretary, Bro. F. A. Sweeting, Parkdale Lodge, was presented to Bro. R. O. Rosenhain, and took the chair vacated for him by Bro. Rosenhain. The remaining foundation members were now requested to take their places in the assembly after each had been introduced.
Presentation of By-Laws
Wor. Bro. Muggridge then handed to Wor. President Evans a copy of the By-Laws of the Holden Research Circle. Wor. President Evans now requested V.W. Bro. Jennings to deliver his oration.
Oration delivered by VWBro.Jennings
V.W. Bro. Jennings spoke as foIlows:-
"Brethren. We have participated to-night in an important function - the consecration and dedication of the Holden Research Circle, No. 2. It is now my privilege to address to you some remarks in the form of a Dedication Oration. The name that has been chosen for these valuable Circles indicates the scope and nature of our task. The ideal that we set before ourselves finds its proper place in the scheme of our philosophy, as expressed in the Ritual and Lectures of the Lodge. Those two thoughts I desire to elaborate briefly.
"First of all, then, we are to be engaged in the fascinating occupation of research. We are to be seekers. There is a sense in vvhich it may be said that the constitution of the universe is planned on such lines that we are allured to take part in an immense game of hide and seek. Diamonds, gold, and other precious jewels are hidden, and we seek for them. Nature yields up her secrets, and pays her reward, to those who are prepared to search untiringly. And so it is with our Masonic philosophy. There are secrets that are imparted to the candidate as he progresses through the various degrees, but the mysteries are hidden, and are revealed only to the Mason who is prepared to study and read. The character of the lnstitution, as one eminent authority has said, is 'elevated in everyone's opinion just in proportion to the amount that he has acquired for its symbolism, philosophy and history.' Then it becomes a study that may make some appeal to the shallowest mind or the most frivolous character even; but which yields its greatest treasure to the Mason who is prepared to bring to it the deepest thought and most concentrated attention. The key which unlocks all doors into the secret and sacred mysteries of Freemasonry bears the word symbolism,' Freemasonry is a peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. 'Seek and ye shall find' is the word that we read as we enter the house of Freemasonry, just as we do at the portals of other domains in life.
And now, as to the place of this ideal of ours in the scheme of our masonic philosophy. It will be apparent to anyone who gives the matter even cursory thought that the principle of research finds its place in, and very largely gains its inspiration from, the Second or Fellowcraft Degree in Freemasonry. Taken in its broadest sense, Freemasonry is an allegory of human life, both individually and collectively in all its varied aspects - past, present and future. The Lodge represents the world into which mortal man is introduced, Iives, moves and has his being, and eventually dies. In this sense, the Entered Apprentice represents Youth; the FellowCraft, Manhood; and the Master Mason, Old Age. Precisely what is done in the ritual of the Second Degree is to emphasise the fact that in the full powers of manhood the Mason is to apply himself to the attainment of knowledge. The Fellowcraft is as distinctly intellectual in its purpose and spirit as the Entered Apprentice Is moral. Youth has now passed, and manhood has been achieved. The thinking and working stage of life is here symbolised. Science is to be cultivated: wisdom is to be acquired.
The great theme of the Second Degree is the attainment of knowledge, the cultivation of the mind, and habits of industry. Dr. Mackey, a great Masonic writer, has said: `The lessons the Entered Apprentice receives are simply intended to cleanse the heart and prepare the recipient for that mental illumination which is to he given in the succeeding degree.' And he goes on, 'The candidate in the Second Degree represents a man starting forth on the journey of life with the great task before him of self-improvement'. The result is to be the development of all his intellectual faculties and the acquisition of truth and knowledge.
In England a candidate for Freemasonry is informed that, while in the Entered Apprentice degree, 'he made himself acquainted with the principles of moral truth and virtue, he is in the Fellow Craft Degree permitted to extend his researches into the hidden mysteries of nature and science. Our own working reminds us that the candidate is led in the Second Degree to contemplate the intellectual faculty, and to trace its development through the paths of heavenly science, even to the throne of God Himself'."
"There is a beautiful legend in the ritual of the Fellow Craft Degree - the only legend which is attached to this degree - the Legend of the Winding Stairs. It amply illustrates the investigation of truth in the form of the ascent of a winding staircase. The Freemason begins with his foot on the first stair. But he must continue to climb. The teaching of the Divine Master was:- 'No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven'. Of a similar nature is the precept of Pythagoras: 'When travelling, turn not back: for if you do the Furies wall accompany you.' Step after step he climbs, with the task of self-improvement ever before him. By the way is revealed to him the importance of the seven liberal arts and sciences as a study, the encompassing of which will truly provide a liberal education for any man."
"Two things stand out in this Legend of the Winding Stairs: The allegorical ascent of the Winding Stairs to the Middle Chamber is a symbolical representation of the pursuit of truth; the symbolic payment of the workmen's wages, which is the earnest of a great hope, teaches that there is a sure reward for those who are prepared to pay the price of genuine labour in the pursuit of Divine Truth".
"And now, let us pray that the blessing of the Great Architect of the Universe may be upon this Circle, and upon the individual members of it in their researches".
Very fittingly Bro. Forbes rendered "Bless This House" as his next item of harmony.
Worthy President Evans
Wor. President Evans, after having introduced to him the two Vice-Presidents of parent Holden Research Circle - Wor.Bro. L. L. Heather, P.M., Holden Lodge, No. 621, and Wor.Bro. L. P. Briant, W.M., Ballarat Reunion Lodge, No. 392 - announced that a series of lecturettes woould now be given by members of the First Holden Research Circle, and requested Wor. Bro. Muggridge to take charge of the proceedings.
Lecturettes delivered by parent Holden Research Circle members
Wor. Bro. Muggridge explained that the lecturettes were prepared by the members themselves. He called on Bro.S.K. Hattam to deliver "Cowan"; Bro. J. Roseman to give "Free and of Good Report"; Bro. G. H. Thurman, "The Lewis"; Bro. M. H. Pearson, "Squaring the Ashlar"; and on Bro. G. H. Thurman again to deliver "The Caduceus". The lecturettes showed clearly that the desire to produce originaI and Interesting work was present, provided that opportunity for expression existed.
Bro. Forbes rendered his concluding items of harmony, "I Heard a Forest Praying" and "How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings."
Wor. President Evans addressed the assembly:-
"Brethren I desire to express my appreciation to those Brethren who have assisted in the foundation of this Research Circle. For many years I have been interested in Masonic research. The average young man who has just received his Third Degree knows very little about Masonry: but if given the proper incentive, he is willing, and, in many cases, anxious to learn. The fundamental teachings may have been instilled into his mind; but in too many cases the proper information and teaching are not forthcoming, and he is left on the sidelines with nothing to do and no encouragement to strive for improvement, and he wonders if he has not over-estimated Freemasonry.
"With this in mind I investigated all methods of Masonic education I could find, and found it was a most difficult task. Very many were trying to solve the problem in as many different ways. I at length became interested in the reports of the Holden Research Circle, and in them found the solution of how to put the young mason to work. The general - or closed - meetings are for members only, and give each member the opportunity to prepare papers and read them to ask questions, and generally to acquire confidence in hearing his own voice, and to develop the habit of constructive thinking which is so essential to the full appreciation of the lessons of the ritual.
"The Research Circle is not in competition with the Lodge of Research, but complementary to it, developing a fuller knowledge of the ritual, and an awareness that each movement and each charge must be given with that essential sincerity and insight, so that the ceremony will be indelibly fixed in the mind of the candidate.
"And now, Brethren. I desire to say 'Thank you' to V.W.Bro. Rev. W. E. Jennings, P.G.Ch., and to Wor. Bro. T. O. Muggridge and the individual members of the Holden Research Circle, for having assisted in the consecration of the Holden Research Circle, No. 2, Parkdale, Mordialloc Temple."
Wor. Bro. Muggridge, in his response, congratulated Wor. Bro. Evans and the fourteen foundation members on their desire and determination to have a Research Circle at the Mordialloc Temple, and, on behalf of all the members of the Holden Research Circle at Camberwell, he wished them every success in the future, and stated that every member would be happy to assist in that success.
He stressed the point that the Holden Research Circle had always striven to obtain that sacred and dignified atmosphere so necessary for sincere Masonic study at all its meetings, and to make every Brother present feel the "Brotherly Love" of true Masonry, with a "Freedom of Speech" to express the innermost thoughts of his soul. He further emphasised that the various activities of the Holden Research Circle were primarily designed to make the Brethren use their "Masonic Tools," and so develop their minds along the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, thereby becoming enamoured with a Masonic way of life,
For - "Man is Mind."
"Mind is the Master Power that moulds and makes,
And man is mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills,
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass.
Environment is but his looking-glass."
The ceremony concluded with the recital by V.W.Jennings of the Closing Prayer:-
"Almighty Architect, the humble offerings of our labours having been
laid before Thee, we beseech Thee to sustain us, and to bestow
upon us Thy confirmation, that each in his own way may, by diligent
application, so purify his life and actions as to become a living
embodiment of Thy Divine Will. Furthermore, we beseech Thee to
cleanse our vision so that we may recognise Thee in every manifestation."
So mote it
By the closing of the Volume of the Sacred Law, by the closing of the Masonic Encyclopaedia and by the recital of the Closing Charge by the foundation President:-
"Search on! Search on! O, my Brethren of the
Mystic Tye for the Secret of that grand and ineffable mystery."
"The grand object of Masonry is to elevate and promote the happiness
of the human race. The great need of the Order is individual interest in
the interpretation of our symbols, and the individual development of
love for a Masonic way of living."
"The religion of a true Freemason is to do justly, to have mercy,
to seek knowledge and know the truth, and to walk humbly with his God.
Studying Masonry is like looking at a beautiful sunset: each man who looks
is filled with the beauty and the wonder of it, but glory is not diminished."
"Finally, my Brethren, let me again admonish you to search on as
'Seekers of the Truth' that the closing hour of your existence here may
joyfully unfold to your view the many mysteries of a boundless eternity."
So mote it
M W Bro A.T. Holden, PGM
The history and formation of the Holden Research Circle
Decidation of HRC No 2
Freemasonry - the mighty paradox
The genuine Secrets of a Master Mason
Freemasonry in ancient China
Freemasonry in Thailand
The "9 Worthies" or "Excellent Masters"
Stone Masons Terminology
A simple lodge meeting
Count Leo Tolstoy and Freemasonry
De-Christianisation of English Freemasonry
Freemasonry which is of the now, not just the future
Previous articles from our "Chips of the Chisel" may be obtained
and can be selected from the following pages:
1995/96 HRC Chips Index
1997 HRC Chips Index
1998 HRC Chips Index 1999 HRC Chips Index
2000 HRC Chips Index
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