We are a duly constituted Lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which describes Freemasonry as
“a fraternity of brothers who share one common goal: to help each other become better men”.
Freemasonry is a fraternity of brothers who share one common goal: to help each other become better men. We strengthen and improve our character by learning and practicing basic virtues of fraternal love, charity, and truth. Our principles extend far beyond our interactions with each other, and we strive to apply them to our daily lives. All who join Freemasonry must declare their belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, and practice their own personal faith, but the fraternity is neither a religion nor a place to worship. Rather, it is a place where men of all monotheistic creeds can meet and focus on the great truths of peaceful human interaction that are common to all religions.
Egyptian Hall, finished in 1889, is decorated in the style of the Nile Valley, and in all of the Ornamentations, was of the utmost importance. Twelve huge columns stand on the four sides of the room, surmounted by capitals peculiar to the Temples of Luxor, Karnak, Philae and other ancient edifices. Each column has an original in Egypt. The sections of the columns have borders of reeds and rushes, a fluted frieze, the flying sun-disk, the Uraeus, and other symbolic motifs. Lotus flowers twine around the base of each column; reed decorations are on the cornice; and pyramidal designs complete the panels. Uraei, or sacred asps with extended heads, encircle all sides of the Hall.
The furniture also is in Egyptian style. The Worshipful Master's throne is gilded ebony; the pedestal is flanked by sphinxes. The pedestals of the Senior and Junior Wardens are also similarly decorated.
The scenes of domestic life on the walls were taken from the hypogea (underground chambers) of the Old Empire. Other scenes were taken from sepulchral chambers.
The ceiling is blue, indicative of the heavens. A solar disk is placed in the East. This is the symbol of Aten, the Sun, the god of Akhenaten. From it emanate rays tipped with the ancient sign of fertility, the Ankh. At various points, the seven planets are indicated by stars. The symbolic representation of the twelve months was copied from the Temple of Rameses at Thebes. The crossbeams of the ceiling are treated with motifs taken from ancient decorative forms; and the intersections have ancient mason-marks.
The frieze of the cornice represents the seasons and the twelve hours of the day, as found at Edfou. The appropriate goddess stands in the prow of a boat. She has a star in a circle over her head. The soffits of the lintels over the columns are alternately figures of Uati, the goddess of the north and south, and Nekhebt, identified by the Greeks with Elithya, the goddess of birth.
The Worshipful Master proposes that, as we are instructed to apply ourselves with zeal to “the practice and profession of Freemasonry”, we ought to have the intellectual curiosity to know what “IT” is all about.
The best way to start is with attending Instruction Meetings. However an excellent resource of Masonic knowledge is the Library at the Masonic Temple, One N. Broad Street. It is free to members and is one of the best resource libraries in the world on the subject of Freemasonry. It also has a great biographical collection of brothers who helped shape our modern civilization. Go take out a book and expand your Masonic knowledge.
If you are inclined to do your reading on the Internet, remember that the Internet is filled with both useful and not useful information (lies, fiction and fraud) about Freemasonry. Try to find reliable sources recommended or presented by the various Grand Lodges and appendant bodies such as the Scottish Rite and the Royal Arch.
The Worshipful Master suggests that instead of reading a cheap novel at the beach this summer that you read a Masonic book or do the same at home in your “comphy” chair and submit a three paragraph review of it to the next Newsletter for your brothers to read and learn from as well. Learn and Share.
As we are also instructed, share your knowledge with your brothers.
“Knowledge is attained by degrees” and one book might lead you to another and certainly to a better understanding of the “Craft”.
There follows a very few books that some of our brothers have found rewarding. Others will be mentioned from time to time in the Newsletter:
Submitted by Bro. W. Huff, PM
A Simple Charge to the Fraternity
Brother Warren E. Huff, PM is now retired after thirty years in planning, urban design and teaching. During his career he was the Deputy Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. At the Planning Commission he had also been the Director of Urban Design and Senior Planner for Center City.
While teaching at the Hope College, Philadelphia Center of the Great Lakes College Association, Bro. Huff was the instructor for the course The Architecture of Cities.
Bro. Huff was Chairman of the Advisory Board of Design at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and served as a member of the Philadelphia Historic Commission and its Designation Committee. Bro. Huff has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Design and a Master’s Degree in Community Design from the Philadelphia College of Art at the University of Art.
Bro. Huff has been guest lecturer and design juror at more than 15 colleges and universities.
- Temple University, Architecture Department
- University of Pennsylvania, Architecture and Planning
- Philadelphia University, Architecture Department
- University of the Arts, Philadelphia
- Drexel University, Architecture Department
- Cornell University, Urban Planning Department
- Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Continuing Education Division of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (Real Estate Bar)
- State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forests, Syracuse, N.Y.
- Technical University of Nova Scotia, Dept. of Urban and Rural Planning, Canada
- New Jersey Institute of Technology, School of Architecture, Newark, New Jersey
- Philadelphia Regional Future City Competition, Delaware Valley Engineers Week Council
- University of Bayreuth, Planning and Architecture Bayreuth, Germany
- Rowan University (Glassboro State), History Department
- Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Toronto Canada
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dept. of Architecture
- Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA.