Freemasonry in Bro. Washington’s Day

As there is not much news activity today; I thought I would post a little about or honored Brother George Washington. As presidents day is approaching this coming Monday I thought I would remind everyone of what we are celebrating. This holiday was originally celebrated publicly even during Washington’s presidency, but obviously called Washington’s Birthday. In later years after Lincoln’s Presidency some states began calling the holiday President’s day. Since Washington’s Birthday is February 22nd and Lincoln’s is February 12th the day became a celebration of both these fine men.
Now a little more about George Washington. According to Albert G. Mackey in a speech given on the centennial of Washington’s initiation: “The minute book of the Lodge at Fredericksburg presents no more than the usual record that on the 4th of November, 1752, George Washington was initiated as an Entered Apprentice. The youth, who, though even then he had been honored by a distinguished appointment in the military service of his native State, had not yet developed the germ of his future greatness, passed undoubtedly through the solemn ceremonies of initiation into our mystic rites, without any suspicion on the part of those who assisted in bestowing on him the light of Masonry, that the transaction then occurring was to become an era in the annals of our institution, and that a century afterwards their descendants would ordain a jubilee, to hail its memory with shouts of joy and to celebrate its anniversary with loud peans of praise.”
Mackey continues: “In the ancient record book of the Lodge at Fredericksburg in Virginia – a book venerable for its age as a relic of the past -but still more venerable for the pages on which the record is made, will be found the following entries.
The first entry is thus:
No. 4th, 1752. This evening Mr. George Washington was initiated as an Entered Apprentice,” and the receipt of the entrance fee, amounting to 2 pounds 3s is acknowledged.
(Webmaster’s note: in today’s currency that would equal about $150.00)
On the 3rd of March in the following year, “Mr. George Washington” is recorded as having been passed a Fellow Craft; and on the 4th of the succeeding August the transactions of the evening are that “Mr. George Washington,” and others whose names are mentioned, are stated to have been raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
Though other things have passed away, that still remains; now as it has ever been ­ indissoluble ­ immutable – no landmark subverted-no fragment dissevered from its perfect mass; its columns still standing in strong support; its lights still burning with undiminished splendor; its altars still blazing with their sacred fires; its truth still pure as in the day of its birthhood; and when the cycle of another century shall have revolved, and you and I, and all that are elsewhere meeting on this festival day, shall have gone down to the dust from whence we sprung – another generation will be here – again to meet upon a second jubilee, and with like hopes and joys, and with like words of granulation and songs of triumph, to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of that day which gave to Masonry the noblest of her sons, in him who was “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
It is still more than 42 years until the 3rd jubilee in 2052 when Masons can reflect back upon the tri-centennial of that fine day in November 1752 that, as Mackey said, “gave Masonry the noblest of her sons”. So while you may have the day off from work and family or leisure activities planned, remember Bro. Washington and what Masonry, or the world, might have been if not for this one man.


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February 2009
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