Past Substitute Provincial Grand Master, Provincial GL of Fife and Kinross, Grand Lodge of Scotland
PM, Lodge Earl Haig No. 1260, Grand Lodge of Scotland
PM, Lodge Hope of Kurrachee No. 337, Grand Lodge of Scotland
Masonic education has been one of the cornerstones of our beautiful Craft for many centuries and oral tradition of learning ritual and the their stories have been passed down by the Masters of the Craft over many generations. When The Lodge, Hope of Kurrachee was reponed in 1988 it had the founding principle to preserve and present masonic knowledge, rituals and lectures and to ensure that these are introduced to younger freemasons in masonic terms. These principles have continued inn many guises over the last 35 years.
The Lodge has always been at the vanguard of ensuring that the above principles have been adhered to and the first advancement in the way that way presented these papers was in May 2001 when two of the masonic world’s leading researchers attended our first international symposium, and the gathered brethren were regailed by Lt. Cdr David Currie on the Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland followed by Dr. Andrew Prescott discussing the “The Voice Conventional, Druidic myths and Freemasonry”. Since that first symposium the Lodge has put on nine symposiums featuring the global elite of masonic research and bringing them to our small corner of the Masonic world in the Kingdom of Fife.
With the vision of bringing papers to the fore that had never been delivered in Scotland we wanted to utilise our own brethren and brethren from further afield to share their thoughts.
On 3rd of June, in front of an audience eager for new masonic light we were presented four new papers. The first speaker of the day was one of our own brethren PM Bro Alan Turton who gave his thoughts and insight into the Kabbala and The masonic structure of the Craft and Royal Arch that he has been able to deduce from his personal research into this more esoteric of masonic subjects. Our second presenter of the morning session was our IPM Bro Kevin Thompson who had prepared a thought-provoking lecture that was at the heart of what freemasonry is about: (How) Do we make good men better?
As much part of masonry as our ritual is the repast and lunch was then duly served to the brethren in attendance, where tongues were wagging, and deep discussions ensured on the various points that were made in the morning session. Then after a group effort to tidy up the lunch the brethren were back at their desks in anticipation of our final two speakers of the day.
The Lodge were delighted to introduce the Master of our sister research lodge Bro Alan Stewart – Edinburgh – The Mason Killer a grizzly subject on the face of it and one that was full of sorrow of the plight of our operative mason brothers and the hidden killer in the dust that they inhaled producing the marvellous stone buildings that our craft has been famed for. The final session of the day was when I had the privilege to present my new lecture on the Development of Scottish Freemasonry in America, 1750–1800, that had been specially prepared for the conference held at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in November 2022. This is certainly a subject that needs further research and maybe one day there will be a part 2 of it.
The day ended with an open question and answer session for the brethren in attendance and there was universal acceptance that our small research Lodge had been able to reestablish our groundbreaking international masonic symposium with the goal to once again make this an annual event in our Province’s calendar as we strive too continue to give those enquiring masons a place to make that daily advancement of masonic knowledge.