From the Secretaries Table (May, 2008)

posted May 2, 2015, 5:41 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 2, 2015, 5:42 PM ]
On December 16, 1773 a group of Boston patriots, boarded three English ships — Bedford, Beaver, Dartmouth — and threw their cargo of tea overboard into Boston Harbor. These patriots, included many Freemasons, who were disguised as Mohawk Indians.  In order to gain access to the ships they armed themselves with hatchets and axes.  In protest against the duty imposed on tea by the government of King George III, they split open every chest and dumped each into the water.
When the first Boston Tea Party was over, 342 chests were left floating in the frigid harbor waters.  In the months that followed this historic event, many other American seaports took similar action in boycotting British tea.
On March 7, 1774, at a second Boston Tea Party, 16 chests of tea from British tea merchant Davison, Newman & Co. were among those again thrown into Boston Harbor.  This was another prelude to the American War of Independence.
There you have it, a little remembered event that occurred in March 234 years ago.
* * * * * * * 
Recently, I was asked for a written list of a Master Mason’s duties, privileges and rights.  Being unsure of the existence of such a list caused me to do some searching and I found the following from Georgia’s Lodge System of Masonic Education which follows in brief:
A Master Mason’s first duty is obviously to live by and act consistently with his obligation.
It is a Master Mason’s duty, legal and moral, to pay his share of the financial costs of the Fraternity, promptly and ungrudgingly.
If unaffiliated he has the right to petition a Lodge of his choice for membership.
He has the right of affiliation.
He has the right and privilege of visitation to Lodges in which he does not hold membership.  It is a right in the sense that he may seek admittance into any regular Lodge.  It is a privilege in the sense that his admission into that Lodge is contingent upon his being vouched for.
Masonic relief is both a right and a privilege.  Every Mason has the lawful right to ask for it upon need without derogation to his dignity or endangering his standing.
In short, there does not appear to be an actual list of duties, privileges and rights.  They are scattered here and there in our symbols, customs, and laws.  Some are explicit.  Some are implied.


Robert D. Rowan, Jr. 
General Secretary