From the Wise Master (March, 2010)

posted May 19, 2015, 1:24 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 19, 2015, 1:24 PM ]
Whilst trying to decide on a topic for this month’s 
column, Angela (our office/rental manager) suggested that I might write about St. Patrick’s Day.
I initially dismissed that; after all – what kind of Masonic relationship would I find there?
I should know better by now…
My first “hit” in my Internet search for information on St. Patrick’s Day revealed that, although the Irish had celebrated St. Paddy’s Day for centuries and the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in Boston on 17 March 1737, celebrations in this country were sporadic over the years at best. St. Patrick’s Day became a holiday in 1780 when General (and Freemason) George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence.” This event became known as The St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780.
“St. Paddy’s” has traditionally been a very minor Saint’s day in Ireland. In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland 's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.
I’m beginning to think there may not be anything we haven’t had our fingers in at one time or another.

Bryant Day
Wise Master