From the Wise Master (October 2017)

posted Oct 6, 2017, 11:21 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite



I’m going to stay in the realm of history.  I think this is a good time.  300 years is a big number.

So, here are some more historic landmarks and dates to remember, courtesy of a great article by Amanda Ruggeri on BBC Travel.


Mary’s Chapel, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


The name may be misguiding.  This is not a “place of worship”.  In fact, the whole name is:

“The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No. 1”.

The address is: 19 Hill Street, and walking by, it is very easy to miss it.  But if one will pay attention, the entry, with the “common” columns, is so obviously special.  Hidden in plain sight there are many signs that will look familiar to us. And here is the interesting part: this Masonic Lodge is the oldest in existence in the world.  Its records date back to 1599.


Grand Lodge of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


Just around the corner from The Lodge of Edinburgh, on 96 George Street, was founded in 1736, and is the guardian of the records of all other official Scottish Masonic Lodges in existence.  Just to make you interested: you can find there the membership record, and signature, of Robert Burns, or, the 115-years-old membership roll book of a Scottish Masonic Lodge in Japan.  The museum there is open to the public. Just a reminder…


Edinburgh Lodge of Journeyman Masons No 8, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


The Lodge was founded in 1578 and today’s Lodge building was built in 1870, on Blackfriars Street. The building has great architecture and is something not to be missed if life will take you there.


The Celtic Lodge of Edinburgh and Leith No 291, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


Speaking of “hidden in plain sight”!  Off of the Royal Mile, the most crowded street in Edinburgh, on Brodie’s Close, the Lodge was founded in 1821.


All these Lodges are, if I can say, the “foundation” for the Grand Lodge of England in 1717.

This is a little bit of history.  It is our history and world history.  And because we go back in time so far, we are part of the world history.

History is an important part of our life. It cannot be denied, dismissed or forgotten.  Good or bad, all that happened before is there.  Victories and defeats happened, and they will be there, like it or not.  History is not only a textbook.  It’s life at the highest level.  Knowing it and understanding it is the easiest way to avoid repeating it.


I do hope that I did whet your appetite to check and find more about this part of history.  The article that I referred to, and the author, Amanda Ruggeri that gets all the credit, has much more information and I found it very well documented.


Ion Vasilescu

Wise Master