From the Wise Master (September, 2013)

posted May 30, 2015, 1:03 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 30, 2015, 1:04 PM ]


Labor Day was first outlined, in the proposal of the holiday, to be a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations", followed by a festival for the workers and their families.
Every Labor Day weekend, at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton, is the Highland Games put on by the Caledonia Club of San Francisco.  It’s the largest “games” on the West coast and competitors come from Scotland, Canada, and all over the US to compete.  There are pipe bands, highland dancing, the caber toss, soccer, sheep dog demonstrations, gathering of the clans, and so on, as well as vendors selling a wide variety of items and some unusual food.  It’s a good time and, I would think, of special interest to the 29th Degree Team.  And it was nice to see some of my Scottish Rite brethren out there.  Susan and I help out with the recording of the scores for the Highland Dance Competition, but we spend a lot of time at the Clan Ramsay/Ramsey area.
A couple of years back, there was an article that someone had placed on the table and it mentioned something I thought might be of interest.
The following is a portion of that article from The Washington Post.  I picked up the article because it was titled "In Praise of The Family Ramsay".
Clement Conger, a descendant of Alexandria's first -- and last -- Lord Mayor, William Ramsay, tells the story this way:
In the early 19th century, pirates captured Alexandrian William Bartleman, owner and captain of a small fleet of unarmed merchant ships sailing off the Barbary Coast.
The pirates forced the crew to walk the plank and go down to a watery grave.  Capt. Bartleman, in high nautical tradition, was the last one to start on that fateful passage.  Just before he took the plunge, in desperation he gave the Masonic hand sign for help.
"Brother Mason!" or some such, exclaimed the pirate captain.  Not only did he spare the Alexandrian's life, he also paid his way back to the Virginia port.
The article goes on to say that upon returning home he married into the Ramsay family (hence the reason it was given to us).  But I thought you'd enjoy that portion of the story.
September marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the school year.  Normal activities resume and we all continue with “business as usual”.  In that light, I hope I’ll see all of you at our next Stated Meeting and Dinner.  It really is a pleasure to be able to visit and “break bread” with all of you.
I would also like to remind all of you to show your support for our Clinic.  It can use all the contributions that we are willing to give.  And I assure you it makes a real difference in the lives of all of the children and their families.  What greater gift can you give than to help improve the quality of life for so many young people.  Dig deep my brethren!

Bud Ramsey- Wise Master- Chapter of Rose Croix