June 2013 Regional Orient Membership Ambassador Message

posted May 27, 2015, 1:37 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 27, 2015, 1:38 PM ]
Seafaring Masons were the missionaries of Freemasonry as a universal, worldwide 
Brotherhood in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many of the rumors, whispers and traditions of Masonry in America become credible and understandable, if it is remembered how many Masonic "sea captains" came into the ports of Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, and Norfolk during that time period.
Sir Francis Columbine, for many years the Right Worshipful Master of Royal Naval Lodge at Bapping, is credited with having raised 600 American captains and 400 British Naval officers in twenty years. Old Dundee, a neighboring Lodge, had 267 "Sea-members" - a special classification - in 1810.
The great Thomas Dunckerley, a major figure in the first days of Grand Chapter and Grand Encampment, in 1760 obtained a warrant for a Lodge to be held on board the Vanguard, the ship in which he was serving and on which he and fellow Mariner Masons sailed to the West Indies in 1761. These seafaring Brothers of Britain, along with thousands from America, Canada, Europe, and the West Indies, carried the Craft into almost every port in the world.  They were often the first to plant the seeds of Masonry in newly-opened countries, such as South Africa, New Zealand, China, India and Egypt, among others.
The Army and Naval Lodges of today are reminders of the famous and far-going seamen of the Craft in the days of sail as is the "Seafaring Man" who appears in one of our degrees. 
When was the last time you asked an active duty member or veteran of the military if he would be interested in becoming a Master and/or Scottish Rite Mason?

Durward C. Ayre 32° KCCH, MC,  Regional Orient Membership Ambassador for the Valleys of San Jose, 
Fresno and San Francisco in California