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Catastrophes, Masonic Relief Of

During the period of five years from1923 to1928 inclusive the Fraternity in the United States was called upon to raise funds for relief no fewer than five times: the Japanese earthquake of 1923; the Florida hurricane of 1926; the Mississippi flood of 1927; the Porto Rico hurricane of 1928; the Florida hurricane of 1928. on each of these occasions the Masonic Service Association acted as a unit for the Grand Lodges holding membership in it; other non-member Grand Lodges used it as an agency through which to distribute their funds; the remaining Grand Lodges sent their funds directly to Masonic bodies or other agencies at the scene of the disaster. The total amount of monies raised by Masonic Bodies of each and every Rite has never been computed; the amounts reported as passing through the hands of the Masonic Service Association, or passing through other hands but reported by it were as follows : for the Japanese earthquake, $15,777 the Florida hurricane of 1926, $111,652; the Mississippi flood in 1927, $605,603; the Porto Rico hurricane of 1928, $81,774; the Florida hurricane of 1828 $107,622.

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CATECHISMS, THE OLD

The Early Masonic Calechismus by Douglas Knoop, G. P. Jones, and Douglas Harner (Manchester University Press; 1043) is the first book-length (200 pages) analysis of those unfamiliar but important documents which are called the Old Catechisms. The authors describe them as having been originally "mainly conceded with the form of giving the Mason Word, and the quostion and answers used to test persons claiming to have the Mason Word." There are Masons still living in America who can recall a wide-spread use of "test questions," some of which were of archaic form, and which on the surface had no apparent connection with the Ritual. Something of the same sort was in use in the Eighteenth Century (and perhaps a half century or so earlier); a few of them, and possibly the elaborate ones, were written or printed. They are useful for the data they contain, or imply, about the Esoteric Work. The authors of Early Masonic Catechismus have collected everything thus far discovered about nine written catechisms and seven printed ones. Of the former: Edinburgh Register House MS., 1696. Chetwode Crawley MS., circa 1700. Sloane MS. 3529, Circa. 1700. Dumfries No. 4 MS., circa 1700 Trinity College Dublin MS., 1711. Institution of Free Masons circa 1725. Graham MS., 1726. Chesham MS., circa 1740. Essex MS., circa 1750. Of the printed ones: A Mason's Examination, 1723. The grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discovered , 1725. The Whole Institutions of Free-Masons Opened 1725. The Grand Mustery Laid Open, 1726. A Masons Confession, 1725. The Mystery of Freemasonry, 1730 Prichards Masonry Dissected, 1730.

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