The scarcity of History
HEREWITH A PLEA FROM THE GRAND HISTORIAN
All things are subject to change, even the weather.
History, we are told, repeats itself. History is also lost to future generations as empires rise and fall. With some, the records may be accessed; others, we rely on ledgend and myth.
Records may become lost due to fire, flood, war and neglect. If those who lived it didn’t record it, it is thus lost to the future.
When the role of Grand Historian was accepted, a box of reference material came to hand, some typed (Remember typewriters?), some written with a fountain pen, some with pencil. Records of sort nevertheless, all valuable as a record of days gone by.
We know many Grand Lodge records were lost in the Great Fire of 1877. In like vein, records of private lodges have been lost due to fire. For example, the records of my own lodge, Hiram No 6, were lost in a fire in 1968.
I had occasion to look for some specific information recently thinking to find something in the box mentioned above. I did fine the material in question, but even more interesting was a folder with information about the craft in Moncton. Curious and always willing to find more items to enrich, what has been referred to as my “fund of useless knowledge”, I inquired of two lodge secretaries in Moncton for information on two “subsidiary” bodies: The Moncton Masonic Club and The Moncton Masonic Library Board
Both secretaries were helpful and quick to reply; unfortunately, the bottom line is they knew little, if anything, about those bodies, and those they asked had no knowledge. So, it looks like it can be said, and I sincerely hope I am wrong, that another page, another facet of the Masonic History of this Jurisdiction has slipped away into myth or legend.
Why my concern as a mason and the current Grand Historian?
Unfortunately, this can happen with individual lodges. Bethel Lodge is an example. A few financial records, a couple of photographs, an abbreviated history, missing or lost minutes. Another lodge I know of has celebrated 125 years as a lodge and their history is presently contained on two 8-1/2 x 11 sheets of paper.
As Grand Historian and interested Mason, in the name of posterity and for those who follow long after we have gone to that other Lodge, I make this plea to the Master of each Lodge: appoint your historical committee without delay. Charge them with the task of compiling your Lodge history with all its warts and blemishes, with all its glorious moments.
Don’t wait until tomorrow. DO IT today; BETTER YET, you should have done it yesterday.
HEREWITH A PLEA FROM THE GRAND HISTORIAN All things are subject to change, even the weather. History, we are told, repeats itself. History is also lost to future generations as empires rise and fall. With some, the records may be accessed; others, we rely on ledgend and myth. Records may become lost due to fire,…