Q: According to the Ancient Charges,
what is a Mason's responsibility to a Brother found in want?
A: You must relieve him, if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved: you must employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employed. But you are charged not to do beyond your ability, only to prefer a poor brother, that is a good man and true, before any other poor people in the same circumstances.
Q: Which famous Mason was initiated on
November 4, 1752 in Virginia?
A: Brother Washington was raised to Master Mason at the age of 21 on August 4, 1753 in Fredericksburg, Virginia at Lodge No. 4. He became Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 on December 20, 1788. He was inaugurated as President April 30, 1789, thus becoming the first and so far only brother to be President of the United States and Master of his lodge at the same time.
Rules of the Traveling Gavel:
A lodge retains possession of the gavel until a new lodge gains control based on these rules. The gavel changes hands in any one of three ways. It can be taken, it can be given away or it can be reclaimed by the Grand Lodge.
The gavel may be taken from any lodge during any stated communication of the host lodge. In order to take the gavel, a lodge attending the stated communication with at least 5 brethren and declare their intention to claim the gavel during the aforementioned meeting. If an equal or greater number of brethren are present from another lodge and announce their intention to take the gavel, the gavel will be awarded to the lodge with the most brethren present. In the event of a tie, the visiting lodge with the greatest percentage of their membership present will win.
The gavel may be given away to any lodge during any stated communication for the receiving lodge. In order to give the gavel away, at least 5 brothers from the giving lodge must attend the communication and present the gavel during the meeting. The receiving lodge is required to accept the gavel.
Whatever lodge is in possession of the gavel must present it to the incoming Grand Master during the first Grand Lodge session of the year. The Grand Master will deliver the gavel to his home lodge prior to their next stated communication. The gavel may be taken or given away from that lodge at any stated communication after they receive it.
The gavel may only change hands once during any communication. It can not be both given and taken during the same meeting.
Any lodge that takes possession of the gavel must report to the Grand Lecturer within 24 hours with the new location of the gavel. In all circumstances, it is necessary to report prior to any stated communication of the new holder.
A lodge can not take the gavel during their own stated communication or during a joint communication with another lodge.
The gavel travels with a book with it's history. Whenever the gavel changes hands, both the presenting and receiving lodges should fill out a page in the book documenting the exchange.
Any lodge that is asked if they currently possess the gavel must answer truthfully. If they have recently lost possession they must truthfully report the new status.
Final decision on all rules is made by the Grand Lecturer. Final decision on all matters during a stated communication, including those involving the gavel, are to be made by the sitting Worshipful Master of the host lodge.