The Ashlar

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The Ashlar

VOL. 1, Issue 11

Oct 2022

Scottish Rite

The Ashlar

Valley of Columbus, Orient of Georgia

Serving Scottish Rite Masons in the Chattahoochee Valley

Personal Representative's Message

Joseph F. Oelgoetz

32° KCCH

Personal Representative

to the SGIG

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I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying this change of seasons. As we go into Autumn we enjoy such things as cooler days, change of colors, College Football, Halloween, and preparation of traditional family gatherings of Thanksgiving and the Sacred Holiday Season of Christmas and Hanukkah. During this busy time of the year, the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus will be busy in bringing you “more light”, education and family fun in the coming months.

Our Lodge of Perfection meeting this month on October 21st will be very special. Our Knights of Saint Andrew and other Black Hats will be performing the 29th Degree – Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew. This meeting will be tiled for Scottish Rite Masons, only. Since I have been a member of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus, I have not observed this Degree, and am looking forward to the performance and the “light” it teaches. According to the Scottish Rite book “A Bridge to Light” by Illustrious Rex R Hutchens, 33, Grand Cross states that duties learned are “Reverence and Obey the Deity. Serve the Truth. Protect Virtue and Innocence. Defend the people against Tyranny.” I submit to you to not miss this very special Lodge of Perfection meeting.

On a side note, I came across this explanation (In “A Bridge to Light”) of the Thistle – an important symbol of 29th Degree, Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew:

“The thistle is the national symbol of Scotland and recalls a tradition that

…the Danes invaded Scotland and stealthily surrounded Staines Castle. They took of their shoes to wade the moat, only to find it dry and filled with thistles. The resultant yells and curses roused the garrison, and the Danes were soundly defeated.” (Leach, p. 1108)

There are two Orient of Georgia wide exciting programs that you will not want to miss.


The first is a membership event that includes a live presentation by Illustrious Brother Arturo De Hoyos, 33, Grand Cross, K.Y.C.H. on the history of our Ritual Over the Ages. Topics will center around the Symbolic Lodge Degrees and transition into the Scottish Rite and how these changed through the ages.

Additionally, a presentation on membership in our Masonic Fraternity and Appendant Bodies. Topic will center around the three “Rs” – Recruitment, Retention, and Reinstatement. This will be given by Illustrious Dean Alban, 33 Membership Services of the Supreme Council, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Also, there will be a lunch for a fee and a banquet after the event. Cost and more information to come.

This event will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2023 to be held at Tyrian Lodge No. 111 (home of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Middle Georgia) 650 Tallulah Trail, Warner Robins, Georgia. Event will begin promptly at 10:00am, dress will be business casual.

Importantly, this is open to all Master Masons. Announce this at your Lodge and coordinate carpools to bring along Master Masons that you think will benefit from this very special event. It is a great way to introduce Brethren to the benefits of the Scottish Rite.

The second event that you will not want to miss is “The Grand Masters Reunion”. This will be an Orient wide Reunion. This event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at the Atlanta Masonic Center, 1690 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA. This will be a one-day Reunion going from 8:00am to approximately 5:00pm. More details are to come, but expect that the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus will be asked to exemplify one of the Degrees. I ask two things: First, do your best to attend this event, as you will get to see other Valley’s in their exemplification of our cherished Degrees. I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed and that you will learn something new. Secondly, think hard as to who Master Masons would benefit from gaining further light through a membership in the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus. Let’s focus on bringing a great class to this Orient wide Reunion. We were told that the last time that an Orient Wide Reunion occurred that there were 239 candidates. Let’s make sure that the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus is overrepresented at this event. We can do it!

Once again, I want to call for assistance on the 100th Anniversary Committee: October 16, 1923 – October 16, 2023. Our Chairman, Brother Bayardo Reyes, 32 has outlined an excellent event to be held on Saturday, September 23, 2023. But he needs help in execution of an outstanding event. Please, consider assistance in this once in a Century event. Importantly, we have already gained commitment to attend this event by our Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Illustrious Brother James D. Cole, 33, as well as our Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Georgia (in hopes that he will be our Grand Master at the time of this event), Illustrious Brother Michael Kessler, 33, and of course, our Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Orient of Georgia, Illustrious Brother Ted C. Collins, 33. It should also be an event attended by Scottish Rite Masons from all over our Orient and possibly by those in bordering Orients. If interested, please let us know. Join us for a Centennial Committee meeting on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 10:00am at the Valley Temple, or you can contact the Valley at 706-322-3091 (leave a message), send an email to our General Secretary, Honorable Brother Roger Buterbaugh, 32, KCCH at, or let us know at our next Lodge of Perfection meeting on October 21st.

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

Please consider supporting the Valley by attending one of the four performances of “It’s a Wonderful Life, Radio Play”, to be held on Fridays – December 1, and 9, or Saturdays – December 2 or 10. The performance will occur in the evening (time to be determined, but expect around 7:00pm), and held on the stage at the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus. Cost is $20 for adults and $10.00 for children under 12. We also hope to have “Sweet Treats” for low cost at our intermission. All proceeds will go to the Valley’s Operations. Please get the word out to family and friends. It will be a great Family event for the Holiday Season.

TNT Fireworks Sales

Brethren, in order to support the continued operations of the Valley and to build up our building fund, the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus has been assigned a fireworks booth at the Walmart at 3515 Victory Drive, Columbus. We will need help with set-up after Christmas – possibly on December 26. Then we need help in selling fireworks for New Years from December 27 to December 30th. We will need volunteers for sales and for security during the overnight hours. If you and your family members want to volunteer, please call the Valley office at 706-322-3091, email, or ask anyone at the next Lodge of Perfection Meeting.

Brethren, we have a lot happening in the coming months for everyone. Further light and knowledge events, Orient wide Reunion, fun holiday play and great fundraising and fellowship opportunities for our membership and their families. And to prepare our celebration of the first 100 years of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus. Please consider your participation. It will be worth your while….

Warmest Fraternal Regards, Joe

Joseph F. Oelgoetz III, 32° KCCH

Personal Representative to the

Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the

Orient of Georgia

Key Notes from the Valley

Scottish Rite Valley of Columbus - 2022 Officers

Lodge of Perfection

Venerable Master Torrey Knight, 32o, KCCH

Senior Warden Baron Conklin, 32o, KCCH

Junior Warden Roger Buterbaugh, 32o, KCCH

Master of CeremoniesRossi Ross, 32o, KCCH

Expert Bob Lyon, 32o, KCCH

Assistant Expert Ditmar Chavez, 32o, KCCH

Captain of the Host Russell Ward, 32o

Prelate Dennis Buchanan, 32o

Tyler Scott Lavelle, 32o

Chapter Knights Rose Croix

Wise Master John Ohrt, 33o

Senior Warden Rossie Ross, 32o, KCCH

Junior Warden Bill Block, 32o, KCCH

Master of Ceremonies Scott Lavelle, 32o

Expert Torrey Knight, 32o, KCCH

Standard Bearer Jonas Barlow, 32o

Guardian of the Temple Larry Cox, 32o, KCCH

Tyler Richard Luna, 32o

Council of Kadosh

Commander Bob Lyon, 32o, KCCH

1st Lt Commander Tony McCool, 32o, KCCH

2d Lt Commander Ed Lynch, 32o, KCCH

Chancellor Harold Culpepper, 32o, KCCH

Master of Ceremonies Ron Provencher, 32o, KCCH

Tercopiller Jonas Barlow, 32o

Draper Bayardo Reyes, 32o

Junior Deacon Bill Buffton, 32o, KCCH

Bearer of the Black Stand Mark Stillwell, 32o

Bearer of the White Stand Brian Pierce, 32o

Lt of the Guard Jacob Robideaux, 32o


Master of Kadosh Sidney Cooley, 32o, KCCH

Prior Roger Buterbaugh, 32o, KCCH

Preceptor Harry Ross, 32o, KCCH

Chancellor Russell Ward, 32o

Minister of State Bayardo Reyes, 32o

Prelate Phillip Jones, 32o

Master of Ceremonies Torrey Knight, 32o, KCCH

Expert Ed Lynch, 32o, KCCH

Assistant Expert Tony McCool, 32o, KCCH

Captain of the Guard Matthew Dewinter, 32o

Steward John Adams, 32o

Torrey Knight, 32° KCCH

Fraternally yours,

Torrey Knight, 32° KCCH

Venerable Master

Valley of Columbus

Venerable Master


Dear Brethren of the Valley of Columbus,

The Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus has many exciting events to make your membership experience an enjoyable one. We have events that provide further light, provide historical learning and great family gatherings coming in the last three months of 2022. We also have two Orient of Georgia wide events that each of you, if you attend, would give you further knowledge, light and wonderful fellowship opportunities.

Our very next Lodge of Perfection meeting – Friday evening, October 21, 2022 – is only open to Scottish Rite members. Thus, our ladies have a “night off”. Our Knights of Saint Andrew and “Black Hats” will be performing the 29th Degree – “Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew”. There is much light to be gained from your attendance at this Degree presentation: Lessons on Humility, Patience, Self-Denial, Charity, Generosity, Clemency, Virtue, Truth and Honor are all exhibited in this Scottish Rite Degree. Our Degree team, primarily made up of members of our Chapter of Knights of Saint Andrew, have been practicing very hard to insure an excellent performance.

We plan to have our fellowship dinner at 6:30pm and will open (in full form) the Lodge of Perfection at 7:30pm.

Importantly, we have a second reading of a motion to move our time for our Fellowship Dinner and Lodge of Perfection meeting to 6:00pm and 7:00PM respectively. This has been requested by several elderly Brethren who want to attend our meetings, but the current time: 6:30/7:30pm gets to be too late for them to attend.

Our Lodge of Perfection meeting on Friday, November 18th, will be opened to all Masons, their family and guests. Illustrious Brother Chuck Morgan, 33 Grand Cross will be traveling from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to present the true story behind the Sword of Albert Pike. Albert Pike was Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite during most of the last half or the 1800s. He is credited for rewriting all our 29 Degrees in the Scottish Rite which are still being used, for the most part, even today by us. Put this on your Calendar as this should be a very interesting presentation. And remember, bring your family, friends, and fellow Freemasons. This will give your non-Scottish Rite Lodge Brothers a great insight into what Scottish Rite has to offer.

During the final month of 2022, we will have our traditional Christmas celebration on December 16th. This is one you do not want to miss, and it is ideal for your children and/or grandchildren. Sant Claus will be visiting with other Christmas themed activities. Additionally, this is our traditional meeting where we install our officers for the following year (2023).

Another Scottish Rite event to celebrate the Holiday Season is the “Radio Play of It’s a Wonderful Life”. Several of our members will be taking on roles. It will be performed on the first two Fridays and Saturdays of December (Friday December 2, Saturday December 3, Friday December 9, and Saturday December 10). Location will be the stage of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus, 1027 2nd Avenue, Columbus, Georgia. All proceeds will be for the operation of the Valley and for the Building Maintenance Fund. Pricing: Adults $20.00 and $10 for Children under 12. Come on out and support this worthy cause as well as having family fun. A great way to celebrate the season.

There are two Orient of Georgia events that will occur the first half of 2023. On February 11, 2023, there will be a membership event held at Tyrian Lodge No. 111 (home of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Middle Georgia) 650 Tallulah Trail, Warner Robbins, Georgia. The Grand Historian of the Supreme Council of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, and one of the most knowledgeable and well published Freemason, Illustrious Arturo De Hoyas, 33 Grand Cross will speak on “The Changes of our Ritual”, both Symbolic Lodge Ritual and Scottish Rite Ritual. There will be other Scottish Rite Speakers – on membership and the Three “Rs” – Recruitment, Retainment, and Reinstatement; as well as on our Charities – Scholarship and RiteCare. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring non-Scottish Rite Brethren along to give them a peak on what the Scottish Rite has to offer.

There will be a “Grand Masters Reunion” now scheduled. The plan is to hold a One Day Reunion on June 3, 2023, to be held at the Scottish Rite, Valley of Atlanta. The SGIG (Sovereign Grand Inspector General) of the Orient of Georgia, Illustrious Ted C. Collins, 33, has asked that all the Valleys of Georgia bring candidates for the Degrees of the Scottish Rite to this Orient wide Reunion. Additionally, each Valley will be asked to perform a Degree. If you are interested in participating on the Degree Team, please let us know. And, most importantly, consider bringing a candidate as this would be a great experience for each of the brethren we bring into the Scottish Rite via this very rare event.

Finally, remember, The Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus meets every third Friday of the month. Ladies, children, and guests eat free during our Fellowship meal (currently at 6:30pm) and most of our Lodge of Perfection meetings immediately following our Fellowship meal at 7:30pm is open to family, friends and guests.

General Secretary



We had a great Dove Shoot fundraiser for the Valley of Columbus Rite Care Program on September 17. The day was beautiful - we had many Scottish Rite Masons out to help and hunters in almost every shooting position. I'll defer to IB Phil Harris, 33o, who ran the Dove Shoot, to give the details in his article.

Due to a lack of candidates the Executive Committee voted to cancel the Fall Reunion in October. Instead, at our October 21 meeting we will open the Lodge of Perfection in full form and the Knights of St Andrew will portray the 29th Degree. Not many Scottish Rite Masons have seen either of these done, now's your chance. We will also have a second reading and balloting on a proposed change to the by-laws to change the meal time from 6:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the start of the Lodge of Perfection from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Programs for the rest of the year: In November IB Chuck Morgan, 33o, will give a presentation on Albert Pike's sword. In December we will have our Christmas celebration and installation of officers. And in January we will have Burn's Night and Awards Ceremony.

We have two more fundraisers scheduled for this year. IB Dan Dawson, 33o, will present "It's a Wonderful Life Radio Show" on the Scottish Rite Center stage December 2, 3, 9, and 10. It is a 1940's radio show version of Jimmy Stewart's movie "It's a Wonderful Life". The cast has already conducted its first script reading. Tickets will be sold on line. We will need volunteers to serve as ticket takers. Then TNT Fireworks has agreed to let the Valley of Columbus run the fireworks stand in the Victory Drive Walmart parking lot December 26-31 as a fundraiser.. We will need volunteers to work the booth. More information on both fundraisers forthcoming.

I am receiving 2023 dues payments. Thank you, Brethren! In addition to the fundraisers, we need dues to pay our per capita to Supreme Council and for the operation of the Scottish Rite Center. If you do not want to pay by check or cash, you can pay by credit card. Go to your account on the Supreme Council web site and you can make a credit card payment for your dues there. A friendly reminder, Supreme Council sends you your 2023 dues card with your dues notice. You still need to pay your dues even though you have a 2023 card!

I hope to see you all at the Lodge of Perfection meeting on October 21.

Roger Buterbaugh, 32° KCCH


Lodge of Perfection Minutes (20220916)

Exec Committee Minutes (20220914)

Fraternally yours,

Roger Buterbaugh, 32° KCCH

General Secretary

Valley of Columbus

Sir Knight

Bayardo Reyes, 32°

Upcoming KSA Meetings, Events, & Important Dates

October 15, 2022 (Saturday) KSA 10:00AM 1st KSA Meeting and Review of Manual

100th Celebration Committee

October 21, 2022 6PM

November 18, 2022 6PM

December 16, 2022 6PM

January 14, 2023 (Saturday) KSA 10:00AM Burns Knight Preparations / KSA Update Manual/Bylaws

January 20, 2022 (Burns Night)

February 17, 2023 6PM

March 17, 2023 6PM

April 15, 2023 (Saturday) 10:00 AM KSA (Can be done by Zoom)

April 21, 2023 6PM

May 19, 2023 6PM

June 16, 2023 6PM

June 24, 2023 KSA Annual Elections - Elections/ Ritual Walk

July 21, 2023 KSA Night 6PM Initiation/Installation

Knights of Saint Andrew Commander


Dear Knights & Brethren,

Announcing that Centennial Committee Planning will have its first meeting right after the KSA meeting on 15 October at 9AM. Committee will be right after that. Coins design has been completed, purchased and received. Will be shown at such meeting.

The 29th Degree will be presented at the next regular meeting. This will be special as it has been a long time since last seen. The 29th Degree Team will be having two practice days 12 October and 19 October 5:30PM. The degree will be performed entirely by KSA members and Honoraries. Lots of work being put into it.

Fraternally yours,

Bayardo Reyes, 32°

KSA Commander

Valley of Columbus


The Scottish Rite Little Theater located at 1127 2nd Avenue, Columbus, Georgia, in association with the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus, will have its first performance of 2022.

On the dates indicated here, a warm traditional story we all love to hear along with Christmas music to make the Season bright. Doors open at 6:30pm and Show begins at 7:30pm. Snacks and beverages for sale before the show and during intermission.

$20 Adults; $10 for children under 12. Office is open at various times. Call 706-322-3091 before coming over. Tickets can also be purchased online at

100th Anniversary Celebration

Mark your calendars for the Centennial Celebration of the founding of the Valley of Columbus, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry – Saturday, September 23, 2023. We have gained acceptance of our invitation to Sovereign Grand Commander, Illustrious James D. Cole, 33°, Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction, who will be in attendance for this event. Additionally, we have gained acceptance to attend by Right Worshipful & Illustrious Michael A. Kessler, 33° who is currently the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Georgia. Expectations is that he will be the Grand Master at the time of our Centennial celebration. The Grand line will also be in attendance.

The current overall elements of the celebration event would be the following:

Rededication of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Columbus’ Temple – by the Grand Lodge Officers

Lunch for all attendees of the Rededication

Black Tie Gala – to include Dinner, Presentations and Dancing

The forging of a Centennial Coin, development of a Centennial Program and other keepsakes

We are being led in our planning of this very special event by Brother Bayardo Reyes, 32°. He is looking for others to join the planning committee. Brethren and Ladies are welcome to be a part of the planning of this once in one-hundred years event. If interested, please do not hesitate to contact either our General Secretary: Honorable Brother Roger Buterbaugh, 32° KCCH at, or Brother Bayardo Reyes, 32° at

College of Freemasonry

Short Talks by Joseph Fort Newton

September - The Future of Masonry

October - The Cable-Tow

The Real Objective

of Masonic Education

The Real Objective of Masonic Education

Adapted by V.W. Bro, Norman McEvoy from a paper presented by Bro. Reynold E. Blight, Executive Director, Committee on Masonic Education, California, From New Jersey Editor “Masonic Mason” Published by The Masonic Service Association of USA Vol. II January 1927. No. 7. original source

Masonic education is the most talked of subject in Masonry. There is scarcely a Grand Jurisdiction in which it is not a moot topic. Nearly every Masonic periodical carries articles concerning it – some in favour of the innovation and others in utter condemnation. The very vehemence with which the subject is being discussed is proof that it is pertinent and important.

Critics are quite outspoken, one writer going so far as to declare unequivocally: “The elaborate and expensive mechanism devised by Grand Lodges for the furtherance of Masonic education is largely wasted effort.”

Another writer in a western magazine asserts: “The plain truth is that the average Mason does not want so-called Masonic education, and I believe, does not need it.”

The whole trouble seems to lies in the lack of a clear understanding of what Masonic education really is; what is its purpose, and what are its objectives and ideals, what is its spirit?

The intent of this article is to present a definition of Masonic education as one worker sees it, that others may elaborate, improve, and, clarify it, if it is fundamentally correct.

In order that the air may be cleared of misconceptions, let us state what it is not.

Masonic education is not repeating exhortations to morality. A writer already referred to says:

“Your average Mason is sick to death of being preached at.”

The good brother is correct.

Solemn admonitions to be good and kind, generous and forgiving, honest and truthful, while valuable in their place, do not constitute Masonic education. Those somber reminders of our duties grow wearisome when repeated again & again. These reiterations of copybook maxims leave us cold. Commonplace and monotonous, they irk us with their drabness.

Masonic education does not provide opportunity for boring oratory. Too frequently the Master feels he has done his duty to his lodge when he has arranged for an address by a popular speaker.

Often the speaker is an earnest brother, with a glib tongue and a reputation – a spinner o phrases and a dealer in glittering generalities; his speech is well described by Hamlet’s sad plaint: “Words, words, words!” The brethren may be entertained by the verbal presentations, and be much impressed with the orator’s command of the English tongue, but the addition to their Masonic knowledge is nil. The average orator is long on language and minus accurate information. In time the brethren see through the camouflage and realize that behind the verbal fireworks there is a painful paucity of ideas.

Fifteen minutes of simple talk by a brother, who in clear language gives the result of careful research, is worth a dozen orations in which verbosity and flowery rhetoric disguise poverty of thought.

Masonic education does not necessarily consist in explorations into the realms of the mystical and the occult. That there is an esoteric (hidden) meaning to Freemasonry no intelligent Mason will deny, and that this field of research offers rich promise is also apparent.

Enshrined in Masonic ritual is a profound teaching that lures the student who is drawn toward philosophical speculation, but such studies are necessarily restricted to brethren who by training and inclination are qualified to carry on such inquiry for sharing with the brethren and giving them the task and privilege of searching out these deeper truths and interpreting them for the benefit of their fellows, in a “language understood of the people.”

It is a mistake to assume that the generality of the Fraternity will be interested in this particular branch of Masonic research, or that they are remiss in their masonic duty if they take no interest in it.

They simply will have none of it. And as a matter of fact, they believe that the general subject of Masonic Education is only incidentally related to esotericism.

At the same time it is proper to say that it is a mistake on the part of brethren who ridicule and decry esoteric Masonry, and pour contempt upon the work of such men as Ward, Waite, Oliver (to name only English writers), and others, who have revealed to us some of the rich treasures of the masonic world.

For those who are able to appreciate their work they have rendered a splendid service.

Masonic Education is not a bombastic glorification of the Fraternity. While it is eminently proper that the brethren should be informed concerning the greatness and glory of the Craft, its ancient and honourable history, its notable achievements, and the splendid names that add luster to its story, yet modesty and restraint are more in keeping with its character than ostentation and self-praise.

Care must be taken to protect the order from the “go-getters” spirit of that time that with student ballyhoo would play up the Craft like a circus or a political campaign. There is no need to “sell” masonry, either to our members or to the world at large. Freemasonry is not a breakfast food or a quack medicine that is need sensational slogans or screaming type to impress its virtues or its teachings upon its votaries.

Freemasonry is a temple to be entered reverently, a worship to be rendered sincerely, a philosophy to be taught with simplicity and dignity.

We may go further and startle good brethren by declaring that Masonic education is not merely a study of history. Joseph E. Morcombe, the well-known Masonic editor tells us:

The essential facts of Masonic history – a narrow and comparatively barren field – with the symbolism and jurisprudence of the Craft, require no great effort to cover or understand. The requisite knowledge, except for the special student, can be gathered into small compass, and is to be easily retained in memory.”

The purpose of masonic education is the make Masonry such a vivid, vital force in the life of the individual Mason that it becomes an integral part of his very being.

To learn how this may be accomplished it is necessary to ask and answer two questions –

What is Freemasonry and what is education?

The best definition of Freemasonry I know is that formulated by Dr. Joseph Fort Newton. He said: “Masonry is a philosophy of life the depth, breadth, sanity and nobility of which is not matched elsewhere; and not only a philosophy but a way of living, a method of building character, found nowhere else.”

The method by which character is developed is powerfully expressed by Albert Pike:

“Freemasonry is the subjugation of the human that is in man by the divine; the conquest of the appetites and passions; a continual effort, struggle and warfare of the spiritual against the material and sensual. That victory, when it has been achieved and secured, and the conqueror may rest upon his shield and wear the well-earned laurels, is the true Holy Empire.” [Morals and Dogma, p 854]

And the climax of the definition is reached in the avowal of Dr. Newton: “Here lies the great secret of Masonry – that it makes the man aware of the divinity within him.” [The Builder, p 293]

This, then, is the sublime purpose of Masonic education – the revelation of the divinity in each man, the flooding of the soul with light, the release of those spiritual powers that enable a man to triumph over temptation, sin and folly; the evolution of character, and the development of those qualities of the soul that flower naturally into generosity, righteousness and moral force.

The noble objective of Masonic education lies close to the purpose of education as defined by the greatest educators. Says Herbart: “The main business of education is the ethical revelation of the universe.”

Ruskin catches the same thought: “Education is leading human souls to the best by making the best out of them.”

This conception of Masonic education greatly complicates the whole subject. It is no longer possible formally to outline courses of study covering certain topics, the formulation of precise questions to which there may be submitted precise answers. The discussions that are raised many not be settled by appeals to alleged authorities. The results of Masonic study cannot be tested by sets of examination questions such as might be submitted in geography or chemistry.

There is nothing formal or mechanical about it. The distinction is clearly set forth by Dr. E. C. Moore, the noted educator when he says: “Mechanical education is easy, but it accomplished only that which should not be accomplished. Real education is hard, for it is a spiritual ministration. The temptation of substitute mere physical manipulation of living interest, spiritual insight, and comprehension ripening into action is the sin which besets us.”

We commend to the interested Mason the ritual, the symbolism, the history and the philosophy of the Order. He studies the ritual that he may discover the clew, the Ariadne thread that leads unerringly through the labyrinth of human ignorance, delusion and passion.

He scrutinizes the symbols, knowing, as Albert Pike said, that, “symbolism is the soul of Masonry”; the glowing figures, tropes and allegories that hide yet ever reveal the subtle truths by which men live.

The secret of Freemasonry is disclosed to the ardent and persevering student, the seeker after truth, and he who possesses that secret, attains immortality.

He explores the misty origins of our Masonic ceremonial, not for vain purpose of proving the venerable antiquity of the Craft, but that he may feel the heart-throb of aspiring humanity, from the slopes of the Himalayas and the valley of the Nile to the teeming thoroughfares of a modern city. Humanity is one! Human brotherhood is not a rosewater sentiment, it is a palpitating fact compounded of sympathy, understanding, a sense of a common weakness and strength and an all-embracing love.

So we might go on and read a true significance into every subject generally classified under Masonic education.

Could there be a better summing up of the purpose, the objectives, the spirit of Masonic education?

All to the end that a man cast off the rags of triviality, flippancy and self-indulgence, and clothed in the royal raiment of virtue, manliness and self-respect, know himself as a son of the Most High, living a life of conquest and service in a world that is the dwelling place of Deity.

Committee Reports


Valley RiteCare Page


As we go about our busy days, we somehow always find enough time and energy to tend to the needs of our beloved Fraternity. We are reminded that, from the beginning, the first lesson learned was about charity.

On Saturday, September 17, 2022, the results of this lesson were replayed again at the 2nd Annual Valley of Columbus RiteCare Charity Dove Shoot. Time is the most precious possession we have and once spent it can never be reclaimed. However, our energy can be replenished and is by observing the results of our time well spent on a worthy project such as “Helping Children Communicate”.

The “Dove Shoot” is an event that has many moving parts and is so dependent on some elements that are simply not in our control. From the time the feed crop is planted, the clock ticks away until the Saturday morning of the event where dozens of our members and their families show up to make this event a success.

This year 88 hunters, ranging in age from 12 to 88 years old, paid $5,850, to participate in our event. Most of the hunters were not Masons but were sportsmen there to enjoy the day with a family member or friend. Illustrious Brother Gene Jernigan, the Personal Representative to the S.G.I.G. for the Valley of Southwest Georgia, relayed a story of a young father with two young sons sitting in front of a white pickup truck across the field from him, wearing their red safety vests.

Brother Gene deduced they may not be seasoned game bird hunters and walked over to offer some advice on how to blend in to the tree line and thanked them for supporting RiteCare. Shortly, the father came across the field to ask for help clearing a shell from a new shotgun he had just bought for his son. Before he walked back across the field, he asked what is RiteCare?

That day many others would be exposed to the friendly faces of Freemasonry from the smiles of all the volunteers to the signs displaying the emblems of RiteCare, the Shrine Club, Blue Lodges names and the Square and Compasses flag flying with the great flag of our Country as we played the National Anthem and offered up our prayers to Almighty God.

This year 33 Sponsors donated a total of $5,222 in cash and $13,800 of in-kind contributions that included two hundred fifty, thirty second radio spots on “Kissin 99.3”, “Boomer 102.5”, “Classic Rock 105.5” and “106.9 Really Rocks”, which are four of the premier stations in the Valley area. The use of the land, the liability insurance policy that is required to hold this event, newspaper publications and many signs that were all donated just to mention just a few of the many impression that were made upon the community.

The “Table of Cheer” raffle added another $1,024, in cash totaling $6,246 plus $5,850 in hunter registrations netting $12,096 in cash for RiteCare and the Autism Learning Center. We sold a total of $8,590 in tickets for the Benelli Shotgun raffle netting $7, 326 plus the $422 in food sales for a total of $7,748 raised for the benefit of Valley of Columbus.

I can’t begin to thank all of you enough for what you have done to help make this fundraising event a success again this year.

Fraternally yours,

Phil Harris, 33°, Chairman

Executive Committee

300th Celebration Silver Coin

300th Anniversary Coin commemorating the first constituted Grand Lodge from 1717-2017. 1 oz .999 Fine Silver Masonic coin. [One side stamped with Square and Compass and Genesis 1-3. Other Side with Appendant Bodies of masonry and coin sequence Number]. Each are serial number stamped 1-150. Can ask for specific number and availability but requires coordination with Bayardo Reyes at

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Vol. 1, No. 11 - Oct 2022


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© 2021-2022 | All Rights Reserved | The Ashlar

Last updated 11 May 2022

Publisher: Joseph F. Oelgoetz, 32° KCCH

Editor: Cameron Jay Davis, 32°

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