Jim Tresner, 33, G.C.
Guthrie, Oklahoma
Book Reviews Editor, Scottish Rite Journal

Once again, as is our annual tradition in the November Book Review column, here are many suggestions for gifts Masons might like to give or receive this holiday season. As usual, we’ve tried to cover several types of gifts from books to bibelots.

Masonic Philanthropies: A Tradition of Caring, Second Edition, S. Brent Morris, softbound, 110 pages, $5.00 shipping included; 40% discount for 50 or more to the same address, shipping additional; jointly printed by the Southern and Northern Masonic Jurisdictions. Send checks payable to The Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA, 1733 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009-3103.

Few gifts are more in the spirit of the holiday season than this colorfully illustrated book describing Masonry’s service to mankind. Its first edition appeared in 1991, and most Masons were stunned to realize just how extensive Masonic charity and philanthropy are. The second, expanded edition tells an even more impressive story. If we were awed in 1991 to learn that Masons in the United States gave away a little over $1.5 million each and every day, consider this: the amount is now over $2 million! That’s a stack of $1 bills nearly as tall as a five-story building, per day, 365 days a year!

But the book is more than statistics--it’s stories about real people and the Masonic programs which help them. Edited by Dr. John W. Boettjer, 33, G.C., with the desktop publishing expertise of Bro. Jason A. Naughton, 32, of the Scottish Rite Journal office, the book is lavishly color illustrated with photographs which make the stories come to life. A special treat are the references to Lodge charity when America was in its infancy. Every Freemason should have this book--and several more to give as holiday gifts!

Masonic Speculations, ed. by Kent Henderson and Graeme Love, Spiral-bound, 180 pages, The Victorian Lodge of Research Correspondence Circle, P.O. Box 2018, St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia, 3182. It comes with a membership in the Victorian Lodge of Research Correspondence Circle. Membership $22.50 in U.S. dollars.

It’s worth joining the Correspondence Circle just to get this book containing ten essays. Representative titles are: “A Speculative Talk on German Masonry,” “Man, Music and Masonry,” “The Central Pillar,” “God and Freemasonry,” “The Knights Templar as the Origin of Speculative Freemasonry,” “Background to Israel and the Temple,” and “Freemasonry Through Adversity in the Orient.” The papers cover a great deal of ground with variations in style as well as scholarship, but are all worth reading.

The Quest for Light, by Wallace McLeod, paperbound, 245 pages, $20.00, postpaid (U.S. dollars) order from Kent Henderson, Secretary, Australian and New Zealand Masonic Research Council, P.O. Box 332, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia, 3016.

For those interested in Masonic research, there is no higher recommendation for a book than to note it was written by Wallace McLeod. Everything one expects of him is here--careful research, insightful connections, and a writing style which rings with the clarity of fine crystal. There is wisdom and warning in “Masonic Symbols: Their Use and Abuse,” “One Effect of Censorship: The Neglect of Documentary Evidence,” and “The Credibility Gap in Masonic Ritual.” The latter makes the critical but often overlooked point that the Ritual deals with truth, not fact. All in all, this is a fine collection in which everyone will find something to enjoy.

Masonic Shirts, The Stitch Factory, 5612 S.E. 15th Street, Midwest City, Oklahoma 73110 (Tel. 405-733-1893; Fax 405-737-9885). Check and most major credit cards accepted. Inquire about additional designs and colors.

Shirts make good holiday gifts, and the Stitch Factory specializes in making polo type shirts with embroidered Masonic emblems. Shirts are available in 100% cotton for $28.50 each or a 50/50 cotton/polyester at $17.50 each. Include $5.00 S&H, regardless of the number of shirts ordered. State size (small to 5XL), color (white, black, blue), whether or not you want a shirt with a pocket, and whether you want cotton or blend. Select emblems from Square & Compasses, 32 or 33 eagle, K.C.C.H. Jackets and hats are also available.

Masonic Mouse Pads, 7 1/2" X 7 3/4", $7.00 each, plus $2.00 S&H with each order. Check payable to Livingston Masonic Library, Mouse Pads, 71 West 23rd St., New York, NY 10010-4171

Show your pride in Freemasonry in your home or office through use of a Masonic mouse pad decorated with an 18th-century illustration of King Solomon, Hiram Abiff, and Hiram, King of Tyre. The image is reproduced in slate-blue ink on a high-quality white pad. Sales support the programs of the Livingston Masonic Library.

Masonic Prints, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co, Inc. 3011 Old Dumbarton Road, Richmond, Virginia 23228, The cost is $19.95 plus $4.95 S&H. Send mail orders to address above, or fax your order (Visa and MasterCard) to 804-266-8256.

Masonic prints are among my favorite gifts for Freemasons. Macoy has 26 full-color prints in this series, ranging from Hogarth engravings, a Masonic chart, the Viennese Masonic Lodge (Mozart’s Lodge), and many others. They come in a presentation folder.

Symbolized Masonic Lord’s Prayer, an antiqued print available in two formats: 8"x10" single copy $2.50; 12 copies at $28.00; 11"x14" single copy at $3.50; 12 copies at $38.00. Add $2.00 S&H per order. Checks payable to: J. E. Stratton. Mail to Prayer, 7613 Soaring Free Lane, Charlotte, NC 28226-4439

This reproduction of an antique chart is a perennial favorite among Masons. Originally printed in 1875, the colorful chart gives the text of the Lord’s Prayer embellished with 50 Masonic symbols. It is appropriate for framing and as an heirloom. Bro. Stratton donates proceeds to three Masonic charities: Knight Templar Eye Foundation; Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA; and North Carolina Masonic Foundation.

Don’t overlook some of the excellent values available from the House of the Temple. To order any of the following items, send a check, for the amount indicated, to The Supreme Council, Grand Executive Director, 1733 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20009-3103. (Washington, D.C. residents add 5.75% sales tax; foreign orders add $15 postage and handling.)

Coin Album, containing 15 Biennial Session medallions, mounted in three see-through sheets, $150.00. Every two years, The Supreme Council has a beautiful medallion struck to commemorate the Biannual Session. The coin album is a three-page, hardcover holder filled with medallions. If you already have the loose medallions, you can order an empty, three-page album for $40.00. Empty third sheets with cutouts for the 1997 as well as the unstruck medallions for 1999-2005, are $8.00 each.

The 1997 Biennial Session Medallion, $11.00 each boxed; $22.00 mounted in Lucite. Various other years are available; write and ask for a listing and price.

Four “must own” books by Dr. Rex Hutchens, 33, G.C., from The Supreme Council, are for anyone who is interested in Albert Pike and his work. They are: A Bridge to Light (hardbound $25.00, softbound $10.00), The Bible in Morals and Dogma (hardbound $15.00, softbound $10.00), Pillars of Wisdom; The Writings of Albert Pike (hardbound $15.00, softbound $10.00), and A Glossary to Morals and Dogma ($15.00, hardbound only). Also, consider Albert Pike, The Man Beyond the Monument, by Jim Tresner, ($12.00, only hardbound available).

Also, consider the Masonic ornaments featured in the centerfold of this issue, and if you have a friend who is not a Scottish Rite Mason, why not give him a year’s subscription to the Scottish Rite Journal? It covers news from all branches of Masonry, and you might just inspire a petition. The cost for a year is $4.00, or $9.00 for three years, checks payable to The Supreme Council at the before mentioned address.

Scottish Rite Research Society Of course, there is the great idea of a gift membership in the Scottish Rite Research Society (only $20.00 annually) which includes a complimentary copy of Masonic Philanthropies, Second Edition, with 1998 membership.

Also, the society is now offering two brand-new hardbound books: Lodge of the Double-Headed Eagle, a one-volume history of The Supreme Council; and A Life of Albert Pike, a definitive biography. Both books are available for $28.00 each to society members only (both for $56.00); membership and book checks payable to the Scottish Rite Research Society. Non-members may purchase these books for $35.00.