The lost passion of Masonic Writing

While scanning through the current titles of the current Scottish Rite Journal November / December 2022 I came across an interesting article. On page 4 – Wing to Wing ~ The Story of the Library Newsletter caught my eye.

The author of the article mentions something at the start of the article, “Towards the end of the periodical age of the 19th Century”.

This speaks of the many periodicals throughout North American Freemasonry and around the world that were created for the hungry Freemasons who wanted to read about their Ancient Craft.

Within Oregon Freemasonry there were several early periodicals that WB Michael Robinson Grand Chaplain and Past Grand Historian wrote about recently in his paper named, “The Oregon Masonic News Then and Now“. In this paper WB Robinson goes into great detail concerning our Oregon Jurisdiction’s Periodical history.

We fast forward to the 1950’s-1980’s to see that members of Research Lodge of Oregon No. 198 were pumping out ‘massive’ amount of papers and articles that were shared within Research Lodge Papers Volume 1-4 (out of print) and newly surfaced audio tapes that have recently been inventoried by WB David Tate Secretary of No. 198.

We fast forward once again to today.

The ‘lost art’ of writing papers somewhere between 1980’s and 1990’s became a lost art. Maybe because the Brothers who had enjoyed putting the effort into programs and papers passed away and traveled to their home with the G.A.O.T.U., or maybe Brothers of the lodges (the new generation of Freemason’s) don’t find this an interesting pursuit.

I honestly do not know, nor do I have a theory on this. I just know the facts. Writing for the pre-cursors of the Oregon Masonic News were an available resource that Brothers could submit their letters and papers to. And these articles were wonderful. Outside of these periodicals of the past we look at today and the esoteric minded Brothers have no outlet. Even if there was an outlet I am not confident that the passion for Brothers to write is still there.

Recently there has been movement within the Grand Lodge of Oregon for the possibility of increasing the page count of the Oregon Masonic News to allow for more articles, or larger articles to be added. This would fill the void that has occurred since the end of the periodical age ended here in Oregon.

There are Brothers out there such as WB David Tate, WB Michael Robinson, WB Erik Arneson and WB Dan Gray who enjoy creating papers and programs. There are two lodges within the Oregon Jurisdiction that work very hard at providing programs such as Research Lodge of Oregon No. 198 and Esoterika No. 227. I dabble here and there. I enjoy doing the research and creating the paper. I give programs within my lodge every year. When asked I also give programs at other lodges.

But… I must be honest, I do not know of many other lodges who write articles for their monthly trestle boards and websites or give programs within their lodges.

We are in the dark ages of the giving and sharing of Programs and Papers.

I think it is safe to say out of the 101 Masonic Lodges in Oregon there must be at least half of these lodges that has one Brother as a member that enjoys writing about Masonic Topics. That would be 50 articles and / or papers that could be shared and submitted into a ‘new periodical’ for us Esoteric minded Brothers who enjoy reading and expanding our knowledge base.

50! articles a year! Goodness wouldn’t that just be wonderful.

Question that I ask is this:

“Is there interest in creating a periodical similar to the periodicals of the past?”

An example of fine work is shared below:

GLO Digital Archives – Masonic Papers Note: I have gone to great efforts to only have papers added to the Digital Archives that have been donated for viewing and reading by the authors. If any author would like their papers to be removed please contact Johnny J. Edwards ( johnny6_28_66@yahoo.com ) privately and the paper in question will be removed asap.

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