Point Pleasant, NJ

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Durand Lodge #179 F. & A.M.

Home of the Williams Balcony

Master's Message - June/July 2021

The Entered Apprentice

Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. This is the definition given to the initiate during his First Degree. This is a candidate's first experience with the ceremonies of the Fraternity, and like all Masonic ceremonies, it is a solemn and meaningful event. Once a candidate completes the Entered Apprentice ceremony, he takes his first step as a Freemason and enjoys the title of "Brother."

Being part of the initiatic tradition is what distinguishes Freemasonry from purely social or philanthropic organizations. While there are many different organizations that contribute large sums of money to charity, offer fellowship with like-minded men, or provide education, Freemasonry is unique in that it embodies all these things, but is actually focused on offering men a traditional initiation into the mysteries of life and death. The initiatic tradition is the core, defining characteristic of Freemasonry, without which there would be nothing to differentiate Masonry from other social or philanthropic organizations.

The process of experiencing the initiatic tradition, becoming a part of it, and improving oneself through its lessons is known as Masonic Formation. This is an ever-continuing process of spiritual and intellectual formation that all Freemasons must continuously undergo. Masonic Formation is the process of fitting the Rough Ashlar of our imperfect being into the Perfect Ashlar fit for the Divine temple. It is a constant transformation through the use of Masonic symbols, rituals, and teachings on a journey of return to the center of our being. W. L. Wilmshurst, in his book Meaning of Masonry, writes, "the very essence of the Masonic doctrine is that all men in this world are in search of something in their own nature which they have lost, but that with proper instruction and by their own patience and industry they may hope to find."

Fraternally Yours,

WM Joseph Pollara
Durand Lodge No. 179
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

Independence Day

The 4th of July is incredibly significant in American history, as it marks the day the United States officially became its own nation. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776 and thus, America was born. American citizens celebrate America’s birthday with festivals, parades, fireworks, barbecues, sparklers, and other festive activities.

Before America was its own country, it was comprised of 13 colonies established by Great Britain. The first colony was settled in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. European countries, especially Great Britain, continued to colonize America throughout the 17th century and a good portion of the 18th century. By 1775, an estimated 2.5 million settlers lived in the 13 colonies: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Tensions started brewing when Great Britain began passing legislation that gave it more control within the colonies, especially when it came to taxing the colonists. This became known as taxation without representation and quickly became a heated pillar in the foundation of the American Revolution.

Events such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party further escalated tensions between British occupiers and American colonists. Those tensions exploded in April 1775 when the Battles of Lexington and Concord broke out in Massachusetts as British forces attempted to confiscate weapons from the colonists. It was the first time colonial militias battled British troops, and thus, the American Revolutionary War began.

In June 1776, there was a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Here, Virginia statesman Richard Henry Lee proposed a motion for the colonies to declare independence from Britain. On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted – and America became a free nation.

The 4th of July is a holiday Americans hold near and dear to their hearts. It marks the day America became the country it is today; a country where people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On this day, we remember the United States’ fight for freedom and celebrate our country with friends, family, food, and fun. Happy birthday, USA!

Sincerely & Fraternally,
Joseph Pollara, Worshipful Master

Father's Day

Father's Day is a day of honoring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influenceof fathers in society. Credit for originating the holiday is generally given to Sonora SmartDodd of Spokane, Washington, whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth. She is said to have had the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon on Mother's Day, which at the time was becoming established as a holiday. It became a national holiday in 1972, when Pres. Richard Nixon signed legislation designating the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. Father's Day is celebrated on Sunday, June 20, 2021.

Fathers are like the candles they make daylight out of darkness. A father is someon e who is concerned with everything we do. As we celebrate all the fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and those special men who have stepped up in each of our lives. Thank you for being the helpers, teachers, coaches, and role models for our children. Thank you for being present, attentive, and engaged in your children's lives. This, above all else, is what really matters.

St. John the Baptist Day

St. John the Baptist was a stern and just man, intolerant of sham, of pretense, of weakness. He was a man of strength and fire, uncompromising with evil or expediency, and, yet, courageous, humble, sincere, and magnanimous. A character at once heroic andof rugged nobility, was eulogized by Jesus, "Among them that are born of woman, there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist." John the Baptist baptized Jesus andproclaimed Him the "Lamb of God."

Early in our Masonic travels, we were told that we were seeking admission to a lodge, erected to God and dedicated to the Holy Saints John. The first St. John, the Baptist, is recognized by a special day, June 24th. The other, St. John the Evangelist, has been designated a day, December 27th. In Freemasonry, it is strange that that the Holy Saints John were selected as the Patron Saints of Freemasonry rather than St. Thomas who is considered the Patron Saint of Masonry. Masonic scholars state that these two wereselected as St. John the Baptist represented t he faith and zeal that should actuate every Mason while the Evangelist represent how our passions and actions should be temperedthrough reason and knowledge.

St. John the Baptist's Day is a festival day celebrated around the Summer solstice where the sun is at its zenith marking the shortest night of the year and the start of Summer. In Freemasonry, this day should be used to renew and strengthen the ties between Brothers.

Sincerely & Fraternally,
Joseph Pollara, Worshipful Master