Brethren are invited to send in material for display on this page - the only requirement is that it be of Masonic interest. Click on a picture to obtain a larger version.
This plaque appears on the plinth of the Statue of Liberty, and relates to a time when working tools appear to have been more than symbolic. The wording on the plaque is as follows:
ON THIS SITE ON AUGUST 5TH, 1884, THE CORNERSTONE OF THE PEDESTAL OF THE STATUE OF "LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD" WAS LAID WITH CEREMONY BY WILLIAM A. BRODIE, GRAND MASTER OF MASONS IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. GRAND LODGE MEMBERS, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES AND FRENCH GOVERNMENTS, ARMY AND NAVY OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF FOREIGN LEGATIONS, AND DISTINGUISHED CITIZENS WERE PRESENT. THIS PLAQUE IS DEDICATED BY THE MASONS OF NEW YORK IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THAT HISTORIC EVENT.
W.Bro. Grahame Meachen 13/11/15
W.Bro. Grahame Meachen 21/10/00
Recently I was given a small ritual book entitled "The Irish Workings of Craft Masonry", reputed to have belonged to my grandfather. In it was a folded, yellowing page cut from an autobiography of some one regrettably unknown, with the following paragraphs marked:
'A third story connected with Doneraile: it is famous for an event which I believe is unique in the history of Freemasonry. It was at this old Irish house that the only woman Mason was initiated. The Lord Doneraile of the time, a Mason of high standing, had converted his gunroom into a Masonic Temple. There was only one exit from this room into the main hall of the house, and the only other means of entering or leaving was by way of a small staircase which led up to a chamber in which certain articles were stored. This chamber had no other exit, which meant that anyone in the small room could not get back into the main portion of the house without passing through the gunroom.
Lady Doneraile had gone through the gunroom into the small chamber some time before the Masons began their meeting. She had either dozed, or her mission had taken longer than she expected, but when she began to leave she found her way blocked by the meeting. She also discovered that she could hear every word that was being spoken.
Eventually she gave away her position and it was decided by the perturbed Masons that she must take an oath of secrecy and also conform to the laws of Masonry.'
I would be very interested if anyone can throw any light on this (presumably apocryphal) anecdote. Very little information is contained about the author on the single page, but it appears that his grandfather, one General George Selby, owned a house called 'Velmead' which stood (or may even still stand, though in these days of infill building this appears unlikely) somewhere in the Crookham area.
Addendum #1 - many thanks to C. Castellini for this URL relating to the clipping: http://www.iol.ie/~nodonnel/doncourt.htm
W.Bro. Grahame Meachen 10/01/20