Origins and heritage of Freemasonry
Presented at the Vancouver Grand Masonic Day, October 21, 2000
by V.W. Bro. John Hamill, Director of Communications, UGLE
V.W. Bro. John Hamill, noted Masonic author and speaker, will visit the Pacific Northwest in October, starting in Calgary on Friday the 13th and finishing with Vancouver Grand Masonic Day in Vancouver on the 21st of October. In between, he will speak in Kamloops on Monday the 16th, Victoria on Tuesday, Sunday on Thursday and Vancouver an Friday and Saturday.
Born in Northumberland in 1947, Bro. Hamill at present is Director of Communications for the United Grand Lodge of England. He is in charge, under the Grand Secretary, of dealing with the public relations challenges faced by the UGLE in the capacity of an official spokesman (involving, since 1984, over 350 radio and 50 TV programmes).
He is a past Grand Lodge Librarian and Curator (1993-1999), a PSGD of the UGLE (1993), PGSoj, Supreme Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch (1997), a Past Master of the research lodge, Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 (1995), and the 1993 Prestonion Lecturer (And the Greatest of These Is Charity). Of the six books (and many articles) he has written, two, The Craft and A Celebration of Freemasonry, we well known In North America. They reflect his deep understanding and interest in the origins of Freemasonry and the development of the Royal Arch.
At present, however, Bro. Hamill is immersed in the profound and fundamental concerns pivotal to the welfare of Freemasonry in England and Europe. No one is closer to the great issues of world Freemasonry then he, and he visits us on the verge of a profound turning-point. No lover of the Craft should miss the opportunity to hear him.
In the course of his several lectures, he will address the following questions:
- Fundamentalswho are we and where do we come from?
- What is the current thinking about our 17th century origins?
- What have our 17th century origins and heritage contributed to who and what we are? How are we humanist? What links us with European (Western) liberalism?
- What was the nature of the evolution of the Order In the early eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? What were some of the purpose those Freemasons had? Have we lost them?
- What deflned the nature of American Freemasonry In the nineteenth century? What was their sense of purpose? Have we lost it?
- What else makes us what we are? What are we not?
- What about us should make it imperative for men who are leaders and pillars of society to join?
- What has contributed to the growth in other grand jurisdictions In Europe and around the world?
- What might be our purpose In the twenty-first century? What might we become a vehicle for?
- How might we restore or rebuild that vehicle?
- How do we undertake the search for truth?
- How do we better prepare new members; provide more substance; create higher expectations and expect them to give more back and therefore understand more about the Degrees before we pass them on? Should we demand proficiency as the criterion for entry?
The public face of Freemasonry
- What has been the experience of the UGLE In the evolution of its public image?
- What have been the problems?
- What Is the nature, and what are the strategies, of (English)
- Is the Roman Catholic Church mounting a new offensive against us?
- How did UGLEs PR problems develop?
- How are they being dealt with?
- What are UGLEs present and future PR goals? Reactive? ProactIve?
- What practical advice would your experience lead you to give other masonic bodies and jurisdictions?