(20230702) Canada: GL Manitoba: News

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(20230702) Canada: GL Manitoba: News
Volume 15 | 2023






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That’s a good question ?


What is The “Forget-Me-Not” flower, Newfoundland/Labrador and Masonry ?


An article by V.W. Bro. Barry D. Thom,

St. Clair lodge # 577, GL of Canada in the Provinces. of ON


Folklore and Legend


     In a German legend, God named all the plants. When a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “Thou shalt be your name.”

          During exile in 1398, Henry IV adopted this flower as his symbol and retained it upon his return to England the following year.

     In 15th-century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. The knight picked a bunch of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the flowers to his loved one and shouted “Forget-me-not”. ( I rather doubt that when not on horseback or in combat, a knight would not be wearing his armour) 

     Ladies often wore it as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.

Remembrance WW I

     On July 1st 1916, the battle of Beaumont Hamel, in France, took place. Just over 800 men of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment left their trenches only to be slaughtered by entrenched German machine gunfire. 272 were killed, most of the remaining were wounded (many died later from their wounds). Only 68 were left standing to answer the role call on the next day. These Newfoundlanders lost their lives within a period of 30-40 minutes. It was a devastating blow to their families back home and caused severe hardship for many years to come. Remember there was no social system in place at that time and families were much larger.

     Prior to that event, on July 1st, 1867 the Dominion of Canada was formed but it wasn’t until 1949 that Newfoundland and Labrador entered into Confederation.

     Today, July 1st is a day of mixed emotions, as it is Canada Day as well. July 1st in Newfoundland and Labrador is still held as Memorial Day, not only for those lives lost in the First World War but all wars and conflicts, as well as those Canadians lost in Peacekeeping missions. 

     After WW I the “Forget-me-not” flower was used as the symbol of Remembrance, in Newfoundland and Labrador but the Poppy slowly displaced it on July 1st as well as November 11th

     In 2012 members of Bay Robert’s Legion Branch # 32 made the decision that the Forget-me-not flower should return to its rightful place on Memorial Day. A member of that Branch was approached and asked to design a lapel pin. Using silk Forget-Me-Not flowers and a ‘tie tac’ to attach it with, this was achieved and approved by NL Provincial Command. 

     In a time when many things are mass-produced in developing countries, it is comforting to know that this pin was designed and handcrafted in Port de Grave, NL, by Florence Morgan-Thom. Florence was born here when this country was still under the British flag.


     In the years between World War I and World War II the blue Forget Me Not flower was a standard symbol used by many charitable organizations in Germany, with a very clear meaning: “Do not forget the poor and the destitute”. It was first introduced into German Masonry in 1926. 

In early 1934, it became evident that Freemasonry was in danger under the Nazi regime. In that same year, the Grand Lodge of the Sun realising the grave situation adopted the Forget Me Not flower, as a substitute for the traditional Square and Compasses.

     In 1936, the Nazis started the ‘Winterhilfswerk’, which consisted of children collecting money on the streets during certain weeks in winter. All youngsters were requested to participate, and they each were given about one hundred pins to sell. However, the money collected did not reach those in need but rather it was used for the rearmament of the Nazi war machine.  

     Each winter a different symbol was chosen, and that pin was the only one allowed to be worn during the time of the collection drive. This was mainly only to identify those who had already contributed. By coincidence, the pin used by the Nazis for the collection, made in 1938, happened to be the “Forget-me-not” flower, chosen by the Freemasons in 1926 and it was made by the same factory in Selb! There is no doubt that the Freemasons who attended the meeting of 1926 were glad to wear it again twelve years later. 

     Whether the pin was worn after the 1938 collection is hard to determine because the wearing of any badge that did not originate from the Nazi Party was a criminal offense under the Nazi regime.

     It is estimated that Hitler killed over one hundred thousand Masons, confiscated their property, and destroyed their records. Freemasonry went underground but still, this delicate flower assumed its role as a symbol of Masonry, surviving throughout the reign of terror.

     Then in 1947, the Grand Lodge of the Sun was reopened and the little blue flower, the Forget-me-not, was proposed and adopted as an official emblem to remember those who had survived the bitter years of semi-darkness, bringing the Light of Masonry once again into the Lodges. Today, in Germany, the Forget-me-not is an interchangeable Masonic symbol with the Square and Compasses. 

     So, let us keep and wear the “Forget-Me-Not”, at all of our lodge meetings. Do this to remember all those who have died because of their membership in our Masonic Brotherhood and also those who today live in countries where those governments persecute them.


, Newfoundland/Labrador and Masonry

An article by V.W. Bro. Barry D. Thom,

St. Clair lodge # 577, GL of Canada in the Provinces. of ON









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A Famous Freemason


William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey was an American boxer, born in Manassa, Colorado on June 24th, 1895. His family was poor and they moved around quite often so his father could find work. His parents converted to Mormonism and at the age of eight he was baptized in the Church of Latter Day Saints. Dempsey dropped out of school in elementary school to help support the family. By the age of 16 he left home. To earn money he went to bars and saloons challenging people to fights. He walked in stating “I can’t sing and I can’t dance, but I can lick any SOB in the house.” Bets were made and the barroom brawls ensued. There were few records kept of these events, it is said Dempsey lost very few of these fights. Shortly after Dempsey became a professional fighter.


In Dempsey’s early career he fought under various names. Because of this it is difficult to get an accurate accounting of his early fight record. It was in 1914, Dempsey added the name “Jack” as a tribute to middleweight boxer Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey.


In 1917, the United States entered World War I and Dempsey went to work in a shipyard while he continued to box. He was accused of being a slacker for not going into combat. It was later revealed he did enlist and was deemed 4-F. In 1919, Dempsey met World Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard for a title match.


Dempsey knocked Willard down in the first round. Dempsey won the fight and it created a controversy which followed him the rest of his life. There were reports after the fight Willard had broken facial bones, ribs and a variety of other injuries too severe to have been inflicted by Dempsey’s unassisted hand. Accusations arose of Dempsey using a knuckleduster, a weapon similar to brass knuckles, in his glove. In Dempsey’s case it was claimed a railroad spike was used. This theory gained some traction when in the film of the fight, something is seen lying on the canvas which is scooped up by someone in Dempsey’s corner. It was brought back to life in the early 1970’s when Dempsey’s manager during the Willard-Dempsey fight claimed when he wrapped Dempsey’s hands he included plaster of Paris in the wrappings. This was debunked though by first hand accounts of the wrappings, the same film showing Willard inspecting Dempsey’s wrappings and tests to see the impact of having plaster of Paris in the wrappings.


Dempsey defended his World Heavyweight Champion title several times. One of the biggest was against Georges Carpentier, a World War I hero from France. The fight took place in New Jersey and was the first million-dollar gate in boxing history. It was also the first national radio broadcast. In his last successful defense of his title against Luis Ángel Firpo, the fight was broadcast to Buenos Aires.


During the course of Dempsey holding the title of World Heavyweight Champion, he became one of the richest athletes in the World and was put on the cover of Time magazine.


In 1926, Dempsey lost his tittle to Gene Tunney. The fight had the largest attendance for a sporting event outside of racing and soccer. When he returned to his dressing room after his defeat he told his wife “Honey, I forgot to duck.” Ronald Reagan used the same line with his wife Nancy after his assassination attempt.


Dempsey attempted to win back his title in 1927 from Tunney. Dempsey was losing the fight until he came back and knocked Tunney to the canvas. There was a new rule instituted at the time which required the boxer to go to a neutral corner.


Dempsey refused to go and the referee had to escort him over to the corner. This gave Tunney an extra 5 seconds to recover and was able to get up on the 9 count. Dempsey was later knocked down and some say Tunney did not go to a neutral corner and the referee counted anyway. Regardless of any controversy it was Dempsey’s last major fight. He continued to do exhibition matches.


When the United States entered World War II, Dempsey enlisted again. This time in the New York National Guard. He then transferred to the United States Coast Guard Reserve. He was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard Reserve in 1945. After the war, Dempsey became a philanthropist. He notably stated he was glad he never had to fight Joe Louis in the ring. When Louis fell on hard times, Dempsey headed a charity for Louis to get him back on his feet.


Dempsey passed away on May 31st, 1983 in New York City. He said to his wife, “Don’t worry honey, I’m too mean to die” just before passing away from heart failure. Bro.Dempsey was a member of Kenwood Lodge #800 in Chicago, Illinois.


~ MasonryToday