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A Mason’s Mark

January 27th, 2009

Last Sunday, Bambit, our little girl Maia and Ate Bibing went for a morning walk at Nayong Pilipino or whatever is left of it.

It was a stroll cum photo-shoot sortie. While Bambit was looking for picture-perfect-subjects, Maia called her up and said, “look mommy, look, it’s a MASON.” Maia found a word “MASON” chiseled on the road cement (inset photo).

Maia pronounces the word Mason as MAAH-SOON, the first time she read the print “MY DAD IS A MASON” at the back of one of her t-shirts. And yes, she recognizes Masonic symbols like the ubiquitous Square and Compasses, and gave all of them, including Masonic events, with a generic nomenclature as “MAAH-SOON”. Like, she would ask me while I am preparing to go to our Lodge meeting, “are you going to MAAH-SOON, Ama?”

Back to Maia’s find. I’m sure this mark carries with it many stories. But I’d like to fancy it as a mark left by one of the Masons who made the road. I guess it was not even his name. I think he just etched the word that instantly came to his mind that can collectively identify all of them – mga MAAH-SOON. This drift is consistent with an ancient practice among operative Masons.

According to WIKIPEDIA: A mason’s mark is a symbol often found on dressed stone in buildings and other public structures. Scottish rules issued in 1598 stated that on admission to the guild, every mason had to enter his name and his mark in a register.

Another: THE subject of Marks forms an interesting episode in the history of Masonry, both Operative and Speculative. A Mason’s Mark is a monogram, a symbol, or some other arbitrary figure chiselled by a mason on the surface of a stone for the purpose of identifying his own work and distinguishing it from that of other workmen.

I find the mark that Maia found fascinating and noble all together. The marker could have written, “Junrhey loves Jonahlyn” or “Carding was her,” for crying out loud, but instead he chose to put a mark that gives due recognition and distinction to their craft – that of him or them being Masons. Proud of their work, proud of of their craft.

More often, the nobility and virtues of Masonry can still be found marked in the hearts of those who truly build roads, buildings and other stately edifices, than those who just proclaim themselves Masons by flashing their fancy decals and titles, but doesn’t know how to build an edifice of virtue in their hearts nor spread the cement of brotherly love.

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  1. Joji Bulawin
    January 28th, 2009 at 10:40 | #1

    gee…i forgot my york rite mark na…

  2. January 30th, 2009 at 14:27 | #2

    I pronounce MASON as Ma ah soon.

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