In the Royal Arch Degree, after the Most Excellent Masters have satisfied the Grand Masters of the Veils, the Royal Arch Captain, the Captain of the Hosts and the Grand Council that they are Most Excellent Masters,
the High Priest asks the question "What part of the building are you willing to undertake?"
The Principal Sojourner responds with - "We are inclined to undertakeany, even the most servile to promote this great and glorious work."
The High Priest then says - "Your modesty bespeaks your merit and from the specimens of skill which you have alreadyexhibited in the preceding degrees, we have no doubt that you will be able to execute any, even the most difficult. But at present it is necessary that the rubbish be removed from the eastern portion of the old Temple, preparatory to laying the foundation for the new. After receiving the proper working tools, you will repair to the designated spot and begin your labors. And I give it you strictly in charge to observe and preserve everything which may be found of importance to the Craft and in due time present it to this Grand Council for their inspection."
The Degree continues on and the Companions discover and present the keystone of a Mark Master; the jewels of the first three Most Excellent Grand Masters; and, a true copy of the ark of the covenant. The true copy of the ark of the covenant is opened and the following imitations are discovered: a Pot of Manna and Aaron's Rod; then the true copy of the Book of the Law and the Testimony and the key to the mysterious characters on the top and sides of the ark are discovered in the ark. All of this transpired a long time ago; however, these items "Found in the Quarries" form the basis of our ritual of the Royal Arch Degree today.
But now to our present, then to the future, and the question: will our future generations find "Something New in the Quarries"??????
In late November 1996, Ex. Jack Canard of Alexandria returned to the Northern Virginia area after spending some time in California. He found that it was very difficult to find out information about Masonic activities in order to get "re-connected" in that area. Jack then decided to "build a homepage or web site" on the Internet. In mid-January 1997 he published THE VIRGINIA MASONIC INFORMATION NET. This Site contains EVERYTHING that a Mason needs to build a "server" with it's primary purpose to provide "timely notice" to the brethren of Virginia on all items that need a "quick response". Meetings, sick lists and funeral notices are given a high priority.
The Site contains "links" to all the Grand Lodges that have "homepages" and many other sites for Masonic Research and discussions. It also contains many non-Masonic links to help anyone discover and search the Information Highway. This Net and server has doubled over the past year and now currently contains over 700 members of the Craft who are able to send messages to the whole net instantaneously. His website has had over 14,200 visitors as of April 10, 1998.
Jack has also published the Grand Lodge of Virginia Official Home Page.
In January of 1997, as a cooperative effort to Jack's work , three York Rite Sites were published on the Internet. They were the VIRGINIA KNIGHT TEMPLAR INFORMATION Site, the Virginia Royal Arch Information NET and the Virginia York Rite Information Site. In May of 1997, the Grand Commandery of Virginia at Annual Conclave approved an "Official Home Page" and ME Sam Palmer sanctioned the "Official Grand Chapter Page". The Knight Templar Information Site continues and has had over 3000 visitors while the Virginia York Rite Site is now over 5000 visitors..
At that time a "York Rite Fellowship List" or e-mail address book was established with 38 members. As of today that list has grown to 284 members all around the world and has received 922 visitors. The Visitor's Guest Book to contains 233 comments and has been visited 765 times.
The most recent comment is as follows:
Subj: praise for website
Date: 98-04-10 19:10:30 EDT
From: DEMETRIOS@TMLP.COM (DEMETRIOS J. SARANTOPOULOS)
I am speechless. I could not imagine anyone putting this much work into
something without "The Hope Of Fee or Reward" It is so gratifying to
able to view this massive piece of work and with pride show it off to my
family and friends. I hope that more people who are not Masons will find
the time and interest to visit the site. I have just become a surfer on
the Internet and boy is it awesome. I am writing this while listening to
your organ music "What a Nice Touch" again keep up the good work and
Demetrios J. Sarantopoulos
186 Leach Avenue
Brockton, Mass. 02401
In August of 1997 the National York Rite Sites were established for General Grand Chapter, General Grand Council, Grand Encampment, Knights Templar USA, and the York Rite Freem@sonry Information Site. In November of 1997, the York Rite Link Site for mastermason.com was published with 34 York Rite Sites. As of April 10, 1998, there are now 95 sites. These five link sites have received over 4500 visitors five months. Personally, I have created 55 web sites on the Internet, including six personal and ten official home pages for York and Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
As of today these sites have received over 40,000 visitors. Yes, Freemasonry on the Internet is alive and growing.
It is providing Masonic awareness to the "uninitiated" and improving communications and fellowship among brethren. Also providing "further light" in all aspects of Freemasonry around the world.
In fact candidates are also being obtained an as an example, I received an e-mail from a young fellow in Sterling, Massachusetts. He had visited my Wilder Lodge Trestleboard Site and "declared that he was interested in Freemasonry". I immediately e-mailed my brethren on the Internet in Leominster, Mass. And he received his entered apprentice degree on March 10, 1998. If all goes as planned I will raise him on May 26, 1998 with a group of e-m@sons. E-m@sons raising an E-c@ndadate. That's what this is ALL ABOUT MY COMPANIONS!!!
And now to the future of the Internet and Computers - for that let me quote some "experts".
In an on-line report dated April 9, 1998, Steve Case the CEO of America On Line states the following in his "Meeting the Challenges of a New Medium"
"Every day we are seeing more and more people coming online, exciting new technologies emerging, public policy issues never before debated, and innovative ways to harness the power of intereactivity. So this month's community update focuses on how we are meeting these challenges to build this new medium to its fullest potential".
"Let me start by telling you that we were honored to be asked by General Colin Powell, who spearheaded last year's Presidents' Summit on Volunteerism and now leads America's Promise: The Alliance for Youth, to create an enhanced and more interactive web site for his organization. This new site will serve as an interactive hub for America's Promise, all commitment makers, and Internet users around the world, including AOL's nearly 12 million members. The Web site will launch on April 27, when America's Promise makes its report to the nation on the progress it's made in the first year of this national volunteer movement to help America's young people.
General Powell will also be joining us for a live chat that evening. We will be telling you more about these events in the coming weeks."
"As the Internet becomes more central to people's lives and can serve them in new ways, there is no doubt that our new medium will have an enormous impact on society. I believe we have a golden opportunity -- and a tremendous responsibility -- to make sure that impact is a positive one. Together with many other companies in the Internet online industry, AOL has been working closely with Congress and the White House, as well as with public interest and advocacy groups, to address key issues."
"As we continue to work through all of these issues, we will be guided by two principles: First, this medium offers enormous benefit to consumers and we will do everything possible to ensure that our policy environment enables all consumers to have access to those benefits quickly, easily, affordable and safely.
Second, this medium has the potential to improve our communities and our society, and we will do everything we can to ensure that it meets that potential."
A complete copy of his message is part of this paper.
An this from Nicholas Negroponte of MIT in an Interview with the Editor of the AARP Bulletin, April 1998.
"AARP: I want you to tell our members what to expect in the future. How will they get
information differently, say around the year 2005, from the way they get it today? What should they expect?
Negroponte: When people ask how they're going to get information differently, they tend ... to sort of miss the point. That it's not how you are going to get your radio or your newspaper, but ... how you're going to live. What is community, what is family, what is communications? What does it mean to be part of a community, because with electronic communication, community is no longer physically next-door or in an office. And, for your readership, it's particularly important to think of community that way because they have children and, in some cases, grandchildren. And the older you get, family means more and more to you. So if you see the digital world affecting your community and your family in a positive way, you begin to look at the question of how technology will affect your future a little differently than maybe just thinking about how you're going to get your newspaper or how you're going to get your television broadcast. When you realize that you can divide the world into two parts, one that's composed of atoms and the other composed of bits, and you really start to understand all the things that can be turned into bits -- ... television and telephone calls and newspapers -- ... that's a very big change in our future. We're going to live very differently. We're going to live much more connected lives. And I think that's really very important.
As an example, I look at my communication with my 81-year-old mother, which is almost daily now, even though she lives in Switzerland or England, wherever she happens to be. We have a daily exchange -- I mean, it's just a few bits, it's not very much ... "
A copy of the complete interview is part of this paper.
Also these comments from Bill Gates CEO of Microsoft also recently indicated that he anticipates that every household will eventually have a PC.
How many companies are still using typewriters??? Even our school systems are teaching our
youth how to use computers.
Huntsman manufactures resins, or "plastic pellets", that are used to "mold" the CRT enclosures for Sony - Gateway Computers. Over thirteen (13) million pounds have been utilized in that
application since early 1996. That's a lot of Personal Computer Monitors!!!!
It is my opinion that Freemasonry on the Internet will continue to "EXPLODE" and if properly "guided" by the current "operative/speculative - Guild/Masons", it will be a great communication tool to make our Brethren aware of our great York Rite Order and to the uninitiated, awareness of just what we Freemasons are really all about. NOT A SECRET SOCIETY!!!
It is exactly what this craft needs to "jump start Freemasonry" or "move off the Island of Malta" into the next century. In testimony of this, is the amount of candidates being obtained from inquires off the Internet and the ability to get them to the "right person" through the use of the Internet Network of Freemasons. Freemasonry on the Internet should provide a great stimulus to the next generation of Freemasons and perhaps, a "feeling of still really being connected" to our Brethren and Sir Knights who are restricted in their ability to attend meetings. Perhaps even less, demits and suspensions for non-payment of dues????
"IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME!!!"
All of this brings me to the subject, perhaps finally, of this paper,
"Something New Found in the Quarries".
I would like to submit that if a similar circumstance occurs in the "FUTURE" as in the Royal Arch Degree, that perhaps a COMPUTER will be the "Something New Found in the Quarries".