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Interview with Sovereign Grand Commander Raphael de Sigura PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 12 November 2012 07:05

Συνέντευξη του Υ.Μ.Τ Ραούλ Ντε Σιγούρα


Today, with great pleasure, we present to you an interview by the Greek Masonic News Agency with the Sovereign Grand Commander, Raphael de Sigura.

The Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, 33rd degree, of Greece's Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Raphael de Sigura, was born in Smyrna - of a Spanish family - from where he migrated to Athens with his family.  He studied at the State Jewish School of Athens, Athens High School Number 9 and the Italian School of Athens, and completed his higher studies in economics while learning Italian, French, English and Spanish.  He was engaged in business and industry, and represented many large heavy industrial companies.

During the Occupation he engaged in resistance activity, for which he was awarded the Bronze Cross on December 30, 1945.

1) Sovereign Grand Commander, you are one of the most famous figures in the Masonic area in Greece and beyond.  I would like you to tell me what it is that prompted you to get involved with Freemasonry?

The inherent need to seek a path of self-development beyond the conventional limits set by science, but also beyond everyday modern life.

2) When were you initiated, and what was your Masonic course?

I entered the Masonic Lodge "Ypsilanti" on March 18, 1954.  I entered the Scottish Rite Lodge of Perfection "Mystagogia" on May 20, 1959, the Chapter "Light" on April 20, 1065, and the Council "Jerusalem" on February 14, 1968.  I had the honor of presiding for 12 years over the Supreme Court and 12 years of the Synod of the 32nd degree.  On April 8, 1987 I was proclaimed 33rd degree and I offered my services to the Supreme Council from many positions, especially those of Grand Treasurer, Grand Commander, and finally the Sovereign Grand Commander from November 2007 until today.

3) After so many years of Masonic service, would you say the signs are positive or negative?

The signs are clearly positive because we continue to participate in a great work, above human pettiness, passions and ambiguities.

4) Tell us a little about the action of the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree and the Scottish Rite in general?

In Greece, the Scottish Rite was founded on July 24, 1872, when Demetrios Rodokanakis, as a 33rd degree member of the Supreme Council of Scotland, introduced the first three Greek Masons into the 33rd degree, and together they formed the first Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the the 33rd and Last Degree of Greece.  Since then, the initiatory chain continues unbroken until the one to whom you are talking, who has held this position from November 2007 until today, acknowledging however with humility, as required by the eternal Universal Law, the high task and responsibility of this administrative and intellectual mission.

Regarding the action of the Scottish Rite today, not only in Greece but worldwide, this continuation of initiation has to do with the great paths of spiritual rebirth, a true adaptation to the needs of life, duty, self-sacrifice, chivalry.  It plans an internal Masonic "harmony" of thoughts, philosophies, systems, myths, teachings and - especially - archetypal wisdom.

5) Tell us a bit about the international relations of the Supreme Council?

The Supreme Council maintains relations, recognition, but above all spiritual reciprocity and cooperation with many Supreme Councils on all continents, from nearby Cyprus to Cuba and Togo.  Indeed, in recent years it has been represented in most international conferences, attempting to contribute to the development of Freemasonry in general, and particularly the Scottish Rite.

6) What do you think are the major problems and challenges presented to Greek Freemasonry today?

I'll answer you this way.  The main aim of Freemasonry is the activation of the keys to initiation.  The very idea is that Masonic initation is a key, not a treasure.  It may be likened to planting a seed.  There is a duty to cultivate the seed well and systematically by anyone involved in the Masonic system.  The power of the initiatory inspiration will then be determined.  It will lead the true Freemasons through the mazes of everyday life to an inner perfection.  That is why the initiatory path must be developed with affection, experience, and the patience of the sower,  and not by greed for the personal enjoyment of an individual.

This is the challenge of Freemasonry today!

7) For the last two years our country has been plagued by an unprecedented economic crisis.  Closely related to it there is a discrediting of principles, values and institutions.  Do you think Freemasonry can act as a brake on the degeneration of society and create the conditions for a new start for Greek society?

I believe this firmly.  When we were initated, we were taught that we seek the Word, knowing that we must do so in a world that is confused, disordered and chaotic.  Along with this, Freemasonry gave us emotional and cognitive skills (Faith, Love, Hope, Rationalism), with the instructions for our eternal journey.  We travel through this earthly world, primarily to help and be helped.  Woe to us, if we confine ourselves to our own Lodges in our philosophy and cut ourselves off from the outside world!  Woe to us, if our discussions in the Lodge are not simultaneously food for our road to Emmaus.  The city dies and needs us.  We must do our duty!

8) What position should charity hold in the life of a Freemason?

This is just one way of giving thanks along our earthly path.  Good work toward our fellow man, with particular reference to unselfishness.  "When you fed the hungry, clothed the naked, comforted the afflicted, tended the sick, you did it to me!" [Matthew 25:31-46].  From the depths of time, the word of Jesus comes to our days!  It means this is our first, our very first task!  Always to serve mankind!

9) How far away do you see the day when all Greek Masons realize that they are not opposing forces but working for a common goal?

The initiatory exercise leads inevitably to familiarity with the area of the internal dimension of Being, where there is freedom of morals and the law of love.  Thus, it is evident that practicing the method of Freemasonry is a process that will bring us into direct contact with our hidden selves.  When this is understood, when all the Masonic forces are experienced, then Freemasonry will be united, universal and a pioneer.

10) Has Freemasonry changed you as a human being, and to what extent?

It changed me as a person at every level of my life, social, spiritual and moral.  This inheritance was handed to me by my predecessors as a sacred trust, not only personally but also together with my fellow Masons to cultivate and promote Freemasons of all degrees and systems - all of them my people.

But I changed gradually and as a process, however, as a Mason.  It made me see that in addition to the well-known, most unproductive acts and meaningless displays of power, we Europeans need a new Masonic value, which ought to lead to a substantial impact on our own souls and give meaning to our efforts.

11) Recently, Greek Freemasonry lost a great brother, Basil Patkos.  Would you like to tell us a few words about the deceased and his work?

I did not personally know the deceased.  But I know that he was a spiritual human being, learning to become internally developed and responsible.  In memory of him, I might say in the words of [Albert] Pike, "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us.  What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."

12) In closing, I would like to make a wish not only for the future of Freemasonry, but also for the future of our country.

Allow me to conclude not with hope, but with encouragement.  All Masons must demonstrate that they know how to love, in practice, not just in theory.  In substance, not just in silence.  Beginning first in our Lodges, our brothers' dignity will reveal any weakness.  We have our work to bring to society.  Our contribution is with our own selves: to offer the light of knowledge where it is needed; to put ourselves at the disposal of the distressed; so that we do not abandon Humanity, Faith, Love and Hope.  All this, without expecting any reward!  Only the satisfaction that we have done what we should.


tranletion: Lodge Saint Paul no 3 Minnesota USA

Autistic unit gets boost from Freemasons PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 27 January 2012 07:36

A SCHOOL’S autistic unit has been given a £500 boost by the Freemasons. Fellgate Autistic Unit, within Fellgate Primary School in Oxford Way, Jarrow, was presented with the money as part of the Hedworth Lodge’s Freemasons grand charity. Moira Smith, achievement leader at the unit, said: “We’re very pleased with the money – it’s a very generous gesture, and it’ll be a big help to us. “We’re going to use it to buy vestibular sensory equipment which will help the children who have sensory difficulties. “It’s very expensive equipment, so we’re very grateful.”



Freemasons take on deadly illness PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 27 January 2012 07:12

North Bucks Freemasons are taking on a deadly illness which has killed 21 people in the greater Milton Keynes area over the past two years. Members of Roman Way Lodge have donated £1,000 to the MK Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The cash was handed over by the lodge’s president, Mick Hull, to the charity’s branch chairman, Charles Reece, at St Giles Parish Rooms in New Street, Stony Stratford. Mr Hull, 62, is a retired company director, of Cottisford Crescent, Great Linford. He said: “Freemasonry is a community organisation promoting friendship, decency, and charity, so we couldn’t think of a more deserving cause than fighting this deadly disease, which has claimed the lives of 21 people in MK over the last couple of years.” Mr Reece, 57, a Towcester farmer, co-founded the branch in 1991. His father and a cousin have died from the illness. He said: “It is a wonderful contribution from such a small lodge. It will help us to support more than 20 families in the MK area who are dealing with the disease, which stops messages from the brain reaching muscles. “It is a gradual process and can take between a few months and many years, often leaving the person totally paralysed. Only the heart muscle, brain, and eye lids are unaffected. So an intelligent person is trapped within a useless body. “Around 50 per cent of people with MND die within 14 months. In 2010, 16 people died from MND in MK. In 2011, five people died. So Roman Way Lodge will making a strong contribution to helping local people deal with this illness.” Clifford Drake, the deputy head of MK and Bucks Freemasons, said: “I congratulate Roman Way Lodge for raising such a fine sum from such a small membership base. “It is heart-warming to see them making such as positive contribution to the community. They have really lived up to our values of friendship, decency, and charity, in confronting such as deadly and tragic disease.”



Freemason’s Association of Anguilla Donates US $1000.00 in Groceries to Five Families in Blowing Poi PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 09 January 2012 07:25

Under the umbrella of the Freemasons Association of Anguilla which encompasses seven Masonic Lodges and Chapters working on Anguilla, members donated $1,000.00 (US) in groceries to five families in the Blowing Point community. The donations of food and other supplies will go a long way in ensuring that families in our community will be able to have a blessed holiday season.
A spokesman for the organization explained that charity collected at Masonic meetings as well as funds raised at various functions is earmarked for worthy causes.
“Charity is a huge part of Freemasonry and since charity begins at home, we thought it prudent to help families in the Blowing Point community, which has been our home for nearly thirty (30) years,” said Mr. Seymour Hodge who currently serves as the Lodge’s Public Relations Officer.
The main lodge, Unity 9166, which is currently under the mastership of Mr. KairahFleming was consecrated in Anguilla on 8th November 1985. Since then the membership has grown to over sixty (60) men from all walks of life. Freemasonry, described as a fraternal organization with some three million recognized members worldwide, has had many myths and misconceptions about it over the years, mainly because of the “perceived secrecy.” “We are not a secret society and membership is open to all men. All we ask is that they believe in a supreme being, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or of any other religious belief, and are of good repute.” says Mr. Fleming.
In addition to the most recent donations, the Freemason’s Association of Anguilla has and will continue to support the Blowing Point Community Center and other charitable organizations on Anguilla.

:The Anguillian

'Silent killer' warning from freemasons PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 09 January 2012 07:24

THE dangers of a 'silent killer' have been highlighted by members of the Freemasons who hope to save lives through talking about prostate cancer. Members of Amersham Lodge, which meets at the Masonic Centre in St Peter Street, Marlow, have raised £250 to educate the people of South Bucks about the disease. They handed over the cash to Chiltern Prostate Cancer Support Group at St Mary and St George’s Church in Dashwood Avenue, Sands, High Wycombe. Amersham Lodge’s charity secretary, Dr Richard Waterfield, 75, of 43 Stubbs Wood, Chesham Bois, Amersham, said: “I am one of four Amersham lodge members who are recovering from prostate cancer. “It is a silent killer, because people choose not to talk about it. That’s a mistake. “We want to encourage men to check themselves for the early signs of the disease. And to discuss it with their family and friends. “Early detection and treatment is the best way of fighting prostate cancer. Talk about it. Now. Before it’s too late.” The condition affects one man in six in Bucks. The cash will help promote a wide network of support volunteers. Deputy head of Marlow and Bucks Freemasons, Clifford Drake, said: “Freemasonry is all about friendship, decency, and charity, so Amersham Lodge’s battle against prostate cancer is an excellent example of how ordinary people in south Bucks can take action to fight this silent killer.”

: Bucks Free Press

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