The Skirret

Q. When was the first reference to "The Skirret" in the craft ?

A. The earliest use of this word Masonically, appears in Carlile's Exposure of Freemasonry on page 123, vol. 12, of "The Republican", July 29th, 1825, in his description of the working tools of the 3rd degree.

Q. Should the Installing Master declare all offices vacant ?

A. There are certain offices in a Craft Lodge which, when the Lodge is in session, must be filled to rnaintain the lodge "in being," and so, de facto, are never vacant.

When officers appointed by an outgoing Master relinquish their positions on the intervention of a B. of l.M.'s, it is superfluous and incorrect for the Master to declare all offices vacant.

After the B. of l.M. 's there is a new Master, and it would be useless for an officer to "decline to vacate". Thé Treasurer's position, of course, is not the Master's appointment.

Q. Who was the author of "the Master's Song" ?

A. The author of the Master's Song ("Here's to his Health in a Song") sung at Installations was Richard Rome Bealey, and it first appeared in print in his Field Flowers and City Chimes, a volume of verse printed by John Heywood of Manchester in 1866.

Bealey was bom 7th February, 1828, at Rochdale, and was for many years in business in Manchester. He was one of the founders of the Manchester Literary as Club when he was living at Crumpsall, and its Secretary from 1865 to 1870. As originally printed, the song was entitled "The Man who is kind another", and included a fourth verse which bas not been reproduced for singing. It was set to music by Dr. John Morgan Bentley, a well-known Manchester musician of repute in his day, and appears to have been first sung in the Alexandra Lodge No. 993,
Manchester, about 1875.

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