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Robbie Burns – The Scottish Bard

As many have heard the name Robert Burns and usually in association with a Lodge Burns Supper, many still may not know who this Freemason is and why he is important.

First let’s look at the basics:

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National BardBard of Ayrshire, the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist.

He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is in a “light Scots dialect” of English, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

Robert Burns was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Lodge St. David, Tarbolton on 4 July (ironic date) 1781, at the age of 23. His initiation fee was 12s 6d, and paid on the same date. Like many other times in his life, Burns came into the lodge amidst a controversy. Originally, there had been only one lodge in Tarbolton, chartered in 1771 from the Kilwinning Lodge, which is said to be the oldest lodges in the world (again, another story worth telling, yet for another time).

In 1773, a group broke away from the lodge, forming Lodge St. David No. 174, and the original lodge became St. James Tarbolton Kilwinning No. 178, only to be reunited in 1781, 9 days before Burns’s first degree. However, while St. James was clearly the older of the two lodges, St. David’s name was used, and the seeds were sown for further dissension. Burns in the meantime was passed to the degree of fellowcraft and raised to the degree of Master Mason on the 1st October 1781. The Lodge record book, according to James Mackay’s “Burns” reads as follows:

Robert Burns in Lochly was passed and raised, Henry Cowan, being Master, James Humphrey Senr. Warden, and Alexr. Smith Junr. Do., Robt. Woodrow Secy. and James Manson Treasurer, and John Tannock Taylor and others of the brethren being present”.

Burns was an extremely popular poet Laureat and lyricist of his day.

Many of Burns’s most famous poems are songs with the music based upon older traditional songs. For example, “Auld Lang Syne” is set to the traditional tune “Can Ye Labour Lea”, “A Red, Red Rose” is set to the tune of “Major Graham” and “The Battle of Sherramuir” is set to the “Cameronian Rant”.

Typically nearing the end of January some Lodges host a Robbie Burns Supper with traditional Scottish flair and signing of Scottish folk songs as well as the traditional pipping in the “Haggis”. If you have never witnessed these events, well you’re in luck as this year, the Scotia Lodge 634 is hosting a “virtual Burns supper”.

Scotia Lodge No. 634 hosting “virtual” Brother Robert Burns Supper with “Virtual” Haggis

Brothers and friends —

Scotia Lodge is holding this year’s Burns Night on Sunday, 1/23/2022 starting at 8:00 pm — once again it will be held in a safe, virtual way.

The good news? Since there is no food or drink involved, THERE IS NO CHARGE!

The event is open to Brothers and their male friends.

If you have ever wondered what Burns Night at Scotia is like, THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY to find out at NO cost!  The details are below, at the bottom of this message.

Although we must postpone the Batchelors’ Club debate, YOUR participation is STILL possible!  Here are some options:

1.  Turn on your phone (or a video camera) and record a joke that we can play back during the event.  Send video clips (or a link to video) to and we can include it.  If we have enough clips we will play them during the event.
2.  Use your phone or camera to record your own video clip of an interesting fact or legend related to Burns, to Scottish history or culture, etc. and we can share it during the event. You can even record a “fact” that you have completely made up (followed by the truth).  If you have questions about this, call or text 212-777-8080 and VW Bob Gengerke will address them.
3.  A copy of “Tam O’Shanter” will be sent to Scotia members for their participatory reading.  If you have not read in the past but like to be assigned a selection to read, please submit your request to before Friday afternoon 1/21/2022.

Scotia Lodge Annual Burns Night
Sunday evening, January 23, 2022 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time
If you use the Zoom app, enter the ID and passcode:
Meeting ID  851 0456 4719
Passcode  064045

Star of the East comes out in force

Last night at Riverhead Lodge’s DDGM visit, 11 brothers from Start of the East Lodge in Amagansett came out and decisively took the Suffolk District Traveling Gavel.

By all reports the evening was well attended and all had a great time.

It’s always great to see the brothers out and about the district and supporting other brothers at their respective Lodges.

The following day, W:. Lombardo took the gavel on a tour of the east end and jumped right into the “talking smack”
that typically follows a successful Gavel capture.

Now inquiring minds are wondering when it’s time for another lodge to come and take the gavel from Start of the East, will they require any customs forms to be able to take it across the border???

Suffolk District Fundraiser in memory of Joanne Kessler

Please donate what you can to this worthy cause.


The wild game dinner is back for 2022!

After a hiatus of a year due to COVID the Wild Game, AKA “Road Kill Dinner” is back. This year the dinner will be held a Riverhead Lodge #645 on Saturday, Feb. 26th at 6PM.

The Suffolk District Youth Committee hosts the event and will be serving us some favorites of the last 16 years the event has been held.

The proceeds of the event will go the Camp Turk Wishlist. The committee is requesting a $40.00 donation per person to attend the event. Don’t procrastinate as this event is very popular so tickets will go fast.

I hope to see many there for this event to support Camp Turk.

Call or text the numbers above for reservation/tickets.

Happy Masonic New Year!

It’s 2022 (A.L. 6022) and we hope all have a happy and prosperous New Year! There is lots happening in the coming months and the quarries have certainly been busy the last few.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
MWBro.  Benjamin Franklin

Public Re-Presentation for RW Joseph Saglimbene, Grand Treasurer & RW Spiro Triantafilis, Deputy Grand Marshal

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 12, 2022 for the Public Re-Presentation for R∴W∴ Joseph Saglimbene, Grand Treasurer & R∴W∴ Spiro Triantafilis, Deputy Grand Marshal at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, 28 Lincoln Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY.

REQUIRED:  RSVP – RW Joseph Saglimbene at 347-307-3867 or Grand Treasurer’s Email

Lets get ready to RUMBLE – with Masonic Education

2021 is coming to a close in a just a few weeks, the holidays will be here before we know it and our busy schedules will be strained to the breaking point. Its a yearly routine and as we all know the last 24 months has been anything but routine. Hopefully things will be rocking and rolling by February as this is the beginning of the Road to the East course, followed by the Masonic Development Course. The Road to the East (RTE) is a required course for all who seek to be installed in the east in the near future. The Masonic Development Course (MDC) is a great course for new Brothers to take to get a deeper dive into Freemasonry. Some older more seasoned Brothers are also welcome to reacquaint yourselves with the basics of Freemasonry and take the MCD as well.

If you plan to take either or both courses, you will need to contact R∴W∴ Robert Licata, GLSO. You can email him here -> GLSO