San Antonio Presentation About Honey and Coffee


A Visit to Triune Lodge

This month, the Master of Triune Lodge invited me down to discuss the practical, symbolic, and Masonic history of both honey and coffee. It was a natural topic because our lodge’s fundraiser is our very own Busy Brew Coffee which is imported, roasted, and packaged for and by Waco Masonic Lodge. It also uses the imagery of beehives and honey on its packaging which is an homage to the beehive symbolism that has been in Freemasonry since its earliest days.

Lodge Founded by Waco Past Master

The location for the presentation is important to Waco Lodge history. Triune Lodge was chartered in 1920 and its first worshipful master was Waco’s past master John Strayhorn. In addition to being past master of our lodges, Strayhorn also served as Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons of Texas, was an army surgeon during the Spanish-American War, and played a key role in moving the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas from Houston to Waco at the turn of the 20th century. Certainly, Triune Lodge and Waco Lodge share an important bond through our one-time leader, John Strayhorn who you can read more about by clicking here.

History of Honey and Coffee is Bittersweet

The presentation at Triune Lodge was about 40 minutes and we had a lot of fun exploring the history of two of modern man’s most favorite things to consume. Honey, and the beehive symbology that accompanies it, has been a prized thing in civilization for thousands of years. We talked about the practical and symbolic use of it by everyone from the ancient Egyptians to the first Freemasons. We also delved into how the first Muslims developed coffee and later introduced it to the Western world along with ancient philosophy. Legend says that the discovery of coffee involved dancing goats and the Masons assembled certainly appreciated that idea. Interestingly, the path of coffee in the modern era is impossible to separate from the path of Freemasonry across the world and it happens that one prominent Freemason even used coffee to kill Nazis during WWII! Needless to say, the night was interesting as we shared our own understanding of the symbolism of honey, beehives, and coffee. I suspect Waco Lodge’s past master John Strayhorn would be proud to see Triune and Waco Lodges today.

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