August 26, 2023 0 Comments
According to the ancient tradition, as the soul journeys through the afterlife, their heart will be placed on a scale against an ostrich feather. If the heart is as light as the Feather, the soul will be welcomed to the Field of Reeds, a place of eternal happiness. Otherwise, the soul will be devoured by a fearsome beast.
In a sense, they're saying that if you live your life in harmony with those around you, you'll feel light and at peace with yourself and everyone else. But if you live your life with wrongdoings and bad deeds due to vanity and avarice, your heart will be heavily burdened.
Nobody really knows if there's such a place as heaven or hell, but we can experience these things while we're still on this material existence. Do good and experience happiness, do bad (and it may make you happy for a brief moment), but you will suffer in the end.
As a gentle reminder of this lesson, we revive our Heart Light As A Feather collection beginning with this eco-friendly (fully certified) hoodie available in black and white. I personally redesigned the logo using the Square and Compasses to ensure good looks and excellent embroidery. Enjoy 10% OFF with discount code FEATHER when you order now—act fast because this promo ends at midnight tonight! Click this link to shop now!
June 05, 2023 0 Comments
This hand-carved wooden block is the stamp we used to print our Memento Mori logo on the certificates of our 2014 wooden watch collection. It was meticulously hand-carved by our designer, Bro. JP.
The block proudly displays our old crossbones logo, which we will be retiring this year to make way for our new logo. We are excited to announce that we are auctioning this one-of-a-kind item to support our fledgling Masonic regalia business, www.hirams.ca.
Our motivation to grow Hiram's stems from our observation that the quality of Masonic Regalia, particularly the Masonic apron, available in the market is steadily diminishing. Therefore, we have embarked on a journey to find the right suppliers, artisans, and manufacturers to partner with.
However, this pursuit has placed a significant financial burden on us as we endure countless trials and errors in search of the perfect partners. After two years of searching, we have finally discovered three key partners that we are delighted to work with. We now have access to excellent ethically sourced and high-quality lambskin, experienced embroiderers, and award-winning carvers. Nevertheless, we still require your support to continue funding this new endeavor.
You can help us by participating in our auction or by sharing this with any Freemason you know who values quality over quantity. To participate in the auction, please click on this link. We've included additional photos of the wood block below for your enjoyment.
March 09, 2023 0 Comments
So I was in the basement sorting out old and forgotten FraternalTies stuff. I need to figure out which things must go (to the trash) and which ones to keep. Every once in a while a rare gem shows up-like the content of this dusty Space Odyssey Monolith looking cardboard box.
The moment I saw the first line in my own handwriting, I knew exactly what it means. But the next line momentarily mystified me. It says, "Wrong tip- Denver 5". I remember that in 2015 we made a custom lodge necktie for Denver Lodge No. 5, the oldest Masonic lodge in Denver, Colorado, but I still recall that the design is definitely not paisley.
I'm not really that big of a fan of using adjectives pertaining to luxury but I can't come up with other words to describe this necktie. Sure a bit of designer bias is probably there but it literally took me about 2 years of making small and incremental adjustments to the design. Each failed fabric swatch is a punch to the gut (and our pocket) but eventually we arrived at the perfect formula.
Here's one of the earliest fabric swatch that is a total failure.
At a glance, the tie looks like just a simple and well-made paisley tie. The looker will now it's not an average cheap tie because it exudes a luminous iridescent sheen especially at various angles. Upon closer inspection, one will peculiar symbols beginning with one (the Eye being the most obvious), and then two, and three... and so on.
In the world of numismatics, coins with mistakes are called "mint errors". This errors end up being the most sought-after because of their rarity. Following this logic, this "First ed." Masonic paisley tie is a true collector's item because of a particular error in weaving. Look closely and you'll see that the letter G in the centre of the Square and Compasses is reversed. While the collectors loved it, I was irked by it especially that it took us over a year of trial and error to arrive at this weave and we didn't notice the error until it was too late. Thankfully, only a small batch was made.
But one thing that makes this a genuine rare tie is, as mentioned on the box, it has the wrong tipping. The so-called tipping is the diamond shape are at the back of the widest tip of a necktie. Traditionally, and to save cost, this part is usually just a plain black piece of polyester. We usually have this part made with the same fabric as the rest of the tie (more expensive but worth it), and sometimes we put customized embroidery on it. Our manufacturer made a one-off mistake and made one of the first-edition paisley ties with a different tipping.
Denver Lodge No.5 Is Colorado's Oldest Masonic Lodge and we are proud to have made a few batches of custom silk ties for them. But this paisley tie is not made for Denver 5. Of the 100 1st edition paisley ties that were made, this particular one ended up with a Denver 5 tipping instead of being self-tipped (tipped with the same fabric as the rest of the tie).
We are putting this rare tie up for auction to help raise funds for Hiram's Regalia- a new business that Rechelle and I have dreamed of setting up many years ago. Our stated mission is "to enhance the Masonic Initiatic experience, one good man at a time." We aim to do this by supplying the Brother with only the best quality lambskin apron (and other regalia products) that we can make. By bidding on this, you are directly helping us achieve our mission.
In case you're wondering what the rest of the Denver Lodge No. 5 necktie looks like, I found this image along with a Testimonial from W. Bro. Rossi.
March 02, 2023 0 Comments
I certainly can't speak for other Canadian Masonic lodges out there but based on what's going on with my lodge (Doric Lodge No. 316 in Toronto), I'd say that there is a resurgence in Freemasonry here in Canada.
As a local artist and craftsman, this is good for our livelihood. In a time when everyone with internet access can get into the dropship business, the Freemason consumer is getting wary of buying Masonic products online. More attention is going back to original artist and creators who actually spend time honing their craft.
Sure our creations are not as cheap and mass produced as what can be bought from Alibaba or Amazon or that shameless "Masonic" store BricksMasons (they're IP thieves, not to mention that they dropship directly from China to you)—what we lack in quantity, we make up for the time and passion that we put in our work.
As the WM of my lodge, this is good for our lodge. For years (even before the pandemic), we suffered from dwindling membership. Forming a lodge was a struggle as we couldn't even form a quorum. The lockdown that followed made things more depressing but looking back now, it seems that the pandemic may have been the best thing that ever happened to us.
The extra time in our hands forced us to remain connected online by chat groups and we have gotten to know each other better. From the talks that we had, a new passion emerged and so we implemented many changes—from changing our almost 150yr old logo all the way to the way we run our banquet (see photo below).
We learned that setting up the banquet in such a cinematic way (thanks WB Stefano) really brings people in. Once more, this is good for local businesses because dressing up the banquet as such requires certain products and resources that can be provided by artists, chefs, and businesses within our own district.
Talking about local business and Masonic merchandise, one of the things that Rechelle and I are proud to announce is the reintroduction of our stickers product line beginning with this nice 2"x2" holographic permanent stickers that is designed by us and made right here in Toronto by local hands. The design is inspired by the iconic Square and Compasses on the Canadian red maple leaf symbol that is used all throughout Canada for decades. A specific version of this design, as of last year, is also now the official logo of the Ontario Masons.
Unlike the cheap stickers from offshore, these stickers are made in compliance with Canadian manufacturing standards. The result is a high-quality product that is joy to look at. We took several photos of it from various angles to show how the colours shift depending on how the light hits the surface.
Where to buy the Canadian Masonic Stickers?
We produce in limited batches only but as of this writing we have quite a few of them. They are currently available in pack-of-seven (free-shipping). Click this link to access the product page.
February 17, 2023 0 Comments
It has been 3 years since I first put on my precious FraternalTies 357 Acacia watch. I have worn in almost every day since. It has served as my faithful timekeeper with all sorts of activities from lodge night to anything that I enjoy with my family from kayaking, to skateboarding, to hiking, to gardening, and even boxing!
The FraternalTies automatic is equipped with a 21-Jewel Japanese precision movement. It cannot do anything on its own but once charged with my own kinetic energy, I know I can count on its sharp timekeeping. The movement can keep accurate time between 24-48 hours. If I wear it once everyday, it will keep on running forever no batteries required.
I can't lie. I have a love-hate relationship with the straps. I love it because after 3 years of rugged use, it has developed a beautiful patina. I hate it because it tends to stain my white dress shirt especially during humid nights at lodge. I researched how to prevent leather from staining my clothes and I find that in my case, it is completely unavoidable- basically you have to keep it dry all the time. To avoid dye transfer to clothes is to stay dry and keep your leather surface from getting rained on, wet, or sweaty.
I probably won't wear it while scuba diving but it survived rainy seasons and swimming in the lake with me. The leather straps now looks seasoned (very handsome) because of the water abuse but the watch itself is impeccable and shows no signs of moisture buildup on the inside.
Designer bias aside, I am very happy and very satisfied with this watch. I continue to receive many compliments about it. People love the way the natural acacia face looks and how its color seems to shift depending on how the light is hitting the grain. We made only a hundred of these and they're long sold-out but one day we will make another acacia watch with the same automatic mechanism that we trust but with a different dial design.
February 16, 2023 0 Comments
When outsiders talk about 33rd degree Freemasons they are oftentimes unknowingly referring to one of the two main branches of mainstream Freemasonry. This branch is called the Scottish Rite. Some consider it more esoteric compared to the other branch which is the York Rite.
The highest degree in Masonry, the so-called Sublime Degree is the 3rd Degree or Master Mason degree. The 33rd Degree is simply an honorary degree within the Scottish Rite.
The Scottish Rite was originally an obscure Masonic Rite in the mid-19th century to an international fraternity that it is now today. A controversial and influential figure, Albert Pike, is often credited as the man responsible for making the Scottish Rite well known within Masonic circles. Employing staged plays, they expand and continue the teachings derived from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degrees of Freemasonry which is known as Blue Lodge or Craft Lodge. (Photo credit: Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction)
One has to be a Master Mason (3rd Degree) in order to join the Scottish Rite. The Lodge Master or the Secretary would usually know where to refer a Mason seeking admission to the Scottish Rite.
As of this writing, the Silver on Black Scottish Rite Necktie is available but in very limited quantities. It's made of high-quality natural silk that we personally select. Since it's Jacquard-woven, the fabric has a nice texture and produces a shiny ombré effect that shifts according to how the light hits it.
To purchase, please click here to access the product page.
January 05, 2023 0 Comments
1. The Freemason Starter Pack Meme. Too many Freemasons online found this meme so relatable that it stayed as a top post in Reddit r/freemasonry for a good time. Click the corresponding link to read the conversation it generated on Reddit (70+ comments), Facebook (200+ comments), Instagram (50+ comments).
2. The Undertaker meme became one of our most shared Masonic Memes of 2022! WMs and Secretaries alike love it! Click the corresponding link to read the conversation it generated on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram.
4. The Masonic Entanglement meme is a painful reminder of what can become of a brother sometimes when moderation is non-existent. Click the corresponding link to read the conversation it generated on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram.
8. If she only knew.
9. If she only knew part 2.
10. Oh the cold sweats!
More FraternalTies Masonic Memes below! enjoy the New Year!
I know it's just January but May the Fourth be with you all!
September 22, 2022 0 Comments
September 05, 2022 0 Comments
All of us, even the best of us, sometimes fall into this dark mental space where tired bodies and minds conspire to convince us that our effort is leading to nowhere. If you find yourself to be in this depressive bubble, I encourage you to read and absorb these three quotes from our Masonic Brothers who came before us.
“Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.” - George Washington
"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection" -Mark TwainAt some points in our lives, we find ourselves postponing many important and great things due to a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are truly valid such as in cases of emergencies but a lot of times we delay because we want it to be "perfect". There's something to be learned from software developers who release their programs even if it's not perfect. The way programmers do it is like this- write a program and release it as Version 1.0, let the people give it a go, identify the bugs, gather feedback, go back to the drawing board, and release Version 1.1. This process gets repeated ad infinitum with the program getting better and better with each release. The focus is on progress, not perfection.
See you all at the quarry.
July 23, 2022 0 Comments
// This article was first posted on our Instagram page on July 6, 2022.
The goal of this partnership is to provide the best shopping experience for Freemasons looking to buy Masonic Regalia and other original Masonic merchandise.
This partnership between FraternalTies and Dominion Regalia was spearheaded by a couple of visionary senior Masons in Ontario who saw a tremendous potential in the joint venture. It's been in the making for a few months and finally it's official!
We are very excited to be working with a historic business that is Dominion Regalia! Stay tuned for more updates!
May 02, 2022 0 Comments
In April last year, we met with W. :M. : Iain J.Y. Mann to discuss a special Masonic Jacquard-woven silk necktie project for his lodge Fairbank Lodge No. 592 in Toronto, Canada. This is the result of that collaboration. A portion of each tie sold will go towards the Drive for Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief—a Toronto Don Valley District Charity committee chaired by Brother Mann himself.
Iain, Gaelic for John, was born in Kilwinning Scotland in 1963. He is a Freemason of 31 years and is currently on his 5th term as the Master of his lodge. It is also worth noting that Brother Iain is an affiliate member of Mother Kilwinning Lodge 0, his ancestral Lodge. The apron on the photo belonged to his grandfather and was passed on to him. Click this link to see more photos of Brother Iain and the Kilwinning apron.
Brother Mann (drummer above) is a 30-year Canadian Army veteran who served with the Airborne Regiment Special Service Force. He played hockey, rugby, soccer and baseball competitively. I believe he also took up boxing recently. He has played in pipe bands since he was 9 years old and has competed in the World Championships in Scotland many times. He considers it a privilege to have played with the Black Watch Pipes and Drums.
The Fairbank Tie features a strong and masculine design. It is made of an alternating pattern of blue and gold stripes accentuated by textured patterns which, upon closer inspection, will become legible text and symbols (see below).
According to legend, an invading Norse army was attempting to sneak up at night upon a Scottish army's encampment. During this operation one barefoot Norseman had the misfortune to step upon a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain, thus alerting Scots to the presence of the Norse invaders.
The subtle Square and Compasses adorned with a wreath provide a nice texture to the tie.
The tie is a beautiful alternating pattern of blue and gold stripes. The Masonic motto "Making Good Men Better" and Brother Iain's mother lodge "Fairbank Lodge 592" flanked by Doric columns are subtly visible on the blue stripes.
This necktie is not available directly from our web store. To purchase, please email Brother Iain J.Y. Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Fairbank Tie" and indicate the number of neckties you would like to purchase. You may also call him directly at +1 (437) 999-7829. Please allow 5-7 business days handling time. Please see the pricing information below:
This is a photo of option 2.
December 30, 2021 0 Comments