The Cup of Brotherly Love
On September 7, 1929, Norman B. Hickox, Master of Evans Lodge No. 524, Illinois, formally presented a beautiful silver cup to the lodge, after raising his son as a Master Mason. He also presented a book of travel and a specially prepared carrying case.
The Cup of Brotherly Love, as it came to be known, was to be sent on a journey around the world, travelling always from West to East by land, sea and air, and always in the custody of a Master Mason. The cup visited more than 150 host Masonic Bodies as it circled the globe. On 19 November 1929 the book and cup were taken to Ashlar Lodge No. 308 in Chicago to start the journey. The travel book records the places and circumstances of each visit of the cup. Twenty-nine years after departure, on 24 May 1958, a homecoming celebration was held at Evans Lodge to commemorate the triumphant return of the cup to the lodge and to celebrate the many Masonic hands it had passed through. “The Cup of Brotherly Love”, an illustrated account of this odyssey, was published by the Masonic Service Association in 1959.
The Cup of Brotherly love in its box with its travel diary
It was anticipated that the worldwide tour would take 7 years, but it actually took 29... It might have taken less time lest for some pesky Australians who managed to remain in possession of of the cup for seven years before sending it forward..
The Cup was received in 134 Craft Lodges as well as about 24 related Masonic Bodies. Departing in Nov 1929, by 1930, it was already in New York, and in December that year placed on SS Caledonia in the care of Bro Alexander Collie, the ship’s Captain and headed for Scotland for its first overseas visit. In 1941 it was in Palestine and despite the War, by 1942 it had moved eastward to Baghdad, Iraq, Pakistan and by 1944 was in India. The cup arrived in Australia in July 1944 by air on Empire Airlines and in true Australia style, there is no record of the travels between June 1945 to Jan 1952 in our lands. We might be a big country, but it only took the Americans a matter of a few months in 1929 to get it to their East Coast from Illinois. In 1952 it departed Australia aboard the SS Monowal to New Zealand and by mid 1953 it was back on American shores. The Kiwis did a much better job of passing it along than their Australian Brethren. Arriving in America, the keyed padlock had been replaced by a combination lock but no one had the code, a Californian Brother intelligently thought to enter the numbers 3, 5 & 7 and the lock opened.
The Cup of Brotherly Love
“The complete history and the Cup itself are zealously guarded today in the hands of the Brethren of Evans Lodge No. 524. Presentations are scheduled regularly in the Temple to tell the complete story and to display the Cup for observation and appreciation of its history and meaning. Private displays and presentations at different lodges are possible and can be arranged through the Secretary or the current Master of the Lodge.”
(Special thanks to the admins at Myfreemasonry for bringing this wonderful story to my attention at https://www.myfreemasonry.com/threads/the-cup-of-brotherly-love.27489/
Evans Lodge is still going and can be found on FaceBook