What is Ark Mariner Masonry?
Royal Ark Mariners of Victoria
The “The Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners of Victoria” is usually referred simply as, the Ark Mariners.
The story of this degree contains events before, during and after the Biblical Flood.
The apron and emblems of this degree are easily recognizable by the ark and rainbow motif, although the degree itself claims the original apron to have been made of unfinished lambskin.
The historic prerequisite to be made a Royal Ark Mariner Mason is to be a Mark Master Mason, however, the Degree has no connection symbolically or ritually to the Mark Degree. The Antient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners exists worldwide, while being administered by four very different bodies of Masonry, those of Supreme Grand Chapters, Allied Masonic Degrees, Royal and Select Masters as well as Grand Mark jurisdictions.
In Victoria, RAM Lodges are moored to Lodges of Mark Master Masons and take both the name and number of the Mark Lodge. The Principal Officers of a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners represent Noah, and two of his sons: Japheth and Shem, and the Lodge room is made to represent the Ark of Safety.
Indeed, our Brethren of the nineteenth century considered Noah to be one of the Grand Masters of Masonry. He is a celebrated Builder, and a man of integrity in the face of great opposition.
The early brethren of our Craft did not hesitate to trace the line of Masonry even back to Adam in the Garden of Eden, who was the first to build an Altar (of unhewn stone, the Rough Ashlar), and the first man to don an apron (though his was of fig leaves.) While it is nonsensical to consider that Modern Freemasonry was known to Adam or Noah, there is something inherently true in the idea that Masonry is heir to the fruits of the greatest and noblest accomplishment of a more primitive generation of man.
The Royal Ark Mariner Degree is special because it embodies this speculative reference to far antiquity, which if taken literally, implies that all of humanity was saved from the great flood by a Grand Master Mason and whose linage repopulated the Earth after this cataclysmic event. Having been “Elevated” to the Degree, you will find that the Royal Ark Mariner is a beautiful Order.
Most Candidates find the Ceremony of Elevation a symbolic and moving experience, but as one’s exposure and study of the ritual increases so does one’s appreciation of the significance of the messages contained in it.
A warm welcome awaits any Mark Master Mason who wishes to join this wonderful Degree.