Celebrated author and poet. Born in Bombay, India, December 30, 1865. His writings frequently give Masonic allusions peculiarly significant to the Craft. The story of The Man Who Would be Ring is a good specimen of the kind in question. His poems, the Mother Lodge, the Palace, and L'Envoito Life's Handicap are splendidly typical. He was made an honorary member of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge at Edinburgh, a Masonic distinction of which he very properly has been not a little proud. The English Masonic Illustrated (London, July 1901+ volume 1, number 10) says Brother Kipling was initiated in Freemasonry at the age of twenty and a half, by special dispensation obtained for the purpose, in the Hope and Perseverance Lodge, No. 782, at Lahore. In 1888 joined the Independence and Philanthropy Lodge, No. 391, meeting at Allahabad, Bengal. In the issue of the London Times quoted in the Freemason, March 28, 1925, there is an interesting statement from Brother Kipling regarding his active service in his own Lodge in Lahore, Punjab, East Indies.He was Entered for membership by a Hindu, Passed by a Mohammedan, and Raised by an Englishman. The Tyler was an Indian Jew.
This is what he writes: "I was Secretary for some years of the Lodge of Hope and Perseverance, No. 782, E.C., Lahore, English Constitution, which included Brethren of at least four creeds. I was entered by a member from Brahmo Somaj, a Hindu, passed by a Mohammedan, and raised by an Englishman. Our Tyler was an Indian Jew. We met, of course, on the level, and the only difference anyone would notice was that at our banquets some of the Brethren, who were debarred by caste rules from eating food not ceremonially prepared, sat over empty plates." To this very remarkable experience of Brother Kiplingis due the poem by him which follows and which by his permission is reprinted here from The Sawen Seaw, published by Doubleday Page and Company, Garden City, New York (page 177).
The Mother Lodge
An' Beazeley of the Rail,
An' 'Ackman, Commissariat,
An' Donkin' o' the Jail;
An' Blake, Conductor-Sargent,
Our Master twice was 'e,
With 'im that kept the Europe shop,
Old Framjee Eduljee.
Outside "Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam! "
Inside "Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in ma Mother Lodge out there!
We'd Bola Nath, Accountant,
An' Saul the Aden Jew,
An' Din Mohammed, draughtsman
Of the survey Office too;
There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
An' Amir Singh the Sikh,
An' Castro from the fittin'-sheds,
The Roman Catholick!
We 'adn't good regalia
An' our Lodge was old an' bare,
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks,
An' we kep' 'em to a hair
An' lookin' on it backwards
It often strikes me thus,
There ain't such things as infidels,
Exceps, perhaps, it s us.
For monthly, after Labour,
We'd all sit down and smoke,
(We dursn't give no banquits,
Lest a brother s caste were broke),
An' man on man got talkin'
Religion an' the rest,
An' every man comparing
Of the God 'e knew the best.
So man on man got talkin'
An' not a Brother stirred
Till morning waked the parrots
An' that dam' brain-fever-bird
We'd say ttvwas 'ighly curious,
An' we'd all ride 'ome to bed,
With Mo'ammed, God, and Shiva
Changin' pickets in our 'ead.
Full oft on Guv'ment service
This rovin' foot 'ath pressed,
An' bore fraternal greetin's
To the Lodges east an' west,
Accordin' as commanded
From Kohat to Singapore,
But I wish that I might see them
In my Mother Lodge once more!
I wish that I might see them
My brethren black and brown,
With the trichies smellin' pleasant
An' the hog-darn (Cigar-lighter) passin' down
An' the old khansamah (Butler) snorin'
On the bottle-khana (Pantry) floor,
Like a Master in good standing
With my Mother Lodge once more!
Outside - "Seryeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!"
Insise Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on she Square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!
- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry