MASTERS OF TYRE
The Grade of Master of Tyre is a modern one, originating in North Carolina, USA, and is no doubt the product of the fertile minds of the Masonic brethren in the western area of that state; they being the originators of the Allied Masonic Degrees themselves. It does not appear in any of the early rituals of that body, and was later incorporated into the working along with the Grades of Superintendent, Architect, and Grand Architect.
It was worked initially under the title “Masons of Tyre,” with the idea being to function as a separate body of Freemasonry, the initial qualifications of membership requiring only good standing in the Craft. The organization was to operate under the direction of a Supreme Quarry, whose function was only to coordinate and charter new Quarries of the body. Problems arose with the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, which viewed the body as an alternate Masonic organization that encroached on the sovereignty of the Grand Lodges jurisdiction. To avoid any further dissension, the organization placed itself under the government of the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States.
The degree is somewhat awkward, being set around long lectures, which detract somewhat from the central lesson of the degree. The emphasis on the Tyrian connection of Masonry, however, makes it unique from the perspective of the majority of Masonic degrees. The main lesson taught is duty.
The Apron of the Grade is in the form of a triangle and is royal purple, edged with gold.
The Jewel of the Grade is a Square and Compasses, containing in the center a crown, and at the tips of the Compasses and the apex of the Square three interlaced triangles containing the letters “M,” “O,” and “T,” suspended from a purple ribbon.