R. A. M. Lodge Petonji Kapadia No. 35

Like the Mark Master Mason's Degree, which is based on an established fact (i.e. the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem), so the degree of Royal Ark Mariner is also based on an actual happening, i.e. the Great Flood, as recorded in the Bible and as verified in 1929 by the archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, who not only found clear evidence of the flood, but established that it had occurred some 6,000 years previously. The Degree, as its name suggests, has a nautical flavor taking for its setting the circumstances leading up to the Great Flood and the steps taken by Noah to build the Ark by which mankind was preserved from perishing in the ‘Universal Deluge’.

The events mentioned in this degree working are pre-historical when VSL were not existent & as such they do not form part of the furniture of the Lodge.

Elevation into the Royal Ark Mariner Degree commemorates the providence and mercy of God and relates to the legend of the deluge. The subject matter being taken directly from The Bible is naturally both beautiful and instructive. When the candidate enters the Lodge room his attention is directed to three pillars and at one stage the Ark is momentarily symbolized in terms similar to the Ark of Salvation. The candidate is finally instructed to advance in the spirit of the Cardinal Virtues.

During the ceremony analogies are drawn between the dangers of the flood and the dangers of life. We are reminded of how we should strive to reach the Ark, the haven of rest, just as did Noah's family and the other occupants of the Ark in the Biblical tales of the deluge. The officers of a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners are similar to those in a Mark Lodge although they bear different names. The principal officers represent Noah (Worshipful Commander) and his two sons Japheth (Senior Warden) and Shem (Junior Warden. There is only one ceremony (apart from installation of a Worshipful Commander) and that is the ceremony of elevation. Only one ritual is used throughout the constitution and the peculiar thing is that only 3 Royal Ark Mariners are enough to open a R.A.M. Lodge.

The teaching of the Degree emphasizes the importance of the family strengths and the need for each member of society to play his part for the benefit of all. We are taught that out of chaos and catastrophe mankind can survive and that we should face adversity together, helping to look after those less fortunate than ourselves. When a brother is elevated or admitted into the R.A.M. Lodge he is literally entering the Ark – The heaven of rest, peace, happiness & contentment.

Traditionally R.A.M. is linked with the Mark Degree & as such only a Mark Master Mason can join a Royal Ark Mariners Lodge.

The Ark Mariners degree unlike the Craft is more to do with wood workers whose working tools, the Axe, Saw & Auger indeed have special significance as because of them Noah was skillfully able to build the Ark of Safety. In fact the very opening of this degree kindles our curiosity, since it is said to have its origins when sacred writings were not in existence.