In front of a Masonic society tomb in the Masonic Cemetery at New Orleans, established in 1865, is a small white-marble step with three symbols—the compass, the trowel, the 24 inch gauge. Each symbol is used in the Masonic iconography to build a metaphor based on how these tools are used by operative masons and how a Freemason is to live his life.
The compass draws a circle—masons know that they are to keep their life in check and within the boundary of what is right.
The trowel is one of the simplest tools in the masons’ bag, used to spread mortar to connect one layer of brick to another. The metaphor with this tool is that it is an emblem to remind masons to spread a different kind of connector—brotherly love and affection.
The 24 inch gauge
The twenty four inch gauge is a reminder to all masons to make sure that they are wise about dividing their time. Every day is to be portioned out so give time for God, Work and Rest.