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The Official Journal of the United Grand Lodge of England


Number 25 ~ Spring 2014


Number 25 ~ Spring 2014

TAKING THE LEAD Why a lodge for dog lovers is the perfect blend of friendship and Freemasonry p22




Funding vital research, p42

University celebrations, p54

British style on show, p60






or any of our members to celebrate fifty years in the Craft is a great achievement, and one that is usually commemorated with fellow lodge members and the acknowledgement of the Province or District. However, when our Grand Master celebrated his fifty years in Freemasonry in December 2013, it was an occasion marked by the whole English Constitution. You will, I am sure, be interested to read more about this important event further on in this issue of Freemasonry Today. Many of you will know that, at the March Quarterly Communication, Sir David Wootton succeeds David Williamson as Assistant Grand Master. We all thank David Williamson for his tremendous contribution during the thirteen years that he has held the role, and wish David Wootton every success in his new appointment. David Williamson’s address at the December 2013 Quarterly Communication is well worth reading. Now that 2014 is underway and with only three clear years to our tercentenary, I take this opportunity to remind us all of our values of integrity, kindness, honesty, fairness and tolerance. These values apply internally as well as externally. Remember too, above all, that Freemasonry is to be enjoyed.

In this issue, you will read about how Freemasonry enables its members to explore their hobbies and interests while also making new friends. Our profile of Connaught Lodge reveals a community that has been uniting dog lovers, Freemasonry and The Kennel Club for more than one hundred years. We also report on the University Lodges’ Ball, which saw one thousand Freemasons and members of the public come together for a fantastic night that recalled the grand balls of yesteryear. A feature on Freemasonry Cares shows another side to membership. For David Blunt, accepting that he needed support, after illness left him severely disabled, was a challenge. Encouraged by his lodge Almoner to call the Freemasonry Cares hotline, David now has a new scooter that has given him the freedom to live his life. At the other end of the age spectrum, we look at the work of pregnancy and birth charity Tommy’s and how the masonic charities are supporting its research. I believe that the breadth and depth of stories in this issue shows an organisation that can hold its head high as we count down to our three hundredth anniversary. Nigel Brown Grand Secretary

‘In this issue, you will read about how Freemasonry enables its members to explore their hobbies and interests while also making new friends.’



The Board of Grand Lodge Publications Ray Reed, Robin Furber, Graham Rudd



Publishing Director Nigel Brown Editorial Panel Karen Haigh, John Hamill, Susan Henderson, John Jackson, Siobhan McCarthy Editor Luke Turton


Published by August Media Ltd for The United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ


Editorial Freemasonry Today, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Advertising contact Square7 Media Ltd, 3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RE Mark Toland 020 3283 4056 Circulation 0844 879 4961 Masonic enquiries 020 7831 9811 Printed by Wyndeham Roche © Grand Lodge Publications Ltd 2014. The opinions herein are those of the authors or persons interviewed only and do not reflect the views of Grand Lodge Publications Ltd, the United Grand Lodge of England or August Media Ltd.







Looking back in time, Caitlin Davies explores the fascinating stories behind the names of masonic lodges

Nigel Brown welcomes you to the spring issue

NEWS AND VIEWS The latest masonic news from around the country



Assistant Grand Master David Williamson reflects on his privileged position serving English Freemasonry



Tabby Kinder explores the unique relationship between Connaught Lodge, The Kennel Club and Freemasonry, which has lasted for a hundred years



Royal Alpha Lodge gathers to honour the Grand Master as he marks fifty years in the Craft at Freemasons’ Hall

41 42


Miranda Thompson watches on as Freemasons’ Hall receives a menswear fashion show makeover


How Freemasons are helping out around the UK


The translation of a Persian letter written in 1778 is an insightful addition to the Grand Lodge archives


The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and the Masonic Samaritan Fund are backing Tommy’s research into miscarriage and stillbirth. Sophie Radice finds out more


John Hamill looks at the life of Francis Columbine Daniel, a pioneering Freemason with an accidental knighthood


Masons from many walks of life make their mark on HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for 2014






The fusion of the modern face of Freemasonry with traditional values creates a social whirl at the University Lodges’ Ball


Freemasonry Cares can provide support in times of ill health and financial need, reports Tabby Kinder

Cover image: David Yeo This page: Laurie Fletcher, David Yeo, Superstock, © SZP/The Bridgeman Art Library, Jason Lloyd-Evans



Anthony Wilson reveals that modernising the business of Freemasonry is one of his proudest achievements


Past Provincial Grand Master David Rosser explains the effect that the German occupation of Jersey had on local masons during World War II






Your opinions on the world of Freemasonry



Prisoner-of-war camps were home to many examples of masonic activity during World War I, says John Hamill



You can now keep up to date with all the latest news from around the country on our Twitter and Facebook pages @freemasonry2day @ugle_grandlodge @grandchapter FreemasonryToday UnitedGrandLodgeofEngland SupremeGrandChapter


Rev Peter Mayo-Smith (left) receives a commemorative plaque from First Principal John Barnes of Brunswick Chapter


When members of Brunswick Chapter, No. 408, noticed that the clock on Haworth Church in West Yorkshire had stopped for several weeks, they started making enquiries. They discovered that the church in the famous village with Brontë connections needed to complete essential repairs and develop health and safety measures for the volunteers who wound the clock. The Brontës came to Haworth in 1820 when their father, Patrick, became vicar of the church – a position he held for 41 years. The church, which carried out a £237,500 refurbishment of its south roof in 2012, needed a further £700 to complete the safety measures. Haworth-based Brunswick Chapter made a successful application to the Grand Superintendent of Yorkshire, West Riding’s Charitable Fund and presented a cheque for £700 to the church. The Rev Peter Mayo-Smith, priest-in-charge at Haworth Parish Church, said, ‘The funding from the Grand Superintendent of Yorkshire, West Riding has made all the difference and now we can look forward to seeing the historic clock tick on for many years. We must thank Brunswick Chapter for coming to our aid.’ Brunswick First Principal John Barnes added, ‘We were delighted to get a great public service restarted and now people in Haworth will know the time again.’

NEWS AND VIEWS NEW PGM APPOINTED FOR SOUTH WALES Gareth Jones has been installed as the new Provincial Grand Master for South Wales by Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes at Barry. A ‘seven-point plan’ is now in motion to address recruitment and retention, and to maintain standards within lodges. Charitable efforts will be further developed, as will greater social interaction for families.

PRESTONIAN LECTURE The Board of General Purposes has considered applications for the official delivery of the 2014 Prestonian Lecture and has decided that it should be given under the auspices of The London Grand Rank Association, Egerton Worsley Lodge, No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex). The lecturer, Dr Mike Kearsley, revealed the lecture title to be ‘1814 Consolidation and Change: the first year of the United Grand Lodge of England’.

Rod Dyer (right) and Chris Oldfield at the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet

SCOUTING SUCCESS Links between Scouting and Freemasonry took another step forward when both the Kindred Lodges Association (KLA) and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity ran a stand at The Scout Association’s Reunion. The annual event at Gilwell Park near Epping Forest brings together more than 2,000 Scouting adults from around the world. Working in partnership, the KLA and the Grand Charity explained how Freemasonry supports local Scouting and its ambition to change young people’s lives. The stand had a positive reception, with many visitors asking how they could connect with local Freemasonry as well as thanking the Grand Charity for its £500,000 grant to help encourage the growth of Scouting. The KLA intends to return to next year’s Reunion.

New PGM Gareth Jones (right) with Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes



Two brethren from Mirfield Lodge, No. 1102, in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, cycled 400km over five days to raise money for Regain, the charity supporting those who have become tetraplegic as a result of a sports or leisure injury. Sometimes referred to as quadriplegia, tetraplegia is the complete or incomplete paralysis from the neck downwards as a result of severe spinal cord injury, affecting all four limbs and the trunk. Rod Dyer and Chris Oldfield completed the arduous event in the heat of South Africa’s Western Cape and raised around £8,000 from sponsorship and organising a number of social events.



LIFT FOR NORFOLK LIFEBOATS Norfolk Provincial Grand Master John Rushmer has presented matchfunded cheques for £2,500 to the RNLI Happisburgh Lifeboat Station. Under the Matched Funding Scheme, the Grand Charity matches grants made by local lodges to national non-masonic charities in 12 selected Provinces, up to £5,000. The scheme aims to raise awareness of the charitable help available from masons at a local level.

The crew at their weekly training exercise on the north Norfolk coast

Youngsters try out the iPads



NICE FOOTWORK IN DERBYSHIRE Derbyshire masons from Morcar Lodge, No. 8458, which meets at Alfreton, and the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys have helped a young woman achieve her ambition in the dancing world. Joanne Howarth, granddaughter of widow Mavis Howarth, whose late husband Jerry was a lodge member, was able to complete a three-year residential course at the world-famous Brian Rogers Performers College in London. Now principal of the JL Dance Academy in Ripley, Joanne puts her success down to the eight years she was supported by Freemasonry. Lodge Almoner Terry Payne with (l to r) his wife Margaret, Joanne and Mavis Howarth

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. One of its Homes from Home, where families can stay for free during a child’s cancer treatment, Sam’s House in Bristol is a purpose-built residence with a garden, close to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC). The Lodge of Agriculture, No. 1199, of Yatton in Somerset, has donated four iPads to the centre. The charity is close to the heart of WM David Megilley, whose family stayed at Sam’s House when his nephew underwent a procedure for leukaemia at BRHC.

SURGEON SUPPORT FROM DEVON ROYAL ARCH At the Riviera International Centre in Torquay, Second Grand Principal George Francis attended the Holy Royal Arch Masons of Devonshire Annual Provincial Grand Chapter. To a packed auditorium including more than 100 distinguished guests from the Provinces, Grand Superintendent Simon Rowe announced that Provincial Grand Chapter had contributed more than £75,000 to the Supreme Grand Chapter Royal College of Surgeons 2013 Appeal.

Second Grand Principal George Francis with Grand Superintendent Simon Rowe and Second Provincial Grand Principal Gerald Watson



For the past 10 years the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club (MCVC) has mounted displays at the NEC Birmingham’s Classic Motor Show, the largest indoor classic car exhibition in the UK. In 2013 the club’s display theme was Historic Competition Cars, with exhibits including a 1958 Maserati 250F F1 car owned by Gerry Hann, Berkshire Deputy PGM; a 1953 C-type Jaguar (replica) constructed and owned by Phil Cottrell of Lodge of Aviation, No. 7210, in London; a 1932 Austin 7 Ulster displayed by Roger Gourd from Merantune Lodge, No. 6149, in Surrey; and a 1922 AC Sports from the Brooklands Museum, loaned by Steve Gray. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the club year was when Sir Stirling Moss, considered by many to be the greatest British racing driver, visited the MCVC stand at the NEC.



Sir Stirling Moss on the MCVC stand with club Secretary Phil Cottrell and the Maserati 250F

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DISASTER RELIEF IN THE PHILIPPINES Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern coastal provinces of Samar and Leyte in November, then swept through six central Philippine islands. It was one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, with reports of winds over 190mph. Millions of people were affected and thousands killed. As a result, Richard Hone, President of the Grand Charity, approved an emergency grant of £50,000 to the British Red Cross to help provide immediate disaster relief. A dedicated Relief Chest has also been opened by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, and an online fundraising page set up at

ROCK AND A HARD PLACE A gruelling European cycle challenge is being organised by local Freemasons for the Buckinghamshire Masonic Benevolent Fund (BMBF) alongside non-masons riding for other charities. Rock Ride 2 will see the cyclists ride 1,500 miles from the Rock of Gibraltar to Buckinghamshire in 14 days at the beginning of June. The original Rock Ride event took place in 2010, but Rock Ride 2 is much bigger with 18 cyclists raising funds for 10 charities. Grants from the BMBF, which began in 1902, top up any state welfare benefits an individual is entitled to receive, as well as any additional help from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. Much of the BMBF’s expenditure is for one-off emergency payments to assist with unforeseen circumstances caused by sudden illness or death, and the level of annual grants is around £60,000. For more information about the cycle challenge, visit

Any individual mason or lodge can make a donation by sending a cheque to The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, noting that it is to be paid into the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Relief Chest E0129C. For more information, visit pages/relief.html or call 020 7395 9246.

ATHOLL LODGES CELEBRATE UNION Egyptian Lodge, No. 27, hosted an event organised by the Association of Atholl Lodges to mark the bicentenary of the union. Representatives were present from many of the 122 Atholl-warranted lodges still working under the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). Among the guests were the Metropolitan Grand Master and President of the Association of Atholl Lodges, Russell Race, and UGLE Director of Special Projects John Hamill, a Vice President.

TEEING OFF FOR TENTS Derbyshire Masonic Golfers Association (DMGA) Secretary Keith Allen and Warren Hutson, captain, presented 3rd Wingerworth Scout Group leader Denise Booth with a seven-man patrol tent to enable them to continue their camping expeditions with adequate shelter. The existing stock of camping equipment is more than 30 years old and in urgent need of replacement. The donation came from the DMGA and the Chesterfield Masonic Benevolent Fund. Warren Hutson, Denise Booth and DMGA Secretary Keith Allen with Scouts


A gathering of members of Atholl lodges


FUNDING FOR LOCAL HOSPICE Ian Talboys from Delphis Lodge, No. 7769, in Hereford, has long admired Linda Bishop’s support of St Michael’s Hospice, joining her on charity walks in the Black Mountains, raising money especially for the new complementary therapy suite at Bartestree. With the £14.5 million new build due for completion in June, hospice fundraising head Ruth Denison has received a £1,000 donation from Delphis Lodge and a further £2,809 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, ring-fenced for the therapy suite.



AID FOR MARIE CURIE NURSES Ledbury’s recently formed Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraising Group has been supported by Freemasons with a donation of around £1,500. Eastnor Lodge, No. 751, of Ledbury and Vaga Lodge, No. 3146, of Hereford awarded the donation, with an additional £500 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. Deputy Provincial Grand Master Mike Roff made the presentation. Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraising Groups operate across the UK, with the groups of volunteers meeting regularly to organise and support fundraising activities in their community. Ledbury Fundraising Group chairman Bruce Foster emphasised that such financial help would be ring-fenced to support Herefordshire Marie Curie nurses in their care of the terminally ill.

Haven Breast Cancer Support Centre manager Frankie Devereux has praised Hereford masons for their £5,800 donation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Herefordshire PGM the Rev David Bowen highlighted the ongoing support of Freemasons, who have been a Haven guardian since 2011. The charity’s new national director of fundraising, Edward Lord, was at the presentation. This year’s donation to The Haven, matchfunded by the Grand Charity, included funding from Palladian (No. 120), Royal Edward (No. 892) and Delphis (No. 7769) lodges, as well as the Herefordshire Masonic Charity.

David Bowen, Edward Lord, Frankie Devereux and David Knowles

GOOD CAUSES IN PYJAMAS Pupils at The Royal Masonic School for Girls, at Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, have raised hundreds of pounds for BBC Children in Need and for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. Year Four pupils organised a cake sale and a non-uniform day to raise money for the BBC’s appeal, with many of the youngsters going to school in ‘onesies’ and pyjamas. Parents organised another cake sale in the playground after school to raise money for the people of the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

SANCTUARY HELP FOR YOUNGSTERS Thanks to West Yorkshire Freemasons, 20 children from an inner-city primary school in Leeds enjoyed a Christmas-themed party at the Hope Pastures horse and donkey sanctuary. As well as rescuing and rehoming horses, ponies and donkeys, Hope Pastures aims to educate people in animal welfare and provide a city sanctuary for community groups. David Wignall of Allerton Lodge, No. 3047, applied to the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund of the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding for funding for the party, and a cheque for £500 was presented to Sue Huggins-Geering, a Hope Pastures trustee.



EYE-CATCHING TECHNOLOGY State-of-the-art technology that works by tracking its user’s eye movement has been donated to Ty^ Hafan children’s hospice by award-winning charity Lifelites. The Eye Gaze technology, unveiled at the hospice in south Wales, means that all children – whatever their disability or illness – will have access to the benefits of technology. Lifelites has been supported by funding from the Province of Monmouthshire and Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, among others. Monmouthshire PGM the Rev Malcolm Lane, a Lifelites trustee, said: ‘We know the money donated will be put to excellent use, providing specialist technology for children at the Lifelites project closest to our hearts here in south Wales.’

A SUITABLE HORSE Herefordshire Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at Holme Lacy is searching for a suitable new horse. The previous occupant of the now empty stable was Gypsy, sponsored by the Herefordshire masons. Local Freemasons, whose first sponsored horse was aptly named Mason, recently donated £2,600 towards the purchase of a replacement for Gypsy. The annual minimum cost of maintenance for each of the 13 horses stabled at Herefordshire RDA is £1,500. Like all RDA centres, Herefordshire depends on local financial and physical support to provide a quality service of compassion and care. The centre provides 250 weekly sessions for the disabled and the most recent donation had been match-funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.


Lifelites CEO Simone Enefer-Doy (second from right, front row), PGM the Rev Malcolm Lane and Deputy PGM Richard Davies at the unveiling

Dick Whittington comes to Corby

Members of Nyanza Lodge, No. 1197, in Somerset celebrated 100 years in their Ilminster building by walking from their first home to the current site. The lodge was founded in 1867 and members moved to their present home in October 1913. In that year, the brethren processed in full regalia via the high street in Ilminster to honour the move. The celebration marked the first time that any Somerset lodge has paraded in public since World War II. Stuart Hadler, Provincial Grand Master of Somerset, joined lodge members on the walk.


Nyanza Lodge members with PGM Stuart Hadler


The Corby Masonic Players of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire Province performed their latest pantomime, Dick Whittington, written and directed by Jack Summerfield. The cast included three ruling Masters of Corby lodges:

William Glover (Lodge of Unity, No. 495), Scott Morton (Thistle and Rose Lodge, No. 6644) and Wayne Summerfield (Corbie Lodge, No. 9155). Dick Whittington is the Players’ sixth pantomime and was supported both on and off stage by family members.



Organisers Peter Smith and Stuart Ross at one of the display cabinets

FREEMASONRY EXPLAINED IN YORKSHIRE Thanks to a donation to Harrogate’s Royal Hall, a masonic exhibition has returned a portrait of Henry Lascelles to Yorkshire The Royal Hall at Harrogate has provided a superb home for the annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire, West Riding since 1937, although its masonic links go back to the Royal Hall’s origins. A Restoration Trust was formed to raise funds for the building and the Province made a generous donation. The trustees offered the Province the long-term use of two display cabinets, with the aim of hosting a permanent public exhibition of Freemasonry in a non-masonic context. While researching a wish list of artefacts for the display, the Province became aware of a portrait of Henry

The Earl of Harewood on display

George Charles Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, PGM of Yorkshire, West Riding 1926-1942, Pro Grand Master 1935-1942 and Grand Master 1942-1947. The portrait was commissioned by the Province in 1937 and presented to the Earl to be hung in Freemasons’ Hall, London. Interested in bringing the painting back to Yorkshire for the first time since it was commissioned, the Province approached the Board of General Purposes, which agreed to the loan for an initial period of five years. A Masonic Experience: Freemasonry Explained opened in December at the Bradford Industrial Museum.

Gardening Guides have won the top prize in an annual competition organised by Buckinghamshire masons that rewards youngsters who work hard in their local communities. Members of 4th Taplow and Hitcham Guides won the £2,500 for producing planters for the elderly at a Burnham care home. The runners-up received £1,000, three other groups were awarded £500 each, and sponsoring lodges received £500 each for a charity of their choice. The teams were invited to visit their local masonic centres, while the sponsoring lodges visited their chosen projects, providing an additional way to promote Freemasonry in the community. Girl Guide winners with Beaconsfield Mayor Cllr Sandy Saunders and APGM Mike Stimson

PRESS TALK COMES TO BEACONSFIELD Bowen Lodge, No. 2816, which meets at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, has hosted the 2013 Prestonian Lecture, ‘As we were seen: The Press & Freemasonry.’ Given by journalist and academic Paul Calderwood, the lecture was an historical account of Freemasonry’s relationship with the press over nearly three centuries. The event raised around £900 for various charities, including the National Autistic Society. The 2013 Prestonian lecturer Paul Calderwood (centre), with Bucks PGM Gordon Robertson (left) and Bowen WM Tim Arnold



BELPER AID FOR AUTISM CENTRE Holbrook Centre for Autism, which provides specialist schooling for students with autism and learning disabilities between the ages of four and 19, has received £1,200 for teaching aids from Belper masons in Derbyshire. The fundraising was started by Brian Smith, Master of Lodge of St John, No. 8070, aided by the Belper Masonic Benevolent Association and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Derbyshire. Julian Scholefield, the centre’s head teacher, said the funds would be used to buy additional iPads and supporting software to enhance the existing technology portfolio available to all students.


DURHAM SCOUTS ADAPT At a meeting of Quest Lodge, No. 7102, in Seaham, representatives of Durham Scouts received a grant to buy special adaptation kit to enable handicapped Scouts to participate in practical Scouting. The grant was presented by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kenneth Howe to Sheila Gibbon, assistant county commissioner for special needs. Scout leaders, together with wives and friends, attended the meeting where they were invited into the lodge room to hear a presentation on the similarities between Freemasonry and Scouting. Quest Lodge Master Raine Gregson led the initial fundraising with a social evening, which raised £600, and Durham Provincial Grand Lodge added a further £1,000 to the donation. Raine Gregson, Sheila Gibbon, Kenneth Howe and Quest PM Kenny Routledge

HOSPITAL APPEAL BACKED IN HEREFORDSHIRE The Cobalt medical charity, now approaching its 50th anniversary, supports patients with cancer across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The charity is working with Wye Valley NHS Trust to set up a state-of-the-art breast cancer digital screening and biopsy assessment centre at Hereford County Hospital. Mel Bolton, service delivery manager (diagnostic and scientific) at the hospital, joined Herefordshire masons on a tour of the area that will accommodate the new facilities, accompanied by Sian Syddall, the appeal’s community fundraiser. Herefordshire PGM the Rev David Bowen, in presenting the latest masonic donation, said he was pleased that this project would make it unnecessary for patients to travel to Bromsgrove and Cheltenham to access these services.

DERBYSHIRE LODGE INITIATES FIRST STUDENT One year after Assistant Grand Master David Williamson accepted it into the Universities Scheme, Derbyshire’s Hartington Lodge, No. 1085, has initiated its first student candidate, 18-year-old Philip Tomlinson. The meeting was attended by more than 80 brethren, including Provincial Grand Master Graham Rudd; Assistant Provincial Grand Master Steven Varley; and 12 Entered Apprentices, as well as two Fellowcrafts from other lodges. The lodge has already secured six further candidates, having run a stand at the University of Derby’s freshers’ fair, followed by an open evening at Derby Masonic Hall.



ALBANIAN RECOGNITION On 14 October 2011, the Grand Lodge of Albania was formed by the Grand Orient of Italy from three lodges meeting there. The United Grand Lodge of England no longer recognises the Grand Orient of Italy, but it has publicly stated that it accepts the Grand Orient’s regularity of origin and that its lodges are working routinely. The Grand Lodge of Albania has shown that it is of regular descent and that it conforms to the Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition. The Board of General Purposes therefore has no reason to believe that it will not maintain a regular path. At its December Quarterly Communication, Grand Lodge approved the recommendation from the Board that the Grand Lodge of Albania be recognised.


Members and distinguished visitors gather to celebrate the 1,500th meeting of Lodge of Prudence


A member of the Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team

NATIVE AMERICANS GIVE MASONIC DISPLAY Hundreds of masons gathered at Wisbech St Mary, Cambridgeshire, to watch a colourful demonstration of masonic rituals by a group of Native Americans. The Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team was on a UK tour, and its visit to the village leisure centre at Fenland attracted 300 fellow masons from around the eastern counties. Event organiser Brian January was fascinated by the display of how Native American tribes use masonic symbols and rituals: ‘They dressed in traditional costume and demonstrated some of their ceremonies. It was like a play, and was quite different from what we do. No one had ever seen anything like it in England. It was just out of this world.’

At a meeting of Babergh Lodge, No. 8122, which meets at Sudbury, Suffolk, there was a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the initiation of Lionel Bell by his father into Stour Valley Lodge, No. 1224. Suffolk Provincial Grand Master Ian Yeldham delivered a fitting tribute and a certificate recognising his achievement. At the same meeting, Graham Pearce was initiated into the lodge and it was thought an appropriate gesture for him to present Lionel, a founder member, with a fine selection of red wine.

PGM Ian Yeldham (left) with Lionel Bell and WM Tom Keane


It is quite a milestone when a lodge reaches its 1,500th regular meeting, but it is an event that was recently celebrated by Lodge of Prudence, No. 388, which meets at Halesworth in Suffolk. Among the distinguished guests welcomed at the meeting by Worshipful Master Ian Ansell was Ian Yeldham, Provincial Grand Master for Suffolk, who witnessed an initiation ceremony. The date of the lodge warrant is 23 June 1827, but research by lodge Past Master Charles Bedingfield uncovered an old Minute Book that referred to the first meeting of the Lodge of Prudence, No. 500, which took place on 12 October 1791. Records state that the meeting was held at the Three Tuns Inn, Halesworth, which is now a social club. The Province of Suffolk itself was formally recognised in 1772 and now includes 66 lodges.



ENVIABLE REPUTATION With Sir David Wootton succeeding him, outgoing Assistant Grand Master David Williamson looks back at his achievements and the support he has received



‘It has been an honour to have had the opportunity to contribute to English Freemasonry.’

uring my thirteen years as Assistant Grand Master, I have visited every continent for a variety of purposes: to install District Grand Masters and Grand Inspectors, to attend landmark meetings of private lodges, and to represent the Grand Master at other Grand Lodges. Here at home, I have installed Provincial Grand Masters, attended charity festivals and lodges in their Provinces, and in Metropolitan London. I have always received a warm welcome, for which I thank them all. There are many other people to whom I owe personal debts of gratitude for the support and encouragement they have given me during my term of office, not least the several Rulers I have been privileged to serve under, and the many people at Freemasons’ Hall. Over the years I have witnessed many changes, such as the formation of Metropolitan Grand Lodge, in which I was privileged to play a part. Nine years ago, I started the Universities Scheme, which now has fifty-nine lodges, many of which I have visited. I am proud of what they are achieving and grateful to my organising committee for the time they have devoted to promoting the scheme. In parallel with the growth of the scheme, I have seen the mentoring initiative have an increasingly positive effect in making masonry meaningful to new masons and aiding retention. One of the biggest changes has been in the way we portray ourselves to the outside world, through social media and our publications, all of which contribute to what we know as ‘openness’, helping us regain what the Grand Master has called ‘our enviable reputation in society’. As I reflect on the past thirteen years, I can say that it has been an honour to have had the opportunity to contribute to English Freemasonry; I have enjoyed every moment. My sincere thanks to the many masons it has been my privilege to meet. I will always remember the collective and individual encouragement you have given me over the years.



ONE MASON AND HIS DOGS Connaught Lodge has been uniting dog lovers, Freemasonry and The Kennel Club throughout its hundredyear history. Tabby Kinder traces the social bonds that connect Crufts with the Craft


raham Hill has an interest in the animals that has, he admits, somewhat taken over his life. ‘I started exhibiting dogs in 1965 – Russian wolfhounds known as borzoi – and I’ve won breeding and showing achievements at championships for years: top dog, top breed...’ he beams proudly as his well-trained borzoi calmly gaze into the camera lens. Graham is Secretary of Connaught Lodge, No. 3270. Set up for Freemasons with an interest in dog fancying, the lodge now has fifty-five members from across Britain involved in all facets of the dog world, from showing at Crufts and other dog shows through to field trials, agility, breeding, owning and judging. The lodge has a history inextricably linked with The Kennel Club that goes back more than a hundred years. Connaught was founded by a group of six like-minded men in 1907 and named in honour of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (son of Queen Victoria), who was, in the early twentieth century, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England and also president of The Kennel Club.




Proud Connaught Lodge member Graham Hill with his beloved borzoi



‘Each Connaught Lodge member must belong to The Kennel Club, a requirement that has created a close-knit brethren of varying expertise and specialist knowledge.’

As a ring commentator at Crufts and a secretary of the Welsh Kennel Club, Graham’s commitments mean he doesn’t exhibit much anymore but still owns the borzoi, a couple of whippets and a Cardigan Welsh corgi. ‘I’ve had corgis all my life, being from Wales and part of the farming community. Our Cardigan was once a working dog but now all of them are household pets.’ For Graham, the philosophy behind Connaught Lodge is simple. ‘It’s for Freemasons with a common interest in the canine world,’ he says. ‘All of us are associated with dogs, and Connaught members are involved in organising and taking part in all disciplines of canine activities.’ Though the lodge meets just four times a year (at the temple on Duke Street before walking to The Kennel Club on Clarges Street), its members routinely meet informally as they are senior officials in dog fancying across the UK. ‘We’re a whole cross-section of canine enthusiasts,’ Graham says of this niche interest lodge. It’s a philosophy that truly espouses two key aspects of masonry: socialising and brotherhood. Many members are glad of the social aspect, counting Connaught as their mother lodge.

to explain. Initiated into the lodge in 2005, becoming Master in October 2013, he says: ‘I’m the oddity in Connaught. Everyone else tends to be of the show world, the Crufts element, but I’m firmly a part of the working side, field trials and hunting dogs.’ David’s five cocker spaniels hunt and retrieve game in the shooting field, and he regularly ventures to grand manor grounds and estates in the British countryside to compete. ‘They’re fit for the purpose for which they were originally bred and that’s important to me,’ he says. The joy David finds in his love of dogs encapsulates how lucky he feels to be alive, especially following a recent battle with cancer: ‘It’s a privilege to be involved in dog trialling – if it wasn’t for the dogs, I wouldn’t get to experience the beautiful views and nature.’ David believes Connaught Lodge will grow steadily in membership numbers. ‘It’s a good thing,’ he says. ‘The lodge isn’t run by The Kennel Club and the club isn’t run by the lodge. Instead, one enriches the other. Connaught brings different views, experiences and expertise from different locations together, while the practices of their niche, specialist interests add to the beauty of masonry.’


CANINE CONNECTION ‘Niche interests and Freemasonry go hand in hand,’ explains Jimmy Keizer, Connaught Lodge Almoner and a tour guide at The Kennel Club in London. The club’s art gallery houses the largest collection of dog paintings in Europe, and its exhibitions, open to the public by appointment, are popular in the dog world. The Kennel Club is an ideal partner for Connaught Lodge, which holds its Festive Board there each year. Indeed, to this day, each lodge member must belong to the club, a requirement that has created a close-knit brethren of varying expertise and specialist knowledge. Jimmy, a member of The Kennel Club since 1989, became a lodge member in 1996 after a lifetime of dog fancying in both a professional and leisure capacity. Acting as a governing body for dog shows and other canine activities, and also operating the national register for pedigree dogs, The Kennel Club is the oldest recognised body of its kind in the world. And much like Freemasonry, its practices are steeped in tradition. Of course, an appreciation of dogs is not restricted to making them trot around dog show rings – something that Connaught Lodge Master David Sowerby is keen

HOUNDS FOR HEROES Each year, Connaught Lodge raises funds for a different charity, nominated by the serving Master. Last year, approximately £3,500 was raised for Hounds for Heroes, which provides trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled people from the UK Armed Forces. This year, the lodge is focusing on fundraising for the United Grand Lodge of England’s tercentenary.



IN GOOD COMPANY Royal Alpha Lodge celebrated the Grand Master’s fifty years in the Craft at an historic occasion in Freemasons’ Hall


is Royal Highness The Duke of Kent was initiated into Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16, on Monday, 16 December 1963 at a meeting held at the Café Royal. The then Grand Master, the Earl of Scarborough, was his proposer and his seconder was Lord Cornwallis, Provincial Grand Master of Kent. Although the Master was the Marquess of Zetland, it was the Assistant Grand Master, Sir Allan Adair, who took the chair for the ceremony. Adair was both a famous soldier and a well-known mason; not only had he heroically commanded the 4th Guards Armoured Division in World War II, he also went on to become Deputy Grand Master. Fifty years on, members celebrated the anniversary at the December 2013 installation meeting of Royal Alpha

ABOVE: HRH The Duke of Kent with Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence, Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes and Assistant Grand Master David Williamson

Lodge. Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes presented His Royal Highness with a framed collage of pictures of past royal Grand Masters surrounding a picture of the current Grand Master. The Pro Grand Master pointed out that Earl Cadogan, who was present when he was Viscount Chelsea, had acted as Junior Deacon at the ceremony. Also in attendance was Sir John Welch whose father had also been present on that day. The meeting was held in the Grand Secretary’s Lodge Room at Freemasons’ Hall, followed by dinner at Lincoln’s Inn, where His Royal Highness is the Royal Bencher. The members were delighted that the Grand Master was able to attend his lodge on this historic occasion and his health was drunk with much enthusiasm.



An accountant by profession, Anthony Wilson explains why he brought modern business practice to Freemasonry when he became President of the Board of General Purposes ten years ago



How did you come into Freemasonry? I’d been married to my wife for about a year and was spending a weekend down at my father-in-law’s. I noticed after lunch that he was walking around the garden with his brother. I knew he was a Freemason but I didn’t know that his brother was. They were deep in conversation and later he sidled up to me and asked if I’d ever thought of becoming a Freemason. I said I hadn’t, I knew about it but not in detail, so he told me what was necessary and proposed me for the Tuscan Lodge, No. 14. I was about twenty-six when I joined. What drew you to the Craft? Initially, what attracted me was the intrigue of finding out what Freemasonry was about, but once I’d been through the ceremonies my whole view of it changed. It was relaxed but there was also a formality – it wasn’t an easy ride. Don’t just expect to get things out of it; put things into it and you’ll get enjoyment. I realised that there was a lot of knowledge, that it was telling you a story linked to your values and that it gelled with what I stood for in life. The other aspect I was grateful for was that it brought me into contact with a large number of people I wouldn’t otherwise have met. How did you become President of the Board of General Purposes? One thing I’ve learned from Freemasonry is that although you don’t expect things to come along,

somehow people notice you. I was asked to sit on a committee to look at the future of London, which brought me into contact with the Rulers and the Grand Secretary. From that I was asked to become a member of the old Board of General Purposes. When the old Board was restructured I came off it but was subsequently asked if I would become President of the Committee of General Purposes, which is the equivalent to the Board of General Purposes for the Royal Arch. Having been President of that for about three years, I was asked if I would like to become President of the Board, which I had already rejoined on becoming President of the Committee. This is my tenth anniversary in the position. What does the Board do? We’re responsible for the governance of the Craft; the relationship between individual lodges and the Grand Lodge; the relations between Grand Lodge and the Provincial Grand Masters; the relations with recognised foreign Grand Lodges; the finances of the Craft and its assets – of which Freemasons’ Hall is one. We set the membership dues to run the services at the centre of the Craft and we manage the PR with the outside world. Very largely, we do everything apart from the ceremonial side. What I do as President would not be possible without the Deputy President, the Grand Treasurer, the Grand Secretary and the whole team at Freemasons’




Hall. It’s very much a collegiate affair – we’re a team and I’m very fortunate with the support and counsel I get.

they wanted and the Board was there to serve that way of doing business.

What drew you to the business of Freemasonry? My background is in chartered accountancy and I’ve always been interested in business and how you can improve it. Working on the Board was a way of helping the running of Freemasonry that wasn’t purely ceremonial but rather administrative. When I was in the profession, one of the first audits I did was for the Grand Lodge 250th Anniversary Fund, which is a charity that sponsors research fellowships with the Royal College of Surgeons. I didn’t think that some twenty years later I’d be approached to become a trustee for that – it’s funny the way the world moves.

How is the Board different now? It’s much more transparent. Gavin Purser spent a lot of time working on a new structure when he was President to create a Board of about twelve people who meet six times a year. It really is a better way of conducting business. We have proper discussions and I don’t think over my ten years that we’ve had to vote on anything because consensus has come from discussion. It’s a much better forum where each member is now an active contributor. We also sit in a boardroom where everyone can hear each other; the old boardroom had a wonderful dais at the top and the rest of the tables were set in a horseshoe shape, so if you were in the south of the room you couldn’t hear what someone was saying in the north – you could just about hear the podium. The Rulers have also become more involved, which is a great advancement, and I work with them closely.

How did the old Board function? Pre-1999, the Board of General Purposes met eight times a year. It consisted of nearly fifty people and all its business was done through a number of committees in the morning which reported to the full Board in the afternoon – it wasn’t an environment in which discussion ever took place. It had the hangover from thirty to forty years ago when Freemasonry wasn’t so much run by the Rulers, who were more titular and ceremonial, but by the then Grand Secretary and the President of the Board. They would basically decide what


How have things changed during your presidency? Change is slow because you’ve got to take the members with you. One of the things I’m very proud of is advancing professionalism in the way in which the Craft is run. The organisation that supports the Grand Secretary has been streamlined; it’s more efficient



‘The Board is much more transparent now... it’s a much better forum where each member is an active contributor.’


‘One of the things I’m very proud of is advancing professionalism in the way in which the Craft is run. We’ve brought in standards you’d expect to find in business.’

than ten years ago because we’ve brought in standards you’d expect to find in business. There’s also much greater willingness to accept the culture of change in this building. The staff see the benefits and I would like to think the whole working environment has improved. Is the Board structured differently? We’ve increased our focus on the outside world. In the old days, dealing with the foreign Grand Lodges was handled by the Grand Secretary who also dealt with internal affairs and our members. Together with the Rulers, we saw the need for someone who would just focus on external relations and so created the role of Grand Chancellor. Is managing Freemasons’ Hall a challenge? By far the largest asset we have is Freemasons’ Hall and a lot has happened here over the past ten years – we had to strip out asbestos, which was a nightmare because it was everywhere. When the Hall was built, asbestos was what you used for safety and it took three or four years to strip it out while still allowing the building to be used for purpose. The new maintenance challenge is what’s called Regent Street Disease, which is named after buildings in that street that were built around a steel frame – a very popular method in the 1920s. Unfortunately, the steel and what surrounded

it weren’t always fully airtight so the steel was capable of rusting. Freemasons’ Hall is one of the first all-steelframe buildings so has the disease, but we’re tackling it – we’re very proud of this building. What is modern Freemasonry? When I took the role on, what worried me was Freemasonry no longer being relevant to the society we lived in. If you look over the years of our membership, numbers peak and trough. Membership has always been high when we filled a much-needed role in society but that changes because society changes. So that’s something we’re looking at more and more, to find that relevance. One of the things I feel very strongly about is that Freemasonry has to fit in with your family life – we’ve got to keep an eye on that, to make sure that members don’t focus too much on their Freemasonry to the detriment of their family. What’s being planned for 2017? The tercentenary will increasingly take up our focus and we have a working party looking at key elements. We believe very strongly that this will be a time for our members to celebrate – as the premier Grand Lodge of the world we will involve the foreign Grand Lodges, but we won’t lose sight of the fact that it’s a celebration by our members, of our members.



BACK TO LIFE When illness or financial problems strike, pride can inhibit some masons from asking for support. Tabby Kinder finds out how Freemasonry Cares is ensuring masons and their dependants are helped quickly, simply and in confidence


While this support has always been available, a need was recognised at the heart of the organisation to make assistance more accessible, both to those who aren’t sure if they are eligible for help, and to those who are embarrassed to even ask for it. So far, it’s proving a huge success in getting people like David vitally important support. David’s old scooter, gifted to him several years ago by the son of an old friend, urgently needed replacing, and after speaking to his lodge Almoner in the autumn of 2013, he was directed to the Freemasonry Cares hotline. ‘The MSF was then able to pick up his case, assess his needs and grant him the new mobile scooter he’s using today,’ Trevor says.

REGAINING INDEPENDENCE In the course of just a few months, the MSF then went on to replace David’s bath with an accessible shower unit, and also granted his wife an adjustable chair, easing the problems she has with her own mobility. ‘Accepting help through Freemasonry Cares was a psychological step for me, as well as a financial and physical one,’ says David. ‘My wife’s quality of life has been greatly improved by the support, particularly for her sanity now I am able to get out of the house. The scooter gives me the freedom to go out, get to appointments and meet people almost every day of the week.’




ith a flurry of winter coats and woollen gloves, David Blunt and his wife wrap up against the chilly January day. David positions himself onto a shiny electric scooter – a vehicle that, for him, makes leaving the house possible. The couple are beginning the trip to their nearby hospital in Rugby for a routine check-up. It’s a journey they have made a couple of times a month since an illness left David with severe disabilities almost five years ago. For David, acknowledging that he needed support in the form of the scooter was a challenge that took a while to overcome. ‘When I first came out of hospital I just didn’t admit my disabilities,’ he says. ‘I struggled for months before I admitted defeat and asked for some help.’ According to Warwickshire Assistant Provincial Grand Master Trevor Sturt, David’s situation is by no means unique: ‘His case is a classic example and one that was likely to have slipped through the net had Freemasonry Cares not existed.’ Freemasonry Cares is a joint initiative between the four national masonic charities – The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB), the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) and the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) – to provide charitable support, financial and otherwise, to masons and their families.


By calling Freemasonry Cares, David and his wife have received much-needed support



David’s scooter, provided by the Masonic Samaritan Fund, has restored his sense of independence



‘People can just call one number... It’s the simple approach that encourages people to understand there’s no harm in asking for help.’ Jess Grant David’s story highlights the importance of not just communicating the support available to masons but also streamlining how enquiries are handled by the masonic charities. ‘The process is a lot more simple than it used to be,’ says Jess Grant, one of the core team of just three people responsible for planning and administering the initiative. ‘Now, people aren’t put off by wondering what charity is right for them or if they would even qualify, because they can just call one number and have instant access to everything on offer. It’s the simple approach that encourages people to understand there’s no harm in asking for help.’ Jess attributes the success of Freemasonry Cares so far to the confidential nature of the scheme that allows masons, their family members and widows to ask for support anonymously if they so choose – and many do. ‘It’s a voice on the end of the phone rather than a familiar person who they might have known for thirty years,’ says Jess. ‘We wanted to remove any obstacle that might stop someone from making that initial approach.’ For Jess, Freemasonry Cares is definitely working: ‘We get calls from people who have been gearing themselves up for some time to phone, especially in the cases of widows who may feel they’re doing their late husband a disservice by admitting to not being able to cope. But the calls are coming in greater numbers and the charities are supporting more people than ever.’ The enquiry level in David’s Province of Warwickshire is now running at around fifteen calls per month – three times higher than the number of calls made to the charities in the previous year. ‘We’ve had eighty-one enquiries processed in this Province this year, which is a ten-fold increase in assistance given by the charities to our members, already proving that Freemasonry Cares is encouraging the people who need help to ask for it,’ says Trevor. Paul, a mason in Surrey (whose name has been changed by request), admits straightaway that he would

not have asked for support unless he was able to do so privately. ‘When you have cancer it takes over your whole life and everyone you meet just wants to talk about it,’ he says. ‘The lodge is one of the few places I can go where nobody really knows my situation; it’s a relief.’

EASING THE STRAIN Paul first discovered he had metastasized bowel cancer four years ago, adding a huge burden to his family responsibilities of being a single father to his seven-yearold daughter and the sole carer of his elderly mother. ‘It was alright at first, the government provided some basic support and the NHS have been able to manage my cancer,’ he says. ‘It’s good in the most important way, because I’m still alive, but ongoing treatment has really stretched me financially as I’m not able to work and my savings have completely disappeared.’ Just weeks after being encouraged by his lodge Almoner to put in a phone call to Freemasonry Cares, the Grand Charity was able to give Paul a £5,000 lump sum towards his general living costs. ‘I was resistant at first but the application process was simple. Julia Young from the RMTGB welfare team came round and we spoke for over an hour. I had been living


CARE HOTLINE Freemasonry Cares offers free and confidential guidance on the wide range of financial, healthcare and family help available to masons and their dependants. To contact Freemasonry Cares or apply for support, contact your lodge Almoner, call 0800 035 60 90 or email To find out if you may be eligible for support from the masonic charities, you can answer some easy questions at



‘Accepting help through Freemasonry Cares was a psychological step for me, as well as a financial and physical one.’ David Blunt on the edge of what I could afford every month, but this grant means I have a buffer so I can worry a little less about my outgoings and a little more about myself and my family.’ The RMTGB was able to provide Paul with a termly payment of £600 to pay for music lessons, clothes, school trips and holidays for his young daughter. ‘I was amazed and so grateful, it was more than I ever expected to receive, and being able to pay for my daughter’s Christmas presents without worrying was such a relief,’ says Paul. ‘Julia provided a friendly face without being someone I would need to see every day and that was important to me – we’re a bit resistant, us blokes! But as soon as I’d made the first contact, the whole thing became a little less daunting.’ ‘My advice to someone reading this would be to just pick up the phone,’ says Jess, explaining that there is no such thing as an insignificant grant. ‘Somebody may call us up and need major heart surgery that costs £50,000, whereas someone else may call and say they need a mobility aid to get down the driveway. Both of these things can have a huge impact on someone’s quality of life, and we always strive to provide individual support in a reassuring and confidential manner.’

SURREY RANK AND FILE Bob Jenkinson, Provincial Grand Almoner for Surrey, is a huge advocate of the Freemasonry Cares initiative and wants more people to receive the help they need. ‘We grabbed the opportunity to offer Freemasonry Cares to the brethren in Surrey because we recognised the same problems as The Freemasons’ Grand


Charity – that the rank and file mason often doesn’t have a clue what any of the charities are about and even less idea of how to get support from them,’ he says. Since adopting Freemasonry Cares and promoting it in meetings and literature across the Province, Surrey has seen the number of enquiries made to the charities increase by around twenty per cent on the previous year. ‘We’ve had about fifty

enquiries to the Freemasonry Cares hotline this quarter, and I’m personally getting twice as many calls from people asking me to initiate contact for them, so the push has really generated an understanding of what the masonic charities are there to do,’ says Bob. Masons in Surrey have received almost £1 million in grants since the launch of the initiative in the area a year ago – up £160,000 on the previous year.


HONOURABLE MASONS From senior accountants and school trustees through to pub landlords and Sahara explorers, Freemasons are among those honoured in HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2014 DAVID MARK SPOFFORTH, OBE Former president of the ICAEW, Mark received an OBE for services to the accountancy profession. He served on the Council for eighteen years, chaired various committees and served on the Takeover Panel. Mark was deputy chairman of the International Accounting Education Standards Board, spent six years making weekly broadcasts on financial matters on local BBC radio, wrote a monthly column for Accountancy Age and has lectured internationally on accountancy. Mark is Junior Warden of the Chartered Accountants Livery Company.

DR ROBERT DAVID TAYLOR SILLETT, MBE Serving the needs of others was constantly in Robert’s mind during his career at Christ’s Hospital. On retirement, his desire was to sustain this, and fundraising for Down Syndrome Education International was one of his areas of focus. ‘I thank all those who have helped me raise a lot of money through my presentations in several degrees,’ says Robert. ‘It has been a great honour to have been awarded an MBE. The citation is for services to the community and helping others. I shall continue to focus on helping those in need.’

RICHARD BRIAN SUTHERLAND, MBE Honorary chairman of the Board of Trustees at Birtenshaw School, Richard has been awarded an MBE for services to education and the community in Bolton. He served twenty-one years as a trustee of the school, six years as chairman, and was instrumental in its move to a new multimillion-pound site in September 2012. He is a Past Master of Anchor and Hope Lodge, No. 37, and Supera Moras Lodge, No. 3326, and is also a member of Lodge of Antiquity, No. 146.

GRAHAM PHILIP ELLIS, BEM Father-of-three Graham was bestowed the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his efforts in raising hundreds of thousands of pounds over more than thirty years for charity. From Harlow, Graham’s first challenge was the London Marathon in 1981, and he recently completed a 100km trek in one of the world’s toughest terrains, the Sahara Desert. ‘I have been fundraising for so long that I thought I had missed out on something like this,’ he says. ‘I’m chuffed.’ The BEM rewards sustained, local contribution and innovative, high-impact work.

JOSEPH JOHN GILDEA, BEM Landlord Joe has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his tireless charity work. Over ten years he has raised in excess of £107,000 in memory of his daughter Angela, who died from breast cancer when she was just thirty-two. Since 2002, Joe and his regulars have been raising funds for the Countess of Chester Breast Care Unit, jumping out of planes and climbing mountains. In September 2012, Joe’s pub was voted the most charitable pub in the UK by The Publican’s Morning Advertiser. He recently retired but hopes to continue with charity work.

ANDREW HAROLD OSBORNE, BEM Andrew was appointed a trustee of the Faversham United Municipal Charities by the Faversham Borough Council in 1970, when the charity was in a sorry state, and subsequently a co-opted trustee by fellow trustees. Tasked with running the almshouses and administering funds for charitable purposes, Andrew is proud to have been a member of a revitalised board that has succeeded in turning around the finances of the charity, saving the building and its endowments for the benefit of Faversham.

Other brethren to receive honours include Sir Roger Gifford (Knight Bachelor), Lt Col Victor Joseph Garth Matthews (OBE), Paul Victor Dedman (MBE), Dr Peter Clive Crawford Pitt (MBE), David Mark (MBE) and Maj (retired) David Malcolm Davies (BEM).







The first year of a research project exploring the reasons behind stillbirths is being funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and the Masonic Samaritan Fund. Sophie Radice finds out more about this pioneering work


he heartbreak of losing a baby during pregnancy and birth affects one in four pregnant women in the UK each year, yet comparatively little is known about why this occurs. When babies are lost, the families usually have a desperate need to know why it happened and are often disappointed by the lack of knowledge or interest. ‘That’s why Tommy’s was set up in 1992 by two obstetricians working in the maternity unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London,’ explains Jacqui Clinton, Tommy’s health campaigns director. Tommy’s funds research into pregnancy problems, and provides information and a dedicated midwife telephone helpline – a heavily used service that received three thousand six hundred calls and emails last year from mums and dads wanting advice, and bereaved parents in need of support. The charity now funds three research centres in the UK run in partnership between hospital and university experts, based at St Thomas’, London; the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh; and St Mary’s, Manchester.

UNCOVERING COMPLICATIONS When a baby dies after twenty-four weeks of gestation it is called a stillbirth. Every year in the UK more than four thousand babies are stillborn; many deaths remain unexplained, although it is estimated that abnormalities in the placenta – essentially a baby’s life-support machine – occur in forty per cent of cases. In 2009, the Manchester Placenta Clinic was set up with the aim of detecting these abnormalities. The centre combines specialised antenatal care for pregnancies affected by fetal growth restriction with frontline research into why the condition occurs and how it might be treated. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) are donating £42,000 towards new Tommy’s research that will




‘Every year in the UK more than four thousand babies are stillborn; it is estimated that abnormalities in the placenta occur in forty per cent of cases.’

pioneer a method of MRI scanning to build a detailed picture of fetal development that doesn’t place the baby at risk. The Freemasons will support one year of the three-year research programme, enabling Tommy’s to seek match grants for the remaining period. A founding member of the Manchester clinic, Dr Ed Johnstone explains this novel method of looking at placentas in vitro: ‘For MRI scanning, we have taken advantage of a new technology that uses oxygen as a contrast agent to provide unique, non-invasive biomarkers in compromised pregnancies. We are then able to look in much more detail at the placentas of the pregnant women at different gestational stages and assess the complications that are linked to different placental problems by the blood oxygen concentration.’

Caption here please if required

SEEKING ANSWERS Adrian Flook is one of the trustees of the MSF and has a personal connection with Tommy’s. ‘My own daughter was born at St Thomas’ eight years ago. My wife was not a young first-time mother and we were anxious about that. We did our research and found that St Thomas’ was considered one of the best places to give birth for mothers who might have complications.’ Adrian is full of praise for Tommy’s. ‘They deserve their excellent reputation because the team that took care of us was amazing. I’m really proud that the Freemasons have donated to such an interesting and worthy cause.’ Susan Harper-Clarke, from Teddington, is another beneficiary of Tommy’s. She had experienced the agony of two late miscarriages at nineteen weeks and twentytwo weeks; tests showed that she had what’s known as an ‘incompetent cervix’, despite being healthy and free of risk factors. After some online research she found the Tommy’s website and the Preterm Surveillance Clinic at St Thomas’ Hospital. ‘I wasn’t even pregnant yet and was so grateful to be taken seriously,’ says Susan. ‘It gave me real confidence that Tommy’s would support my third pregnancy fully. I hadn’t been given any information or help with the other pregnancies and no one seemed interested in finding out why this had happened to us.’ Under the team’s care, Susan gave birth to her son, Thomas, at thirty-eight weeks in July 2012. Her story is just one of many as Tommy’s works towards its target to halve the number of babies that die during pregnancy or birth by 2030.

In 1995, Tommy’s opened the UK’s first-ever Maternal and Fetal Research Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London

UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT Sanjukta Chaudhuri, from Beaconsfield, has benefited from St Thomas’ expertise. After three miscarriages, the first in 2000, she was put in touch with the Preterm Surveillance Clinic, London. She describes the clinic’s Professor Andrew Shennan as ‘the eternal optimist’. At eighteen weeks, during her fourth pregnancy, her membranes bulged and the potential for the onset of infection was high. There was no opportunity to save the pregnancy so she requested to be induced rather than wait for nature to take its course. Now knowing what the problem was, Sanjukta was recruited to take part in a trial at St Thomas’ and had an abdominal stitch inserted before becoming pregnant again. Care at the clinic included having her cervix measured every other week and the fetal fibronectin test – the result of which showed she was no longer a high-risk patient. Professor Shennan delivered Sanjukta’s son, Oisin, by caesarean in January 2013, and after three days she was able to take him home. She says of being a mum: ‘It’s unconditional love. I can never repay what Tommy’s has done for me.’



From rocks in Devonshire and Shrewsbury nymphs to lords who upheld the law on the Scottish border, Caitlin Davies explores the rich history behind masonic lodge names



ames, as Romeo and Juliet knew all too well when considering their family ties, are crucial to identity. When it comes to masonic lodges, they provide an intriguing link to the past. Chosen by its founders, a lodge’s name could be the town in which it is based or the pub where members met, a shared interest or a notable figure, or even a masonic virtue. ‘Lodge names can stem from an element of local history or quirk of the times, but will seldom be arbitrary,’ says Susan Henderson, the United Grand Lodge of England’s Communications Adviser. ‘It can be a fascinating insight into the lodge’s formation. What has struck me is that people have a real emotional attachment to a lodge name.’ Some are inspired by the landscape in which the lodge was born. QUEESELET LODGE, No. 6887, in Birmingham owes its name to two Anglo-Saxon words, ‘queest’ (a wood pigeon) and ‘slaed’ (a wooded valley). Torquay’s TORMOHUN LODGE, No. 6449, gets its name from the history of the area: Tor(re), meaning ‘top of’, refers to an area inhabited since Saxon times. ‘There was a rock, or tor, standing over the village and that’s how it got its name,’ explains Peter Keaty, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire. Then there are lodges linked to a place or occupation. TILBURY LODGE, No. 2006, in Essex gets its name from the Tilbury Docks. When work first started in 1882, constructional officers who were Craft members decided to form a lodge for fellow employees. Another example, CLAVIS LODGE, No. 8585, in Oxfordshire is a lodge for church bellringers and takes its name from a 1788 manuscript on the subject, Clavis Campanalogia. Not forgetting SCIENTIFIC LODGE, No. 840, in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire; its founding Master back in 1860 was locomotive designer James McConnell. Some masonic lodges are linked to an individual, such as an Earl, Duke or local historical figure. BELTED WILL LODGE, No. 3189, meets in Cumbria, not far

from Hadrian’s Wall in an area steeped in the history of Lord William Howard. Born in 1563, he was an English nobleman and antiquary, sometimes known as ‘Belted Will’. ‘Howard was a romantic figure,’ says lodge Secretary Ron Cameron. ‘He was made a Commissioner for the Border and helped to bring order out of chaos at a time of great bloodshed.’ Other lodge names have been inspired by figures in literature. PHILAMMON LODGE, No. 3226, was founded in 1907 in Devonport. ‘When they were thinking of a name one of the founding members, brother Crang, said, “How about Philammon?”’ says Peter. Crang was reading Charles Kingsley’s 1853 novel Hypatia, which features a young monk named Philammon (Lover of God), and as a keen churchman, Crang decided he’d found a suitably esoteric name. Our tour of masonic lodges would be incomplete without mention of figures from myth. SABRINA LODGE, No. 4158, in Shrewsbury is named after the nymph of the River Severn, known as Hafren in Welsh mythology. She was the daughter of Locrin, king of the Britons, and Estrildis, his secret lover and second wife. Perhaps one of the most unusual names is LIGHT FROM THE EAST LODGE, No. 4186, in Surrey, founded by brethren who had served in India during World War I. When the lodge was consecrated in 1920, AE Shewring, the Consecrating Chaplain, noted: ‘Lodge Light from the East/What a name to be proud of/What a memory of the past/An inspiration for the present/ And a hope for the Future.’ After this whirlwind journey through England’s lodges, it seems that names can point to geography, a love of literature or just where someone once lived. But they all reveal histories of which masons are proud. ‘There are hundreds more examples just as interesting,’ says Henderson. ‘I hope readers will be inspired to find out about their own local masonic history, and I expect a rash of letters to Freemasonry Today!’

‘Seldom arbitrary, lodge names can stem from an element of local history or quirk of the times.’ Susan Henderson 46






ON BRITISH SOIL With Freemasonry banned in Germany, Jersey’s Past Provincial Grand Master David Rosser explains what the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands in World War II meant for local members of the Craft


he story of Jersey’s occupation by the Nazis is unique not only in masonic terms, but in the history of World War II, because it took place on the only part of British territory to be occupied by German forces during that conflict. It would have been impossible to attempt to defend the Channel Islands, in the case of Jersey just twelve miles from the west coast of France, without incurring an unacceptable level of civilian casualties. It was therefore announced that, as the Islands might be occupied, those who wished to leave would be evacuated. It was an agonising decision, but for Freemasons (and there were more than a thousand each in Jersey and Guernsey) especially so, knowing of Hitler’s persecution of German Freemasons. Following the fall of Paris on 14 June 1940, the Nazi forces moved quickly westwards and began their



MASONIC HISTORY invasion of the Channel Islands at the end of the month. The occupation began not without bloodshed as a number of civilians were killed during a brief air raid on St Helier, on the road to the quayside. Freemasons would have been more apprehensive had they known of the Führer’s order in September 1939 for the creation of a list of British subjects and European exiles, the Sonderfahndungsliste GB (Special Search List GB) – now known as the Black Book – who were to be taken into what was euphemistically termed ‘protective custody’ in the event of an invasion of Great Britain. This was brought home after obtaining a copy of the Last Will and Testament of the Provincial Grand Master of Jersey in those days, Charles Edward Malet de Carteret. Significantly, the Will was signed on 1 July 1940, the day enemy forces landed in Jersey. So far as we are able to gather, he had never previously made a will. Charles must have wondered what might have been in store for him and other members of the Craft still in the Islands. In poor health, Charles died in January 1942.

LIFE ON THE GROUND The atmosphere was more relaxed than had been expected, mainly because the German troops were in high spirits; they were convinced that the occupation of Great Britain was but a few days away. And while some restrictions were harsh – for instance, remaining Jewish shops had to display notices to this effect – proclamations issued by the occupying authorities were conciliatory if not, in some respects, almost bizarre. For instance, islanders were allowed to say prayers for the British Royal Family and the welfare of the British Empire. Likewise, while the National Anthem was not to be sung without permission, it could be listened to on the radio. For Freemasons, the future seemed uncertain. Charles was anxious that nothing be done to make life more difficult for his members and was informed by the German military authorities that, provided no further meetings were held and the masonic temple locked up, the building and its contents would be left alone. Relying on this, and the proclamation issued on the first day of the occupation, which stated that ‘in the event of peaceful surrender the lives, property and liberty of peaceful inhabitants is solemnly guaranteed’, Charles complied. Furthermore, he instructed that all the beautiful furnishings in the temple, as well as the thousands of priceless items in the library and museum, should remain in situ. Unfortunately for Freemasons, the proclamation proved untenable. Soon after the establishment of the regular German troops (the Wehrmacht), the Sturmabteilung, or SA, were also despatched to Jersey – more sinister forces bent on pursuing the Nazi official policy against Freemasonry. The first indication that something was afoot was the unannounced arrival at the masonic temple on 19 November 1940 of the Geheime Feldpolizei – the Secret Field Police – who demanded all keys to the building and proceeded to place seals on every door. Then, on Thursday, 23 January 1941, a squad of special troops from Hitler’s Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg arrived and proceeded to take an inventory of the contents and to photograph the main rooms, including the temple.


PREVIOUS PAGE: Jersey residents find their home tarred by the Germans THIS PAGE: German soldiers relaxing on Jersey in March 1942


‘What was remarkable was that, having taken such drastic action against the physical attributes of Freemasonry, no action was taken to persecute individual masons.’

The investigations led to the despatch of further squads of Einsatzstab from Berlin, who commenced the systematic looting of the building on 27 January 1941. All the main pieces of furniture, the many beautiful furnishings, and the contents of the library and museum were stripped out, loaded onto lorries and shipped off the island. Anything that the looters did not want was either smashed and left lying around or piled in great heaps and burnt. Photographs taken when the building was repossessed by masonic authorities in 1945 reveal the scale of the devastation inflicted.

MATERIAL LOSSES It subsequently came to light, from articles published in the local newspaper, which was under the control of the occupying authorities, that the reason for the removal of furnishings from the temple was to transport them to Berlin for use in an anti-masonic exhibition. Likewise, the photographs were taken to enable exhibition managers to replicate the layout of a lodge room. Exhibitions were also staged in Paris, Brussels and Vienna using artefacts stolen in similar fashion from French and Belgian lodges; another was held in Belgrade. It is known that artefacts were also taken from masonic buildings throughout the Netherlands, so there was little shortage of suitable material with which to stage such exhibitions. Thankfully, the main fabric of the building remained undamaged and for the remainder of the occupation it was used to store liquor and confiscated wireless sets. What was most remarkable was that, having taken such drastic action against the physical attributes of Freemasonry, and given the purpose of the notorious Black Book, no action was taken to harass or persecute individual masons, full details of whom would have been ascertainable from the stolen masonic records. The situation becomes more astonishing given that in 1942, and again in 1943, Hitler ordered all highranking Freemasons to be deported to Germany. The orders were sent directly to the Commander-in-Chief, but no action was taken to identify, locate and deport these senior masons, of whom there were many. This opens up the intriguing line of speculation that some of the most senior military commanders had masonic connections or sympathies, or may even have been members of the Craft at some time.




‘After the liberation by British forces on 9 May 1945, the massive task of restoration confronted the masonic authorities... it took several decades to complete.’

We know that none of those appointed to govern the Channel Islands was a Nazi, and that Commander-inChief of the island Rudolf Graf von Schmettow came increasingly under suspicion in Berlin. Chief-of-Staff Baron Hans von Helldorf also came under suspicion for his leniency towards civilians, and for failing to carry out orders he received from Berlin – he was banished to the island of Herm, pending court martial. Meanwhile, the wife of Baron Max von Aufsess, who was still in Germany, was declared an enemy of the state and arrested by the Gestapo. Von Aufsess had been tasked with handling the liaison between the military government and the Jersey authorities.

THE AFTERMATH After the liberation by British forces on 9 May 1945, the massive task of restoration confronted the masonic authorities. Since the last meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in October 1939, the Province had lost its Provincial Grand Master, his Deputy and many other senior members. Despite this, Provincial Grand Lodge was convened on 16 August 1945, just one month after the masonic authorities repossessed the building. All the furnishings needed replacing, and to meet the cost the Province had to rely almost entirely on its own resources and the generosity of friends worldwide, although they did receive a donation of £5,000 from Grand Lodge. By early 1946 the temple had been restored to some kind of normality, although it took several decades to complete the full restoration. With the anti-masonic exhibition staged in an area of Berlin that suffered almost total destruction at the end of the war, it is likely that the building in which it was housed was destroyed. So sadly, and despite endless enquiries, none of the stolen treasures except for some two hundred and fifty library books have been recovered. There is a happy ending to this story. As those who are able to recall and compare will readily testify, the present splendour of the Jersey masonic building even exceeds that which existed prior to the traumatic events of January 1941. This is a tremendous tribute not only to those on whose shoulders fell the enormous burden of restoration, but also to their friends worldwide who contributed so much and so generously to this massive task. Thanks to them, Freemasonry in the Channel Islands is alive and well today.


FROM TOP: The restored Jersey masonic temple; looking out from a German watch post on the island, August 1940; a soldier inspects a crop; crowds welcome British troops during the liberation of the Channel Islands



SOCIAL HIGHLIGHTS Held at the end of 2013, the University Lodges’ Ball not only harks back to a bygone era of masonic tradition but also shows the modern face of Freemasonry

The ball saw Freemasons and members of the public come together for a fantastic night of celebration and fundraising



ecalling a time when the masonic lodges of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge staged lavish social events, the University Lodges’ Ball, sponsored by Aerice, was held on 23 November in the glamorous surroundings of the Honourable Artillery Company’s Armoury House. Hosted by the university lodges in conjunction with Freemasons from across London, the night proved to be a glittering celebration of masonic social tradition. In the autumn of 2012, the Secretaries of Apollo University Lodge, No. 357, and Isaac Newton University Lodge, No. 859, Chris Noon and Alistair Townsend, both – independently – had the idea of reviving the ball tradition. ‘We used to hold balls every year or two in the nineteenth century and we realised that 2013 would be the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the greatest ball that we ever held: the Grand Ball, which was in commemoration of the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, both of whom attended the event,’ explains Chris. Held by Apollo in 1863 at Christ Church, attendance at the Grand Ball was large and the catering was lavish. After World War II, however, Freemasonry followed the rest of the country into austerity and the balls fell into abeyance. Chris and Alistair decided to plan a grand event so that the masonic ball might regain its rightful place as the highlight of the social calendar. With five hundred and fifty guests attending, the ball featured the best of British music, entertainment and hospitality, and also raised money for military charity Combat Stress and the Royal College of Surgeons. ‘We are delighted to be able to benefit from this amazing event,’ says Uta Hope, director of fundraising and communications at Combat Stress.



ALL AT SEA It is no coincidence that the same man who invented the life preserver and received a mistaken knighthood also had a wholly unique relationship with Freemasonry. John Hamill considers the life of Francis Columbine Daniel



‘A prominent member under both Grand Lodges, Daniel had made enemies because of his sometimes high-handed, if well-intentioned, actions.’

RIGHT: Francis Columbine Daniel’s life preserver made its public debut in 1806 and could be used by up to three people

LIFE IN THE LODGES Led by William Burwood, members of Daniel’s Antients’ lodge, the United Mariners, had formed a charity in 1798 ‘to cloathe and educate the sons of indigent or deceased Freemasons’. Daniel had been a great supporter, but had made enemies because of his sometimes high-handed, if well-intentioned, actions. The members forced the Antients Grand Lodge to open its eyes to Daniel’s prominent membership under both


Grand Lodges. Daniel refused to choose between his affiliations and, in 1801, was expelled from the Antients. In 1808, Daniel retired from his medical practice to concentrate on Freemasonry and charity. He persuaded his Moderns lodge, Royal Naval, to form a boys’ charity to assist the sons of impoverished or deceased members. The Premier Grand Lodge had founded a girls’ school in 1788 and the move was successful. In 1813, the two Grand Lodges united and their boys’ charities were then amalgamated in 1817, becoming the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, now part of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. Daniel seems to have run Royal Naval Lodge as his personal fiefdom, alternating between being its Master and Treasurer, and introducing seafarers into the lodge. It was undoubtedly a success, but Daniel was not good at making returns of new members to Grand Lodge or paying their registration fees. In 1810 he was suspended from the Premier Grand Lodge until the debt was cleared. That happened in 1817, and he was welcomed back into the Premier Grand Lodge. Rather like a shooting star, Daniel had a brief blaze of glory and then disappeared. There is no record of him in Freemasonry after 1821 and he must have died shortly after as in 1825 his daughter, who had fallen on hard times, applied to lodges in Somerset for assistance on the strength of her late father’s membership. Turbulent as his life may have been, he left an indelible track through both his life preserver and his work for the sons of Freemasons in distress.



n 21 July 1806, crowds thronged to the River Thames in London to view an exhibition of Francis Columbine Daniel’s patented life preserver. Made from leather and silk, it was the forerunner of today’s inflatable life vest. A report of the demonstration cites people floating down the river playing musical instruments and smoking pipes – even loading and firing sporting guns. Daniel was born in King’s Lynn in 1765, his father hailing from Edinburgh and his mother from Norwich. After education at a grammar school, Daniel was apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary at Wapping in East London in 1779. Nine years later he set up his own practice and became a Freemason. It was possibly a foretaste of his later, somewhat eccentric masonic life that he was initiated twice: first in a lodge under the Antients Grand Lodge and then in one under the rival Premier Grand Lodge (the Moderns), both in Wapping. The area was a hive of naval activity and it was Daniel’s observation of many drownings that led to his resolve to find a means of preserving life in and on the water. His 1806 exhibition brought him to the attention of the Lords of the Admiralty and a further display in the presence of their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of York, Cambridge and Cumberland gained him celebrity status. His invention won him gold medals from the Royal Humane Society and the Royal Society for Arts, and brought him to the attention of the Court, which was to lead to a certain notoriety. Daniel’s celebrity led to his being invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 1820. Joining what he believed was the receiving line to be introduced to the king, he was surprised when asked to kneel and a sword was tapped on both his shoulders. Having been dubbed a knight he could not be ‘undubbed’ and so left the event as Sir Francis Columbine Daniel.




GENTLEMEN ON THE MOVE In January 2013, Freemasons’ Hall hosted its first menswear fashion show for heritage label Hackett. Miranda Thompson witnesses the transformation of the masonic headquarters into a grand hotel


ou’re looking great!’ The shout cuts through the vestibule at Freemasons’ Hall, today lit softly in blue. A man takes hold of a luggage cart and trots through the high iron gates, twirling in his checked trousers as he reaches the end. Welcome to the Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Hackett menswear fashion show, the first time the clothing brand has ever displayed at Freemasons’ Hall. Today, the vestibule and its surrounding quarters are appearing as ‘Hotel Hackett’. ‘The Hall has one of the finest and most dramatic Art Deco interiors in London, reminiscent of the grand hotels of the period,’ says Jens Kaeumle, creative director at the menswear label. ‘It felt a perfect fit to host the show, and the stunning backdrop is ideal for a collection inspired by the glamour of travel.’ It’s two hours before the first model walks and the vestibule is buzzing. Spotlights illuminate the intricate tiles before the Grand Temple as men with ponytails untangle wires and black-clad assistants carefully lay out branded goody bags on the white-block seats. In keeping

with the travel theme, stacks of luggage are artfully arranged around the interior and bellboys in small hats and sharp suits line the stairs. But the Hall’s Hackett makeover stretches beyond the vestibule. Classic tweed jackets hang in the Robing Room, where the steam hiss of an iron punctuates the calm atmosphere, while the Grand Dressing Room houses hair and make-up – models old and young sporting neat beards and shorn crops wait their turn for the mirror. In the corridor, a model is being put through his paces: ‘Walk, walk and turn,’ he’s instructed, his black shoes gleaming like the polished wooden floor. ‘Doesn’t it look wonderful today? They’ve really used the building as a backdrop,’ says the Hall’s Head of Events, Karen Haigh, as she surveys the scene. ‘The lighting and the way they’ve set it out, it’s masculine but elegant. And the iron doors look amazing under those lights.’ Freemasons’ Hall is no stranger to high fashion: every February and September during London Fashion Week it hosts Fashion Scout, a platform for new creative design talent featuring a packed schedule of shows.


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‘I’m very conscious that this is a peace memorial, a working building, and we have to be sensitive to members. We only take on events that are right for the building.’ Karen Haigh

‘It’s evolved into something quite special,’ Karen says. ‘Everyone knows Freemasons’ Hall houses the new designers. We used to have a few men’s events tagged onto the end of Fashion Week, but I think it’s great that they’re taking off like this.’

A PERFECT FIT What began as a side venture at Freemasons’ Hall has blossomed. When Karen was initially asked to investigate whether the hosting of external events could bring in extra revenue to benefit the building, nobody guessed the scale to which it would grow. In 2013 the Hall hosted one hundred and twenty-five events, among them daily conferences, the Aston Martin one-hundredth anniversary and even the UK Lingerie Awards. Why is the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) happy to hold events as eclectic as this? ‘They send out a message that the building is accessible. It gets rid of the myth of closed doors,’ Karen explains. And despite the mix of people filling the building today, it’s clear that the Freemasons are always the priority. ‘We’re very sensitive,’ she says. ‘We don’t want to disturb lodge members, so we work around them. We do soundchecks to make sure the rest of the building isn’t affected. And we’ve even run tours when there’s been filming.’ While it’s clear just how much UGLE enjoys welcoming these events, Karen always carefully curates the line-up. ‘I’m very conscious that this is a peace memorial, a working building, and we have to be sensitive to members,’ she explains. ‘We only take on events that are right for the building.’ So what made Hackett a good fit? ‘I think the brand ties in well with the heritage of the Hall,’ Karen says. ‘You’ve got a very old, traditional building that is something like a gentleman’s club, and then you’ve got the young men coming into it. It’s a nice juxtaposition. It shows we’re not fuddy-duddies – that’s the big thing. A lot of the younger members like that we’re not just seen as old-fashioned.’ Back in the vestibule, where every seat is filled and extra space absorbed by those standing, it’s time for the


fashion to take over. Lights dim, conversation fades and faces crane toward the iron gates as a bellboy emerges on the catwalk, pushing the luggage carrier at just the right speed. Forty models follow him in turn, each cast from a roll-call of characters that you might encounter in the lobby of a glamorous hotel, from the nattily dressed CEO to the gentleman explorer, a nod to the age of adventure, and former rugby player Thom Evans, who steps out in a grey overcoat and tailored trousers. The classic British attire on show spans a classic colour palette – warm blush jumpers, soft grey beanie hats, dark checks – and, of course, a selection of suitcases. In a matter of minutes, Jeremy Hackett himself takes to the catwalk, tipping his bowler hat to a roar of approval, and then it’s all over. It’s just as Karen says: ‘You’d never put Freemasons and fashion together, but isn’t it lovely?’

NOT JUST MEN’S FASHION While Freemasons’ Hall provides a fantastic venue to showcase men’s fashion, it’s equally comfortable recognising the top names in the lingerie sector. Held at the Hall in December, the 2013 UK Lingerie Awards was a spectacular night of drama and entertainment in the company of industry stars and celebrities from across the country. Hosted by Sky Sports News presenter Millie Clode, the event crowned Debenhams the UK’s Favourite Lingerie Retailer of the Year.



Art Deco Freemasons’ Hall was a striking setting for a show inspired by the glamour of travel



THE FREEMASONS’ GRAND CHARITY Tom Stimpson speaking at the General Meeting

CARING FOR THE HIDDEN WOUNDED Tom Stimpson MBE spoke at The Freemasons’ Grand Charity’s General Meeting about the help he has received in overcoming the psychological effects of warfare


ighlights at the Grand Charity’s General Meeting held last November included the approval of £745,000 of grants to non-masonic charities, bringing the total of such grants approved in 2013 to more than £2.4 million. Another highlight was the ongoing support for service personnel. Among the guests was RAF veteran and Freemason, Tom Stimpson MBE. Tom spoke on behalf of Help for Heroes, a charity that provides wounded veterans with welfare support, life-skills courses, sports facilities, education and training – and gave him ‘lifesaving’ support after he was medically discharged from the RAF. Since 2008, the Grand Charity has donated £72,570 to Help for Heroes, with many lodges raising additional funds. Tom’s traumatic experiences of war while in service in Iraq and Afghanistan left him both physically and mentally

wounded. When describing his return home from Iraq, his wife said that he ‘left as a husband and father, and came back a stranger’. With the support of the RAF and Ministry of Defence, friends and family, Help for Heroes and his masonic brethren, Tom has come back from what he says was the ‘lowest point’ in his life. Tom emphasised that his story is not an isolated one – thousands of active service men and women are affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. Sadly, many veterans cannot face the despair their traumas have caused; according to the BBC’s Panorama, fifty service personnel committed suicide in 2012 in the UK alone. Tom’s closing message to the meeting was: ‘We may be leaving Afghanistan in 2014, but the effects of war will remain with so many for many more years to come. Please continue to support them and Help for Heroes.’



s part of the Freemasons’ continuing support for British ex-service personnel, the Grand Charity donated £50,000 to Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan’s). To date, the total donated to the charity is £101,000. The Grand Charity’s latest donation will fully fund a new state-of-the-art bedroom as part of a vital refurbishment project at its Brighton centre. When thanking the Grand Charity for the donation, Lesley Garven, manager of the Blind Veterans UK rehabilitation, training and care centre in Brighton, said that it would enable ‘blind veterans to live comfortably in a supported environment with access to the highest quality nursing’. The continuing support from Freemasons to our ex-service personnel is helping rebuild lives. A full list of the non-masonic grants that were approved in November 2013 is available to view at Enclosed within this issue of Freemasonry Today you will also find the Grand Charity’s Charitable Giving 2013 leaflet – we hope you enjoy reading it.

Blind Veterans UK – nurse and patient

The Blind Veterans UK centre in Brighton

60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7395 9261 Fax: 020 7395 9295 Email: Facebook: TheFreemasonsGrandCharity Twitter: @TheGrandCharity




LOOKING TO THE FUTURE The Masonic Samaritan Fund is supporting treatment and research into curing complex medical conditions


he majority of the MSF’s grant-making is to cover the associated costs of a diagnosed health or care need. However, the charity also funds medical research projects that aim to improve the treatment for many of the illnesses and disabilities affecting masonic families and the wider community. Richard Penelrick was diagnosed with AtaxiaTelangiectasia (A-T), a rare and progressive genetic disorder for which there is no cure, when he was sixteen years old. A-T has weakened Richard’s immune system, leading to frequent chest and lung infections, and placed him at significantly increased risk of developing cancer. He was wheelchair-bound by the end of his teens, and the condition is generally fatal to patients by the time they reach their late twenties. Richard’s family have looked after him through increasing disability and challenging care needs. His masonic guardian, John Pritchard, said, ‘The impact of A-T on individuals and their families is devastating. We not only have to cope with providing twenty-four-hour care for Richard, but we must be ready at any time to face the prospect of a severe illness or his possible death.’

SUPPORT FOR A-T SUFFERERS In partnership with the Province of Devonshire, the MSF has given support to Richard and his family. Margaret, his mother, has received respite care grants for several years, allowing her time to rest from the dayand-night care she provides for her son, while Richard has received a bespoke wheelchair, tailored to his needs. Margaret said, ‘It is very pleasing to see Richard in a wheelchair that helps with his medical needs and allows him to still use his own physical capabilities. I would like to thank all involved throughout this application.’ There is currently no cure for A-T, which affects one in forty thousand young people in the UK. The MSF has donated £49,695 to the A-T Society, a charity that seeks funding for medical research to explore routes to potential cures for A-T. Society chief executive William Davis, said, ‘This generous grant from the Masonic Samaritan Fund has enabled the charity to fund exciting research that may not only impact on people living with A-T, but could go on to advance treatments and even promote a cure for other genetic diseases and cancer.’

The A-T Society tirelessly campaigns to improve the quality of life for people living with the disorder LEFT: Tony Morrell (Provincial Almoner), Nick Ball (APGM), Margaret with her son Richard, and his masonic guardian, John Pritchard (lodge Almoner)

HOW TO MAKE AN APPLICATION In support of helping to alleviate delays for treatment or surgery, the MSF provided more than two hundred medical grants to Freemasons and their dependants during 2013 at a cost of just over £1.5 million. The support provided covered a wide range of medical conditions and the Fund’s new online Eligibility Calculator can tell you if you’re likely to qualify for a grant. Visit and answer ten simple questions to receive an immediate decision as to your eligibility to make a full application to the Fund.

60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7404 1550 Fax: 020 7404 1544 Email: Facebook: Twitter: @MS_Fund




FAVOURITE PASTIMES After a life of structure and relationships forged through work, many men feel an absence in their lives once they retire. The RMBI therefore supports residents with a range of activities to fill this void


aintaining hobbies and keeping up with regular social activities can be difficult for those who are less able to get out and about and whose cognitive functions may be in decline. Taking part in stimulating and enjoyable activities and meeting new people is vitally important for older people in order to combat loneliness, keep active and retain a sense of identity and connection to the past. Jack MacMurran, a resident of RMBI care home Cadogan Court in Exeter, has been participating in Men in Sheds, an innovative project run by Age UK Exeter. The scheme brings together men over the age of fifty in the familiar surroundings of a ‘shed’ or workshop, for practical activities such as woodworking, while socialising and learning new skills. The renovated garden furniture and equipment is donated to charity, raising funds for worthy causes worldwide.

BUILDING BONDS Jack has been part of the Men in Sheds programme since 2012. During this time, he has made new friends, shared memories and repaired everything from wheelbarrows to birdhouses. Jack says: ‘I’ve made some great friends through Men in Sheds. We enjoy talking about what we’ve been doing that week and it’s nice to have a change of scenery. I used to work on ships and still enjoy making and fixing things; it’s great that I can still do this once a week and nice to know that what I make is put to good use.’ Another Cadogan Court resident, Stan Ashdown, eighty-one, also enjoys

making things out of wood – although the furniture he produces is in miniature form. Stan has always loved carpentry, having built stage sets for local theatre productions in his younger years, but it was after his retirement that he became interested in doll’s house construction and miniature furniture, turning a spare room at home into his workshop. Since moving into the RMBI home with his wife Elsie last April, Stan has continued with his hobby, producing beautifully crafted items such as tiny beds, tables and wardrobes, replicating styles from different periods.

JUST LIKE OLD TIMES A key aspect of life in RMBI care homes for many male residents is the masonic fraternity itself. Each RMBI home has an Association of Friends formed of local masonic volunteers, who make a vital contribution to residents’ quality of life. They organise events and raise funds to enable the purchase of items such as minibuses and audio equipment, as well as the creation of leisure areas. Male residents can also enjoy masonic activities through the Good Neighbour Lodge, No. 8378, whose meetings take place in the homes on rotation. Ecclesholme in Manchester is one of several RMBI homes that now has a bar, recently converted from an old lounge. The bar offers real ales and traditional pub games, and at eighty-six years old, George Hogget is a regular. His daughter says he ‘thoroughly enjoys chatting and reminiscing with the other gentlemen residents over a pint, just like old times’.

Elsie and Stan Ashdown with miniature furniture

‘A key aspect of life in RMBI care homes for many male residents is the masonic fraternity itself.’

60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7596 2400 Fax: 020 7404 0742 Email: Facebook: thermbi Twitter: @thermbi




Mustafa with volunteers in his transformed garden

MAKING AN IMPACT The RMTGB has given a grant to Helping Hands, which coordinates local volunteers to improve the quality of life for sick children


s part of its Stepping Stones scheme, the RMTGB awarded a £30,000 grant to Helping Hands, a scheme established by the charity WellChild in 2006 to provide practical support to severely sick children and their families. The children supported by the scheme have a range of conditions such as learning difficulties, mobility problems or visual or hearing impairments. Many family homes are unsuitable or unsafe for children with such conditions. Four-year-old Mustafa was born with a diaphragmatic hernia, a hole in his heart, an underdeveloped lung and epilepsy. He needs twentyfour-hour oxygen therapy to help him breathe and has serious learning disabilities. He is constantly seeking sensory stimulation, but his garden had

many trip hazards and it wasn’t safe for him to play outside with his family. WellChild’s Helping Hands scheme aims to give sick children like Mustafa the opportunity of a better childhood by coordinating teams of local volunteers to carry out small home improvement projects. Mustafa’s garden was transformed in just one day as volunteers from a local business installed a new artificial lawn, a large play mirror, colourful murals, and a specialist swing and support seat. These small improvements will have a dramatic and lasting impact on Mustafa’s childhood and daily life. The Helping Hands scheme relies on donations and volunteers giving their time. To lend your support, go to



he Province of Hertfordshire has launched its 2019 Festival Appeal for the RMTGB at a series of dedicated events. The five-year appeal will see the Province’s five thousand six hundred Freemasons aim towards a final Festival target of £3 million. The donations will be used to fund the RMTGB’s core work of supporting around two thousand children and young people from masonic families in financial hardship each year, in addition to grants made through its Stepping Stones scheme. In Hertfordshire alone, more than one hundred and seventy children have been supported during the past five years. Launching the appeal, Provincial Grand Master Paul Gower said: ‘I hope that the Freemasons of “Happy Hertfordshire” will produce a sum worthy of our Province, and so enable the RMTGB to continue its work of relieving hardship in the families of our less fortunate brethren.’ For more information about the 2019 Festival Appeal, go to

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MESSAGE FROM MADRAS Among the more unusual items in the archives of Grand Lodge is a fragile letter written in Persian, attached to an illuminated English translation

I FROM TOP: The document before conservation, and after specialist treatment; George, 4th Duke of Manchester

n 1778, a letter was written in Madras by Ghulam Hussainy, Umdat-ul-Umra, the eldest son of the 8th Nawab of the Carnatic in southern India, to George, 4th Duke of Manchester, Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England (the Moderns). This followed his initiation, when Grand Lodge had presented to him, as the future Nawab, a masonic apron and finely bound Book of Constitutions. The importance of this letter was recognised in 1836 when it was displayed at Freemasons’ Hall at the time of the initiation of Mohamed Ismail Khan, ambassador to India’s King of Oudh. But it was then deframed and so, by the early twenty-first century, the letter, written on fragile Indian paper, was in poor condition (as illustrated above left). A specialist conservator has been able to preserve the document and the Library and Museum has commissioned photographs of it, which can be used to study the letter’s contents. In addition, a transcript has been attached to the catalogue record to enhance access to the information it contains. The conservation work was funded by the Association of Independent Museums’ Pilgrim Trust Conservation Scheme.

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Write to: The Editor, Freemasonry Today, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Email:


knowledge to import to their native land (where Freemasonry was banned during the Tito regime) began to revive the Chapter. There were fifteen members from Serbia, two from Slovenia and one each from Montenegro, Bulgaria and Albania, with more in the pipeline with links to Turkey and Serbia. Some might find this mixture of nationalities remarkable, yet the affairs of the Chapter (and of Highgate Lodge) are conducted in perfect fraternal friendship. For example, all the members basked in the reflected glory of one companion whose mother lodge and chapter is Highgate, and who became the Grand Master of Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia. Members of Highgate Lodge and Chapter contributed to his regalia as a mark of respect. I believe that the prosperity of both Highgate Lodge and Highgate Chapter, with its diverse membership, reflects the beneficial effects of the universality of the teachings of brotherhood in Freemasonry.

Sir, I read with interest and fascination the recent article in Issue 24, the paper on Shotokan Karate Lodge, No. 9752. The connection and synergy between the martial arts and Freemasonry may not at first appear that obvious, but this paper clearly draws the parallels between the two. In fact, I would argue that the connection between martial arts and Freemasonry translates and has parallels in the philosophy and practice of most martial arts practised today. Having trained in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo (to Black Belt), it is clear to me that many of the tenets described in this paper – brotherly love, humility, respect for others, tolerance and understanding – are similar to the tenets of Taekwondo, which include courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and having an indomitable spirit. Well done fellow martial artists and brothers. Robert Ashford (Professor), University of Birmingham Lodge, No. 5628, Edgbaston, Warwickshire

Sir, In the winter of 1994 through spring 1995, Highgate Lodge, No. 1366, was in the doldrums, with poor attendance and a dearth of initiates. Its affiliated Highgate Chapter was in an even poorer state, with just a half a dozen subscribing members. There was a period of hope when Peace and Friendship Lodge, No. 7414, took over the ailing Highgate Chapter, changing the name to Peace and Friendship, but the exercise failed to sufficiently revive the fortunes of the Chapter. The sponsorship of the Chapter again returned to Highgate and the name was restored. In the meantime, Highgate Lodge had enjoyed an influx of new initiates, many from what is often called ‘former Yugoslavia’. The enthusiasm of the lodge Secretary and the desire of those members to acquire masonic

Letters emailed to the editor should not be sent as attachments. Please include a home address and telephone number. An S.A.E. should accompany any photographs to be returned. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Grand Lodge of England.

Henry Miller, Peace and Friendship Lodge, No. 7414, London

Sir, As younger, and newer, Freemasons, my friend and I wanted to be in a lodge where all the members get involved from an early age in their masonic careers. Although I am only twenty-eight and Jamie Williams is only in his thirties, we wanted to set a precedent that says you don’t have to wait until you’ve been in Freemasonry for many years or become Master to get involved. Consequently, at our October installation meeting, Jamie and I presented a pair of handmade columns to our Prince of Wales Lodge, No. 1705. We had made them, with gemstone globes placed on the top, representing the terrestrial and celestial. The columns are painted gloss white with gold and blue – the colours of the lodge – with gold Prince of Wales feather

castings placed on all four sides of each column. Both columns are inscribed with the date of presentation on behalf of the Stewards’ bench for the 2012/2013 masonic season. The columns are used and displayed, and are an example of how all members can invest in the future of their lodges. When it is our turn to be Master, or in many years to come after, we will inherit a lodge fit for the purpose, and know that we have been involved in the creation and maintenance of the fabric of our lodge. Benjamin Hume, Prince of Wales Lodge, No. 1705, Gosport, Hampshire and Isle of Wight

RALLYING NOTES Sir, We all have our favourite sounds, be they made by The Who, Pink Floyd, Pavarotti, Paul Potts, or even a Ferrari V12 on song. But for sheer heart-tugging joy in this land, what can beat a brass band? Michael Vernon Hatherall of the Preswylfa Lodge, No. 5792, South Wales, is an experienced bass trombone player and an ex-army musician, who has been playing in brass bands since the age of six. He told me, ‘I love brass bands, and playing brass, but with a very active masonic life and being selfemployed, time is of the essence, and I have missed the music.’ Michael had recently had the idea of starting a masonic brass band. It would offer its services to all the masonic lodges in the Province for entertainment, ladies’ nights and other social occasions, with all money raised going towards masonic charity. In making a rallying note to ensure that ‘the band plays on’ in South Wales, who knows where this could go? Both the Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Gareth Jones and Preswylfa Lodge are supporting this project, and Cardiff Masonic Hall is providing practice




Roger Gale, Lodge of St Illtyd, No. 6078, Neath, South Wales

Sir, I know the expression, ‘a bad workman always blames his tools’, but as an organist who is out about sixty-five times a year across Hertfordshire, Surrey, London and Middlesex, I am dismayed at the standard of organs at some of our masonic centres. As musicians and entertainers, we try our hardest to add life and character to a meeting, but imagine turning up at a masonic centre and being presented with an old beaten-up dance organ; a drum machine difficult to deactivate; dual ‘F’ split manuals; half the stops not functioning or seemingly all wired to the same sound; swell pedals that do not function; and keys that do not work when pressed – it’s enough to make you just walk away. But we do not; we are there to bring enjoyment, so we persevere. On many occasions I have had a senior lodge officer come up to me saying that I brought a ceremony to life. Many lodges complain about the lack of good organists, especially ones that can enhance a meeting and bring life to a degree ceremony. I know every centre cannot afford the same as the organ in Temple 10 at Grand Lodge or at the Watford Masonic Centre, but masonic centres must do more to update the organ. If you want to attract a good organist who can respond to events around him, get a good organ: nothing special but something that works! Maybe I’m hoping for too much but if the instruments are not updated, we are destined for a new officer – called Senior CD Player! Bob Weeks, Isambard Brunel Lodge, No. 8908, Watford, Hertfordshire

‘I believe that the prosperity of both Highgate Lodge and Highgate Chapter, with its diverse membership, reflects the beneficial effects of the universality of the teachings of brotherhood in Freemasonry.’ Henry Miller 74

LEFT: In 2013, the Masonic Samaritan Fund gave vital support to medical research into progressive neurological diseases BELOW: The shared values of Freemasonry and martial arts make a sound basis for the formation of lodges such as Shotokan Karate Lodge


space. If brass players with instruments are interested, please contact Mike on


‘Donated human brain tissue is the gold standard for [dementia] research, but is in desperately short supply... so last year I became a donor to Brains for Dementia Research.’ Fred Walker

PROGRESSIVE RESEARCH Sir, I was pleased to see in the autumn issue that the Masonic Samaritan Fund is providing important support to research into progressive neurological diseases. My wife Joan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at sixty-seven but she needed care long before that. I was her carer, and eventually twentyfour-hour nurse, at home. Watching her, from when she couldn’t locate a stamp on a letter through to the inability to open her mouth to eat, was traumatic. I now work to raise awareness and funds for dementia research. I have learned that donated human brain tissue is the gold standard for research, but is in desperately short supply, and so last year I became a donor to the programme called Brains for Dementia Research, which recruits people with and without dementia ( When I die, my brain will be used to help researchers better understand the differences between brains with and without dementia, and new donors are always needed. I am sure many members will have had experience of dementia among their friends and families so will therefore be interested in this, as well as the important support to research from the Masonic Samaritan Fund. Fred Walker, Caledonian Lodge, No. 204, Manchester, East Lancashire

POWERFUL SUPPORT Sir, Many years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety problems. I lived a secluded life and saw no prospects of getting better. Freemasonry had always been in my mind growing up as some of the American side of my family were Freemasons. I scraped up some courage and contacted the Bucks Provincial website and was put in touch with the local rep for my area. We met and finally

I was introduced to St Martin’s Lodge in Bletchley. From day one I was welcomed by all. I felt part of a new family and slowly but surely my confidence is returning. Where medication failed, brotherly love succeeded. I recently completed my second degree and look forward to the third. I’m even the dining Steward for my lodge. Although it was a bit scary taking it on, I know I have the full support of my fellow brothers every step of the way. Thank you Freemasonry and my brothers at St Martin’s for their warmth, care and understanding. Brotherly love, relief and truth: the most powerful sentence on the planet.

Paul Evetts, St Martin’s Lodge, No. 2812, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire

Sir, One of the most important decisions we make as masons is to propose a candidate into Freemasonry who would be a credit to the proposer, the lodge and Freemasonry in general. As proposers, we have a responsibility to encourage and support our candidates as they hopefully progress to becoming Worshipful Master of the lodge. I proposed Bryan Goatcher into lodge, and had the privilege to initiate him in 1991 into Arthur Jolly Lodge, No. 8102. Bryan was so keen and enthusiastic, and everything was looking good for his continued progress, until sadly he suffered a severe stroke, which affected his right side and his speech. His ability to communicate verbally was acutely limited, his right arm was paralysed and his hearing was impaired. Bryan’s promising working career came to an end, but with the wonderful support of his wife he showed great fortitude. Despite his disabilities, his determination was such that he progressed from Inner Guard, to Junior then Senior Deacon, carrying out all the floor work while his fellow Deacon acted as his voice.

While Junior and Senior Warden I spoke for him, and then acted as Immediate Past Master during his year as Master in 1999. Ceremonies were conducted enabling Bryan to remain in the chair and conduct all the necessary actions with his left hand. He was given tremendous support, both by lodge members and our many visitors. The Festive Board worked the same way with lodge members acting as his voice. Freemasonry was a haven for him, where his disability could be put aside and he was treated as an equal. Bryan, who proved to be a truly remarkable man, sadly died last November aged seventy. He will be remembered as an inspiration to us all, a truly remarkable Freemason. I was reminded of this by the letter from Tony Baker of Malvern Hills Lodge, No. 6896, in the last issue. With the help of brotherly love, a Freemason need never be defined by a disability. Steve Thompson, Arthur Jolly Lodge, No. 8102, Brighton, Sussex

MYSTERY OF THE HEEL Sir, How right John Hamill is to urge that we don’t modernise the language of our ritual. My favourite is the Charge to the Initiate that encapsulates so well the qualities that we expect of ourselves. One mystery that I find odd is the suggested pronunciation of the word ‘heel’, which I contend should be pronounced just as that – the Oxford Dictionary in its third meaning defines it as ‘set a plant in the ground and cover its roots’, so why shouldn’t it be pronounced as it’s spelt? And of course there is the old chestnut of ‘tenets’, derived from the Latin tenere (to hold) with a short ‘e’, so where the pronunciation ‘teanets’ came from is another mystery. Peter Dodd, Old Epsomian Lodge, No. 3561, London



IN THE LINE OF FIRE Director of Special Projects John Hamill explains how, unlike its successor, World War I saw Freemasonry tolerated, if not encouraged, by the enemy


ver the coming months we will be reading and hearing a great deal about the events leading up to World War I, its progress and final outcome. Unlike previous wars, this ‘Great War’ was the first to have a major effect not only on those involved in the fighting but also on those left at home. We all know about the Blitz during World War II, but how many today remember the Zeppelin raids dropping bombs on London and coastal areas during World War I? And, of course, the attrition in the trenches meant that there were very few families unaffected by death or serious casualties. Regular Freemasonry has always stood apart from politics and did so throughout the war, refraining from making any comment upon it. Indeed, reading through the printed proceedings of Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter during that time, it would be difficult to realise that a major conflict was taking place. Small changes were made to the rules to enable those on active service to maintain their membership, dress codes for meetings were relaxed, and there were regular reports from the Board of Benevolence about sums donated to various relief bodies. But there was no comment on the war at all. Such was the determination of the Craft to continue life as normally as possible that they even managed a muted celebration of the bicentenary of the formation of Grand Lodge at a special meeting at the Albert Hall on Saturday, 23 June 1917.

HONOUR AMONG MEN Despite its horrors, World War I has been called the last ‘gentleman’s war’ because of the way in which it was conducted and the honourable treatment accorded to prisoners of war. We have all heard of the unofficial Christmas truces in the trenches when troops from both sides met in no-man’s land to play

football together. There are also examples of masonic activity continuing in prisoner-of-war camps with the passive agreement of the enemy. The Grand Secretary must have been very surprised when, on 18 December 1914, he received a letter through the post signed by one hundred and twelve brethren who were civilians interned in a camp at Ruhleben near Berlin, sending Christmas wishes to the Grand Master and Grand Lodge. When read aloud in Grand Lodge, their letter led to immediate calls for a fund to be raised by which food and comforts could be bought and sent to them, an act of mercy that the German authorities allowed to continue for the rest of the war. Under the terms of the Hague Convention, service personnel who fell into German hands were encamped in neutral Holland. Among them were many Freemasons. With the connivance of the German authorities, the Grand East of the Netherlands consecrated two lodges – Gastvrijheid at Groningen and Willem van Oranje at the Hague. After the horrific debacles at the Dardanelles, there were many British and Empire prisoners of war in Turkey. Records exist of them working Lodges of Instruction at camps in Yozgat, Busia and Afium Karasia. At the British Base Reinforcement Camp at Rouen, more than one hundred soldiers of all ranks petitioned the National Grand Lodge of France to have a lodge at the base. They were consecrated on 16 December 1916 as Jeanne D’Arc Lodge, No. 5. How different the enemy’s attitude to the Craft was at that time compared to the years leading up to and during World War II, when fascist dictators openly persecuted Freemasons, many thousands of whom perished in prisons and labour and concentration camps.

‘Regular Freemasonry has always stood apart from politics and did so throughout World War I, refraining from making any comment upon it.’


Freemasonry Today - Spring 2014 - Issue 25  
Freemasonry Today - Spring 2014 - Issue 25  

In this issue, you will read about how Freemasonry enables its members to explore their hobbies and interests while also making new friends....