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Issue 46 ~ Summer 2019 £3.50

Freemasonry Today

Issue 46 ~ Summer 2019

Young people facing barriers get an educational boost


Grand Secretary Dr David Staples on the modernisation of UGLE The mission to bring FMT to the sight-impaired Freemasons’ Hall through a lens






his Saturday, I attended a masonic event that will live with me until the end of my days. My mother lodge, Apollo University Lodge, No 357, met at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford – a building I last visited for my graduation in 2001 – to celebrate its bicentenary. In attendance were the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Pro Grand Master, the Deputy and Assistant Grand Masters and the Provincial Grand Master for Oxfordshire, as well a host of friends, members and past members. The lodge was opened in a room adjoining the theatre, called off and there followed a potted presentation on the history of the lodge, and the presentation of a badge to UGLE for the use of the lodge by the Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary to Her Majesty The Queen – something rather unusual I gather. All this in front of the families and friends of lodge members past and present, the Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons and a host of invited guests from the university and beyond. It was, of course, an opportunity to showcase Freemasonry to a wider audience, to bust myths, talk of the bursaries the lodge funds for underprivileged students at the university, and remind the academics visiting us that we are one of the oldest and one of the very few university student societies to be able to claim uninterrupted meetings for over two centuries. All this was done in the unselfconscious, one might even say brazen style, exemplified by the 19-year-old undergraduate who, after speaking to the Pro Grand Master, attended by his DepGDC, for five minutes, had the

disarming naivety to exclaim, ‘I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t quite catch who you are…’ The reception followed at the Ashmolean Museum under the gaze of a 2,000-year-old statue of Apollo and a rather raucous dinner ensued at Keble College, finishing when the bar shut at 4am with a round of McDonald’s with port chasers (I had made a dignified exit around midnight you understand…). The event brought home to me happy memories of my initiation and my first meetings and introductions to Freemasonry. It also reminded me of what I consider to be a universal fact about Freemasonry, which is that, almost without exception, we consider our first tentative steps in the Craft, and the lessons that they teach us, to be the quintessential masonic experience. To me, nothing will ever surpass Apollo University Lodge. But to those of you reading, I suspect you would say exactly the same thing about your mother lodges, and no matter where we go, and how much we enjoy our Freemasonry elsewhere, few of us would admit the ceremony we had just seen, or the atmosphere we had enjoyed, could hold a candle to those meetings we remember from our formative steps in the Craft. And therein lies a problem, one with which we all must grapple. There is no doubt that my idea of a wonderful lodge meeting would leave some of you stone cold. We do not all like the same things, and there are as many different types of lodges as there are types of Freemason. Through its ritual, traditions and customs, Freemasonry seeks to inspire its members. It encourages them, through dramatic shared experience, to seek for knowledge, and to put service before self. It does this

in myriad different ways that appeal to different people. Times change though, and what may have worked in the past might not attract members now. Some lodges are simply unable or unwilling to communicate happiness or connect across generational divides. It is a source of great pride that my mother lodge, over its 200-year history, has numbered among its members many men who have made significant contributions to wider society, in all walks of life. In order for a lodge to continue to do this, and to thrive, it must find ways to keep its members engaged, interested, and coming back for more. It must also find ways to replace those members who leave or who die. It seems to me that there are a number of lodges which, put simply, don’t really mind either way, and perhaps we should all be a little more relaxed about this. Lodges exist to serve a purpose for their members, but some have no interest in keeping going forever. I remember my time as a Metropolitan DepGDC and the wonderful and moving ceremonies that the Met performed when a lodge handed back its warrant. There was an honest acknowledgement that lodges come together for a purpose, and for some, that purpose runs its course. The Craft has the means to create new lodges which meet the needs of present-day petitioners. Lodges which are able to attract and retain members will survive and thrive, perhaps even spawning daughter lodges in their own image, while those that can’t will, in all likelihood, pass into history. Which sort is your lodge, dear reader, and more importantly, are you content with that?

Dr David Staples Grand Secretary

‘There is no doubt that my idea of a wonderful lodge meeting would leave some of you stone cold. We do not all like the same things, and there are as many different types of lodges as there are types of Freemason’ FMT Summer 2019


Contents 42 On the side: The Royal Order of Scotland A closer look at one of the most historic Orders in Freemasonry

The official journal of the United Grand Lodge of England Issue 46 ~ Summer 2019


Editor-in-Chief DKS

46 In Quarterly Communication

Editor Donna Hardie Editorial Panel Dr Ric Berman, Dr James Campbell, Michael Baker, Rachel Ledesma, Alex Maclean Bather, Dean Simmons, Julian Perry (Culture editor) Published by August, a trading division of Publicis Limited for the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Editorial Manager Dean Simmons Freemasonry Today, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Advertising contact Mark Toland 020 3283 4056 Square7 Media Ltd, 3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RE Circulation 020 7395 9392 Masonic enquiries 020 7831 9811 Printed by Wyndeham Roche © United Grand Lodge of England 2019. The opinions herein are those of the authors or persons interviewed only and do not reflect the views of the United Grand Lodge of England or August, a trading division of Publicis Limited.

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From the Grand Secretary

Dr David Staples welcomes you to the summer issue


News and views from the Provinces and Districts


@freemasonry2day @ugle_grandlodge @grandchapter

FreemasonryToday UnitedGrandLodgeofEngland SupremeGrandChapter

48 What’s on

Events around the country

50 Forward thinking

Grand Secretary Dr David Staples addresses modernisation and communication

52 60 seconds with…

Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence

54 Archives and records

The Museum of Freemasonry’s electronic preservation system

16 The future’s bright

Supercharging the education of more than 70 young people from Swindon

20 Through a lens

Japanese photographer Kenji Kudo captures the beauty of Freemasons’ Hall

C ULTURE 59 Reviews, cartoons and crosswords


22 Triumph on the track

65 Supporting you

26 Loud and clear


Spotlight on world-champion cyclist and Freemason Geoff Cooke

One duo’s mission to bring FMT to the sight-impaired


UGLE’s Director for Member Services on her new role

New Grand Rank members are welcomed by HRH The Duke of Kent, while Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes considers duty and ritual


Stories, stats and awards show how vital the Masonic Charitable Foundation is

69 Home and abroad

UGLE lodges around the world

72 Letters and social media 82 Thēsauros

Unusual views from masonic history

36 The man behind the masterpiece

Portrait of the first Provincial Grand Master of North Carolina

38 Creativity in confinement

The masonic treasures and trinkets produced by French prisoners of war

40 Secrets and spies @unitedgrandlodgeofengland @freemasonrytoday

The furtive life and incredible times of linguist and Orientalist Edward Palmer

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26 5

Out & About



7 11



1 12

4 5

2 10

A roundup of what’s happening in the world of Freemasonry



His finest hour


UGLE is very proud to announce that this bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill by Jacob Epstein has been kindly loaned to it for an initial period of five years. Between 10 and 16 casts of this sculpture of the wartime leader are believed to exist, one of which was famously donated to the White House in 1965 during the presidency of Lyndon B Johnson. In the words of the Imperial War Museum, London: ‘This is a powerful work. Churchill’s ringed eyes display not only focus but also clarity of vision: the rough surface, his formidable grit and determination.’ For security purposes, this rare and valuable piece is on display in the Tower Entrance, which is not usually accessible to the public. However, members attending Grand Lodge or Grand Chapter are encouraged to take a look as they make their way through to the ground floor cloakrooms.

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Out & About Primus Master Elliot Chevin (centre) is flanked by Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton (fourth from left), and Essex’s Provincial Grand Master Rodney Bass OBE (fourth from right) and lodge members



The young ones More than 700 Freemasons packed into the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall to witness the creation of a new lodge for young Freemasons – Essex Cornerstone Lodge, No. 9968. A few years ago, Essex Cornerstone Club (whose members must be under 37 years old) raised the idea of forming a new lodge for young Freemasons. After years of planning, the Essex Cornerstone Lodge was consecrated on 2 March 2019, with Freemasons travelling from across the Constitution to witness the ceremony. The sponsoring lodge, Essex Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 8665, opened the meeting. UGLE’s Assistant Grand Master, Sir David Wootton, and the Provincial Grand Master of Essex, Rodney Bass OBE, were then welcomed into the Grand Temple to rapturous applause. The main ceremony, the consecration, was beautifully delivered by Rodney, who said: ‘This new lodge will encourage and support young Freemasons in their journey, providing a gathering place for young Freemasons to increase their masonic knowledge and experience, and enabling Cornerstone Club members to maintain strong relationships.’ The lodge founders were presented to the Provincial Grand Master and reminded of their obligation to support their new lodge and uphold the values of Freemasonry for future generations. Those below the rank of Installed Master, who numbered more than 300,


then retired from the Temple. Many were from the more than 15 new and young Freemasons’ clubs across England, who had come to show their support. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Essex, Paul Reeves, then installed the Primus Master, Elliott Chevin, who went on to invest his officers. The address to the new lodge’s members was delivered by Sir David. The Essex Cornerstone Lodge then presented a cheque for £2,022 to the 2022 Essex Festival, making them Vice Patrons of the Festival. Following this, the Provincial Grand Master presented the lodge with a set of gavels, commissioned from an acacia tree from his own grounds. If you would like to fi nd out more about the Essex Cornerstone Lodge or arrange a visit, please contact the Secretary, Dr Jack Gilliland, at

A cornerstone was created to mark the creation of Essex Cornerstone Lodge

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By royal appointment UGLE’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, attended a lunch at the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lincolnshire, and presided over a £100,000 donation to the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). The event took place in Spalding, where the Duke had carried out a variety of other engagements during the day. It was hosted by Lincolnshire’s Provincial Grand Master, David Wheeler, and took place at the Masonic Hall at the request of the Lord Lieutenant of the county. Also in attendance was the President of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Richard Hone, who was pleased to accept the donation of £100,000 for the MCF, which marked the start of Lincolnshire’s 2025 Festival.

MCF President Richard Hone (left) accepts the cheque from Lincolnshire PGM David Wheeler (right), accompanied by HRH The Duke of Kent



Tercentenary DVD UGLE’s epic Tercentenary celebration at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017 is now available to watch on a free DVD. More than 4,000 Freemasons from Provinces and Districts were joined by representatives from over 130 Sovereign Grand Lodges from around the world to mark 300 years since the founding of the world’s fi rst Grand Lodge. The audience witnessed a theatrical extravaganza which embraced the rich history and heritage of Freemasonry and featured the renowned actors Sir Derek Jacobi, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Samantha Bond. Ask for a copy at Freemasons’ Hall reception or from your Provincial office.

Out & About


Grand Secretary Dr David Staples with Keith Gilbert, Professor Aubrey Newman, Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, Sir John Welch, Edward Ford, Charles Grace and Grand Treasurer Quentin Humberstone



Roll of honour Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes welcomed five recipients of the Grand Master’s Order of Service to Masonry (OSM) for a special lunch at Freemasons’ Hall in February. OSM recipients Sir John Welch, Charles Grace, Edward Ford, Professor Aubrey Newman and Keith Gilbert were in attendance for the first event of its kind. They were also joined by Dr David Staples, Grand Secretary, and Quentin Humberstone, Grand Treasurer.

Instituted in 1945, the OSM is an acknowledgement of exceptional service to Freemasonry and is the highest honour the Grand Master can confer on any member of the Craft. The Order is a neck decoration in the form of a garter-blue ribbon from which hangs the jewel of the Order. The jewel is a silver-gilted double circle with a pair of compasses extended on the segment of a circle and the letters ‘OSM’. Beneath it is the motto ‘In Solo Deo Salus’, meaning ‘In God alone is safety’.

Headteacher Kairen Dexter (third from left) receives the cheque from Silverdale Lodge members (from left) Carl Horrox, Alan Thompson and (far right) Tony Dickinson




A helping hand Silverdale Lodge, No. 6926, in West Lancashire has raised £1,126 for Bleasdale School, which will allow six special-needs pupils to attend a residential outdoor learning course. The school is for pupils aged two to 19 who have profound and multiple learning difficulties. It is based in the village of Silverdale, which has a population of just 1,200, but boasts its own masonic hall and an active and supportive lodge working with the local community. Headteacher Kairen Dexter said: ‘Outdoor activities and inclusion

within the community form a large part of our curriculum. This is why I want to thank Silverdale Lodge for its generosity in donating money to allow our pupils to access a residential course at Bendrigg Lodge in the Lake District, which is a residential activity centre specialising in high-quality courses for disabled and disadvantaged people. ‘The pupils enjoy these activities so much and they are able to access activities such as the climbing wall, abseiling, archery and water sports, all activities which their mainstream peers access without hesitation.’

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Making history The installation of Clement Bird – the new District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge and Grand Superintendent in and over Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean – saw the welcoming of a ‘not under a District’ (NUD) lodge and chapter into its fold, with the inclusion of St George Lodge, No.3421 and St George Chapter, No. 3421. The Installation ceremonies were conducted by UGLE’s Deputy Grand Master, Jonathan Spence. The transition from being an NUD lodge to becoming part of the District is the first time such an event has happened since St Ursula’s Lodge, No. 8952 (British Virgin Islands), and Harmonic Lodge, No. 356 (US Virgin Islands), became part of the same District in 1989. Until November 2018, St George Lodge, which was consecrated in March 1910, was one of only nine NUD lodges that report directly to UGLE. However, after long-term discussions among its current membership – and given its geographic location – the lodge requested that it be allowed to become part of the District. St George Lodge’s members have been regular visitors to some of the 20 lodges in the islands that comprise Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean and they felt that becoming part of a larger entity would offer more support and enable them to tap into greater educational resources.

Clement Bird (centre right) and Jonathan Spence (centre left) with visiting District Grand Masters, and other distinguished visitors, including Dr David Staples


Out & About 7




The beautiful game The Province of North Wales has supported audio descriptive commentary (ADC) for Wrexham Football Club’s blind and partially sighted fans with a £1,200 donation. Working with ADC provider Alan March Sport, the donation has funded the specialised training of local volunteers who are now able to provide this vital service. Inspired by a presentation at the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE), Steve Gilbert, from Wrexham AFC Disabled Supporters Association, first proposed the idea to Wrexham FC. Newly trained ADC commentator Alex Carter said: ‘You have to explain where the ball is, who is doing what and what has happened, which can be frantic.’ North Wales Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Thomas added: ‘It’s been a pleasure working with all parties involved to deliver this service for blind and partially sighted fans within our local community.’

The Wrexham ADC commentary team prepares for a match


Romp to victory Freemasonry provided its version of the Six Nations when two Provincial rugby teams competed in Wigan for the Freemasons Rugby Challenge Cup in February. Leicestershire & Rutland’s Light Blues Rugby Football Club (RFC) accepted an invitation to take part in the inaugural match with the Province of West Lancashire’s new masonic rugby team, West Lancashire Freemasons RFC, with the cup donated by both clubs to encourage the development of Provincial masonic rugby teams. The sun shone down on a 200-strong crowd and the first half finished with Leicestershire & Rutland holding a narrow 13-10 lead. After a hard-fought second half, they held on to secure a 30-10 victory. The cup was presented to Leicestershire & Rutland’s Light Blues RFC Captain Andrew

‘Jock’ Keenan by the West Lancs’ Honorary Patron, Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire, Tony Harrison, for their welldeserved victory. West Lancs’ Honorary President, the Deputy Grand Superintendent from the Royal Arch Province of West Lancashire, Dr Paul Renton, presented joint man-ofthe-match awards to West Lancs’ hooker Mark Brant and Leicestershire & Rutland’s fly-half Ollie Stanley. Fundraising on the day raised £960 which included a generous donation of £103 by Leicestershire & Rutland members. West Lancs’ Chairman and Founder Garry Hacking praised the generosity and support of all who attended and thanked Daniel Quelch and Andrew Keenan for their guidance, advice and help in setting up the West Lancashire team.


From strength to strength The Province of Monmouthshire strengthened its relationship with the National Grand Lodge of Romania at a meeting of Homfray Chapter, No. 1562, in March. Held at the Risca Masonic Hall, the Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Romania, Radu Balanescu, and the Grand Secretary, Catalin Tohaneanu, were exalted into Homfray Chapter by Third Grand Principal Gareth Jones OBE, who was assisted


West Lancashire Freemasons RFC take the game to Leicestershire & Rutland’s Light Blues RFC

by Derek Thomas, Second Provincial Grand Principal, and Neil Mounter, Third Provincial Grand Principal. The Province of Monmouthshire has been central to bringing Royal Arch and the Mark degree into Romania.. Grand Superintendent Richard Davies commented: ‘This is a historical moment for Royal Arch Freemasonry in Monmouthshire and Romania.’ Chepstow’s Striguil Chapter, No. 2186, exalted 10 Romanian members at an emergency meeting in March, bringing the number of Romanian companions in Monmouthshire to 38.

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(From left) 2ndProvGP Derek Thomas, Grand Master of Romania Radu Balanescu, Third Grand Principal Gareth Jones OBE, Monmothshire Grand Superintendent Richard Davies, Grand Secretary of Romania Catalin Tohaneanu, and 3rdProvGP Neil Mounter

Out & About 10


District members welcomed The United Grand Lodge of England welcomed members from around the world to join the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, and Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes for this year’s Craft and Royal Arch annual investitures at Freemasons’ Hall. Investiture week saw the District Support Team of Lister Park and Louise Watts taking the opportunity to organise a number of District-centred events. On 24 April 2019, new District and Provincial Grand Masters were given a guided tour of Freemasons’ Hall, followed by a presentation and luncheon with the Chief Operating Officer of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Les Hutchinson, and Senior Grant Officers. A workshop for District Grand Secretaries filled the afternoon before the day ended with a Fellowship Gathering for all District members, wives and significant others in the Vestibule outside the Grand Temple. It was a relaxed and informal evening hosted by Dr Jim Daniel, Past Grand Secretary of UGLE, who gave a short and amusing welcome speech, alongside Willie Shackell CBE, another Past Grand Secretary, the Rt Hon Lord Wigram, Past Senior Grand Warden, and Bruce Clitherow, Past Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. Following the Royal Arch festivities on 25 April 2019, District Grand Masters and their guests were invited to join the Grand Secretary, Dr David Staples, for a relaxed drinks evening. Following a UGLE restructure, the department for Member Services has a renewed focus on attracting new members and engaging with its existing membership. Director for Member Services, Prity Lad, said: ‘These events are hugely important to us. We are committed to working with Districts more closely than ever to improve the support we provide with training and events. We also want to raise the profile of the charitable work which our Districts are involved with. ‘It was a huge honour for me to meet many of those who attended and I look forward to working together with them over the coming months. I would also like to give grateful thanks to Jim, Willie, Lord Wigram and Bruce for supporting this inaugural event, which we intend to be the first of many.’

Past Grand Secretary Dr Jim Daniel welcomes District members, their wives and significant others to the Fellowship Gathering

Left to right: Former England hockey goalkeeper Roger Dakin, 2022 Festival Chairman Dale Page, PGM David Hagger, former England cricketer Phil Tufnell and Deputy PGM Peter Kinder



Be a sport More than 720 Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons and guests attended the Sportsman’s Dinner in March, with former England cricketer Phil Tufnell the guest speaker. The event helped raise more than £70,000 for the Leicestershire & Rutland 2022 Festival and the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Held at the Leicester Tigers rugby ground and hosted by former England hockey goalkeeper Roger Dakin, those attending the event enjoyed a silent auction for signed sporting memorabilia, as well as a 12

live auction for a holiday to Antigua, tickets to the Monaco Grand Prix and a painting by artist Ben Mosley. Former England Test Cricketer Ed Giddins stepped into the hot seat as auctioneer. England and Middlesex bowler Phil Tufnell then shared some of his greatest moments during his career as a sportsman and presenter. Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire & Rutland David Hagger said: ‘I would like to thank the organisers of this event – to raise more than £70,000 for such causes is testimony to the generosity of all who attended.’


Meeting HRH The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, visited the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford to open The Stokes Centre for Urology – the largest centre for brachytherapy in Europe. This new centre was jointly funded by the hospital itself and The Prostate Project, which was set up by Colin Stokes in 1998 and raised £2.85 million of the £5.9 million needed to build the new centre. During the visit, The Duke of Kent met several Surrey Freemasons who supported The Prostate Project by

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donating more than £70,000. Those present included Surrey’s Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Richard Wileman, who was supported by Surrey Freemason Vic Simmons, also a trustee of The Prostate Project, and Peter Wood, the Master and Charity Steward of Astolat Lodge, No. 5848.


Out & About

S EEING T HE L IGHT Freemasons’ Hall welcomed more than 100 guests for a special event on 16 May, with renowned war artist Arabella Dorman the guest speaker for the Anthony Wilson Memorial Lecture


he event was opened by Dr David Staples, the United Grand Lodge of England’s Grand Secretary and CEO, as he introduced Arabella to the stage and announced the two charities it was in aid of – Beyond Conflict and Age Unlimited. The lecture was in honour of Anthony Wilson, who served as the President of the Board of General Purposes at UGLE from 2004 to 2017. Anthony’s widow, Vicky, was also in attendance, as well as Peter Lowndes, Pro Grand Master, and Geoffrey Dearing, the current President of the Board of General Purposes. Dorman opened by paying tribute to the great man that Anthony was and telling the audience what a pleasure it had been to paint his portrait, which was placed at the front of the stage throughout the event. She has also been commissioned to paint a scene from UGLE’s Tercentenary celebrations in 2017, and this will soon be displayed in Freemasons’ Hall. Dorman gave a vivid and insightful talk, opening with a poem and asking the audience to ‘think about our one life’, as she spoke in detail about her journeys across a number of war-torn countries. Displayed behind her were images both harrowing and beautiful, including a bombed mosque in Syria, as Dorman argued that the destruction of ancient sites had only added to the tragedy that has befallen that country. The artist also explained how her belief in the idea of permanence was changed by her visit, telling the audience that history can be rebuilt, but that the past is lost to this present.


Dorman said the voices she had heard in Syria were not broken, but full of defiance and longing. This was even more inspiring when she recalled how one woman had told her that she had lost her car and carried on; she had lost her house and carried on; and she’d then lost her family and thought that she couldn’t carry on, but still did. This was one of many real-life examples Dorman detailed throughout the night, as she shared her hope that even though art couldn’t change the world, it might help people feel a calling to resist corruption and war. In conclusion, she asked that her own work be seen as a salute to the power of peace, courage, faith and hope – as well as a call to reach out to others with compassion.

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People, places, history and more

Commonwealth champion Geoff Cooke is still leaving competitors in his tracks

FMT FMTSummer Winter 2018 2019


Stories FREEMASONS & MENTORING More than 70 young people in and around Swindon who face social barriers are receiving a major boost to their education, thanks to a £50,000 grant from Wiltshire Freemasons. Peter Watts talks to the inspiring teenagers who are improving their career prospects with the Villiers Park Educational Trust Scholars Programme


ver the past 10 years, hundreds of young people from deprived or difficult backgrounds have been able to achieve their full potential thanks to the work of the Villiers Park Educational Trust. The pioneering four-year Scholars Programme is run by the trust, a social mobility charity that targets high-ability children from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with regular mentoring sessions. The programme also pays for them to go on residential trips and workshops

designed to improve their confidence, motivation, resilience and employability, as well as giving them the chance to enjoy opportunities that they may not otherwise have been made aware of. A £50,000 grant from Wiltshire Freemasons via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) will fund one of these mentoring positions in Swindon for two years. ‘This generosity allows our mentors to continue doing their amazing work,’ says deputy director of development Rosie Knowles. ‘It’s particularly great for us to have the Freemasons commit to more than

LEARNING FOR LIFE a single year of funding, as we are focused on immersive long-term interventions.’ The charity currently operates in Swindon, Hastings, Bexhill, Tyneside, East Lancashire, Crawley and Norfolk, and hopes to widen its offering to other areas if more funding becomes available. There are four mentors in Swindon, who support children through their GCSEs and A-levels. ‘The mentors build up fabulous relationships,’ says Knowles. ‘They provide support and guidance and help young people develop skills to become more rounded individuals. Everything is built around developing these skills, as this is what empowers them to thrive and be self-sufficient in their success.’ The children are also able to give something back. ‘We encourage them to run self-led and inquiry-led projects in their schools,’ says Knowles. ‘This creates a ripple effect and a culture of positive learning. These young people really are incredible.’


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‘The mentors have all been really supportive, Rahul Vital, 19

and explain everything clearly. They ask you what you need help with. It’s life skills, the sort

Jaime Hessell, 16 None of my family had been to university, but now I really want to go – that’s because of Villiers Park. I have taken as much from it as possible because I feel so lucky to be involved. I was shy before and it’s given me more confidence. I can now talk in front of the other Scholars and their parents. I always enjoyed school, but Villiers Park has shown me new things. We did a workshop and that gave me an interest in sociology, which is what I want do at


of thing school doesn’t focus on’ university. We learn a bit of everything. It has given us a wider understanding of what is out there, beyond just maths and English. I am currently doing AS-levels and next year will do A-levels in maths, sociology and environmental studies. My mentoring sessions with Becki and Julie have been incredibly helpful. Through Villiers Park, I joined the INVOLVE project, which has meant teaching maths to year-7s. I want to be a teacher, so it’s given me more of an understanding of what it’s like, what a stress it is but also how rewarding it can be. I had lower-ability students, and one of my pupils didn’t know her three times table, so I taught her every week until she was able to recite them. I also like to show them why you need maths for different things, such as architecture and business.

Acacia Baldie, 17

I live with my mum and my brother and we moved to Swindon just before the Villiers Park Scholars Programme started. I think the trust chose me because I was doing okay at school and they saw my potential. I love school, but had always thought university would be too expensive and you had to be very smart to go. I changed my mind after learning a bit more. We have regular mentor sessions where you learn employability and interview skills, and exam preparation tips. You also have paid-for residential trips where a specialist in your subject will talk to you. The mentors have all been really supportive, and explain everything clearly. They ask you about yourself and what you need help with. It’s life skills, the sort of thing school and college doesn’t focus on. I am doing four A-Levels this year: fine art, textiles, biology and geography. My plan

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is to do Korean studies at university – I have identical offers from SOAS and Sheffield. Why Korea? I really liked the language and enjoy Korean shows. Plus I have Korean friends and I love the history and culture. My mentor helped me choose my subjects. I originally wanted to teach English in Korea but my mentor made me realise I should focus on what I enjoy, which was the culture.

Jordan Jones, 18 I was the first in my family to go to university and Villiers Park is about showing more options to people like me. Some of my peers weren’t looking at university, but I wanted to be an architect, so I knew I had a different career path. Villiers Park approached education in a different way to schools. They didn’t judge us, they were interested in how we got there and in how we used creative thinking. At school you have to appease all the people around you, but Villiers Park takes you out of that and allows you to be your own person and to flourish. I went to Villiers Park thinking architecture was for me, but I looked at university courses with my mentor, Becki, and realised I wanted to be more involved in the design and maths of why a building works, so I am now studying civil engineering. I was so grateful, because I would have barrelled into a course and found out it wasn’t for me. I started at Plymouth University in September. It’s a challenge, but I have the structure of how to revise and study from Villiers Park, and it’s nice to have that ongoing support. A lot of people I know never had it at all, so I’m just grateful I got it in the first place. For details, visit


My family is from India and we moved to Swindon when I was five. My mum and dad had to drop out of school at a young age, which was why I was scouted for Villiers Park. In India, you weren’t rewarded for good work at school, but were punished for bad work – quite different to here in England. The importance of education was made clear to me by my parents. I was encouraged to learn an instrument, take up art and do sports. I was approached by Villiers Park in year 9 and assigned a mentor, who helped me prepare for exams and job interviews, and create a CV. I also met other students on residential trips. I am now studying cancer biomedicine at University College London. Aspects of that came from a Villiers Park residential, where we learnt about cellular biology. I knew I wanted to do medicine or something with the sciences and these courses reinforced that decision. The programme helped with a lot of the stress I had at A-level. My mentor, Becki, would talk about how we were doing. She reassured me and I got an A* and 3 As. It’s definitely given me confidence. I wasn’t good at presentations, but going to these classes, learning to speak effectively and doing personal statements has been a lot of help. As a result of this I would definitely be willing to do something similar to help others. It was such a relief, so it would be great to do that for somebody else.



VIEW In the first of our photo series revealing Freemasons’ Hall through a lens, John Revelle speaks to photographer Kenji Kudo about his passion for this iconic building

This page: a Royal Arch Principal’s sceptre. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: the domed ceiling of Lodge Room 10; the gilt thrones of the Grand Temple; the Grand Temple’s celestial ceiling and mosaic coving; the organ screen of Lodge Room 10; a fisheye shot of the Grand Temple’s chequerboard carpet


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What inspired you to start taking photos? As a boy, I had a toy pinhole camera that had been given away with a photography magazine. I was also developing and printing my own photos from a very young age, I think around five years old. It was a wonderful experience – and one which sparked my lifelong love of photography. It’s difficult to believe that was almost half a century ago now. What do you like to photograph and why? We get used to seeing the things around us, the familiar objects of the everyday. I try to make those things strange and unusual. Renew them. When did you first come to Freemasons’ Hall and why did you want to photograph it? My first visit was in 2011 when I was shooting for a book to be published in Japan. At the time, masonic buildings there were largely inaccessible to the public. But when I asked if I could shoot here I was told that, although it was an unusual request, it would be no problem and the friendly staff let me do my work. What made you come back last summer to take this second batch of photos? After that first shoot I was hooked. Some time later, I was looking back over all my

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photos and Freemasons’ Hall stood out as the most exciting subject I’d ever worked on. And then Jody at UGLE found some of my photos on Instagram and got in touch, asking if he could repost them on social media. I of course agreed. He also said that if I was ever in London he would personally take me round the building for another shoot and give me full access to all the lodge rooms. I was on a plane the next month. The photos have been so popular, even gracing the cover of the last issue of this magazine. I’m very thankful to him for taking such an interest. I think Freemasons’ Hall is special because it’s not been ruined by changes or renovation. It has that majestic air of years ago. Any advice for members wanting to take their own photos of lodge rooms or masonic architecture? Use a wide-angle lens that lets in lots of light and work lightly and quickly to capture the emotion of what you see in your mind’s eye. What projects do you have coming up in the future? I would love to publish a glossy coffee table book of my photos of Freemasons’ Hall. Something permanent and high quality to truly honour the building for years to come.


After a cycling career that included the Olympics and a Commonwealth gold medal, Geoff Cooke is still enjoying 45-mile bike rides in his mid-70s. Peter Watts meets the

ENJOYING THE RIDE Freemason who’s always strived to maximise his potential




owards the end of our hourlong conversation, Geoff Cooke, the 75-year-old cyclist – and active Freemason – casually mentions that he’s just come out of intensive care. And that’s only in response to a question about when he last went out on his bike. ‘Well,’ he begins, ‘I had a big off during a meet in Derby seven weeks ago. Somebody went over in front of me and I couldn’t avoid them. I went home and thought I’d let it heal, but it was torture, so I went to hospital. At the Royal Derby Hospital they found I’d broke seven ribs and had a blood clot on my lung that wasn’t caused by the accident. It’s a silent killer and without the accident they’d never have found it.’ Then comes the belated answer to the original question: ‘Well, I went out yesterday and did 45 miles…’ Few of us could cycle 45 miles at the best of times, let alone in our mid-70s and just two months after being hospitalised with a potentially fatal illness. But Geoff isn’t like most people. He’s competed at the Olympics and won gold at the Commonwealth Games. Later he was British Cycling’s national coach for 10 years and worked with cyclists such as Chris Boardman, Laura Kenny and Victoria Pendleton. And he’s still racing today, having won more than 50 gold medals in the World Masters Championships and World Masters Games for over-35s, bringing him a career haul of 215… so far. But he’s always found time for Freemasonry, and still managed to fulfil his duties as Master of Nottingham Rotary Lodge, No. 3941, while coaching the British team at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. In conversation, Geoff is affable and even humble, but occasionally the steely determination that made him a champion

resurfaces. ‘People say I dominate my race group but it’s only ’cos I worked so damned hard,’ he says. ‘When I get on the track and lean on my handlebars, I know that I have done everything I could have – so cop hold of this, everyone! If you get on that start line and wish you’d worked harder, you’re lost.’

FOOTBALL’S LOSS Geoff was born in Manchester in 1944 but grew up in Lincolnshire. He’d hoped to be a footballer and played to county standard as a hard-hitting full back. He had trials with a number of East Midlands clubs but admits he lacked the finesse to make it as a professional. Instead, he turned his attention to cycling. His father had owned a bike shop in Liverpool until it fell victim to the 1930s depression and as a six-year-old, Geoff and his older sister would cycle the 16 miles from Louth to the seaside town of Maplethorpe. After joining Nottingham’s Phoenix Cycling Club in 1959, he discovered that his explosive pace made him a candidate to become a first-class sprinter. This was the end of a golden age of British cycling. After the war, bikes were the primary means of transport for many Britons, and Geoff remembers seeing rows of bike racks outside factories for workers who had no other low-cost means of transport. As a result, there were far fewer cars, and training could take place on A-roads without fear. ‘It was the way of life before cars took over,’ he says. ‘The cycling clubs were massive, huge groups of people. You had all sorts of things, tricycle associations and tandem cycling. It was a big part of our life.’ Although Geoff was talented and determined, he could also be a hothead. And so, despite having won a couple of

‘If you get on that start line and wish you’d worked harder, you’re lost. When I lean on my handlebars, I know I’ve done everything I could have, so cop hold of this, everyone!’



CYCLE OF LIFE Geoff became a Freemason in 1980 and while he’s reluctant to draw any direct comparisons between his chosen sport and Freemasonry, he does agree that both require team spirit and a commitment to self-improvement. He particularly enjoys the charitable and sociable aspects. ‘There are some very special people who make it the fraternity it is,’ he says. ‘It’s a fantastic


‘It’s a fantastic organisation and hugely enjoyable. It can be challenging, but when you sit at the Festive Board, everybody brings something to the party’

organisation, there are rituals and it’s hugely enjoyable. It can be challenging, particularly when you go into the chair, but when you sit at the Festive Board, everybody brings something to the party.’ Although he doesn’t cycle to meetings – ‘it’s difficult to do that in a suit!’ – there are several fellow cyclists in the lodge, some of whom Geoff introduced to Freemasonry. It’s clear that when it comes to cycling, Geoff sees age as just another obstacle to overcome, and he continues to race. His contribution to British cycling was recognised in 2012, when cycling legend Chris Hoy asked Geoff to carry the Olympic torch. ‘Chris was invited to name people who had motivated him,’ he says. ‘From Scotland, he chose a family member who had been in a Japanese POW camp, and

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from England he chose me. So I got to carry the torch down Deansgate in Manchester, not far from where I was born.’ In later years, Geoff was responsible for teaching juniors, acting as sprint coach and general motivator to the talented group of British cyclists that emerged under the leadership of Dave Brailsford. Geoff recalls an event in Newport, where the young cyclists had been worked particularly hard. ‘At the end of the session, I was asked to say a few words,’ he says. ‘I told them that what they had done that day was more than their friends will do for months. Even if their successes in life don’t come on a bike, it will make them different to other people. They knew how to dig deep, and how to do it when others couldn’t. In sport, you learn things about life and yourself.’


national titles, he wasn’t chosen for the 1968 Mexico Olympics. ‘I was tempted to throw my bike away and say “stuff it”’, says Geoff. ‘But I sat down and wrote [Olympic medalist and selector] Tommy Godwin a letter. We’d not always seen eye-to-eye and I accepted that was my fault, but I told him I wanted to achieve things. We became lifelong friends. It turned out he was a fellow Freemason and we visited each other’s lodges a number of times. I cried my eyes out at his funeral.’ Reinvigorated, Geoff went to the 1972 Olympics in Munich and then won gold at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch. ‘Without Tommy I don’t think that would have happened,’ says Geoff. ‘Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and stop blaming everybody else. I had no coaches or anybody talking to me. You just did what you thought you had to do and sometimes it wasn’t the right thing.’ This is a reminder that Geoff was operating in a very different world. For a start, he was an amateur – when he competed at the Olympics, he had to request time off from his employers. There was limited understanding of diet and nutrition, and training consisted of taking part in as many races as possible and then resting during the winter. Geoff sometimes ponders what he could have achieved with a modern 365-day training regime, and also wonders how many medals he missed because his opponents were using stimulants – a recognised problem in competitive cycling for decades. Away from his bike, Geoff ended his career as Erewash Borough Council’s head of leisure services, despite having left school without any significant qualifications. He went on to earn degree-level qualifications in his 50s – something he says he could only have done by harnessing the drive that had been developed on the track. Geoff is as proud of this aspect of his career as he is of his achievements on his bike.





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Despite his own blindness, Leslie Robinson is bringing FMT to other Freemasons who can’t see its pages. Along with voice-over man Chris Connop, he tells Edwin Smith how ‘masonic light’ brightens his life, and why he’s reaching out to blind brothers who may feel left in the dark


hen Leslie Robinson was born, his mother knew something was wrong. When a mum smiles at her newborn child, most of the time, the baby smiles back. ‘But,’ says Leslie, ‘I didn’t.’ Even so, at first, his childhood was normal enough for someone born just before the Second World War. He would play on the bomb sites, like most children did. And, occasionally, he would trip on things, like most children did. Nobody thought anything of it. At school, with wartime classes often numbering well over 40 children, Leslie’s problem went largely unnoticed by teachers. But he began to understand his limitations. ‘Even though I was sitting right at the front of the class, I used to have to ask the child next to me what was on the blackboard. But children can be very horrible, can’t they? “Look for yourself four eyes!” they’d say.’ He remembers getting lost in the playground. ‘I was trying to find the cloakroom,’ he says. Then, more quietly: ‘They wouldn’t tell me where it was.’ He trails off, lost in thought. Eventually, Leslie was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary condition that affects the back of the eye. His sight deteriorated gradually and today, aged 83, is completely blind. ‘I can’t see the light of day,’ he says, merrily. ‘I sat down in the lounge one evening and my wife Barbara asked me to put the light on. I realised I didn’t use it anymore.’ About 40 years ago, Leslie became a Freemason. When he was initiated

into the Craft and asked to name the ‘predominant wish of a new initiate’s heart,’ instead of giving the standard answer of ‘light’, he was permitted to say ‘masonic light’. And that masonic light has been with him ever since. He cites ‘friendship and comradeship’ as the most important things about the Craft. ‘I don’t think you’d find anyone you don’t trust who’s a Freemason.’


Leslie was a piano tuner for 66 years and as a result has a network of clients and colleagues from his professional life. He also counts many friends among the Eastbourne Blind Society, of which he’s a member. But Freemasonry has proved to be a way of opening up social connections that is ‘something completely different.’ For many partially sighted Freemasons, the connections they enjoy through the Craft can be especially valuable. So, a couple of decades ago, Leslie was inspired to put himself forward to play a role in the production of an audio version of Masonic Quarterly, a predecessor publication of FMT. The idea was to ensure that people in a similar position to him would be able to stay connected to their fellow members and to the Craft, stay up to date with the latest developments and ward off some of the feelings of isolation that can accompany losing one’s sight. The magazine had been put on to tape before, says Leslie. ‘But I don’t think the chap who read it all those years ago really wanted to do it. He mumbled a bit – listening to it made me want to drop off

to sleep!’ Happily, when Leslie took up the mantle, he did so with the help of a former BBC radio announcer, Simon Fernie, whose flair for delivery helped to give the recordings a professional sheen. Simon voiced the audio recordings for several years alongside Chris Connop, a former Personal Secretary to the Grand Secretary and a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Middlesex. When Simon sadly passed away a decade or so ago, it was Chris, now 72, who became the voice of FMT. ‘The first time Chris came to see me, he said, “Do you know, Leslie, I’ve never been to Eastbourne before; I didn’t think I was old enough.”’ Leslie laughs. ‘It’s often called God’s waiting room.’ Leslie and Chris are now a double act, with Chris reading the magazine aloud and Leslie on hand manning the recording equipment. ‘We only have 80 minutes on those discs,’ says Leslie, ‘so we can’t include every last thing that goes in the magazine, but Chris is an ex-headmaster, so he’s quite capable of going through and deciding what to fit in.’ In the 72 editions that Leslie has recorded, ‘there’s quite a lot that has stood out,’ he says. Anything about a fellow member who has ‘done something extraordinary’ tends to pique his interest, but he especially enjoyed a recent article about George VI, who was a Freemason until withdrawing on his accession to the throne. ‘I didn’t know that. I’ve been a Freemason for over 40 years and I’m still discovering things.’ ‘Chris’s delivery is very good. What I like is that he reads with considerable

‘Leslie is unbelievable. He can lean forward and just press the right button, or find a particular CD just like that. It’s a particular faculty you develop when you lose another faculty, I suppose. He’s a lovely man’ FMT Summer 2019


Stories LESLIE ROBINSON ‘People should know about the service, especially as it’s free. And they should know about Leslie, what he does and why he does it. It’s an inspiring, human story’

Above: Chris Connop, the ‘voice’ of FMT. Left and below: Leslie at home in his studio

expression. He also speaks French and a bit of German, so occasionally there’s a quote in a different language.’ ‘I’ve got a radio voice,’ says Chris, ‘or so people tell me. But Leslie, he is just unbelievable. He can lean forward and just press the right button, or find a particular CD just like that. It’s a particular faculty you develop when you lose another faculty, I suppose. He’s a great guy and a lovely man.’


Leslie uses a minidisc recorder hooked up to a microphone to capture Chris’s voice, a method he favours because it enables him to easily go back and edit out any mistakes. Editing tends to take about two hours for each issue of the magazine. After that, once the master CD has been recorded, it takes just a few minutes to


create the discs that actually end up being sent out to members. To do this, Leslie uses a special machine which can copy 10 CDs at a time. These discs are then put into plastic wallets with address labels and posted – a process that is aided by Leslie’s wife of 61 years, Barbara. In the old days, when it was audio tapes rather than CDs that were sent out, they would sometimes come back with messages recorded over them. ‘I’ve got some lovely messages,’ says Leslie. ‘One gentleman said, “I’m 92 and I thought they’d forgotten all about me.” I still get phone calls even today though – especially when the CDs are late!’ When Leslie began making his recordings, he had a list of 200 names and addresses to which he sent the tapes. Now he sends them out to 60 people. ‘It’s dwindling all the time, simply because

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people are dying off.’ But there’s no doubt in Leslie or Chris’s mind that there are more people out there who would leap at the chance to receive the audio version of the magazine, if only they knew it was available. There are some three million people in the UK who don’t have the ability to read because of a sight problem or reading disability such as dyslexia, according to a report published by the RNIB. Among them, there’s likely to be many more than 60 Freemasons. So, Leslie and Chris have a message: ‘We want to publicise the recordings and let people know they’re available regularly. So of course it would help if people reading this can pass the word around.’ ‘We really want it to be broadcast more widely,’ says Chris. ‘People should know about the service, especially as it’s free. And they should know about Leslie, what he does and why he does it. It’s an inspiring, human story.’

If you or someone you know would benefit from receiving an audio version of this magazine, please email

The Interview PRITY LAD At the heart of UGLE’s membership system is the new Director for Member Services. Prity Lad takes us on a tour of Freemasons’ Hall and reveals UGLE’s forward-thinking support

MEMBERSHIP & MODERNISATIO programme for current and future members


rity Lad has just finished her photoshoot for FMT, which saw her leading the photographer around Freemasons’ Hall looking for the perfect location to sum up the welcoming nature of her new position, while being careful not to lose us in its labyrinthine interior. She’s worked in the building since 2007, but notes, ‘It’s rare that I have time to look around this amazing place. It’s vast.’ Prity’s time has been particularly precious recently, having taken up her new position as Director for Member Services. The role was created as part of the internal restructure of UGLE under Grand Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Dr David Staples. ‘There’s been a shift in the way we operate here at UGLE,’ explains Prity. ‘Departments originally reported directly into the Grand Secretary. Dr Staples has brought in a new level of senior management to develop a professional, fitfor-purpose headquarters for the benefit of our members and staff. I work closely with the Director of Masonic Services

with whom I share an office. It works well, as there is a need for cooperation internally and communication externally to look after our members’ interests.’


Before taking up her new position, Prity had worked for UGLE as a software training consultant, focused on ADelphi, UGLE’s internal membership system. She had read law at university, after which there was a period of working in education and training, during which time she obtained a post-graduate certificate in education. In 2000, she changed tack and moved into the IT sector. Her role as a training manager for a software house involved implementing training and managing change for the Ministry of Defence, NHS and cruise sectors, both in the in the UK and overseas. She started working at Freemasons’ Hall in 2007, but left after a year to raise her family, before returning in 2012. ‘I had no prior knowledge of the world of Freemasonry,’ Prity says. ‘The attraction for me was working in IT in a unique business setting,’ she says. ‘I’ve learnt a lot about the Craft since

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then and I find it fascinating – the traditions, the values, things that don’t feature prominently in most working environments, and things that I have come to respect – I’m happy to be part of it.’ Prity’s role allows her to draw on her admiration for Freemasonry as she helps to develop new ideas and methods. Her department oversees three primary components: Registration, External Relations and District support. Part of this involves reaching out to people interested in Freemasonry. ‘Areas we want to focus on include attracting new members, but also finding better ways to engage with our existing membership. In order to do this, we want to identify and promote what Freemasonry represents and the values the organisation has,’ says Prity. ‘Respect, integrity and charity are core to Freemasonry and are the reasons many people join in the first place. We want to emphasise that, and show the inclusive nature of the organisation.’ That is only one element of Prity’s job. An overarching goal across the three departments is to streamline, simplify


The Interview PRITY LAD

‘We want to eliminate paper and repetition, reduce delays and make it easier for the lodge Secretaries and, ultimately, the members themselves’ to use. We don’t just want to modernise, we want to enhance what we offer without excluding any of our existing membership.’

and modernise processes without making them inaccessible to Freemasons who might be less comfortable with technology. The registration team deal with all aspects of membership, enabling them to build a complete picture of somebody’s masonic record, ensuring it remains updated with the relevant degrees, offices and certificates. ‘The intention is to modernise the process,’ says Prity. ‘We want to eliminate paper and repetition, reduce delays and make it easier for the lodge Secretaries and, ultimately, the members themselves.’


When it comes to Districts, part of the focus recently has been on improving the administrative support supplied by UGLE. The Districts are experiencing annual growth of 10 per cent, and UGLE wants to support and amplify the work


they do within their communities. As regards external relations, process and protocols must be followed to ensure UGLE’s polices are adhered to correctly. And this is one area where Prity’s IT background comes in handy. ‘We receive a lot of enquires from people around the world interested in Freemasonry, and the external relations team is looking at modernising that interface so people can get the information they need online,’ she says. ‘We are always here to support potential members, and want to make information accessible, such as automating some processes in a secure environment. That way, if somebody is interested in becoming a Freemason, they can visit the website, put in their information and we can advise them which Grand Lodge to contact depending on where they are located. We want to make the website more informative and easier

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Prity then turns to two initiatives that Grand Lodge would like to roll out to the Districts to help with learning and development. Solomon is a collection of online material facilitating the members’ learning – it contains presentations, essays and ‘nuggets’ of knowledge and information from a variety of sources that will help in any stage of a masonic career. ‘This has already been rolled out across our Provinces. It is our intention to introduce Solomon and The Members’ Pathway to the Districts,’ she says. ‘The Members’ Pathway was launched in 2017 and provides a series of steps that lodges and chapters can follow to attract, encourage and introduce new members. An important element of both initiatives is keeping current members engaged and adding value to help with their journey, to keep it relevant to them as they continue. It’s a different way of working and can help in the way they liaise with their members.’ That commitment to the members is central to everything Prity is doing, just as it is at the heart of what Dr David Staples and UGLE are working towards. ‘There’s a refreshing change taking place,’ she says. ‘There are so many ways to move forward and the senior team is bringing together a skill set with fresh ideas from which the members will ultimately benefit. That’s the long-term goal. It’s about our current members, what we can do for them to improve our services, but also for those who want to learn more about Freemasonry. There’s a vast amount of good work done in the Provinces that benefits the communities around them and we want to make potential members aware of that when they visit the website and read our literature. We want to raise the profile of the incredible work that members are engaged in – at all levels.’

A Daily Advancement

Extending knowledge of Freemasonry

A church ruin in El’Aujeh (present-day Nitzana) in the Negev Desert, illustrated by Edward Palmer in his book The Desert of the Exodus (1871)

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Daily Advancement QC WRITES


FMT Summer 2019

Daily Advancement QC WRITES

The merchant, politician, developer and American patriot who died embroiled in the American War of Independence also had a unusual title bestowed on him by the Grand Lodge of England, as Dr Ric Berman explains


otheby’s New York was the venue for an unusual auction the hand of its Grand Master, the Duke of Beaufort. Dated 21 August on 31 January 2019. A portrait of Joseph Montfort, the first 1767, the document was produced to the Royal White Hart Lodge on 20 Provincial Grand Master of North Carolina – in full masonic May 1768, with the lodge assigned No. 403 on the Grand Register. regalia – sold for $100,000. But the work is not American. Montfort visited London again in 1771 and brought back It was painted in England in the 1770s by Nathaniel Dance, additional furnishings, including a large masonic floor cloth which then one of London’s most eminent society portraitists. he presented to the Royal White Hart Lodge in March the following Montfort was born in Warwick County, Virginia, where year. And it was around this time he sat for the formal masonic the family had settled from England in the 17th century. He left portrait by Nathaniel Dance pictured opposite. The work epitomises for North Carolina in 1751 and the following year bought 419 acres the strong social, commercial and masonic connections between on Quankey Creek, five miles west of where the town of Halifax America and Britain in the mid-18th century. would be founded. Around the same time, he married Priscilla, the youngest daughter of Colonel Benjamin Hill, a wealthy deerskin A CALL TO ARMS trader and planter. The marriage brought not just her dowry but Dance was probably recommended by the Duke of Beaufort, connections to her brothers-in-law: Alexander McCulloch, another whose second son, Charles Somerset, had sat for Dance previously. trader and planter, and John Campbell, described by Governor But the portrait was not shipped to America. Dance would have taken Arthur Dobbs in 1760 as ‘the most eminent trader in this province’. time to complete the work and Montfort, in declining health, did not Montfort amassed land across North Carolina, developing it both have an opportunity to return. The outbreak of war and Montfort’s on his own and in partnership with others, including Willie Jones, death prevented further contact, and the portrait remained in a wealthy planter and Jeffersonian politician, who later married Dance’s studio, where it was later partly overpainted before being Montfort’s daughter. In the sold into the English market. process, Montfort became one of On 6 February 1771, the minutes North Carolina’s largest land owners, Montfort voted to condemn British of the Grand Lodge of England as well as one of its most successful record Montfort’s appointment as behaviour, averring that ‘Americans planters and merchant traders. Provincial Grand Master for North Montfort’s public offices can be taxed only by those persons Carolina. The deputation is worded included clerk to the Edgecombe differently, however, appointing him who legally represent them’ County Court, which gave him a ‘Provincial Grand Master of and for share of court fees, and when the America’. Although uncommon, county was divided in 1759 to create Halifax County, he became this description was not unique. Grand Lodge used that form of clerk to its Court and the District Superior Court. He was also appointed words where deputations to office reached into other provinces or town commissioner for Halifax and Provincial Treasurer for the territories where no English Provincial Grand Lodge existed. But in Northern District of North Carolina, roles with considerable influence. practice, Montfort exercised authority almost entirely within North Politically, Montfort represented Halifax County in the General Carolina. The only warrant granted externally was to Royal Arch Lodge Assembly in 1762 and 1764, Halifax from 1766 to 1774, and in 1775 in Virginia, a port from which Montfort shipped tobacco to England. was nominated to the Second Provincial Congress, although poor Montfort was an American patriot. He voted to condemn British health prevented him from attending. behaviour, averring that ‘Americans can be taxed only by those persons who legally represent them; therefore the power assumed by BUILDING AMERICA the British parliament over the Colonies, is an invasion of those rights From the 1760s, Montfort began to raise Halifax’s commercial and which as free people we have enjoyed [since] time immemorial.’ social profile. This included a new masonic lodge. Freemasonry was a In December 1775, just a few months before Montfort’s death, mark of social sophistication and provided a space for elite fraternal North Carolina’s provincial council appointed him a commissioner for association. He became Master of the Royal White Hart Lodge in Port Roanoke tasked with purchasing arms, procuring a vessel and 1765 and set about ensuring that it gained an elevated status. This recommending officers ‘to protect the Commerce of this province’. extended not only to importing bespoke glassware, porcelain and He was almost certainly too ill by then to have undertaken an active lodge furniture, but also to securing a new lodge warrant. role. Montfort died on 25 March 1776. His will has not survived, but the Montfort’s visit to London in 1767 offered an opportunity to state records of North Carolina record that his weapons and black obtain a charter directly from the Grand Lodge of England under powder were passed to his son to support America’s war effort.

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A Daily Advancement TREASURES


From snuff boxes to jewellery, some of the more curious artefacts in the Museum of Freemasonry were made by Napoleonic POWs. Collections Manager Emma Roberts tells their story


uring the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars from 1792 to 1815, up to 122,000 French prisoners lived in camps across Britain. Soldiers and sailors were confined to huge barracks or prisons such as Dartmoor, Perth and Bristol and even held on board prison ships docked at Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth. Commissioned officers were often allowed to reside ‘on parole’ in certain towns, living on a weekly allowance from the British government. Among the thousands of French officers, many were Freemasons who received kind treatment from their British brethren, often being taken into their homes and visiting lodges, while some even founded lodges within their camps.


To combat the monotony and supplement any money that they received, many began making woollen gloves and laceand-straw plaits for hats and bonnets. Others created craft souvenirs and novelty items out of any materials they could find, such as card, paper, human hair and bone, metal and mother of pearl, which were then sold or traded. Many different objects were produced, including groups of figures, ships and


miniature houses made from bone. Other more dubious industries, such as forgeries of coinage, also prospered. In some cases, the quality of workmanship was such that it threatened the livelihood of the local craftsmen, as happened in the case of the POW lacemakers, resulting in prisoners being banned from trading in the material. The Museum of Freemasonry has examples of workboxes made from straw bedding and snuffboxes carved from bones, while another item made in large numbers was masonic appliqué plaques, which followed the pattern of the plates and pierced jewels on sale in England at this time. These plaques were later set into metal and glass surrounds to be worn as lodge jewels, lockets, cravat pins, rings and cufflinks, ensuring their

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survival today. Some of these can be seen on display in the current exhibition ‘Bejewelled: Badges, Brotherhood and Identity’ at the Museum of Freemasonry. The permanent collection on display in the museum reflects the depth and breadth of the Craft throughout the centuries. As social, political and philosophical changes have swept across the world, one can see the impact on the citizens manifested in the objects that were crafted, the books that were published and the pictures that were illustrated. Given that Freemasonry has so followed the free movement of man, it is to our benefit that the collection in the museum remains as an invaluable touchstone for learning about these historical developments.

A Daily Advancement BROTHERS PAST

Professor Edward Palmer (1840-1882)



dward Palmer always had a gift for languages, picking up Romany as a boy, and later Italian and French. Aged 19, he was encouraged to study Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Hebrew. His proficiency in languages led to the award of a ‘sizarship’ and then a scholarship at St John’s College, Cambridge. And although he only achieved a third in classics, his linguistic talent saw him elected to a fellowship. Palmer was invited to join the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Sinai Survey in 1869 as interpreter. There he added the Bedouin dialects to his portfolio and returned with Charles Tyrwhitt-Drake to travel to Sinai to secure the Bedouins’ support. With Captain William the following year. They travelled alone, visiting Jerusalem, Hebron, Gill, whose duty it was to cut the telegraph wires linking Cairo to Petra and Damascus, returning via Constantinople and Vienna. Constantinople, and a naval lieutenant, Harold Charrington, Palmer In 1871, three years after graduating, Palmer was made Lord journeyed across Egypt from Gaza to Suez, before heading south Almoner’s Professor of Arabic at Cambridge; his first book, Oriental into Sinai. Three days later the three men disappeared. Mysticism, was published the same year. He was a prolific author, Charles Warren, a surveyor for the Palestine Exploration Fund writing accounts of his Palestine and Sinai expeditions, and publishing and later a co-founder (with Besant) of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, an Arabic grammar and Persian dictionary, alongside other works. found Palmer, Gill and Charrington at Wadi Sudr, 30 miles south In 1873 he acted as interpreter for the Shah of Iran during his of Suez. Their mission had been discovered and they had been visit to Britain. He also interpreted at a meeting of the Marquis of murdered. £3,000 in gold carried by Palmer had also been stolen. Dalhousie Lodge, No. 1159, with Walter Besant in the chair, held Warren returned to London with their remains. They were ‘for the purpose of initiating into interred in St Paul’s Cathedral with Freemasonry Abdul Hussisi Khan’, full honours. Those responsible ‘Palmer was a scholar and student a cousin of the Shah of Persia. were later identified and hanged. Besant referred to the lodge most earnest and resolute, yet always Lord Northbrook, for the in his Life and Achievements of government, initially refused to with the heart of a boy’ Edward Henry Palmer. ‘We used to confirm Palmer had been on a secret meet at a masonic lodge founded mission, saying he was present only originally for Orientals and persons interested in things Oriental… as a journalist (alongside his professorship, Palmer wrote for The Palmer acknowledged that… in the Brotherhood, every man stands Standard). However, Palmer’s correspondence, and Charrington’s face to face with his God, with no priest, or dogma, or person and Gill’s journals, were made public and the truth exposed. claiming any supernatural powers whatever between. This being Besant wrote his biography a few months later: ‘Our acquaintance so, there is surely, he thought, a great future for Freemasonry when ripened into a friendship, which has been to me one of the greatest it gets out of the present vicious groove and falls into the hands of joys of my life… Palmer was a scholar and student most earnest intelligent men capable of seeing what a tremendous weapon it and resolute, yet always with the heart of a boy; so great a linguist may be made for independence and freedom of thought.’ that he stood alone, yet always modest… always at work, yet always In 1882, shortly before a planned invasion of Egypt to protect with time for leisure; the most serious man in the world when he Britain’s interests in the Suez Canal, the government asked Palmer had a purpose in view, yet the most delightful of companions.’


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Dr Ric Berman on the gifted linguist who undertook a secret and ultimately fatal mission to protect his country’s interests

A Daily Advancement ON THE SIDE


One of the most historic Orders in Freemasonry, The Royal Order of Scotland’s ritual traditions reach back 700 years to Robert the Bruce. Brother Alan Dickson, Grand Secretary, explains its foundations and values


very meeting of the Royal Order of Scotland could, in theory, take a dramatic turn. Beside the Chairman a seat is left empty, except for a robe, crown and sceptre, in case the hereditary Grand Master, the King of the Scots, should decide to take up his place. Robert the Bruce is said to have conferred the degrees of Heredom and Rosy Cross on a group of knights who assisted him in his victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Those knights were the first members of the Royal Order of Scotland, an appendant Order that is in rude health today. Not all of the Royal Order’s earliest history is well recorded. However, records do exist of the Royal Order meeting in London from 1743; a charter was granted in 1750 to work the degree at The Hague in Holland and, since then, the Order has been international. From 1753, it made its base in Edinburgh and started to recruit members, elevating to the Grand Lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland in 1767. The Order grew dramatically over the next 20 years in France, with numerous Provincial Grand Lodges being erected throughout the country. A decline of the Order was just as rapid and probably due to the persecution that went on during the Napoleonic era. However, by the middle of the 19th century, its global reach was being re-established. We can date the Order’s oldest existing Provincial Grand Lodge to 1852. Curiously, it is in Sweden. In a masonic building in Stockholm, a


Tower of Refreshment was uncovered; the small-scale model of a building used to award one of the two degrees of the Order seems to prove the connection.


Since the King of the Scots is the Grand Master of the Royal Order, the Chairman of the Grand Lodge has the title of Deputy Grand Master and Governor. The honour is held today by Sir Archibald Donald Orr Ewing, 6th Baronet. He presides over a network of 91 Provincial Grand Lodges around the world: five in Scotland and 33 in England, with the rest throughout Europe, Canada, the US, Australasia, Africa, East Asia and the Caribbean. The organisation has about 15,000 members around the globe and continues to grow. The most recent Provincial Grand Lodge to be consecrated is in Tallinn, Estonia. There are plans for another in Berlin, which will be known as Preussen, in a nod to the German word for Prussia. The Royal Order of Scotland continues to create Provincial Grand Lodges around the world. The local members petition Grand Lodge to erect a new Provincial Grand Lodge and Chapter. Grand Lodge will proceed only if there is a happy acquiescence of the sovereign Grand Lodge within that jurisdiction. Today, the headquarters of the Royal Order of Scotland is in The Chapel of St John in St John Street in Edinburgh. It contains what is considered by many to

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be the oldest purpose-built masonic lodge room in the world, having been built in 1735. Minutes of a meeting on 1 February 1787 show the poet Robert Burns was assumed a member of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2. It still meets at the lodge room, but the premises have been the property of the Royal Order since 1993. The Grand Lodge is unusual for being one of only a few of its kind to admit new members itself, welcoming around 30 each year. Grand Lodge can accept members from anywhere, but typically they are from in and around Edinburgh, or parts of the world where no Province presently exists. Provincial Grand Lodges form the only other level of the organisation.


To join the Royal Order of Scotland, it is necessary to have progressed in the three degrees of St John and maintained your membership for at least five continuous years. The applicant’s lodge must work under a constitution recognised by The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland, and you must be a follower of the Trinitarian Christian faith. These qualifying criteria apply wherever you are in the world. However, applicants need first to be invited by two sponsors who must be existing members; further, all applications for membership are assessed by the Executive Committee of the Grand Lodge or by the appropriate Provincial Grand Lodge. The ritual, wherever it takes place, is conducted in English (with one exception – which may be as a result of the connection to the Hague in the mid18th century). The verse is rhythmic and rhyming, and is quite beautiful. The Order consists of two degrees which may be conferred on the same occasion, or separately. Members are initially advanced to the degree of Heredom of Kilwinning and, thereafter, promoted to the Knighthood of the Rosy Cross, which of course hearkens back to the lore of the very beginnings of the Order and that famous day in Scottish history, more than 700 years ago.

A Daily Advancement ON THE SIDE


THE ROYAL ORDER OF SCOTLAND With their own terminology, structures and practices, each masonic Order is different from the next. Here, we break down the origins, requirements and organisation of the Royal Order of Scotland

What is the emblem?

The headquarters of the Royal Order of Scotland can be found at what is considered by some to be the oldest purpose-built masonic chapel in the world, on St John Street in Edinburgh.

Can you describe the regalia?

What is the Order’s motto?

A brother of Heredom wears a crimson cordon in addition to an apron (left). A Knight of the Rosy Cross wears both the crimson and green cordon, in addition to a different apron, a breast star (below) and a garter.

‘Virtute et silencio’, latin for ‘virtue and silence’, which reminds members of their responsibilities as good Freemasons.

Who is the Grand Master?


The Royal Order of Scotland looks back to the wake of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, when Robert the Bruce conferred the degrees of the Royal Order upon knights who came to his aid.

Where is the Order based?

There are several iterations of the emblem, but many feature a cross adorned with roses and a gold star on a green background.

The King of the Scots. The Chairman is the Deputy Grand Master and Governor, currently Sir Archibald Donald Orr Ewing, 6th Baronet.

When and how did it originate?

Is it a Christian Order? Yes, one of the necessary criteria for membership of the Royal Order of Scotland lodges is a profession of the Trinitarian faith.

How many members are there? There are about 15,000 members around the world, spread across 91 Provincial Grand Lodges.

Is there anything else that makes the Order unusual? The ritual work contained within the two degrees of the Royal Order reflect aspects of many other orders in Freemasonry and potentially allows the candidate to reflect on experiences previously attained during his masonic journey.

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What is the significance of the Heredom of Kilwinning? Kilwinning is a historic masonic town in Ayrshire and was referred to in the Shaw Statues issued in the late-16th century.


GrandStories Lodge


News from Great Queen Street

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ACHIEVEMENTS TO CELEBRATE New Grand Officers are welcomed by the First Grand Principal, HRH The Duke of Kent


ompanions, it is an enormous pleasure to be with you today. May I first offer my congratulations to all of those whom I have invested today. Grand Rank in the Holy Royal Arch is an achievement to be proud of, and serves not only to recognise your contributions to our Order, but also as an inducement to your future efforts in explaining and representing the Royal Arch to our brethren in the Craft and beyond. It is not only a senior position within the Order, but also a public position and one which should only be held by those companions who publicly exemplify our principles, enjoy their Freemasonry, and go out of their way to welcome and support others in their masonic journeys.


This year I have invested new companions into one of the most senior roles within our Order – President of the Committee of General Purposes, and also one of our most visible roles – that of the Grand Director of Ceremonies. It is only right and proper that I pause to again pay tribute to those companions who have held these offices before them, in both cases for more than a decade. So, to companions Malcolm Aish and Oliver Lodge, on behalf of all the companions here present, I thank you for your leadership, patience, wise counsel, stewardship and good humour. You will be missed and we wish your successors good fortune for the future. They both have quite a task ahead of them, defining the Royal Arch for a younger generation of Freemasons, ensuring that it is both relevant and enjoyable, but I have no doubt that they will find no shortage of volunteers to help them in that task from among those other companions that I have invested today. One aspect that I am sure they will want to emphasise is that no Freemason should be joining other Orders without first completing their journey in Pure Antient Masonry by becoming a member of the Holy Royal Arch. Companions, events like this do not just happen and I would like, on your behalf, to congratulate the new Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for once again arranging such an impressive ceremony, and the Grand Scribe Ezra and his team for ensuring all the other arrangements have gone so smoothly. Companions, I congratulate you all on your preferment and wish you peace, happiness and good will in the next stage of your masonic journeys.


‘Grand Rank serves as an inducement to your future efforts in explaining and representing the Royal Arch to our brethren in the Craft and beyond’

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Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes on duty, ritual and accepting our imperfections


rethren, I am sure you will agree that the Grand Temple is a magnificent sight at all times, but most particularly when it is full to bursting, as it is today. The first thing I must do today is congratulate all those brethren who have been reappointed, promoted in or appointed to Grand Rank. It is, I am sure, a well-deserved honour, but, as always, let me stress this does not mean that you should sit back and rest on your laurels. Much more work is expected from you, brethren. Looking back over the years, it doesn’t seem to me that we ever thanked the outgoing officers. Many of the Acting Grand Officers of the year have been reappointed today and this would not have happened if they did not perform their duties in exemplary style and – for the most part – retain a sense of humour in the process. For those who served terms of office of one or more years, thank you for what you have done. Some will have been more involved than others, but you have all been part of the Grand Lodge spectacle.


I often mention retaining a sense of humour and – as I have said in the past – this does not mean turning our ceremonies into pantomime events, but it does mean keeping everything in proportion. A mistake in the ritual or the ceremonial doesn’t have to be a matter of life and death and often has a humorous side to it, particularly when discussed later. Who here hasn’t made mistakes – I know I have frequently. However, I am sure we would all agree that a masonic ceremony performed well is a memorable occasion and we should all strive to perform to the best of our ability.

‘A mistake in the ritual doesn’t have to be a matter of life and death and often has a humorous side to it, particularly when discussed later’

Brethren, today is a big occasion in all respects and it takes a huge amount of work behind the scenes by all those working in the Secretariat and beyond. I think you will agree that they have done a splendid job. That brings me to the actual ceremony. I have already made mention of the retiring Grand Director of Ceremonies and it is he who put the bricks in place for today and he and his team have conducted everything impeccably. I am sure we would all also like to offer the new Grand Director of Ceremonies the very best of luck for his time in office. Thank you, brethren, for all those who have been involved in the organisation and thank you, all of you, for being here.

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Cheshire marks 150 years The Royal Arch in the Province of Cheshire was consecrated on 26 October 1869, which means that on that date this year, they will celebrate 150 years of Royal Arch Freemasonry within the Province – their sesquicentenary. To commemorate this significant occasion, the Officers of the Province, Grand Superintendent Stephen Blank (Cheshire’s 13th Superintendent since the consecration) and Deputy Grand Superintendent John Robert Bramley, are leading an initiative which aims to exalt 150 members between



Young Freemasons look to network The Province of Leicestershire & Rutland has been awarded the prestigious honour of hosting the 2019 New and Young Masons Clubs Conference at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester. The Light Blue Club for New and Young Masons within the Province of Leicestershire & Rutland is part of a larger New and Young Masons Clubs (NYMC) network (www.nymc. which brings together ‘Light Blue’ and Young Masons’ Clubs from around the Constitution to share ideas and best practice. The prestigious annual NYMC Conference, hosted this year by Leicestershire & Rutland’s Light Blue Club, will be held on 28 September 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Building Bonds’ and it will look at ways to increase and improve links between clubs across the country, including more inter-club social visits

and sporting matches. The conference also acts as a mechanism for building on the bonds these clubs have made with the Universities Scheme lodges within the respective Provinces. During the morning session, there will be a talk on women’s Freemasonry by Christine Chapman, the Grand Master of the Honourable Fraternity Of Ancient Freemasons. To close the conference, UGLE Grand Secretary Dr David Staples will provide the keynote address to the members.

Grand Superintendent Stephen Blank

1 January 2018 and the grand celebration on 26 October 2019. This anniversary will also be celebrated on the second date with the consecration of the Cheshire Chapter of Installed First Principals, No. 5961, the fi rst to be consecrated in the Province since 1993. The ceremony will be held at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight, to which all new exaltees since 1 January 2018 are invited.

Let us know what’s happening in your area. Please send full details and images to


6.15pm on 13 November at Freemasons’ Hall: Organ Concert by Simon Gledhill


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From continuing modernisation to clearer communication, Grand Secretary Dr David Staples reveals some of the major improvements being made to the United Grand Lodge of England You spoke in the Winter 2018 issue about the ongoing modernisation of UGLE. What improvements were made in 2018? The biggest change has been bringing together masonic and commercial staff at Freemasons’ Hall, which started with the Board’s appointment of a CEO. This meant that for the first time in a number of years a single person would be in charge of and responsible for delivering for the organisation as a whole. Staff have taken part in a number of workshops to understand what we stand for and why; what our values are as the ‘headquarters’ – a distinct organisation separate from UGLE or Supreme Grand Chapter. They have agreed a set of organisational values and goals which have resulted in the introduction of new appraisal processes, mandatory training, pay scales and benefits. Alongside this, regular communication with our staff through ‘Town Hall’ and departmental meetings has ensured people know what is going on and how this fits in to the bigger picture, all of which will help us attract and retain the best possible staff. A restructuring of the organisation and of the various business functions held within the building has allowed me to establish clear lines of accountability and allowed the new directors to facilitate change and improvement in their respective areas. This work has resulted in us being awarded Investors in People accreditation – a ‘kitemark’ not only of excellent people management, but also of normality for how a professional organisation is expected to run. All of this may sound like management speak, but what it means in reality is that we have ensured the ‘Centre’ is up to the task of both serving our members and representing them effectively in the modern world. In addition to these changes affecting staff, there have been many other


smaller projects aimed at improving how professional we are, and enhancing what we can do and how we deliver. These have touched virtually every aspect of our operations. For example, an archiving project has examined the kilometres of shelving and paperwork stored in Freemasons’ Hall and helped us to develop a document retention policy. Clearing shelving from the main office has allowed us to consider exciting new options for the space that has been created. A web-based booking and payment system has gone live for those attending Supreme Grand Chapter and Quarterly Communications, drastically reducing the number of cheques we need to process and bringing us in line with the modern-day expectations of our members. In preparation for an increased focus on communications, we have brought FMT in-house and appointed a new editorial team, while the Directory of Lodges and the Masonic Yearbook are now online living documents. We have trained a number of members as media ambassadors to represent us at events and in the press. We have commissioned a communications capability assessment and have undertaken polling of the general public to find out what people really think of us, and what opportunities might present themselves to improve their understanding of who we are and what we’re about. We now have new phone systems and videoconferencing suites to improve

communications across our worldwide organisation, and these are saving both time and money while improving engagement with our members. The new Events Management Team has been tasked with engaging with our members and encouraging them to use and visit Freemasons’ Hall – a home for all English Freemasons, and we are starting a programme of community engagement projects to broaden our public footprint. We have converted disused flats into three new lodge rooms in response to an ever-increasing demand for temples, and supported the Improvement Delivery Group in the creation of Operational Membership Dashboards, the Solomon online learning resource and the Members’ Pathway. All of these will directly inform our drive to improve our attraction to potential members and our retention of existing ones. We have anticipated changes in the legal framework and have issued guidance on transgender members and data protection. We have blended the Grand Ranks system into ADelphi, thereby saving both our Provinces and Districts days of back-andforth letter writing. A huge amount happened in 2018 and has continued to do so in 2019 to ensure that we are a professional, fit-for-purpose and efficient central organisation which is held in high esteem by the membership and the public and which communicates an appealing, confident, relevant and consistent message to the outside world.

‘Simply put, to better serve the members of both UGLE and Supreme Grand Chapter, UGLE needs to be ready for the challenges set by the Rulers and the Board, but also needs to meet the expectations of our members’ FMT Summer 2019


the public know of our organisation, and 49 per cent of the public have a firm opinion of us. We also know that the majority of those do not necessarily hold an opinion that we might like! That is despite all the good works we do, despite all the money we raise for charity and despite everything else we are doing to rehabilitate ourselves in the public eye. We recognise that the majority of new members join after personal conversations with those who already enjoy Freemasonry, but we must make sure that those to whom we speak already have a fair opinion of us. To these ends we will be embarking on a focused series of interventions to bring about just that – an understanding of what Freemasonry is, what its values are, what we stand for and why we are relevant in today’s society. In conjunction with the newly rolledout Members’ Pathway, we hope to ensure that no opportunity is wasted. What are some of the more important changes planned for 2019?

What are the key objectives of this process of modernisation? Simply put, to better serve the members of both UGLE and Supreme Grand Chapter. UGLE needs to be ready for the challenges set by the Rulers and the Board, but also needs to meet the expectations of our members. When I was a lodge Secretary a few years ago, I wanted my Grand Lodge membership fees to be wisely spent, and I wanted to see some tangible benefit for what I pay for in terms of a confident organisation ready to represent itself on the public stage and to stand up for its members. I also wanted to interact with it in a modern and accessible way. That principle still holds true now that I am the CEO. You also spoke about making the headquarters more ‘transparent’. How is this being done and why? More open communication between the Provinces, our members and UGLE

allows us to ensure an aligned approach to our common challenges – how people perceive us; how we represent ourselves to the outside world; how we normalise Freemasonry in the eyes of the public; how we attract and retain members. We are developing a new communications strategy with an appropriately resourced department to deliver it. We have a new Member Services Department to help streamline the relationship between our members and their organisation, and to implement the various initiatives being carried out by those groups with a care for Freemasonry. What methods will the organisation be using to put a greater focus on attracting new members? I see this very much in terms of normalising the environment from which our members are drawn in terms of public opinion. I’m a scientist by training and I like to see the evidence for something before we invest resources in it. We know that 87 per cent of

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We want to find new ways to open up our headquarters to as many people as we can, and to ensure that every one of those contact moments affords those individuals a greater understanding of Freemasonry. Staff will be moving out of the old central office space, which we hope to develop into a public area containing a temporary exhibition space, a café and a very publicfacing office for Metropolitan Grand Lodge. The introduction of an expenses policy, travel policy and purchase order system will improve our financial controls, but the most important change will be our ability to deliver an overarching communications strategy aimed at taking back control of the public narrative on Freemasonry. In terms of day-to-day processes, you will have already read about our ambition to revolutionise how we administer the organisation. Changes being planned through Project Hermes aim to replace paper forms with web-based systems, removing the need for endless form-filling and drastically reducing turnaround times. In short, we want to make the lives of lodge, Provincial and District Secretaries much easier. We want to streamline our ability to collect dues and improve our ability to analyse and spot trends in membership data, which will help us to identify and propagate best practice wherever it arises. I truly believe we have exciting times ahead.



6 0 SECONDS WITH Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence A historical Freemason who fascinates or inspires you Franz Joseph Haydn

Where in the world would you most like to visit? St Petersburg

A book you really enjoy War and Peace

Most memorable part of your initiation (no masonic secrets, please…) Seeing my former headmaster

Favourite masonic degree 3rd A film you’d watch again and again Casablanca Favourite hobby, apart from Freemasonry Painting 28mm metal soldiers with my son

Best piece of advice you ever received Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability; if you cannot, don’t do it

Favourite sandwich Crispy bacon and avocado Childhood hero Nelson


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he Library and Museum of Freemasonry cares for records in multiple formats, from paper and parchment, to microfilm, photographs, negatives and film. The format of archives, how they are stored and the way they are accessed is changing. For example, many of us now use digital and online ‘cloud’ systems to create, store and view records. The museum is developing a digital preservation policy and strategy, advising Grand Lodge about how records created electronically can be accessed


over time. This includes organising physical records, developing retention schedules, and identifying records suitable for permanent preservation irrespective of format.

ADVISING LODGES Lodges and chapters often contact us concerning document storage problems and the Archives are pleased to discuss possible solutions with Secretaries and Scribes E. Although paper documents are bulky, they do survive for long periods of time, despite risks

In a drive to modernise the storage of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry’s rich historical collection, it is currently developing an electronic preservation system. Archivist and Records Manager Susan Snell gives her insights on the benefits and challenges of digitising Freemasonry records

from water, fire or rodents. There is advice on caring for documents and avoiding such damage on the museum website. Members may consider scanning records and then disposing of originals. However, this overlooks the challenge of preserving the resulting digital images and ensuring ongoing future access. Good practice encourages retaining original records even after making digital copies. Technology is moving fast and possible future solutions are as yet unknown. Maintaining the original records, in original

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physical formats, avoids the threat of technical obsolescence. Digital images form an accessible and often searchable surrogate, while preserving the originals. But it is important to consider how records are scanned, who scans them, what format to scan them in and how to ensure ongoing access. For smaller projects, page images can be taken with a digital camera, but for larger endeavours, digitisation companies may be considered, although it can be done in-house if best-practice guidelines



Clockwise from opposite page: the William Perfect Manuscript; a digitised page; the original document; a high-res detail showing paper fibres from the ‘Decoded: Freemasonry’s Illustrated Rulebooks’ exhibition

are followed to ensure future accessibility and interoperability. As a rule, one should not simply press old volumes flat on a scanner, as this can damage bindings. An overhead book cradle scanner, although not cheap, will ensure quality scans and preservation of the original. Whichever method you decide on, create a high-quality digital master in TIFF format, with compressed versions in PDF or JPG formats as accessible copies. In terms of image resolution, use at least 300dpi for digital masters but consider 150dpi for web reproduction or accessible copies. Print resolution should

be at least 300dpi, although when we wanted the detailed frontispiece engravings shown in the ‘Decoded: Freemasonry’s Illustrated Rulebooks’ exhibition at the Museum, we used such a high resolution that one could zoom in to see the paper fibres.

FUTURE-PROOFING Preservation systems are key. Store images on hard drives with two backup copies. A digital file is as easily lost as a paper one. If storing digital masters on CD-ROMs, use gold discs, which have increased resistance to corrosion. Store hard drives and CDs away from magnetic

Library and Museum of Freemasonry Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Open Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm

fields, temperature fluctuations, extreme hot or cold and damp. It sounds tedious, but you should check CDs annually and copy CD digital masters every five years to ensure future access. Cloud storage is a secure online option that can reduce these risks. The Archives considered such issues when planning a recent collaborative digitisation project with the Kent Museum of Freemasonry in Canterbury. Masonic and external funds were raised to conserve the William Perfect Manuscript, written from 1757 to 1773. A Past Provincial Grand Master of Kent, Perfect was a doctor who

specialised in male midwifery, early smallpox vaccinations and caring for the mentally ill. As part of the project, the Library and Museum of Freemasonry and Kent Museum of Freemasonry websites will provide digital access to the manuscript, featuring Perfect’s prose articles, his correspondence and drafts of his poems. The manuscript and its digital version will also go on show as a new Library and Museum of Freemasonry exhibition from July 2019, so visitors can come and see both the labour and fruits of this current digitisation practice. Twitter: @museumfreemason Instagram: @museumfreemasonry Facebook: @museumfreemasonry Shop:

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From book reviews to cryptic crosswords


Oxford Freemasons: A Social History of Apollo University Lodge by Joseph Mordaunt Crook and James Daniel


A celebration of the Apollo’s 200 years of existence ‘The Oxford University Freemasons’ lodge is remarkable,’ begins a letter from the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, printed at the start of this lavish hardback. And he is right. Published to celebrate the bicentenary of the Lodge’s founding, Oxford Freemasons is the first attempt of its kind to tell the extraordinary story of Apollo University Lodge, No. 357, in

the context of Oxford’s academic life and wider social and political diaspora. Among the monumental and authoritative histories of the University of Oxford, the word ‘Freemasonry’ is missing from the indices, an oversight this book aims to right. Splendidly illustrated and accessibly written, the authors have drawn masterfully

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on lodge archives held in the Bodleian Library and distilled a vast amount of information into a lively and rewarding read of vivid biography and Oxfordiana. The number and range of notable past members is remarkable. During its two centuries of existence, the Apollo has initiated some 4,500 undergraduates and graduates, ranging from Victoria Cross recipients and Olympic athletes to diplomats and chemists, with many past members going on to occupy the highest offices in clerical, military and intellectual life. As the Rt Hon Earl Cadogan, Past Deputy Grand Master, says in the foreword, this book should only be seen as the beginning of further research – and the treasure trove of detail provided here will hopefully spur lively debate and additional exploration into Apollo University Lodge’s rich and illustrious history. Review by John Revelle Oxford Freemasons: A Social History of Apollo University Lodge, by Joseph Mordaunt Crook and James Daniel, published by the Bodleian Library, 224 pages, £35




Memoir of the Lady Freemason by John Day

Managing the Future of Freemasonry (2nd Edition) by David West



An intriguing memoir now readily available again

Originally published in 1914 and limited to a run of 1,000 copies, John Day’s book is now in its fifth edition, having been out of print since the 1970s. For the first time in a long time, one of Freemasonry’s most widely discussed urban myths can be readily explored: that of the first female Freemason. The Honourable Elizabeth Aldworth was initiated into a private lodge at Doneraile Court in County Cork between 1710 and 1712. Lord Doneraile and other Freemasons were holding a meeting in one room, not knowing the 19-year-old Elizabeth was asleep in the next. When she woke up, on hearing the talking in the adjacent room, she took out a loose brick in the wall between the rooms and observed what was going on. However, she was discovered by the Tyler and the lodge members decided the only thing


to do was to initiate her. This was not the end of her masonic career though. The book goes on to relate how Elizabeth was ‘a most exemplary mason’ who provided a template of behaviour for all active Freemasons. Indeed, she remained a member of the order until she died in 1772. The book includes portraits of her with regalia, as well as an image of her first apron, which is now on display at the Masonic Hall in Cork. This short book is an intriguing read and would make a valuable addition to any lodge library. And, thankfully, anyone with an interest in Freemasonry’s more unusual events can now readily obtain a copy. Memoir of the Lady Freemason is on sale at the Masonic Hall in Cork, the bookshop at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral and in Doneraile Court itself. All proceeds will go to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Munster Masonic Benevolent Fund. Review by Andrew Pippen

Some interesting ideas, although some will disagree with the conclusions

This book looks at possible causes for the fall in membership since its peak in the 1960s – and puts forward a number of remedies. It concludes that the golden years of Freemasonry are over and that the decline is due to the demise of the middle classes. Examining social history since the early 1800s, West identifies similarities between the 1850s and the 1950s and describes events which led to a ‘me society’. Much blame for this is laid at the feet of Margaret Thatcher. On the other hand, he takes Jeremy Corbyn’s rise in the Labour Party as an indication of a moral reawakening. But is it really that simple? As an example of moral decline, he compares the pursuit of money by an accountant (surely part of the job?) to his father’s dedicated duty to his patients as a retired doctor. I’m afraid I wasn’t very convinced. My junior doctor son is no less devoted to the sick than was I at his age. Moreover, the British Armed Forces’ role in Freemasonry – young men sent to far-flung lands, with inevitable bonding and group activities – are largely neglected. Yet both radically changed in the 1950s and 1960s with a lasting legacy. West argues that decency has been replaced by lack of trust in authority and the pursuit of money. He proposes that ‘masonry can play a major role in the rescue of society’ and explores in considerable philosophical depth the morals and virtues of Freemasonry as set out in the third degree. Thought-provoking, but with some esoteric ideas, it contains some workable suggestions. On balance, it’s well worth reading, even if you may not agree with his arguments. Review by Jim Murray

Memoir of the Lady Freemason, by John Day, published by the

Managing the Future of Freemasonry (2nd Edition), by David

Provincial Grand Lodge of Munster,

West, Hamilton House Publishing Ltd in association with Lewis

34 pages, €5.

Masonic, 199 pages, £12.99

FMT Summer 2019


FMT is now welcoming book submissions for review. We will consider all genres, and the only requirement is that the book has a masonic connection. To submit a book for review, go to the link below and complete the form. We will let you know if we need a physical copy of the book. The book must have an ISBN and be available for purchase by the general public (printed book, e-book, audiobook).

Red Triangle 4 MF_Layout 1 30/04/2019 07:45 Page 1

The Red Triangle: A History of Anti-Masonry by Robert Cooper

A valuable source of information about the history of attacks on what we do 

Although originally published a few years ago, this fascinating book is now available from the publishers at a special offer price. Cooper, who is on the staff at the Grand Lodge of Scotland, has painstakingly collected a huge range of scattered information and hard evidence. He also draws on his own personal experience of anti-masonry in more recent times. The book covers early hostility, such as from the Roman Catholic Church in the 18th and 19th centuries. It then examines the early

LAST ISSUE’S CROSSWORD ANSWERS Concise crossword answers ACROSS: 7 Column, 8 Dilate, 9 Beer, 10 Salinger, 11 Solomon, 13 Jewel, 15 Lethe, 16 Epitome, 18 Printrun, 19 Numb, 21 Engulf, 22 Collar. DOWN: 1 Mote, 2 Guard of honour, 3 Knossos, 4 Idyll, 5 Clandestinely, 6 Atheneum, 12 Overruns, 14 Spinach, 17 Craft, 20 Moan. Cryptic crossword answers ACROSS: 1 Temple, 5 Cabotage, 9 Allegory, 10 Varans, 11 Atramental, 12 Avid, 13 Limnetic, 16 En fete, 17 Cornea, 19 Populars, 21 Acts, 22 Hard done by, 25 Volost, 26 Backstop, 27 Anderson, 28 Bakkie. DOWN: 2 Eclat, 3 Presa, 4 Erodent, 5 Cryptic, 6 Bivalve, 7 Threatful, 8 Gannister, 14 Iron crown, 15 Ninescore, 18 Achates, 19 Paraben, 20 Pedicab, 23 Nasik, 24 Booai.



The Red Triangle A History of Anti-Masonry

Ro b e rt l . d . C o o p e r

The Red Triangle: A History of Anti-Masonry, by Robert Cooper, published by Lewis Masonic, 311 pages, £5

20th century belief that Freemasons and Jews secretly controlled the world, based in part on the fictional (and frankly bizarre) Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which he helpfully prints in full. The author details how attacks increased after the books of Stephen Knight and Martin Short came out in the 1980s. But he allows the idea – widely and often vociferously repeated – that police forces, hospitals and local councils were riddled with corrupt Freemasons, to discredit itself. Cooper also shows how Freemasonry was regularly given little or no chance to defend itself. Anti-masonic activity specific to Scotland is given a comprehensive treatment, too. The book demonstrates that Freemasonry could never have been the worldwide conspiracy its detractors imagined. Rather, that it was (and in some places continues to be) an off-thepeg scapegoat to divert attention from where corruption really lies – particularly with intolerant regimes and political and religious ideologies. While not a light read, it’s a powerful book and definitely worth buying if you have any interest in understanding attacks on Freemasonry. Review by Julian Perry


‘I just don’t understand it! My wife said my masonic outfit was ‘guaranteed’ to scare off the birds’

The winner of our concise crossword: Mr K Horsburgh, Cheltenham. The winner of our cryptic crossword: Mr L Green, Gateshead.

FMT Summer 2019






See page 61 for last issue’s crossword answers and winners

Sponsored by 4


Concise crossword by Fulminata






12 13





18 19


DOWN 1 Definitively dead (4) 2 Drinking glass with foot and stem (6) 3 Der Rosenkavalier composer (7) 4 To father (biblically) (5) 5 Large Mediterranean island (6) 6 German region between the Elbe and Eider (8) 11 Without electrical amplification (8) 13 Enthusiastic about reading (7) 15 Traditional Alpine skirt (6) 17 Rounded majuscule script with unjoined letters (6) 18 Make amends or reparation (5) 21 Underdone (4)

ACROSS 7 Hiram’s family situation (3,2,3,5) 8 Best friend or romantic partner (8) 9 Current month (archaic) (4) 10 The sugar element in milk (7) 12 Leader of the Peasants’ Revolt (5) 14 UK parliament’s upper chamber (5) 16 Third ‘T’ in TNT (7) 19 Russian Caesar (4) 20 Parting salutation of wellbeing (4,4) 22 Route from the Porch to the Middle Chamber (7,6)




Cryptic crossword by Belvedere ACROSS 1 Delicate translation on screen ignores sexual activity (6) 4 Left with medium coffer, it can be seen from miles around (8) 9 Definitely wicked looking state (3,3) 10 Series about short pedestal to split apart (8) 12 Red pasta changes again (8) 13 Elicits when daughter leaves figures out (6) 15 Strangely, thar is another Himalayan goat (4) 16 For the Saudis, OPEC changed opening shot (4,6) 19 Interval sees child in bronze position (5,5) 20 African dictator left favourite son narcotic (4) 23 To sleep here is camper’s design (6) 25 Hellish Chinese pick-meup contains heroin (8) 27 Monsieur moved about unarmed (8) 28 Outdoor bath required for excessive uranium found in haemoglobin? (3,3) 29 Labyrinthine creature heard in small hill (8) 30 Lodge wand holder in federal narcotics swindle? (6)


DOWN 1 Short instrument whence Master Masons draw out a line for old root crop? (7) 2 Unadorned, a church not out to show this altar canopy (9) 3 Scotsman seen in US city’s climbers (6) 5 Programs on radio recess (4) 6 Director, mostly lacking puff, wastes away (8) 7 Soldier running wildly funny caper (5) 8 Confusingly, shikar over in India causes sudden death in Japan (7) 11 Though muddled, a cat avoids calamity when chorus in Epidaurus sings this song (7) 14 Female in part? The opposite: a battle axe! (7) 17 Short announcement after saint, say, is constipated (9) 18 Send out noncisgendered person with German (8) 19 Pluto lame about chronic disease (7) 21 Radical adherent of ascetic religion hides nut (7) 22 Should one sit on this to watch blockbuster Game on tv? (6) 24 Wooden large dish? Non-U! (5) 26 Exquisite sounding skirt (4)










10 11


13 14




18 19



22 23


25 26





Think you’re smart enough? Please send your completed Concise and/or Cryptic crossword puzzles to the Crossword Editor, Communications Department, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ, with your contact details, including name and address. Closing date for entries is 20 July 2019. Open only to members of UGLE. Only one entry per person. Correct entries will be placed into a Concise Crossword prize draw and a Cryptic Crossword prize draw. Winners will be announced in the Autumn edition of FMT and will receive a free publication from Letchworth’s, the shop at Freemasons’ Hall. For full terms and conditions, go to:

FMT Summer 2019

In the Community MCF


Every year, through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Freemasons support around 5,000 members of the community of Freemasons who have a specific need – be it financial, health, family or care-related. This includes funding vital equipment to help people with disabilities to live more independent and active lives.


Even financially stable households can struggle to make ends meet when faced with redundancy, illness or bereavement. Thankfully, for Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) can offer support


our years ago, Mark received a call that would change his family’s life forever. It had been a normal day for the family – then the phone rang. Mark’s wife, Jacqui, was on her way home from work when she was involved in a serious car accident that left her with permanent brain injuries. She was 44 years old. In one moment, Jacqui went from being a busy working mother to someone who needed round-the-clock care, leaving Mark to raise their two daughters alone. Now Mark, Ella and Grace spend time with Jacqui in a specialist unit that cares for residents with serious brain injuries and illnesses. Every weekend without fail, and as often as they can during the holidays, the three of them make the

40-minute journey to visit Jacqui and spend time together as a family. No one can prepare for an event like this – emotionally or fi nancially – but fortunately for Mark, he had somewhere to turn: the MCF. Over the past four years, it has supported Mark and the girls with their travel expenses so they can continue to spend quality time with Jacqui without worrying about the cost of getting there and back. ‘It’s heartbreaking to leave Jacqui each time, but it is what it is. She’s not the Jacqui she used to be, but at least we know she’s in the best place to meet her needs and it’s just a relief we can still spend time with her every week.’ When families are left devastated by an accident, illness, bereavement or

FMT Summer 2019

any other life-changing event, the last thing they need is fi nancial instability and distress. The MCF gives families like Mark’s fi nancial security during periods of vulnerability, so that they can focus on what is really important: supporting one another and spending quality time together as a family. Whether it’s by offering fi nancial support, funding medical treatment or care, or supporting young people in their education, the MCF builds better lives by encouraging opportunity, promoting independence and improving well-being for Freemasons, their families and the wider community. Could the MCF help you? Get in touch on 0800 035 60 90 or email


In the Community MCF


THE RELIEF CHEST SCHEME: BUSTING MYTHS The MCF’s Relief Chest Scheme is an innovative fundraising solution that helps masonic groups to save time, take control and give more to the charities they choose to support

When Freemason Jeffery Cox passed away in 1975, he left behind a wife, Sheila, and a young daughter, Alyson


eft alone to raise her daughter, Sheila faced increasing financial hardship – but the masonic community rallied around to offer support. Alyson was offered a place at the Royal Masonic School for Girls and received funding to cover costs related to her education, including uniforms and trips. Later, when Shelia required medical treatment, she received the care she needed. When Sheila passed away in 2017, she left a discretionary legacy gift in her will. As executor of her mother’s estate, Alyson chose to leave her mother’s gift to the MCF as a thank you to Freemasonry for all the support


it had provided to her mother and herself over the years. Alyson says: ‘I would like to thank the Freemasons and the MCF for the support and education I received, which allowed me to become a strong and independent lady at a young age. St Botolph’s Lodge, the Royal Masonic School for Girls and the MCF were a huge support at a difficult time for our family and that’s why I chose the MCF to receive my mother’s legacy gift. We were both proud to give something back and enable the MCF to help others. Freemasonry has touched my life very directly and this is something for which I will be eternally grateful.’

Have you thought about your legacy? Legacy gifts provide an opportunity to make a meaningful difference to other people’s lives, long after we are gone. Large or small, the MCF is grateful for every legacy gift and is proud to honour the memory of its donors through life-changing grants and services. To find out more about leaving a gift in your will and to request a copy of the MCF’s Making a Will guide, you can visit:

FMT Summer 2019

Freemasons from across the country have featured in a series of videos called Busting Myths, explaining how the Relief Chest Scheme works, answering frequently asked questions about the scheme and revealing why more and more lodges are opening Relief Chests to manage their charitable giving. Purpose-built for Freemasonry, the Relief Chest Scheme offers donoradvised funds called Relief Chests, within which donations can be securely held until the lodge is ready to make a payment to a registered charity or cause of their choice. To watch the videos and find out how it could make your charitable giving easier and more effective, visit www.mcf.

In the Community MCF


linked to a smartphone app, will reduce hospitalbased cross-infections, improve patients daily life to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to fund a and give them more control. Ultimately, they hope it will help thousands of people with cystic fibrosis trial of a new healthcare programme to live longer and more fulfi lling lives. allowing people to monitor their condition The initial results of this study have proved to be extremely promising, with the majority of remotely, and the results are promising people fi nding home monitoring a better way to manage their condition. While further analysis ystic fibrosis is a complex genetic disease is needed, the results suggest that SmartCareCF that affects the lungs, liver and pancreas. can offer a solution to many of the problems facing The disease causes, among other cystic fibrosis patients. symptoms, breathing difficulties and If rolled out more widely, remote monitoring chronic lung infections. It needs constant technology could transform the lives of people monitoring, meaning that patients are required to with cystic fibrosis, allowing them more time and make regular trips to hospital – an exhausting and freedom to spend time-consuming with their families process. There Remote monitoring technology could and friends doing is no cure, and they love, currently only transform the lives of people with cystic what and living their half of those living fibrosis, allowing them more time and lives unlimited by with cystic fibrosis cystic fibrosis. In in the UK are freedom to spend with their families the words of one expected to live participant: past the age of 41, ‘It was a great trial with lots of potential to but thanks to advances in research, treatment and improve people’s lives. I’ll continue monitoring care, life expectancy is getting longer. some of the readings for my own benefit in the By allowing patients to manage their future and I hope my CF clinic will eventually get condition from home, researchers intend that the to integrate it with their own service.’ SmartCareCF programme, which uses smart data


FMT Summer 2019

Did you know? The MCF is now advancing medical research by funding PhD studentships at some of the UK’s most prestigious research institutions. In 2018, the MCF donated almost £2 million to fund groundbreaking research into degenerative diseases. Find out more about the MCF’s medical research funding by visiting:


In the Community MCF

IT’S FESTIVAL TIME! The phenomenal amounts of money raised by Provinces’ Festivals are only matched by the hard work, organisation and sheer fun that goes into making them such a success

Every year, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) provides more than £20 million in grants and support services to help disadvantaged people live better lives. The MCF and the families and charities it supports are very fortunate to benefit from the generosity of Freemasons across England and Wales, with over a third of the MCF’s income raised through Festival appeals. At any one time, around half of Provinces are ‘in Festival’ and although the system was established over 230 years ago, the creativity and determination shown during each appeal continues to grow. In any given month, a variety of fundraising events are being planned, promoted and undertaken. In the last year alone, hundreds of Freemasons and their families have signed up for a range of events, from traditional endurance tasks to activities that are a little more unusual.

Durham Freemasons completed a 177-mile ride from Edinburgh, while Surrey offered up its ‘Provincial Grand Master Chef’ as an auction prize to raise money


Notable highlights include the Durham Coast & Castles ride, which saw 36 Freemasons cycle 177 miles from Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh to Lumley Castle in Durham; the Somerset fi re walk, during which participants scurried across red-hot coals at temperatures over 500 degrees Celsius; and Surrey’s ‘Provincial Grand Master Chef’, in which PGM Ian Chandler cooked a six-course dinner in the home of a member of the Province who’d won its prize draw. Over the upcoming months, the Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, David Macey, will complete a skydive, while the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of East Kent, Mark Bassant, will lead a team of wing walkers. As each of these events takes place, tens of thousands of Freemasons are making monthly donations to their Festival appeals, and more and more are signing up for regular giving. The largest-ever figure of £7.7 million was achieved in 2016 by Hampshire & Isle of Wight, while the fi rst and second highest per capita records are both held by Nottinghamshire. Across 2019, four more Provinces will conclude their appeals and another four will take their place, and the MCF is grateful for the contribution that every donation makes to the future of the charity. Les Hutchinson, Chief Operating Officer at the MCF, says: ‘We are incredibly grateful for the support of those Provinces


‘Your donations make a huge difference to the lives of people all over England and Wales, and for this we thank you’ currently in Festival, and the Freemasons that work so hard to ensure that every appeal achieves its objectives – your donations make a huge difference to the lives of people all over England and Wales, both through support for families facing difficulty and grants to fund charitable projects that work with disadvantaged people across society. Without you, your families and friends, our work would not be possible, and for this we thank you.’ To acknowledge and celebrate the hard work that goes into every appeal and to give an insight into the world of Festival fundraising, The MCF has produced a video series, In Festival, which you can watch at

FMT Summer 2019

Fraternal World UGLE SlugPROVINCES goes here

The UGLE globe at a glance

Provinces Metropolitan Grand Lodge 1 London 1,252 lodges Provincial Grand Lodges 2 Bedfordshire 55 lodges 3 Berkshire 98 lodges 4 Bristol 37 lodges 5 Buckinghamshire 116 lodges 6 Cambridgeshire 30 lodges 7 Cheshire 173 lodges 8 Cornwall 80 lodges 9 Cumberland & Westmorland 77 lodges 10 Derbyshire 75 lodges 11 Devonshire 131 lodges 12 Dorset 49 lodges 13 Durham 178 lodges 14 Essex 307 lodges 15 Gloucestershire 82 lodges 16 Guernsey & Alderney 11 lodges 17 Hampshire & Isle Of Wight 255 lodges 18 Herefordshire 15 lodges 19 Hertfordshire 188 lodges 20 Isle of Man 19 lodges 21 Jersey 11 lodges 22 East Kent 181 lodges 23 West Kent 178 lodges 24 East Lancashire 198 lodges

25 West Lancashire 342 lodges 26 Leicestershire & Rutland 76 lodges 27 Lincolnshire 74 lodges 28 Middlesex 195 lodges 29 Monmouthshire 29 lodges 30 Norfolk 76 lodges 31 Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire 93 lodges 32 Northumberland 138 lodges 33 Nottinghamshire 86 lodges 34 Oxfordshire 55 lodges 35 Shropshire 34 lodges 36 Somerset 89 lodges 37 Staffordshire 96 lodges 38 Suffolk 68 lodges 39 Surrey 253 lodges 40 Sussex 161 lodges 41 North Wales 106 lodges 42 South Wales 160 lodges 43 West Wales 27 lodges 44 Warwickshire 156 lodges 45 Wiltshire 44 lodges 46 Worcestershire 116 lodges 47 Yorkshire, North & East Ridings 98 lodges 48 Yorkshire, West Riding 198 lodges









27 7

41 10 35



46 43









19 5

15 42






1 39

14 23


36 45

17 40




16 21

FMT FMTSummer Winter 2018 2019



Across the globe 1 Canada

2 Caribbean

3 Atlantic

4 South America

Montreal/Halifax The Group of Lodges in Montreal & Halifax 3 lodges

Kingston/George Town District Grand Lodge of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands 24 lodges Willemstad Igualdad Lodge, No. 653 Port of Spain District Grand Lodge of Trinidad & Tobago 8 lodges Bridgetown District Grand Lodge of Barbados & The Eastern Caribbean 21 lodges Georgetown District Grand Lodge of Guyana 15 lodges

Nassau District Grand Lodge of Bahamas & Turks 12 lodges Hamilton District Grand Lodge of Bermuda 5 lodges Jamestown St Helena Lodge, No. 488

São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro District Grand Lodge of South America, Northern Division 17 lodges Buenos Aires/Santiago/Montevideo District Grand Lodge of South America, Southern Division 11 lodges

6 West Africa

7 East Africa

Portugal The Group of Lodges in Portugal 4 lodges Gibraltar District Grand Lodge of Gibraltar 9 lodges Valleta The Group of Lodges in Malta 2 lodges Limassol District Grand Lodge of Cyprus 17 lodges Zakynthos Star of the East Lodge, No. 880


Freetown/Banjul District Grand Lodge of Sierra Leone & The Gambia 21 lodges Accra District Grand Lodge of Ghana 58 lodges Lagos District Grand Lodge of Nigeria 42 lodges

Nairobi District Grand Lodge of East Africa 48 lodges

FMT Summer 2019

Johannesburg District Grand Lodge of South Africa, North 101 lodges Kimberley District Grand Lodge of South Africa, Central Division 8 lodges Windhoek District Grand Lodge of Namibia 4 lodges Cape Town District Grand Lodge of South Africa, Western Division 30 lodges Ndola District Grand Lodge of Zambia 11 lodges Harare/Lilongwe District Grand Lodge of Zimbabwe & Malawi 12 lodges Durban District Grand Lodge of Kwazulu-Natal 26 lodges Bloemfontein District Grand Lodge of Orange Free State 7 lodges Port Elizabeth District Grand Lodge of South Africa, Eastern Division 28 lodges


5 Europe

8 Southern Africa


1 5



3 6 7






9 The Subcontinent

10 Far East

11 Australia

12 New Zealand

Mumbai District Grand Lodge of Bombay 23 lodges New Delhi District Grand Lodge of Northern India 5 lodges Kolkata District Grand Lodge of Bengal 23 lodges Chennai District Grand Lodge of Madras 18 lodges Colombo District Grand Lodge of Sri Lanka 10 lodges

Kuala Lumpur/Singapore District Grand Lodge of Eastern Archipelago 40 lodges Hong Kong/Kobe District Grand Lodge of Hong Kong & the Far East 20 lodges Vanuatu/Fiji The Group of Lodges in the South West Pacific 3 lodges Rabaul Rabaul Lodge, No. 4468

Albany Plantagenet Lodge, No. 1454 Melbourne Combermere Lodge, No. 752 Tully Geraldton Lodge, No. 3544 Gladstone Port Curtis Lodge, No. 2235

Christchurch District Grand Lodge of South Island, New Zealand 13 lodges Auckland District Grand Lodge of North Island, New Zealand 24 lodges

FMT Summer 2019




Write to: The Editor, FMT, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Email: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Grand Lodge of England. All UGLE members’ letters printed are appended with the contributor’s name, his mother lodge name and number, the town where that lodge meets, and the Province; please include these details at the foot of your letter. Please enclose an SAE for any items sent by mail that you wish to have returned.

Health check Sir, We are rightly bringing men’s health into focus, particularly with the £1 million prostate cancer initiative begun in 2004. Another area which affects six times as many men as women over the age of 65 is abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This is a swelling of the aortic artery which leads from the heart down through the abdomen. If the aneurysm bursts, death can follow within minutes. Screening for this condition is routinely offered to all men over 65. However, some men over 70 may not have had this offered to them. There are usually no symptoms and no warning of the problem. The AAA screening process is offered on the NHS by self-referral. On the NHS website, just type ‘AAA’ into the search box and follow the links to a phone number for your nearest clinic. I would urge all of you over 70 to check whether you have been screened, and, if you haven’t, to do so as soon as you are able. It is a quick and painless ultrasound scan, and the result is given to you as soon as the scan has been completed. David Harrison, Lodge of Fraternity, No. 5916, Southend-on-Sea, Essex Sir, The Solomon scheme may be in its infancy, but already there are signs that ‘daily advancement’ is becoming more evident. The scheme itself offers numerous strategies and opportunities


to achieve that aim. Indeed, lodges and chapters have exciting decisions to make on how this can be achieved. Having now presented more than 20 ‘nuggets and short talks’, it has become evident that there is a need to be flexible to the circumstances that you may find yourself in. For example, the audience to whom the presentation is to be made, the resources that might stimulate learning, the practical engagement and involvement of the audience and the preparation for follow-up activities and questions. I have also found that the scheme offers great opportunities for fraternal exchanges when lodges and chapters join together to enjoy an oration or series of nuggets. There are many benefits with this approach. For instance, the orations offer a stimulation other than the often-heard ceremonies. These orations are also much shorter in length and therefore provide greater opportunity for questions and open discussion about the talk. And there is the added benefit that it provides more time for social interaction (and the chance to get home earlier). And what of the future for the scheme? There is always a need for contributions from members. Step back from the ceremonies and consider what the perceptions of Freemasonry are, as well as the elements that make up our ceremonies. It is through challenging these perceptions that we will continue to make a daily advancement. Graham Murphy, Jasper Tudor Lodge, No. 4074, Newport, Monmouthshire

FMT Summer 2019

Making tracks Sir, It was nice to see the model and miniature railways featured in your Spring 2019 edition. Presently there are three railway modellers within our lodge and I met many more Freemasons from all over the UK while exhibiting my 0-16.5 gauge railway layout, which featured narrowgauge models built from scratch, such as the ones shown in the photos. Perhaps it is time to have a Masonic Model Railway Society? Some of the bigger Freemasonry centres could host their own exhibitions. When I was a club exhibition manager, it was not unusual to make fourfigure profits on the day, even after paying hall hire fees and exhibitors’ expenses. Bob Barnes, Toseland Lodge, No. 8837, St Neots, Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire Sir, I think you have opened Pandora’s Box with your article. Modelling is a vast hobby, especially for the elderly members


with time on their hands. I know there are at least two members meeting in Peterborough. For my part, I have been working on a railway model for at least three years and for the third year we will be displaying to raise funds for local dementia support groups. My layout is quite small at 12x7 feet and reflects the local scene in Stamford and Uffington during the 1960s. As the model is probably 95 per cent complete (they are never really completed), we hope to entertain some masonic friends to raise funds for local causes during the summer. Barrie Church, Bengeo Lodge, No. 6801, Royston, Hertfordshire

Passing on the toast Sir, I believe the letter in the Spring 2019 edition of FMT titled ‘Toasting Times’ should start a long-overdue debate in Freemasonry on toasts and speeches at the Festive Board. With the general rush appearing to prevail in Grand Lodge and Provinces to slim down for modern-life ‘requirements’, it would be most helpful to readdress or reduce the various repetitive toasts at the Festive Boards. Are they really necessary at every meeting? There is no doubt we should have a royal or loyal toast as well as the Grand Master and Provincial Grand Master where required, but is it necessary to follow on with listing and naming the Grand Officers at every meeting? I understand toast lists are published by UGLE and the various Provinces and must be complied with. What about some up-to-date, concise and, above all, optional toast lists aligned with modern tastes? Let’s

have some thoughts on trying to make the Festive Board more enjoyable. Vic Reed, Malling Centenary Lodge, No. 8068, West Malling, East Kent

He’s my brother Sir, I was interested to read the Grand Secretary’s column in the Spring 2019 edition of FMT, encouraging Freemasons to visit lodges when in faraway places. It reminded me of a holiday in Antigua some seven years ago. I was on the beach reading a ‘little blue book’ when I caught sight of a fellow ‘lounger’ nearby reading a ‘little red book’. We soon realised we had something in common. We (and our wives) are now firm friends and have been back to Antigua six times as a foursome, which brings me to the point of the story. Three years ago, fellow Freemason David Maynard and I looked into Freemasonry in Antigua. There is a dedicated Masonic Hall in the centre of St John’s and we visited the Waladi Lodge, No. 9887, where we were warmly welcomed both in the Temple and at the Festive Board. The quality of the work in the Temple (a raising) was excellent and the meeting was well attended. If you ever go to Antigua, I strongly extol you to visit Waladi Lodge: it’s a masonic treat. Brian Stammers, Great Ouse Valley Lodge, No. 9235, Olney, Buckinghamshire Sir, I read with extreme interest the article by Dr James Campbell in the Winter 2018 issue of FMT relating to the part played by

FMT Summer 2019

Thomas Harper in the union of the two Grand Lodges. Renowned as a masonic jeweller, Harper also designed the Royal Arch Certificate, often but erroneously referred to as the ‘Dermott Certificate’. The Province of Yorkshire North & East Ridings had for many years been presenting this certificate to newly exalted companions and requested the Library and Museum of Freemasonry to check a few points. Assistant Librarian Peter Aitkenhead informed us that the Antients Grand Lodge minutes for 1 September 1790 recorded that ‘five guineas was voted for the engraving of a plate for Royal Arch Certificates’. The design of the certificate was approved in 1792, and was by Thomas Harper, as the imprint on the certificate clearly states ‘T.Harper’ The earliest example of this certificate in the Museum collection is dated 1795. The present Royal Arch Certificate – the ‘Gloria’ – dates from shortly after 1817, when the United Grand Chapter (later the Supreme Grand Chapter) was set up. However, the basic design by Thomas Harper remained unchanged until 1965, when the Certificate first appeared without the Latin inscription. Alan Brundall, Lodge of Philosophy, No. 6057, Redcar, Yorkshire North & East Ridings Sir, I had double amputations of my feet four years ago and felt that my active masonic career was at an end. This was even more upsetting than having to replace my E-Type Jaguar with a wheelchair. By kind invitation of the Worshipful Master of my mother lodge, Fraternal Unity, I have been able to act as Inner Guard twice (a bit of a stretch reaching up to the knocker) and to have given an illustrated lecture (‘The Great Sphinx of Giza’). This has helped me to feel that I’m still of some use to my lodge and has given me a renewed feeling of self-worth. It would be good publicity if Visiting Officers encouraged their lodges to appoint disabled members as officers whenever possible. Publicised within the disabled community, it could be good for the Craft’s image and may attract new members from the brave servicemen injured in action in the Middle East and elsewhere. Brian Skinner, Lodge of Fraternal Unity, No. 7330, London


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@5647Old Our Director of Ceremonies found this rare treasure in an antiques shop. On Monday he returned this personal #Hallstonejewel treasure to the deceased brother’s lodge, Lodge Italia.

Help for heroes

Cover star @MediaMoriarty Now that’s the Oscar-winner of all front covers! The latest edition of @Freemasonry2day. Amazing photography by Kenji Kudo.

Freemasonry Today Inspired by a stint on TV’s DIY SOS, Freemason Paul Matson set up Hull4Heroes, a charity providing houses for homeless veterans. In our spring issue, we talked to him about his plans to build a ‘veterans village’ in hull and how Freemasonry spurs him on to do more good works. Darren Melia I help run [the veterans’ skills and trades register] and am also a proud Freemason. We’ve shared quite a few things that Hull4Heroes have done and have always admired their work. Their work made sense to me but this article makes things clearer still. Thanks for sharing. Well done Paul.

@HantsMason The spring edition of @Freemasonry2day is arriving through letterboxes across the Province. It can also be read online. What a spectacular front cover image of the Grand Temple @FreemasonsHall – captured by the wonderfully talented Kenji Kudo.

@Freemasonry2day The quest to return a lost masonic artefact all the way from Franklin Lodge, No. 20, in Connecticut (@rimasons) to its rightful home with @BeamsterMasons in Dorset.

@Prestonian2012 In these increasingly divisive times, it is worth remembering that speculative Freemasonry developed during the Enlightenment to be a point of union between those who would otherwise remain at a perpetual distance. It is as relevant today as ever.

@BeamsterMasons And a further two more items have been found locally by one of our enthusiastic Stewards and repatriated to the lodge.

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FMT Summer 2019



FMT’s pick of the unusual, striking, or just plain fascinating

The Autophagos, A New Glee for Three Voices by Samuel Wesley, circa 1824 Cover title for a vocal score ‘Composed and respectfully Inscribed to the Revd. W. Fallowfeild, Worshipful Master and the Brethren of the Somerset House Lodge’. Produced by Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), and printed by Welsh & Hawes Music Sellers, London.


FMT Summer 2019

Profile for UGLE

Freemasonry Today - Summer 2019 - Issue 46  

Freemasonry Today - Summer 2019 - Issue 46