Page 1

Te Official Journal of the United Grand Lodge of England

Number 18 ~ Summer 2012

£3.50

FREEMASONRY TODAY Number 18 ~ Summer 2012

Compassion, loyalty and community – why athletes like James Ellington are joining Freemasonry p52

CRAFT IN THE SPORT HOUSE OF ANUBIS OPENS ITS DOORS

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD PRESS

RUNNING THE 1908 LONDON OLYMPICS

Grand Temple screening, p18

Masons court the media, p30

Freemasons on the track, p64

UNITED GRAND LODGE of ENGLAND


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GRAND SECRETARY

Photography: David Woolfall

GRAND SECRETARYíS COLUMN

H

er Majesty Te Queen received from His Royal Highness Te Grand Master, on our behalf, a message of loyal greetings and congratulations on the occasion of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. Sixty years is a fantastic achievement, equalling Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897 when His Royal Highness Te Prince of Wales was Grand Master. Let us not forget that Her Majesty is the daughter of a famous Freemason and Past Grand Master, the late King George VI. Freemasons have consistently remained devoted and loyal to her Majesty throughout her reign. A great example of this, for any one of you who has attended meetings in the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall, is when up to seventeen hundred members sing the National Anthem with gusto. You cannot fail to be deeply moved. Te Grand Master, in his speech at the Annual Investiture at the end of April, explained why transparency is critical for Freemasonry and urges an active spirit of openness. You can read the full speech in this issue and see where Te Grand Master picks up the theme of our two recent firsts. One was the commissioning of the first ever report by an independent third party on the future of Freemasonry, which was the catalyst for the second of our two firsts, namely the first ever media tour that I was given the privilege of conducting. Te theme is continued in two more articles where our public relations adviser explains how we have gone about changing the minds of the mass of people who have deep-rooted misconceptions about the myths that still surround us. If we want our families to be proud of us being members and if we want to show we are a relevant organisation to join, every effort must be made for these misconceptions to be got rid of. Tis is followed by an article on what it was like to be on the ‘front line’ with the media – the Grand Secretary being interviewed around the

country. Interestingly, I was hugely encouraged by the positive reception I received. Tese examples are a true reflection of our respected magazine being the official journal of the United Grand Lodge of England. Apart from the clear benefit of reading what our leaders are thinking and the initiatives we are undertaking to ensure our long-term survival, be assured that all editorial is selected by senior and experienced Freemasons, who are renowned experts in masonic matters and news editing. Te only non-masons involved deal in the commissioning of articles – after they have been selected by the editorial panel – or involved in design, printing and distribution. Tey too have been chosen for their recognised expertise. I hope you enjoy this issue of Freemasonry Today. With the London Olympic Games just around the corner, we look at how Spencer Park Lodge is carrying the torch for masons who have an interest in sport and enjoy the camaraderie that Freemasonry brings. We also look back at the role that Freemasons played in the 1908 London Olympics, not just on the track but also in helping run the event behind the scenes. And for anyone not totally fixated on athletics, we find out whether Christopher Wren really was part of the Craft and how we let a hundred young people loose on Freemasons’ Hall. I wish you and your family happy reading and an enjoyable summer.

Nigel Brown Grand Secretary

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CONTENTS

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

3 36

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

47 47

30

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

64

60 60

Editorial Freemasonry Today, Freemasonsí Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ editor@ugle.org.uk Advertising contact Freemasonry Today, Madison Bell Ltd, 20 Orange Street, London WC2 7EF Wesley Tatton Tel: 020 7389 0823 Email: wesley.tatton@ madisonbell.com Alex Ross-Scott Tel: 020 7389 0863 Email: alex_rs@ madisonbell.com Circulation 0844 879 4961 fmt@ugle.org.uk Masonic enquiries editor@ugle.org.uk www.ugle.org.uk 020 7831 9811 Printed by Artisan Press © Grand Lodge Publications Ltd 2012. The opinions herein are those of the authors or persons interviewed only and do not reˇect the views of Grand Lodge Publications Ltd, the United Grand Lodge of England or August Media Ltd.

PEFC/16-33-444 PEFC Certified This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources

52

GRAND SECRETARY

3

NEWS AND VIEWS

6

Te latest masonic news and updates

THE SPORT SPECIALISTS

52

THE UNCELEBRATED CHAPTER

57

A HOME WITH PERSONALITY

60

Mike Winch takes a look at the history, and the champions, of Spencer Park Lodge

PARTY AT THE TEMPLE

18

SENIOR INSIGHTS

25

ON YOUR AIRWAVES

e Grand Secretary takes to the radio to discuss Freemasonry and dispel some long-standing myths

30

Susan Snell reveals how the Olympic Games have benefited from extensive masonic connections

THE MASONIC NETWORK

64

THE WONDER OF WREN

36

CHARITIES UPDATE

68

A NEED FOR GUIDANCE

41

LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

73

Q&A WITH ANDY CROCI

42

LETTERS

77

THE EVER-EVOLVING HALL

47

REFLECTION

82

Anneke Hak joins in the fun at the launch party of a teenage television show, hosted at Freemasons’ Hall

Jessica Bondy on how to further open up Freemasonry

Dr James Campbell explains why Christopher Wren was the ideal subject for 2011’s Prestonian Lecture e lodge mentor role is crucial if Freemasonry is to flourish. James Bartlett explains why

John Hamill describes the slow but steady progression of the Royal Arch Chapter Richard Heap gives an insight into the way of life of an RMBI care home resident

All the latest news on how Freemasons are helping out around the UK An ongoing project on how London used to look reveals the importance of a certain Café Monico

www.pefc.org

This magazine is printed on paper produced from sustainable managed forests accredited by the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes, pefc.org)

Cover image: Corbis This page: Brijesh Patel, Bridgeman Art Library, Corbis, Getty Images, Alys Tomlinson

e manager of UGLE’s registration office talks about the responsibilities and the rewards of his role A delve into the history of Freemasons’ Hall, from the viewpoint of those that have worked there

freemasonrytoday.com

Your opinions on the Freemasonry world

John Hamill on the varying nature of masonic ceremonies, and the benefits of remembering, rather than simply reading, rituals

5


NEWS & VIEWS From Olympic hopefuls through to parachuting pensioners

RECRUITMENT IN THE FAST LANE With many lodges struggling to recruit and retain members, Mike Hailwood Lodge, No. 9839, is gaining candidates fast, as one would expect from a masonic body named after a world champion motorcyclist and racing car driver.

THE SECRET OF THE LODGEíS RECRUITMENT SUCCESS? WELL, FOR A START, GETTING TO RACE AROUND THE ISLE OF MAN TT COURSE

Te lodge was consecrated by Warwickshire Provincial Grand Master, Michael J Price, at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Friday 25 April 2008 with 31 founding members present. It now has 58 members including three from the Isle of Man – the scene of so many of Mike Hailwood’s triumphs – where the lodge holds its September meeting every other year. e lodge’s very first initiate was David Hailwood, the son of the late Mike Hailwood. eir latest recruit, Phillip Carter, aged 78, was initiated by his son Tim in the presence of Alan Welling, Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire. e secret of the lodge’s success? Well, for a start, getting to race around the Isle of Man TT course. Such is the flow of initiates that the by-laws are to be changed to include an extra meeting to cope with the ceremonies. Warwickshire’s Provincial Grand Master also goes along with his wife, who attends the Festive Board with the other ladies. Mike Hailwood, whose father Stan was a Freemason, won nine motorcycle world titles between 1961 and 1967, then turned to motor racing, becoming European Formula 2 Champion. He then embraced Formula 1, but his career ended abruptly in 1974 when he crashed his McLaren on Germany’s daunting Nürburgring track. Disabled by leg injuries, he retired to New Zealand, but by 1978, at the age of 38, he was back at the Isle of Man TT to take on and beat the entire field. His victorious return there has been described as one of the most emotional moments of twentieth-century sport. For more information about Mike Hailwood Lodge, No. 9839, visit www.mikehailwoodlodge9839.co.uk

The late, great motorcycle champion Mike Hailwood

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HOUSE OF ANUBIS We attend the launch party at Freemasonsí Hall

SEE p.18


NEWS AND VIEWS

STILL GOING STRONG The Lodge of Rectitude, No. 335, has celebrated its bicentenary. The lodge by-laws state that membership is limited to 60, and as far as practicable be recruited equally from among lodges meeting in Wiltshire and Somerset. In addition, at the June installation, the new Master must also provide the strawberries and cream at the Festive Board. During the meeting a cheque was presented to Wiltshire PGM Francis Wakem for £1,500 towards the 2017 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LEGENDS A successful journey organised by the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Expedition to the South Pole has taken place, comprising two teams, each including three serving members of HM Forces.

Photography: Getty Images, Axiom Photographic

One such serving member was Warrant Officer Kevin Johnson, whose team retraced the longer route of more than 900 miles undertaken by Robert Falcon Scott from Cape Evans. Like the intrepid Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton before him, Kevin Johnson is a Freemason and a member of Herefordshire’s Cantilupe Lodge, No. 4083. A relatively new mason, Kevin unfurled the blue and gold masonic emblem on successfully completing the Antarctic expedition. It was given to him by lodge members at the Geographic South Pole. e expedition has raised vital funds for the Royal British Legion’s £30 million commitment to the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall to help wounded, injured and sick service personnel on their journey of recovery.

INITIATIVE IN HINCKLEY In 1927, Hinckley Freemasons saw an opportunity to take masonry forward in the Midlands town and purchased land on which to erect a masonic hall. Now, the building has been refurbished. To finance this, members purchased bonds of £93,000 ñ some £9,000 of this being donated. This left a shortfall of £10,000, which the board sought from outside commercial sources, with a mortgage agreed with a local building society.

JUBILEE FLOTILLA ON THE THAMES A thousand boats gathered on the Thames on Sunday 3 June, in celebration of the Queenís Diamond Jubilee. It was the largest ˇotilla in modern times with rowing boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes. The ˇotilla stretched for more than 12 miles, and proved extremely popular ñ with three boats applying for every place. Among the boats chosen was Knot Arf, owned by Andrew Bernstein, immediate past commodore of the Thames Motor Yacht Club and Master of Londonbased Lodge of Enterprise, No. 6494.

Charity representatives line-up with East Kent Freemasons including Millennium Lodge Master Brian Monk and Deputy PGM Roger Odd (centre)

COMPASSIONATE CARE IN KENT Six local hospices received cheques from East Kent Province on behalf of The Freemasonsí Grand Charity at a meeting of Maidstoneís Millennium Lodge of Charity, No. 9730.

Since 1984, the Grand Charity has donated £8.7 million to hospices in England and Wales, supporting the ongoing compassionate care that they give to patients and their families. Last year, £600,000 was distributed to 226 hospices, including an allocation of £100,000 specifically for services dedicated to caring for children. As well as supporting individuals who need hospice care, staff also support families and close friends during illness and bereavement.

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Knot Arf cruises past the Houses of Parliament

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NEWS AND VIEWS

TACKLING EPILEPSY The Epilepsy Society has received a £38,000 grant from the Grand Charity to help fund research.

Cumberland and Westmorlandís APGM Keith Young (second left) and Malcolm Robson with Carlisle prize winners

BOXING FOR CHARITY

Professor Sanjay Sisodiya, the society’s head of genetics, said, ‘I am grateful to e Freemasons’ Grand Charity for this generous grant. Genetics research is very important, with changes such as deletions and duplications in a person’s genome recently emerging as important risk factors for epilepsy.’ Buckinghamshire Provincial Grand Master Gordon Robertson and Provincial Grand Secretary Derek Watts visited the charity’s site at Chalfont St Peter. ‘Sometimes, such changes have led to the identification of a particular gene, alterations in which are a direct cause of the epilepsy. Over time the understanding that this brings may prove to be the best way to find new treatments for epilepsy,’ said Professor Sisodiya. For more information, visit www.epilepsysociety.org.uk

A successful sporting evening at Carlisle was organised by the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland, Kendal Amateur Boxing Club and Custodes Copiae Lodge of Provincial Grand Stewards.

Te boxing spectacular, now in its second year, raised £13,400 for masonic and non-masonic charities during an evening involving amateur boxers of all ages from clubs across the county, with e Edinburgh Woollen Mill as principle sponsor. Meanwhile, the Furness & South Lakeland Group in conjunction with Kendal Boxing Club held one of its best boxing nights in 26 years for both masonic and non-masonic charities. e event at the Cumbria Grand Hotel in Grange appealed to boxing enthusiasts and the local business fraternity alike. More than 220 guests watched 10 entertaining rounds of fights. Female boxers were on the bill for the first time, with the event catching the interest of the local paper. More than £6,000 was raised through sponsorship, ticket sales, raffles and an auction which included a Toyota jacket signed by ex-Formula One driver Ralph Schumacher, younger brother of seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher.

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Professor Sisodiya (centre) with Gordon Robertson (left) and Derek Watts

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NEWS AND VIEWS

PENSIONERS TAKE A BIG JUMP Maurice King, from Diss in Norfolk, celebrated his 80th birthday with a parachute jump to raise money for the Norfolk 2016 Festival on behalf of The Freemasonsí Grand Charity.

His friend, Jim Carter, immediately signed up to join him, and Deputy Provincial Grand Master Stephen Allen gave permission to see if anyone else in the Province was interested, and it soon became a group jump with several lodges raising money for the festival. Between them they managed to convince 44 people, including Nigel Riley, 84, to take part. Younger Freemasons, wives and family members all joined them for the 10,000 ft parachute jump, raising more than £20,000. Some 250 spectators turned up to watch the sponsored jumpers take to the sky at Ellough Airfield near Beccles, Suffolk, in April. Jim Carter raised more than £2,000 in sponsorship for his jump – mostly from members of Great Yarmouth lodges.

Kip Waisell in the Gobi Desert

PEKING TO PARIS

Chocks away for Nigel Riley

Photography: Tony Mould

Herefordshire Freemason Kip Waisell and his wife Carmen are intrepid travellers for charity.

Tey began in 2005 when they drove two new 125cc scooters back from Almaty in Kazakhstan, raising £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Care. Two years later they travelled from Peking to Paris in a 750cc 1930 Austin Seven Chummy. ey completed the journey of some 7,800 miles in 46 days and raised £10,000 for UNICEF, which was used to buy mosquito nets for Kenyan children. e couple raised a further £500 for the Hereford Historic Churches Trust and £900 for St Michael’s Hospice, Hereford, with talks about their travels. For the hat-trick, Kip and his wife Carmen decided to repeat the Peking to Paris challenge, but taking a slightly different route, Carmen driving a 1930 Austin Seven while Kip travelled in a 1928 Austin Seven Ulster. is time money was raised for Smile Train, the cleft lip and palate charity, visiting their clinics en route. Smile Train has benefited by over £9,000 to date, with £150 transforming a child’s life in an operation that takes just 45 minutes.

SOUTH DOWN LODGEíS HELICOPTER HERO Sixteen members of the Heal family from Sussex are in the same lodge, including former RAF pilot Marc, who won the DFC in Afghanistan for evacuating 29 casualties in his Chinook helicopter while under ˇre. Marc, 31, ˇew eight combat missions in as many days. On one occasion his helicopterís landing site was mortared by insurgents and some of the missions took place without an Apache escort.

Somerset mason James Heal began the family connection with South Down Lodge, No. 1797, in

10

1963 when he moved to Brighton, followed by his five sons – all of whom went through the chair – as well as three brothers-in-law and seven grandsons. Four of the five sons were Directors of Ceremonies, while three of the family are Grand Officers and one, Keith Schofield, is the Provincial Grand Mentor for Sussex. His uncle John was Provincial Director of Ceremonies and later an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, while his uncle Victor was Deputy Provincial DC, both of whom – with his father – have been his mentors.

Marc Heal (right) with the Mayor of Brighton and Hove after being presented with the honorary freedom certiˇcate


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news and views

Support for Peace Hospice With Freemasons donating almost £168,000 in recent years to the Peace Hospice at Watford, Hertfordshire and Middlesex masons were invited to a reception at the Royal Masonic School for Girls.

Hertfordshire PGM Colin Harris, Peace Hospice chief executive Sue Plummer and David Ellis, chairman of the Hospice Board of Trustees

The hospice has strong links with the school, as does their chairman, David Ellis of Tudor Lodge. Hospice staff, including clinicians and nurses, were available to chat with guests about their work. Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Master, Colin Harris, said, ‘Charitable giving is a huge part of Freemasonry and hearing from hospice staff really brings home how vital their work is and just how much financial help they need. This charity supports local people from across south-west Hertfordshire free of charge, and we are honoured to be playing a part in that.’ Hospice community fundraising manager, Gill Crowson, said, ‘This evening was really a celebration of the close ties between the hospice, the lodges and the school. We are very grateful for all the support they give to the hospice. All of us care deeply about our community and are well aware of the necessity to be available to those who need our help, both now and in the future.’

CARRYING THE TORCH To coach a world champion is the pinnacle of the career of many coaches, but to achieve this twice takes a very special individual.

Since 2005, Monmouthshire Freemason Neil Smith has lifted athletes to some of the greatest heights in Paralympic world cycling, well supported with grants from masonic charities in the Province. Neil cares passionately for his individual riders, and they have shown their gratitude by successfully nominating him as a 2012 Paralympic torchbearer. His first world champion cyclist, Jody Cundy, benefitted from Neil’s coaching, which was paramount in his transition from Paralympic swimmer to cyclist. Now he has a second world champion, Mark Colbourne, who won the Paracycling World Championships in Los Angeles in February.

Mark Colbourne (left) with coach Neil Smith against a backdrop of the Welsh Assembly building

12

fantastic voyage Grand Secretary Nigel Brown goes on tour

See p.30


NEWS AND VIEWS

Penrith mason Ron Cameron (left) at the open day

OPENING UP FREEMASONRY IN PENRITH An open day at Penrith saw a steady stream of visitors with local masons on hand to answer questions and give explanations of the exhibits. Visitors saw a diverse exhibition of masonic regalia, read information about Freemasonry, viewed the many photographs and honours boards displayed throughout the hall, as well as the books featured in the comprehensive library collection. In addition, visitors were able to view a lodge room laid out for a meeting. Professor Norman Williams, President of The Royal College of Surgeons, with The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent

FUNDING LIFEBLOOD FOR THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS At the suggestion of Anthony West, Chairman of the Grand Lodge 250th Anniversary Fund, Tuscan Lodge, No. 14, arranged a Fellows Presentation at The Royal College of Surgeons of England in Lincolnís Inn Fields, in the presence of The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.

Te 250th Fund was set up in 1967 to support the college in making annual grants to support research Fellows, and currently there are three Freemasons’ research Fellows each year. In connection with the bicentenary of Supreme Grand Chapter in 2013, an appeal is in progress, the funds of which will be applied for a similar purpose. Other distinguished guests included the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, Assistant Grand Master David Williamson, Grand Secretary Nigel Brown and the Grand Director of Ceremonies, Oliver Lodge. Te guests were welcomed by Professor Norman Williams, President of Te Royal College of Surgeons, while plastic surgeon Professor Gus McGrouther expressed his gratitude to the masonic community for its support. Professor McGrouther explained that the college receives no NHS funding for research and that this all has to be paid for by voluntary contribution. Te college supports 20 researchers annually chosen from 150 applications. Tree Freemasons’ research Fellows gave talks. Tey were Vaibhav Sharma, on improving hearing through reducing scar tissue; Miss Ming He, on tissue engineering for transplantation; and Satoshi Hori of the Uro-Oncology, Hutchinson/MRC Research Centre, University of Cambridge. A member of Isaac Newton Lodge also spoke on targeting growth factors in prostate cancer.

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Rodney Smallwood and yard manager Helen Powell with Gypsy

GYPSY SHOWS HIS PACES Hereford Masons Gypsy is the name given to a 20-year-old horse, supported by local Freemasons at the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) centre at Holme Lacy, when it is competing at the National Dressage Centre, Hartpury College in Gloucester. Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, praised the RDA for its work with the disabled, also paying tribute to the 130 volunteers involved. He was informed of an imminent addition to the 14 horses in the stables ñ a sponsored mechanical horse, which will enhance the ˇexibility of exercise for those who use the service.

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NEWS AND VIEWS

LODGE FORGES ITALIAN LINK

Photography: Alamy

A visit by Sandy Khouri, secretary of the Lodge of Freedom & Courtesy, No. 4762, to his family in Italy has led to the prospect of a twinning of his lodge, which meets at Mark Masonsí Hall in London, with the Lodge Raimondo di Sangro, No. 167. After his visit to the Barletta lodge, Khouri invited a group of Italian masons to a Lodge of Freedom & Courtesy meeting in London, where they also visited the Grand Temple. As a result, formal application has been made for the two lodges to be twinned. All aboard to help the ROBOCAP charity

ROBOTIC SURGERY LAUNCH The recently registered charity appeal ROBOCAP, which uses state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer, was ofˇcially launched in Herefordshire, in an event organised by local Freemason Howard Pitts.

Appeal chairman Les Kinmond introduced the three consultant urologists of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, Graham Sole, Biral Patel and Aloysius Okeke. Tey described this advanced form of keyhole surgery, which offers surgeons three-dimensional imaging and magnification in order to give greater precision and allow for minimally invasive surgery with the reduced incidence of complications. Cllr Olwyn Barnett, chairman of Herefordshire Council, urged local mayors to support this appeal, and local mason Brian Wilcox, Mayor-elect for Hereford City, said that ROBOCAP would be his official charity during his term of office.

Lodge members David Leadbetter, Jack IíAnson, Bob Stringer and Ron Fenton with John Funk (second left)

EIGHTY YEARS A MASON Members of Hesketh Lodge, No. 950, Province of West Lancashire, called in on John Funk, 105, at his home in St Annes, to celebrate his remarkable 80 years in Freemasonry. John applied to join a Fleetwood lodge at 21, but such was the popularity of Freemasonry at that time, and with only two lodges in the town, he had to wait for ˇve years to join, otherwise his years in the Craft would have been greater. He is the last remaining founder of Lathom Lodge, No. 6286, in Ormskirk and, together with other prominent masons, purchased the building that is now the masonic hall.

SCOUTING IN HALIFAX Earlier this year, Halifax children were invested into the new 50th Savile Park Scout Group by the local primary school, where it meets each week.

A grant from UGLE and help from Halifax District Scout Council enabled the group to provide first class scouting in a diverse area of Halifax. Te north-east regional development team from the national Scout organisation have also been instrumental in helping the group’s formation. Cubs and Beavers were invested into the group and the World Wide Scouting Association by District Commissioner Martin Longbottom, Beacon Lodge, No. 4066, Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, and Helen Ridehalgh, Assistant District Commissioner for Beaver Scouts. It is hoped that the group will become a full Cub Pack and Beaver Colony. New members are welcome. Contact dc@halifaxscouts.co.uk for more information

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UNRAVELLING THE MYSTERY OF RITUAL For the fourth successive year, the Northern Conference has proved a success at Salford Masonic Hall with an audience of over 100 listening to speakers on the theme of Ritual Unravelled. An experienced team, including two former Prestonian lecturers, Neville Barker Cryer and Gordon Davie, together with Tony Baker, Chris Powell, John Acaster and Chris Oversby, made the event a huge success. The day comprised of an opening plenary session led by Tony Baker followed by ˇve interactive break-out sessions and a ˇnal summing up by Neville Barker Cryer.

15


NEWS AND VIEWS

BIKER BACKS HOSPITAL WITH 24-HOUR RIDE When motorbike enthusiast Andy McGowanís wife Sarah, a deputy sister, was admitted to Colchester Hospitalís critical care unit, he was so impressed with the staffís dedication and kindness that he decided to raise funds for the hospital.

Andy, who is a member of United Lodge, No. 697, which meets in Colchester, set out on a 24-hour sponsored motorbike ride around Great Britain, starting at the hospital and touring Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and London, before returning to Essex. Andy, a keen motorcyclist, and member of the newly formed Artificers Masonic Motorcycle Association (AMMA), completed the journey on his beloved Triumph Speedster. ‘Te staff were wonderful and I’m so grateful that my wife is well now. Te money will be used to improve the facilities for patients and their relatives,’ said Andy of his achievement. For more information, visit www.colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

Andy on his Triumph Speedster

ANOTHER LODGE FOR UNIVERSITIES SCHEME Grenville Lodge, No. 1787, is the ˇrst lodge in the Province of Buckinghamshire to be admitted to the UGLE Universities Scheme. With two Nigerian students from the University of Buckingham joining the lodge in April 2012, it is the 52nd lodge to be admitted to the scheme.

Buckingham is the only private university in the United Kingdom and was opened in 1973. It was the first UK university to condense the academic content of a standard three-year degree into a two-year programme, running over four terms per year, and 80 per cent of its students come from overseas, although many stay in England to work or gain postgraduate qualifications. It is hoped that the scheme will also further enhance the link between the lodge, the university, the Province and Freemasonry in general.

ARTHUR ADDS COLOUR Freemasonsí Hall is one of Londonís landmark buildings and, as part of the process of maintaining it, there are a small number of highly skilled artisans working there.

Te skill base is maintained partly by recruiting junior craftsmen and training them to a level not usually found elsewhere. A recent recruit as a junior painter is Arthur Smith. He is just 18 and last year started an NVQ course at Lambeth College in Painting and Decorating. He has done so well that he was asked by the college, as part of their Ofsted inspection, to allow the inspector to visit him during his work at Freemasons’ Hall. With Arthur about to progress to the second year, the college is now considering entering him into various local, national and European skills competitions.

16

AGM David Williamson with candidates

PRESTONIAN LECTURE Dr James Campbell discusses his controversial subject choice

SEE p.36


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TELEVISION LAUNCH

EXPLORAT 18


TELEVISION LAUNCH

Hundreds of young people descended on Freemasons’ Hall when it hosted the launch party of a kids’ TV show set in an English boarding school. Anneke Hak reports

ION PARTY freemasonrytoday.com

19


Photography: Greg Funnell

TELEVISION LAUNCH

20


TELEVISION LAUNCH

ëI DIDNíT EVEN REALISE NONFREEMASONS WERE ALLOWED IN. I MEAN, THEREíS A GIFT SHOP. ITíS NOT WHAT YOU IMAGINE FREEMASONRY TO BE, IS IT?í

I

t’s a balmy spring day and for anyone enjoying the sunshine near Great Queen Street, a sense of intrigue must surely have caught them. For, snaking around the corner of the Freemasons’ Hall front entrance, is a queue of young children and their parents, hundreds long. Some have been there for hours, others have made their way to Covent Garden from as far afield as Chester, and they are all here for one thing: the launch of Season Two of a teen-mystery series called House Of Anubis that will air on the Nickelodeon television channel. In the grand building, through the Tower entrance on the corner of Wild Street, stands a man dressed in long black robes, with thick eyeliner framing his eyes and completing his Egyptian god get-up. Photos are taken and the children are given orders to pass up the stairs and try to unlock the secrets to the temple. Some children quake with fear as loud, doomladen music blasts through the stone building, others take it in their stride, keen to get going on their quest. ‘Tis kind of looks like a church, it’s so cool!’ one child exclaims. He’s right. Freemasons’ Hall couldn’t have been a better location for the party – its high ceilings, temple-like atmosphere and brilliant ambience fit perfectly with the show’s theme about children at an English boarding school who discover hidden mysteries and House Of Anubis’s secrets. Running up the stairs, the children head eagerly towards the first section of the temple, where they receive the riddle sheets they must complete to gain the sacred access. Two figures dressed in black robes explain the rules. ‘We’re actually Egyptian cult followers of the fearful brother Eden,’ the gentleman tells me, staying in character and refusing to divulge his real name. ‘We are in charge of making sure that only the very wise can enter the inner sanctum of the Temple of Anubis’, he explains, adding ‘We’ve set them a series of difficult challenges, and I don’t

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think all of them will make it through. Tose who don’t will, of course, be sacrificed. Or else they’ll probably just have to leave.’ After this gruesome revelation the cult follower did come out of character long enough to confide, ‘I didn’t even realise non-Freemasons were allowed in. I mean, there’s a gift shop. It’s not what you imagine Freemasonry to be, is it?’ It really isn’t. A lot of work has gone into the event, which includes popcorn stalls, magicians, themed characters from the show and, of course, a dress rehearsal. ‘It’s funny,’ laughs the robed one, ‘because when we were rehearsing, we were told to take our cloaks off as there was a guided tour coming through and they were worried that the tour group would believe all the silly conspiracy theories that Freemasonry was some sort of cult, which this event being held here today disproves.’

SCIENCE AND RIDDLES

Left: fans of the show wait excitedly for the launch party

As the children march around looking for the next answer, riddle sheets in hand, it becomes clear that not all of the answers are obvious and some are even hidden. On entering one room, I come face to face with a herd of children huddled around what looks like a science experiment as they try and guess how long it will take a piece of metal spinning on glass to stop – will it be shorter or longer than the time it takes to stop on wood? I leave, not confident about my GCSE physics, and bump into another Egyptian Cult Follower in the Hall. ‘I used to fly but now I’m stuck on the ground, black as night in the caretaker’s office I can be found! What am I?’ he crows. Yet again completely stumped, I move on swiftly. Tat’s the delightful thing about these riddles: you need to be a big House Of Anubis Season One fan to understand

21


TELEVISION LAUNCH

PHOTOS ARE TAKEN AND THE CHILDREN ARE ORDERED TO PASS UP THE STAIRS TO TRY AND UNLOCK THE SECRETS TO THE TEMPLE them, and therefore gain entrance to the main temple, where House Of Anubis Season Two’s first episode will be screened at 4pm. A crowd gathers outside the hall, and I ask a few of the children about the fun they’ve been having while we wait. ‘We’ve had a great time,’ says Millie, aged seven. ‘Te best bit has been meeting Jamie and Hannah from the show, who were walking around too. We got to speak with them!’ ‘I like the mystery of today. I’m kind of good at solving the riddles,’ says Kerry, who is nine. ‘We’ve got all the clues today. Meeting all the famous people has been great – we’ve had our picture taken with Heather from EastEnders.’

WELL-KNOWN FACES Of course, this wouldn’t be a launch event without some well-known faces, and soap actors can be seen flitting around with family and friends. I stop to have a chat with Patsy Palmer, who plays EastEnders’ Bianca. ‘I know nothing about House Of Anubis, you’ll have to ask my children,’ she laughs as they run up to tell her about what they’ve seen. ‘Tis place is pretty impressive though.’

22

Above: if children answer enough riddles correctly, they can proceed to the main temple for the screening of the ˇ rst episode of House Of Anubis Season Two.

Finally the clock strikes four and the doors open. We all lurch forward, keen to get a look inside the Grand Temple. I find a seat behind eight-year-old Ryan. ‘I’m really brave, so the building hasn’t been that spooky,’ he tells me. ‘But I thought it would be a bit smaller than this – this is probably the biggest room I’ve ever been in!’ It’s also the first time a screening has been held inside the Grand Temple. Head of Events at Freemasons’ Hall Karen Haigh tells me that the venue is well prepared for the influx of hundreds of young people into the building. ‘Nothing’s going to go wrong,’ she smiles. ‘We’ve checked and doublechecked everything – and it’s great to be able to hold new kinds of events. Especially ones like this, which the kids enjoy so much.’ Te characters from the show are introduced to screams of applause as they gather on stage to answer questions from a compere, and the audience buzzes with anticipation of what is to come. It’s time for the lights to go down and a hush instantly falls over the 1,400 crowd of young children, teenagers and parents. Te premiere of Season Two of House Of Anubis begins and another event at Freemasons’ Hall can be claimed a roaring success.

SPECIALIST LODGES The sporting achievements of Spencer Park

SEE p.52


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SENIOR INSIGHTS SLUG GOES HERE

PRINCIPLES WITH IMAGINATION Photography: Alamy

HRH Te Duke of Kent explains why transparency is critical for Freemasonry and urges an active spirit of openness

O

ur concern must be for the future, especially with the approach of our three-hundredth anniversary in 2017. In planning for this great anniversary, I believe these times demand innovation, and imaginative thinking, while retaining our principles. In this I make no apology for again reminding everyone of the need truly to demonstrate transparency, and to work towards regaining our enviable reputation in society. To do this we have to show how and why we are relevant and to concentrate on the positive aspects of Freemasonry, in particular our generous tradition of giving to a wide variety of causes. In regards to transparency, we still have some way to go in dispelling the myths that remain deep rooted in many people’s minds, not least the media. Very considerable progress has been made in this direction already, but challenges remain, and there is still work to do to overcome prejudices and misconception. I am very pleased that we have already achieved two ďŹ rsts of some importance in tackling this challenge. Te ďŹ rst of these was the commissioning of the ďŹ rst ever independent, third party report, written by non-masons, on the future of Freemasonry.

The independent Future Of Freemasonry report has been a huge success 16

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3

GIVING

A CONSEQUENCE OF WHAT WE MIGHT DESCRIBE AS THE ĂŤGIVING INSTINCTĂ­ IS THAT SOME MEMBERS WILL HAVE, IN CRUDE TERMS, MORE OF THE ALTRUISTIC GENE THAN OTHERS

3.1 THE ĂŤPROBLEMĂ­ OF ALTRUISM Te fact that, universally, people are prepared to act in ways that beneďŹ t others at a cost to themselves has long posed a problem for the social and biological sciences – and particularly for theories of evolution. Te fundamental premise of evolutionary biology, for example, is that costs and beneďŹ ts are measured in terms of ‘reproductive ďŹ tness’ – an animal’s ability to mate and to produce ospring, thereby ensuring the future of its genes. Tis applies to humans as much as any other species on the planet. Te diďŹƒcult issue here, however, is that this form of natural selection operates at the individual rather than group level. It is the ability to spread my genes, or those of my close relatives who share my genes, rather than those of unrelated members of my tribe or social group. It is true that we are most willing to make the greatest sacriďŹ ce for the beneďŹ t or survival of our closest kin. If I save the life of, say, my son while losing my own I have ensured that the part of me that is my son (my genes) will survive into a future generation. But why should we help our neighbours or those in parts of the world that we have never met, and never will? We may, of course, argue that evolutionary theory no longer applies to the human race, that we have gone beyond forces that shape the lives of lower animals. We are conscious beings whose lives are directed more by moral codes than by basic instincts. And yet, perhaps uncomfortably, altruism is as much in evidence in birds and mammals as it is in us. Many species sound the alarm to their fellows when they identify a predator nearby, exposing themselves to quite considerable risk by making themselves more visible. Such types of altruistic behaviour are the same as those that we see as fundamental characteristics of a ‘civilised’ human race.

Charles Darwin was himself puzzled by this – his theory of natural selection – often inappropriately described as ‘survival of the ďŹ ttest’ – with its emphasis on the individual, did not quite work. On the one hand he argued that ‘He who was ready to sacriďŹ ce his life, as many a savage has been ‌ would leave no ospring to inherit his noble nature.’1 Undeterred, however, and almost by sleight of hand, he introduced a substantial qualiďŹ cation: ‘A tribe including many members who, from possessing, in a high degree, the spirit of patriotism, ďŹ delity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacriďŹ ce for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection.’2 What we have here is now a focus on group, rather than individual, interest. Such an emphasis is not without its critics, among them Richard Dawkins.3 Current perspectives, however, generally support the view that the genes which prompt us to be generous to our kin can also prompt us to express altruism in a more generalised way, so long as it does not reduce our personal ďŹ tness to a damaging degree. An advantageous product of this is the increased ďŹ tness of the tribe, community or society in which we live which, in turn, increases what is known as ‘inclusive’ ďŹ tness – a notion that embraces one’s personal ďŹ tness plus the ďŹ tness of every other member of the species in the population.4 A consequence of what we might describe as the ‘giving instinct’ is that some members will have, in crude terms, more of the altruistic gene than others. We, as in the animal kingdom, will always have ‘free riders’ – those who beneďŹ t from the altruism of others while giving little or nothing back in exchange. But this, in itself, does not pose a serious problem until the givers are outnumbered by the takers. Natural selection, it seems, is geared towards the prevention of this state of aairs. 1 2  4

The Future of Freemasonry: A report by the Social Issues Research Centre 2012

Darwin, C. (1871) The Descent of Man. P.1635 Darwin, C. (1871) The Descent of Man. P.166    See Boyd, R. & McIlreath, R. (2007) Mathematical Models of Social Evolution. Chicago University Press

17

ĂŤI WANT TO CONGRATULATE ALL THOSE WHOM I HAD THE PLEASURE OF INVESTING. TO ATTAIN GRAND RANK IN THE CRAFT IS A HIGH ACCOLADEĂ­ Tis report has been highly successful and has itself acted as the catalyst for the second of our two innovations, namely the ďŹ rst media tour, conducted by the Grand Secretary. I recommend that you all take advantage of this active spirit of openness to talk with equal frankness to your family and friends. I think that if you follow this advice, you may well be surprised by the positive reception you will gain. I want to congratulate all those whom I had the pleasure of investing. To attain Grand Rank in the Craft is a very high accolade of which you can feel justly proud. Tis promotion does, however, come with an obligation always to set the highest example in standards of integrity, honesty and fairness wherever you are. Among those I have appointed to acting oďŹƒce are the new Grand Chancellor, the president of the Grand Charity and the Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes, and I want to take this opportunity of thanking their predecessors. First of all, Brother Alan EngleďŹ eld, who as the ďŹ rst Grand Chancellor, has made an invaluable contribution to bringing us closer to other Grand Lodges around the world, as well as to maintaining our position as the Mother Grand Lodge. Secondly to Grahame Elliott, who as president of the Grand Charity, as well as presiding over the Grand Charity itself, was instrumental in the successful move of the four charities into this building and thirdly, to Michael Lawson who has given a long and dedicated period of service on the board since 1988. To all three brethren we owe a considerable debt of gratitude.

23 25


SENIOR INSIGHTS

EXTENDING THE ARCH Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes discusses the mechanisms that have been put in place to promote the Royal Arch within Freemasonry

A

s we move towards the bicentenary of the Order in 2013 we have taken the opportunity to further ensure the long term future of the Royal Arch. In raising the profile to achieve this, it is important to make sure we are seen as appealing, inspiring and relevant. To that end, a strategic working party, under the chairmanship of the Second Grand Principal, reported their nine recommendations to me in March. Te first of these recommendations in their report was that the strap line ‘initiation to exaltation’ be adopted to promote the Order. Te working party looked at mentoring and how it should align to the work being done on this in the Craft. Here it was suggested that the Craft personal mentor and the Royal Arch representative actively guide a new master mason towards membership of the Royal Arch at an appropriate point in his masonic journey. Also that once exalted the new companion has a knowledgeable Royal Arch mason to help him better understand the ceremony and meaning of the Royal Arch and how best to become involved in the Chapter.

PROMOTING THE ORDER Te role of the lodge Royal Arch representative is fundamental to the promotion of the Order and it is recommended that Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand Lodges continue to encourage Craft lodges to make this appointment and to develop the role. It is also considered important that the adoption of the permitted ritual variations, introduced by the 2004 Royal Arch Strategic Working Party, be encouraged in Chapters. I am aware that the Metropolitan Grand Lodge, as well as several Provinces and Districts are already presenting a letter to the newly made master mason on the merits of the Royal Arch. Efforts to improve the profile of the Order in website contexts is also underway. Two clear outward ways to promote the Order are emphasised. First, the taking of wine with Royal Arch members at selected Craft Festive Boards and secondly, that the wearing of the official Royal Arch tie be further encouraged. Te final recommendation is that Chapters be encouraged to re-engage with lodges from which they have traditionally derived members.

26 24

ëA WIDER PARTICIPATION IN THE RITUAL IS CLEARLY BENEFICIAL IN ENCOURAGING A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE TEACHINGí

In order to encourage a greater participation among all companions, the working party looked at the layout of the ritual books so that the revised and permitted alternative variations adopted in 2004 be encouraged as the standard. I emphasise that nothing is now being suggested which in any way enforces or changes what was introduced by Supreme Grand Chapter in 2004. A wider participation in the ritual is clearly beneficial in encouraging a deeper understanding of the teaching and by giving the permitted variations of 2004 a greater prominence in the various printed and authorised rituals – for example, Aldersgate, Domatic, Perfect and Metropolitan – I trust more Chapters will be encouraged to adopt them and benefit accordingly. Te 2013 Royal Arch Appeal for Te Royal College of Surgeons is progressing well – with over half a million recorded so far. Tis means that we are well on our way to exceeding our target. I encourage you to keep up your efforts.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Masonic thoughts from around the world

SEE p.77


SENIOR INSIGHTS

THIS ISNíT ROCKET SCIENCE An open and sensible approach to Freemasonry could have a significant impact on public perceptions of the Craft, according to Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes

APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE We must also acknowledge that the language used in our rituals is somewhat archaic, but we become used to it and enjoy it. However, some of the wording is not appropriate to explaining ourselves to outsiders. One of the obvious examples of this is that we would never explain to an outsider our relationship with another as, ‘doing unto him as we would that he would do unto us’. Instead, we would say something like, ‘we try to treat others as we hope that they would treat us’. To put it another way, this isn’t rocket science. I am also often asked what benefits can be derived from being a mason. My first response is always to say what someone must most certainly not expect is an improvement in his business fortunes. Tere is no doubt that there is still a body of opinion that feels that a lot of business is conducted between Freemasons that is to the detriment of others. I have done a lot of business with and for Freemasons, often without finding out until later that we were both members. Personally, I have never seen a case where it has been to the detriment of others. It would be wrong for us to

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Photography: Ruy Tuxeira

V

ery often one will be asked how one came to join Freemasonry. In most cases it will have been knowing people who are masons and showing an interest in and asking questions about the subject. Te next stage then should have been to meet other members of the lodge and for both sides to ensure that the various ramifications and responsibilities of being a member are out in the open. I believe that it is important to let people know that we are not an organisation that goes hunting for members for the sake of numbers, but that we do encourage strongly those who show a genuine interest in finding out more about the subject. We should stress that Freemasonry is about the quality of the person who joins. We must not forget that anyone can go into Letchworth’s and buy a copy of our ritual. If they read it, they will find very few aspects that are not fully explained. It is important to explain to people that there are very few things we keep private in masonry and these are restricted to a few words and signs.

categorically deny that this has never occurred. However, dare I say, I am confident that this would be considerably less so among Freemasons than members of many other organisations. We then move on to what benefits a member can expect and I think it is important to stress that people will find many different benefits the more involved they become. At the outset it is reasonable to expect that, if they join a lodge, they will be among men who behave in a way in which they, themselves, would approve. You will be thinking that I have left out an important aspect: our charities. It is all too easy, when asked what we do, to simply say that we do a vast amount of charitable work. I most certainly am not saying don’t talk about our charities, quite the reverse, but don’t use our charities to avoid answering more fully what we are all about. Above all stress that we are all in masonry for the immense amount of enjoyment that we derive from our membership.

ëIT IS IMPORTANT TO STRESS THAT PEOPLE WILL FIND MANY DIFFERENT BENEFITS THE MORE INVOLVED IN FREEMASONRY THEY BECOMEí 27


SLUG GOES HERE SENIOR INSIGHTS

MYTHS DISPELLED Public relations adviser to the United Grand Lodge of England, Jessica Bondy, explains how to change the minds of 117 million people about Freemasonry

T

he core of the Freemason’s public relations strategy is to dispel myths. But why bother? After all, we know that as the oldest fraternal organisation in the world, masonic principles have never changed and its timeless values are as relevant today as they were three hundred years ago. As modern Freemasons, there are two reasons in particular why you should bother. If we take as a given that the Freemasons want good press, then the first reason is that, by dispelling the myths it will help with both retention and recruitment. Secondly, it will reduce – potentially eradicate – discrimination against you. For a communication strategy to work, it is essential to have support at the highest level in an organisation. We are at the first stage of our journey with a clear objective to both increase understanding of, and support for, Freemasonry. Critical to building a positive reputation for the organisation will be highlighting masonic openness and relevance in society today. And rather than just talking about it we have taken action to demonstrate change. We have open websites, the highly acclaimed Freemasonry Today magazine, and a mentoring scheme that helps you to talk about Freemasonry openly. All of this will be further helped by a new leaflet designed to give people a good feeling about Freemasonry. But more importantly, and for the first time ever, we approached a non-masonic body to produce a report for the media on the future of Freemasonry, written by an independent third party. Tis was a bold move, but it was essential for the media to both see this as a neutral, outsider’s perspective for credibility’s sake, as well as act as the catalyst for them to want to talk to us.

EVIDENCE NOT IDEOLOGY Te Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) in Oxford was selected competitively. It offered not only anthropological expertise, which forms much of the report’s backdrop, but also their research criteria are based on evidence and not ideology. In their words: ‘We needed to test Freemasonry’s claims for openness and transparency.’ SIRC set about compiling the views and opinions of a cross-section of Freemasons and non-masons alike. Tey examined the presence

28 26

ëWE ARE AT THE FIRST STAGE OF OUR JOURNEY WITH A CLEAR OBJECTIVE TO BOTH INCREASE UNDERSTANDING OF, AND SUPPORT FOR, FREEMASONRYí of, as well as need for, an element of ritual in all our lives, our need to belong, the ways we express our generosity to others, and the extent to which our everyday lives involve ritual behaviours. Te result is a truly insightful and timely commentary, not just on this organisation, but also fascinatingly on the complex interactions, perceptions and values of modern society itself. So with the report published and in our hands, and the knowledge that people really do want to know more, we took the Grand Secretary on a highly successful media tour, which was another first. We felt it important for the Grand Secretary to be on the road and truly show openness by meeting people face-to-face. Nationally, we have also made waves. A story on BBC Online was the third most popular. Te interview on one of the leading radio stations, LBC, quite literally jammed the switchboard. Combining all the media and press interviews, the reach has been to a potential audience of more than 117 million. Te report and media tour have presented a major opportunity for Freemasonry. We have to harness and build on the interest now in order to achieve the impact we deserve in 2017. If we can convert people from negative to neutral at the very least, I believe we will be making huge progress. To read the report, visit: http://www.freemasonrytoday.com/uglesgc/ugle/item/511-future-of-freemasonry-study-is-published

FOOTER HEADLINE Footer text: pa qui dus, ut faccabore aut qui dus

SEE p.22


Too old to fight Too proud to ask For over 180 years the Gurkhas have helped to fght our wars and keep our peace. Gurkhas have won 13 Victoria Crosses and have served in most of the major conflicts of the 20th century. If there was a minute’s silence for every Gurkha casualty from World War Two alone, we would have to keep quiet for two whole weeks. But silence will not help the living, the wounded and disabled, those without military pensions following World War Two service or redundancy, or those left destitute by ill health or natural disasters. There is no doubt that we in this country owe the Gurkhas a debt of honour, and the Gurkha Welfare Trust is seeking to repay that debt. The work of the Trust is now vital to the health, well-being and quality of life for thousands of Gurkha old soldiers and their dependants. Please will you help us? Anything you can send now will be gratefully received and carefully used in relieving hardship and distress among Gurkha ex-servicemen and their dependants in Nepal.

This is Rifleman Lalbahadur Thapa (L) aged 93 and his younger brother Rifleman Dilbahadur Thapa. Both served with 6th Gurkha Rifles throughout World War Two. The brothers keep each other company on the five day walk they make every three months from their home village to the nearest Gurkha Welfare Trust Area Welfare Centre to collect their ʻwelfare pensionʼ. This money is their only source of income and all that stands between them and destitution.

I would like to help these proud, gallant people who served Britain so well and gave so much for my freedom. Here is my gift: £20 supports a soldier/widow for one month

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PUBLIC RELATIONS

TUNING

IN 30


PUBLIC RELATIONS

Te Grand Secretary embarked on a nationwide media tour to dispel some myths and spark discussion about Freemasonry. Sophie Radice reports

N Photography: Greg Funnell

igel Brown, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, has just been on a tour the length and breath of England – not forgetting an interview with BBC Wales – that would exhaust any electioneering politician or celebrity trying to promote a new book. Over just four days, Nigel gave 40 back-to-back interviews to national and local newspapers and radio stations. Te publication of a new independent report Te Future Of Freemasonry was the catalyst to generate discussion about the role of Freemasonry in the twenty-first century, while at the same time debunking certain persistent myths about the organisation. Both the tour and the report are the first stages in the build up to the 300th anniversary of the Freemasons in 2017 and to promote a better understanding of what Freemasonry means.

freemasonrytoday.com

31


Photography: Rhapsody

Nigel found it exhausting but exhilarating, particularly enjoying the direct contact he had with the public in the regional radio phone-in discussions: ‘People still believe certain things about the Freemasons, and of course the deep-seated myth that it is a secret society with unique business networking opportunities came up many times. It was really good to be able to say: “Look, would I be doing a tour of England if it was a secret society?” ‘I was able to tell people that the only time the Freemasons ever went underground was during the Second World War when more than 200,000 Freemasons were sent to the gas chambers by Hitler because he saw Freemasonry as a threat. Seeing Hitler’s persecution of Freemasonry, particularly after he invaded the Channel Islands, and fearing the invasion of England, members became alarmed,’ continues Nigel. ‘Many of the people I spoke to on the tour were very surprised to hear this.’ Nigel goes on to explain that Freemasonry then played an important role post-war for troops returning home, many of whom wanted to be with other men who had been through the same experience. ‘Many lodges were formed during the immediate post-war period. Perhaps too many

32

Above: just a few of the news cuttings generated by Grand Secretary Nigel Brownís media tour

because there was such a strong need for camaraderie and because of what had happened during the war. As a result they naturally became inward looking.’

NEED FOR BELONGING While the number of lodges has now levelled out almost to its pre-war period, the sense of brotherly support remains in the 250,000 members in England and Wales. Among its conclusions, Te Future Of Freemasonry report states that ‘there is a timeless need for a sense of affiliation and belonging’. Te report also emphasises the importance that Freemasons place on helping others. ‘Te only requisite we have for joining the Freemasons is that they are people of integrity, honesty, fairness and kindness who believe in a supreme being,’ explains Nigel. ‘We welcome people of all races and religions with different social and economic backgrounds. Tis kind of openness, and the fact that Freemasonry is a non-religious and non-political organisation means that the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Israel is a Palestinian, and that is because the decency and morality of our members is of paramount importance.’


PUBLIC PU PUBL UBL BLIC CR REL RELATIONS ELAT EL ATIONS AT ATIO IO ONS NS

ëPEOPLE STILL BELIEVE CERTAIN THINGS ABOUT FREEMASONS. IT WAS REALLY GOOD TO BE ABLE TO SAY: ìLOOK, WOULD I BE DOING A TOUR OF ENGLAND IF I WAS IN A SECRET SOCIETY?îí

freemasonrytoday.com

When Nigel told people he met on his tour that the Freemasons were the biggest charitable givers after Te National Lottery, donating £30 million last year, he was met with incredulity. ‘Tese very large contributions come from Freemasons’ own efforts rather than from street collections or any other type of external fundraising. Because the Freemason does not ask for thanks or reward it means that very few people know about our charitable donations, even though they are on such a large scale. For instance, we are the main donors to Te Royal College of Surgeons, funding much of their research and donate generously to the Red Cross. I know it seems a small thing but it is something that I am particularly proud of. We are the people that provide teddies for all children going into surgery, to comfort them in that difficult moment.’ Questions about Freemasonry rituals, rolledup trouser legs and secret handshakes were well prepared for. Nigel explained that he had never come across the secret handshake but was glad to shed light on the rituals as a series of ‘one-act plays’ performed by members as they moved up the ranks of the Freemasons. ‘I was happy to tell interviewers and those ringing in to radio discussion programmes

33


Photography: Brijesh Patel

PUBLIC RELATIONS

that there was nothing sinister about it. I think that rituals are very important to a sense of belonging and our members thoroughly enjoy taking part in these performances and memorising their lines. Tey provide a distinctive character to joining and moving through the ranks of the Freemasons – our aim isn’t to make Freemasonry bland but to make the public more aware of what we do.’

CHANGING OPINIONS Even in recent memory, Freemasonry has had to deal with discrimination against members. ‘On some job application forms there was the question, “Are you a member of a secret society, e.g. the Freemasons?” We got that removed by the European Court of Human Rights, but we still have to work hard to make sure that our members are not wrongly judged, or feel that it is something they have to hide. As the report shows, our members really value the feeling of belonging to an organisation that contributes to society and is a part of their life that they can be proud of. Freemasonry is more relevant than ever – in a competitive and fragmented society it provides a combination of friendship and structure.’

34

Above: Grand Secretary Nigel Brown had to conduct forty radio interviews during a four-day tour

ëWE STILL HAVE TO WORK HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR MEMBERS ARE NOT WRONGLY JUDGED FOR BEING FREEMASONS, OR FEEL IT IS SOMETHING THEY HAVE TO HIDEí


FREEMASONS IN HISTORY

With Christopher Wren’s membership of the Craft remaining disputed, Dr James Campbell explains why he chose this subject for his 2011 Prestonian Lecture

WAS THIS BUILT BY A MASON?

36

S

ir Christopher Wren is so well known he hardly needs an introduction. He is England’s most famous architect, the designer of St Paul’s Cathedral. Indeed, up until the age of the railways he was England’s most prolific architect, designing more buildings in his 90 years than any other. But what makes Wren really fascinating is that he turned to architecture rather late, having already made a considerable name for himself as a mathematician, astronomer and experimental scientist. He was a founding member of the Royal Society and later its president. He carried out the first intravenous injection, was one of the three men who suggested to Newton that gravity obeyed the inverse square law, and was a professor of astronomy at the age of 26. His contemporaries universally described him as startlingly brilliant. Indeed, the more you learn about Wren the more engaging he becomes. My interest in Wren dates back to 1987, when I first arrived as an undergraduate in Trinity College, Cambridge, and discovered the magnificent library he built there. It sparked a lifelong interest in Wren and another in the

ëTHE MORE YOU LEARN ABOUT WREN THE MORE ENGAGING HE BECOMESí


FREEMASONS IN HISTORY

architecture of libraries. An interest in Wren served me well and I eventually did my PhD on him and became an architectural historian. One topic kept coming up in my research on Wren: that of his link with Freemasonry. Authors were completely divided on the subject. Many, of course, simply ignored it entirely, but others could not make up their minds whether he was or was not a Freemason, let alone whether it had any effect on his architecture. That uncertainty continues to this day.

A CONTESTABLE TOPIC

been the Grand Master. Some even go so far as to claim that Wren initiated Peter the Great of Russia and William III of England. The Prestonian Lectures is the only series of lectures officially sanctioned by UGLE. Every year a new lecturer is appointed by the Trustees and announced in Grand Lodge. They choose their own topic. The subject should be suitable for delivery in open lodge or to a wider audience and should be of the broadest possible interest. Wren’s membership of the Craft seemed to me to be ideal and I am pleased that the Trustees agreed. William Preston (1742-1818), after whom the Prestonian Lectures is named, had been interested in Wren. Preston was convinced Wren was a Freemason and wrote on the subject. He even went as far as buying what he thought was a portrait of him for his lodge. It is now known to be a portrait of the architect William Talman, and it still hangs in Freemasons’ Hall with a plaque wrongly labelled as Wren. The lectureship Preston founded went into abeyance in the nineteenth century and was revived in its present form in 1924. Since then there have been eighty-two Prestonian

Photography: Loop Images, Bridgeman Art Library, Alamy

If you go on the UGLE website and look at the lists of famous Freemasons, Wren’s name is nowhere to be found. Writers on the subject have also varied in their opinions. John Hamill said in The Craft that the case is ‘unproven’; David Stevenson has said in the past that there is no evidence; while Lisa Jardine, Wren biographer and distinguished historian, is in no doubt that he was. When you look further back – at the eighteenth century – the books of the time all state that Wren had not only been a Freemason, he had

Writers on the subject have varied opinions, with some adamant that Wren was a Freemason, while others say there is no concrete evidence to suggest as much

freemasonrytoday.com

37


FREEMASONS IN HISTORY

ëWREN PROVIDES A FASCINATING GLIMPSE INTO THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE IN STUDYING ALL PARTS OF EARLY FREEMASONRYíS HISTORYí Sir Christopher Wren depicted in Godfrey Knellerís 1711 portrait

missing or unreliable. This is the case with Wren. The result is a fascinating story of detective work and of shifting views in history.

THE IDEAL SUBJECT Lecturers. Each is entitled to wear a distinctive jewel bearing Preston’s image. In their year of office they give ‘official’ deliveries to lodges chosen by the Board of General Purposes and unofficial deliveries to any lodges that ask for them. Wren’s membership of the Craft has never been a subject of a Prestonian Lecture before, but is not an infrequent subject of masonic lectures. Most of those I have read are, I am afraid, rather confused. Most lecturers rely heavily on Robert Freke Gould’s History Of Freemasonry (1883-87), which devotes over fifty pages to demolishing the previously held beliefs that Wren was a Freemason. Few lecturers bother to return to the original sources or look into more recent discoveries. This became my aim: to present clearly how the confusion had arisen and what we now know, and in presenting the evidence to allow the audience to make up their own minds. Some history is straightforward. Through a series of reliable sources we are able to say unequivocally that something happened on a particular date. Other matters are not so straightforward – vital pieces of evidence are

Wren lived around the time that Freemasonry emerged in the seventeenth century, so the question of his membership also brings up the issue of what Freemasonry was at the time he joined. It therefore provides a fascinating glimpse into the problems we have in studying all parts of early Freemasonry’s history. Also bound up with this subject is the history of Lodge No. 2, the Lodge of Antiquity, which met near St Paul’s Cathedral. Preston was a member of this lodge in the late eighteenth century and it has a number of artefacts associated with Wren. A lecture on Wren is thus an excuse to go into the history of this wonderful lodge and its origins. Lastly a lecture on Wren and Freemasonry is an ideal opportunity to ask the question of whether it had any effect on his architecture. Are there any masonic symbols hidden in the works of Wren? These then were the reasons I chose Wren as the subject of the 2011 Prestonian Lecture and it was a most enjoyable year. I gave lectures all over the UK, and I even went as far as India. One highlight was being asked to give a lecture to the Christopher Wren Lodge in Windsor, which hired the town hall Wren designed for the occasion.

MODERNISING WRENíS HOSPITAL Te proceeds of the Prestonian Lecture and the booklet that accompanies it go to charity. Half of the proceeds from Dr James Campbell’s lecture are going to e Royal Hospital Chelsea. e hospital is undergoing a major restoration and is seeking funds to adapt Wren’s building to modern living. e other charity is the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. So far, James has raised more than £6,500 thanks to the generosity of the lodges who have supported the lecture. e sale of the booklet will hopefully raise more. Was Sir Christopher Wren A Mason? contains the complete text of Dr James Campbell’s 2011 Prestonian Lecture and is available from Letchworth’s in Freemasons’ Hall (letchworthshop.co.uk) for £7.99.

38


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dip into a CD. Try timing how long it takes to pick a CD, load it in the CD player, play a snippet from a track or two, eject it and put it back where it came from. Then there is the problem of finding music. The print on a CD spine is tiny. What if the track is on a compilation CD? What if the CD is in the car? Then there is the clutter. You need to keep your CDs near the player or you won’t play them. So you are forced to share your living space with hundreds of cheap plastic boxes.CDs are great but they are also inconvenient, inaccessible and a bit of a chore – that’s why Martin Brennan designed the Brennan JB7.

The face behind Brennan Martin is a physicist and computer engineer. He has around twenty silicon chips to his name, written over a million lines of computer code and co-designed the world’s first 64 bit games computer. “I always liked the promise of CDs. It wasn’t so much the quality but the quick access to a given track. After vinyl and cassette that was a real plus. My first CD player was a five CD multi changer. My second was a ten CD changer for the car. I liked the idea of quick access to more than one CD and music that didn’t repeat after 40 minutes. These players were fine but a bit clunky – there were several seconds of silence between CDs and in the car I could never find the right CD. A few years ago I had a go at loading my cassette collection onto a PC. Cassettes were obsolete but I owned around 100 and the music on them reflected an important period in my life. I recorded all of the cassettes on to the PC over a period of several

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THE FUTURE OF MENTORING

THE NEW AMBASSADORS In a push for new members, UGLE mentoring coordinator James Bartlett reports from the Mentoring Conference 2012

Photography: Rhapsody Photography: Greg Funnell

W

ith Grand Lodge aiming to create a more positive image of Freemasonry, the role of the lodge mentor is essential. Seventy-six brethren from London, the Provinces and Districts gathered at Freemasons’ Hall for the fourth Annual Mentoring Conference to discuss how lodge mentors around the country can create an open dialogue that draws in Freemasons and non-Freemasons alike. In a keynote address, Grand Secretary Nigel Brown explained that when brethren talk confidently to their family and friends about their membership, and the enjoyment they get from it, they receive a positive response. He said that it was important to dispel the myths without losing the mystery. ‘Te objective is to create a cycle where the right men are introduced to Freemasonry, join, become involved and enjoy it,’ he said. ‘Tey then are happy to talk about their membership to their friends, who in turn will hopefully decide to join as well.’ Te role of the mentor is central to creating this cycle, by involving the new mason in his lodge, helping him enjoy his membership and explaining how he can talk to his family and friends. So what is the best way to help communicate the role of the mentor? It was suggested that every lodge should receive a letter, through the secretary, to be given to the lodge mentor, together with notes for the personal mentors which explain the Pro Grand Master’s view on the subject. Tese letters will support the work of the Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand Mentors and their local initiatives, and would be accompanied by copies of the new Core Leaflet. Closing remarks focused on how the creation of the office of lodge mentor should mean that the brethren now have the tools for the job. It was acknowledged that to achieve the goal of an active membership, who will involve friends and interest them enough to join, there is work to do. However, there are many lodges where this is happening. Our job is to encourage more lodges to adopt this approach.

Links in the chain: the 2012 conference emphasised the importance of successful mentoring to the future of Freemasonry

A wealth of information about masonic mentoring can be found at www.masonicmentoring.org.uk

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41


FIRST PERSON

ëANY REPUTABLE ORGANISATION WANTS TO KEEP A RECORD OF ITS MEMBERS, AND WEíVE BEEN DOING IT FOR THE PAST THREE HUNDRED YEARSí 42


FIRST PERSON

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

From searching the archives to helping Freemasons rejoin the Craft, there’s more to the UGLE registration office than records, as manager Andy Croci tells Miranda Tompson

Photography: David Woolfall

How did you come to work at UGLE? I began my career working in the catering industry, and it looked like it was somewhere I’d end up. But in 1985 I knew someone working at Freemasons’ Hall who told me about the computerisation process that was going on in the registration department, where the records were being transferred from ledgers to computers. I’d always wanted to work with computers so after hearing about a vacancy as a registration clerk I thought I’d go for it. What does the registration department do? We deal with all aspects of membership – a member’s record can hold more than a hundred pieces of information. We work with the Provinces to try and build a complete picture of someone’s masonic record. We’ll confirm new members and then update their records as they go through all the relevant degrees and join other lodges, and record the offices they hold. We also issue the Grand Lodge Certificates, and if someone goes into the Royal Arch, we’ll issue them with a Grand Chapter Certificate. We often receive requests from other departments within UGLE to verify or update a membership record too.

freemasonrytoday.com

Why did you become a Freemason? I became a Freemason after I started working here because I wanted to find out what it was all about. I recently became secretary of my mother lodge, which has definitely given me an extra dimension. When a secretary contacts me now, I can understand their point of view and I feel I can empathise with members more. We get more people nowadays who are interested in joining Freemasonry, and we often get contacted by people saying they were a Freemason and want to find out how to get back into it. Why are records so important for UGLE? Any reputable membership organisation wants to keep a record of its members, and we’ve been doing it for the past three hundred or so years. Our Library and Museum has reliable and continual records going back to circa 1760. From a historical perspective, it’s important that we maintain our records because the Library and Museum gets around five hundred genealogical enquiries every year. I always think that people will be looking at our records in fifty or a hundred years from now, if not more, so in a way, the registration office is history in the making.

43


FIRST PERSON

ëI LOVE KNOWING IíM HELPING SOMEONE GET BACK INTO FREEMASONRYí Back row (from left): Andy Croci, Russell Garrett, Lister Park, Paul Napier. Front row (from left): Christine Parker, Corinne Gray, Latoya McCalla

How else are the records useful? We work with the masonic charities too. They have a certain level of access to our database, but when they receive an enquiry from, say, the widow of a member, we or the Library and Museum can investigate further. Charities need to be able to confirm that a late husband, or whoever, was a member before they can give financial aid, so we can help them with that. Often we’ll get enquiries from people who are looking to rejoin the Craft. I love those enquiries because I know I’m actually helping someone get back into Freemasonry. At the moment, I’m helping a Freemason who was a member of one of our lodges in the Caribbean but now lives in America. His son and grandson are joining an American lodge, and he wants to be there for the initiation as well as possibly rejoin, but he needs to prove his membership. I put him in touch with the right people, and now hopefully he’ll be there. That’s the rewarding part of my job. What are the challenges of running the department on a day-to-day basis? One of the challenges is dealing with the sheer number of enquiries we receive. People go that extra mile every day to make records as complete as they can, like going down to the archives and checking old ledgers. And working here, you appreciate how worldwide Freemasonry is. You can get enquiries from any part of the globe and

44

someone can ask the same question half a dozen different ways, but I really do enjoy finding a solution to a problem. How has the department changed since you started working? When I first started, the office was completely different – when I look back, I can’t quite believe it. We were still working with the old ledgers while also adding information onto the computer. Before we computerised the records a secretary would send us a handwritten list of members. That list would then be checked against our records, which was really time consuming. New initiates were fine –you’d just write them in, but joining members would have to be cross-referenced with the other lodges that they’d been members of. So you’d have to find the records of, say, ten different lodges in different ledgers. Has technology made a big difference? Computerisation has changed everything. My department has halved in size, from sixteen to eight. We also had another three or four people who were employed to change over the records from the ledgers to the new computers – they started with the computers in 1983 and when I came here in 1985 they were halfway through. They finished around 1988, and that was a big moment for us all. I feel quite lucky that I was able to witness the old way of doing it.


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FREEMASONSí HALL

BUILT TO LAST

John Hamill looks back on the construction of Freemasons’ Hall from the perspective of those who worked there

D

espite the economic problems, the 1920s was a period of great expansion for Freemasonry. It appealed to those coming back from the war – both as a means of continuing the camaraderie they had experienced on active service and giving them a sense of stability and tradition in a much changed world. With the growing popularity of Freemasonry, the great project of building the present Freemasons’ Hall in London was undertaken as a memorial to those who had given their lives in the First World War. Changes of this magnitude and the increased work in raising money for the new building put enormous strains on the small office run by the Grand Secretary. In 1919, the office consisted of the Grand Secretary, Assistant Grand Secretary, sixteen permanent clerks, four junior clerks and two ‘lady typewriters’, Miss Haig and Miss Winter. Te two ladies had come in towards the end of the war as temporaries but were to spend the remainder of their careers in the Hall as secretaries to the Grand Secretary and his assistant. Te daily running of the building and the letting of lodge and committee rooms was under the

freemasonrytoday.com

47


FREEMASONSí HALL

DICKENSIAN IS AN OVERUSED ADJECTIVE, BUT IT APTLY DESCRIBES THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE CLERKS WORKED charge of the Grand Tyler, who lived in the hall. He had an assistant, two porters, a night watchman, a ‘furnace man’ who looked after the primitive heating system and the open fires in the offices and committee rooms, and a floating number of cleaners. Six of the boys taken on between 1925 and 1929 – some of whom came directly from the old Royal Masonic School for Boys – were each to spend forty-nine years in the service of the Grand Lodge: Gerry Winslade, Harold Brunton, Llew Hodges, Bill Browne, Derek Chanter and Bob Hawkins. Dickensian is probably an overused adjective, but it aptly describes the conditions under which the clerks worked. Freemasons’ Hall had been extended in the 1860s and what were termed commodious offices had been provided for the Grand Secretary and his clerks. Even the provision in 1906 of two new rooms in a house attached to the west end of the old Hall did little to give proper working space. As the steel work for the new building began to rise in 1927 it gradually became apparent that much would have to change in the future. It was to cover two and one quarter acres with four principal floors, a large basement area and mezzanine floors in various parts of the building. Routine maintenance would be of ‘Forth Bridge’ proportions, to say nothing of security. Not surprisingly, many of those who had been involved in raising the building applied for jobs and spent the rest of their working lives caring for it, some of them working into their mid-seventies. Carpentry, electrical and engineering workshops were set up in the basement, together with a paint shop and upholstery department. When the time came to demolish the Victorian Hall, the office was transferred to temporary accommodation in what was to be one of the new lodge rooms so that the administration could continue. Te conditions were far from ideal but they knew that before long they would be moving to what one of the clerks described as a ‘demi-paradise’. Te new office for the clerks was built in the undercroft of the Grand Temple and matched it in size. Unlike the Grand Temple, it had enormous windows allowing much natural light to come in from the light well which surrounds it. Unlike the cramped Victorian offices, it was open plan giving a great feeling of airy lightness and space. Visitors came in through large glazed bronze doors to find a long enquiries counter, always manned by a senior clerk who could deal with their enquiries or quickly

48

Freemasonsí Hall was originally built as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the First World War

fetch the appropriate clerk who dealt with the particular matter. While waiting to be served, the visitor had a view over the whole of the office. At the back of the room was a mezzanine floor where the cashier and his clerks had their office. Te sensitive nature of their work dealing with Grand Lodge finances and staff payroll was carried out without any fear of being overlooked by staff or visitors. In those halcyon days it was the only part of the office where the doors had locks, the rest of the office was always accessible even when the clerks had left for the evening. In time, as the Craft continued to expand – particularly after the Second World War – the office again became crowded. In addition, areas had been partitioned off to provide small offices for individuals and the whole open-plan design had been submerged. When a major structural reorganisation of the Grand Secretary’s office took place in 1999 the old partitions were torn down and the feeling of light and space returned. Apart from the modern furniture and the computers, were one of the 1932 clerks to return to the office today they would find it little changed from that ‘demi-paradise’ they were the first to occupy.


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The RMBI has been caring for older Freemasons and their dependants for over 160 years. We operate 17 care homes across England and Wales offering high quality care. Many of our Homes are registered for both residential and nursing care and all can offer places to people with dementia following an assessment of their needs. An RMBI Home delivers care in a way that promotes independence and the dignity of the individual. The RMBI also offers a number of services that can help older Freemasons and their dependants. These include: respite care, sheltered accommodation, care advice, holidays and home improvement loans.

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SPECIALIST LODGES

PICKING UP THE PACE Commonwealth Games medallist Mike Winch explains the history of Spencer Park Lodge and how it has managed to draw Olympic hopefuls like James Ellington into its fold

A

t first glance, Spencer Park Lodge is indistinguishable from any other post-war London lodge. It was formed in the wake of devastation, and founded on the camaraderie instilled by years of shared hardships. However, over the past sixty-six years, the lodge has counted runners, cyclists, football referees and sports coaches among its members. One of its newest members is James Ellington. Under the watchful eye of another Spencer Park member, John Powell, James has forged his way into the Olympic relay squad as well as looking a good bet for an individual two hundred metres place. He finds Freemasonry an enjoyable release from life as an increasingly high-profile international athlete: ‘It’s a great way to switch off from a pretty high pressure life right now, and I’ve met some terrific people. Te lodge is an ideal opportunity to do good while having a bit of fun with the other members.’ James is a great believer in giving something back, coaching disadvantaged youngsters in the Met-Track scheme in London, as well as doing as much work as he can within the lodge. Spencer Park can be proud of the fact that its members have supported James in his efforts and can look forward

52

to watching him grace the Olympic stage. So what is it about the lodge that tempts world-class athletes? Like most lodges over the years, Spencer Park has experienced several incarnations. It was formed in the 1940s and during the early years it was the founders and their candidates who kept the lodge solid and functional. In the late 1980s, the nature of the membership changed with an influx of prison officers from the local Wandsworth and Brixton jails. Te future looked rosy, but the light rapidly faded as the leader departed for northern shores. Fortunately, south London businessman, Mehmet Gursel-Cimen, a high-level weightlifter, joined Spencer Park at a crucial time. He encouraged me to look into masonry, and I joined in 1994. We formed the nucleus of the new direction that the lodge was to take, and indeed is continuing to take to this day. Soon after my initiation, Russell Hart, karate player, and top-notch cyclist Simon McCarthy joined, giving us a firm foundation for a strong sporting future. My own success in international athletics included a couple of Commonwealth silver medals in the shot put, before moving into coaching. In Freemasonry, I found men with competitive but also caring and loyal instincts. I was at home in


SPECIALIST LODGES

ëTHE LODGE IS AN IDEAL OPPORTUNITY TO DO GOOD WHILE HAVING A BIT OF FUN WITH THE OTHER MEMBERSí JAMES ELLINGTON

freemasonrytoday.com

53


SPECIALIST LODGES

ALTHOUGH WE ARE ONLY A VERY SMALL PART OF THE WHOLE, WE FELT WE COULD MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS HELPING MASONRY FLOURISH

Photography: Getty Images, Rex Features

the organisation and motivated to spread that word among friends and colleagues. By 2003, having occupied the Master’s Chair for two years, I slotted in as secretary, feeling this to be an ideal chance to work on expanding the sporting membership. Te first new member at this time was John Powell, an international coach with a squad of south London youngsters who were making waves in the sprinting world. John was a superintendent in the Metropolitan Police and a highly motivated man. Once on board he showed a strong commitment to the lodge. His influence extended into the younger generation, whom he encouraged to look at masonry in a new light. Tis started the lodge’s revival. For many years, our organisation has been viewed with suspicion by the general public, and Spencer Park saw it as part of its raison d’être to spread a positive word. Although we are only a small part of the whole, it was felt that we could make a contribution towards helping masonry flourish by enlisting sporting youngsters in our activities.

GATHERING SPEED Te pressures of life for the younger generation are immense so the lodge instituted a commitment to a Lodge of Instruction with built-in flexibility to account for the difficult hours now worked by younger members. We also looked at bringing more sports coaches in to balance the younger intake. Two very important sportsmen became members at this time. Donovan Reid was an Olympic finalist in 1984 in Los Angeles. He moved from competing to coaching and has had many successes to his name in track and field over the past twenty-plus years. A close friend and coaching colleague of his, Clarence Callender, ex-army man and now Olympic team coach in the relays, also joined Spencer Park’s ranks. Te core of the membership continued to support this new direction. Terry Cover-White, who had joined from Rhetoric Lodge, became a central pillar and, along with John Hardy, formed the heart of the lodge. At this point, Mark Chapman joined our ranks. An international coach, he has been a major asset to Spencer Park, setting a superb example of how masonry and work can fit together harmoniously. From the spark of an idea, Spencer Park has come a long way. Doubtless in the future it will take on other guises and strong membership groups, but in 2012, it is very much a sporting lodge.

54

Clockwise from top left: coach John Powell with James Ellington; Olympic ˇnalist Donovan Reid; Clarence Callender (left) with his 1988 Olympic relay team, which included Linford Christie

OLYMPIC CELEBRATION In 2007, Spencer Park Lodge’s senior members decided to promote the idea of a masonic celebration for the 2012 London Olympics. As part of this process, a study was conducted on how many masons had sporting connections. Te results revealed strong links between Freemasonry and sport up to the highest level. Historically, that connection has influenced the development of sport worldwide and led to the setting up of many lodge and Provincial sporting groups. In the light of these findings, Spencer Park linked with the Royal York Lodge of Perseverance to organise a gala dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms on 21 July this year to celebrate Freemasonry and sport. On 10 August, the two lodges are also hosting a joint meeting. For more on the historical connections between sport and Freemasonry, turn to page 64


   

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ROYAL ARCH

PAGES FROM A NEW CHAPTER Today the formation of a Grand Chapter would be widely reported. As John Hamill explains, such was not the case for the Excellent Grand and Royal Arch Chapter of England

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A

s I wrote in the last issue of Freemasonry Today, the Royal Arch was brought into being by the signing of the document now know as the Charter of Compact on 22 July 1766, although the date was later tampered with. Strangely, there is no mention of that charter within the minutes of the chapter, which turned itself into the Grand Chapter. So exactly how did events pan out?

1765: THE SIGNING OF A MANIFESTO On 12 June 1765, a group of twenty-nine companions met at the Turk’s Head Tavern in Gerrard Street, Soho and signed a manifesto by which they constituted themselves into an independent Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Te manifesto – a set of

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ROYAL ARCH issue charters to form new chapters. Of these foundations five are still in existence today. It would appear from the minute books that the chapter continued a dual role as both a private chapter and a Grand Chapter until it evolved into Supreme Grand Chapter in 1817. From 1795 it began to function on a regular basis as we would expect today.

1778: SPREADING THE MESSAGE In 1778, the chapter began to organise Provinces with the appointment of Grand Superintendents, whose main function appears to have been to stimulate the formation of new chapters. Tomas Dunckerley, who did so much to promote the Royal Arch in the late eighteenth century between 1778 and his death in 1795, was appointed Grand Superintendent in no less than eighteen counties.

1795: GRAND LODGE SOFTENING Despite many of its leaders being involved in the Grand Chapter, the premier Grand Lodge consistently refused to acknowledge the Royal Arch as part of its system. By 1795 that attitude had softened and the premier Grand Lodge announced, rather condescendingly, that it had no objections to the Royal Arch as a separately organised society.

Photography: Alamy

1809: ROYAL ARCH AN INTEGRAL PART

Above: an early Royal Arch apron. Initially operating as a private chapter, the Royal Arch was eventually accepted as an integral part of pure antient masonry

rules to govern the operation of the chapter – was copied into the minute book in an illuminated style and was signed by those present and then by every brother on his exaltation within the chapter.

1766: GRAND CHAPTER CATALYST Among those who joined were many of the major figures then involved in the running of the premier Grand Lodge. Exactly a year after its formation, the success of the chapter was crowned by the candidate at the meeting on 11 June 1766 being the then Grand Master – Cadwallader, Lord Blayney. It would appear that this event was the catalyst for the formation of a Grand Chapter, although the minutes are silent on this matter, any discussion of the Charter of Compact, or even to its signing. Te only reference in the minute book is in the accounts where it is noted that a Mr Parkinson was paid two guineas for engrossing the charter.

1769: JUST A PRIVATE CHAPTER? Te chapter continued to work as a private chapter, regularly exalting new members and it is not until 1769 that the minutes begin to show evidence of it acting as a Grand Chapter. In that year it began to

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With HRH Te Duke of Sussex becoming both Grand Master of the premier Grand Lodge and First Grand Principal of the Grand Chapter, the latter body gave him full powers to negotiate on their behalf whatever settlement could be achieved as to the position of the Royal Arch, once the union of the two Grand Lodges had been carried through. It was as a result of that, and his position as Grand Master, that a compromise was achieved and the Royal Arch was accepted as an integral part of pure antient masonry.

ëTHE PREMIER GRAND LODGE CONSISTENTLY REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE ROYAL ARCH AS PART OF ITS SYSTEMí

1817: BIRTH OF THE SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER

Te Grand Chapter continued to exist until 1817 when, with the Craft arrangements being almost completed, Te Duke of Sussex turned his mind to the Royal Arch. Te Grand and Royal Chapter merged with the former members of the Antients Royal Arch, with the Supreme Grand Chapter coming into being. Surprisingly after 1817, the dual nature of the original Grand Chapter – acting both as a regulatory body and a private chapter – continued with men of eminence being exalted within the Grand Chapter itself.

1832: LAST EXALTATIONS Te last occasion the Grand Chapter acted as both regulator and private chapter was in May 1832 when the Marquis of Salisbury, the Marquis of Abercorn and Lord Monson were exalted at an emergency meeting of Grand Chapter.


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REAL-LIFE STORIES

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REAL-LIFE STORIES

THE MOST OUT OF LIFE Time doesn’t have to slow down when you enter a care home. Richard Heap chats to Miranda Tompson about his life at Prince Michael of Kent Court in Watford

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ickey arrives first: an enthusiastic blur of fur and a pink tongue straining on a lead. At the other end is 87-year-old Richard Heap, former practical engineer, manager, charity worker, active Freemason and now resident at the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) Prince Michael of Kent Court care home in Watford. Set in a quiet residential area, the home, which can accommodate up to 55 residents, is warm and welcoming. There’s a large central lounge with cosy chairs and sunlit walkways that lead to the five separate individual living units, which are organised according to the dependency of the residents. ‘The construction and layout of the home means it doesn’t have an institutional feel or look about it,’ explains home manager Elizabeth Corbett. Sitting in the comfortable lounge of the Halsey wing, Richard explains how he arrived at Prince Michael of Kent Court a few years

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Right: Cadwallader, ninth Lord Blayney and Grand Master of the premier Grand Lodge in 1766. Masonic historians believe the Charter of Compact may have been doctored to avoid scandal over his involvement

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Photography: Alys Tomlinson

REAL-LIFE STORIES


REAL-LIFE STORIES

ëFOR SOME, AGEING IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE END OF LIFE. BUT I FEEL STRONGLY THAT ITíS NOT. ITíS SOMETHING TO BE ENJOYEDí RICHARD HEAP

ago. ‘For some years I was my wife’s carer. I had sought respite care for her and saw several masonic homes including this one – I was always impressed.’ He speaks with a GloucesterLancashire burr, the product of a childhood spent first in the 1920s’ ‘cotton mills and coal’ of the Lancastrian village of Atherton, where Richard recalls the ‘crowds of women in shawls and scarves walking to the mill, wearing clogs’, before his family relocated to Gloucester, where he began studying at technical college. Richard went on to pursue a successful career as an engineer, first as an apprentice in a factory making airplane parts during World War Two, where he met his wife. After service in the Royal Engineers, he eventually progressed to senior management within Rank Xerox before retiring aged 58, when he divided his time between charity work, local government projects, Freemasonry and caring for his wife.

PACKED SOCIAL CALENDAR Richard’s blue jumper is dotted with Mickey’s white hairs from where the little dog keeps jumping into his lap. The two bonded when activity lady Kelly brought Mickey in as a puppy. ‘I loved seeing him,’ Richard remembers. ‘She’s been bringing him ever since. And whenever he’s here I make a point of parading him around – he’s such a sociable little creature. He’ll make a fuss of everyone.’ And it’s clear that Mickey feels at home. When Kelly drops him off, he’ll head straight for Richard’s room. ‘They’re like two peas in a pod,’ Elizabeth says with a smile. An active man, Richard enjoys his walks in the local park with Mickey in the morning – ‘but I’ll stop, I know my limitations’. He also spends time on the computer in the afternoon, surfing the internet or writing about his experiences. Richard also likes to participate in the weekly quiz for residents, which is ‘a real test of memory and knowledge’. The home also offers trips out to local places of interest and a monthly visit to a local pub for lunch or to a restaurant for an evening meal. ‘It’s a packed social calendar,’ Elizabeth says.

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Left: care home resident Richard Heap and his four-legged friend Mickey are two peas in a pod

‘There’s a great emphasis on activities for the residents here. We want people to live their lives to the full and in the manner in which they choose.’ This year commemorates 170 years of the RMBI. It’s come a long way from its humble beginnings with one home in Croydon, and David Innes, chief executive of the RMBI, has many more plans for the future, with trustees in discussions about growth planned to match the rising age of many Freemasons. ‘We would like to try and expand our services in the years ahead – especially to open a new home and provide additional services, such as day centres.’ From the evidence of Prince Michael of Kent Court, it certainly seems that the RMBI is building on a strong base, as Elizabeth says: ‘The RMBI is proud of its homes, and rightly so. It’s almost like being part of a big family here, not just with the residents and their relatives, but with the friends and the staff too – they genuinely care. I feel like I’m making a contribution by being here.’ Richard is certainly content where he is. ‘It does help you to get the most out of life. For some, aging is nothing more than the end of life. But I feel strongly that it’s not. It’s a part of life, and it’s there to be enjoyed as much as any part.’ And with little Mickey nosing into one hand, and a pint of Guinness in the other, there could be no stronger sentiment.

HOMES WITH PERSONALITY Te RMBI runs 17 care homes in England and Wales, which are home to around 1,000 elderly residents. ‘Our philosophy is to try and provide an individual home with personfocused care for those Freemasons and their dependants who come and stay with us,’ explains David Innes, RMBI chief executive. e RMBI is committed to enhancing facilities for its residents, especially those with dementia. A number of home managers and staff within the RMBI are undertaking a dementia diploma course. Home manager Elizabeth Corbett says: ‘ e course claims that a lot of residents in care homes, including those with dementia, are bored. e importance of stimulating the mind with activities, and the body with exercise, cannot be over emphasised. As part of my project I have redesigned our dementia unit by putting original 1950s wallpaper in the living and dining rooms. is creates a look and feel that stimulates conversation of days gone by.’ In response to the rising age of residents, David has also supported the introduction of end-of-life training that fits within the National Gold Standards Framework. According to David, this will ‘enable the residents to remain in their care home when they reach this stage of life rather than having to go to an impersonal hospital’.

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Photography: Getty Images, Corbis, Press Association

OLYMPIC FREEMASONS

GOLD DOESNíT

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OLYMPIC FREEMASONS

Susan Snell, Archivist and Records Manager for the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, reveals connections between the Craft and the Olympics

T

TARNISH

he London 2012 organisers revealed in 2011 that they received applications for more than 20 million tickets from 1.8 million people for the Olympic Games – more than three times the 6.6 million tickets available to UK sports fans. Compared with this mad scramble for tickets, attendances at the first London Games were low according to The Times on 18 July 1908. Expensive ticket prices, ranging from five shillings to a Guinea (£45 to £60 in today’s money) were blamed for poor sales. Thankfully, visits by the Royal Family boosted gate returns to the 1908 Games, with over 20,000 people attending the White City Stadium, constructed by the entrepreneur and Freemason, Imre Kiralfy. The masonic connections do not stop there. A keen sportsman and Freemason, Lord Desborough fenced at the unofficial Athens Games of 1906 and served as a member of the International Olympic Committee until 1913. Desborough was initiated in Apollo University Lodge, No. 357, Oxford, on 23 February 1875, the same day as Oscar Wilde.

THE GAMES BEGIN

Actor Ben Cross wins Olympic gold as Freemason Harold Abrahams, in the classic ˇ lm Chariots Of Fire

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The 500 British athletes at the opening of the Olympic Games wore caps and blazer badges manufactured by the masonic regalia company, George Kenning & Son. Britons achieved sporting success in real tennis (jeu de paume), athletics, swimming, boxing, tug of war and cycling, with several masonic participants, including Richard Wheldon Barnett of St Alban’s Lodge, No. 29, London, who represented Great Britain in the rifle, military pistol class competition. This was just the beginning of the 1908 success stories. A Great Britain team won the gold medal in the Olympic football competition, with Vivian John Woodward, an amateur player at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs, scoring the second of two goals. Woodward, from Clacton, Essex, worked as an architect with his father

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OLYMPIC FREEMASONS and later designed the Antwerp stadium for the 1920 Olympics. Four years after his Olympic triumph, he was initiated in Kent Lodge, No. 15, London. Sir John Edward Kynaston Studd carried the British team flag and most track and field events were organised by the Regent Street Polytechnic, founded by Quintin Hogg. Studd became honorary secretary of the Polytechnic from 1885 and after Hogg’s death, president. Many sportsmen, including Studd, joined Polytechnic Lodge, No. 2847, after it was consecrated in 1901. Studd and others formed Athlon Lodge, No. 4674, in 1924, the year Harold Abrahams won an Olympic gold medal in the 100 metres, as featured in the film Chariots Of Fire, beating an American, Charley Paddock, and another British athlete, the New Zealand-born Freemason, Sir Arthur Espie Porritt. Bronze medal winner Porritt, who later served as Governor-General of New Zealand, became a consultant surgeon and then chairman at the Royal Masonic Hospital from 1974 to 1982. Athlon Lodge member Abrahams and Porritt dined together on 7 July at 7pm every year to celebrate the anniversary of their double medal success in 1924, until the former died in 1978.

BRITISH SPORTING SUCCESS With the 1908 Games encouraging participation in competitive sports, Britons excelled at subsequent Olympic competitions. The Thames-based rower, Jack Beresford, won a silver medal in the single sculls at the 1920 Olympics and then won medals for rowing at each of the four subsequent Games. He carried the British flag at the opening and closing ceremonies of the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he won a gold medal in the double sculls. He was initiated as a Freemason in Argonauts Lodge, No. 2243, London, in 1944. Forty years after its first visit to UK shores, the Olympics came to London again. Ernest James Henry ‘Billy’ Holt, who was initiated in Black

Clockwise from above: Imre Kiralfy, constructor of the White City Stadium in London where the 1908 Games were held; 1924 British 100 metre gold medallist Harold Abrahams; Thamesbased rower Jack Beresford, a multiple Olympic medallist

Horse of Lombard Street Lodge, No. 4155, in 1922, served as director of organisation for the 1948 London Games. Holt, Master of Athlon Lodge in 1938, had coached the long-distance athlete, Gordon Pirie. Cycling Freemasons, Gordon ‘Tiny’ Thomas, formerly of Lodge of Equity, No. 6119, Yorkshire West Riding, won a silver medal in the team road race and Tommy Godwin, formerly of Lodge of St Oswald, No. 5094, Worcestershire, won bronzes in the 1km time trial and in the team pursuit. Godwin coached the British cycling squad at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and will be an Olympic torchbearer in Solihull in July, aged 91. This blend of local and national interests, where Olympic and masonic aspirations combine, points to a time when members and non-members can enjoy the pleasure of a game well played, and a race well run.

SPORT BY ALL Te Paralympic Games, which began at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948 also have masonic ties. Professor Guttman, director of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at the hospital, encouraged WW2 veterans to play sport for rehabilitation. e Middlesex Masonic Sports Association has supported Paralympians, including Tracy Lewis, basketball, and Anthony Peddle, weightlifting, at the 1992 Barcelona Games, while the Grand Charity contributes to WheelPower (formerly the British Wheelchair Sports Foundation).

Sir JEK Studd leading the British Olympic team in 1908

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Game, Set and Lodge: Freemasons and Sport exhibition at the Library and Museum on Great Queen Street runs from 2 July-21 December 2012


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CHARITIES UPDATE

THE FREEMASONSí GRAND CHARITY

FLYING TO THE RESCUE Since 2007, The Freemasonsí Grand Charity has supported air ambulance and similar rescue charities in the delivery of their life-saving services and this year marks the giving of more than £1 million in total donations. These charities are considered to be the busiest voluntary emergency services in the country. Operating almost entirely from donations, air ambulance services save thousands of lives each year by getting doctors to patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible. In regions where no air ambulances currently operate, the Grand Charity has supported other rescue services, including Channel Islands Air Search, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and St John Ambulance. Since April 2012, Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Lodges have been invited to help distribute a total of £192,000 to their regional rescue services. Grahame Elliott, who has served on the council for the past nine years

The Grand Charity has commemorated this £1 million overall donation by creating a short video, which can be viewed on its website: www.grandcharity.org

CHANGING OF THE GUARD Freemasons pay tribute to retiring Grand Charity president Grahame Elliott’s ‘dedication and vision’, while welcoming his successor, Richard M Hone

G

rahame Elliott, CBE, retired as president of the Grand Charity on 25 April 2012, and has been succeeded by Richard Hone, QC. Te new president first joined the Council of the Grand Charity in 1997, initially serving for nine years during which time he was chairman of the Finance Committee and was instrumental in bringing about a major revision of the charity’s constitution. After a gap of five years, Richard’s re-appointment in June 2011 was much welcomed by the other council members. Initiated in Apollo University Lodge in 1968, he is a senior circuit judge at the Central Criminal Court in London. Grahame Elliott has served on the council for the past nine years, the first three as a member appointed by the Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, whose Province held the charity’s festival in 2004. As president, Grahame has led the charity with much dedication and vision. He has joined with the other presidents of the central masonic charities to develop a closer working relationship, made easier by the charities’ move into Freemasons’ Hall. Te Council of the Grand Charity wishes both Richard Hone and Grahame Elliott much success for the future.

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Welsh crew with young supporter

Devon air ambulances on a mission

60 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7395 9261 Fax: 020 7395 9295 info@the-grand-charity.org www.the-grand-charity.org


MASONIC SAMARITAN FUND

CHARITIES UPDATE

RESTORING INDEPENDENCE

S

usan Beaumont has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 10 years. Although she lives independently she remains, at 34 years of age, reliant on her parents for both physical and financial support. Susan has limb girdle muscular dystrophy – a progressive condition that causes weakness in her hip, thigh and shoulder muscles – making it increasingly difficult for her to manage in a self-propelled wheelchair. Her mother, as primary carer, spends the majority of each day with Susan, while her parents remain on call at night in case she is unwell or there is an unforeseen household emergency. Paul Healey, Almoner of Susan’s father’s lodge, applied to the Masonic Samaritan Fund in the hope of securing a grant to supply a powered wheelchair. Te application was successful and Susan is now enjoying a new-found freedom and increased independence without the need to rely on others to push her around. One of her first outings was to the Provincial carol service held at the Penistone Parish Church, near to her home. Susan is now hoping to acquire a car through the Motability scheme that can be driven from her wheelchair, thereby further increasing her independence and mobility.

Susan, with York West Riding Provincial Grand Master John Clayton (right), her father David (left) and Almoner Paul Healey

TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Left to right: PGM Peter George, MSF chief executive Richard Douglas, MSF president Hugh Stubbs and Provincial Grand Charity Steward Tony Evans

CORNWALL GOES FOR GOLD The Cornwall Provincial crest includes 15 bezants (gold coins), a ˇtting emblem in Olympic year as the Province embarks on its ˇnal 12 months of fundraising on behalf of the Masonic Samaritan Fund 2013 Festival. On a gloriously sunny day, Provincial Grand Master Peter George hosted the Fundís Annual Meeting in Falmouth. In addition to welcoming members who had travelled from all parts of the Province, Peter thanked staff, Trustees and members of the Fund who had made even longer journeys. He was particularly pleased to welcome the ladies present, who hopefully left the meeting better informed about the work of the Fund. The Olympic theme was evident as Tony Evans, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, implored all present to ëGo for Goldí in one ˇnal fundraising effort on behalf of the Festival appeal.

freemasonrytoday.com

The Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) is looking for volunteers to serve as Trustees. While the main requirement is enthusiasm for the work of the charity, the MSF is also looking to complement and expand the skills and experience currently available. The MSF is hoping to appoint volunteers with experience in health and social care (speciˇcally but not exclusively cancer care, ophthalmology and social care), or charity law. However, if your experience lies in other areas and you would like to volunteer as a Trustee, please do contact the MSF. While the majority of Trustees are serving Freemasons this is not a requirement for all posts. With approximately 50 per cent of the grants awarded by the fund being offered to the wives, widows and dependants of Freemasons, it is hoped to attract both male and female Trustees. With support and training provided, the volunteer will typically be expected to commit to an average of one day per month, with the majority of meetings held in London. Trustees are unpaid, although reasonable expenses are reimbursed.

60 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7404 1550 Fax: 020 7404 1544 info@msfund.org.uk www.msfund.org.uk

For further information about volunteering as a Trustee, and a full brieˇng pack, please email Lee Godward at lee@msfund.org.uk, telephone 020 7404 1550 or write to MSF, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ

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CHARITIES UPDATE

ROYAL MASONIC TRUST FOR GIRLS AND BOYS

The RMTGBís Stepping Stones scheme: a BSES tall ship expedition on the Thames after returning from Norway

THE CONFIDENCE TO EXPLORE Te RMTGB’s Stepping Stones scheme is giving young, disadvantaged people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel and develop new skills

L

ast year, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) awarded a grant of £15,000 from its Stepping Stones scheme to the British Schools Exploring Society. Tis charity aims to advance the education of young people by providing inspirational and challenging expeditions to remote, wild environments. Te expeditions develop confidence, teamwork and leadership, and foster a spirit of adventure and exploration. Te grant was awarded specifically to support the Dangoor Next Generation Programme, a joint outreach initiative with youth charity Catch22. Te RMTGB grant enabled some of the country’s most disadvantaged young people to participate in an overseas expedition. All of the participants have experienced a difficult childhood, but the programme provides them with a unique opportunity to develop the skills they need to seize new opportunities. Last year, 60 young people took part in the programme which involved training in remote areas of England, Wales and Scotland, before commanding a tall ship across the North Sea to Norway. Te return voyage concluded on the River Tames following a spectacular pass through Tower Bridge. Following the completion of each expedition, the programme continues to assist participants by helping them into employment or training or supporting them to return to education.

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60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7405 2644 Fax: 020 7831 4094 info@rmtgb.org www.rmtgb.org

Te lasting effect of the programme is best explained by the participants themselves. ‘It was an amazing experience,’ says Nadia, ‘it made me realise who I am as a person and it was good to challenge myself.’ Another participant, Alfie, explains how the project has changed his life: ‘It’s given me so much confidence that I’ve gone back to college and now also volunteer on the ship. It’s made me so happy to have been part of the project.’ Te RMTGB’s grant enabled 15 young people to participate on the 2011 expedition. Te grant will also support the same number of disadvantaged young people on the 2012 expedition to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where participants will learn to navigate by the stars and camp with the Bedouin in one of the harshest environments on the planet. Since its launch, Stepping Stones has awarded more than £230,000 to around 15 charities, with additional funds available to award further grants this year. Te RMTGB is only able to make these grants because of the generosity of its supporters. Trough their donations and fundraising, Freemasons and their families are making a valuable contribution to the development, education and future career prospects of disadvantaged young people in wider society. Please visit the website www.rmtgb.org to ˇnd out how you can support this work


ROYAL MASONIC BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION

CHARITIES UPDATE

TAKING THE TOUGH ROUTE

E

To support Ryan, visit www.justgiving.com/Ryan-Yates, and to support Steve, visit www.justgiving.com/stephengrummett24

Photography: Super Stock

ast Lancashire Province is doing a great job of raising money for the 2015 RMBI Festival thanks to Freemasons Steve Grummett and Ryan Yates. Steve will be completing the Tree Peaks Challenge over the weekend of 22-24 June 2012. Tis involves tackling the three highest peaks in the home nations: Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales. Meanwhile, Ryan will be completing a 12-mile assault course set by UK ex-Special Forces members. Participants need to run, swim, climb, crawl, and have to suffer being electrocuted and burned along the way. As a serving soldier with two tours of Afghanistan behind him we are sure that he is up to the challenge. Taking on the Three Peaks Challenge

NEW WILL GUIDE

John and Trevor on their cycle ride

BIKE RIDE WITH A DIFFERENCE In November 2006, John Donoghue of St Aldhelmís Lodge in Dorset was admitted to Guyís Hospital, where he donated a kidney to his daughter Tara. For John, it was a lifechanging experience seeing ˇrst-hand the suffering of so many young people. Since then, John has participated in many fundraising ventures. Last year it was Freemasonry and the RMBI in particular that beneˇted. John and his friend Trevor Woodford set off on their touring bikes from Gibraltar to Poole, a formidable distance of 1,500 miles. John raised funds for the 2014 RMBI Dorset Festival and Trevor for Cancer Research UK. The ˇnal total was more than £3,000 ñ approximately £2 per mile. The RMBI encourages everyone within the Festival to think of ways to raise money and is committed to offering as much support to all fundraisers as it can. When it comes to fundraising, Johnís motto is very clear: ëI believe that itís an honour to be a mason and itís our duty to try and make a difference to those less fortunate than ourselves.í

A new guide outlines how people can leave a gift in their will to the RMBI. The average age of a resident when they ˇrst move into a RMBI care home is 88 years. Older people have complex care needs so the RMBI needs to continue to develop its homes to ensure that the care provided, the buildings and the home environment meet the changing needs of older people as well as legislative requirements. A gift will ensure that the RMBI continues to meet the needs of older Freemasons and their dependants by making sure that people choosing to live in an RMBI home have a home for life, regardless of any change in their ˇnancial circumstances ñ as long as the RMBI can cater for their needs.

60 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7596 2400 Fax: 020 7404 0724 enquiries@rmbi.org.uk www.rmbi.org.uk

The guide is available to download from the website, www.rmbi.org.uk or you can contact the Legacies and Donations department on 020 7596 2400

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LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Photography: Top Foto

Left: a view of Piccadilly Circus in the 1800s. Below: the depiction on the lodge jewel is quite unlike Piccadilly Circus today

DISCOVERING OLD LONDON Did you know that before the ˇashing signs of Piccadilly Circus, a lavish restaurant called CafÈ Monico stood there? A catalogue of historical objects reveals London in constant ˇux

freemasonrytoday.com

T

he sights of London attract millions of visitors from all over the world to the city every year. In an ongoing project, the Library and Museum has been shedding new light on how London used to look. With the support of Te London Grand Rank Association Heritage and Education Trust, staff have been working to catalogue nearly 2,000 items, including glassware, banners, ceramics and lodge and chapter jewels – all with London links. One of the catalogued jewels is a Past Master’s jewel for Temperantia Lodge, No. 4058. Founded in 1920, the lodge met until 1942 at the Café Monico in Shaftesbury Avenue. Te jewel has a painted enamel of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, commonly known as Eros, which stood at the centre of Piccadilly Circus in front of the Café Monico. Monico was established in 1877, and the masonic suite was on the second floor. In the 1950s the business was acquired by the Forte Group and the buildings demolished. Te site, still known as Monico, is now occupied by Piccadilly Circus’s illuminated signage. You can view the full range of items in the collection by searching the Library and Museum’s catalogue for ‘London On-line’.

Library and Museum of Freemasonry Freemasonsí Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7395 9257 libmus@freemasonry. london.museum www.freemasonry. london.museum Shop: www.letchworthshop. co.uk

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LETTERS

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Write to: The Editor, Freemasonry Today, Freemasonsí Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Email: editor@ugle.org.uk Letters emailed to the editor should not be sent as attachments. Please include a home address and telephone number. An S.A.E. should accompany any photographs to be returned. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reˇect the views of the United Grand Lodge of England.

FREEMASONS ON BOARD Sir, Your article, ‘Final Voyage’ in Freemasonry Today, Spring 2012, highlights some known Freemasons who were on board the Titanic. One officer’s actions, on that fateful night, have also become legendary. Harold Godfrey Lowe brought 118 passengers to safety and he was the last to leave the lifeboats on being rescued by the Carpathia. Fifth Officer Lowe was subsequently hailed a hero by some of the survivors for his actions that night, which he simply put down to doing his duty. What may not be known, but of interest to brethren, is that Lowe was initiated into St. Trillo Lodge, No. 2569, in the Province of North Wales, on the 6 May 1921. Unfortunately, he didn’t occupy our master chair, but seemingly remained a member of this lodge for the rest of his life. Tony Young St. Trillo Lodge, No. 2569 Colwyn Bay, North Wales

Sir, I read with great interest your article on Freemasons and the Titanic. Unfortunately, you made no reference to a young brother of the Cambrian Lodge, No. 364, lost on that fateful voyage. He was Robert William Norman Leyson, a mechanical engineer aged 24. Norman Leyson came from a respected Neath family. His father was a Freemason and he was proposed by Henry Pendrill Charles, who later became Deputy Provincial Grand Master. He was initiated on 16 January 1912. On 28 March 1912, the Minute Book records that a Lodge of Emergency was called. Tis was to permit Norman Leyson to be raised to the sublime degree of a master mason before he set sail for New York on the Royal Mail Ship Titanic, to go into business in America. His father is listed among the visitors. Te Titanic berthed at Ocean Dock in Southampton on 4 April 1912 and some time around this date Norman Leyson travelled there to board the ship for

freemasonrytoday.com

departure on 10 April. At 11.40pm on 14 April the ship travelling at 22 knots grazed an iceberg. Tere was lifeboat capacity for 1,200 passengers but 2,201 passengers and crew were on board. Even so, nearly 500 lifeboat places were not filled and at 2.20am on 15 April, the Titanic sank. We do not know what happened to Norman Leyson during those dark hours, only that he did not get into a lifeboat. Tere were many documented and undocumented acts of bravery and also some of abject cowardice. We can only hope he acted as a true son and his actions may be numbered among the former. Te body of Norman Leyson was one of those found. He was buried at sea on 24 April. Roger B Evans Cambrian Lodge, No. 364 Neath, South Wales

SPECIALIST LODGES Sir, It was a very pleasant surprise to me to discover that there was a Royal Life Saving Society Lodge. As a young trainee police officer, along with many of my compatriots,

I was taught life saving in the swimming pool in Durham and, again along with many others, gained the Bronze Medallion and the Bronze Cross. During subsequent courses, some of us were awarded the Award of Merit. In later years, I was involved in the training of a team of competition life savers. It is a pity that age and distance preclude a visit to this worthy lodge. Peter Hyde Sykes Lodge, No. 1040 Great Driffield, Yorkshire

Sir, While reading Freemasonry Today, Spring 2012, I was very interested in the article about the Royal Life Saving Society Lodge. It prompted me to find my Bronze Medallion and bar that I attained at the age of 14. I am now 80 and have been a member of the Craft for 45 years. I still like to swim at the local baths and on holidays. Te article brought back some very pleasant memories. I send greetings to the RLSS Lodge and wish them well. Ken Evans Proscenium Lodge, No. 9059 Cardiff

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LETTERS

Sir, In your Spring 2010 edition, an article was included that asked if any brother would be interested in a lodge for former members of the Queen’s Regiment. Te lodge has now been formed and I am the charity steward. At our fifth meeting in May, we will claim a membership of around 50. Tat meeting will be our installation and renaming from Justinian Lodge, No. 2694, to Queensman Lodge, No. 2694. Any brother who would like to join a military lodge in Berkshire should contact me at ron@evans-baker.net. Ron Baker Theodore White Temperance Lodge, No. 3795 Windsor, Berkshire

NEW CANDIDATES Sir, Last year, North Harrow Lodge, No. 6557, along with other lodges in our province, was faced with the problem of a decline in numbers. It was clear we needed to get new members interested, so last March I came up with the idea of a lodge website. Having registered the domain name northharrowlodge.org for only £30, I created the site using Microsoft Frontpage. I decided to keep it short and simple and focus on what we do, where we meet, the costs and who to contact to find out more. After help from our Provincial secretary and ‘charter mark’ approval from Grand Lodge, our new website was ready to go live. Within two months we had our first enquiry and by January we had initiated four, with a further

78

four candidates to initiate in 2012. We also have two joining members. Te joiners have given the lodge a new lease of life. Next stop Twitter and business cards with a QR Code. Nigel Harris-Cooksley North Harrow Lodge, No. 6557 Kenton, Middlesex

Sir, I contacted the Restoration Lodge, No. 111, of Darlington, Durham to petition for membership as I am interested in Freemasonry, and was invited to a gavel night. As I was unaware of the customs of Freemasonry and had heard mixed reports, I went with an open mind. What I experienced was openness towards me and honest answers to my questions. Te atmosphere was friendly and the night made up my mind in wishing to continue my progression of becoming a Freemason. Te subsequent interview was relaxed and friendly and I cannot say enough thanks to all I have met who are Freemasons. My point is that the door of your local lodge is there to be knocked on and to make arrangements to have a discussion about Freemasonry. I also found the UGLE website very informative and easy to use. Anthony Holmes Restoration Lodge, No. 111 Darlington, Durham

Sir, I have just read the latest edition of your magazine. I was initiated into the Craft on May 2011 and was raised in November 2011. I found the article on Royal Arch very

interesting. As a very new member, I still have my first impressions and feelings of the rituals fresh in my mind – I don’t think they will ever leave me. I feel I have just started out on a great adventure and there is so much to learn and do. Dave Bowyer Lewisesí Lodge, No.1209 Ramsgate, East Kent

HELPING TALENT GROW Sir, Following your coverage of the RMTGB’s assistance to talented young people, I was prompted to let you know about another such case. Freemason Carlton Johnson was a massive influence on Beehive Lodge, No. 6265, and a masonic mentor for so many. Despite his ailments he was determined to participate in Freemasonry to his utmost, notably as a charity steward. Following a long battle with Motor Neurone Disease, he died in March 1996 in his mid-fifties. Stephen Rolley is the grandson of the late Carlton Johnson. Now in the final year of his diploma at Italia Conti, Stephen has been helped by the TalentAid scheme through the RMTGB. Te purpose of his course is to further equip him with the skills required to enable him to work in a very competitive industry. Tat Freemasonry has been able to help Stephen is but a tiny repayment of the debt owed to Carlton for the support he was able to offer others. Stephen is clearly showing many of the qualities that


LETTERS

ëFREEMASONRY PROVED TO BE A STRONG BOND BETWEEN MY FATHER-IN-LAW AND MYSELF AND I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN APPRECIATIVE OF ITí GRAHAM HOLMES

characterised his grandfather, such as resilience, focus, resolve, determination, an ability to relate to people and a great natural talent. Roger Gale Lodge of St Illtyd, No. 6078 Neath, South Wales

OLD HALLS AND OLD ORGANS Sir, I would like to comment on John Hamill’s ‘Reflection’ article in your Winter 2011 edition. If I may, I would like to put an opposing view. I suspect very few would like to return to earlier days of meeting in halls and pubs and not having a home for Freemasonry. Perhaps the real problem is that rather than spending money on the buildings, every penny has gone to charity. Tere is nothing wrong whatsoever in maintaining a building and using lodge non-charitable funds for this end. I believe that if a particular building suddenly requires major expenditure then that lodge should be allowed to say to the Province that their charitable donations for a short period of time may well be diminished while they give attention to whatever problem has arisen. Tis should be perfectly acceptable because it secures the lodge building for future generations. Te lodge can return to charitable giving in due course and this further ensures that future generations also give to charity. Keith Metcalfe Lodge of St Marychurch, No. 5148 Torquay, Devonshire

freemasonrytoday.co.uk freemasonrytoday.com

Sir, I was interested to read Naunton Liles’ article on the Grand Temple organ and the new one in Mark Masons’ Hall. I am an organist based in the London area and play at both these venues and others. Most of the readers of Freemasonry Today will not know the history of the Grand Temple organ, but Henry Willis was probably the builder of the organ equivalent of a Rolls-Royce. It is of historical significance, as the author says, but would be extremely expensive to restore. To the great majority of brethren, the difference in the tone of a pipe organ and the modern digital ones would certainly be unnoticeable, and for myself I look forward to being able to use the new one at Mark Masons’ Hall. Anthony Perch Fortitude Lodge, No. 6503 Kenton, Middlesex

THE LIGHT TOUCH Sir, I was delighted to read the Pro Grand Master’s article, ‘Understanding the Light Touch’. I have always considered that one’s mentor should ideally be one’s proposer or seconder and not a lodge officer. In 1998, I was part of a workshop on the future of Freemasonry at Manchester Freemasons’ Hall, addressing the thorny issue of retention, which proposed a mentor as a substitute for the candidate’s proposer when the proposer was himself too inexperienced to carry out the role. I personally never needed a mentor because

my proposer (my father-in-law) took me to every practice meeting of our lodge, arranged many visits to his friends’ lodges and encouraged me throughout my progression to the chair. In other words carried out the mentor’s role in full. I believe the one-to-one relationship is essential between candidate and mentor and it is good to see the lodge mentor’s role described as ‘co-ordinating and selecting brethren to be personal mentors’. Freemasonry proved to be a strong bond between my father-in-law and myself and I have always been appreciative of the shared interest, as well as the support he gave me. Graham Holmes Ben Brierley Lodge, No. 3317 Middleton, East Lancs

Sir, A couple of years ago, I invited half a dozen or so of the most junior brethren of my lodge to a very informal meeting. Tey came and we had a very positive meeting, followed by another in 2011, and it will be repeated later this year. As the brethren progress, I let them drop off and add newcomers. Te lodge mentor joins us and we have had enjoyable as well as constructive meetings. When I was new, grand officers were not addressed until they spoke to you and then you called them ‘Sir’. I am proud to be called Ken by an entered apprentice. I intend to continue as long as the GAOTU spares me and, of course, my wife, since she provides the refreshments. Ken Mason Beacon Lodge, No. 5208, Loughborough, Leics & Rutland

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REFLECTION

THE SHARED EXPERIENCE A badly read piece of ritual is infinitely worse that a badly remembered piece, explains Director of Special Projects John Hamill

W

hen dealing with the media on behalf of Grand Lodge, one of the comments that I regularly received from journalists was that if the ceremonies are the main purpose of lodge meetings it must eventually become very boring to see the same ceremonies year after year. My answer was always a resounding ‘no’. No two ceremonies can ever be the same. Te candidate is different each time, the officers taking part regularly change and those attending the meeting are never exactly the same. Although the basic words and actions of each ceremony may be the same each time it is worked, those changes of personnel can make an enormous difference. One of the most memorable meetings I have attended was a Tird Degree, the candidate for which was in a wheelchair. You could almost feel the atmosphere of good will in the room with the officers concentrating on the comfort of the candidate and those on the sidelines silently willing the officers to do a good job for the candidate. It was Freemasonry at its best. Our ritual did not simply happen. It went through a long gestation in the eighteenth century, moving from simple lessons in morality to a complex series of catechetical lectures in which the principles and tenets of the Craft, as well as the symbolism and content of the ceremonies, were explained. A watershed came in 1814 when, as a result of the union of the two Grand Lodges, a Lodge of Reconciliation was set up to reconcile the two former systems of ritual and bring about a standard form of the ceremonies to be adopted by all lodges. Like many special committees, the Lodge of Reconciliation went way beyond its brief and extended the original simple ceremonies by introducing material from the catechetical lectures,

82

and brought about the basis of our present ceremonies. One of the sad effects of that was that the lectures gradually dropped into disuse, except in places like the Emulation Lodge of Improvement, where they are still worked every Friday evening during the masonic season. It’s sad because they contain a wealth of explanation that would increase the brethren’s understanding of the ceremonies.

WORD OF MOUTH Te aim of producing a standard form of ritual was not achieved. In those days writing down ritual matters was a heinous masonic crime. Ritual was passed on by word of mouth. Its work having been agreed by Grand Lodge in 1816, the Lodge of Reconciliation gave weekly demonstrations of the new rituals in London. Lodges were invited to send representatives to the demonstrations to pass on the new method to their lodges. Tis method of transmission and a failure to suppress cherished local traditions has resulted in a richness and variety of working in our lodges, which makes visiting all the more interesting for us. In recent years there have been calls for officers to be allowed to read the ritual in lodge. For two reasons I think this would be a retrograde step. First, having seen ritual read in lodges in Europe, a badly read piece of ritual is infinitely worse that a badly remembered piece. More importantly, by learning the ritual we increase our understanding of it. Whoever we are we all come into Freemasonry in the same way. Our progress through the three ceremonies is what the late Canon Tydeman so aptly described as ‘the shared experience’. Combined with our belief in a supreme being, it is what unites us, whatever our backgrounds, and gives us the basis to build and be of service to our communities.


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WAVE MUSIC SYSTEM III

Building on over 30 years of innovation and research, the new Bose Wave music system III delivers award-winning, room-filling quality sound, yet this compact, all-in-one system takes up less space than a single conventional speaker. ®

experience clarity at even the highest frequencies. Exclusive Bose waveguide technology allows this uniquely compact system to outperform larger, more elaborate hi-fi – at a fraction of their price.

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New features. The new Wave music system III now has a built-in DAB tuner with improved FM/AM reception, while a digital display shows artist and station information as you listen. New touch-top controls turn the system on, off and snooze the alarm; a slim, credit card-style remote offers one touch control of NOW WITH the system’s full functionality. Add BUILT-IN the new dual alarms for two different DAB wake-up times and the Bose Wave music system III offers you more convenience than ever before. ®

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Music. As it was meant to be heard. The Wave music system III reproduces music with the most accuracy we’ve ever produced in a system this small. You’ll hear details you’ve never noticed in songs you know by heart, feel a fullness and power of bass notes – and

Music from your iPod, iPhone, computer or tablet. Available accessories bring music from your iPhone or iPod, or wirelessly from your tablet, computer or other Bluetooth device. And being compact, the Wave music system III fits neatly just about anywhere – so you can enjoy all kinds of music in all kinds of places. ®

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Hear it for yourself, risk-free. We believe the best way for you to appreciate the new Wave music system III is to experience it in your own home. So call now and listen for 30 days without risk or obligation. Why wait any longer? Hear for yourself why Bose is one of the most respected names in sound. ®

Place your order now

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Easy payment options - 0% interest charges from Bose*

FREE shipping to your home

Not delighted? FREE return shipping

30

To try it, with no DAYS obligation

TO ORDER OR TO LEARN MORE

Call FREE on 0800 081 3399 quoting reference 40022 or visit www.bose.co.uk/wms Monday to Friday 9am – 6:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm

FOR A FREE INFORMATION PACK  TEXT ‘BOSE40022’ TO 84118 *Payment plan is available on credit/debit cards only and is subject to status. An initial deposit is due at the time of order and all payments will be charged to your credit/debit card. If the product is returned, the deposit is fully refundable. Tere will be no interest charges from Bose. In the event of late payment, credit/debit card company interest charges may apply. Delivery is subject to product availability, clearance of payment and security checks and can be up to 10 days from when Bose receives the order. Price/Paymentplan/Offer subject to change without notice. Free shipping offer applies to UK standard delivery only. Risk free refers to 30-day home trial only. ©Bose Corporation 2012. All rights reserved. Te Wave music system’s distinctive design is a registered trademark of the Bose Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Te Bluetooth word mark is a registered trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any such use by Bose Corporation is under license. iPod and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Registered DAB Digital Radio used with permission of Digital One Ltd. Registered in England no 1187672. Registered Office: Bose Ltd., 1 Ambley Green, Gillingham Business Park, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0NJ. ®

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Freemasonry Today - Summer 2012  
Freemasonry Today - Summer 2012