Freemasonry Today - Issue 58 - Summer 2022

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Issue 58 ~ Summer 2022

Freemasonry Today Quest for a cure

Freemasons fund crucial studies for Bowel Research UK

The radical rule book

Freemasons mark Duke of Edinburgh donation

Dr Ric Berman on the 1723 Constitutions

The Duke of Kent celebrates generous donation to DofE Award

Loyalty and legacy

Approaching retirement, Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes reflects on his 50 years of Freemasonry


Welcome

FROM THE GRAND S EC R E TA RY & GRAND SCRIBE E I didn’t know Peter Lowndes when I first started as Grand Secretary. Of course, I met him at one of my many interviews for the role, but to me then – as to so many Freemasons – he was simply a name close to the top of the toast list. I knew that he was an Old Etonian and had gone to agricultural college. Over the past four years I have come to realise that one should never rely on stereotyped impressions. One role of the Pro Grand Master is to hold in perpetuity the spirit of Freemasonry, preserving the institution and its essence throughout his tenure to hand on to future generations. He exercises his important charge by influencing those around him, his fellow Rulers, the Board and the Grand Secretary, as well as the Provincial and District Rulers, and he has done this with decisive tact – a rare combination. Over the past four years, as we have worked together, I have grown to know him and I can, with all seriousness, say I have never known Peter to make a wrong call. I thank him for his gentle and wise corrective guidance when I have been tempted to go astray. He assiduously acts only after due thought and consideration, always triangulates what he is told rather than just ‘reacting’, and always makes time to listen. These are traits that are sadly rarer today than they once might have been. Above all, I consider him a very wise man, a phrase not often used these days, but most apposite here, and he is a very decent man. It has been a great personal pleasure for me to serve under him. He is both a leader and a friend and I am grateful for our time together. His self-deprecating and English humour and ability to speak to a room and conduce the audience to listen, and to hear, with apparent effortless ease, is something many of us who speak in public envy greatly. I have seen that same ability

only once before in my life, in a long since defunct Secretary of State for Health. He walked into a room of hostile, militant, hospital workers and within three minutes had the whole room eating out of his hand. It is a wonderful skill to have and Peter – while I’m sure he has never had to walk in to a room full of abject hostility – has it in spades. I wish his successor, RW Bro Jonathan Spence, who will be installed at the September Quarterly Communication, the very best of luck and I have no doubt that he will, in his own way, imprint his own personality and ideas as he takes over his important charge. While on the subject of those leaving us, it would not be right for me to allow the passing of one of my illustrious predecessors to the Grand Lodge Above to go unmarked. I would like to pay tribute to Cdr Michael Higham, Grand Secretary and Grand Scribe E for 18 years, who died after a short illness this March. We remember his service, and marvel at his longevity in office. Rest eternal grant unto him, and let light perpetual shine upon him. While speaking of service, the Quarterly Communication in June will focus on celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with a special presentation of the Prestonian Lecture, this year on Royal Freemasonry, by Dr John Hawkins. I had the pleasure of accompanying HRH the Earl of Wessex during his recent visit to Freemasons’ Hall and made time to show him a specially assembled collection of items from the Museum Collection with special Royal significance. Highlights included the inkwell and stand used to sign Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee loyal address; a silver casket presented to King Edward VII in India, which was given by the Queen to the United Grand Lodge of England on the occasion of the investiture FMT Summer 2022

of HRH the Duke of Kent; and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’s apron, worn at his initiation. The event celebrated the donation of the £300,000 pounds raised by Freemasons in memory of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. It will enable more than 30,000 children with special educational needs to participate in the scheme and I feel marks a fitting tribute to such a well-respected member of our organisation. As summer approaches, I hope that you all manage to have some time away, enjoy the Jubilee celebrations and recharge the batteries in time for the start of the new Masonic season. We are finally back to normal, with the pandemic behind us. I have enormously enjoyed visiting Lodges, Provinces and Districts once again, and have just come back from Zambia where I took part in the ceremony to install the new District Grand Master. I wish him the very best of fortune in his important charge and hope that, as the world opens, we are all once again able to visit our Brethren and Companions overseas and welcome them as visitors to our Lodges and Chapters at home. I wish you all a peaceful and enjoyable summer and look forward to meeting with you again in September.

Dr David Staples Grand Secretary & Grand Scribe E

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New Dementia Support House at Prince George Duke of Kent Court, Kent

Contents

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The official journal of the United Grand Lodge of England Issue 58 – Summer 2022

Editor Donna Hardie Editorial Panel Michelle Worvell, Shaun Butler, Guy Roberts, Martin Cherry, Julian Perry (Culture editor) Published by Sunday, 207 Union Street, London SE1 0LN, www.wearesunday.com for the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Editorial Manager Shaun Butler editor@freemasonrytoday.com Freemasonry Today, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Advertising contact Gaynor Garton gaynor@square7media.co.uk 020 3283 4056 Square7 Media Ltd, 3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RE Circulation fmt@freemasonrytoday.com 020 7395 9392 Masonic enquiries editor@freemasonrytoday.com 020 7831 9811 www.ugle.org.uk Printed by Acorn Web Offset Ltd

zone and an area with pets, designed to bring the ‘outdoors indoors.’

The Home has recently undergone a part refurbishment to enhance the environment for residents living with dementia. The new area has an open lounge and dining room, a country themed kitchen, sensory zone, technology

Home Manager, Simon Doherty, said: “We have carefully considered the different areas in the Home’s redesign, from lighting to suitable colour schemes and newly themed areas with a reminiscence approach, to support our residents.“ For care advice or to arrange a visit, contact Fiona Hodges on 020 8467 0081 or email pgdokcourt@rmbi.org.uk.

Prince George Duke of Kent Court Shepherd’s Green, Chislehurst, Kent, BR7 6PA

Caring is our way of life facebook.com/thermbi

Reg Charity No: 1163245 | Company No: 1293566

twitter.com/thermbi

Contact us editor@freemasonrytoday.com

Cover image: Jooney Woodward

At RMBI Care Co. Home Prince George Duke of Kent Court in Chislehurst, we provide residential care, nursing and residential dementia support to Freemasons, their families and people in the wider community.

www.rmbi.org.uk

© United Grand Lodge of England 2022. The opinions herein are those of the authors or persons interviewed only and do not reflect the views of the United Grand Lodge of England or Sunday.

@freemasonry2day @ugle_grandlodge @grandchapter FreemasonryToday UnitedGrandLodgeofEngland SupremeGrandChapter @unitedgrandlodgeofengland @freemasonrytoday @freemasonshall

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Welcome 3 From the Grand Secretary and Grand Scribe E Dr David Staples welcomes you to the summer issue

Out & About 6 News and views from the Provinces The 1723 Constitutions, plus the Ukraine appeal and HRH The Earl of Wessex visits

Stories 28 The interview

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52 Solomon

Becoming a better Freemason

As he approaches retirement, Peter Lowndes reflects on his time as Pro Grand Master of UGLE

54 Hermes

32 Here’s to 150 years!

Helping Lodges to grow the ranks

The system is put through its paces

58 Pathway

Square & Compass Lodge finally observes a significant anniversary

The Royal Arch

34 Down to a science

66 The Supreme Grand Chapter

Freemasons fund lifesaving studies for Bowel Research UK

40 Masonic milestone

British Lodge No. viii celebrates a landmark 300 years at Freemasons’ Hall

A daily advancement 44 Brothers and benefactors The fascinating objects donated to The Museum of Freemasonry

46 Take a letter

Correspondence of Francis George Irwin reveals a fascination with Masonic Orders

Ceremonies and consecrations

Culture 68 Books, reviewed by you

In the community 70 Charity and the Craft

How the MCF and Freemasons support members and their families nationwide

Fraternal world 75 Home and abroad

UGLE Lodges around the world

Grand Lodge

78 Your tweets and letters

50 Quarterly Communication

82 Thēsauros

Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes on welcoming new candidates FMT Summer 2022

The fascinating and unusual

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Out & About Change and conflict

The Jacobite threat to Britain The Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766), was the son of the exiled James II (1633-1701) and his second wife, Mary of Modena. He was without question the late Queen Anne’s closest relative, her half-brother, but as a Catholic he was excluded from the succession that had been limited by the Act of Settlement to the Protestant descendants of James I. Prince George of Hanover was crowned instead, becoming George I. His supporters argued that his coronation was justified by law and hereditary right, which was correct – he was Queen Anne’s closest Protestant relation. But the political reality was that George was crowned as a function of parliamentary diktat. This did not sit well with James Stuart’s Jacobite followers and following George I’s coronation in October 1714, riots broke out in more than 20 towns and cities across England. Public disturbances continued the following year, but worse was to come. Taking advantage of the discontent, the Earl of Mar raised James Stuart’s standard at Braemar in September 1715 to foment 6

THE 1723 CONSTITUTIONS: THE CONTEXT

rebellion in Scotland. He met with initial success and a swathe of Scotland went over to the Pretender within the month, as did parts of the border country. London reacted swiftly. Troops were despatched to curtail the insurgency and Acts of Attainder passed against the principal leaders. Habeas corpus was suspended and detachments of the army hurried north to reinforce the garrisons in Scotland and protect the North of England. In December 1715, James Stuart finally landed in Perth to stake his claim in person. He was too late. The Jacobite army had been reduced to fewer than 5,000 men and was finally defeated the next month. In February 1716, James Stuart abandoned his supporters and sailed from Scotland to return to exile. He was joined by other leading figureheads and, deserted by its leadership, the Jacobite Rising collapsed. But although the Rising had been unsuccessful, the Jacobite threat endured. Although described as real, imagined and a contrivance wheeled out by Whig politicians to maintain their political power, the actuality was a mix of all three.

Continuing our series on the 1723 Constitutions, Dr Ric Berman explains this radical change to Freemasonry against a backdrop of Jacobite and Huguenot friction

Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, by Jonathon Richardson the Elder

The Jacobite hazard may have waxed and waned, but protecting Britain and Ireland against another rising in tandem with a French or Spanish-backed invasion remained at the core of government policy until the 1750s, following the axiom that “idleness where Jacobites were concerned was an unaffordable luxury”. The Huguenots Among those most concerned about the Jacobite threat were the Huguenots: Protestant refugees and their descendants who had fled French persecution. Under Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’, the persecution of French Huguenots had become entrenched. It reached a peak in the 1680s with the ‘Dragonnades’, the intimidatory billeting of French soldiers in Huguenot households, a policy that resulted in violence against Huguenots. It was compounded a few years later in 1685 by the rescinding of the Edict of Nantes, depriving Huguenots of their remaining civil and religious liberties. Despite the risks – those who were caught faced severe punishment –

Engraving of Jean Desaguliers, engraved by Peter Pelham

‘In December 1715, James Stuart finally landed in Perth to stake his claim in person. He was too late’

FMT Summer 2022

Images: Museum of Freemasonary

D

espite what has been written, Freemasonry’s 1723 Constitutions were not an updated version of the Old Charges that had protected local trade monopolies and provided a framework for governing a working stonemasons’ lodge. They represented a radical change, bringing in new ideas and a new structure for Freemasonry. But this didn’t occur in a vacuum. Key to understanding 18thcentury Freemasonry – and Freemasonry today – is an appreciation of the context in which it developed. It is that which explains why, over a bare decade or so, Freemasonry was remoulded, becoming an organisation that promoted Enlightenment values. Freemasonry’s 18th-century leadership was influenced by several factors, but among the most prominent were the Jacobite threat to the Hanoverian succession and the deep persecution by France of its Protestant Huguenot minority. A third factor – the sea-change in intellectual thought that occurred at the end of the 17th century and into the 18th – will be the subject of an article in the Autumn edition of FMT.

Change and conflict Out & About

FMT Summer 2022

Huguenot migration from France accelerated. A trickle became a torrent, with a third of Huguenots fleeing, some 250,000 or so. More left subsequently. Some migrated to the Low Countries; others travelled to the Protestant German states, Switzerland or Scandinavia, North America and Southern Africa. But the most popular destination was England, which received 50-80,000 refugees. The majority settled in London, where they represented around 10 per cent of the population. The British were sympathetic and ensured that financial support for the Huguenot refugees was forthcoming. And that support was reciprocated. Sanctuary in Britain made the Huguenots among the most patriotic subjects, with a powerful allegiance to the Protestant George I. For Britain’s Huguenots as well as its Whig government, the prospect of James Stuart taking the British crown via a domestic insurrection supported by France or Spain was regarded as an existential threat. And this fear was justified. The 1715 Rising was followed in 1717 and 1719 by two attempted invasions, and in 1721 by the treachery of the Bishop of Rochester: the Atterbury Plot. Other threats would follow and culminate in the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Religious and political insecurities were at the root of a belief among Huguenots and much of the British establishment that the institutions that shielded them required – if not demanded – their support. And that pattern was etched on to English Freemasonry, with the Grand Lodge of England configured to promote and defend the Enlightenment philosophical legacy of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ – which had swept James II from the throne – including the Bill of Rights that followed. Senior Freemasons included Dr Jean Theophilus Desaguliers and Charles Delafaye – both prominent Huguenots – and their supporters, including the Dukes of Montagu and Richmond. They and others sought to ensure that Freemasonry’s Charges, Regulations and Ritual would endorse Enlightenment principles. It is not possible to conceive that this was other than intentional and in substantial part a response to the threat posed by the Jacobites to Britain’s social and political security. 7


Out & About Royal visit

Funding the future

2023 on sale now

HRH The Earl of Wessex and HRH The Duke of Kent attended an event at Freemasons’ Hall to celebrate a donation to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award More than 30,000 young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will be able to carry out their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), thanks to a three-year strategic partnership that will donate a total of £300,000 from the Freemasons. To make this partnership with the DofE possible, UGLE has teamed up with the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ charity). The MCF became a strategic partner of the DofE in 2021 and has funded a new national programme to train its team and volunteers. The programme also helps enroll more schools and clubs that support young people with SEND, to ensure all young people have access to the DofE. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip), who founded the DofE in 1956, was himself a Freemason and was initiated into Navy Lodge, No 2612 on 5 December 1952. The ambition is to use the funds to increase the number of centres, such as schools and youth groups, offering DofE to young people with SEND and to train hundreds of leaders who can support groups through their DofE journeys. Dr David Staples, UGLE’s Chief Executive, said, ‘Freemasons are enormously proud to have counted His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, as a member of the Navy Lodge since 1952. Their fondness and respect were abundantly clear from the response 8

to the launch of this appeal and we are delighted that the funds raised will be put to such good use.’ Les Hutchinson, Chief Executive of the MCF, added, ‘Charity is in our DNA and something we practise every time we meet. In just a few years, we have already awarded grants totalling £100m and supported more than 3,000 charities with grants ranging from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of pounds, including the grant we are celebrating today.’ Caroline Glen, director of fundraising for the DofE, said, ‘We’re very grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generous grant, which will give many thousands of young people with disabilities and special educational needs the chance to take part in the DofE and gain its life-changing benefits. This is a wonderful and very practical way to continue the duke’s amazing legacy and to spread the benefits of the DofE further than ever before.’ The programme has been designed to make DofE participation possible for young people with additional needs. It will help them build crucial life skills, develop employability skills and become more independent. The impact of achieving a DofE Award is remarkable and often life-changing for young people with additional needs, who can be excluded from adventurous activities due to a lack of accessible equipment, facilities, trained support staff and funding. FMT Summer 2022

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Out & About Care in a crisis

Care in a crisis Out & About

Lodges across the UK continue to raise money to help those in need

Freemasons rally together to raise £500,000 for Ukrainian refugees In a huge charity drive, Freemasons have dug deep to send aid to charities working to help Ukraine’s refugees

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FMT Summer 2022

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housands of Ukrainian refugees, as well as displaced people still inside Ukraine, will be given help and support thanks to £500,000 raised by Freemasons across England and Wales. The money is being directed to charities working on the ground in Ukraine, as well as organisations helping refugees in neighbouring countries including Poland, Moldova, Romania and in the UK. The money was raised in less than three weeks and the total is still growing as Freemasons continue to dig deep to help the refugees. The war in Ukraine has created by far the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War and more people are fleeing Ukraine for countries to the west every day.

The chosen charities, each of which will receive £100,000, are:

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), which could help set up a ‘Blue Dot Hub’ to provide a safe space for up to 5,000 children and families on the move every day. Blue Dot Hubs offer critical services such as child-friendly spaces, mother and baby facilities and a crucial family reunification support. Plan International UK, which could help set up 55 temporary learning spaces in Poland, Moldova and Romania, so children can learn and play in a safe area away from the war. The Refugee Council, which could help to fund two full-time therapists to provide specialist therapy for hundreds of traumatised refugees. The British Red Cross, to fund work with hundreds of Ukrainian refugees in the UK to help them overcome loneliness and isolation, and to offer other practical support to help ease them into life in Britain.

• •

FMT Summer 2022

UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, which could help to provide essential repairs to severely damaged homes in Ukraine that have been damaged by shelling and conflict. Freemasons contributed to the grant through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons and their families and friends from across England and Wales. Les Hutchinson, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said, ‘Freemasons have an outstanding record helping those in need in this country and around the world, but this huge sum to support Ukrainian refugees was raised in record time. ‘I’m very proud that Freemasons have been able to play such an important part in this essential work.’

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Stories Out & About

An Easter surprise from the Freemasons

More than 20,000 Easter eggs were given to children, care homes, hospitals and food banks in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Clockwise from top left: Donation efforts in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Dorset, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, and Cheshire

Freemasons rolled up their sleeves once again this year to distribute Easter eggs across the country to children and families. Travelling to charities in cars and on motorbikes to deliver the eggs, some Freemasons even dressed up as bunny rabbits to bring a smile to children’s faces. In Cheshire, members worked hard to collect more than 5,000 Easter eggs to donate to various organisations, as well as generating 400 hours in volunteering time. In London, Freemasons donated 400 Easter eggs to women’s refuges. In Essex, more than 1,000 Easter eggs were delivered to local care homes, special needs youth charities, food banks and local hospitals, where there were eggs waiting for every child admitted during Easter. At the Changing Pathways Women’s Refuge, the donation included an Easter egg for every child in its refuges, with enough left over for the children to enjoy an Easter egg hunt. Surrey Freemasons donated more than 500 Easter eggs to a women’s centre in Sutton, as well as Sutton Young Carers, Leatherhead Community Fridge and A&E units at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals. The Surrey branch of the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association delivered 200 Easter eggs to children in 12

hospitals and hospices. Ian Chandler, PGM of the Surrey Freemasons, said, ‘We are so glad to be able to bring some happy moments for vulnerable children this Easter. These donations will provide thousands of families across the UK with some great memories. ‘Freemasons have achieved all of this in just a few weeks and have also given their time to collect and deliver the Easter eggs to the women’s refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices.’ Meanwhile, in Northumberland, the Widows Sons delivered 750 eggs to schools including Percy Hedley and Hexham Priory, as well as various food banks. Freemasons in the county donated around 1,800 eggs to Linton Primary School, Morpeth Scouts, Bacman’s Community, Full Circle Food Project, Operation Elf Blyth, Abbeyfield House and Scarbrough Court care homes, and Calmer Therapy Centre. Down in west Kent, the Widows Sons delivered 150 Easter eggs to the Bromley Children and Families Forum, while the Bedfordshire contingent brought 100 Easter eggs to Luton and Bedford hospitals. In Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, around 5,000 Easter eggs went to more than 100 charities. Freemasons in Durham distributed FMT Summer 2022

4,000 Easter eggs via the Teddies for Loving Care initiative. The donation helped several institutions, including Hartlepool RNLI, Cleveland and Durham Police PawsUp, Miles for Men and Northumbria Bloodbikes. Dorset Freemasons distributed 500 Easter eggs to food banks in Poole, Swanage, Portland, Blandford and Gillingham. In Buckinghamshire, Freemasons gave 100 Easter eggs to Home-Start Slough, for distribution to underprivileged children. Worcestershire and Warwickshire Freemasons together donated 300 Easter eggs to local children’s hospice Acorns. Worcestershire also donated 250 eggs to various food banks in the area, while in Warwickshire, Freemasons donated 3,000 Easter eggs to hospices, food banks, special schools and refuges. In Shropshire, 260 children living in temporary accommodation or refuges were treated to Easter gifts from local Freemasons. The gifts were distributed with the help of local authority social services and housing departments. In Cornwall, members donated 250 Easter eggs for the patients and staff across five different children’s wards at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske.


Out & About UGLE Provinces

UGLE Provinces Out & About

3.BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

Sweet charity

Buckinghamshire Freemasons sent some Easter surprises to NHS staff working across the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust over the Easter period with the hope of making their days a bit brighter.

1 . B E R KS H I R E

On Ceremony

The Berkshire Lodge room at Sindlesham was the venue for the dedication of the new robes and sceptres of Sandhurst Chapter No. 8505 of Royal Arch Masons on 6 April. There were many visiting Royal Arch Masons present, who joined with the Sandhurst Principals and Companions in celebrating this unique occasion. The Principals were pleased to receive The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Berkshire, leading a contingent of 18 officers of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Berkshire. The Principals and officers of the Sandhurst Chapter vacated their places for the ME Grand Superintendent and his officers to conduct the Service of Dedication. The inclusion of apposite readings from the book of Exodus and an interesting oration by the Deputy Grand Superintendent explained the symbolism and significance of the colours of the robes, the sceptres and their emblems. After the meeting was closed, the company adjourned for dinner, during which the Sandhurst Chapter pledged £1,000 to the Berkshire 2022 Festival. The proceeds of the raffle added nearly £300. 2 . B R I S TO L

Worshipful welcome As the Worshipful Master of St Augustine Lodge No. 3108, Michael Waburn welcomed the Lodge’s newest initiate after a Bristol Working of the First Degree in Lodge Room No. 4. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master attended. 14

staff at the hospice for the care they provided to my mother, as well as the empathy and support they gave us after her death.’ Cambridgeshire Freemasons contributed more than £200,000 during the construction of the hospice and while individual lodges continue to make contributions, several members volunteer at the hospice. Peter Crussell is pictured here treading the boards in one of three performances of Scrooge, presented by local Lodge members at Newmarket Masonic Hall. 5. CHESHIRE

Keeping the faith 4. CAM BRIDGESHIRE

Treading the boards Cambridgeshire Freemasons continued their support of the work of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity with a donation of £800. The funds were raised at three performances of the pantomime Scrooge, presented by local Lodge members at Newmarket Masonic Hall. Other recipients included the national Masonic Charitable Foundation.

On Sunday, 10 April, a number of Cheshire Freemasons joined the Provincial Grand Master Stephen Blank on a visit to the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester. The event was organised as a continuation of visits to different places of religious significance designed to enhance members’ knowledge and understanding – in this case of Islam and its heritage.

6. CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORELAND

The donation was made by Ely Freemason Peter Crussell, who wrote and appeared in the production. The visit to present the cheque was particularly poignant for Peter, as his mother Eileen passed away in the hospice at Shelford Bottom in February after being diagnosed with cancer. Peter said, ‘I’m really pleased to make this presentation. The pantomime cast decided to support the work of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity well before I knew my mother was ill. Her stay at the hospice meant that she was unable to see this year’s pantomime, but she told me that it shouldn’t prevent me from taking part. My family are incredibly grateful to all the FMT Summer 2022

Changing lives

Freemasons from Cumberland and Westmorland enjoyed an interesting and enjoyable day with the team from Lifelites at beautiful Lake Windermere. They had an opportunity to see the technology that is helping life-limited and disabled children in hospices across the British Isles. 7. D E R BYS H I R E

Freemasons assemble On 2 April, the Provincial Grand Master opened Provincial Grand Lodge and invested his new Provincial Officers. There was a good retinue of distinguished guests including visiting Provincial Grand Masters as well as heads of other orders.

8. DORSET

Military Freemasons on the move In October 2021, a few serving military brethren posted to Bovington and

Lulworth Garrison from all ends of the UK got together. The aim of the small group is to remain active in the ways of the Craft while posted in Dorset by visiting Lodges in the county and the Province of Wiltshire. Brother Robert Millar MM, Lodge Coupar o’ Fife No. 19 under GLOS said, ‘Our introduction to brethren and lodges in Dorset was initially via the Three Pillars Club (TPC). We spoke to my mother lodge about the process of visiting outside of GLOS and the need to be invited to meetings, and were advised to join the TPC. We were subsequently warmly

Wishart, delivered one of Robert Burns’s famous poems, Address to a Toothache, which was done to a very high standard. On this occasion, there were two fellow serving members of the military joining the Craft. ‘The most recent visit in Dorset was to Lodge of Honour and Friendship No. 1266 in Blandford Forum, where we watched a flawless initiation with a family member of one of the Lodge officers. ‘We have been welcomed in every Lodge hosted by every member and enjoyed some great harmony after the meetings. As the saying goes: “There are no strangers in Freemasonry, only friends you have yet to meet.” ‘We will try to do as much travelling as we can within the Province and, as we move back to our Mother Lodges, the foundations we have laid will be built upon by others who replace us over the years to come.’ 9. DU RHAM

By appointment

welcomed on social media. On arrival to the Province of Dorset, two of us attended our first meeting in Wareham, where we watched a special EA degree jointly hosted by Lodge of St Martin No. 7986 and Brownsea Island Lodge No. 9689. ‘Being our first meeting outside of GLOS, we were very nervous initially as the pandemic meant we had all been away from the Craft for some time. However, the knowledge that had been locked away was quickly remembered.’ Subsequent meetings were to the Lodge of St Cuthberga No. 622, where the group had grown to eight brethren. ‘This meeting was a special one for us as the Commander of The Armour Centre had recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant along with the Provincial Grand Master of Dorset, Graham Glazier. It felt good to represent the military in the Craft,’ said Robert. ‘In 2022, we visited Lodge Brother in Arms No. 9540 in the Province of Wiltshire, where one of our members, Bro Russell, is the Assistant Secretary. The meeting was also of special importance as it was the Burns dinner, during which one of our members, Bro

The MW The Grand Master has appointed W Bro JP Thompson, PSGD to the office of Provincial Grand Master for Durham with effect from 9 March. In addition, the ME The First Grand Principal has appointed E Comp JP Thompson to the office of Grand Superintendent in and over Durham with effect from 9 March. Lodge Secretaries, Chapter Scribes E and DCs, please note that the Provincial toast lists will remain as they are at present and Lodge and chapter summons should not include the Provincial Grand Master or Grand Superintendent’s name and details until after the date of his installation. The necessary changes will be advised in the usual manner. Notice of the arrangements will follow. 10. E AST KENT

A fine art

Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 191’s most recent and highly successful campaign has been the Dover smArt Project. Dover smART Project is a registered charity supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people through community art projects, including young carers. The Lodge supports four charities and at the February meeting each year, it holds an event with their representatives. FMT Summer 2022

Following updates on the charities, the guests retire to a Blue Table Dinner. Recipients this year were the Provincial Festival, 21 Together, Dover & Deal Sea Cadets and Dover smART Project. Charity Steward Tony Plummer of East Kent Freemasons’ Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 199 in Dover paid a visit to Dover smART Project’s gallery recently. The Lodge has donated £3,000 to the project over the past two and a half years.

The Lodge, together with other Dover Lodges in the area and with matched funding from Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity, has been supporting smART for four years. In the pandemic, Tony learned that the project went into lockdown with 58 young carers on its register. That figure has now risen to 163, the youngest being only five years old. Throughout 2020 and 2021, each young carer received desperately needed support, initially with weekly doorstep deliveries of care packages and now with weekly face-to-face sessions. The pandemic has had a massive impact on these youngsters, many of whom play a major part in helping to run a household. 11. E AST L ANCASH I R E

Masters of ceremony On the evening of Monday, 28 March, senior officers of the Province welcomed RW Bro Sir David Wootton, Assistant Grand Master, and his colleagues from UGLE to East Lancashire for the Installation Eve Dinner. The purpose of Sir David’s attendance was to officiate at the installation of Bro/Comp Robert Frankl as Provincial Grand Master and ME Grand Superintendent for East Lancashire the following day. A splendid evening of camaraderie followed. The following day, once the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge VW Bro John Farrington had been

15


Out & About UGLE Provinces

processed in, Provincial Grand Lodge was opened. The acting Grand Director of Ceremonies was admitted, announcing that the Assistant Grand Master was in attendance and demanded to be admitted. RW Bro Sir David Wootton was admitted in due form, accompanied by a retinue of senior officers. The Assistant Grand Master assumed the Chair of King Solomon and appointed his wardens, RW Bro Harrison (West Lancs) and RW Bro Blank (Cheshire). The Provincial Grand

Master Designate’s Patent of Appointment was presented to the Assistant Grand Master for inspection, who declared it to be in order. A deputation consisting of representatives from Zion Menorah Lodge No. 1798 (Chain-Bearer), Anchor & Hope Lodge No. 37, Lodge of Relief No. 42, Fortitude Lodge No. 64, Imperial George Lodge No. 78, Royal Lancs Lodge No. 116 and Silent Temple Lodge No. 126 escorted the Provincial Grand Master Designate into Provincial Grand Lodge. WBro Robert Frankl was then duly appointed, obligated, invested and installed as the Provincial Grand Master. RW Bro Robert Frankl then appointed, obligated, invested and installed VW Bro John Farrington as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. RW Bro Robert Frankl then appointed, obligated, invested and installed VW Bro John Farrington as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. He then appointed his Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, W Bros John Griffin, Mark Davis, Alan Kirwilliam, Peter Rhodes and Rev’d Canon Richard Hawkins, as well as appointing all the other Provincial Grand Officers. The newly installed Provincial Grand Master then delivered his address and Provincial Grand Lodge was closed in due form. Everyone enjoyed an excellent meal prior to the opening of Provincial Grand Chapter later that afternoon. 16

UGLE Provinces Out & About

12. ESSEX

13. GUERNSEY AND ALDERNEY

15. H ER EFOR DSH I R E

Put in force

Race against time

Light Blues support new Master

On 24 March 2022, the Provincial Grand Master of Essex, Paul Tarrant, signed the Armed Forces Covenant with Major Kevin Fitchett, the deputy chief of staff for Colchester Garrison, who was given a warm welcome at the annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge at Freemasons’ Hall in London. The covenant is a government policy to help the armed forces community, which includes veterans, bereaved families and service personnel with adaptive needs, in areas such as healthcare, education, accommodation and employment. It is an obligation on the whole of society including voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations and individuals, all of whom are asked to recognise our armed forces and offer respect, support and fair treatment. Nick Franklin, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, explained, ‘Members of HM Armed Forces sacrifice some of their civilian freedoms and put themselves in harm’s way in the defence of our realm, so it is important that they should receive our support. We have an obligation to ensure that they get fair treatment, which is the primary purpose of this covenant.’

Major Fitchett said, ‘Essex Freemasons have a long and positive relationship with the armed forces in Essex, particularly by supporting military charities both through funding and their members’ direct involvement. ‘It is a privilege to have been invited to celebrate the Freemasons signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant and we look forward to working together to benefit the armed forces communities in Essex.’

FMT Summer 2022

W Bro Andrew Sparks and his son Ollie ran a relay marathon recently with 13 other people who had been premature babies, along with their parents and siblings. This was to raise funds and awareness for the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation, which has assisted all those children (and parents) who took part in the marathon, joining together for the last leg and crossing the line.

A new wave of Lodge Masters are being invested. Vitruvian Lodge saw W Bro Nigel Donovan hand over the reins of the Lodge to the new Worshipful Master Billy Russell. The installation of the new Master also saw the first of the new Light Blues (Caeruleum Club) go into the chair of King Solomon. The Light Blues turned out in force to support Billy at this momentous event.

14. HAM PSH I R E AN D ISLE OF WIGHT

16. ISLE OF MAN

Boost for veterans

Masonic meals

A charity that cares for forces veterans has been boosted by a £20,000 grant donated by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons. The money, delivered through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) to Alabaré’s four Gosport homes, will fund support staff. One of those being assisted is Royal Navy veteran Tim Battersby, who saw service in three theatres of war. After losing his wife to Covid-19, he subsequently lost his home. Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and having suffering from septicaemia, Battersby was referred to Alabaré. He is now putting his life back together and is being guided through the difficulties and bureaucracy that left him homeless. Jon Whitaker, who heads the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons, visited one of the homes with John Pearson, the local Freemasons’ charity lead. He said, ‘This grant will help funding for support staff, who do such a great job helping veterans. It is absolutely a vocation. Some of those who require support have been the victims of unfortunate and unpredictable circumstances; others have PTSD, alcoholism or drug issues. Every one of them has served the country and we owe it to them to ensure they are cared for, and this grant will help Alabaré do just that.’ The charity was founded in 1991 by Rev John Proctor and his wife Alicia after they befriended and offered a home to a series of people in crisis. They soon realised that the need was far greater than they alone could meet and, in partnership with a Christian community, founded Alabaré. The charity now looks after hundreds of people through its homes and services in England and Wales.

Isle of Man Freemasons have thrown open the doors to a Masonic Hall to help a local food bank. Vegetables were prepared for distribution for those in need. 1 7. J E R S E Y

Lasting legacy

For several years, Jersey Freemasons have sponsored the provision of Lifelites magical technology for children under the care of Jersey Hospice and Oakwell short breaks home. Earlier this month, Simone Enefer-Doy retired from her role as CEO of Lifelites, having been in post from the charity’s

earliest days. Following her final visit to Jersey Hospice Care, Jersey Freemasons hosted a farewell lunch in her honour. Graham Spence, head of Jersey Freemasons, said, ‘This was our opportunity to say thank you to Simone for her hard work and dedication in not only establishing Lifelites as a force for good, but also bringing its life-enhancing technology to Jersey Hospice Care. We are proud to have sponsored Lifelites in Jersey, and have pledged to continue sponsorship into the future. We wish Simone a long and happy retirement and look forward to working with her successor, Rob Lightfoot.’

18 . L E I C EST E R S H I R E A N D R U T L A N D

Kick-off for Rugby Lodge

Ever since the very first idea to form a special-interest Lodge for Rugby enthusiasts, the passion and drive of the core team known as ‘the Tight Six’ has continued unabated. Battling through the pandemic and the disappointment of cancelled dates, the founding members finally realised their dream on 2 April 2022, as the consecration of Rugby Lodge No. 9989 took place in the Oliver Lodge room at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester. The consecrating team, led by the Provincial Grand Master, Peter Kinder, carried out their duties impeccably, culminating in the presentation of founders jewels, prior to the new Lodge being handed over to the members to hold their very first installation. The term given to the very first Master of a Lodge is ‘Primus Master’, which on this occasion was Daniel Quelch of the Rothley Temple Lodge No. 7801. Daniel was installed by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Brian Carruthers, after which he installed his very first team of officers. The Senior Warden and fellow member of the Light Blues Rugby Football Club is Andrew ‘Jock’ Keenan (Enderby Lodge No. 5061), and the office of Junior Warden was bestowed upon Paul Cave of The Holmes Lodge No. 4656. 19. LI NCOLNSH I RE

High hopes

Seven Lincolnshire Freemasons and three friends are paying more than £4,000 each to make an assault on Tanzania’s iconic dormant volcano, Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise funds for Lincolnshire’s 2025 Festival. A chance remark by Festival Chairman Jez Hyland sparked expedition leader Colin Hill to put into action a dream he’d been considering for some time. ‘Jez said he might be prepared to go for it and that FMT Summer 2022

was the catalyst I needed to spur me on to do something I’d had in mind for a while,’ said Colin, newly-appointed Charity Steward at Saint James Lodge in Grimsby. Colin has put together a team of 10 for the climb, which will begin on 14 August. ‘There are various routes available, but we’ve opted for the nine-day one. It has a far higher chance of success than the shorter options because it gives us time to acclimatise to the altitude – a major factor, because Kilimanjaro is almost four-and-ahalf times higher than Ben Nevis. ‘What’s more, it’s a less popular route and the size of our party means we won’t be making the climb with a group of strangers, which might otherwise be the case,’ said Colin. The ascent is about a slow and steady uphill walk to the summit – at almost 5,900 metres, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. The party will have a professional support team of local guides, who’ll carry food, water and tents, and will set up camp and cook. The last day will start at midnight so the team will be at the top of the mountainto watch the sun rise. The trip is entirely self-funded and all sponsorship will be given to the Festival. The walkers are Ian Huggett, Paul Ellis, Daniel Tolson, Rueben Ward, Barry Staley, Colin Hill (all from Saint James’ Lodge) and Dr Rajeev Thomas Maliyil (Earl of Yarborough Lodge). 2 0 . N O R T H A M P TO N S H I R E A N D HUNTINGDONSHIRE

New beginnings

After the retirement on 31 May of RW Bro MW Bayes, the MW The Grand Master appointed W Bro Mark Constant PSGD, APGM to the office of Provincial Grand Master for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, with effect from 1 June. 21. NORTHUMBERLAND

Seeing senses

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Kevin Stannard, was honoured to be invited to the official opening of the new sensory room at Hexham Priory School, which had been funded by a £15,000 grant from the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund. Although the grant had been approved 17


Out & About UGLE Provinces

back in October 2019, and the work to re-fit the room was completed just a few days before the first lockdown in 2020, the pandemic delayed the official opening until it was considered safe to allow visitors from outside the school to view the new facility. Happily, with the return to more normal school working from September last year, the pupils have been able to make full use of the room over the past six months,

and Kevin was delighted to be able to meet several of the pupils while they enjoyed interacting fully with the various activities in the room, under the watchful eyes of the dedicated and hard-working teaching staff. The Freemasons of Northumberland are indebted to Ms Liz Davison, the head teacher of Hexham Priory School, for her generosity in the invitation to the school to witness the sensory room in action.

23. N OT TI N GHAM S H I R E

2 6 . S O U T H WA L E S

Game on

Life’s essentials

A new rugby interest Lodge called Nomads Lodge No. 10015 is to be consecrated in July. The Lodge will have members from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire and will meet four times a year on Saturdays. Lodge meetings will generally be followed by a visit to a local rugby club to watch a game. The RW Provincial Grand Master of Nottinghamshire commented, ‘I consider that it will be a singular honour to be invested as the first Junior Warden of the Nomads Lodge No. 10015. I am certain from the enthusiasm I have seen from the founders and prospective members to date that the spirit of togetherness, which was so evident in Three Counties rugby, will be very much alive and well in the culture of the Nomads Lodge.’ If you are interested in becoming a joining member or have any questions about Nomads, contact Trevor Harris – Lodge Membership Officer elect at: tharris@pedigreeas.co.uk

2 2 . N O R T H WA L E S

Down to the wire

To launch the North Wales Festival 2028 Appeal, John Charles Hoult, Provincial Grand Master – accompanied by his Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Charity Steward – rode the Velocity Zip Wire at Zip World. The target is to raise £2.5m for the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons' charity. Festival appeals are a vital source of funding and generate the majority of donations to the MCF.

24 . OX F O R D S H I R E

House to home

Supporting refugees is in many of our minds at the moment. With funding from Oxfordshire Freemasons via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), Emmaus Oxford can offer help to vulnerable people needing to furnish their accommodation. 25 . S H R O P S H I R E

In for a treat

Thanks to the generosity of Shropshire Masons, the 260 children in temporary housing and refuges across Shropshire had a visit from the Easter Bunny. Each child received an Easter egg and a book (books courtesy of the Rotary Books4home project), all delivered through Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire Housing teams and social services. 18

FMT Summer 2022

Swansea Freemasons have donated £6,000 worth of essential toiletries to Morriston Hospital, Swansea for patients who are in urgent need of them. The Gower Ward of Morriston Hospital is a unit that specialises in the care of elderly patients who are suffering from various debilitating illnesses, including dementia. Many of these patients don’t have essentials such as soaps, toothpastes, hygiene products and other such toiletries. Frequently, they don’t have the financial means, or family support, to purchase them on admission to hospital and recently the Gower Ward has been struggling to provide these basic items for such patients.

A junior nurse on the Gower Ward, Bro Mart Taylan, is a member of Singleton Lodge No. 8399 in Swansea, and he requested assistance from the Lodge to purchase basic toiletries for the elderly patients cared for on the ward. The request went to a group of Swansea Freemasons known as the Swansea Almoners, whose Chair, W Bro John Theo Davies, came up with an idea. Bro Phil Osbourne, secretary of the Swansea Almoners, said, ‘We thought that, rather than asking for financial donations to help the hospital, why not ask for donations of the actual items that the patients so desperately require. We put a box in the hallway of the Masonic Hall at Swansea and asked for brethren to drop off any unwanted soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and other toiletries; anything that could make a difference to a patients’ stay at Gower Ward. The response from the Swansea brethren and local firms, such as Dr Organic Group Ltd, was amazing, with the value of the items donated being around £6,000.’ The donation from the Swansea Freemasons was made on 31 March 2022 to Ward Sister Rachel Thomas, and other ward staff, who were extremely grateful for the generosity of Swansea Freemasons.

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Stories UGLE Provinces

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Horse power

Suffolk Freemasons are playing a huge role in the preservation of the endangered and oldest breed of work horse, the Suffolk Punch. Ongoing support, currently standing at £19,000, has enabled the Suffolk Punch Trust to purchase startup equipment for an artificial insemination programme that will enable the trust to supply the Suffolk Punch bloodline around the country and overseas. The Suffolk Punch Trust is a registered charity dedicated to help protect this endangered horse through its established breeding programme, raising public awareness and training a new generation of professionals to work with these iconic heavy horses. It is based at the Hollesley Bay Colony Stud, home to a rich legacy of equine and agricultural history that deserves to be saved for future generations. BBC Radio Suffolk was at Hollesley Bay in October last year to broadcast the opening of the new Artificial Insemination Unit live on its early morning show, hosted by Mark Murphy. Ian Yeldham, Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk Freemasons was invited to open the unit in the presence of a large number of other local businesses and individuals who also support the work of the Trust.

Solution to Spring 2022 crossword by Palolo

Last issue’s winner Jason Wong, London

28. SUSSE X

Feast for Freemasons

Eastbourne Lodge No. 7057 enjoyed a fantastic meal at All Saints Chapel in Eastbourne. Hundreds of pounds were raised for charity throughout the night and attendees had a very enjoyable experience. 2 9 . WA R W I C KS H I R E

Lines of communication

Warwickshire Freemasons have joined other Freemasons across the country to become a platinum partner of Lifelites, pledging a total of £20,000 over the next four years and helping to give life-limited and disabled children in Warwickshire a chance to escape the confines of their conditions through technology. The Head of Warwickshire Freemasons, Philip Hall, and his deputy, Peter Manning, both came into Lifelites’ office recently to try out some of the technology that Lifelites donates to support children using hospice services.

world. Children are also able to use Lifelites technology to communicate with their parents, brothers and sisters and hospice staff, even if they can’t speak, giving them the chance to tell their mum that they love her, maybe for the first time. 30. WEST L ANCASH I R E

Comfort zone

In early April, WM of Poultonle-Sands Lodge No. 1051, Stewart McVernon, and Lodge secretary Mike Craddock presented a cheque for £500 each to Roz Horner from St John’s Hospice in Slyne and Penny Swan from CancerCare at Slynedales. They particularly wanted to support the two local cancer charities as the Lodge WM John Allington died in 2021 of the disease before completing his time in post. St John’s Hospice provides support for patients with life-shortening illnesses at home and in the hospice. CancerCare is an independent local charity in the UK dedicated to helping families affected by cancer and bereavement.

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Stories UGLE Provinces

(pictured), and Stephen was delighted to accept. All Lodges and all those who were appointed and promoted this year were represented at the investiture, which took place at the Annual PGL on 14 May at The Great Hall, the University of Birmingham. 3 3 . YO R KS H I R E N E R I D I N G S

3 1 . W I LT S H I R E

Service announcement

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Wiltshire, Simon Leighfield, visited Pleydell Lodge No. 4687 to present a certificate to Ray Courtney, who is celebrating 50 years in Freemasonry. Ray was initiated into the Lodge in March 1972. 3 2 . WO R C E S T E R S H I R E

Incoming PGM

The Most Worshipful Grand Master, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent offered the appointment of Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Worcestershire to VW Bro Stephen J Wyer, Deputy Provincial Grand Master

On tour

The Parisi chapter L10011 of the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association (WSMBA) had the pleasure of escorting the ‘Great Provincial Ride Out for Warwickshire’ recently. As part of its Festival, members of the Warwickshire Freemasons WSMBA took to the road on their motorcycles to visit a Lodge in every UGLE Province in the UK. They met up with other members at Whitby, then headed to Middlesbrough to meet with the travelling brethren. They then carried on into Saltburn to the Huntcliff Lodge, where they received a great welcome from the local brethren. The next leg of the journey was to Sunderland, where they handed over the escort to Durham and Northumberland.

3 4 . YO R KS H I R E , W E S T R I D I N G

Due North

On the 21 March, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire, West Riding celebrated the installation of James Newman OBE as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent at the Royal Hall, Harrogate. James is currently the Chairman of Finance Yorkshire and the South Yorkshire Community Foundation, and is involved at national level with the current European funding programmes. He was awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to business, the economy and charity in Yorkshire, and an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in 2012 for services to enterprise, education and the business community. He was installed as the Provincial Grand Master by the Assistant Grand Master, Sir David Wootton. The installation was carried out by a delegation from Grand Lodge and other visiting dignitaries from the region. Sir David Wootton is a former Lord Mayor of London and is proud of his Bradford roots. This was preceded in the morning by James Newman being installed as Grand Superintendent of Royal Arch for the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.

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28 The Interview Peter Lowndes looks back on 50 years of Freemasonry

32 History and honour Square & Compass Lodge celebrates its 150th anniversary

34 Applying science Freemasons fund crucial research into a cure for bowel disease

40 Raising a toast The 300th anniversary of British Lodge No. viii at Freemasons’ Hall

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The Interview Peter Lowndes

Peter Lowndes The Interview

By Royal appointment As he nears his last Grand Lodge and retirement, Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes reflects on a rewarding Masonic career that invited a more open approach to Freemasonry W O R D S P E T E R WAT T S P O R T R A I T S J O O N E Y W O O D WA R D

P

eter Lowndes settles back comfortably into a deep-set armchair and takes a moment to reflect. We are in the Grand Master’s immaculate office, a large ground-floor room at Freemasons’ Hall that is lined with handsome wooden panels and glass-fronted bookcases. ‘I first stepped into this building in 1984,’ muses Lowndes as he contemplates his forthcoming retirement from the top of the Masonic tree. He started as Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, the distant origin of a Masonic career that has taken him to the lofty heights of Pro Grand Master – ‘after which, I knew I couldn’t be over-promoted any further’, he says with typical self-effacement. Now, following 13 years in a job that has taken in the twin demands of the Tercentenary and Covid-19, Lowndes will step down in September, replaced by Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence. As a subscribing member of seven Lodges, Lowndes will doubtless find plenty to occupy his time following retirement. He became a Mason in 1972 following a chance encounter with an old acquaintance in a pub with the appropriate name of the Rising Sun on London’s Ebury Bridge Road.

28

Lowndes noticed his friend was wearing the Old Etonian tie, so asked where he was going. The destination was the Old Etonian Lodge at the former Constitutional Club on St James’s Street. Lowndes was intrigued, and six months later attended his first Lodge meeting. ‘Like most people at their first meeting, a lot of it passed me by,’ he admits. ‘But there were a lot of extremely nice people who were so excited at seeing a younger person [Lowndes was 24] that they were kind to me. I think it was the camaraderie that appealed. I liked the people, but found the ritual and floor work quite daunting. I was given office quickly and if I hadn’t been made to get involved,

Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes has enjoyed 50 years of Freemasonry

FMT Summer 2022

FMT Summer 2022

29


Peter Lowndes The Interview

The Pro Grand Master is about to pass the baton on to Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence

‘I’m pleased that there is more open discussion and better communication between all aspects of Freemasonry’

I think I would have just disappeared. But as you progress through the offices, you build confidence.’ Even now, Lowndes seems surprised at how well he took to Masonry. He rose through the ranks, first at the Lodge and then with the UGLE. A talented cricketer – his father had captained Hampshire and great-grandfather captained Surrey – he notes that, like all good wicket keepers, he was often ‘in the right place at the right time’, having been invited to become Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies after being recommended by a fellow member of the Old Etonian Lodge, who was himself acting as Deputy. After establishing the skill and temperament for 30

FMT Summer 2022

office, Lowndes served as Grand Director of Ceremonies for eight years from 1995 before becoming Deputy Grand Master in 2004 and then Pro Grand Master in 2009. ‘If the Grand Master can’t attend, I am the Grand Master,’ he explains of his curious, but essential role. ‘And if the Grand Master is present, I don’t exist but I am always there. That’s not just ceremonies, though – this morning I was signing off paperwork that only the Grand Master can sign off. I have no executive powers, nor would I want them, but I will install new Provincial Grand Masters, preside at Grand Lodge and run the Grand Master’s Council.

I personally can’t change anything, but very little happens without me being consulted.’ Although Lowndes notes he is the first commoner to be appointed Pro Grand Master following Lords Cadogan, Cornwallis, Farnham and Northampton, he can trace his ancestry back to 1066. His family were once significant landowners of property that included Lowndes Square in Belgravia. Lowndes was raised in Scotland and spent several years in the Outer Hebrides. After leaving school without any A levels – ‘it didn’t seem to matter at that time’ – he attended Royal Agricultural College, qualified as a chartered surveyor and began a career as an FMT Summer 2022

estate agent, ultimately chairing his firm for more than a decade. For somebody who downplays his talent and ambition, it’s noticeable that Lowndes has risen to the top both professionally and in Masonry, even if he describes himself only as a ‘a gifted amateur’. What explains such success? ‘I guess I must be a good man manager,’ he says. ‘I have always been a good delegator, which means you are probably a good judge of people because otherwise you don’t know who to delegate to. Of course, you could also argue that’s because you are always trying to avoid doing any work yourself.’ That’s said with a typical twinkle in the eye. Lowndes says that when completing the Grand Lodge ceremony, he is disappointed if he hasn’t got at least one laugh from the audience and he relishes telling stories against himself. ‘Obviously, it’s not my job to be a stand-up comic, but I do think we are there to enjoy ourselves,’ he says. ‘If somebody gets something wrong, it’s not the end of the world.’ He remains hugely grateful for the opportunities Freemasonry has given him, both as Pro Grand Master, with his privileged access to the Grand Master and at the centre of Masonic life, but before that as Grand Director of Ceremonies, when he met eminent figures such as John Kufuor, former President of Ghana. He notes that many improvements have taken place in Masonry, which he has played a part in changing. He looks forward to seeing this continue after he leaves. ‘I’m pleased that there is more open discussion and better communication between all aspects of Freemasonry, where previously there could be a bit of a them-and-us relationship between UGLE and the Provinces,’ he says. ‘Externally, we are now very good at picking our battles and understanding that we can’t keep rolling over when something is said or written that isn’t true. And we are the most brilliant organisation when it comes to raising charitable funds. The generosity of our brethren is something that never ceases to amaze me.’ Lowndes has no particular plans – other than ‘irritating my wife at home’ – as he now prepares for a very different role in Masonry, that of the elder statesman with no formal office, something he regards with mixed feelings. ‘I have my last Grand Lodge in June, which I will find pretty emotional,’ he admits. ‘In some ways I am looking forward to it as there will be a lot of friends there, but when we close Grand Lodge I know that I will find that difficult. There are some aspects of the job I shan’t miss at all, but I am sure I will have short-term withdrawal symptoms. I am supposed to stay away from anything formal for a year, which is completely right, and then after that year when Jonathan has bedded in, people will forget there was ever anybody before him.’ That’s hard to believe. It surely won’t be long before Lowndes’ familiar presence is again sighted at what has been his second home since 1984. 31


Stories Living History

Living History Stories

Celebrating 150 years

Square & Compass Lodge No. 1336 was consecrated on 11 March 1871 in Wrexham. And after delays due to the pandemic, it is finally able to celebrate its long history W O R D S PAU L M A D D O C KS

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The 150th anniversary celebrations were put on ice due to the pandemic. This year, the Lodge could finally honour the occasion

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ue to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, plans to celebrate Square & Compass Lodge’s 150th anniversary were put on ice until Tuesday, 1 March 2022, St David’s Day, a fitting tribute to one of the oldest Lodges in North Wales. A total of 120 members and guests gathered in Maesgwyn Hall, the home of Square & Compass that dates back to the purchase of the building by a group of Wrexham Freemasons in the 1960s. Maesgwyn Hall is just 500 yards away from the Racecourse Ground, home of Wrexham AFC, formed in 1864 and the world’s oldest international football stadium. A home match on the same evening, with the floodlights on and a capacity crowd, added to the occasion. RW Bro John Charles Hoult, Provincial Grand Master, together with Dep PGM Wynford Owen Davies, APGM Philip James and members of the Executive and Provincial team paid an official visit to mark the celebrations. North Wales Freemasons has just launched its 2028 Festival with a spectacular video of the PGM flying down the wire at Zip World – the fastest zip line in the world, where you can travel at speeds of more than 100mph while taking in breathtaking views of Snowdonia. During the Lodge Meeting, WM Terry Williams presented the PGM with a generous £10,000 donation on behalf of the members to ensure #FEST2028 gets off to a good start – the Province is targeting £2.5m. The PGM promoted W Bro Peter Chalk and W Bro Kevin Jones to the rank of PPJGW in recognition of their long service to the Lodge. W Bro Rob Hughes delivered a brief and entertaining history of the Lodge, before W Bro Bob Butcher, together with a group of ‘light blues’, delivered an excellent explanation of the 1st Degree Tracing Board. Guests came from far and wide to the Lodge’s 1,421st regular meeting, including members of Lodge St James, Newton upon Ayr, which will be celebrating its 250th anniversary in April. Square & Compass has a long, proud association with this Ayrshire Lodge, visiting Scotland for the annual installation in December and welcoming Scottish brethren for the return fixture to Wales in February for their installation.

It was fitting that a proud Welsh Lodge with a long, rich history such as Square & Compass should finally celebrate its 150-year anniversary on St David’s Day

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Guests were treated to a sumptuous festive board and a commemorative programme offering an insight into the Lodge’s history. Everyone in attendance went home with engraved whiskey glasses and the raffle raised the magnificent sum of £850, which will be donated to local charities. The Lodge collection had earlier raised £367 for the Red Cross, in aid of the distressed in Ukraine. Square & Compass has a strong family tradition, with members Gareth Overthrow and his father Steve Overthrow able to trace family membership of the Lodge back four generations to great-great-greatgrandfather John Abbott Harris, an accountant in Frwdd Iron Works, who was initiated in 1877. More recently, brothers Paul Maddocks, ProvJGW and ProvGCO, and Martyn Maddocks, ProvGStwd, enjoyed the honour of attending the celebration as members of the Provincial team. Square & Compass is looking forward to the next 150 years with enthusiasm and strong membership. Perhaps one day Wrexham will play in the Premier League – although members will no doubt recall the night when our 150th anniversary was celebrated with Wrexham winning 2-0 against King’s Lynn, in front of 8,173, to become third in the National League table. 33


Saving lives Stories

MEDICINE AN D M ASO N RY Thanks to funding from Freemasons, Bowel Research UK can fund the crucial research of three PhD students. CEO Lynn Dunne tells us about more about the charity’s quest to defeat bowel disease W O R D S P E T E R WAT T S P O R T R A I T S J O O N E Y W O O D WA R D

Lynn Dunne, CEO of Bowel Research UK

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ike many people who have reached the age of 60, one of Lynn Dunne’s less glamorous birthday presents was a home test for her bowel cancer screening. But unwelcome as it seemed, that test turned out to be one of the most important gifts she has ever received. Recently retired after working as an NHS nurse for more than 40 years, Dunne completed the test and didn’t give it a second thought until she received a call inviting her for a colonoscopy, where a stage three tumour was discovered. This was the beginning of a chain of events that has ultimately led to Dunne’s appointment as interim CEO of Bowel Research UK, precisely one year after having surgery to remove half her colon. Among the 53 research projects supported by the charity are three PhDs funded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ charity). ‘What I learned through all of this – and it’s something that fits with the Masonic approach – is I was forced to contemplate my own death,’ she says. ‘There’s nothing quite like a cancer diagnosis for that. You can tie yourself in knots about it, but I remember having a moment towards the end of the treatment when I realised that we will all die – hopefully not for a long time – and before I do I want to make every minute count and give something back. That is what I decided to do. When I was offered this job, I decided to donate my salary back into our research fund. I am doing this pro bono, giving back exactly as I said I would.’ Bowel cancer is one of the biggest killers in the UK and some patients, like Dunne, can have no obvious symptoms as the disease develops, emphasising the life-saving importance of the NHS screening programme. That requires the public to get over any residual stigma FMT Summer 2022

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about the nature of the screening. ‘I would not have been diagnosed if I hadn’t received my 60th birthday present from the NHS,’ she says. ‘We want to reduce the embarrassment and stigma about bowels because these tests are really important. It might be a little difficult, that idea of putting a sample of your own poo in a box, but my goodness me, I am glad I did!’ The statistics are stark. More than 16,000 people die each year because of bowel cancer, while at least one million experience other bowel-related conditions including inflammatory disease, hernias, fistulas, Crohn’s disease, rectal and anal cancer, and incontinence. Bowel cancer is tied with lung cancer as the most common form of cancer in the UK behind breast and prostate, afflicting one in every 15 men and one in every 18 women. But it’s second when it comes to deaths from cancer. Reducing that number by simply making people aware of the importance of screening is a small part of Dunne’s job, which is otherwise dedicated to raising and allocating funds for research. As interim CEO and a cancer survivor, Dunne can bring her own experiences with the disease into conversations she has with researchers and surgeons. She first encountered many of these specialists earlier in her career when she worked at London’s St Mark’s Hospital, which specialises in bowel disease. Now, she participates in a Bowel Research UK initiative called PaRT (People and Research Together), which utilises the

‘This is a challenging funding environment, which is why we are so grateful to people like the Freemasons’ 35


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Stories Saving lives

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T H R E E P H D C A N D I DAT E S F U N D E D BY F R E E M A S O N S

Research is key to defeating bowel disease and grants such as that from the MCF are crucial, says Lynn Dunne

charity’s contacts to bring researchers into direct contact with patients and their families. It’s an approach that the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) believes should be expanded throughout healthcare sectors. The main focus of the charity’s attention is funding. Research presents the best chance to defeat bowel disease, but it is chronically under-funded. The organisation funds proof-of-principle grants up to £50,000 focusing on earlystage funding, as well as PhDs up to £75,000. It strives to support future leaders – those researchers who will go on to become experts in the field. ‘These are research projects that take place all over the country,’ says Dunne. ‘How much we distribute depends on how much we attract, so we fundraise then have a grants call. This is a challenging funding environment, which is why we are so grateful to people like the Freemasons. I am in regular contact with the MCF and keep them updated with the research projects so everybody knows what is happening.’ 36

As the population ages and demand on healthcare and social services escalates, research into treatment and prevention is more important than ever. Freemasonry has a proud history of supporting medical research projects and, since 2018, the MCF has continued this commitment through a £1m-per-year fund for PhD studentships. The fund aims to support research that improves detection, treatment and services for a range of medical conditions and Bowel Research UK was one of the first charities to benefit from this programme, receiving £225,000 from the MCF to fund three PhD studentships for five years. ‘Our funding for PhD students through leading medical research charities such as Bowel Research UK demonstrates our commitment to investing in the next generation of medical researchers,’ explains Les Hutchinson, Chief Executive of the MCF. ‘By nurturing and funding the talent of today’s young scientists, Freemasonry is supporting the research breakthroughs of tomorrow.’ FMT Summer 2022

Lucy Wiseman University of Hull ‘We know that patients suffer with low oxygen levels in their tumours and this can make them resistant to radiotherapy, which is the first strategy for treating cancer. There is a specific protein called ADAM10 and we know that in the lab it effects growth of colorectal cancer cells. We are trying to define whether inhibiting this protein can make colorectal cancer cells more sensitive to radiotherapy even though there is low oxygen. We’re trying to understand how ADAM10 affects growth and then whether treating colorectal cells with an ADAM10 inhibitor will damage cells more through radiotherapy than with our control sample. Throughout the PhD, we seek to publish any significant data. I feel I’m working on something useful because my research builds on previous work completed in the lab, which would not have been possible without the support of BRUK and the Masons.’

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A future family heirloom Declan Sculthorpe University of Nottingham ‘My main area of research is colorectal cancer. It spreads through two systems: the lymphatic spread through the lymph nodes, or the vascular system, which is through the blood stream. We are looking at new potential markers that could suggest what is causing the cancer to spread from an initial site to other areas of the body. These could be used for earlier detection,

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Stories Saving lives

so if somebody has a routine biopsy, we might run a test that could detect an early indicator of spread. It’s about understanding the spread throughout the body, what’s causing that and how we can better identify the way in which cancer is spread. There are thousands of genes that could cause the spread, but it’s about narrowing it down logically. ‘I was a technician at the University of Nottingham and saw a funding offer from Bowel Research UK. There’s really no other way to do a PhD – you need to pay your living costs and what you need equipment-wise. It was a surprise when I discovered it was funded by the Freemasons, but I know they do a lot of charity work. I am extremely grateful because otherwise I couldn’t do what I am doing now. That support is hugely appreciated by everybody who has their studentship funded by the Freemasons or other charities.’

Dunne’s experience of surviving bowel cancer is testament to the strides made in specialist treatment

Dunne’s own experience is a testament to the strides in treatment being taken by specialists, thanks in part to the research funded by Bowel Research UK. Her diagnosis came at a challenging time for the NHS, just as the Covid wave of late 2020 was getting underway, but her surgery went ahead well within the approved timescale. Before the operation she was advised about expected outcomes, but also warned about what could happen – a scenario that would result in her having temporary ileostomy, with the bowel brought to the surface of the skin and requiring use of an ostomy bag. That is indeed what happened, with Dunne learning to live with the bag for 10 months, while also undergoing chemotherapy. In September 2021 the bag was removed and in December 2021 she was given the all-clear. That was a difficult experience and while Dunne doesn’t sugar-coat the challenges, she does emphasise how it can be made easier. Ahead of her operation, she focused on improving her general 38

health and stamina to aid a quicker recovery – and as a result she was sent home six days after the operation. She also took care of her diet while using the bag – small things that make a difference. And, of course, the experience led to that period of self-reflection, ultimately bringing her from retirement back into her life’s work of healthcare. ‘It created the opportunity for life evaluation,’ she says. ‘What mattered to me was my friends and family, and making a positive difference. I had no plan how I would actually do that, but then in December 2021 this opportunity came up and I was invited to apply. I was honoured to be offered the position. I’d like to think my personal experiences give me a connection, having been through this and understanding how important the work of the charity is in terms of the research it funds, it really makes me want to succeed. That’s what makes us so grateful to people like the Freemasons. We really rely on them for support and they are extremely generous – and that is vital.’ FMT Summer 2022

Beverley Rodgers Queen Mary University of London ‘There is a population of cells called resident memory T-cells that reside permanently within organs. There are treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that aren’t effective in around a third of patients and that might be due to this. My research is focused on trying to identify how they affect IBDs. Some treatments focus on preventing cells trafficking into the gut, but they have limited effect over time and don’t help some people at all – we think that might be because of this subset of cells in the intestine. Blocking new ones coming in isn’t effective because of this population already living there. If we solve that we can identify treatments that work more effectively. ‘I began my research in September 2019 and will finish this December. Funding partners like the MCF and Bowel Research UK are essential for our research – it couldn’t be done without them.’


Stories Standing on ceremony

The Heraldic Badge granted to UGLE for the use of British Lodge No. viii

MASONIC MILESTONE

As British Lodge No. viii celebrates its 300th year, Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes attended a dinner at Freemasons’ Hall in honour of this landmark anniversary

British Lodge No. viii was honoured to host Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes and guests to celebrate its 300th Anniversary at Freemasons’ Hall in February. The Lodge was constituted in January 1721, but the alignment of calendars that occurred in 1752 meant that 2022 is the 300th year of the Lodge meeting. The proceedings included the installation of Dr Malcolm R Aish as Master and the presentation of Letters Patent, by which a Heraldic Badge had been granted to the United Grand Lodge of England for the use of British Lodge. Windsor Herald of Arms in Ordinary to Her Majesty the Queen, dressed in his splendid crimson court uniform, ceremonially presented the Letters Patent to the Pro Grand Master, who examined

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and formally received it before entrusting it to the Master for safekeeping. To mark this milestone event, the Lodge commissioned David Aspinwall to research and produce a Lodge history, a copy of which was presented to the Pro Grand Master and all who attended the celebration. This fine volume gives a fascinating account of key events and personalities over the Lodge’s 300 years of existence, from the first recorded meeting of the Lodge at Tom’s Coffee House in London’s Clare Market to the present day. It was clear that the Lodge had dined well throughout its long history and the members had a particular taste for champagne! A summary of the history was delivered at the meeting on behalf of the

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author, who was unable to be present due to having contracted Covid-19. Grand Chaplain Simon Thorne then delivered a thought-provoking, wellreceived oration. To further mark the Lodge’s anniversary, the members were pleased to confirm charitable donations of £5,000 each to the Freemason’s Fund for Surgical Research and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. The meeting was followed by a champagne reception and celebratory feast, held in the best traditions of British Lodge in the vestibule of the Grand Temple in Freemasons’ Hall. Following dinner, the Pro Grand Master congratulated the Lodge not only on it having reached its 300th anniversary, but also on the excellent meeting and dinner that followed. He then proposed a toast to the Lodge as it moves into its fourth century of meeting. British Lodge is one of 19 ‘Red Apron’ Lodges, each of which nominate a Grand Steward for appointment by the Grand Master at the Annual Investiture, and one of only two whose red aprons and collars are trimmed with gold instead of silver. The board of Grand Stewards for the year is responsible for arranging the Grand Festival.

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Correspondence that reveals a fascination with Masonic orders

The Museum of Freemasonry’s South Gallery, recently restored to its original Art Deco splendour

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Daily Advancement Preserving history

Preserving history Daily Advancement

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At the bequest of brothers Curator Mark Dennis tells us some of the fascinating stories behind objects that are often kindly donated to the Museum of Freemasonry by Freemasons and their families for future posterity

he Museum of Freemasonry obtains the objects that it displays from many different sources, but the generosity and thoughtfulness of members and their families is a major factor. This can even extend to the Royal family, as we have items presented by King George V in memory of his father King Edward VII and by HM the Queen Mother in memory of her husband King George VI. Over the past few months, three stories have provided good examples of how this thoughtfulness can bring things to us or let them pass to new owners. In 2013, Trevor Wellings loaned us a rare Goss factory ceramic bust of King Edward VII as Grand Master for the enjoyment of our many visitors. Trevor was well known in his Province and a member of 26 Lodges in Warwickshire and Worcestershire. He also founded the ‘Freemasons Afloat’ initiative – charitable events for Freemasons and their families on board cruise ships. Unknown to most, he also had a passionate hobby as the country’s leading collector of Goss porcelain. Most Goss items were produced as souvenirs, including for Lodges, and Trevor generously helped us in cataloguing and understanding the pieces in our collection. Late last year, knowing that he was unwell, he offered to leave the King Edward VII bust to the Museum. It has been on display since it first came to us and is currently in our North Gallery. We were therefore honoured but saddened to receive it as a permanent part of our collections when he died in February. Last year, Parmjit Singh – a member of St Olave’s Lodge No. 2764 – spotted one of their founder’s jewels in a car boot sale. He rescued it and, after finding that the Museum didn’t already have one, asked another member of the Lodge, Meharban Singh Jutlla, to have it presented to us. It is now safely in the collection. It was owned by the founding organist, who clearly treasured it as it is still in its original silk-lined box from Spencer & Co. of Great Queen Street. The Lodge first met in Tooley Street in South London, and was made up of a number of ex pupils of St Olave’s School. There is a little mystery associated with the St Olave’s Lodge jewel. Records show that the Lodge did not

appear to have a founding organist. Instead, music at the consecration was performed by the Provincial Grand Organist of Middlesex, Herbert Schartau, who was a professional songwriter. Could the jewel have been presented to him? As generous as people may want to be, the Museum cannot take everything offered to it and a collections committee makes the final decision based on the item’s relevance and condition. For example, a member of the public offered the Museum his father’s Past Master’s jewel of Old Masonians’ Lodge from 1936 for preservation. It was a duplicate of one in our collections and so, with his agreement, we approached the Secretary of the Lodge, who was delighted to accept it in memory of the man concerned. It was a timely reminder that what these historical items really represent is the men who owned and cared for them. Keeping their stories alive is one of the most important things that we do in the Museum.

Clockwise: Past Master’s jewel, Old Masonians’ Lodge; Meharban Singh Jutlla with Mark Dennis; Goss bust of Edward VII; St Olave’s Lodge founder’s jewel, Museum of Freemasonry 2022

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Daily Advancement A rich resource

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uring the late 19th century, some Freemasons were interested in expanding their knowledge by discovering new degrees and rites emerging from Europe and America. The letters kept by Major Francis George Irwin, initiated as a Freemason while serving in Gibraltar with the army, reveal the activities of a small but active group interested in such pursuits. Irwin returned to England and settled in the south west, where he ran the Engineer Volunteer Corps in Bristol. An active Craft, Royal Arch and Mark Mason, he joined Rose Croix and Knights Templar and retained a lifelong interest in the rites of numerous orders. Irwin’s correspondence collection was presented to the Museum by his widow, Catherine, in 1894. She also gave the Museum his library of more than 900 books and manuscript rituals. Although the letters were used by some researchers, they remained a little-known but fascinating resource. A volunteer, Sally Davis, completed a preliminary list of the

A rich resource Daily Advancement

FOLLOWING ORDERS Archivist and Records Manager Susan Snell details one of the lesser-known resources at the Museum of Freemasonry – a collection of letters that reveal a lifelong fascination with the rites of Masonic Orders

correspondence before the Covid-19 lockdowns, which helped to speed up cataloguing. I am now adding details of each letter to the online catalogue, making this unique resource accessible to researchers worldwide. More than 700 individual letters are now available and new items are added to the online catalogue each week. The letters complement the numerous manuscript rituals copied and collected by Irwin and his friends, already available for research in the Library. These are often decorated by Irwin with cutouts from Masonic periodicals and newspapers. Highlights of the collection include letters about the early development of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) and its founder, Robert Wentworth Little. The Irwin correspondence provides context for the SRIA archive, deposited last year at the Museum. An SRIA-funded project archivist is cataloguing this collection, which will complement the 2,500 books and pamphlets from the

SRIA Library already available for research at the Museum. The letters include references to the development of John Yarker’s Antient and Primitive Rite, also known as the Rite of Memphis and Misraim, the Order of Eri, the Royal Oriental Order of Sat B’hai, the August Order of Light and the Swedenborg Rite. Many letters reflect the late 19thcentury interest in and search for knowledge about a life ‘beyond’, often referred to by historians as the Spiritualist Revival. Some letters reveal the involvement of Freemasons William Robert Woodman, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and William Wynn Westcott, in forming the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The archives of the Golden Dawn, which

‘Many letters reflect the late 19th-century interest in and search for knowledge about a life “beyond”’

welcomed women and men as members, are among the resources consulted most frequently at the Museum. For researchers interested in the development and history of Theosophy, several letters provide contemporary comment about the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Other gems include letters written by William Simpson, a Crimean War and Abyssinian Expedition artist. Simpson, a Freemason who was initiated in Marquis of Dalhousie Lodge, London, accompanied the Grand Master, the Prince of Wales, on a tour of India in 1875. Three albums of photographs and cuttings collected by Simpson on his travels are among resources available for access at the Museum. To find out more, see the Museum’s catalogue at: www.museumfreemasonry. org.uk/catalogue. See our page on making a research visit at: www.museumfreemasonry.org. uk/how-make-research-visit Or email us at contact@ museumfreemasonry.org.uk

Images: Museum of Freemasonry

Major Francis George Irwin was an active Craft, Royal Arch and Mark Mason with an interest in the rites of various Orders

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Images left to right: Cabinet print of Major F G Irwin c.1890. Letter of John Yarker, Antient and Primitive Rite, sent to Major F G Irwin, 1890. Portrait of John Yarker, c.1887. Portrait of John Yarker, c.1912

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Grand Lodge News from Great Queen Street

50 Quarterly Communication Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes on welcoming new candidates

52 Learnings with Solomon Becoming a better Freemason through self-improvement

58 Pathway’s progress Attracting new members to Yorkshire North & East Ridings

54 First impressions

Hermes, tried and tested by PGS for Bristol Phil Nicholls

Image: Alamy

The distinctive silhouette of Freemasons’ Hall and the London skyline FMT Summer 2022

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Quarterly Communication Grand Lodge

Swelling the membership

In his March message, Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes talks about the importance of welcoming new candidates to Freemasonry P O R T R A I T J O O N E Y W O O D WA R D

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The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes encourages members to take the time to make new candidates comfortable

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FMT Spring 2022

rethren, over the past several months I have been trying to put a positive spin on where we are in Freemasonry. I have genuinely felt this to be the case, but I probably didn’t have any concrete evidence. I believe we have been given that evidence today in the talk we have received earlier. I have heard time and time again around the country about how many candidates there have been waiting in the wings – and this was most certainly not imaginary. However, what I did not know were the numbers we were losing for whatever reason. Today’s figures are rather more than comforting. This situation has, clearly, got much to do with the way the members of the Craft conduct themselves both in private and public. Our public image has improved immeasurably, and rightly so when you see the fantastic work that has been done in our Provinces and Districts. This is, of course, not a new phenomenon. We have always done so much, but over this dire period we have achieved even more and, importantly, we have been able to get the general public to see all the good work and appreciate it. The rather improved attitude of the media towards us is an enormous advantage in all of this. Of course, it does no harm to our public image when we are able to do what we did yesterday. The Grand Master hosted HRH the Earl of Wessex to the Masonic Charitable Fund meeting, where we donated £300,000 from our Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Fund Relief Chest to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Many of the recipient charities were represented

and it was a convivial occasion showing Freemasonry at its best. When I used the word ‘private’ earlier I was referring to our behaviour in our own Lodges and other gatherings. It is no good having a mass of candidates if we don’t process them properly and look after them on the initial stages of their journey, so that they can get fully involved in all the workings of their Lodge and the Craft. When we, as individuals, introduce someone to our Lodge, it is relatively easy to keep an eye on the ongoing process and ensure that all is well. However, so many of our new members now come to us through websites and the like and we must ensure that they are as well looked after as those we introduce ourselves. This must happen from the day they make contact. The responsibility for this lies largely with the Province or District with which the contact is made. They must ensure that the person concerned is worthy of our confidence and direct them towards what they consider to be the best Lodge for the individual. They then need to make certain that the journey continues in the right direction. It would seem from the reports we are getting that this process is working pretty well in most places and we should be appreciative

‘Our public image has improved immeasurably, and rightly so when you see the fantastic work that has been done’ FMT Summer 2022

of all those spending their time overseeing this aspect. The Lodge itself must be responsible for organising when the ceremonies will take place and how they are conducted. I think we all know what a good impression a well-conducted ceremony has on a candidate, just as the reverse is true. I have said on several occasions in the past that the ‘time out’ that we have all had to experience over the past two years should negate the oft-used excuse for poor ritual: ‘I didn’t have time to learn it’. I have been receiving reports that members are having difficulty getting back into the habit of learning the ritual and that standards are slipping. Brethren, please don’t let this happen. Surely, looking the candidate in the eye when delivering the ritual has a so much greater effect on him than never looking at him at all while reading from the book or looking for your place in some hastily written notes. Let me assure you that the satisfaction of a candidate thanking you for such a good experience makes it all so worthwhile. I do know that, brethren, as, believe it or not, it has occasionally happened to me. Brethren, over the past 13 years you have had to listen for far too long to my end-ofmeeting speeches. You will be glad to know you will be saved from this from September. At that Quarterly Communication, the Most Worshipful Grand Master will install Right Worshipful Brother Jonathan Spence as his new Pro Grand Master. This change will also apply to the Royal Arch. I have had a wonderful time as Pro Grand Master and will say more about that at my last hoorah in June. Thank you brethren. 51


Grand Lodge Solomon

Solomon Grand Lodge

To be given the ritual makes you a member. To think about its meaning makes you a Freemason

THE MEANING O F M AS O N RY

As part of the Learning and Development team, ritual makes us members and self-improvement makes us Freemasons. By Nick Brown and Lee Taylor

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we follow this same set of values, set down in the 1700s, albeit with a 21st-century outlook – and, often, refreshments. It is the core running through what we do and people with differing roles support us on our way, like pieces that together make a Masonic jigsaw complete. I think about all those members of the Lodge, from my proposer to the mentor, to the Director of Ceremonies and the Preceptor in the Lodge of Instruction, and so many others who supported and encouraged me. We never stop learning and are encouraged as we go along. The Members’ Pathway provides an overall framework to plan, attract and, more importantly, engage with its members. The aim is to help all Lodges become vibrant so that every meeting, including dining, is so enjoyable and worthwhile that every member looks forward to the next meeting with an enthusiasm that is infectious. The cornerstones to engagement are supporting each and every new member and continued learning and development. A new concept under the Members’ Pathway is the Lodge membership team with a unity of purpose. Key factors are understanding, participation, and stewardship. As our 17th-century brethren met to discuss and speculate the questions of the day, so too are we encouraged to understand the ritual on a personal level as part of our own development. For participation and enjoyment, simply, the more you put in the more you’ll get out, guiding the Freemason throughout his journey in Freemasonry. It is essential that every member continues to learn, develop and enjoy. Our labour is then complete. FMT Summer 2022

T H E W E LCO M E M O D U LES

Not sure how to navigate your way around Solomon? Here we explain the Welcome modules, which help you make sense of the Masonic ceremonies

Image: Alamy

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s I came into Freemasonry, I remember the fi rst night. It was a very special evening, but I didn’t really understand what had happened; I just knew it was significant. Within a few months, I was encouraged to be an active member of the Lodge and deliver some ritual. Brethren were supportive, but the focus was always on a word-perfect rendition of the piece, as opposed to understanding the meaning. This left me wondering: what is it all about? As Freemasons, we are often asked what Masons do and why they meet. Have you ever stopped to consider what Freemasons get out of being part of such an ancient and honourable institution? Before many of us joined, I wonder if we fully understood its potential to be life changing, or that it makes you into a better version of yourself. There’s no doubt it does both of these things, developing us through the learning of so many intangible latent talents. Obviously, we meet great friends and have a lot of fun – and if we don’t we are doing it wrong. But there’s more and I think this comes down to learning and development. Learning – I consider what I’ve learned about myself, about morality, symbols, different viewpoints, from people I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for the beloved Craft, and to dig a little deeper. Development – I think about what I’ve developed. I certainly have more confidence, particularly in areas such as public speaking and teamwork. I think the core of Freemasonry is learning and development, just as our operative brothers had a system of apprentices and masters so that every stonemason had a means to learn, develop and self-improve. In this modern age,

The interactive nature of the material, such as videos and quizzes, use gamification to make the experience more engaging. Badges can be earned to reward the participant’s endeavours and reflect their achievements. However,

Our ceremonies are unique to Freemasonry. We have all been a candidate at some time or other. Some in the dim and distant past, others not so long ago. What we can all agree on is that when we experienced the ceremonies, they were quite unlike anything we had ever come across before. We were advised, quite rightly, not to research the ceremony in books or – these days – on the internet. To do so would ruin the surprise, we were told. However, with our curiosity aroused by this unique experience, we want to fi nd out more. But how do you go about doing that? The new Welcome modules on Solomon have been created exactly with this in mind. There are three that are currently available: 1. Welcome Apprentice 2. Welcome Fellowcraft 3. Welcome Master Mason

They are intended to be taken after the candidate’s initiation, passing or raising to help make sense of the ceremony. Welcome Apprentice, for example, provides commentary on the following topics: 1. An Overview of the Ceremony 2. The Working Tools 3. Symbols of the First Degree 4. The Tracing Board 5. The North-East Corner 6. The Entered Apprentice Apron 7. The Charge After Initiation Subject matter is delivered in a variety of different ways and is entirely self-paced. The Welcome modules can be done in a day or could take a year or more. It is entirely up to the participant to decide when and how they wish to engage in the modules. FMT Summer 2022

participation in the Welcome modules is entirely voluntary and should not be seen as a form of progression in the Lodge. Although they are aimed at those who have just undertaken a ceremony, they may also be of interest for the more experienced Freemason. Likewise, they need not be completed in isolation, but could be undertaken with the candidate’s mentor, or even with a group of candidates. Ultimately, the Welcome modules are there to help us make sense of our ceremonies, always bearing in mind that Freemasonry means different things to different people, and there are many interpretations to speculate upon. The Welcome modules are a fi rst step towards gaining our individual perspective on the Craft and a step towards becoming a speculative Freemason. Here is what some of our participants have said: ‘The module was well structured and provided plenty of useful information. The good structure allowed me to not think about what I had to read, in which order (which is complex for a new initiate), but to simply follow the modules one by one.’ ‘Very comprehensive, good structure, very useful commentary, all elements of fi rst degree were incorporated and explained in detail.’ ‘Interesting content delivered well.’ If you have recently completed a degree, why not have a look at the new Welcome modules on Solomon? Alternatively, if you know a candidate who has recently undertaken a ceremony and wants to fi nd out more, encourage them to have a look at the Welcome modules. 53


Grand Lodge Hermes

Hermes Grand Lodge

FI R ST I M PR ES S I O N S

every Province and District. Once the lengthy but vital mapping process had taken place, it was handed over to the system programmers to develop the system. In spite of Covid, progress was made and by early September 2021, I, as the Provincial Secretary of Bristol, and my colleague Peter Wills, as Provincial Scribe E, were asked whether Bristol would like to be the first Province to go live once the Hermes System was rolled out. Bristol is a small Province with 38 Craft Lodges and 14 Royal Arch Chapters, so it was an ideal platform to launch Hermes and test its capabilities. We started the transition process to the new system in December 2021. In preparation, the members of our Provincial pilot team were identified as prospective trainers to be supplemented with a couple of newer members. In total, a team of nine trainers was created to undertake the preliminary training with Nigel Codron and Ed Feist from the UGLE training team, to manage, guide and educate all 52 Secretaries and Scribes in the Province at the same time. The Secretaries of Craft Lodges and Scribes of Royal Arch Chapters were categorised under the RAG System to identify, as far as possible, those who would probably cope with little training and support and those that would need more. Every trainer was allocated responsibility for five or six Lodges and Chapters of varying levels of skill and ability, which made it a manageable number when disseminating the training processes and introduction to the webinars. The transition training for the trainers was very well presented by way of a mix of Zoom meetings and webinars, introduced by Nigel Codron and Ed Feist. These were well structured and easy to watch and understand, enabling the trainers (and later the Secretaries and Scribes), to quickly absorb the various processes involved prior to using the Hermes system. There is no doubt that the immediate impressions of all the trainers, Secretaries and Scribes when seeing the system for the first time, as described during the webinars, was that it looked clean, uncluttered, easy

Will Hermes work for us? Is it easy to use? And does it demonstrate our commitment to the environment? Yes, says Provincial Grand Secretary for Bristol and Hermes Chairman Phil Nicholls MBE. Here’s why…

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ome three years ago, we first learned of a new electronic system being planned to aid and speed up our administration and to move, as far as possible, to being a paperless organisation. But how would that be achieved as for centuries Freemasonry has depended upon paper-based records, applications and correspondence. A quick examination of any of our archives or public record offices within any Province has the undisputed evidence there for all to see. The question was where and how to achieve such an ambitious project. Well, let us not forget that we do have a good, sound and comprehensive database that we use already – the Adelphi2. However, access is limited to a few members only and it is updated by the use of paper forms, whether they be Form P applications, registration of changes of personal details or requests for Grand 54

Lodge certificates. However, it is, in reality, purely a repository of information that someone, somewhere has to input manually from various forms and papers. I accept that Adelphi has a lot of features and data that can be obtained for management information purposes, but it depends on mountains of paper. It was therefore decided that a system should be developed whereby information is gathered at source, electronically and capable of being updated locally and fulfilling all the administrative tasks Secretaries and Scribes currently undertake. Was this just blue-sky thinking or was it really a possibility? The first stage was for the newly appointed Hermes team to identify a small number of Provinces and Districts to assist with cataloguing the raft of processes that triggered and influenced the way we work, while simultaneously complying with the requirements of FMT Summer 2022

The Hermes electronic system sped up administration

‘The process of winning hearts and minds was relatively stress-free and easygoing’

the Book of Constitutions. The Hermes team held a number of face-to-face meetings to discuss, identify, label, correlate and refine what it is we all do, from receipt of information regarding a prospective candidate, right the way through to initiation of a member, to passing to the Grand Lodge Above. And so the intricate task of process mapping began. It was an interesting undertaking, as it was quickly identified that working practices and procedures differed within London, Provinces and Districts. My own Province of Bristol, for example – like some others – does things in a unique way or maybe a different order. However, to ensure the new system was compatible and workable for everyone a lot of time, effort was undertaken over 18 months to map the current processes and then create the new functionality and processes for Hermes, which were signed off by

to navigate and intuitive in its applications. Those first very important impressions ensured that any fears and trepidations were minimalised and the process of winning hearts and minds was relatively stress-free and easygoing. The transition process for Bristol began just before Christmas and was a rather hectic period. The tempo increased from the start of the New Year as our go-live date was scheduled for the 1 February 2022, giving us four weeks to get everyone introduced to Hermes, trained on how to use the webinars and allowed the FMT Summer 2022

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Grand Lodge Hermes

ability to gain confidence through use of the Sandbox facility (more on this below). That gave us a very tight window to get everyone trained and ready for our go-live date. During those four weeks, two issues quickly came to our notice: 1) Some of the more senior in-service Secretaries felt really uncomfortable about using a new and totally electronic system, as their IT skills and experiences were minimal. I endeavoured to reassure them that if they bought goods online or had online banking, then they would easily cope with Hermes. However, not very many of them had undertaken such bold and modern tasks, so were not convinced. As a result, with the assistance of both Nigel and Ed, it was agreed that the Lodges concerned nominate a younger Assistant Secretary to collaborate with the Secretary and become the Hermes user for their Lodge or Chapter. This meant the Lodge Secretary/Scribe E working in tandem with the Hermes user and thereby advising and guiding on the intricacies of protocol and the requirements of Book of Constitutions as required. 2) The other aspect that impacted Bristol was the short timeframe we were given to roll out and go live. It meant that Lodges and Chapters meeting in the first two weeks of February would not have the requisite time to produce their pre-meeting reports. As a result, our rollout process was split into two parts: those with meetings from the middle of the month onwards would go live first and those with meetings in the first 14 days would go live from the middle of the month. This worked for us, but it may not be necessary for other Provinces as they will enjoy a much longer lead-in time and online registration forms and pre-meeting reports could be prepared in plenty of time. One of the aspects of the training regime is the immensely helpful use of the Sandbox facility. This enables users to explore and use the Hermes functionality without corrupting or influencing the main database, enabling them to gain confidence in their use of the system. Although the Sandbox contains a huge amount of information for users to explore, it is

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Clockwise: Nigel Codron and Ed Feist, UGLE Hermes Training Team. Phil Nicholls MBE, Nigel Codron, Peter Wills

purely an aid to learning. From the experience of the Bristol Province, it is suggested that the Sandbox should be shut down once your Lodges and Chapters pass their go-live date, in order to eliminate confusion and unnecessary mistakes by users logging-in to the incorrect part of Hermes. The Province of Bristol is now a full month into using the Hermes system and although there are the usual minor glitches that one would expect with any new and very complex portal system, these are relatively few. Our experiences will undoubtedly ensure that those glitches and snags are eliminated before other Provinces start to use Hermes and they will enjoy a useful and easy-to-use system that will save time and make life easier for everyone. In summary, Hermes has been well received in the Province of Bristol. Secretaries and Scribes like using it and all are confident that within two or three meetings, they will feel very confident when using it. Always remember, if you are unsure about any process or part of a process because you have not undertaken it before or have only once a year, such as preparing the annual returns, the webinars are always there to help you. If there are problems, the help hub will guide you and you will also have your dedicated trainers to assist. If, however, the problem is a hitch or indeed a technical matter, use the support system and talk to your allotted trainer. If all else fails, the issue can always be elevated up to the Hermes technical team. Yes, we can reassure you that going from blue-sky thinking to reality, it works. I am convinced from my own experience that Hermes is easy to use, demonstrates our commitment to the environment by using less paper and is undoubtedly the future of Freemasonry.

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Members' Pathway Grand Lodge

Grand Lodge Members' Pathway

AT T R AC T I N G NEW MEMBERS AND G R OW I N G LO D G E S Thanks to the work of the Members’ Pathway in growing the ranks, the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings saw a marked increase in new enquiries

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Some two years prior to the National Digital Marketing Campaign (NDMC), the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings had set up a number of Provincial Management Groups (PMGs), each with a lead on the Provincial Executive. One of these was the Membership PMG, comprising of Membership, Mentoring, Learning & Development, and Pastoral Care, so naturally they took the lead for the NDMC initiative. In the words of Trevor Collinson, Operational Lead for the PMG, ‘Because we had a good team and structure in place prior to the NDMC initiative, it was relatively easy to step things up and engage with those who had been attracted to Freemasonry through the campaign.’ The Membership function within the PMG is led by Tony Randle, who had already recruited a team of

18 Area Membership Officers, who were going to be the face-to-face contact with potential candidates, welcome them to Freemasonry and initiate the screening process. In the autumn of 2021, Tony had encouraged Lodges to appoint a Lodge Membership Officer (LMO), submit a lodge profile and to embrace the updated Members Pathway, via a series of well-attended Membership Forums. So we were well placed to reap the benefits of a successful campaign. Between the start of the NDMC campaign and the end of January 2022, there was a marked increase in enquiries, with more than 170 new enquiries received as a direct result of the campaign, of which around 70 per cent continued to engage with our membership process.

Tony Randle leads the Membership function within the PMG

FMT Summer 2022

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Grand Lodge Members' Pathway

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One such candidate who enquired through the NDMC campaign was a Elmer Robles, a Philippine national who has worked in this country for many years and lives in the Scarborough area. After receiving his welcome pack, his local Area Membership Officer, Tony Dyer, met with Elmer. Finding him to be a good candidate, Tony gave Elmer five Lodge profiles from which he chose Leopold Lodge No. 1760 in Scarborough. Tony took him to meet the Lodge Membership Officer, who invited him to several Leopold Lodge pub nights, followed by the Lodge’s Christmas White Table and Burn’s Night. They then invited him to a formal interview and will initiate him into the Lodge at their next meeting.

more than words can say…

Elmer’s journey is typical for more than 60 candidates passed to our Lodges from the NDMC campaign, with almost half having already been initiated and the balance having been proposed and balloted for. We have 50 more potential candidates from the NDMC still engaged in the process, with around 90 candidates found by the Lodges, all supported by the Membership Team. Tony Randle, our Provincial Membership Officer, says: ‘Our success can be attributed to the teamwork within the PMG and the support from our executive team, the hard work of our Area and Lodge Membership Officers and the support and willingness of our Lodges across our Province to adapt to change and to embrace these new initiatives’. W Bro Richard Gillett, the Worshipful Master of Leopold Lodge, comments, ‘The Leopold Lodge has clearly benefited from this campaign, which has increased the awareness of the general public as to what we as Freemasons do and what values we stand for. Without it, potential new members would almost certainly have not shown an interest in joining our Lodge and would probably never have joined the Craft at all.’ Our Provincial Grand Master, Jeff Gillyon, added his perception as to why this initiative has been so successful in Yorkshire North and East Ridings: ‘I have found many brethren around my Province expressing their support for this proactive initiative of Grand Lodge. Our own success in converting enquirers into candidates is down to the professionalism of my PMG team, with members of the Team certainly not selected on the basis of Craft or Chapter rank, but rather on the skill sets they possess.’

‘It was really easy to step things up and engage with those who had been attracted to Freemasonry through the campaign’ and professional response from our Membership team engaged our potential candidates, maintaining the interest of those who have responded to the NDMC campaign and had taken the time to complete a UGLE enquiry form. Should we be unable to contact a man via phone or email we will always write to him at the address given on the initial application, thank him for his enquiry and leave the door open for future contact. FMT Summer 2022

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The screening process was already in place and worked well, ensuring potential candidates were indeed fit and proper men to become members, able to be safely passed on to the LMO, and allowing the Lodge to undertake its own selection and interview procedure. The initial Membership PMG process for internet (including NDMC) enquiries is for the Provincial Membership Officer to contact all enquiries within 48 hours and send them a welcome pack including a letter that contains: • Links to UGLE and Provincial membership websites and videos • A welcome to Y N & E R Freemasonry booklet • A copy of our Yorkshire Mason magazine • A copy of our candidates’ charter The next step is for a local Area Membership Officer (AMO) to contact every inquiry within five days and begin the screening process Inevitably, a few of the initial enquiries fell by the wayside, but we strongly believe that a rapid, friendly

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Daniel Graham divulges his experience of being exalted into the Royal Arch, including his pride at wearing the jewels

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66 Grand Chapter news The first rugby Chapter; joining the Royal Arch

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Royal Arch A new Chapter

Companions & The Craft Royal Arch

Wor t h t he wa it

At long last, Deputy Group Communications Officer for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex Braham Djidjelli can celebrate the Consecration of the Chapter of XV

A leap into the unknown Recently exalted into the Holy Royal Arch, Middlesex Provincial Grand Communications Officer Daniel Graham divulges his experience to help others

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odge of XV was consecrated in July 2017 at Felsted School, Essex, by RW Bro Rodney Lister Bass in the presence of more than 300 founders, friends and visitors of the Essex Rugby Lodge. Some 1,556 days later – and 579 days late – the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Paul Tarrant, was pleased to consecrate the Chapter of XV, the first rugby-based Chapter in the history of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England. It was also the first consecration of a Chapter in Essex for almost 10 years. The Founders of the Chapter have had to tackle many obstacles in the build-up to the event. Covid meant the consecration was postponed for a considerable length of time and it is a testament to the resolve of the petitioners that more than 100 companions gathered from across the country to witness this unique event and to enjoy an outstanding Festive Board at Saxon Hall, Southend. Following a faultless consecration overseen by the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Joe Shearer, E Comps Mike Hall, Dave Hawtin and Michael Fleet were installed as the primus Z, H and J respectively and a full installation and appointment of officers followed. In his first act as Z, E Comp Mike Hall announced that the Chapter would adopt three unattached widows via the Almoners Team, which was received well by all who were present, including the Provincial Grand Almoner. 66

The Festive Board that followed was conducted in good order, although companions should be aware that future meetings will include a Festive Board similar to that of the Lodge of XV with ‘fines’ payable and the monies donated to local rugby clubs and associated charities. In his response, MEGS Paul Tarrant said he was delighted to witness the ‘conversion’ of the Lodge to a Chapter and that with the level of support shown to the whole XV project, they wouldn’t need to ‘try’ too hard to emulate the success of their Craft brothers. Primus Z, E Comp Mike Hall, was overwhelmed by the day and commented, ‘It has been a long time coming, but we got there in the end. I can only thank the Province and the Founders for their patience and all those who attended under difficult circumstances.’ The first regular meeting of the Chapter was on Friday 21 January 2022 at Howard Hall, Braintree, with the first exaltation waiting in the wings.

‘More than 100 companions gathered from across the country to witness this unique event and to enjoy an outstanding Festive Board’ FMT Summer 2022

The Chapter of XV is the first in Essex for almost 10 years

I have sat in many Lodge meetings, listened to the Royal Arch representative talk about ‘Chapter’, but without really connecting or engaging with it. I think I’ve seen a demonstration in a Craft meeting, too, and have repeatedly been asked, ‘When are you going to join Chapter?’ To me, it always seemed like the thing to do after going through the Chair in Craft, or simply something that little bit elusive. If, like many, you’re a Freemason in those shoes, then read on as now I write to you from the other side of that perception having recently been exalted into the Holy Royal Arch. In doing so, I can fi nally give you an insight into that next step in Freemasonry, share my own experience and give you my top tips for the Royal Arch.

many unanswered questions and in the midst of a cliff-hanger that would have keep EastEnders or Coronation Street going. It’s not an extra step, it’s like watching a Netfl ix series and pausing three quarters of the way through.

1. Don’t wait. Much like a Craft initiation, there is little to prepare or expected of you. If the fear of more ritual and learning is holding you back, don’t. You can enter the Royal Arch and have no pressure of advancing.

8. New friends. Well, in fact, not just new friends that you haven’t met, but new connections with familiar faces and ‘companions’ – the term that brethren are called inside Royal Arch.

2. You qualify earlier than you think. Did you know that you just have to be a Master Mason of four weeks standing to enter the Royal Arch? 3. A new jewel awaits you. You have seen the Royal Arch jewels worn in Craft meetings and wondered what they’re all about. Satisfy your curiosity!

6. Strangely familiar, strangely different. It has many shared similarities, customs and traditions – you will feel at home more easily than you think. And, without putting in any spoilers, wait until you see the ‘fi re’. 7. New goodies. A new apron, a colourful sash and a whole new experience to discover. Come on, there is a great charm in dressing up, putting on a nice crisp shirt and suit and adorning ourselves in regalia, right?

All in all, it was a brilliant evening, an experience to treasure and one that will stay with me for some time. If you’re not sure, I hope this article puts it in simple terms. Feel free to talk to your Royal Arch representative, as they always say, but equally feel free to talk to me, too.

4. The Ceremony. What a delightful ceremony. Of course I can’t tell you much more, but it’s a wonderful story, with more symbolism and intrigue to discover. 5. It’s part of the whole Masonic experience. You may have heard that the Royal Arch is the completion of the third degree – well that is true. By not joining, you may well be missing out on the fuller story. For me, the third degree left me with FMT Summer 2022

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Culture Book reviews

Book reviews Culture First Tracing Board jacket_Layout 1 23/12/2021 08:50 Page 1

The Tracing Boards of the First Degree — Enrico Marcia

Enri co Marcia is a passionate researcher in the esoteric, mystical, ancient mysteries and Masonic fields. In particular, he carries on the study of Emulation Freemasonry, its rituality, its historical origins, its philosophical aspects and above all its initiatory roots and its esoteric profiles. He published in the Italian magazine De Hominis Dignitate a paper entitled the closing of the Lodge. He also collaborated in the Italian translation of the book by W.L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, Il Significato della Massoneria, Saggio introduttivo di Fabio Venzi (Settimo Sigillo, 2016).

The Tracing Boards of the First Degree

The Tracing Boards of the First Degree With a Foreword by Simon Cusens, Grand Master of Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta

The Tracing Board is a picture that encloses the quintessence of the ritual of the Degree and transmits it through symbols and images. Being an integral part of Masonic works, the Tracing Board is well known to every Freemason; yet very few of them dwell on its real meaning and on that of the symbols contained therein. The book is divided into two parts. In the first, the author analyzes the Tracing Board of the First Degree of the Emulation ritual: in it a precise plan for the spiritual improvement of man is traced. Each symbol contained in the Tracing Board is described, analyzed and explained under the historical, moral and esoteric profile. The second part provides an overview of the Tracing Boards and their associated symbolism through the analysis of images relating to jewels, drawings, Lodge cloths and First-Degree Tracing Boards, coming from different parts of the world.

www.lewismasonic.co.uk

Enrico Marcia

Printed in England

T H E M A S O N I C T U T O R ’ S H A N D B O O K : VO L U M E 3 – B E C O M I N G A C R A F T S M A N BY R O B E R T LO M A S

T H E T R AC I N G B OA R D S O F T H E F I R S T D E G R E E BY E N R I C O M A R C I A

O D D F E L L O W S M A N UA L BY LO U I E B L A K E S A I L E S A R M I N E TO

W H O C A R E S ? J OYS A N D C H A L L E N G E S O F U N PA I D C A R E R S BY R I C H A R D B AT E S

Inspiration for scientists

Worth dwelling on more

Not as odd as all that...

A silent workforce speaks

This is the third in the series of Masonic Tutor’s Handbooks, the fi rst two covering the Apprentice Master and Freemasonry, post-Covid. It’s an easy read, covering the requirements and explanations of the second degree. The book starts with the relationship between a Fellow Craft and their Master, and looks at how the traditional wisdom of our Craft was passed on in 15th-century Freemasonry when there was no formal education. It describes how training took place in working groups (Lodges), where the Fellow Crafts worked together with an experienced Master Mason to receive guidance, advice and support. While the book is aimed at a ‘Masonic tutor’, it’s a fascinating read for anyone who has just taken their second regular step, or has an interest in the degree. Although the book is well-structured and presented in a logical manner, there is nothing new or different in

The First Degree Tracing Board is too often ignored in English freemasonry. Visible when a Lodge works that degree, it is soon closed over as we move up into second and third gear, then not seen again until the closing. The lecture upon it is very rarely heard now, which is a great shame, given how beautiful and informative it is. By way of ensuring it does not recede too far into the distance, Italian academic researcher Enrico Marcia has produced his latest work: The Tracing Boards of the First Degree. In more than 200 pages, he dives deeply into its history, its depictions over time, the underlying symbolism and, frankly, as much else as one might ever wish to know about it. There is no doubting that Marcia is an academic – and an enthusiastic one at that. He is very widely read and fearless in the dogged pursuit of his argument. There are 30 pages of footnote references at the back, some 329 in all. This, then, is a book for the serious-minded reader with

Non-Masonic social organisations and friendly societies are rather interesting, particularly if there is plenty of history to delve into. Oddfellows (sometimes Odd Fellows, as in the book) have a number of similarities with Freemasonry, such as meeting in Lodges, requiring belief in a non-specific supreme being, giving to charity, performing ceremonies and having regalia. The fi rst Lodges written about met in London in 1730, which suggests the order (which, like Freemasonry, is politically and religiously independent) may have existed some time before then. This book largely covers the origin, history, rituals, symbols and organisation of the American branch of the order, which became independent from the British order in 1842. The author provides an explanation of the differences between the Oddfellows and Freemasonry, the main ones being different teachings, symbols, organisational structure, titles, design and focus. The book also includes a précis of the order’s constitution, descriptions of its regalia and rituals, something of its history and thoughts about where the name Oddfellows originates.

The medical profession increasingly recognises that, where possible, care at home by family members can provide the best outcome, particularly for patients with dementia. It goes without saying that Freemasonry has an honourable and humbling record of quietly caring for others, whether Freemasons or not. This care no doubt includes the many Freemasons who also look after family members as unpaid carers. Indeed, an estimated one in eight of the UK’s population – more than 13 million – are unpaid carers. They go about their often difficult, dreary and exhausting work largely unnoticed. Moreover, what they do often involves many more hours than a full-time job. If their careers have to go on hold and they then have to rely on Carer’s Allowance, making ends meet can sometimes be hard. The warts-and-all business of providing unpaid care for family members is what this moving book is about. Honest, frank and raw in places, it shows how people really cope, written by those who either have done it or are still doing it. Complied and edited by seasoned Grand Officer

The second degree and its possible origins much of the contents. However, when the book goes slightly off-piste, it becomes genuinely interesting. It uses the slightly tenuous link of the requirement to study the hidden mysteries of nature and science to include mini-biographies of five famous Masonic scientists and engineers. The biographies, ranging from George Stephenson of ‘Rocket’ fame, to Enrico Fermi, one of the fathers of the hydrogen bomb, cover their works, achievements and their relationship to Freemasonry. This section is particularly engaging, as it shows the importance of Freemasonry and Masonic enquiry in the development of many of the inventions and scientific theories (ranging from gravity, through quantum physics, to alien life forms) that help shape our world. An interesting read. Review by Richard Watkins The Masonic Tutor’s Handbook: Volume 3 – Becoming a Craftsman, Robert Lomas, Lewis Masonic, 103pp, £7.50

A look at something all Lodges have

enhanced powers of concentration. I don’t make that point to criticise unduly, but if you were looking for a fairly easy way of rounding off the day for 20 minutes before lights-out, this may not be quite the thing. The translation is, bluntly, not great and results in often rather leaden prose, with a few real oddities of vocabulary and syntax. If reading may be compared to eating, this is high-fibre stuff: hugely nutritious and jolly good for you, but sometimes rather too crunchy. It is, though, enormously informative, bold and will help prevent the First Degree Tracing Board from sinking into undeserved obscurity. There is also an abundance of intriguing illustrations. If you’re feeling energetic, it certainly deserves a go. Review by Cestrian The Tracing Boards of the First Degree, Enrico Marcia, Lewis Masonic, 224pp, £25

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

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FMT Summer 2022

Fraternal society with an interesting history There is also a guide to running a successful Oddfellows Lodge, including hints and tips about managing a Lodge building. The order also has long-established branches for women, as well as youth sections, both of which the book describes. There is also a handy glossary. Odd Fellows Manual should appeal to two broad sets of readers. The fi rst are Oddfellows themselves (in many ways it would serve as a guide to membership); the second, historians of social societies, who may fi nd this a useful introduction to the order. A few words of caution however: if you might be thinking about becoming an Oddfellow, then I would recommend not reading this book until after your initiation to preserve some surprise. It certainly deserves a go. Review by Oughtred Odd Fellows Manual: Modern Guide to the Origin, History, Rituals, Symbols and Organisation of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Louie Blake Saile Sarmiento, International Research Society on Fraternal Societies, 262pp, £14.69

Caring at home by those at the coalface

FMT Summer 2022

Richard Bates (who cared for his own father when diagnosed with dementia) this book is a collection of more than a dozen accounts by unpaid carers. Notable examples include the actress Susan Hampshire (who put her career on hold when her husband Sir Eddie Kulukundis developed dementia and became bedridden) and Diana Melly, wife of jazz singer and writer George Melly. Freemasons who are unpaid carers will know well the effect it has on their work lives and being able to go to Lodge meetings. They should fi nd much in the book of help. Hopefully their Lodges will be a valuable source of companionship and moral support, too. I found it essential reading – but then, I am a carer for my elderly mother. Review by Julian Perry Who Cares? Joys and Challenges of Unpaid Carers, edited by Richard Bates, Discript, 263pp, £9.95

69


Charity

Charity

Independent benchmarking places the MCF in the top 12% of ‘digital experts’

The Freemasons’ charity receives a digital boost

‘The MCF is now considered to be a star of the charity world’s booming technology scene, giving Freemasons yet another reason to be proud of their charity’

C

hances are, technology has played a larger part in your day-to-day life over the past two years – whether you’ve joined a family Zoom call, scanned a QR code when frequenting your local pub, or upped desks and moved to remote working. Supporters of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ charity) may have also noticed a digital shift in their charity. Let’s take a look at how the MCF adapted and upgraded to keep its vital work and services running… Like most organisations, the MCF was

70

blindsided in March 2020 by Covid-19 and the restrictions that followed. Having relied heavily on in-person Lodge and Chapter meetings to collect donations, the charity had to fast-track its digital strategy in order to keep up with Freemasons’ appetite for raising money to support their communities. Now, two years on, the MCF is emerging from the pandemic as a sector leader. Thanks to the digital developments made necessary by the pandemic, it has seen a huge increase in efficiency, effectiveness and average size of donation. FMT Summer 2022

But what was the journey to digital superstar status like? Suddenly confined to their homes in March 2020, Freemasons found themselves unable to attend meetings. With in-person ones being the only way to obtain Gift Aid envelopes for alms collection, Freemasons were unable to send these physical donations to the MCF and the charity’s income took a nosedive at a time when it was needed most. In a normal year, the MCF could expect to receive around 220,000 Gift Aid envelopes, but the past two years certainly

Image: Getty

The Masonic Charitable Foundations’ digital capabilities have been upgraded haven’t been normal. So, the charity’s dedicated digital and technology team set about accelerating its plan to provide supporters with a paperless method of donating by building a digital platform. By December 2020, the system was up, running and being used by Freemasons from across England and Wales to support their charity once more. The need for paper has now been completely removed from the donation process. Although the more traditional envelope route is there for people who want to use them for alms collections,

a far quicker option is now on offer. This digital path allows the charity to see supporters’ donations in real time, making the reporting for festival totals and honorifics faster and more accurate. Time-saving is also a big benefit of the MCF’s new tech. Using an e-voucher, it is now possible for users of the Relief Chest Scheme to allocate their funds to charitable causes completely online. These donations are instant, meaning the causes they are supporting will get hold of the much-needed cash speedily and efficiently. And if that wasn’t enough FMT Spring 2022

to catapult the charity to digital stardom, there is the added bonus of reduced printing costs and administration. In the charity world, getting the most value from every pound is key. The MCF has gained a robust, easy to use, and future-proof digital offering. For the charity’s supporters, this new system brings with it convenience, greater accuracy and lower operating costs. It is helping the Freemasons’ charity be better for Freemasons. Now that the MCF has successfully weathered the storm of the pandemic, its new digital capabilities have shored it up for many years – and challenges – to come.

Learn more about the MCF’s Relief Chest Scheme at www.cf. org.uk/MT58/ e-voucher or scan the QR code with your smartphone

71


Stories Charity

Being there for those who care Freemasons provide support to the UK’s unpaid carers

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ charity) has given £715,773 to support unpaid carers across England and Wales through the Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund. The fund was set up in order to respond to communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MCF’s Charity Grants team has supported unpaid carers since before the pandemic, but after further monitoring, they found that the number of people taking on unpaid caring roles had grown significantly. As a result, it was decided that one of the three funding streams from the Fund would be dedicated to supporting unpaid carers.

Resisting the rise

The news has been heavy in recent months. From conflict overseas to instability at home, it is unsurprising that many may be feeling overwhelmed and apprehensive about what the future holds. What is a promised reality is that almost every household in England and Wales will be feeling the purse strings tighten as the cost of living increases. The prices of food, fuel and energy all soared to a new 30-year high in January and inflation is projected at seven per cent – rising faster than the average person’s wage. For families and individuals with lower incomes, these increasing costs will only exacerbate an already difficult financial situation. Many charities such as Age UK, 72

There are many reasons why there is a growing need for caring in the UK, such as our ageing population, good healthcare allowing more people to live longer, and the consequences of local budget cuts. Caring also creates a cycle of need; the mental health, financial situation and physical health of the carer can often deteriorate, leaving both parties even more vulnerable. In June 2020, the MCF looked into sector-wide research and found that an additional 4.5 million people were caring for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives or friends as a result of the pandemic, taking the total estimated number of

The Trussell Trust and Citizens Advice have called on the government to increase benefits by six per cent, in line with rising inflation costs, in order to support those already in poverty and prevent others falling below the breadline. Thankfully for Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ charity) is on hand to support those facing financial difficulties. Enquiries to the The MCF is helping those struggling to make ends meet

unpaid carers from 9.1 million, to 13.6 million. Katrina Kerr, Head of Charity Grants at the MCF, said: ‘It is a shocking statistic that carers were seven times more likely to be lonely than the average person. With the enforcement of lockdown, shielding, social distancing and lack of services, can you imagine how much this figure must have increased?’ Rather than awarding one large grant to one national charity, Freemasons were asked to identify projects responding to this need in their local communities, meaning 32 projects supporting unpaid carers were funded. The MCF aims to support 28,000 unpaid carers of all ages, enabling them to access crucial support online, tailored advice and information, as well as respite breaks, activities, bereavement and counselling support. Through these 32 initiatives, the MCF has spent £715,773 supporting unpaid carers; an additional 12 grants have been awarded through their main charity grants programme, which brings the total funding to £900,000. Learn about the MCF’s grants at mcf.org. uk/FMT58/charity or scan the QR code

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MCF increased by 190 per cent in the first few months of 2022 compared with 2021 – a response to the rise in the number of people needing help. This type of support from the MCF isn’t new. Last year, the MCF awarded £12.2M in grants and services to disadvantaged Freemasons and their families, with £8.4M of this given to help cover daily living costs. More than £7.9M was also awarded to charities across England and Wales to further support local communities in tackling core social and economic issues. Have you found yourself struggling to make ends meet? Get in touch with the MCF enquiries team today to discuss how they may be able to support you: Visit mcf.org.uk/ FMT58/costs or scan the QR code with your smartphone

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UGLE Provinces Fraternal world

MEB

Fraternal World The UGLE globe at a glance Key

Metropolitan Grand Lodge

Provincial Grand Lodges

Hertfordshire 188 lodges

Buckinghamshire 116 lodges Berkshire 98 lodges Surrey 253 lodges

Middlesex 195 lodges Northumberland 138 lodges Cumberland & Westmorland 77 lodges

Durham 178 lodges Yorkshire, West Riding 198 lodges

Isle of Man 19 lodges

Yorkshire, North & East Ridings 98 lodges

East Lancashire 198 lodges West Lancashire 342 lodges Cheshire 173 lodges

Derbyshire 75 lodges

North Wales 106 lodges

Worcestershire 116 lodges West Wales 27 lodges Monmouthshire 29 lodges

Somerset 89 lodges

Cornwall 80 lodges

Lincolnshire 74 lodges Warwickshire 156 lodges

Shropshire 36 lodges

Gloucestershire 82 lodges

West Kent 178 lodges

London 1,252 lodges

Bedfordshire 55 lodges Nottinghamshire 86 lodges

Leicestershire & Rutland 80 lodges

Staffordshire 96 lodges

Norfolk 76 lodges

Cambridgeshire 30 lodges Suffolk 68 lodges

Oxfordshire 55 lodges

Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire 93 lodges

Bristol 37 lodges

East Kent 181 lodges

South Wales 161 lodges Sussex 161 lodges

Devonshire 131 lodges

Herefordshire 15 lodges

Dorset 49 lodges

Guernsey & Alderney 11 lodges

FMT Summer 2022

Hampshire & Isle of Wight 255 lodges

Essex 307 lodges

Wiltshire 44 lodges

Jersey 11 lodges

75


Fraternal world UGLE Districts and Groups

UGLE Districts and Groups Fraternal world

Ndola

1

Johannesburg Windhoek

5

Lilongwe Harare

Kimberley Bloemfontein

New Delhi Kolkata

Gladstone Mumbai

Albany

Durban

Chennai

Cape Town Port Elizabeth

2

9

3 6

Across the globe

10

7

11 4 8 12

The Districts and Groups of UGLE

George Georgetown Town Bridgetown Halifax

Montreal

Antigua Kingston Willemstad Port of Spain

Hamilton

Cascais

São Paulo

Nassau

Jamestown

76

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

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

FMT Summer 2022

Dar es Salaam

Accra Nairobi

Lagos Montevideo

4. SOUTH AMERICA São Paulo/ Rio de Janeiro District Grand Lodge of South America, Northern Division (17 lodges) Buenos Aires/ Santiago/Montevideo District Grand Lodge of South America, Southern Division (11 lodges)

Freetown

Gibraltar Vilamoura

1. CANADA Montreal/Halifax The Group of Lodges in Montreal & Halifax (3 lodges)

Kampala

Banjul

Rio de Janeiro

Santiago Buenos Aires

Zakynthos

Lagos

Seychelles

Valleta

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

6. WEST AFRICA Freetown/Banjul District Grand Lodge of Sierra Leone & The Gambia (21 lodges) Accra District Grand Lodge of Ghana (58 lodges) Lagos District Grand Lodge of Nigeria (42 lodges)

7. EAST AFRICA Nairobi District Grand Lodge of East Africa (48 lodges)

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

FMT Summer 2022

Tully

Melbourne

Colombo

9. THE SUBCONTINENT Mumbai District Grand Lodge of Bombay (23 lodges) New Delhi District Grand Lodge of Northern India (5 lodges) Kolkata District Grand Lodge of Bengal (23 lodges) Chennai District Grand Lodge of Madras (18 lodges) Colombo District Grand Lodge of Sri Lanka (10 lodges)

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

Hong Kong Thailand

Kobe

Auckland

Kuala Lumpur Singapore

Rabaul

Christchurch

Vanuatu Fiji

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

12. NEW ZEALAND Christchurch District Grand Lodge of South Island, New Zealand (13 lodges) Auckland District Grand Lodge of North Island, New Zealand (24 lodges)

77


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Fraternal world Social media

e-masons @freemasonry2day @ugle_grandlodge @grandchapter

Tell us what’s on your mind

FreemasonryToday UnitedGrandLodgeofEngland SupremeGrandChapter

5 April

2 March @PGLNorthWales Square & Compass Lodge No. 1336 celebrated its 150th anniversary. WM Terry Williams presented PGM John Charles Hoult with a donation of £10,000 on behalf of the members to #FEST2028 @ Masonic_Charity #Freemasons #Charity @UGLE_GrandLodge

6 March @lincsmasonic The #Freemasons HQ at Sleaford in Lincolnshire is awash with donations for

@unitedgrandlodgeofengland @freemasonrytoday @freemasonshall

12 March @UGLE_GrandLodge We have watched in amazement as Shackleton’s Endurance was fi nally found in Antarctica this week. Sir Ernest Shackleton was initiated into Navy Lodge No. 2612 in 1901.

29 March

@UGLE_GrandLodge We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of W Bro Harry Billinge, MBE. Harry served his country with distinction, taking part in the D-Day Landings at the tender age of 18. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

@UGLE_GrandLodge We are delighted to confi rm that recipients of the donations from the Ukraine Crisis Appeal have been decided. £100k each will be donated to: @ UNRefugeesUK @UNICEF @ PlanUK @BritishRedCross @ refugeecouncil #Freemasons

#Ukraine. ‘The cars just keep coming,’ says one volunteer. @ UGLE_GrandLodge @Shaun_ UGLE @WorvellMichelle

8 March

2 April

20 April

@Freemasonry4Women Celebrating International Women’s Day #IWD2022. Two Grand Masters at GQS today @ OrderWomen @Fmy4Women

@Dr_Andy_Green Congratulations to all the founders of the @ UnionOfRugby Lodge No. 9989

@FreemasonBarry A real honour to be WM of my Lodge for our Centenary meeting. The usual delays due to the pandemic, but it’s fi nally here! #Freemasons @lodge4043 @EssexFreemasons

@WorvellMichelle Delighted to be at the Partnering with Defence Employer Conference today representing @ UGLE_GrandLodge following our signing of the #ArmedForcesCovenant last October. #PwD2022

78

23 April

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@SULodge767 Today two Brothers were raised, congratulations to all involved @UGLE_GrandLodge #HappyHerts Members of Salisbury Union 767, @UGLE_ UniScheme, had the privilege

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@SirBevisL5072 Double passing this evening, congratulations to Brother Terry and Brother Richard on taking second regular step into Freemasonry. @HantsMason SC @HantsMason

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25 April @CambsMasons Our newest Lodge is United Service Lodge No. 10010, which was consecrated earlier this month. Membership is exclusive to those who have served in the Armed or Reserve Forces, the Police, Fire, Ambulance or Prison Service and as adults in the Cadet Forces.

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Complete set of 6 stunning strikes, preciously layered with 24-carat gold

Fraternal world Letters to the Editor

Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

Letters to the Editor

Sirs, I am the Historian of Knightsbridge lodge No. 2978. Knightsbridge suffered a loss of members in the First World War. The majority of the following information has been extracted from the Lodge Minute books makes for fascinating reading. My story begins on a visit to our Lodge secretary W.Bro Gary Tomlin SLGR, SLGCR home. While going through some of Knightsbridge’s artefacts, he brought out an old brown case with the name ‘Bro George Penny Knightsbridge Lodge No. 2978’. Inside the case was a worn Master Masons apron, the members Grand Lodge certificate, and a folded card the like that I have never seen before that read: ‘Knightsbridge Lodge No. 2978 under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England and with the approval of the M.W Grand Master has issued this card to Bro. G. Penny a member thereof whose signature is appended.’ Under this are the W.M and the Sec signature. To the bottom of the card is written ‘The above-named Lodge presents and vouches for the Brother to whom this card is issued as a worthy Master Mason, and so commends him for Brotherly care and lawful aid to any Mason who may find him in distress or need-incident to his service as a British Sailor (Soldier) – with the assurance that any courtesies so extended will be deeply appreciated, and reciprocated should the occasion arise.’ To the bottom of the card reads: ‘This card is not available for use with in the United Kingdom and must be returned to the secretary of th Lodge as soon as possible after Peace has been declared.’ To the reverse in French, German, Italian and Arabic are the same words.

It was this card that sparked my interest. I went to the Library and Museum at Great Queen Street in London. With the help of Mark Cherry, I found out that these cards were given out to Freemasons on active duty abroad. I’ve also discovered that these cards are rare, as they should have been returned to the secretary of the Lodge at the end of the war to then be destroyed. There were three members of the Lodge who went to war and sadly only one survived. Bro George Penny who the card and apron belonged to was initiated into Knightsbridge Lodge on 10 October 1907. He was aged 31 and a wine steward working at the Hyde Park Hotel in London. He attended every meeting until the beginning of the war and reached the office of Steward. He last attended the Lodge on 16 April 1914. The entry on the signature book is poignant, as this is the last time Bro Penny attended before Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. When the Lodge next met on 10 October 1914, a letter of apology was read from Bro George Penny stating that he could not attend as he was serving with the Armed Service Corps. As a private he went on to join the EFC (Expeditionary Force Canteens). He was badly wounded while serving at Salonika in Greece and died on 30 January 1919. Bro Penny is buried in Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria, Greece. Bro Albert Levy was initiated in Knightsbridge Lodge on 11 October 1906 aged 23 years and was a clerk by trade. He informed the Lodge on 11 February 1915 that he had joined the 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. That same year on 14 October he was appointed Senior Deacon of the Lodge. On 9 December 1915 he sent his apologies from the battlegrounds of France saying he was unable to attend the Lodge meeting. Although he was still on active service, he

did attend the next meeting on 10 February 1916 while on leave. On 12 October 1916 he was appointed Junior Warden but was unable to be invested as he was still fighting in France. On 8 February 1917 he wrote to the Lodge saying that he had been given a field commission and was now a Second Lieutenant. On 11 October 1917 he was invested as Senior Warden, again he attended the meeting while on leave. The last entry in the Knightsbridge Lodge signature book for Bro Levy was on 11 April 1918. At this meeting he was elected Worshipful Master for the coming year. This was to be his last meeting before he died. Bro Levy is buried at Willesden Jewish cemetery in London. Of the three who went to war the only survivor was Bro George H Chandler. He was initiated on 12 December 1912, aged 32, and was a law clerk by trade. He attended all the Lodge meetings until 12 October 1916 when a letter was read in open Lodge stating that he had joined the armed services, serving in France. At the end of the war Bro Chandler returned home and in 1926 he became Master of the Lodge. Knightsbridge Lodge is a Hallstone Lodge, which it is most proud of, when the Lodge was presented its Hallstone Medal, it was fitting that W.Bro G.H.Chandler received the medal on behalf of the lodge from the M.W Pro Grand Master at the United Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication on 2 March 1927. Brothers George Penny and Albert Levy are listed in the Masonic Roll of Honour and on the scroll parchment at the Memorial in Freemasons Hall. For more information about Knightsbridge Lodge, contact the Lodge Secretary W Bro Gary Tomlin SLGR, SLGCR, garytomlin@tiscali.co.uk W Bro Andrew Kemp-Perchard, LGR , LGCR , PPrGSwdB Sussex

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Translated into Dutch by Johan Kuenen and published in The Hague by Cornelis van Zanten in 1730, this was the first foreign-language version of the book that took Freemasonry to the world. The pencil markers are by the United Grand Lodge’s first Librarian, Henry Sadler, who comments that it is very scarce.

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